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April 18th, 2023

Liberals’ failure to come to the table with a fair deal for workers will worsen immigration system

With the Public Service Alliance of Canada 9 p.m. ET deadline to reach a deal with the federal government fast approaching, NDP Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Jenny Kwan issued the following statement:

“The NDP stands in solidarity with the 155,000 federal civil public servants who overwhelmingly voted for a strike mandate—including workers from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). They have been without a contract for over a year. These workers deserve respect.

Justin Trudeau’s government’s failure to come to the table with a fair deal—that considers the impacts of inflation and values the work of federal civil public servants during the pandemic—threatens to worsen an immigration system already in chaos.

Instead of respecting workers at the negotiating table, the Trudeau government risks worsening IRCC backlogs and delays in the processing of applications, passport services, citizenship ceremonies and the ability for people to contact the IRCC by email or phone. The impact will be felt in the processing of every stream, whether it's a permanent resident (PR) application, family reunification, renewal of CoPR, verification of citizenship, work permit or study permit application or renewal, PR card renewal, or refugee applications.

IRCC is scrambling with over 2 million applications stuck in the backlog as their officers are overworked. Meanwhile, the government has refused to allocate the necessary resources to address this backlog. The lengthy process delays in every immigration stream are far beyond standard time.

The reality is that too many families have to endure prolonged separation, impacting their mental and physical health. The government’s unwillingness to step up and do what’s right for workers risks making things worse for families.

The millions of people stuck waiting for their immigration applications to be processed deserve better from this government. And workers deserve a fair deal.

Trudeau’s government must go back to the negotiating table with a fair deal that considers the impact of inflation on workers and values their work.”