Mississauga woman’s passport delays prevent her from seeing her ill mother in India


Published June 24, 2022 at 4:33 pm

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A Mississauga woman, desperate to visit her ailing mother, has waited three months for a passport for her young son.

Radhika Trivedi tells insauga her mother in India needs heart surgery but is afraid. Trivedi is an only child.

“I do not have any siblings,” she says. “So she’s a little bit scared if anything happens.”

Her mother also wants to see her only grandchild.

Trivedi’s husband works so she must take her 11-month-old son with her to India but is now stuck waiting on his passport.

“So I am unable to travel — it is very hard for me,” she says.

Trivedi is not alone. Ever since COVID-19 travel restrictions lifted in April, the demand has been huge for passports with long lines at the Mississauga office.  People have even waited overnight at the Brampton office.

Passport wait times at various offices are now being posted online. On June 24, the estimated wait time at the Mississauga, 377 Burnhamthorpe Rd. E., was two and a half hours.

But this office is meant for people who have proof of travel or immediate need.

Trivedi’s husband decided to apply for their son’s passport via mail three months ago so they cannot go to the office. The only way to find out the status of the passport application is by filling out a form online. Her husband sent a form through the passport website but they haven’t heard back.

The government blamed delays on a sudden increase in demand for passports coupled with insufficient staff at Service Canada.

“Staff from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are now assisting with direct passport processing,” said Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould in a statement on June 23. “Service Canada also expects up to 200 Canada Revenue Agency staff to join the service team for passports in Quebec as the tax filing season draws to a close.”

She added that “public servants from across numerous departments are working overtime, evenings, holidays and weekends to help address the situation and deliver service.”

Trivedi hopes the delays aren’t much longer for her case. Her mother told her she is waiting to schedule surgery.

“She’s scared,” says Trivedi. “She says, ‘if anything happened to me, I want to see you and your baby.’”

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