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Letter: It's high time Northeastern Ont. has a passport office

Sudbury mom applied for a passport for teen son in the winter — it still hasn’t arrived
Canadian passport
Canadian passports.

We have no real concrete travel plans, given the last two years of pandemic pandemonium, but my son needed his adult passport. 

His passport expired on his 16th birthday in February. I applied that month and it was rejected, citing “missing information.” I then re-applied the first week of March.

Three months later, on May 31st, my credit card was charged. We figured that meant the passport was on its way.

Five months later, it is now August, and no passport has arrived. I have now received a letter from the Ministry of Health, telling me that my son’s health card has expired. To renew it, I need his birth certificate or passport. Both of those items appear to be lost somewhere between Gatineau and Sudbury.

On a whim, I reached out to friends and family and social media, asking how I should proceed. The resounding advice was to contact my Member of Parliament. 

The MP’s office did a check and informed me that all the necessary paperwork was approved but that I would need to wait up to 13 weeks, as this is considered normal processing time. Oddly, everyone I know who applied after me has received their new passport in a shorter time frame.

I have since been told by the MP’s office that if I want to expedite the passport, I should travel down south or into Quebec to visit an official passport office.

I feel for people who have made travel arrangements and are dealing with such long processing time. First world problem or not, it is unacceptable to have all your pertinent documents held hostage for half a year's time.

It's high time residents in Northeastern Ontario had their own passport office.

Anastasia Rioux

Greater Sudbury