Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement
- 1.1 This Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the “Agreement”) is between Her Majesty The Queen in right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (hereinafter referred to as “Canada”) and Her Majesty The Queen in right of the province of British Columbia, as represented by the Minister of Municipal Affairs (hereinafter referred to as “British Columbia”).
- 1.2 Whereas section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867 (30 & 31 Victoria, c. 3 (U.K.)) recognizes the concurrent powers of legislation of the federal and provincial governments in immigration matters.
- 1.3 And whereas the Parliament of Canada has enacted the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c.27, (hereinafter referred to as the “IRPA”).
- 1.4 And whereas the Parliament of Canada has enacted the Citizenship Act, R.S. 1985, C- 29.
- 1.5 And whereas the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, enacted as Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982, (U.K.) 1982, c.11, establishes:
- certain mobility rights to citizens and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada and guarantees equal protection and equal benefit of the law to everyone without discrimination; and
- the equality of status of English and French as the official languages of Canada, and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and Government of Canada.
- 1.6 And whereas the Parliament of Canada has enacted the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, R.S.C., 1985, c.24 (4th Supp.).
- 1.7 And whereas subsection 8(1) of the IRPA and subsection 5(1) of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, S.C. 1994, c.31, (hereinafter referred to as the “DCIA”), authorize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (hereinafter referred to as the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship), with the approval of the
Governor in Council, to enter into agreements with provinces for the purposes of the IRPA, and for the purposes of facilitating the formulation, coordination and implementation - including the collection, use and disclosure of information - of policies and programs for which the Minister is responsible.
- 1.8 And whereas section 5, sub-paragraph (a)(i) of the Ministry of International Business and Immigration Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c.304, authorizes the Minister responsible for that Act, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, to enter into an agreement with the Government of Canada relating to immigration matters.
- 1.9 And whereas British Columbia recognizes the objectives of the IRPA to, among other things:
- support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy in which the benefits of immigration are shared across all regions of Canada;
- promote the successful integration of Permanent Residents into Canada, while recognizing that integration involves mutual obligations for new Immigrants and Canadian society;
- enrich and strengthen the cultural and social fabric of Canadian society, while respecting the federal, bilingual and multicultural character of Canada; and
- support and assist the development of Minority Official Languages Communities in Canada.
- 1.10 And whereas British Columbia recognizes the objectives of part VII of the Official Languages Act to:
- enhance the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and support and assist their development; and
- foster the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.
- 1.11 And whereas Canada recognizes the goals of British Columbia to foster the integration and full participation of residents in the society of British Columbia, as reflected in the Multiculturalism Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 321.
- 1.12 And whereas Canada recognizes the role of British Columbia in administering the Provincial Nominee Program in the province, including the obligation to carry out inspections and protect the integrity of the program under the Provincial Immigration Programs Act, S.B.C. 2015, c 37.
- 1.13 And whereas Canada recognizes the goal of British Columbia to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation as reflected in the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, S.B.C. 2018, c.35.
- 1.14 And whereas Canada and British Columbia recognize the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples as per the Constitution Act (section 35) and the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, S.B.C. 2019, c 44.
- 1.15 And whereas Canada and British Columbia recognize that the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Strategic Plan for Immigration sets the strategic direction for what Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments seek to collectively achieve through immigration.
- 1.16 And whereas Canada and British Columbia wish to maintain an agreement with regard to cooperation on immigration matters to enable British Columbia to maximize the economic and cultural benefits of immigration.
- 1.17 And whereas Canada and British Columbia share a mutual interest in:
- minimizing costs, increasing program effectiveness and reducing unnecessary overlap and duplication;
- ensuring residents of British Columbia are aware of the benefits of immigration;
- working together to build a culturally diverse, respectful, inclusive, socially cohesive society and to ensure that smaller communities throughout the province of British Columbia can benefit from immigration;
- planning and coordinating their immigration activities, based on cooperation, consultation and information sharing;
- immigrants having the earliest opportunity to fully utilize their skills within the labour market;
- attracting international students to Canada;
- aligning programs and policies whereby Immigrants and temporary foreign workers contribute to the development of the provincial labour force, recognizing that British Columbia is best positioned to determine the economic and labour market needs of the province; and
- working with all partners, including the not-for-profit sector, to enable immigrants to settle and integrate in British Columbia.
