Canadians are being urged not to apply for a new passport or renew an old one as the major federal workers’ strike — which shows no sign of ending — severely disrupts services across the country.
“My best advice to Canadians is not to make that application right now because it just simply won’t be processed,” said Karina Gould, minister of families, children and social development.
Gould said even though Canadians can mail their applications and drop them off at a Service Canada location or a passport office, essential workers are not allowed to open and process them except for very narrow emergency circumstances.
“Unfortunately, by law, passport services are not considered to be essential, so that means anyone who is applying for a new passport or to renew a passport — unless it is in a very set prescribed set of circumstances — will not be able to apply for a passport while the strike is ongoing,” Gould explained.
Only 500 applications considered urgent or essential were processed Wednesday when the strike kicked off, said Gould.
Typically on a normal day, about 20,000 to 25,000 passport applications are received across the country, she added.