Skip to content

QUESTION PERIOD — Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Passport Services

June 21, 2022

Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Leader, during question period on May 31, I raised the issue of the slow processing of passport applications and the long wait times in passport offices. At the time you replied, and I quote:

The government is aware of the challenges and is listening to the staff on the ground. I have been advised that the government has created new centres to increase production capacity. It has hired approximately 500 new staff members and created a new online tool . . . .

Then you stated the following: “The government will continue to work on this issue to reduce the wait times . . . .”

That was three weeks ago, and it seems that the more people and tools there are, the longer the wait time gets. Can you explain why, over the past three weeks, the lineups have gotten longer rather than shorter, even though the government supposedly took steps to correct the situation?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Listen, this is a serious question and I will try to give a serious answer. I don’t understand all the reasons behind this problem. I am aware of it. I answered you based on the information I had. As for why things have not improved as quickly as we would have liked, I don’t have an answer to that question. I will try to find out. I’m inclined to say that when a solution is implemented it can take time for things to improve and start moving.

In all honesty, I don’t have the information to answer your questions about why there are still delays.

Leader, I get the impression that there is no leadership. Where are the minister and the department in all this? Where is the Prime Minister? Bureaucrats seem to have been abandoned. Is there anyone flying this plane?

Senator Gold [ + ]

Thank you for the question. All I can tell you is that the government is working on it, both at the political level and at the level of deputy ministers, public servants and employees.

Back to top