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OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – While thousands of Canadians wait months for their passports to be renewed, recently revealed records show that hundreds of passport office workers were placed on leave without pay due to refusing to get the COVID jabs or not disclosing their status.
As reported by Blacklock’s Reporter, Service Canada, which is the federal agency that runs the country’s passport program, had at least 249 workers placed on leave under its vaccine mandate.
The information came from an Inquiry Of Ministry tabled in the Commons by Service Canada as a result of massive delays in both wait and processing times for passports.
Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MP Gérard Deltell blasted the delays as “bad for my country.”
“Canada is a G7 country, not a Third World Country,” he said to the House of Commons.
To make matters worse, another 18,362 employees were working from home because of COVID lockdowns. It is not clear how many of these workers are now back in the office or still working from home.
According to the Inquiry Of Ministry, this was because “safety of clients and employees remains the top priority.”
Last fall, the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put in place a COVID vaccine mandate for all federal workers.
As it stands now, since June 20 COVID vaccine mandates at the federal level for both travel and workers in government have been “suspended.”
However, the end of mandates has had no impact on wait times or delays at passport offices.
Opposition politicians have blasted Trudeau for the delays.
Bloc Québécois MP Alain Therrien said, “This foolishness is enough,” adding “you can’t manage a crisis between 8 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday.”
“How is it possible offices are not yet open seven days a week with extended hours? We are in a crisis situation. When will this government wake up?”
According to Liberal MP Ya’ara Saks, who serves as the parliamentary secretary for passport operations, “Every passport counter in this country is open to serve Canadians.”
Conservative MP Marc Dalton said his assistant was on hold for over five hours when they tried to call the passport offices.
“The hotline is cold,” Dalton said.
Despite the Trudeau Liberals claiming that the delays are due to a sudden surge in demand for passports, the facts show otherwise.
Before COVID, Service Canada in a typical year processed between two million and five million passports yearly. As it stands now, passport offices have only processed about 1.5 million passports in the last two years.