People are now begging the Canadian government to fix the Toronto airport mess

If there’s anyone who can remedy the current turmoil at Toronto’s Pearson airport, it’s the federal government – at least that’s what everyone in the travel industry is hoping not only, but requires as soon as possible.

The Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) is the latest speaker to add its voice to the call for Ottawa to step in and provide the resources needed to hire more staff to deal with the glut of people eager to catch a flight after years of confinement. .

“It is absolutely irresponsible of the federal government to leave the situation as it is,” the CIU National President said in output Wednesday.

“It is not surprising that there are significant delays in inbound traveler operations while few officers are assigned to primary inspection, with many counters remaining empty at peak times.

The agency expects things to get worse, even if the public health measures that are delaying things even further — which many groups are calling on Justin Trudeau to ease at this point — are eventually removed.

It also says there are only about half the number of border agents needed to process the current volume of passengers at Pearson on a typical day – “a critical shortage” – and notes the delays and disturbances caused by measures such as the ArriveCAN app.

The hiring sprees failed to recruit enough people, with security, customs and the airlines themselves understaffed.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Pearson, has also launched an appeal to Justin Trudeau earlier this month, lamenting the dramatically increased wait times and backlogs at customs and security checkpoints.

“Wait times for departing passengers at security checkpoints are negatively affected by staffing issues at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA),” the GTAA wrote.

He then called on the federal government to get rid of public health requirements inherited from the pandemic (such as COVID testing, vaccination evidence verification, and ArriveCAN), and invest in more people and technology.

Toronto business leaders asked for the same in a statement a few days later, saying the mess was undeniably impacting business recovery in the city.

“The federal government should have planned for the return to travel, and the issues must be resolved immediately,” wrote the Toronto Region Chamber of Commerce and others.

Pearson horror stories have been making the rounds on social media in recent weeks, images of suitcases packed like sardines in baggage claim, reports of people stuck on grounded planes for hours due to bottlenecks bottlenecks and missing connecting flights, and gigantic queues and waiting times during all stages of the travel process.

Some are now avoiding Pearson altogether and driving or leaving other hubs to save themselves the stress.