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Nearly 300,000 Canadians waiting for Nexus approval as backlog grows – CBC News

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Canada’s backlog of Nexus applications has ballooned into the hundreds of thousands, despite a sharp downturn in applicants during the pandemic, prompting blowback from frustrated travellers as clogged airports continue to overflow.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says 295,133 Nexus applications have yet to be processed due to ongoing office closures prompted by COVID-19.

Would-be cardholders in the program, which allows pre-approved Canadians to pass through separate, speedy lines when travelling to and from the United States, must be risk-assessed by both the CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The American agency reopened its Nexus enrolment centres for applicant interviews on April 19, but centres in Canada remain closed after shuttering in March 2020.

The resulting backlog means some Nexus members are struggling to book sit-downs before their cards expire, as Canadian residents hoping to renew their status can only schedule interviews in fewer than a dozen border community offices where slots are few.

Motorists wait to enter Canada at the Douglas-Peace Arch border crossing in Surrey, B.C. The U.S. reopened its Nexus enrolment centres in April, but Canadian centres remain closed. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

‘Chaotic’ and frustrating

Travelling retirees are among those exasperated by the standstill.

“A lot of snowbirds go to the U.S. frequently. They often go back and forth, and a fair number of them would be Nexus card holders, including myself,” said Jill Wykes, editor of Snowbird Advisor, an online resource for snowbirds.

Wykes questioned why enrolment centres remain closed when many other government offices have been open for months.

“The airports are chaotic, and if you have Nexus you can get through so much more quickly coming and going, whether it’s at the border or the airport,” she said.

“The whole situation is very frustrating, that the government did not anticipate this pent-up demand, which as been anticipated for two years.”

The CBSA said in an email that Canada and the U.S. are in discussions about when to reopen Canadian enrolment centres.

“Although the extent of the backlog in 2019 is not known, I can tell you that the backlog has significantly increased over pre-pandemic levels due to the closing of the enrolment centres in March 2020 for public health reasons,” spokesperson Rebecca Purdy said.

WATCH | Frustrations mount over airport delays:

Canadian travellers share frustrations about airport delays

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Three Canadians detail their recent travel experiences, frustrated after spending hours to go through airport customs and security.

Meanwhile the Fast program for cross-border commercial truck drivers now sports a backlog of 11,018, the CBSA said.

“This issue has created challenges for many cross-border fleets across Canada. Although companies have learned to adapt their operations and manage their available drivers to mitigate these concerns as much as possible, the reopening of the centres is becoming increasingly critical,” Canadian Trucking Alliance spokesman Marco Beghetto said in an email.

Jacques Roy, a professor of transport management at HEC Montreal business school, says the Nexus backlog is affecting business and leisure travellers. It also adds pressure to airports already struggling with security staff shortages and endless queues.

“I really am having a hard time understanding why nothing was done or processed during that period,” Roy said of the ongoing office closures.

The CBSA said it continues to carry out risk assessments remotely within its standard 30-day timeline for new applicants or those seeking to renew a soon-to-expire card.

However, once both countries have pre-approved the application, “the onus is then on the applicant to schedule an interview at a Nexus/Fast EC [enrolment centre] using the online portal,” the agency said.

It has not set a date for when Canadian enrolment centres will unlock their doors.

Nexus memberships are typically valid for five years, after which they must be renewed. The process involves a risk assessment and a screening interview — for both first-time applicants and longtime card holders — the CBSA said.

Nexus membership declined by 170,814, or nine per cent, to 1.73 million enrollees between 2020 and 2021, according to agency figures.

Between 2018 and 2019,the number of new applications had risen by nearly a third to 262,125. They then plunged to 172,125 in 2020 and 29,705 in 2021. Nonetheless, with enrolment centres shuttered, the pile of partially processed applications continued to mount.

Long lines of travellers at Vancouver International Airport. ‘The airports are chaotic, and if you have Nexus you can get through so much more quickly,’ said Jill Wykes, editor of Snowbird Advisor. (Gian Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

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‘McGregor-Mayweather rematch in the making’

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Los Angeles, United States of America (USA)- Fighthype.com has reported that Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are in discussions over holding a second bout.

Mayweather beat McGregor in their huge clash back in June 2017 but McGregor has hinted at a possible rematch in a post on his Instagram account.

The UFC superstar posted a cryptic post hinting at a second bout by sharing a picture of their 2017 clash and writing, “I accept.”

However, it’s uncertain as to whether a rematch between the pair would be another exhibition bout, or whether Mayweather would make it one more professional fight.

Meanwhile, YouTuber, Jake Paul, has repeatedly claimed that Mayweather still hasn’t paid him following last year’s exhibition bout. Their eight-round exhibition bout went to a draw as Mayweather was unable to knockout Paul, “Floyd Mayweather is broke. I have been saying it all the time. I think he probably spent it on the girls he pays to be around him. He’s hard to hit, but even harder to collect money from. Who should I fight next?”

