Canadian travelers face uncertainty amid passport delays

Chris Vale left a Scarborough Service Canada location Thursday feeling relieved. Between his fingers he held the passport he and his wife had applied for weeks earlier.

The document is for her 13 month old little girl. You travel within days which means the process of getting the pass was spot on.

“It’s great to finally have this in hand. It’s been a long process,” Vale told Global News. “It’s been about nine or ten weeks now.”

Vale and his family travel to the East Coast, taking a detour via the United States.

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His wife spent hours on both French and English phones to speed up the process. When she finally got through, Vale says, they learned that her daughter’s application had never been viewed before that moment. He tells Global News they filed it nine weeks earlier.

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“Back then we were actually able to postpone the process to two days,” he explained.

From April 1 through the end of June, Service Canada received more than 808,000 applications, approximately 166,000 more than the same period in 2019.

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Passport delays leave Canadians frustrated as they run out of time to make travel plans

Passport delays leave Canadians frustrated as they run out of time to make travel plans

Family Minister Karina Gould conceded in an interview with Global News that more needs to be done, and fast. Gould has said she is confident the government can clear the backlog in four to six weeks or by the end of the summer.

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Many people Global News spoke to say they have experienced a lack of communication and are unaware of where their applications are.

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During an interview with Global News last week, Minister Gould said the government was working on a notification system that would allow them to provide status updates for people who have given their contact information.

“Part of the challenge was that we didn’t have enough resources to get those applications into the system in a timely manner and that then slowed everything down,” the minister said in an interview this week. “So now more passport officers are coming on board to take these passports, do the assessment, do the assessment and then issue them, print them out and send them to the door.”

In a press release published on July 19, the government said workers worked 9,349 hours of overtime in the week of July 4-10. As of April 1, Service Canada has issued 556,769 passports.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Canadian travelers face uncertainty amid passport delays


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