“Slightly deaf”: Passport Canada tweet draws criticism amid coronavirus pandemic – National


Canadians raise eyebrows after a tweet from Passport Canada urged people to apply for the “winter vacation” travel document despite the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.A tweet posted on Passport Canada’s verified account on Friday afternoon urged people to apply for passports.

“Are you planning a winter vacation but don’t have a valid passport?” the tweet reads. “Don’t wait, apply now!”

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The tweet comes despite advice from Travel Canada, which has been advising Canadians for months to “avoid all non-essential travel” outside the country as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

“As foreign governments implement strict travel restrictions and fewer international transportation options become available, you may find it difficult to return to Canada or have to stay abroad indefinitely,” indicates the agency’s website.

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Travel Canada also advised Canadians to “avoid all cruise ship travel” outside the country “until further notice.”

In March, at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, Canada closed its land border with the United States and many airports to international flights.

Passport Canada’s tweet comes as a number of countries, including Canada, grapple with a second wave of the virus.

The country recorded 4,617 new infections on Saturday, bringing the country’s total number of cases to 291,648.

As of 12:30 p.m. ET, 54,127,451 cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University.

Since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China at the end of last year, it has killed 1,314,584 worldwide.

Twitter users were quick to question Passport Canada’s tweet.

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One user described it as “slightly deaf”.

“The majority of people cannot visit their relatives who reside in different provinces, but can people travel abroad for a winter vacation?” the tweet reads. “I thought non-essential / leisure travel was currently limited [Canada]? »

“No one should go on vacation,” wrote another Twitter user.

“Unless I need a passport to go from my kitchen to the living room,” said another.

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The tweet was sent through Hootsuite, a social media tool that allows users to schedule posts for the future.

It was not immediately clear whether this was a previously scheduled message.

In an email to Global News, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said the agency was “reviewing” the situation to determine which government agency is managing the Twitter account.

Global News also reached out to Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada for comment, but did not immediately respond.

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