Thousands of members with Canada's largest federal public-service union are walking off the job on Wednesday (April 19) as of 12:01 a.m. ET. – and the action may disrupt some aspects of the travel industry.
Slowdowns in passport applications are expected, putting a dark cloud over Service Canada’s recent progress in eliminating the backlog that overwhelmed the system last year as travel restrictions eased and the demand for new documents spiked.
As reported by the Globe and Mail, there may also be slowdowns at airports and border crossings, as admin workers with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will walk off the job.
The agency expects to maintain services for travellers and businesses during a disruption, but Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) said a strike would affect its admin staff, which would inevitably cause delays.
At the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), regulatory activities – such as the issuing of air licences, and air, rail and marine determinations – will continue, but may see delays, as will dispute resolutions.
Travel advice and advisories for Canadians abroad and consular services are not expected to be impacted.
Consular services abroad, including citizenship and passport services, will continue to be provided, but delays are likely.
Document authentication services could see delays in response time for enquiries, reviewing and processing requests, authentication requests and returned documents.
At Transport Canada, airport, rail and marine safety oversight services will continued, but regulatory work, aircraft services, licences, certificates and registrations other services could be delayed.
The federal government has compiled a list of what's affected by a strike.
According to a press release on Tuesday from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the government and the PSAC are at odds when it comes to contract issues for both sides.
The bargaining groups involve some 155,000 federal public servants, including 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency workers.
Picket lines will be set up at more than 250 locations across the country Wednesday morning, PSAC noted in its release.
The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat said it has "done everything it can" to reach a deal.
"The government has presented a fair, competitive offer to the PSAC and responded to all their demands," it said.
"Even though there is a competitive deal on the table, the PSAC continues to insist on demands that are unaffordable and would severely impact the government's ability to deliver services to Canadians."