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(Photo: From CPAC)

Minister says full impact on services not yet known

By Tara Clow Apr 27, 2023 | 1:06 PM

Service disruptions due to the Public Service Alliance of Canada strike will eventually mean large backlogs.

Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Sean Fraser says so far there have been tens of thousands of files not processed, “The impact of the work stoppage will only be identifiable with precision, once the duration has come to an end. Of course, the longer any work stoppage goes on, the more severe the impacts are going to be. We’re going to continue to work to identify priority areas where people’s lives may be in danger to ensure we can still maintain those essential functions.”

This is day nine of PSAC strikes, and reports say those walking the picket lines escalated strike action today, by blocking some federal offices.

Services impacted include the Canada Revenue Agency, immigration, citizenship, licensing and passport offices.

“We’ve been trying to embrace digital solutions, and we’ve been trying to relax non-essential policy requirements, and we’ve been trying to inject more resources into the system. Once we have an understanding of the timelines that we’re dealing with and a full understanding of the impact, we’ll then be in a position to understand how long it will take to play catch up,” Fraser says.

“I remain hopeful that parties will continue to engage at the table so we can actually find a solution and get back to the level of productivity we were experiencing up until the recent work stoppage and we’ll go from there.,” Fraser adds.

Since the strike began, Fraser says they were forced to cancel citizenship ceremonies, and he is concerned with the impact it could have going forward.

He is hopeful that the two sides will continue to engage at the table and find a solution so they can get back to things working as usual.

This comes just as the government claims it was starting to make headway in the catch-up process after the pandemic.


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