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Business News/ News / World/  Canada: Thousands in immigration limbo due to federal workers’ strike

As Canada's about 155,000 federal public servants are on strike since 19 April, thousands of people are in immigration limbo.

The strike has affected everyone from refugee claimants to sponsored relatives, migrant workers and foreign students.

Due to the strike, immigration applications have been stalled and  hearings are canceled.

The strike by federal government workers, represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada, entered its 12th day on Sunday.

Last week, Canada's immigration, refugees and citizenship minister (IRCC) Sean Fraser had said that because of the strike, tens of thousands of files have not been processed that otherwise would have been. 

Fraser added, “we may have to look at what policy decisions we should make to play catch-up."

Canada has raised its immigration target to record-setting levels and hopes to bring in 500,000 new permanent residents a year by 2025 to help ease labour shortages in industries from construction to healthcare.

The delay caused by the strike comes as Canada's immigration system is playing catch-up from pandemic delays.

Canada recently held draws for thousands of permanent residents.

While wages are a primary sticking point, the workers also wants remote work to be included in its collective agreement.

The head of the union earlier this week accused the government of stalling and called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to get involved in negotiations.

The Treasury Board of Canada said on Saturday that government negotiators have presented striking public workers with a “final offer" to end the strike.

The Treasury Board, which oversees public administration, said it gave the union its offer on Friday.

Government negotiators said details are being kept to the negotiating table, but the proposal included “an enhanced wage offer" and addressed issues including “telework, seniority and contracting".

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 30 Apr 2023, 07:02 PM IST
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