OTTAWA — Canadians appear keen to venture to far shores for the first time since the pandemic began, but passport delays are keeping some on a short leash.
Service Canada says it has seen a big boost in demand for passport renewals, which has made for long lineups and longer waits for documents.
The federal agency aims to process passports within 20 business days for mail-in applications, but right now the wait is averaging 26 days.
Service Canada says it processed nearly 1.3 million passports between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022 — a sharp increase from the roughly 360,000 passports processed over theprevious fiscal year.
People who plan to travel within the next month have been pushed to the front of the queue, and the agency says staff are working overtime and weekends to get through as many travel documents as possible.
Conservative Michelle Rempel Garner and other opposition MPs have called on the government to do more to bolster the passport offices so travellers can be on their way.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2022.
Laura Osman, The Canadian Press