Therefore Canada and British Columbia agree to the following:
- 2.1 Definitions from the IRPA and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations
For the purposes of this Agreement:
- words used in this Agreement which are defined in the IRPA or in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (hereinafter referred to as the "IRPR"), have the same meaning as in the IRPA or the IRPR;
- a reference to the IRPA or the IRPR is a reference to the Act or the Regulations, as amended from time to time; and
- where a definition given in this Agreement is inconsistent with a definition given in the IRPA or the IRPR, the definition in the IRPA or the IRPR will prevail.
- 2.2 Definitions in this Agreement
For the purposes of this Agreement:
- “Agreement” means these General Provisions and all Annexes attached hereto as may be amended from time to time;
- “Convention Refugee” is a person defined under section 96 of the IRPA;
- “Designated Representatives” are the primary contacts for both Canada and British Columbia who are responsible for the interpretation, inquiries, and requests for amendments to this Agreement;
- “Dispute” means a conflict or disagreement between the Parties respecting:
- the interpretation, application, or implementation of this Agreement, or the IRPA or IRPR as they relate to this Agreement; or
- a breach or anticipated breach of this Agreement;
- “Focal Points” mean the primary contacts for the Parties responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Annexes under this Agreement; this includes the interpretation, inquiries, and requests for amendments of the Annexes, addressing any issues that arise, and compliance with the provisions of the Annexes;
- “French-Speaking Immigrant” means an Immigrant for whom French is the first Canadian official language of usage;
- “Immigrant” means a Permanent Resident, including Convention Refugees abroad and humanitarian-protected persons abroad resettled to Canada, and protected persons in Canada;
- “Local Government” means the council of a municipality or the board of a regional district;
- “Minority Official Languages Communities” means French-speaking communities in British Columbia;
- “Party” means Canada or British Columbia and “Parties” means Canada and British Columbia;
- “Persons in Urgent Need of Protection” means, in respect of members of the Convention Refugee abroad or the country of asylum class, that their life, liberty or physical safety is under immediate threat and, if not protected, the persons are likely to be: killed; subjected to violence, torture, sexual assault or arbitrary imprisonment; or returned to their country of nationality or their former habitual residence;
- “Processing Pause” means that Provincial Nominee certificates and/or applications related to those certificates under Dispute will no longer be accepted by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and returned; and that processing will cease on those Provincial Nominee applications under Dispute until the Dispute is resolved;
- “Provincial Nominee” means a person who is a member of the Provincial Nominee class pursuant to Subsection 87(2) of the IRPR;
- “Provincial Nominee Program” means a program for provincial nominations as per agreements entered into pursuant to subsection 8(1) of the IRPA and subsection 5(1) of the DCIA;
- "Refugee" means a protected person under the IRPA;
- “Resettlement Assistance” means services to support the immediate and essential needs of Specified Humanitarian Persons Resettled from Abroad;
- “Special Needs Persons” means persons who have a greater need for settlement and integration services than other Refugees owing to personal circumstances, including: family size and composition; trauma resulting from violence or torture; medical conditions; and/or the effects of systemic discrimination;
- “Specified Humanitarian Persons Resettled from Abroad” means persons selected by Canada abroad and identified as requiring government assistance, persons who are admitted to Canada through blended initiatives such as the Joint Assistance Program, or other initiatives where Canada and private sector or non-governmental sponsoring groups share in the provision of income support and immediate essential services;
- "Temporary Resident" means a temporary foreign worker, an international student, or a visitor; and
- “Vulnerable Persons” means, in respect of Convention Refugees or persons in similar circumstances, that the persons have a greater need of protection than other applicants for protection abroad because of their particular circumstances that give rise to a heightened risk to their physical safety.
