“The shortage and the reduction in the number of employees, has led to the fact that we have been closed for a week and a half to the public. There are no conditions for us to open the doors. At the moment, four employees are at the consulate and there are no conditions for opening the consulate”, said André Domingues.
The delegate of the STCDE-Union of Consular Workers and Diplomatic Missions Abroad at the Portuguese consulate in Toronto, since 2019, also regretted the “lack of interest of the tutelage in solving this problem for years”.
“We are unable to answer a phone and ask a person a simple question, we try to respond to emails, but it is very difficult, it is exhausting, the employees are exhausted and there is not a word of comfort from the guardianship”, he stressed. The death of the Chancellor of the Consulate General of Portugal, on June 12, exacerbated the crisis at this consular post.
“We have had many complaints, disputes, including on social networks, we are attacked daily with insults that we don't want to work, all this leads to a complete lack of motivation”, lamented André Domingues.
According to the STCDE union delegate, “Lisbon is already aware of the situation”, and must be carry out the necessary steps, by sending someone from Portugal so that the consulate can “open safely”.
“There is a huge lack of human resources at all levels, in terms of reorganizing the structure of the consulate, which should have superior technicians, more technical assistants, in a sufficient number capable of responding to this huge community, in Ontario and Winnipeg, with about half a million Portuguese residing in this area".
Every day, 150 to 200 people enter the consulate with the most diverse types of needs, from citizen cards, passports, civil registration, notary offices and visas, for which the post currently “does not have the capacity”, as well as other processes, such as the various information requests for the Regressar program.