National News

Anger, frustration and rumours outside Montreal passport office as delays continue

By The Canadian Press

Published 12:54 PDT, Thu June 23, 2022

For another day, hundreds of people are waiting outside a downtown Montreal passport office hoping to get a new travel document.

Large crowds have gathered outside the office every day this week, as people — many of whom have departure dates within 48 hours — try to renew their passports or obtain a Canadian passport for the first time. 

Social Development Minister Karina Gould told reporters in Ottawa that passport office employees would speak to everyone in line in Montreal to ensure they get an appointment before their departure dates.

But people waiting in line say they don't believe that a triage will actually happen and they say rumours are spreading that officials won't be able to process everyone in time.

Florent Cohen, who has been waiting at the passport office since Tuesday morning, says the process for giving appointments and letting people inside the office has changed every day.

The government says it has seen a massive increase in the number of people applying for passports and using the "urgent" system to obtain passports within 48 hours, which is leading to delays.

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