FORT FRANCES—Service Canada has received permission to offer passport receiving services in Fort Frances—and expects it to be up and running at month’s end.
“All of the preliminary checking and verification to expedite faster processing of passports, and eliminate the need for people to travel to either Winnipeg or Thunder Bay, will be done right in Fort Frances,” said Alec Faulds, director of Service Canada in Kenora.
“This is part of an expansion that’s been piloted in a number of communities, and in Northwestern Ontario we’ve had a pilot site in Kenora for the past two years,” he noted.
“Our experience has been that it certainly expedites people getting their passports sooner, certainly without the need to have to travel.
“They make sure all the information is accurate, all the information is complete, and make sure that people get their passports sooner,” he added.
Currently, district residents who wish to apply for a passport must travel with all their documentation to Thunder Bay or Winnipeg. Or they can mail the completed form and documents themselves from home, but risk missing something in the process.
“The intent is to eliminate all those delays that happen as a result of mail processing,” Faulds said.
The responsibility of final approval and issuance of passports remains with Passport Canada.
Faulds noted staff at the local Service Canada office, located at 301 Scott St., have been undergoing training for the new service for the last few weeks, and expect to be ready to begin passport receiving April 30.
The new service also will result in new staff at the office here.