Six weeks after closing its consulate in downtown Buffalo, the Canadian government is hiring two full-time employees who will work out of an office here while reporting to the Consulate General in New York City.
The two positions represent the reduced presence that Canadian officials promised to maintain in the Buffalo Niagara region in the face of intense lobbying from U.S. lawmakers and community leaders.
The two employees likely will start by the end of the year, though Canadian officials still are sorting through the applications for the two positions, and they have not yet determined where the employees will work, said Chris Plunkett, a spokesman for the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The Canadian government is hiring one foreign service and diplomatic officer and one international business development officer, Plunkett said, and former consulate employees are welcome to apply for the jobs.
Both positions have starting salaries of $84,569 (U.S.) per year, according to the job postings. The openings were posted Oct. 10, and applications are due by today.
The Buffalo News reported in late August that, in response to lobbying by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and local business leaders, the Canadian government would hire one or two employees to work in the Buffalo area after the consulate closed.
They will report to the consulate in New York City, which has taken on many of the duties previously filled by staff in Buffalo. The consulate here employed 75 people and took up two floors of One HSBC Center.
In announcing the closing earlier this summer, Canadian officials attributed the move to budget cuts and a shift in immigration policy that now lets foreign nationals living in Southern Ontario make changes to their visas online instead of at the office in Buffalo.
The immigration section, which employed 45 people, closed in June. The 30 other employees, who worked in trade, public affairs, administration and other sections, left over the weeks leading up to the formal closing Aug. 27.