On Monday morning, Canada’s government struck a deal with 120,000 federal workers, effectively ending the country’s largest-ever public-sector strike.
The strike had nearly halted many government services for almost two weeks. Most strikers returned to work on Monday morning, or their next scheduled shift. However, the IRCC noted that there may still be some services that are impacted while services are returning to full capacity. You can check on their site which services are still partially or fully disrupted.
The strike affected many people, including those seeking to immigrate to Canada from abroad or employers left without needed staff due to LMIA services being disrupted. Areas such as application processing, passport services, citizenship ceremonies, and more all had delays. However, it was still possible to apply online to IRCC to extend a stay in Canada. Express Entry draws were also still conducted as usual. The most recent draw took place last Wednesday where an additional 3,500 candidates were invited to apply for permanent residence.
The union representing the federal employees who went on strike said a tentative agreement was approved. The agreement includes higher wages, and new and improved language relating to working from home among other favourable provisions for its members. These were the main points that employees were seeking and stated that increased wages would be essential to help combat the current inflated cost of living for workers.
Canada has historically welcomed high numbers of newcomers to help keep its economy strong and current studies suggest increased immigration will continue to be essential to filling key labour gaps. Currently, Canada is facing a unique period of historic labour shortages alongside nearly one million job vacancies. Both are driving factors in the country’s growing immigration targets.
According to Statistics Canada, the number of job openings across the country reached an all-time high at nearly one million. This was an increase of 2.7% from the previous peak in the last quarter and over 80% above pre-pandemic levels. This has been the highest on record in recent years.
Vacancies have continued to rise in specific key sectors. Some of the hardest hit have been the health care and social assistance sector. The healthcare and social assistance sector has been growing rapidly due to the aging population. The shortage has been further exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Canada faces an acute shortage of skilled workers, many businesses struggle to find the right people to fill positions. To help address this problem, Canada has turned to immigration to fill record numbers of job openings, a trend that is expected to continue well into 2023 to help fill crucial positions.
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