Government of Canada’s passport mess wins CFIB Paperweight Award

by Morinville Online Staff

Service Canada is the recipient of this year’s Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ (CFIB) Paperweight Award for the delays, wait times, and long timelines that held up the passport process for hundreds of thousands of Canadians looking to travel over the past year.

“We were seeing the kind of lines and campouts at Service Canada offices that are normally reserved for the latest iPhone or Taylor Swift ticket for a basic government service and an essential document,” said CFIB Vice-President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Mallough in a media release Tuesday. “The truth is: passport delays were a colossal waste of time, money and energy for over a million Canadians this year. It had real consequences for travellers who were forced to delay things like reuniting with family abroad after two difficult years.”

CFIB’s public opinion poll found that 80% of passport applicants experienced some frustration when applying for or renewing a passport in the past year.

  • 33% reported having to make multiple trips to Service Canada
  • 27% had to take time off work
  • 23% had to delay travel plans
  • 5% paid someone else to stand in line for them

CFIB indicates applicants spent 115 minutes on average waiting in line or on the phone, and one in twelve spent more than six hours to get applications in. The same report indicates an average wait time of 68 days to receive new passports.

“We are told the passport backlog has been cleared, and that’s great news. Still, the federal government must ensure Canadians have timely access to crucial documents and services, such as passports. Nobody wants to see a sequel to this year’s winner,” added CFIB policy analyst Benjamin Rousse,


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