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Red tape preventing B.C. man from assisting his ailing mother

Ottawa blamed for backlog in processing expired residency cards

A Surrey, B.C., man who has lived and worked in Canada for 33 years says government red tape is keeping him from going to the aid of his ailing mother in the Netherlands.

"There will be a point where I simply cannot wait any longer or if I get an emergency phone call I just have to go," Art Witmans said.

Witmans said he applied in July for the government to renew his permanent resident card, which expired in September. Like all permanent residents, he needs the card to travel abroad. Government figures show he is one of tens of thousands of Canadian residents now caught in a backlog.

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