3.0 Purpose and Objectives
- 3.1 Purpose
- 3.1.1 The purpose of this Agreement is to further strengthen the long-term partnership between the Parties with respect to immigration. It defines the respective roles and responsibilities of the Parties relating to Immigrants and Temporary Residents under the IRPA.
- 3.2 Objectives
- 3.2.1 The objectives of this Agreement are, while respecting the jurisdiction of each Party, to:
- foster collaboration between the Parties with respect to policy, including selection policy, planning, and program development related to attracting and welcoming Immigrants and Temporary Residents to British Columbia;
- maintain and enhance a positive relationship between Canada and British Columbia related to the appropriate level and composition of Immigrants to the Province, including for the promotion, recruitment, selection and admission of Immigrants and Temporary Residents, and the settlement and integration of Immigrants to British Columbia;
- respond to British Columbia’s current and emerging economic development, social, and labour market priorities through bilateral discussions on immigration policies and programs, recognizing the role of immigration in supporting the economic development of communities in British Columbia, and to ensure smaller communities throughout the province of British Columbia can benefit from immigration;
- support the successful settlement and economic and social integration of Immigrants, including Refugees, in British Columbia through programs supported by appropriate, fair, equitable, predictable and ongoing provincial and federal funding;
- support Canada’s humanitarian objectives through collaboration on issues impacting Specified Humanitarian Groups Resettled from Abroad in British Columbia;
- facilitate collaboration in the development and implementation of strategies to address barriers to foreign qualification recognition and integration of Immigrants into the labour market;
- ensure the effectiveness and integrity of the Immigration and Temporary Resident programs of Canada and British Columbia through enhanced cooperation in information sharing and through the respective monitoring and reporting processes of the Parties; and
- facilitate good governance in relation to this Agreement through the establishment of effective mechanisms for bilateral collaboration as outlined in section 12.1.
- 3.2.1 The objectives of this Agreement are, while respecting the jurisdiction of each Party, to:
- 3.3 Annexes
- 3.3.1 Together with the General Provisions, the following Annexes form part of this Agreement:
- Annex A – Provincial Nominees;
- Annex B – Foreign Workers;
- Annex C – International Students; and
- Annex D – Information Sharing.
- 3.3.2 The Parties agree to negotiate, in good faith and in a timely fashion, additional Annexes to this Agreement or updates to existing Annexes that reflect the broad objectives of this Agreement.
- 3.3.1 Together with the General Provisions, the following Annexes form part of this Agreement:
4.0 Immigration Planning and Programs
- 4.1 Canada will establish national immigration policies and develop an annual immigration levels plan in consultation with British Columbia and other provinces and territories, taking into consideration any joint federal-provincial-territorial approaches to immigration levels planning, and British Columbia’s immigration planning, including its economic and demographic objectives.
- 4.2 In developing its annual delivery plan for Canada’s immigration levels plan, Canada will consult and take into consideration:
- British Columbia’s requests for Provincial Nominees and Canada’s annual targets for government-assisted Refugees as they relate to British Columbia; and
- British Columbia’s objectives and requests for all classes of Permanent and Temporary Residents, where applicable, including improving economic immigration.
- 4.3 Each year, following federal Cabinet approval of the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, Canada will confirm British Columbia's nomination allocation for the following calendar year.
- 4.4 Canada will make all reasonable efforts to proactively manage the delivery of the immigration program to achieve the labour market needs of British Columbia’s annual Provincial Nominee Program allocation request, if that request is provided to Canada by British Columbia, bearing in mind federal priorities.
- 4.5 Canada will cooperate with British Columbia to provide opportunities to provincial staff for training, taking into account cost and resource constraints of either Party and, if required, negotiating cost-sharing approaches.
