Feds aiming to clear passport backlog in next ‘4 to 6 weeks’: minister

Ottawa is acknowledging it underestimated the demand for passports amid relaxed COVID-19 restrictions, and is aiming to clear backlogs by the end of the summer.

Speaking in Vancouver Monday, Families, Children and Social Development Minister Karina Gould described the long waits and uncertainty Canadians seeking the travel documents have faced for months as “totally unacceptable.”

“Where we want to be is people getting their passports well ahead of time when they apply, and that’s what we’re working towards in the next four to six weeks,” she said.

Throughout the spring and early summer, Canadians seeking to renew their passports have faced long, sometimes multi-day lines at Service Canada offices. Many who have mailed in their documentation have reported poor communication and lack of clarity about when their documents will arrive.

Story continues below advertisement

In both cases, some applicants have faced processing times of months, sometimes threatening scheduled flights or planned travel.


Click to play video: 'Triage plans in effect to address passport backlog delays'







Triage plans in effect to address passport backlog delays


Triage plans in effect to address passport backlog delays – Jul 3, 2022

On Monday, Gould said the federal government had anticipated an uptick in demand when restrictions were relaxed, but not the scale of applications or the way people chose to apply.

Prior to COVID-19, she said 80 per cent of people applied for passports in-person, with 20 per cent applying by mail. This year, that distribution flipped, she said.

“What we didn’t anticipate was the level of surge we were going to receive,” she said.

“Quite frankly the mail system was not sufficiently staffed to deal with that. That is something we are fixing right now.”

Story continues below advertisement

Between April and June this year, Canadians submitted more than 808,000 passport applications, 166,000 more than during the same period in 2019.

That’s pushed the volume of applications for this fiscal year to 4.3 million, up from 2.4 million last year, and left federal public servants clocking about 6,000 hours of overtime a week.

Ottawa has hired 600 additional passport workers, but only about 100 of them have completed training, which takes 12 to 15 weeks.

The remaining workers should be coming on the job within the next month, Gould said.

Despite the uncertainty and extreme delays for some, Gould said the majority of Canadians are getting their passports on time. She said those who are approaching their travel dates with not documentation should go to a Service Canada site, where people with urgent need are being prioritized.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Read More

Categories:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Buy valid Drivers License Online, Buy Real EU Driver's License Online, Buy Fake Driver's License, Buy Registered Driver's License Online, Buy Real Driver's License Online, Buy Real Passport Online, Buy Real EU Passport Online, Buy Legal Passport Online, Buy USA Passport Online, Buy Passport Online, Buy fake passport online, Buy International ID Cards, Buy ID Cards Online National Identity Card Online, How Russian Driver's license Online, Buy German Resident permit online, Buy Registered marriage Certificate, Buy Original birth Certificate, Buy Covid 19 vaccination card , Buy EU ID card online , Buy fake documents online, Buy Euro Banknotes online, Buy High Grade Counterfeit, Buy fake dollar bank notes, Buy Undetectable Counterfeit Banknotes, Buy Counterfeit Money Online, Buy Fake Notes Online, Real Resident Permit Cards, Resident Permit Card , Buy Real Resident Permit Card Online