Disruption of Canadian Immigration Services

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Disruption of Canadian Immigration Services


25 April 2023



Recently, 1,50,000 Canadian federal government employees went on strike. Due to this, most government departments have been affected, including Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).  As a result, Canadian immigration services have been disrupted.


According to IRCC, certain delays are to be expected in processing visa applications, making in-person appointments, contacting IRCC via mail, and other passport services. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) also anticipates delays in the gathering of biometric data and the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme (TFWP).


The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), a union representing over 155,000 federal government employees, has started striking. The union has demanded fair wages, balanced work hours, more workplace inclusivity, and fewer layoffs by increasing the number of job opportunities.


On April 17, the government claimed that negotiations had taken place between the two parties in an effort to prevent the strike. At the time, the government put forth a 9% wage rise proposal spread over three years that was in line with the suggestions made by the independent Public Interest Commission.


Ensuring that PSAC members can continue to work remotely is one of the important problems. According to the union, during the COVID-19 pandemic, public service employees proved to be working as effectively from home as they were in the office. It is seen that 90% of them wish to keep working remotely from home.


On the other hand, the Government claims that this demand will severely affect the ability to manage employees within the public service effectively. Thus, it will lead to problems delivering services to Canadians.


Meanwhile, the Canadian government will ensure the continuation of the Canada Child Benefit during labour disruption. Also, they report that payments will continue as scheduled for:


  • Veterans’ income support

  • Employment Insurance payments

  • Canada Pension Plan payments

  • Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement payments

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