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

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are looking for help from the public to identify the driver of a vehicle after a hit and run in Duncan on Oct. 22, 2020. (File photo)
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP looking for driver after man hit in crosswalk

The hit and run is reported to have taken place on Thursday, Oct. 22

Sites are being considered for a new pipe that will see treated effluent from the Joint Utilities Board’s sewage treatment plant near Duncan diverted away from the Cowichan River and Cowichan estuary (pictured) to an outflow site in Satellite Channel. (File photo)
Possible routes identified for new Cowichan sewage pipe

Public input will be sought in decision

Sierra Robinson, 17, is one of 15 youths suing the Canadian government for failing to take action on climate change. (Facebook)
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Duncan B&E suspect caught in the act by RCMP

37-year-old Parksville man facing several charges

The road into Crofton will be a lot nicer when the roller coaster bumps are taken out of Crofton Road. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Crofton Road improvements to start taking shape Nov. 2

It’ll be a long haul until next summer to get it done and motorists should expect delays

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

An elderly woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past an advertisement for a television series in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. has been under a COVID-19 state of emergency for more than half the year

Province has been under a state of emergency for 32 weeks – and counting

Most Read