Editorial: Government needs to fix crazy passport Catch-22

Will the Canadian government be Scrooge before or after his ghostly visitations?

It’s a strange and circular story that has left part of the Fort family stranded in New Zealand, and the rest here in British Columbia.

Reporter Robert Barron describes in his story in today’s edition how, even though he’s a Canadian citizen — actually, in an especially bizarre twist, because he’s a Canadian citizen — son Liam will likely not be allowed to come to this country to spend Christmas with his mom and sister.

It is exactly this kind of thing that makes Canadians skeptical about the quality of the government bureaucracy, and sometimes even nervous to try to use it.

One office tells Liam’s mother one thing. Another tells her something else. A third tells her something different again. It’s sheer madness. And they now seem to be stuck in a classic Catch-22: Liam can’t get a passport unless he’s in Canada, but he can’t get into Canada without a Canadian passport. It’s makes you want to tear your hair out just reading about it.

How hard can it really be to get a Canadian passport for a Canadian citizen?

It’s especially galling that had the family not tried to get Liam a Canadian passport, and instead he had simply used his valid New Zealand one to enter the country, all would have been well. But instead, the family is being punished for trying to think ahead.

So often we are left feeling like the go-between in these situations, when it’s really the two departments, or officials that need to talk to each other. If they’d just do that, things could be resolved in minutes with the application of a smidgen of common sense. Instead these issues can take days, weeks, months and in some cases even years buried in Byzantine bureaucracy, if they are resolved at all.

We hope our MP Alistair MacGregor can help reunite this family for Christmas. This should be straightforward. Will the Canadian government be Scrooge before or after his ghostly visitations? Stay tuned.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Water in Lake Cowichan just fine, says acting mayor

Tim McGonigle said there is no truth to rumours of water advisories

Cowichan Caps help BCHL score commitment record

The BCHL saw 172 players commit to post-secondary institutions this past season

Murray Hatfield and Teresa present evening of magic and comedy streaming live May 29

The Duncan Volunteer Fire Department is inviting you to an evening of magic and comedy

Chemainus animal sanctuary needs your vote in nationwide contest

RASTA is up for $5,000 from Nutram; contest runs until May 31

Woman charged in fatal accident back in court on June 2

Sara Rosetta Thomas faces six charges in 2018 incident

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read