UPDATE: Federal Workers to Walk Out 19APR Unless New Deal Reached; Here's How it Could Disrupt Travel

UPDATE Monday, 17APR: Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) will strike Wednesday, 19APR, unless they have a deal in place by Tuesday evening, announced National PSAC president Chris Aylward in a Monday, 17APR news conference.

As Open Jaw reported 14APR, 155,000 workers across nearly two dozen departments and agencies are in a legal strike position and are not required to give notice prior to walking off the job.

The union says that, despite some negotiating progress, the two sides remain too far apart on the union's key issues, which include wage increases to match inflation, job security, and working remotely. PSAC's last contract expired in 2021, and the union says it's setting a deadline because it has taken too long to reach a new agreement.

In the Monday, 17APR news conference, PSAC said that if the union were to strike Wednesday, pickets would be at "strategic" locations across Canada to target the government and minimize impact on the public.

The Globe reported that the workers belong to a number of government services and agencies, including those key to travel in Canada.

If a strike goes ahead, here's how travel could be affected:

Border Crossing Delays

According to The Globe, the CBSA says it expects to maintain service even during a strike. However it points out that PSAC labour action would affect admin workers and "would inevitably cause delays at the border."

Passenger Complaints and Claims

Canadian Transportation Agency workers will continue vital regulatory activities, however, processing pax complaints and claims against airlines for delayed and cancelled flights "will likely experience delays."

Passport Processing

If you haven't received your passport yet, a strike by Service Canada workers will not help you. The report says passport processing and delivery "will be partially or fully disrupted."

Travel Advisories and Consular (Including Passport) Service Abroad

Global Affairs Canada workers are also members of PSAC. Apparently, travel advice and advisories for Canadians abroad are not expected to be affected by a strike.

However, consular services overseas, including processing of passports (for example, if a traveller loses their passport while abroad) could be delayed.

Transport Canada

Safety oversight services for air, rail, and marine travel will continue in the event of a strike by Transport Canada workers. However, "regulatory work, aircraft services, licences, certificates and registrations... and other services can expect delays."

Lynn Elmhirst


With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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