International News Desk – At Home: Canada Post loses passport applications – In Foreign News: UK interest rates could fall to 0%

International News Desk – At Home: Canada Post loses passport applications – In Foreign News: UK interest rates could fall to 0%

At Home: Canada Post loses passport applications

It may be easier to find a guarantor for your passport application these days, but a bigger problem remains: Canada Post’s inability to actually deliver the forms to the passport office.

More than 50 passport applications from Albert and BC have gone missing en route to passport offices in Gatineau, Quebec?applications that contain confidential information and, potentially, original documents such as birth certificates.

Canada Post is now trying to track down the applications and, as the CBC reports, acknowledges that ?the lost documents are a serious concern.?

John Caines, a spokesman for Canada Post, told reporters, ?Definitely, this is very personal information and we do apologize to anyone who might be affected by this. Anytime a package goes missing it is a concern for us.?

The missing applications aren’t the first to go astray, Passport Canada confirmed: a staggering 107 passport applications (including the most recent ones) have been mislaid by Canada Post in the past 15 months. All were sent via Canada Post’s priority courier service.

The news comes on the heels of a recent report from Jennifer Stoddart, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, warning that Passport Canada’s measures for handling personal information are inadequate.

?Given the high sensitivity of the personal information involved in processing passport applications, better privacy and security measures are needed,? Stoddart said in her December report.

In Foreign News: UK interest rates could fall to 0%

As Britain’s economy continues to shrink and the pound falls against the euro, there is renewed talk of dropping the nation’s interest rate to 0 percent.

Britain’s economy shrank by 1 percent during the period from August to November and the pace of the downturn is accelerating. According to a Herald article, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said ?there was every reason to believe? the figure would be worse for the last three months of the year.

The economic figures ?make clear that the rate of output decline is accelerating,? NIESR reported.

The Bank of England has already slashed interest rates by 2.5 percent over two months, but speculation continues to grow that interest rates will be lowered even further, to 0 percent.

The availability of bank credit is cited as a major cause of the economic woes and, although the government has provided billions of pounds to stimulate Britain’s banking sector, It’s expected that the UK will officially be in a recession by the end of the year.

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