Online passport renewals to begin this fall

OTTAWA — Canadians who need to renew travel documents will soon be able to skip the line at the passport office.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said Wednesday that Canadians will be able to renew passports online as early as this fall.

It came as he unveiled a new design for Canada’s passport.

“This passport update is one of the many efforts that is going to improve travel and security,” Fraser told reporters at the Ottawa International Airport.

The design — which includes updated security features, colourful new pages and the country’s landscapes — is facing criticism from some Canadians who say it removes references to key moments in Canada’s history.

That includes historical images of the Fathers of Confederation, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway and Terry Fox on his Marathon of Hope.

“Why will the prime minister not stand up for our history, get connected to reality and keep the images in our passport that make us so proud to be Canadian?” said Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre during question period.

The Royal Canadian Legion released a statement expressing its disappointment that images of the Vimy memorial are not featured.

“Removing that image in the context of a design change and without knowing the rationale was, to put it bluntly, a poor decision,” the legion said.

Ottawa says production is expected to begin on the newly designed passport this summer.

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