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

Surrey-based group maps places to find affordable food

Surrey and White Rock Food Coalition targets food security

Youth and seniors learn from each other

Seniors Health Network launches intergenerational program in White Rock

Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society raises $8,000

Donations collected at Christmas event last week

Realtor blanket drive collects 360 bags of clothing

Annual event helps South Surrey and White Rock residents in need

VIDEO: Hundreds of volunteers collect, wrap toys in Surrey at Sikh elementary school

Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, Sikh Academy partner together on annual toy drive

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

VIDEO: Giants head into holidays with a win at home

Vancouver G-Men don’t play next until Dec. 28, after 2-1 victory over Prince George Sunday.

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

VIDEO: Giants fall to Royals 4-2 in Victoria Saturday night

Second loss in as many days for G-Men, who are back home in Langley today to take on the Cougars.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

Most Read