People from across Canada flock to Fredericton passport office as their trips near
With delays for passport applications across the country, Service Canada in Fredericton saw long lines of over 100 people Monday morning.
People from Montreal and even further lined up in the sun for their chance at a quick passport process.
"I flew from Iqaluit, Nunavut, because my son's passport hasn't arrived yet from two months ago or three, almost three,” said Richard Caguioa.
He is headed to Florida with his family next week. He flew to Ottawa and drove from there to Fredericton in an effort to renew his youngest son’s passport so they can all go together.
Danford Diaz came from Montreal, he's planning to go to New York on Wednesday.
"I applied this morning and I have to come back tomorrow at 3 p.m. to get it,” said Diaz.
With the cost of gas, hotels and a rushed passport, vacation costs are adding up.
“It’s expensive, real expensive, I have to pay for the passport to have it quick,” Diaz said.
Even locally in the province, it's been a hassle.
Monday was Charlene Perry's third trip to Fredericton from Saint John, and she was told it could take two more before her son can travel to a Backstreet Boys concert with her next month.
"It's getting down there, and with the price of gas, it's not fun to be making four trips to Fredericton,” Perry said.
The minister responsible for passport services says she is directing Service Canada where passport-processing delays are most severe. More passport officers are coming, Karina Gould said Monday.
"In January, 600 people had been hired,” said Gould, minister of families, children and social development.
“We're in the process of hiring 600 more. It takes about 15 weeks to train a passport officer. The first class of trained processing officers will be in processing centers on Monday," Gould said.
The Service Canada office in Fredericton stopped giving out numbers for new clients just after noon today with so many already in line waiting.
With demand for housing up, and supply still low, many are overspending on housing. As a result, there are calls to increase supply.
More rooms are available on university campuses this year but some students in Halifax are still struggling to find housing.
Khalehla Perrault, a spokesperson for Nova Scotia’s Department of Health and Wellness, said in an email that Nova Scotia is moving away from asymptomatic testing and therefore the supply of rapid tests in certain locations may vary.