GATINEAU, QC, July 19, 2022 /CNW/ - "Passport services are not yet back to normal, but we continue to see improvements at passport offices across the country. The team at Service Canada is 100% engaged in getting them there as soon as possible.
"It was another improved week for passport production, with 54,312 passports issued, compared to 44,636 the previous week. This production level will allow us to continue to reduce the backlog, and help get back to more normal delivery times. We continue to add staff to grow capacity as well. As just one example, today, we hired 25 employees to be on the job in our Mississauga Delivery Operations Centre, to support passport operations.
"We know summer is the time to travel for many Canadians. For example, in Québec over the upcoming couple of weeks, the construction holiday will be a busy travel time, including many trips to the United States.
"For Canadians making plans like this, remember that travellers who are 15 years old and under entering the United States by land or water don't need a passport to cross the border. All that is required is an original or a copy of a birth certificate, or an original Canadian citizenship certificate. If you're flying, you do still need a passport.
"Of course, it's always best to make sure you have your passport in hand before booking international travel. There are still too many Canadians facing stressful situations as they wait for passports in time for travel. Processing backlogs are creating urgent situations, but thankfully in most of these cases, staff are able to respond and get Canadians their passports quickly.
"The lineups at passport offices fluctuate, with larger queues especially at offices in bigger cities, though in all cases citizens are being seen and provided appointments either the same day or another date ahead of their travel. In most smaller cities, including at passport offices across Atlantic Canada, the lineups are not substantially longer than they have been in previous years, and Canadians are served as usual the day they visit. In our offices in the province of Québec, we are seeing lineups well below the levels seen in recent weeks. Service Canada is closely monitoring lineups in all locations daily. Wherever it is needed, the teams are deploying staff to manage those lineups and give people more certainty, as well as options for service when needs aren't as urgent.
"As always, I want to assure Canadians that returning to better service standards for passports is my focus and priority."
For the week of July 4 to July 10, staff has worked 9,349 hours of overtime.
Since April 1, 2022, Service Canada has issued 556,769 passports
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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