Ottawa takes step to reduce lengthy wait for passports in Mississauga and elsewhere


Published June 28, 2022 at 3:02 pm

Ottawa takes step to reduce lengthy wait for passports in Mississauga and elsewhere

Ottawa has created a special task force to help reduce major delays and lengthy lineups for people in Mississauga and across the country who are trying to get new passports or renew their existing travel documents.

Nearly three months after COVID-19 air travel restrictions were lifted, hundreds of people continue to line up daily at the Mississauga Service Canada Centre (Passports) location at Central Parkway Mall, on Burnhamthorpe Rd. E.

That scene is typical of other Service Canada locations across the GTA, as well, as the federal government struggles to keep up with the demand for service.

The lengthy delays and waits have left people in Mississauga and beyond frustrated and angry.

In a statement this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa will continue to do everything it can to improve service delivery–and that’s the objective of the new task force.

He added that the federal government knows the service delays that have continued for months are unacceptable.

Trudeau said the task force will help guide Ottawa to better meet the changing needs of Canadians.

Ten cabinet members will lead the task force/committee, which will review how services are delivered and identify gaps and areas for improvement, before making recommendations outlining potential solutions.

The task force will also monitor other, more broad issues such as labour shortages around the world that may contribute to any travel and associated delays here in Canada.

Last month, people who were lined up for passport services at the Mississauga office continued to complain of huge lineups that started in the overnight hours and wrapped around the shopping mall throughout the following day.

Conditions haven’t changed much as of this week.

Passport offices in the GTA–one in Toronto and another in Brampton in addition to the Mississauga location–have been caught off guard by the huge and continuing demand for new passports and/or passport renewals.

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.

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 now here, and to a shortage of staff at Service Canada.

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.

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