Gov. Vetoes War of 1812 Anniverary Commission; Event Includes Fort Ontario

There will be a 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.  There will even be events around the state to mark the anniversary.  But there won’t be a commission to pull the events together and promote tourism for those events.

Governor David Paterson vetoed Tuesday a bill creating the commission, as he signed 64 bills into law and vetoed 26.

The Legislature set aside $2.25 million for the commission.  It would have promoted the events that will be taking place from Buffalo to Plattsburgh.

The Canadian government already has a sizable promotional effort in place for its celebrations and officials here fear that history buffs will choose to spend their money in Canada.

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski) issued this statement on the veto:

“I’m disappointed to see the Governor veto this legislation that would have had a direct positive impact on the local economy. My office and I fought hard to include Fort Ontario in the bill, when it was originally excluded so our area could benefit from the commission. Organizers have been working steadily to see that Oswego hosts a class-act War of 1812 commemoration event and without the state’s backing, they will be hard pressed to draw in tourists from around the nation and even Canada as they had hoped.

“State park use is up this summer. The people of this state are already using these resources, so why not invest in an event which would have a positive economic impact and had many educational benefits as well.”

Sen. Darrel Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent) sponsored the measure in the State Senate.

A major event is being organized at Fort Ontario for the celebration.  The fort would have been one of seven historic sites around the state to receive special promotion.

Fort Ontario fell to the British during the war.