- 4.6 British Columbia will plan to receive a share of Refugees to be resettled in the province recognizing the need for flexibility in responding to emerging humanitarian needs.
Through collaboration with Canada, British Columbia agrees to receive a proportion of Refugees who are:
- Special Needs Persons;
- Vulnerable Persons; or
- Persons in Urgent Need of Protection.
- 4.7 In assigning a share of Refugees to British Columbia, Canada agrees to:
- take into account the potential financial and program impact on British Columbia, the large proportion of Refugees resettled in British Columbia, the longer-term settlement needs of Persons in Urgent Need of Protection, and Vulnerable and Special Needs Persons to be settled in British Columbia;
- provide notice of arrival as early as possible, ensure arrivals are spread throughout the year where practical, and work with British Columbia to coordinate communications with the community and stakeholders; and
- consider additional supports, for example the number and location of resettlement providers that may be needed, subject to federal Cabinet approval if required.
5.0 French-Speaking Immigration
- 5.1 The Parties will take into account the settlement and integration needs of French-Speaking Immigrants in establishing priorities and developing services relevant to this Agreement. More specifically, the Parties will collaborate to enhance the vitality of Minority Official Languages Communities through:
- promotion and recruitment strategies that are intended to increase the number of French-Speaking Immigrants; and
- strengthening settlement and integration supports for French-Speaking Immigrants, thereby improving the capacity of Minority Official Language Communities to receive French-Speaking Immigrants and facilitating the economic, social and cultural integration of French-Speaking Immigrants into Canadian society.
- 5.2 The Parties agree to consult with Minority Official Languages Communities in British Columbia with respect to immigration matters in areas that include, but are not limited to, recruitment activities and the planning and delivery of settlement and integration services.
6.0 Consultations and Local Government
- 6.1 Consultation
- 6.1.1 The Parties agree that consultation is necessary to help both Parties address their needs and objectives related to immigration.
- 6.1.2 The Parties will consult each other during the development of policies, legislation, programs or initiatives which could have a significant impact, fiscal or otherwise, on the operation of this Agreement, on British Columbia’s immigration-related plans and priorities, or on Canada’s immigration system. This includes, but is not limited to: Canada’s immigration policy and immigration projections; and identified issues in shared immigration planning, information sharing and bilateral international arrangements. Where applicable, British Columbia will consult with Canada on changes proposed by British Columbia and the conformity of these changes with provisions of the IRPA and the IRPR.
- 6.1.3 British Columbia agrees to consult with Minority Official Languages Communities with respect to immigration matters in areas which include, but are not limited to, recruitment activities and the planning and delivery of settlement and integration services.
- 6.1.4 British Columbia will participate in multilateral consultation processes associated with developing or promoting national immigration initiatives.
- 6.1.5 The Parties will consult on the development and implementation of national measures to regulate immigration representatives. Canada recognizes British Columbia’s right to develop and implement its own measures consistent with provincial jurisdiction and federal legislation.
- 6.2 Local Government
- 6.2.1 The Parties agree to cooperate to work with Local Governments in British Columbia to explore issues related to their respective interests in immigration and pursue opportunities related to communities’ interests in immigration.
7.0 Promotion and Recruitment
- 7.1 The Parties will share roles and responsibilities in the planning and implementation of immigration promotion and Immigrant recruitment activities abroad, recognizing Canada’s responsibility for coordinating such activities on a national level and British Columbia’s interest in immigration to meet its economic and cultural objectives, including improving economic immigration outcomes.
- 7.2 The Parties agree, subject to resource constraints, to cooperate in promotion and recruitment initiatives to attract and recruit Immigrants and Temporary Residents, including Provincial Nominees and temporary foreign workers, by working together in the following areas:
- British Columbia will provide Canada with British Columbia’s annual Provincial Nominee Program plan and objectives;
- Canada will ensure that Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada offices abroad are informed about British Columbia’s plan and objectives;
- British Columbia will also endeavour to provide Canada with information regarding the province’s demographic, educational, labour market and other needs; and
- Canada will endeavour to provide information to British Columbia about optimal recruitment opportunities through Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada offices abroad in order to meet British Columbia’s immigration needs.
