Minister asks Canadians not to tamper with their travel plans to avoid queues for passport applications


Families, Children and Social Development Minister Karina Gould is discouraging people from making bogus travel plans just to avoid the queue of those waiting for passports.

Gould said she’s heard anecdotally that some people might be booking imminent travel in order to get their passport application up the list, though she doesn’t think the issue is widespread.

As passport offices triage applications and work their way through the large backlog – caused by a surge of interest in international travel after more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic – those in need imminent or urgent travel plans can show proof of upcoming travel plans and get their passports quickly.

“It’s not something we’ve heard of happening across the board, but of course if it does, I would advise against it altogether, as it exacerbates an already overwhelmed system,” Gould told CTVNews. that Monday. “I would be very disappointed if someone decided to do this because it’s very unfair to the people who have done all the right things.”

The minister said it would take “considerable resources” to pay for a trip just to cancel it in hopes of getting jostled in line for a passport. She also said wait times at the passport offices themselves had been significantly reduced and were largely back to normal.

“There’s really no need to do something like that,” Gould said.

Yet many Canadians said they waited months to get their passports, with long wait times for those mailing in their applications.

“We’re making steady progress,” Gould said.

Kevin King, national president of the Union of National Employees, Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents hundreds of passport officers, said he didn’t know how many people were trying to manipulate the system, but that ” one is too many”.

“I think the vast majority of Canadians don’t play with the system,” he told on Monday. “But I have a message for those who are: they are endangering the livelihoods of the passport officers we represent, and they are endangering frustrated customers queuing for legitimate reasons.”