ZYTARUK: Bureaucracy a bellyache from cradle to grave

Vital Statistics should be called Vital Stick Its, because they really stick it to you

homelessphoto

So let it be written…

We all have examples of asinine dealings with bureaucrats, from cradle to the grave. Some are so egregious they make headlines. Here’s a few more for the pile.

My father, a Canadian air force veteran no less, is 85 years old. He lives in the Fraser Valley and has been trying to renew his passport — he’s had them before, you know — but he’s running into some walls because his name Alex appearing on some documentation doesn’t jibe with Alexander on other documentation.

So, the passport people want him to obtain a new birth certificate from Manitoba, where he was born, to sort it all out. In he goes, through that hoop. The Vital Statistics Agency, at 254 Portage Avenue in Winnipeg, subsequently sent him a letter telling him they can’t fulfill his June 4 request because he needs to provide to them his father’s “correct place of birth other than Austria” by Sept. 30 or “the file will be closed and a non-refundable $30.00 administration fee will be kept.”

So they want my 85-year-old father to submit to them his father’s birth certificate — a fellow who emigrated to Canada in what, 1908?

Could you imagine trying to find such a document? Of note, the bureaucrats say his father’s place of birth is not registered as Austria on the birth registration, so they already have the answer to their own question. They go on to inform my soon-to-be 86-year-old father, “If you would like this information corrected on the birth record provide a $30.00 amendment fee and we will review the application.”

And here’s the kicker: On this single-sheet “More Information Required” letter from the Vital Statistics Agency in Manitoba, sent along by these quibbling sticklers for detail, they’ve addressed my father as Alex Zytaruk, Alexander Zytaruk and Alex Zataruk…

Vital Statistics should be called Vital Stick Its, because they really stick it to you.

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: Feds are living in a fiscal fairyland

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: To discern is to learn

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: For those about to snore…

Before marrying my wife in Guatemala, the powers that be required proof from me that I didn’t already have another wife in Canada. So I had to pay I think it was $75 for a sheet of paper from the stick-it-to-you people in Victoria. It contained two paragraphs that said something to the effect that while B.C. had no record of me being married, Canada still has nine more provinces and three territories where I could have been married, unbeknownst to them…

Last year, I wrote a column about a woman whose first name is Canada. She was looking forward to receiving her first Old Age Security payment.

Enter, the feds.

“They want my passport from 1975,” Canada groaned in 2017. “C’mon, who hangs onto those things?

“C’mon, it’s 42 years ago,” she said. “They want to know how many places I’ve lived in since 1975. Really crazy information.

“Why me?” she pleaded to the universe. “There’s a saying that God only gives you enough that you can handle. Well, I’ve had enough.”

I daresay, Canada, that God has nothing to do with the botheration of government bureaucracy, but that other guy downstairs certainly might.

It seems retirement isn’t all about paragliding off into the sunset, like the television commercials suggest.

It is, however, about having to deal with government fatuousness until you breathe your last.

Do you have a fearsome tale of brainless bureaucracy to share?

I mean, frustrating enough to make you scream out loud?

Share it with me, if you will. Might be the only relief you get.

So let it be done.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey RCMP supporters make noise during rally outside city hall

‘Keep the RCMP in Surrey’ leader Ivan Scott says municipal force ‘not a done deal’

International South Asian expo pitched for Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

Mayor Doug McCallum says the idea ‘shows a lot of promise’

White Rock council declares disapproval of ride-hailing rules

City to submit resolution to UBCM, send letter to B.C. Passenger Transportation Board

Sikh millworker lodges human rights complaint against Interfor, again

Mander Sohal, fired from Delta’s Acorn Mill, alleges discrimination based on religion and disability

Guilty plea in Lower Mainland break-and-enter spree

Gordon Vincent Gladstone, 42, was charged with 12 counts relating to a dozen incidents in late 2018

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Most Read