BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) - The Canadian Consulate will be closing its Buffalo office. This news on the heels of news yesterday that 77 HSBC workers will be leaving the tower in the Fall when HSBC consolidates its anti-money laundering operation.
The CBC reported today that federal budget cuts and a change immigration rules are forcing the shutdown.
About 75 workers will be affected, their duties transferred to offices in New York City.
Buffalo office is the first full-service consulate being shuttered due to the Canadian federal budget cuts. The move will eliminate walk-in services for everything from lost passports to visa applications.
Foreign students and temporary workers in the Toronto area had to do the "Buffalo shuffle" by leaving the country for interviews to change their visas.
The Canadian government changed that requirement, making the trip to Buffalo unnecessary.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership released this statement on the news of the closing of the Buffalo Canadian Consulate.
"For a community that is truly bi-national and relies heavily upon economic activity from both sides of the border, this could not be worse news. The Buffalo Consulate has been a reliable and necessary partner for employers and individuals engaged in cross-border commerce, trade, education, tourism and recreation for over forty years; and at a time when collaborative efforts between the U.S. and Canada are strengthening to a level never before seen, the logic behind closing such a pivotal organization to those efforts is incomprehensible. We already are advocating aggressively for the Buffalo Consulate, a key player in our bi-national region's economic growth, to remain open."
Andrew J. Rudnick
President and CEO, Buffalo Niagara Partnership
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