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

Tom Zytaruk so let it be done column Surrey opinion bureaucracy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

UPDATE: Pedestrian dies after being hit by bus in uptown White Rock

Collision occurred July 3 at North Bluff Road and Johnston Road

Intent of killing at centre of Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames is anticipated to return with her decision in August

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Surrey man facing charges related to child pornography

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Most Read