The PSAC strike of federal workers nominally hired by the Treasury Board of Canada halted operations for eight business days. Plus, operations were further delayed for three additional days due to workers at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
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It should be noted that public servants employed by the Treasury Board work at a wide range of government departments and agencies. These include rendering multiple frontline services, like processing passport and immigration applications.
So, let’s see how these services were affected by the industrial action.
How Were Passport Services Affected By The PSAC Strike?
Now, the PSAC strike didn’t result in a massive backlog of passport applications, but applicants are advised to expect long queues during the week, as stated by Families, Children, and Social Development Minister Karina Gould.
Reports suggest Service Canada received nearly 27,900 applications during the strike, which is less than the estimated figure. Don’t forget only applications fulfilling the essential criteria for humanitarian or emergency situations were processed because of the strike.
Some data also indicate a surge caused by the strike.
Interestingly, 74,830 applications were received by Employment and Social Development Canada, confirming a 17% increase compared to the previous week.
Now that the services have resumed, passport applicants who have to travel urgently will be prioritized.
Applicants may also pay a fee to avail of urgent or express passport services at specialized passport offices.
According to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, the processing of up to 100,000 immigration applications was delayed during the strike.
This is alarming since Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) was already busy eliminating the backlogs caused by the pandemic.
Fraser believes the strike will now make it more difficult to return to pre-pandemic service standards. However, he is confident the department will work efficiently dealing with the backlog due to the recently implemented changes that boosted productivity significantly.
IRCC refused to comment on the size of the backlog caused by the strike, stating that it is currently assessing the impact based on each line of business.
We hope you found this information helpful. Follow our blogs for the latest updates and informative content on Canadian immigration.