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Lily: Trudeau appoints Cabinet Committee to resolve passport issues

Sounds like a bad joke, but instead a sad reality in Canada

A Canadian passport is pictured on top of a Canadian flag in this photo illustration.
In the figure in this photo, a Canadian passport is drawn above the Canadian flag. Photo courtesy of Abderrahmen --stock.adobe.com/Post Media Network File

Please issue a few passports.

Unfortunately, this is not a joke. Surprisingly, the answer is that 11 ministers will issue passports.

After denying that there was a problem first, then blaming the Canadians, then blaming the Canadians for not filling out the form properly due to a surge in applications, then Trudeau The government is attacking the commission to speed up the process.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister announced that a Cabinet Committee of 11 ministers would work to provide better service to Canadians.

"Service delays, especially in the last few months, are unacceptable. We will continue to do our best to improve the delivery of these services efficiently and in a timely manner." Said Trudeau in a statement. "This new task force will help guide the government's work to better meet the changing needs of Canadians."

Regarding getting a passport in a timely manner I don't know how the needs of Canadians have changed. It seems that you need to apply, pay, and get a passport within a few days, but it takes months for many to get a passport.

"Despite increasing demand, 72% of Canadians applying for a passport now receive their passport within 40 business days," Carina Gould bragged two weeks ago.

Unless there are statistical holidays during the period you are waiting, 40 business days will be 8 weeks, almost 2 months. It's completely unacceptable, and even though everyone is trying to blame for being late, this is directly at the feet of the government.

"As I mentioned several times at House, I'm experiencing an unprecedented amount of passport applications," Gould told Commons last week.

The problem is that they aren't dealing with "unprecedented volumes". According to government statistics, there were 542,000 applications between April 1st and mid-June. This averages 54,200 applications per week. However, the government says it received as many as 75,000 applications in a few weeks.

Prior to the pandemic, Passport Canada handed out an average of 90-98,000 passports a week. Between 2013 and 2018, 4.7 million to 5.1 million passports were issued each year.

The volume they are looking at should be manageable. There is no shortage of staff. They assure me that 89% of the staff work in the office and 11% work at home. During the pandemic, there was no layoff and no mass escape due to vaccination requirements, but it is now lifted.

This is a workflow and efficiency issue that needs to be fixed and should be easy to fix given the department's past performance.

They also knew this was coming.

"The forecast is that the recovery to pre-COVID-19 demand will begin in the spring of 2022 and that demand for passports will continue to grow over the next three years," last year's department plan document. Says.

Department staff are restored and driven by people who have revoked their passports during a pandemic and a wave of renewals from the first batch that received a 10-year passport 10 years ago. I predicted. I will update.

Even when warned, the department failed to prepare. Even with less volume than before the pandemic, we couldn't solve the problem that had been plagued for months.

Now you have a committee, more discussion, strategy, and research, but there may not be a new solution.

The Trudeau government cannot do the basic things right, such as passports, immigrants, airports, and military operations.

blilley@postmedia.com

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