American government employees are having a hard time as they weather the longest government shutdown in American history. Some employees have been unable to work during the 24 days the government has been at a budgetary impasse over Trump’s border wall, but others are forced to continue reporting for duty even though they won’t see a paycheck until the shutdown is over, and even then might not receive back-pay.
In solidarity with their American counterparts, Canadian air traffic controllers across the country are doing what they can to show their support in the world’s most universal language — pizza.
— kmchugh329 (@McHugh_Kyle1) January 11, 2019
At the end of last week, air traffic controllers in Edmonton sent pizzas to their counterparts in Anchorage, Alaska. Taking their lead, over the following days, controllers from all seven of Canada’s area control centers sent pizzas to various hubs in the United States including New York, Seattle and Cleveland. Controllers at airports close to the U.S.-Canada border often interact with one another since they share airspace, but the movement has grown to include airports all across the U.S.
Campaigns to supply American controllers with food are ongoing as the shutdown continues. According to CNN, over 350 pizza have been sent across the border since Thursday
Remember Gander, the tiny town in Newfoundland that opened its hearts to 7,000+ stranded Americans on 9/11?
Their air traffic controllers just sent pizza to their American colleagues – to help them out during the shutdown
Now every Canadian ATC tower is doing the same.
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) January 14, 2019
A little pizza goes a long way! CATCA members are proud to stand with our @NATCA brothers and sisters. #Solidarity
Les pizzas peuvent apporter des sourires! Les membres de l’ACCTA sont solidaires avec nos confrères et consœurs de la @NATCA.https://t.co/Bd5AGdZSgI
— CATCA (@CATCA5454) January 13, 2019
As the shutdown enters its fourth week, government services and workers have been suffering across the country. National parks are not being serviced, the FDA has had to cut back on workers and inspections, Native Americans are facing extra challenges with less support, the National Hurricane Center is not issuing updates, FBI investigations may be impeded and even craft brewers are unable to operate normally.
Pizza isn’t much when you consider all the services that aren’t being provided and the 800,000 government workers not being paid, but it’s a small gesture that hopefully brightens a few people’s days.
The shutdown was triggered in December when the U.S. Congress failed to pass a spending bill for the upcoming year. The two parties hit an impasse when Donald Trump decided that he would not fund the government without $5.7 billion dollars allocated to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have refused to allow the funding and Trump says he will keep the government closed for “months or even years” if he doesn’t get what he wants.