Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his questions, but before starting to answer the questions, let me give a bit of background information to make sure everyone understands the process.
The passport entitlement and investigations division, known as PEID, renders entitlement decisions. Those decisions include approvals, cancellations, refusals and revocations. It can also impose periods of refusal of services when a situation merits many administrative sanctions. The division conducts administrative investigations into cases of possible entitlement fraud, identity fraud and passport misuse. It does so in accordance with the Canadian passport order and the principles of natural justice, determining eligibility for and entitlement to passport services for individuals who may be subject to judicial or criminal issues in Canada or abroad.
In 2015, the Canadian passport order was amended, as mentioned, to include section 9(2). This section allows IRCC to cancel passports when there are reasonable grounds to suspect and refuse to reissue or revoke passports where there are reasonable grounds to believe that such action is necessary to prevent the commission of a sexual offence against a child in Canada or abroad.
About today's questions, I can assure my colleagues that Canada's passport programs work closely with the criminal justice community to obtain information on individuals who may be subjected to passport restrictions.
I can also assure my colleagues that whenever information is shared by partnering agencies, IRCC will conduct an administrative investigation to determine if action is merited pursuant to the order.
Let me explain how it works. In order for information to be actionable, it needs to be indicative of the potential for the activity occurring in the future. If information is not sufficient at the time of review to refuse issuance or revoke a passport, the individual will remain on the passport program system lookout watch-list. This is for monitoring purposes for a future review of their entitlement for passport services. Here it is important to note that other sections of the order allow for action when charges or judicial restrictions exist in these situations.
All we know is there are far more law-abiding Canadians who are deserving of a passport, and we want to serve them well while protecting children from sex offenders. Having worked as a social worker and an advocate for children's rights, I too am concerned about the safety and security of our kids and grandkids. However, their safety remains paramount. The government will never compromise that.
Every passport application is scrutinized and assessed on its own merits while balancing service standards with safety. That is why security and integrity have always remained top of list over the past year as we put measures in place to respond to the increasing demands for passports.
The service offered at Service Canada centres continues to improve, but always in compliance with security and integrity. For example, one of those improvements is increasing the number of sites offering 10 business day passport pickup service to 13, including in my home community of Orleans. It also allows applicants to keep their personal documents and not have to mail them in.
Across the country we are continuing to improve services, and we are continuing—