The production of Canadian passport covers will now be based in Europe after Columbia Finishing Mills of Cornwall, Ontario, lost the contract to Ottawa’s Canadian Bank Note.
The subcontracting of the production was revealed by Columbia Finishing Mills, which also claims the covers have been subcontracted to a Dutch firm with a fabric mill in the Czech Republic.
Canadian Bank Note will be producing the next generation of Canadian passports which will feature electronic security features, joining 90 countries in the world already using such a system. Canadian Bank Note provides security printing for over 60 countries.
According to the Toronto Star, the contract to produce passport covers was put to tender two years ago, with Canadian Bank Note winning the contract. The contract was valued at $1 million. Columbia Finishing Mills had produced the gold-stamped covers for over 30 years, producing on average 4.5 million a year. The loss of the contract means the elimination of at least three positions at Columbia Finishing Mills, an operation with just 12 employees.
As is common with most security printing contracts, no official details about where or how the new ePassports would be produced have been released.
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