People in Ontario furious about being turned away from Service Canada
Massive lines stretching outside of Service Canada offices are nothing new, with dozens of people already in queue in the early hours of the morning on a daily basis.
In 2022, some Toronto residents told blogTO that they were lined up outside the offices for as long as three days and alleged that staff treated people with "disrespect," and disregarded "everyone's time."
It’s really upsetting that gov funded services like Service Canada are extremely inaccessible to the general public.— A (@Almeera_Khalid) February 23, 2023
I stood in line today for 3 hours and was turned away 2 hours before closing. I went to another place, and it was the same. A woman even passed bc of the wait 🙃
It seems as though one year later, Service Canada offices are continuing to struggle with high demand and limited appointment availability following the "return to normal" post lockdowns.
Last year, the Government of Canada added a feature to its website that allows you to check the current wait times at any of the country's passport offices, and is updated multiple times per day.
At the time of writing, some of the passport offices around the GTA currently have wait times anywhere from 30 minutes at the very least to 2 hours and 45 minutes at the most.
A video uploaded by digital creator Brijesh Soni on Instagram on Friday shows the scene outside of a Service Canada location in Markham.
"Hope to get better information on the wait times specially for those who are senior citizens waiting outside in negative 8 degrees for their Canada Pension Plan related services," Soni captioned the video.
One customer is filmed asking a security guard when they can return in order to be seen, to which the staff member is unable to provide an answer.
Another security is guard is filmed saying they are not accepting anymore people, and proceeds to close the door on a line of people waiting outside.
"Senior citizens and other people have been waiting outside in -8 C for more than an hour in the afternoon," Soni wrote.
Lots of the comments on the video urged people to book appointments online in order to avoid disappointment. However, for those who require their passport within the next two business days, appointments are not a possibility.
I gotta go to service Canada today and I'm trying to mentally prepare myself to for the wait— RedheadRoyalty (@MacTavishxo) February 9, 2023
In this case, you must visit a specialized passport site that offers urgent pick-up service. If you also have a travel date and no appointment is available, you are urged to visit one of the passport sites in-person.
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