Quebec Standard

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Frustrated by passport delay ‘mess,’ Montrealers take matters into their own hands

Quebec

Key takeaways: 

  • Service Canada employs hundreds and seeks to compel 600 more to speed up processing.
  • Many people throng the Service Canada passport office in Montreal Tuesday. 
  • Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, stated there had recently been lineups of 400 individuals. 

Marie Soulier has spent four consecutive days standing in the queue outside the passport office at Montreal’s Guy-Favreau complex, waiting to claim her passport. She reaches at 5:30 each morning and goes when the office closes. She is still waiting, and her plane leaves for France tonight.

She is just one of the many travelers crying for their passports.

This morning, frustrated, Soulier and several others in the same boat began handing out pieces of document for people to put their names on in the vain expectancy of organizing lines that seemed to go nowhere — some crawling through the expansive lobby and even out of the building. Police were ultimately called in to take over crowd control.

“We had to battle with the questionnaire so that they followed our list because otherwise, it was a mess,” Soulier said. “We were ensuring everyone went to their place because nobody was doing it.”

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Marie Soulier has spent four consecutive days standing in the queue outside the passport office at Montreal’s Guy-Favreau complex, waiting to claim her passport. She reaches at 5:30 each morning and goes when the office closes. She is still waiting, and her plane leaves for France tonight

“These individuals have no idea what they’re doing. They don’t care about us. We’re treated as less than animals,” she stated. “It’s inflaming, and it has to stop.”

Geneviève Guilbault, Quebec’s public security minister, asked the federal government to “take their guilt” for the uncertainties.

“Half of our tariffs go to the federal government, so they have to be able to put quality in their services to the population,” she stated. 

The grueling wait for passports isn’t unusual in Montreal. Since commercial travel restarted, passport offices across the nation have had to compete with an “exceptionally high demand” for travel documents, said Elaine Chatigny, Service Canada’s executive director for the Quebec province.

Source – cbc.ca

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