A new passport office opened Monday in Pointe-Claire, west of Montreal. Ottawa hopes to expand metropolitan offerings at a time when the accessibility crisis that has caused long queues is beginning to ease.
Posted at 3:52pm
“We are currently trying to reduce the backlog and bring service standards back to normal, and we are taking all necessary actions to improve Canadians’ experience and make our services more accessible,” the health secretary told Family, Children and Social on Monday Development, Karina Gould, confirms this new opening.
A total of five new offices have been opened to “improve” people’s “experience” during the passport application process. In addition to Pointe-Claire, Service Canada will now also have a presence in Brampton and Whitby, Ontario. A new office will also open in Calgary Sundance, Alberta and Richmond, British Columbia.
Authorities estimate that these new offices will “reduce queues at other offices in the largest cities”.
Three other offices were already available in the greater Montreal area to pick up your Canadian passport. The busiest, the Guy Favreau complex in the city center, has been literally stormed in recent weeks and many citizens have had to return empty-handed.
Solutions in sight?
Going forward, Ottawa says it is “investigating new solutions to improve services and implement them, particularly new technologies to better inform Canadians of the status of their request.” “I hope to be able to share more details on these improvements shortly,” Minister Gould said in a statement.
In a sign that the “passport crisis” isn’t entirely over, Service Canada claims it issued nearly 48,500 passports across the country in the week of July 11-17, the latest data available. Since 1ah April that number is 605,500.
During this period, no fewer than 7,076 hours of overtime were worked by the employees of the Federal Agency, and the average waiting time in the call centers was 56 minutes.
End of June, The press reported that the new “Task Force on Improving Government Services” has already got to work. “We will find solutions as soon as possible,” Marc Miller, Secretary of State for Crown Indigenous Relations, said in an interview. However, he did not want to set a deadline. “We don’t want it to take all summer to unclog something that should never have happened,” he explained in passing.
It should be noted that the Conservative Party of Canada, the Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party have all cast doubt on this large committee, which comprises 13 ministers, or a third of the cabinet. Other solutions are being considered, such as “increased investment” and the computerization of services that are still on paper.