TORONTO — Worried that they won’t receive their passports in time for their trips, and fed up with waiting, some Canadian travellers are ‘gaming the system’ by faking imminent travel plans to speed up their passport applications.
In an interview with CTV News, Karina Gould, Minister of Children, Families and Social Development, who oversees passports as part of her portfolio, said she’s heard reports of the practice, and says it has to stop.
“That is not something we’ve heard happening across the board, but of course it is, I discourage it entirely, because it exacerbates an already overwhelmed system,” Gould told CTV News.
She added: “I’d be very disappointed if someone decided to do that, because it’s very unfair to people who have done all the right things.”
In one of Gould’s most recent updates, the number of passports issued by Service Canada since April 1 had climbed to 556,769, and Service Canada staff have worked thousands of hours of overtime.
The new triage system has helped turnaround times at busier passport offices, like in the Greater Toronto Area, Montreal, Ottawa, the Vancouver area, Calgary and Edmonton.