Several travelers affected by the passport crisis have lodged complaints with Option Consommateurs and turned to law firms to launch class action lawsuits, TVA Nouvelles has learned.
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These disgruntled travelers seek compensation for the agonizing wait in what could be described as extreme conditions.
Some Canadians have had to spend entire nights in the rain with no chemical toilets or water stations.
TVA Nouvelles also witnessed Quebecers missing their flights and having to buy airline tickets after receiving their valuable document at the last minute.
Several Montreal-area law firms contacted by TVA Nouvelles confirmed they had received requests from disgruntled travelers to explore the possibility of a class action lawsuit against the federal government.
Before taking steps, the lawyers need to determine what type of damage the travelers have suffered.
Some argue that the passport took the form of a right, even a fundamental right, protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
If Ottawa has signaled in recent weeks that it has taken new measures, the situation is far from perfect, according to a lawyer.
“The problem is that there are people who applied in February or March and who have not yet received their passports, even though they are planning to leave the country in July. . So these are not necessarily people who came at the last minute, but rather those who find themselves in an unfortunate position in which, at the time of the speech, they are not sure whether they will be able to finish in time for their departure be,” said Me Sylvie De Bellefeuille, lawyer and budget consultant, at TVA Nouvelles.
A family who missed their flight after receiving the youngest’s passports too late.
They had to shell out a few thousand extra dollars to reach their goal.
“It was hell, we never experienced that. We got to the airport running. But we couldn’t get on the plane. It cost me $4,000 to buy new plane tickets. It’s clear that I want some form of compensation from the federal government, they have no choice. I have photos, evidence, I have everything, they made a mistake,” said Julie Austin, who is in Santiago de Cuba.
– based on information provided by Yves Poirier