The Canadian government has introduced a new feature to check wait times at passport offices across the country online.
Trust us — the situation is grim.
By 9 am Pacific Time on Wednesday, the reported wait time at downtown Vancouver’s Sinclair Centre was already six hours and 45 minutes. Over in Toronto, the wait time was estimated at four hours and 30 minutes. In Calgary, it was three hours and 45 minutes.
The wait time check feature is highlighted with a blue “new” sticker on the government’s website.
Daily Hive can’t independently confirm how accurate the times are — and in many cases, people have been reporting much longer wait times. One TikTok user shared her three-day-long wait at the Surrey passport office, where police had to be called to deal with a “disturbance” in the lineup.
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Service Canada has introduced measures to combat the long wait times this spring as the skeleton-staffed offices dealt with a deluge of people trying to renew their passports that expired during the pandemic.
By May 9, Service Canada locations have returned to pre-pandemic in-person service capacity. Right now, about three-quarters of Canadians who apply for a passport receive it within 40 working days, and 96% of people applying for a passport in person receive it in 10 working days.
The government has hired approximately 600 new employees to help process applications and it has opened more counters at 317 centres, opened new centres, and created new workload management and processing technology.