Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP calls for northern passport office


Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach calls on the federal government to open a passport office in northern British Columbia

In a letter Bachrach wrote to Karina Gould, Minister for Families, Children and Social Development, he is pushing for northerners to have closer access to the full range of passport services, including processing urgent.

He wrote that the challenges passport delays cause for Canadians are even more pronounced for northerners, who face added expense and disruption due to having to travel to the Lower Mainland to get to a center. passport issuing urgent requests.

“Once again, northerners have unequal access to government services. I have heard from many families in northwestern British Columbia who have been forced to travel to Vancouver or Victoria at great expense at the last minute to collect their passports,” Bachrach said.

“If the federal government cannot process applications in a timely manner, Northerners should be able to access urgent processing services without having to drive for 17 hours.

According to Google Maps, it would take someone 16 hours 53 minutes to travel the approximately 1,500 kilometers from Prince Rupert to the Vancouver Passport Centre.

“After two years of staying at home to keep their communities safe, Canadians across the country are seeing their travel plans jeopardized by your government’s failure to effectively deliver basic government service,” the statement said. letter.

Bachrach calls the delays “totally unacceptable”.

“The federal government should have anticipated that travel demand would increase after restrictions were lifted and deployed additional resources to meet it. Instead, for months now, Canadian families have been bearing the brunt of the government’s failure to reliably deliver basic services.

On August 17, Minister Gould announced four new locations across Canada that will offer 10-day passport pickup services, including Red Deer, Alberta; Trois-Rivières, Que.; Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.; and Charlottetown, PEI.

The announcement did not include any new locations for British Columbia

Between April 1 and August 17, Service Canada issued 801,353 passports, according to the Employment and Social Development Canada website.

Kaitlyn Bailey | Journalist of the Local Journalism Initiative
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