Hannah Alberga CTV News Toronto Multi-Platform Writer
A package containing Hossein Farrokhbakht’s passport was discovered damaged after a Canada Post delivery on Feb. 8, 2022 (Supplied).
Instead of travelling to a conference in Switzerland or visiting family in Iran, Hossein Farrokhbakht is stuck in the country after Canada Post lost his passport.
“I am under a lot of stress right now,” Farrokhbakht told CTV News Toronto.
The University of Toronto PhD graduate mailed a package containing his passport, a series of required documents and $120 to the consulate of Switzerland in Montreal on Feb. 2.
As an Iranian citizen, he was applying for a visa to attend an international conference in Lausanne, Switzerland at the end of the month. But instead, he received a phone call from the Swiss consulate on Tuesday explaining that his package was in their possession, but his passport was not inside.
In a subsequent email to Farrokhbakht, the Swiss consulate wrote, “Your passport has been lost by Canada Post,” and attached photos revealing his damaged package.
An apology from Canada Post was plastered onto the front of the envelope, which stated, “We sincerely regret that your mail item is damaged. It was found in this condition in the mailstream.”
While his passport was gone, the other contents inside of the envelope were untouched.
“Unfortunately, since the summer of 2021, we have had more and more passport losses by Canada Post,” the consulate said.
Now, Farrokhbakht is applying for a new visa, which the Iranian embassy in the U.S. (since Canada no longer has one) told him would take three months. In the meantime, he can’t leave the country.
“I wanted to go and visit my family,” Farrokhbakht said. Since the pandemic began, he has not been able to see his loved ones in Iran and now, that date will be pushed further.
Canada Post’s customer services told Farrokhbakht they would be in contact with him by March to discuss his situation.
“I am literally desperate,” he said.
CTV News Toronto reached out to Canada Post, who said they were looking into the matter.
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