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42nd Parliament, 1st Session
(December 3, 2015 - Present)
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The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) examines orders of reference that the House of Commons refers to it. Orders of reference may relate to bills, proposed regulations specified in Section 5 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and in Section 27.1 of the Citizenship Act, Estimates or Order in Council Appointments. The Committee may also study issues of its own choosing.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(1) of the House of Commons, CIMM has the same powers as other House of Commons Standing Committees, including the powers to make reports and to send for persons, papers and records.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

In addition, the Committee studies and reports on all matters relating to the mandate, management and operation of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). Such matters include:

  • the statute law relating to CIC and/or IRB;
  • the program and policy objectives of CIC and/or IRB, and their effectiveness in implementing their objectives;
  • the immediate, medium and long-term expenditure plans of CIC and/or IRB, as well as their effectiveness in implementing their expenditure plans;
  • analyses of the relative success of CIC and/or IRB, as measured by the results obtained as compared with its stated objectives; and
  • other matters, relating to the mandate, management, organization or operation of CIC and/or IRB, as the Committee deems fit.

Federal Multiculturalism Policy

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(b) of the House of Commons, the mandate of CIMM also includes monitoring the implementation of the principles of the federal multiculturalism policy throughout the Government of Canada in order:

  • to encourage the departments and agencies of the federal government to reflect the multicultural diversity of the nation; and
  • to examine existing and new programs and policies of federal departments and agencies to encourage sensitivity to multicultural concerns and to preserve and enhance the multicultural reality of Canada.

Immigration matters were once the responsibility of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Labour, Employment and Immigration. In June 1994, however, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act established the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, more commonly known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration was established in 1994 to oversee the new department’s activities.

In 2003, the Canada Border Services Agency was created and certain enforcement responsibilities of CIC were transferred to this new body. The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security is responsible for oversight of this Agency.

In the execution of its functions, each committee is normally assisted by a committee clerk, an analyst and a committee assistant. Occasional assistance is also provided by legislative clerks and lawyers from the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel. All of these individuals are non-partisan and serve all members of the committee and representatives of all parties equally.

Committee Clerk

The clerk performs his or her duties and responsibilities under the direction of the committee and its Chair. As an expert in the rules of the House of Commons, the clerk may be requested to give advice to the Chair and members of the committee should a question of procedure arise. The clerk is the coordinator, organizer and liaison officer for the committee and as such will be in frequent contact with members’ staff. He or she is also responsible to invite witnesses and to deal with all the details regarding their appearance before the committee.

Committee Assistant

The committee assistant provides a wide range of specialized administrative services for, in particular, the organization of committee meetings and the publishing of documents on the committees’ website. The committee assistant works with the clerk to meet the needs of committees.

Committee Analyst

The Library of Parliament’s analysts provide authoritative, substantive, and timely research, analysis and information to all members of the Committee. They are part of the Committee’s institutional memory and are a unique resource for parliamentarians. Supported by research librarians, the analyst works individually or in multidisciplinary teams.

Analysts can prepare: briefing notes on the subjects being examined; detailed study plans; lists of proposed witnesses; analyses of an issue with a list of suggested questions; background papers; draft reports; news releases; and/or formal correspondence. Analysts with legal training can assist the Committee regarding any substantive issues that may arise during the consideration of bills.

OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE AS REQUIRED

Parliamentary Counsel

Within the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, Parliamentary Counsel (Legislation) are available to assist Members who are not in Cabinet in the preparation of private Members’ bills or of amendments to Government bills or others.

At various stages of the legislative process, Members may propose amendments to bills. Amendments may first be proposed at the Committee Stage, during a committee’s clause-by-clause review of a bill. Amendments may also be proposed at the Report Stage, once a bill returns to the House.

Once bill is sent to Committee, the clerk of the Committee provides the name of the Parliamentary Counsel (Legislation) responsible for the drafting of the amendments for a particular bill to the Members.

Legislative Clerk

The legislative clerk serves all members of the Committee as a specialist of the process by which a bill becomes law. They are available to give, upon request from Members and their staff, advice on the admissibility of amendments when bills are referred to Committee. The legislative clerk organizes the amendments into packages for committee stage, reviews all the committee amendments for procedural admissibility and prepares draft rulings for the Chair. During clause-by-clause consideration of bills in committee, a legislative clerk is in attendance to assist the committee concerning any procedural issues that may arise. The legislative clerk can also provide Members with advice regarding the procedural admissibility of Report Stage amendments. When a bill is sent to committee, the clerk of the committee provides to the Members the name of the legislative clerk assigned to the bill.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO)

The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has a mandate to support Parliament and parliamentarians in holding the government to account for the good stewardship of public resources. The Federal Accountability Act of 2006 mandates the PBO to provide independent analysis to the Senate and to the House of Commons regarding the state of the nation’s finances, the government estimates and trends in the national economy.

The enabling legislation also provides the PBO with a mandate to provide analytical support to any committee during its consideration of the estimates, as well as provide advice to any Member of Parliament regarding the financial cost of proposals.

Further information on the PBO may be found at: http://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/en/

In addition to studies of legislation and estimates, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration has in recent years produced a number of reports on various topics, including:

  • Settlement services for newcomers (2010 and 2015)
  • Security aspects of Canada’s immigration system (2013)
  • The protection of women in Canada’s immigration system (2015)
  • Canada’s temporary visa program(s) (2014)
  • Immigration application processing and wait times (2012).
CIMM does not intervene in individual immigration or citizenship files. Such inquiries should be directed to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada call centre.