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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A passport office is finally coming to northern British Columbia. 

According to the Government of Canada’s Ministry of Families, Children and Social Development, a passport office is set to open up in April 2023 in Prince George.

Before the announcement of this new office, the closest office for residents in Northern B.C. to get their passports done was Edmonton, Alberta, around 660 kilometres away.

MP Bob Zimmer said a passport office in the north has been a long time coming. 

“It’s really good because, especially with Covid being kind of in our rearview mirror in large part, people are ready to travel,” Zimmer said. 

Zimmer said his office in Fort St. John has been helping residents with their passports for years now. He hopes this new office in Prince George will help to take some of the pressure off the system.

“Most of my staff are sitting hours on hold talking to Passport Canada, trying to get people the documents they need,” Zimmer explained. “So this is welcome news and I just hope that they can process the passports in ten days like they’re saying.”

The opening of this new office comes after a massive backlog in the passport system across Canada this year. As of November 20th, the Government of Canada has issued over 1 million passports in 2022.

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Katherine Caddel is a recent graduate of Laurentian University's English Media and Rhetoric program. They grew up in Northern Ontario and recently decided to make the North Peace their new home. When not at work, Katherine enjoys horror movies, playing video games and Dungeons and Dragons.