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Here's how the strike by public service workers will impact federal services


Canadians are being told to expect some federal services will be delayed or cancelled as 155,000 federal workers begin strike action.

Talks between the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the federal government failed to produce an agreement Tuesday night. Canada's largest federal public-service union announced the general strike by workers with Treasury Board and the Canada Revenue Agency after a deal was not reached.

A strike will affect many federal services, including tax processing, passport renewals, Employment Insurance, Social Insurance and Canada Pension Plan applications and services with Indigenous Services Canada and Veterans Affairs Canada.

"As a result of the labour action, Canadians should expect that some services of the Government of Canada will be delayed or unavailable," the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat said in a statement Wednesday night.

The government warns the public "may have trouble accessing some Government of Canada buildings where services are delivered" during the strike.

The federal government has released details on how a strike will affect services to Canadians.

CTV News looks at the potential impacts on institutions as federal workers go on strike.

Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency says as a result of the strike, "certain CRA services will be delayed or unavailable."

"More specifically, there will be delays in processing some income tax and benefit returns, particularly those filed by paper, and increased wait times in our contact centres."

The CRA says benefit payments would be prioritized, and the Canada Child Benefit would continue during any labour disruption.

"The CRA is committed to being transparent with Canadians about impacts to services, should they happen, and can consult the Contact Us page for current wait times," the agency said.

Canadians are urged to file their taxes as soon as possible.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will continue to offer regular police services across the country during a strike.

However, the RCMP warns services like administrative support, media relations, web updates and public access to buildings where the RCMP are located may be disrupted.

"It should be noted, however, that essential services necessary for the safety and security of the public will continue as usual," the RCMP said on its website.

Canada Border Services Agency

The federal government says in the event of a labour disruption, "it is expected that CBSA services to travellers and businesses will be maintained."

The CBSA says it will provide more information in the event of any possible labour disruptions.

Canadian Coast Guard

The Canadian Coast Guard's search and rescue, environmental response and icebreaking services will be maintained during any labour disruption.

The Canadian Coast Guard says several programs and services may be partially or fully disrupted during a strike.

Lighthouses and the wrecked, abandoned and hazardous vessels program may be affected by a strike, according to the department.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the Indigenous Funding Programs, Licensing, Small Craft Harbours and Fisheries Management Decisions may be partially or fully disrupted.

Employment and Social Development Canada and Service Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada says essential services will be maintained during a strike, including the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Employment Insurance and Social Insurance Numbers. 

"While we expect there may be some delays in processing and increased wait times in call centres, Service Canada is working to meet service standards and answer client enquiries and calls in a timely manner," Employment and Social Development Canada said in a statement.

In-person services at Service Canada Centres is limited to clients requiring assistance with Employment Insurance, Social Insurance Numbers, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement. Offices remain open, however, days and hours of operation may vary.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Canada Education Savings Bond and Canada Disability Savings Grant and Canada Disability Savings Bond services may be partially or fully disrupted during a strike.


Employment and Social Development Canada warns passport services will be impacted by the current labour disruption by PSAC members.

The department says delivery of passports will be limited to "clients experiencing humanitarian or emergency situations."

Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage says all funding programs will be maintained during the strike, but the delivery of the programs may be affected or delayed.

Canadian Heritage service standards for the delivery of its funding programs may affect the following three transactions:

  • Acknowledgement of receipt of application
  • Funding decision
  • Issuance of payments

Transport Canada

Transport Canada says essential services would be maintained during any labour disruptions, but there may be impacts, "such as delays in accessing points of service."

Services maintained

  • Transport Canada Centres
  • Transport Canada-owned and operated airports
  • Civil aviation safety and security oversight
  • Rail safety and security oversight
  • Transportation of dangerous good oversight
  • Marine safety and security oversight
  • Issuance of pleasure craft operator cards and pleasure craft licenses
  • National enforcement program
  • Hours of service – Issuance of exemptions for federally regulated commercial motor vehicle undertakings 
  • Motor vehicle safety general information email 
  • Motor vehicle safety online defect complaint form and posting of new safety recalls 

Services partially or fully disrupted

  • Public outreach
  • Regulatory work
  • Aircraft services
  • Services such as issuance of licenses, certificates, and registrations
  • Motor vehicle safety 1-800 defect complaints and recalls hotline, defect complaint analysis, defect investigations, and recall oversight
  • Transportation security clearances
  • 1-888 service for ordering TC publications and forms, and answering questions on products

Canadian Transportation Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency says in the event of a strike, staff will continue with all regulatory activities, including the issuing of air licenses and air, rail and marine determinations. However, there may be delays.

Services that may be partially or fully disrupted include dispute resolution activities and providing information via phone calls and emails about their services.

Global Affairs Canada

Global Affairs Canada says it will maintain all essential services that could affect the "safety, security and health of Canadians and other clients" during the strike.

The department will continue to provide travel advice and advisories, along with consular services through the Consular Operations Team and the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa. Non-essential services could be affected by the strike, such as delays in processing or response times.

Consular services, including citizenship and passport services, will continue to be offered to Canadians through the Global Affairs Canada network of missions. However, delays are expected.

"Canadians will still be able to access their passport and proof of citizenship applications and any documentation submitted at mission, as required."

Import and export permits could be delayed for a smaller number of recipients. There could also be delays processing applications, claims and payments under the CanExport program.

Document authentication services could also be delayed. And a longer response time is expected in International Assistance Programming-related inquiries.

Health Canada

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada says all essential services that could affect the safety, security and health of Canadians and other clients will be maintained during the strike.

Non-essential services could be affected by labour disruptions, such as delays in processing requests or response times to telephone and email enquiries.

Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada says certain services may be affected by the strike.

Service points in Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax expect to remain open. However, Library and Archives Canada warns there may be disruptions in services, "which may affect your experience."

"It is important to plan ahead if you are visiting us in person."

Most online services to publishers, galleries, libraries archives and museums should be functional, with some delays possible.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says the following programs and services may be affected by the strike:

  • AgriInvest
  • AgriStability
  • Poultry and Egg On-Farm Investment Program
  • Wine Sector Support Program
  • Youth Employment and Skills Program
  • Federal programs under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership

The Agricutlrue and Agri-Food Contact Centre may also be unable to take your call.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says some services will still be available.  You will be able to apply online, use your online accounts and access some emergency services.

However, IRCC warns its services will be impacted, and you should expect delays with:

  • Processing applications
  • In-person appointments or events including citizenship ceremonies
  • Contacting IRCC via email, phone or social media
  • Consular citizenship and passport services
  • Passport services in Canada

Indigenous Services Canada

Indigenous Services Canada says the following services will be maintained during the strike:

Hope for Wellness Help Line

First Nations and Child and Family Services

Support to Indigenous businesses

Emergency management

Funding programs

However, some services may see processing delays and increased wait times, including renewing or replacing a status card, getting non-insured health benefits, submitting a request under Jordan's principle. See here for the full list.

Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs says current customers will continue to receive their monthly payments for Disability Benefits, income replacement benefits and additional compensation for pain and suffering.

In the event of a strike, Veterans Affairs Canada says it will have a "significantly reduced ability" to process new benefits.

"All benefit requests already in the queue or received after a service disruption will be prioritized based on urgency or essential need."

There will also be potential disruptions for access to services, including in-person appointments, career transition services, education and training benefits, disability benefits, caregivier recognition benefits, case management services and heatlh care benefits and services.

There could also be delays for in-person services at area offices, with smaller area offices either stopped or reduced. Longer wait times for calls placed to the National Client Call Centre and delays responding to messages through My VAC account can also be anticipated. Top Stories


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