Toronto (Canada), June 23 (EFE). On Thursday, the Canadian government promised to increase the number of officials at passport-issuing offices across the country, especially in Montreal, where hundreds of people are camped out waiting to obtain the document that allows them to travel abroad.
The government confirmed in a statement that it has added 600 workers dedicated to serving the public that requests passports, and will add another 600 workers in the coming days. In addition, officials from various ministries have been appointed to speed up the process.
The move comes as hundreds of people are still camped out in front of a Montreal passport office waiting to get their turn to get the document.
And local media pointed out, today, that the long waiting periods are causing quarrels among those gathered at the doors of the office, and that at the beginning of the week, the police had to intervene to avoid more serious accidents.
Tensions increased on Thursday when the Canadian government announced changes to prioritize travelers who need passports within the next 24 to 48 hours and scrapped the appointment system that had been in place until now.
The Conservative Party, the main opposition party, had called an emergency session of Parliament to address the issue.
The Canadian executive claims that ending restrictions due to the pandemic has caused an influx of passport applications, but it also acknowledged that it did not anticipate the scale of applications it was facing.
On Thursday, Minister of Family, Children and Social Development Karina Gould announced that 85% of passport applications come from people who have not obtained a passport in the past and that 43% of them are minors, which complicates the issuance process. EFE
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