Authorities opens passport pick-up providers in Montreal’s West Island to cut back delays

Montrealers can now collect their passports at the Pointe-Claire Service Canada center in the West Island following weeks of extreme delays at offices across Quebec.

Employment and Social Development Minister Karina Gould announced Monday that five more Service Canada offices will start offering passport pick-up services.

“As we work to reduce the backlog and bring service standards back to normal, we will take every measure we can to make the experience better for Canadians and make our services more accessible,” she said.

Standard pick-up is now available inside the Fairview Pointe-Claire shopping centre, while urgent and express services will be offered in other Montreal-area offices for those needing a passport in less than 10 business days.

Additional pick-up locations in Canada have also been announced in the Greater Toronto Area (Whitby and Brampton), Ont., Calgary, Alta. and Richmond, BC

“Opening these new pick-up locations will also help reduce line-ups at other offices in bigger cities,” the minister added.

In June, as many as 150 people lined up for hours at Montreal’s Guy-Favreau Complex every day to collect their passports, with some overnight camping to avoid missing their flights.

Since April, Service Canada has issued more than 600,000 new passports, potentially a result of easing COVID-19 measures and a renewed demand for air travel.

The demand for new passports is still high across Canada, resulting in 7,076 hours of overtime among staff members in just one week, between July 11 and 17.

Over the same period, the average call center wait time reached 56 minutes.

As of 2 pm Tuesday, the estimated wait time at the Pointe-Claire passport office is one hour and 30 minutes. The office is open for passport pick-ups and all other inquiries from Monday to Friday, between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm

This is a developing story; more details will follow.

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