- 7.3 As agreed upon by both Parties, subject to operational and resource constraints, Canada will endeavour to assist with improving economic immigration to British Columbia. This may include but is not limited to:
- providing information to potential applicants in permanent and temporary streams through Canada’s immigration-related websites, in order to direct them to visit the British Columbia-maintained website;
- displaying Government of British Columbia promotional material provided by British Columbia, where practical, at selected Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada offices abroad;
- supporting provincially initiated missions to attract Immigrants within the limits of mission resources;
- inviting British Columbia to participate in promotional activities with Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Immigration staff abroad to communicate the province’s specific needs and opportunities; and
- assisting British Columbia in identifying overseas labour market and demographic information as available, to assist in niche market recruitment.
- 7.4 Canada agrees to make efforts, where possible, to assist British Columbia to identify prospective Immigrants and Temporary Residents to fulfill British Columbia’s objectives in its labour market strategy and Provincial Nominee Program plan, as agreed upon by both Parties, subject to operational and resource constraints.
- 7.5 British Columbia may enter into agreements with third parties for the purposes of promotion and recruitment and in so doing will:
- require other parties to respect the terms and conditions of this Agreement; and
- advise Canada of such agreements.
- 7.6 Subject to section 7.5, this Agreement does not preclude either Party from undertaking promotion and recruitment activities independently.
- 7.7 Any agreements pursued by British Columbia with other parties, and that result in proposed policy changes that would have a material effect on this Agreement, will require further consultations with the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship before implementation.
8.0 Selection and Inadmissibility
- 8.1 British Columbia recognizes that, in accordance with the IRPA and the IRPR, Canada has responsibility for:
- determining federal objectives relating to immigration;
- establishing selection criteria and selecting foreign nationals, taking into account the role of British Columbia in nominating Provincial Nominees;
- determining Refugee status;
- prescribing classes of Permanent Residents and Temporary Residents;
- defining and determining which persons are inadmissible to Canada; and
- imposing conditions in respect to requiring individuals to report for a medical examination, surveillance or treatment.
- 8.2 British Columbia will be responsible for providing evidence of compliance with the conditions imposed by Canada in section 8.1(f), as set out in the separate Memorandum of Understanding between Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Health.
- 8.3. British Columbia’s authority to nominate Provincial Nominees is established under Annex A of this Agreement.
- 8.4 British Columbia will be consulted and have the opportunity to provide input on selection policies, taking into account the specific goals of and unique conditions in the province, including improving economic immigration, as well as taking into account the need to maintain national standards, and resource constraints of Canada.
- 8.5 British Columbia will be responsible for the assessment and nomination of Provincial Nominees. Canada will respect the nomination decision of British Columbia insofar as nominations are consistent with the IRPA, the IRPR, or any successor legislation and regulations, national immigration policy, the terms of this Agreement, and the eligibility criteria set out by British Columbia.
- 8.6 Canada will consult with British Columbia in cases where an application has been made for a visitor visa where the applicant is coming to Canada for the distinct purpose of receiving medical care and where the applicant will be potentially assessed as medically inadmissible to Canada.
- 8.7 Canada has the sole authority to decide whether persons who are determined to be medically inadmissible should be permitted to come into Canada and may issue a Temporary Resident permit where an officer determines it is justified.
- 8.8 Canada will consult with British Columbia on medically inadmissible cases destined for British Columbia in instances where Canada is considering issuance of a Temporary Resident permit. British Columbia will have the option of, at its discretion, making recommendations on whether these cases should be permitted to enter Canada.
- 8.9 With written notice, British Columbia may waive its right to be consulted for specified groups of medically inadmissible cases.
