Nelly Kamagou still hopes to be able to get her passport before tonight’s flight.
She has been queuing in front of the passport office at the Guy-Favreau complex in Montreal since Monday evening. She watches the clock tick by for her 5 p.m. flight to Cameroon.
“I’m tired. I’m frustrated,” she said. “Nobody came here to say: here, have a coffee, did you sleep well, do you need anything? Nobody.”
“They do a lot of speeches on TV, but here on the floor you don’t see anyone,” she said.
Kamagou was among hundreds of people still lining up Wednesday morning, the queue snaking around the block. Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, said the delays at the Guy-Favreau office were the worst in the country.
The federal government has promised that a new system will be implemented on Wednesday. One by one, those waiting began to receive tickets with a fixed meeting time, so they could leave and return with minimal delay.
It was like light at the end of the tunnel for some, who had been sleeping outside for days.
“I want a bed,” lamented Maxime Renaud-Blondeau, who has also been waiting outside since Monday.
He’s already missed a flight. His plane for Atlanta was scheduled to take off Wednesday morning. He said if he didn’t get his passport today, he would give up his trip entirely.
“I’m just going to say, I’m not going, mom, I’m not coming,” he said.
Before the new system was put in place, those waiting had taken matters into their own hands, setting up their own first-come, first-served system to keep people from queuing. The police were eventually called to control the crowd.