However, Mayweather has since dismissed the accusations claiming that Paul has suggested that the pair should have a second exhibition bout.

“This is the guy who said he didn’t get paid, which we know is truly false, which is why I don’t entertain the bull*** a lot of the time. We know he got paid and if he didn’t get paid he wouldn’t be trying to get another payday. It is so crazy that Logan Paul wants to do an exhibition again but it is the same guy that said he didn’t get paid. It is what it is,” said Mayweather.

Mayweather was expected to earn US$64 million from the fight, with Logan receiving US$18.5 million of the purse.

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G7: Canada to elevate small Commonwealth nations' concerns – CTV News

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KIGALI, Rwanda –

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed to the G7 summit in Germany on Saturday without a consensus from the Commonwealth to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but with a chorus of countries calling for help to overcome the fallout of the war.

Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly arrived in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, on Wednesday for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, which has been dominated by the concerns of nations that are suffering from food scarcity. Trudeau departed for the G7 talk slater in the day.

In the final communique from the Commonwealth summit, the 54 participating countries said they discussed the conflict in Ukraine, ” underscored the need to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states,” and ” emphasized that all countries must seek peaceful resolution to all disputes in accordance with international law.”

The countries stopped short of condemning Russia, as Trudeau and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson have done throughout the summit.

“I can assure you that the topic of standing up for Ukraine was much discussed,” Trudeau said at a press conference following the conclusion of the summit, referencing “strong language” in the communique.

Most Commonwealth Nations condemned Russia’s actions at a United Nations vote in March, but 10 abstained. Among them was India, whose Prime Minister Narendra Modi opted not to attend the Commonwealth summit and instead spoke virtually with the leaders of Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa.

Trudeau said Russian President Vladimir Putin has run a disinformation campaign and has even been “telling outright lies,” including blaming the food security crisis on Western sanctions against Russia.

He said food shortage stems from Russia’s illegal actions, including blockade at key ports, as well as the deliberate targeting of Ukrainian grain storage facilities through cruise missile strikes.

“I was very clear with our friends and partners around the table, and not just clear on Russia’s responsibility, but on how Canada and the West are stepping up,” Trudeau said.

Canada will be raising the growing threat of famine at the G7 in Schloss Elmau Germany, Joly said.

She said Canada was in “listening mode” at the Commonwealth meetings, where leaders of smaller nations were able to speak without the dominating presence of the United States, Russia and China.

“What is clear to us is that Russia is weaponizing food and putting a toll on many countries around the world, and putting 50 million lives at risk,” Joly told reporters Friday in Rwanda.

Trudeau had attempted to meet with the chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, for several days during the Commonwealth summit but the sit-down was repeatedly postponed and eventually cancelled.

Shortly after Trudeau arrived in Rwanda, the government announced Canada would dedicate a new ambassador to the African Union, which has suffered from the food shortages inflicted on the continent as a result of the warin Ukraine.

Both Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Putin have met with representatives of the African Union, with Russia blaming sanctions against its government for stopping the flow of grain.

At the conclusion of the Commonwealth summit, Trudeau announced $94 million in funding for various education initiatives and $120 million to support gender equality and women’s rights in Commonwealth countries.

Some of the other voices the prime minister has promised to centre at his international meetings, including the G7 summit,

belong to youth leaders who spoke at a Saturday-morning event focused on issues facing young people around the world.

Some of the delegates spoke about the devastating effects of climate change, particularly around remote island nations where infrastructure cannot withstand natural disasters and rebuilding efforts take years. The onslaught takes a toll on education and health services, one delegate told the forum.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2022.

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New federal task force to review Canada’s immigration, passport delays – Global News

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The federal government has created a special task force to help tackle the major delays with immigration applications and passport processing that have left Canadians frustrated.

In a statement announcing the new task force, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government knows the delays are unacceptable, and will continue to do everything it can to improve the delivery of the services in an efficient and timely manner.

Read more:

Passport renewal wait times now online as Ottawa looks to address long lineups

Trudeau said the new task force will help guide the government to better meet the changing needs of Canadians, and continue to provide them with the high-quality services they need and deserve.

Ten cabinet members will spearhead the new committee, which will review how services are delivered, and identify gaps and areas for improvement.


Click to play video: 'New passport wait-time estimator shows system backlog'



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New passport wait-time estimator shows system backlog


New passport wait-time estimator shows system backlog – Jun 15, 2022

The committee will be expected to make recommendations outlining short- and longer-term solutions that would reduce wait times, clear out backlogs, and improve the overall quality of services provided.

Read more:

Canadian passport delays are frustrating travellers. What’s the fix?

In addition, the task force will monitor external issues, such as labour shortages around the world, which contribute to travel delays at home and abroad.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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