by Online Staff
Conservative Shadow Minister for Families Children and Social Development Laila Goodridge and Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition and Québec Political Lieutenant Luc Berthold released a joint statement Friday on what they call the ongoing chaos in obtaining a passport and the continuing incompetence shown by federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development of Canada Karina Gould.
“While Canadians are struggling to get passports, Justin Trudeau is nowhere to be found,” the statement reads, noting the receipt of countless messages from Canadians frustrated with trying to get passports. “Canadians are waiting in line for days, missing travel plans, and facing utter confusion at passport offices. Canadians are demanding answers.”
The two Conservative Party of Canada politicians criticize Gould for trying to downplay what they call her government’s disastrous record.
“It is not good enough for the Minister to share “the frustration of Canadians,” when she is the Minister responsible for the long lines at Service Canada offices,” the statement reads. “It is not enough to say that “improving this service is a top priority for the Government of Canada.” when action should have been done months ago.
“Clearly, basic government services haven’t been a ‘top priority’.”
The Conservative politicians say Employment and Social Development Canada should have been preparing Service Canada for a foreseeable return to pre-pandemic demand for passports as restrictions were being lifted.
“Now, the government is scrambling to shift resources from the CRA and IRCC – which will only further exasperate the backlogs in that department – to play catch up processing passport applications,” the statement reads. “Yet, Service Canada employees are only assisting Canadians who can prove urgent travel get a passport, despite their own website advising Canadians, not to finalize any travel plans until they get their passport. This contradiction demonstrates a failure to communicate with Canadians and a government that is scrambling to plug one more hole while increasingly being unable to provide its mandated services.”
On Saturday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new task force to improve government services for Canadians.
Accepting that the delays in immigration application and passport processing are unacceptable, the PMO’s office released a presser stating the Government of Canada was urgently working to resolve the issues as soon as possible.
The task force, which is a committee of cabinet ministers, will review service delivery, identify gaps and areas for improvement, and make recommendations to ensure Canadians receive the highest quality of service.
“We know service delays, particularly in recent months, are unacceptable. We will continue to do everything we can to improve the delivery of these services in an efficient and timely manner, and this new task force will help guide the work of the government to better meet the changing needs of Canadians and continue to provide them with the high-quality services they need and deserve,” Trudeau said in the media release.
The Task force will be co-chaired by Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth and Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. Task force members include Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, and Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada.