By Gordon Lambie
Anyone looking to renew their passport or apply for a new one need not worry about big delays according to Karina Gould, the Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
“We are back to normal on passports,” Gould told The Record during a visit to Sherbrooke’s Service Canada office on Tuesday morning, sharing that close to 5,000 passports have been requested through the local office since it began offering services at the beginning of September.
Looking back on the spring and summer of 2022, the Minister, whose file also includes passport services, acknowledged that Canadians faced “quite a challenge” when it came to getting new passports as restrictions on travel were removed due to two main factors: the volume of requests, and the complexity involved.
“Through the pandemic we were still delivering passports but because of public health restrictions and travel restrictions, Service Canada had asked people to mail in their passports and the volumes were fairly low in comparison to ‘normal’ non-pandemic years,” Gould explained, describing a “huge flood” of requests when restrictions were lifted in the late winter and early spring of 2022. “A demand that we would normally receive over a couple of months we received all at the same time.”