Another day, another huge lineup at Mississauga passport office


Published May 5, 2022 at 3:39 pm

Another day, another huge lineup at Mississauga passport office
Lineups such as this one last month at the Central Parkway Mall passport office are still happening on some days. (Photo: Aaron Cabral)

More than a month after COVID-19 air travel restrictions were lifted, hundreds of people continue to line up daily at Mississauga’s lone passport office as residents scramble to update their travel documents.

The huge lineups at the Mississauga Service Canada Centre (Passports) location at Central Parkway Mall, on Burnhamthorpe Rd. E., still wrap around the entire mall some days, shoppers say.

Every day is a busy day at the passport office, said an employee at Baskin-Robbins, which is located near the Service Canada Centre inside the mall.

And it’s not uncommon for passport seekers to show up hours prior to the doors opening in the morning.

The lineups at the Mississauga location and other passport offices in the GTA began immediately after the Canadian government lifted COVID-19 air travel restrictions on April 1.

Some 1.2 million passports have now been reportedly processed in the last year, up one million from the previous year as people prepare to travel once again outside of Canada.

The lineups and delays continue due to both a surge in demand for passports as more people are once again comfortable with travelling, especially with summer nearly here, and to a shortage of staff at Service Canada.

Service Canada has reportedly hired some 500 staffers to help deal with the continued surge in demand.

The lengthy lineups at the Mississauga office typically start at the passport office and Baskin-Robbins in the morning and continue around the mall to the north entrance in the hours that follow.

Ottawa says that with the easing of travel restrictions, the demand for passports—both new and renewals—has increased and is returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Additionally, the federal government has simplified the passport renewal process, which has prompted many people to update their documents.

“As COVID‑19 restrictions are lifted, more and more Canadians are looking to travel abroad. The government of Canada will continue to modernize and improve its services to better respond to the changing needs of Canadians,” a March 31 news release from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said.

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