Passport Canada

The federal agency that runs passport offices suspended hundreds of employees under its vaccine mandate, new records show. The disclosure came as lineups at passport offices ran to as much as six hours again yesterday.

“When I see this I feel bad for my country,” Conservative MP Gérard Deltell (Louis-St. Laurent, QC.) told the Commons. “Canada is a G7 country, not a third world country.”

According to Blacklock's Reporter, Service Canada said 249 employees were off work under its vaccine mandate. Another 18,362 were working from home as a pandemic precaution. “The safety of clients and employees remains the top priority,” said an inquiry.

Backlogs in processing applications for travel documents have led to delays for Canadians who request passports by mail and at walk-in passport offices. Bloc Québécois MP Alain Therrien (La Prairie, QC.) yesterday called passport operations a fiasco.

“This foolishness is enough,” said Therrien. “You can’t manage a crisis between 8 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday. How is it possible offices are not yet open seven days a week with extended hours? We are in a crisis situation. When will this government wake up?”

Liberal MP Ya’ara Saks (York Centre, Ont.), parliamentary secretary for passport operations, said managers were doing their best. “Every passport counter in this country is open to serve Canadians,” said Saks.

“Over 36,000 passports have been issued since April,” said Saks. “Just last week nearly 48,000 passports were issued to Canadians.”

Other legislators expressed frustration with Social Development Minister Karina Gould’s advice passport applicants call their MP for faster service. Gould made the remark in May 30 testimony at the Commons human resources committee. “If someone has urgent travel in that regard I would recommend you contact your Member of Parliament,” said Gould.

Therrien said lawmakers’ offices “are being inundated with calls for help” from desperate constituents. “What amateurism,” said Therrien. “The incompetence is reaching unprecedented heights.”

Conservative MP Marc Dalton (Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge, B.C.) earlier told the House of Commons a member of his staff spent hours on hold after trying to contact a passport office. “The hotline is cold,” said Dalton. “My assistant waited five hours on Wednesday to get through.”

“The passport backlog is an absolute horror show,” said Dalton. “People are crying and freaking out when they call us, distressed that they are about to lose thousands of dollars of money spent on upcoming trips.”

Service Canada claims it takes 10 business days to process passport forms submitted at walk-in offices. The average delay for applications submitted by mail is three months.

“I can’t give you a clear timeline in terms of when things are going to return to normal,” Minister Gould told reporters.

Bureau Chief (Parliament Hill)

Matthew Horwood is the Parliamentary Bureau Chief of the Western Standard based in the Parliamentary Bureau. He has a degree in journalism from Carleton University and has been a reporter for the Hill Times and the Ottawa Business Journal.

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(5) comments

Forgettable

When idiots are in charge you get idiotic results.

Only Freedom Matters Now

The situation will not improve unless / until this ideological government is removed for they do not want you to travel - travel is now reserved only for the “specials.”

d.r.cmolloy

Another boondoggle put them back to their offices A watched pot seldom boils.

Creepy Little Dictator

Turning Canada into a 3rd world banana republic.

Thank the idiots who voted Liberal, NDP, Green, and Bloc.

PersonOne

Its almost like they want to malfunction.

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