July 6, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Confusion over passports: Trudeau says “we are doing everything we can”

Confusion over passports: Trudeau says "we are doing everything we can"

Justin Trudeau on Tuesday assured that his government is working hard to speed up the issuance of passports and that hundreds of federal officials will be reassigned to this task.

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“We are doing everything we can to expedite the process. We have hired other people, we are expediting the process and we will always look at how we can do more,” he said at his cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Minister Kareena Gould, who is in charge of the file, said she was well aware of the chaos in the field. According to his figures, there are about 400 people waiting at each Service Canada office in Montreal.

“I know Canadians are bored. I’m also frustrated to see these pictures. We are in the process of seeking resources across the Canadian government,” she said Tuesday morning.

According to a government source, Minister Gould will unveil a plan to address the issue this week.

The government aims to hire 1,200 new employees to expedite the application process. Half of these have already been recruited.

In addition, staff from various federal departments and agencies, for example, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), can assist Service Canada.

The service said the situation in Canada’s offices was “unacceptable” to Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, who had received many complaints in his constituency office “for good reason”.

“We know staff shortages make a difference, but we know this is a significant increase in demand and that needs to change,” said Minister Duclos.

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“I understand the concerns, anger and frustration of the people,” said Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez. “This is an unacceptable situation, so we put in another 600 civil servants […]. We start in the evenings, weekends and we do everything to speed things up. That’s not enough, I agree, but we’re going to do more. “

The public is losing patience

The tone has increased over the past few days in front of Service Canada passport offices.

Travelers who are worried about not being able to go on a vacation are deeply impatient with the way they are being treated. That was the case in Laval on Monday, when police had to intervene with a citizen to ask for peace.

The federal government has set up a fast-track processing route at a cost of $ 110. Also, due to traffic jams, the processing of requests depends on the date of the trip, rather than on the date of the request.

Two years after the pandemic that shut down most of the planet’s commercial flights, travelers are getting a taste of travel again this summer, so passport renewal requests have soared.