Vincent Black

My monopoly passport…

 

monopoly - milenio stadium

 

Is it worth travelling or just staying home and playing monopoly?

Just thinking about getting my passport updated in Canada, and especially here in the GTA, you need to put aside countless hours and patience aside before you decide to hit the road and visit a passport center. In some cases, the lines are hundreds of people long and most are frustrated and ready to scream. I can relate to this experience by saying that it feels like playing monopoly for me, because you never know where you will land and what the result will be.

Service Canada hired 500 new employees and added a new online booking tool, but the delays continue. A close friend was unable to get through to anyone by calling Service Canada and eventually went to the office of his MP. Your member of parliament federally is the only contact one has due to this serious frustration of getting any support or answers when it comes to your passport. Most MPs constituency offices have been inundated with calls from folks that are frustrated and have nowhere to turn. However, some constituency office staff have been able to help expedite passport processing for people in emergencies.

When Trudeau was asked about this unacceptable problem in Canada, his answer was that he was announcing a new task force to look into this problem. Trudeau said the federal government knew the delays were unacceptable and would continue to do everything it could to improve the delivery of the services in an efficient and timely manner. Trudeau said the new task force would help guide the government to better meet the changing needs of Canadians and continue to provide them with the high-quality services they needed and deserved.

Ten cabinet members will spearhead the new committee, which will review how services are delivered and identify gaps and areas for improvement. The committee will be expected to make recommendations outlining short-and longer-term solutions that would reduce wait times, clear out backlogs and improve the overall quality of services provided. However, there was no immediate timetable issued for the recommendations. These comments are the ultimate statements by the government of the day, telling us that we are trying to fix the problem, but we still do not know what the problem is… more government meeting and investigations are required to figure things out.

These passport issues have forced folks deep into the black market or find a fake passport that will suit their needs in the short term. The underground market thrives on these shortages or lengthy waits. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in desperate situations, and when that happens, people will find the dark side and pay anything to get that passport. Even if there is a chance that that will be caught, they are still willing to take that chance. You can pay the extra on the black market and get a good fake passport that will get you on a flight and to your destination.

The black-market passports are selling for about five thousand dollars and up and you would be shocked at how many folks are paying for these fake documents. If you thought that getting fake COVID 19 passports was hot…. you haven’t seen anything yet with travel passports and documents. According to sources that work the black-markets, travel passports are the hottest item today. As l have indicated, you can get passports and travel documents ranging from five thousand right up to fifteen thousand and beyond, depending on where that passport has been issued from.

Although this is a global problem, there are some immediate significant procedures that the federal government can implement, including hiring more staff to push the processing process quicker and make the online experience a much faster process with shorter turnaround times.

This process should not take more than five business days, instead of waiting four to five months for a passport. On a personal note, this process has frustrated me and my family to the point that we needed to get creative and find a faster way. I started to make some inquiries and get some tips on trying to get through this process and this is what l found worked for me.

I was told to go to the Brampton office of Service Canada located at 60 Gillingham Dr, Brampton, with my travel documents and plead that you have forgotten that your passport had expired. This particular office has a faster turnaround time and leniency to getting you out the door with a passport. It is not a foolproof system, but it is worth the try and checking out this particular office could be your solution.

In Canada, we should not be experiencing these long and frustrating delays. It is a global issue, but in a country it should not be a problem nor should it be a continuing issue for most Canadians. Many citizens have had to put travel arrangements on hold or postpone to another date. Such a simple process that Service Canada only needs labor… put more employees on this file and the problem can be solved very quickly.

Playing monopoly and not knowing where you will land is similar to getting a passport today. Some will land in a good spot and others will end up in jail with no free pass.

Stay home and play monopoly….

Vincent Black/MS

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