Response to parliamentary committees
From February 14 to December 3, 2012, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration held hearings in support of its study "Standing on Guard for Thee: Ensuring that Canada's Immigration System is Secure". The purpose of the study was to examine Canada's immigration system, what gaps existed, and provide recommendations to the Government as to what further actions should be taken to improve the security of the immigration system. The Committee reviewed three bills relevant to the study: Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act; Bill C-43, the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act; and Division 16, Part 4 of Bill C-45, the second Budget Implementation Act. As part of the study, the Committee also travelled to Vancouver, Montréal and Toronto to see the operations and conditions of the CBSA's Immigration Holding Centres (IHCs) and one provincial correctional facility (Rivière-des-Prairies) which houses detainees.
The Committee presented its final report on the study to the House of Commons on March 18, 2013, which included a list of twenty-seven (27) recommendations for several federal organizations, including the CBSA. The Committee's recommendations ranged from implementing an exit control system for visitors to improving information and intelligence sharing to the collection of biometric information. The Government of Canada Response to this study was presented to Parliament on June 17, 2013.
The Government of Canada responded that, while it has made great strides to renew both the facilitative and security components of Canada's immigration system in recent years, it recognizes that gaps remain, and acknowledged the important recommendations put forth in the Committee's Report. The Government articulated its ongoing vision for the security of Canada's immigration system, while addressing the totality of issues raised in the Report which fall under the following four broad themes:
- Safeguarding the integrity of our immigration and border management processes, in which the Government noted that it was working toward the establishment of an Entry-Exit Information System as one of the commitments under the Canada-United States Beyond the Border Action Plan. The Government further agreed that the systematic and comprehensive recording of biographical information of visitors who arrive in, and depart from, Canada will contribute significantly to the integrity of Canada's immigration and border management programs.
- Enhancing information sharing to support effective immigration screening, in which the Government acknowledged that ensuring an efficient flow of information is crucial to an effective immigration security screening program. With respect to information sharing among federal partners, the Government further supported these efforts in accordance with existing laws and authorities, and committed to continuing to build on collaborative efforts over the last several years to enhance this essential component of public safety and national security.
- Facilitating legitimate travel while enhancing the health, safety, and security of Canadians, in which the Government welcomed the recommendations put forward by the Committee on medical screening, war crimes, and security screening, and highlighted the "Wanted by the CBSA" program as a successful initiative that not only generated significant public interest but has also resulted in the successful location, apprehension of 58 individuals and removal of 49 individuals, as of September 15, 2014.
- Maintaining a fair detention and removal system while protecting national security and public safety, in which the Government reiterated its commitment to ensuring a fair and consistent process. A key aspect of the CBSA mandate under Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is the ability to detain and remove individuals who do not have lawful status in Canada, as a vital contribution to the safety and security of the Canadian public and to maintaining the integrity of the immigration system. The CBSA is dedicated to ensuring that individuals applying to enter Canada are treated fairly and equitably throughout the immigration process. As such, the Government acknowledges and has responded to the Committee's recommendations on these specific enforcement issues.
The Report can be viewed through the following link: Report 7 - Standing on Guard for Thee: Ensuring that Canada's Immigration System is Secure
The Response can be viewed through the following link: Seventh Report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, "Standing on Guard for Thee: Ensuring that Canada's Immigration System is Secure"
Response to the Auditor General (including to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)
- Chapter 8—Spending on the Public Security and Anti-Terrorism Initiative (Spring 2013)
The audit examined whether reporting of funds was accurate and whether programs were consistent with the objectives of the Initiative. The Office of the Auditor General also examined how the Secretariat reported to the Treasury Board its analyses of the data submitted by departments.
- Chapter 5—Preventing Illegal Entry Into Canada (Fall 2013) – CBSA Statement in Response
The audit examined whether selected systems and practices prevent the illegal entry of people into Canada. This included how the government makes decisions about where and how to invest its resources to prevent people from entering illegally.
- Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (Fall 2013)
The purpose of this annual report is to inform Parliament and Canadians about the number, nature, and status of petitions and responses received between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013, as required by section 23 of the Auditor General Act.
- Petition No. 344 - Environmental risks related to the proposed increase in oil tanker traffic in the waters near Kitimat, British Columbia (Minister's Response: Canada Border Services Agency - April 2013)
The petitioner is concerned about the potential environmental risks associated with the proposed increase in oil tanker traffic in the waters near Kitimat, British Columbia. These risks include the condition of oil tankers, crew certification and operating procedures, and weather conditions in the area. The petitioner asks about the government's ship inspection standards, procedures, and enforcement activities. The petitioner also requests information on the government's emergency response preparedness in case of oil spills due to equipment failures and accidents.
External audits conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
- Public Service Commission of Canada – N/A
- Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages – N/A
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