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Politics and Government

Cuomo, Canada come to terms regarding Peace Bridge

Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in Buffalo today to discuss an agreement made between the state and Canada regarding the Peace Bridge linking Buffalo to Ontario. Cuomo was joined by Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer and outgoing United States ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson.

According to the agreement, several projects on the Buffalo side of the bridge will be prioritized, including widening the U.S. Plaza, accelerating several current projects and implementing a new pre-inspection pilot program.

"A bridge only works when it works on both ends," Cuomo said. "That's basically the metaphor for today. The peace bridge works best when it works for Canada and when it works for Buffalo. It either works for both, or it works for neither."

Doer agreed, saying the Canadian government is glad to have come to a deal without the need for lawyers.

"We prefer partnership over litigation," Doer said. "We prefer action over congestion, and I believe that's the feelings of people in western New York and in southern Ontario."

Cuomo also says the agreement voids recent legislation passed by the state, aimed at dissolving the Peace Bridge Authority, a ten-member board comprised of five representatives each from Canada and New York.

Prior to the agreement, a number of issues had developed between the two sides, including the state asking for the removal of the Canadian General Manager of the PBA. Cuomo says the resolution ends two decades of dysfunction.