So your wife cannot get a non-driver photo ID issued in Canada? I ask this because in the U.S. it is common to get a state-issued photo ID without being a licensed driver.
Granted a photo-copy of a passport is not official, but it is usually good enough to prove one's identity. I happen to know a woman who is a travel writer in NYC. Her passport was stolen in Europe but she had a photo copy of it and was able to use that to get a replacement passport within hours.