Here’s what happens to government services if federal public servants go on strike

The union representing the largest number of federal civil servants announced a nationwide strike on Wednesday.

The Canadian Public Service Federation says workers are ready to strike and whether they do so depends on how negotiations with the Liberal government go in the coming days.

Many federal services, from tax revenue to passport renewals, could be affected in the event of a strike — with departments and agencies now signaling which essential services will continue during the strike and which may be disrupted.

This is the layout of the land.

Canada Revenue Agency: The agency announced its own strike mandate on Friday. In the event of a strike, benefit payments will be prioritized and the Canada Child Benefit will continue. Due to delays in processing certain income tax and benefit returns, especially those filed on paper, the CRA is encouraging people to file their taxes online. Contact center wait times may be longer.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard: Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans Conservation and Protection Program, health and safety related fishery closures, and Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue, environmental response and icebreaking services will continue to operate, but may at reduced administrative capacity.

Some of the services that could be partially or fully disrupted include Canadian Coast Guard lighthouses, shipwrecks, and fishing and marine licensing and funding programs.

Canadian Transport Agency: The agency said it would ensure the continued operation of the national transport system. There may be some delays in areas such as dispute resolution and information provision.

Employment and Social Development Canada: Essential services such as the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Employment Insurance and Social Insurance numbers will remain in place. However, processing delays and longer wait times may occur.

Delivery of passports will be limited to clients experiencing humanitarian or emergency situations. There will also be some processing delays for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Canada Education Savings Bond, the Canada Disability Savings Grant and the Canada Disability Savings Bond.

Global Affairs Canada: The department said it will maintain essential services such as travel advice, the EduCanada program and the international scholarship program.

Foreign mission services, document authentication services, import and export licenses, the CanExport program and the International Assistance Program may be affected in part or in full.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: Delays are expected for most services, including processing applications, in-person appointments and naturalization ceremonies, passport services and contacting departments.

Services provided by external organizations will still be available and online applications, accounts and emergency services will be maintained.

Canadian Libraries and Archives: Service points in Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax, as well as services to the Government of Canada, galleries, libraries, archives and museums will remain.

There may be delays in ordering archival and published materials, requesting copies, making information access requests, licensing or copyright requests, and providing services to the Publisher.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police: Regular police services will continue across the country, but services such as administrative support, media relations, network updates and access to RCMP buildings may be disrupted.

Transport Canada: Essential services will be maintained, but services such as public outreach, regulatory work, aircraft servicing, issuance of licenses, certificates and registrations, transportation security clearances and other motor vehicle safety hotlines may be partially or fully disrupted.

Veterans Affairs Canada: Regular payments for veterans will continue uninterrupted in the event of a strike. This includes disability benefits, income replacement benefits and additional compensation for pain and suffering.

However, the department expects a reduced capacity to process new payments. New benefit requests or benefit requests already in the queue will be prioritized as needed.

—Cindy Tran, Canadian Press

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