Senior passport clinic comes to P.A. for first time

Founder of the Seniors Advocacy Centre, John Fryters, said filling out government forms can be a challenge for the elderly. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald

MP Randy Hoback provided a one stop shop on Tuesday for seniors to get their passports.

Hoback represents the Prince Albert riding and holds passport clinics two or three times a year, but usually in smaller centres in the area.

After founder of the Seniors Advocacy Centre, John Fryters, asked Hoback if he could do the clinic in P.A., he agreed.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., about 30 people went to Plaza 88 to get their picture taken for $20.

In the same room, volunteers and staff from Hoback’s riding and from Ottawa were on hand for assistance.

Although the clinic was open for anyone, it was targeted towards seniors because they can have a harder time getting around, reading and writing.

“Particularly government forms, they’re not really age friendly,” said Fryters. “For instance, when income tax comes in February, March, we get lots of calls to say ‘Can somebody do the income tax?’”

Fryters volunteered at the clinic.

“What a better thing than to actually come and help out,” he said.

Hoback added it’s also an opportunity to interact with the community without having to discuss political issues.

“The smile on my face is when they get their passport and they know that if they decide tomorrow they wanna go somewhere, they can go,” he said.

If everything is done properly, participants get their passports within four weeks.

Hoback said they’re also doing the clinic in Carrot River on Wednesday, Tisdale on Thursday and Kinistino on Friday.