Tuesday, September 27, 2022

‘Bucket list’ for woman with terminal cancer apparently resolved after Disneyland travel passport delay Nation World News

Update May 26, 3:51 PM: after about 24 hours CBC contacted Service Canada and Citizenship and Immigration, with passport officials calling Williams to tell her that her children’s passports would be processed on Thursday and ready to be picked up in Surrey on May 30, their Disneyland on June 3. On time for the trip.

Ask Barb Walter’s family, and they’ll tell you that 56-year-old grandma would give anything for her loved ones.

But since they learned she had incurable cancer, the family said they’re scrambling to give it back with a trip to Disneyland in California.

They said they want to make the trip as a family so that Walter can make lasting memories with his three beloved grandchildren.

Brandon Williams, 42, Walter’s son-in-law and father, said, “It could very well be the last thing she sees with us as a family while she is still able to leave the house.” Speaking from his family home in Hope about his grandchildren.

'Bucket list' for woman with terminal cancer apparently resolved after Disneyland travel passport delay Nation World News
Barb Walter is pictured with his grandson Arthur. Walter’s stepdaughter Cheyenne Williams says that when she and Brandon started their own family, Barb and Cheyenne’s father moved to Hope from Vancouver to help care for the baby. (Brandon Williams)

“She wanted to take the family to Disneyland and make this trip any way possible. Part of her bucket list.”

But travel is under question, Brandon said, because of delays in getting the children to get their passports.

Williams’ wife and Walter’s stepdaughter, Cheyenne Williams, applied in late April for passports for their three children, aged three to seven – as soon as they were diagnosed with cancer, originally in late 2020. Was discovered, was the terminal.

He applied by priority mail as no personal placement was available in the Lower Mainland. A passport office in Ontario received the application on April 25.

Since then, he said he had not heard anything from Service Canada. Cheyenne described calling at a time 20 times a day to get updates. He said he would only find an automated system which did not respond.

'Bucket list' for woman with terminal cancer apparently resolved after Disneyland travel passport delay Nation World News
Barb Walter, left with granddaughter Mara. Cheyenne describes Barb as the second mom he’s had in his life since he was four years old. (Brandon Williams)

He tried to get information through an online form system on May 15, but did not get any response.

His flight from Vancouver to California is scheduled for June 3.

“It’s definitely a stressor that I’ve had every single day since we sent passports in the mail,” said Cheyenne, 30.

“Trying to plan this trip and knowing how excited my mom is for it and how great it would be for her to spend that time with her. But every time I think about it, I think, ‘ There is a chance that this may not happen.'”

In recent months, Canadians across the country have described extreme delays in renewing or applying for passports.

The federal government has stepped up efforts to clear the backlog, but the Williams family said they are seeking reassurances that special travel will still be possible while the family still has time together.

Canada-wide issue

CBC asked Service Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada for comment on this story, but did not receive a response by deadline.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said clearing the passport application backlog is a priority.

'Bucket list' for woman with terminal cancer apparently resolved after Disneyland travel passport delay Nation World News
People are pictured in a long lineup at Passport Services offices in downtown Vancouver in April. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Trudeau has said that 43,000 passports are now being processed every week. Several hundred passport personnel have been hired in recent months.

According to Service Canada, an estimated 500,000 passport applications were submitted in April and May.

It states that travelers must have a valid passport before planning any international travel.

Brandon said he wants action on his file or at least some answers.

But he also wants to point out that sometimes a family vacation is more than a vacation, he said.

“For some people, it’s everything,” he said. “I mean, it’s all about my mother-in-law, you know?”

Walter spoke briefly over the phone, saying that not traveling to Disneyland would be “absolutely disastrous” as she tries to make the most of the months ahead.

“It’s very disappointing,” Walters said of the delay in his grandson’s passport. “It’s quite unbelievable.”

To give her family the best chance of getting her flight, Cheyenne said she plans to camp overnight at the Vancouver Passport Office for an in-person appointment.

Nation World News Desk
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