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Melissa Lantsman SLAMS Trudeau Liberals for blaming passport wait times on 'surge' of applications

MP Melissa Lantsman slammed the Trudeau Liberals over their failure to provide answers regarding the wait times many Canadians face trying to acquire new passports.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver BC

Thornhill MP Melissa Lantsman slammed the Trudeau Liberals over their failure to provide answers regarding the wait times many Canadians face trying to acquire new passports.

She called the government out for their inability to fix the issue, and pushed back against Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development Ya'ara Saks and her claim that a "surge" in applications was to blame.

"Another week, and more chaos at our airports," Lantsman began, pointing out that "even if you want to go anywhere, getting a passport is turning into a Canadian-made nightmare."

"Over the last ten weeks, the 'surge' the government is talking about is only half of what it was before COVID," she continued. "So if no one was laid off, and no one at Passport Canada is working from home, will the minister responsible for the chaos tell us why anyone is still waiting for a passport they applied for in March?"

Saks doubled down on her "surge" claim, adding that Service Canada has hired 1,200 additional employees since fall of 2021, and that everyone was back at work, whether it be via telephone or in the office.

"Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary can tell us what she thinks the word 'surge' actually means," Lantsman fired back, pointing out that Passport Canada has processed 48,000 documents this week whereas they used to process over 90,000 pre-COVID.

"How many passports are in the queue?" Lantsman asked, pressing Saks on why she continues telling Canadians about a "magical surge" while they wait outside passport offices overnight.

Saks argued that during the pandemic, "many Canadians didn't renew their passports," and "didn't bother to check what the updated times on their passports would be."

She added that the minister in charge of dealing with the issue was working with officials.

For weeks now, Canadians have been lining up outside Passport Canada offices as travel restrictions are lifted and more people head outside the country.

As the Vancouver Sun reports, the government has set up a new feature on their website letting applicants know how long the wait times will be, but there appears to be no end in sight to the processing backlog.

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