As you may be aware that since 19 April, over 155,000 federal public servants in Canada have been on strike, which has caused thousands of people to experience immigration limbo. This strike has affected everyone from refugee claimants to sponsored relatives, migrant workers, and foreign students.
As a result of the strike, immigration applications have been stalled, and hearings have been cancelled.
Canada’s immigration, refugees and citizenship minister, Sean Fraser, said that tens of thousands of files have not been processed because of the strike, which may require the government to consider new policy decisions to catch up.
Canada has increased its immigration target to bring in 500,000 new permanent residents per year by 2025. This initiative is aimed at easing labour shortages in various industries, from construction to healthcare. However, the delay caused by the strike comes as Canada’s immigration system is playing catch-up to pandemic-related delays.
Wages and Remote Work
Although wages are a primary sticking point, workers also want remote work to be included in their collective agreement. Last week, the head of the union accused the government of stalling and called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to get involved in the negotiations.
On Saturday, the Treasury Board of Canada announced that government negotiators had presented striking public workers with a “final offer” to end the strike.
Although details are being kept confidential, the proposal included an enhanced wage offer and addressed issues such as telework, seniority, and contracting.
In conclusion, the strike by federal government workers, represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada, has entered its 12th day. It is causing major delays in Canada’s immigration system, which is already trying to catch up from pandemic-related setbacks. As negotiations continue, it remains to be seen how long the strike will last and what effects it will have on the country’s immigration targets.
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