HANSARD: Jenny asks why passport services are not adequate with resources and staffing

House of Commons Debate
Opposition Motion—Rules and Service Levels for Travel
Business of Supply
Government Orders
May 19th, 2022 / 4:35 p.m.


Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, some of my constituents have concerns. The government has been slowly lifting some of the pandemic requirements, and that includes what is going on in terms of travel. The government knew that and anticipated it. On its website, it has put out information for the public as well.

To that end, the government should have anticipated that travel would escalate, and therefore that demand for services would increase, both at the airport, with people passing through, and at passport offices. However, we have chaos going on, and people are lined up for very long times and cannot get through. At passport offices in my own riding of Vancouver East, people have to tent overnight to try to get service.

How come the government did not anticipate that and ensure that adequate resources and staffing were in place?


Mark Gerretsen (Liberal) Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, that is a really good question and it is a valid question. I am listening to that question being asked continually by the opposition, and I am hearing what the minister has been saying about increasing the number of staff.

The member for Prince Albert earlier alluded to the idea that for a Liberal MP, an application might go through a little faster. I can assure him that I have a lot of constituents facing the exact same situation, and there is no favouritism played by a government department toward individual MPs' offices.

To the member's question, there will be an opportunity to reflect on this later, figure out why it happened and improve upon it in the future.



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