9.0 Settlement, Integration and Refugee Resettlement
- 9.1 The Parties are committed to facilitating the full participation of Immigrants and Refugees in the economic, social, cultural and civic spheres of Canadian society.
- 9.2 The Parties recognize the essential role of settlement services in supporting strong outcomes for newcomers and the importance that federal and provincial funding for settlement services be aligned with the Levels Plan and sufficient to address the needs of newcomers in British Columbia.
- 9.3 Canada and British Columbia are committed to renewing the current Canada-British Columbia Settlement Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) after its expiry. The purpose of this MOU or any successor agreement is to further strengthen the established partnership between Canada and British Columbia and to establish a framework for working collaboratively on the planning, design and delivery of settlement and integration services for newcomers.
- 9.4 Canada will work with British Columbia to support better recognition of the foreign qualifications, skills, education and work experience of Permanent Residents and their more rapid integration into the labour market.
- 9.5 The Parties will coordinate their efforts to support the successful settlement and integration of Refugees, particularly with regard to reception, health, education and social services.
- 9.6 Canada will collaborate and consult with British Columbia regarding the allocation and integration of Refugees to the Province, particularly government-assisted Refugees, taking into consideration all British Columbia communities with the capacity to settle Refugees.
- 9.7 The Parties commit to cooperation in information sharing with respect to Refugee claimants in British Columbia. In monitoring Refugee claimant arrivals, Canada agrees to take into account the potential financial and program impact on British Columbia.
- 10.1 The Parties recognize the importance of an inclusive, diverse and cohesive society which may be advanced through multiculturalism.
- 11.1 The Parties will work together to promote full participation of Immigrants in British Columbia communities and Canadian society, respecting Canada’s jurisdiction over citizenship matters and Canada’s responsibility for determining statutory requirements related to obtaining Canadian citizenship under the Citizenship Act.
- 12.1 Governance
- 12.1.1 The Agreement Management Committee (AMC), with two Co-Chairs, the Assistant Deputy Minister, British Columbia Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and the Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or their designates where mutually agreed upon, will be established to oversee implementation of this Agreement. Other members of the AMC may include, upon agreement of the Parties, Local, Regional and National Headquarters Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada officials; and, as appropriate, representatives of other federal departments and provincial ministries responsible for programs and services related to immigration.
- 12.1.2 The AMC will oversee the implementation of this Agreement, including discussion and exchange of information, Dispute management and resolution, managing collaborative programs, and making decisions or recommendations, as appropriate, on matters pertaining to this Agreement. The AMC is the forum for raising new immigration issues not addressed in this Agreement.
- 12.1.3 The AMC will meet face-to-face or by teleconference at least once annually.
- 12.1.4 The AMC may establish bilateral ad hoc groups or sub-committees, with third party participation if appropriate, for the purpose of implementing this Agreement.
- 12.2 Multilateral Forums
- 12.2.1 Nothing in this Agreement is intended to preclude the Parties from fully participating in multilateral forums. Decisions made in the multilateral forums will not supersede the terms agreed upon in this Agreement. Both Parties agree to make best efforts to make them complementary.
- 12.3 Dispute Management and Resolution Process
- 12.3.1 The Parties are committed to working together to implement this Agreement. Under this Agreement, both Parties contribute with their respective policies, programs, capacity, and expertise and recognize and respect each other’s different roles and responsibilities as set out under this Agreement.
- 12.3.2 In the case of a Dispute under this Agreement, the Designated Representatives will attempt to resolve the matter through information sharing, communications and informal discussions.
- 12.3.3 In the event that the Designated Representatives are unable to resolve the Dispute expeditiously, it will be referred to the AMC Co-Chairs, accompanied by relevant facts and steps taken to reach resolution. Such procedures will provide equal opportunities for representation by each Party, establish clear time limits, and ensure clarity for the implementation of final decisions. Further, in the event resolution is not reached within thirty (30) days of being raised with the AMC Co-Chairs, the Parties will jointly determine next steps.
- 12.3.4 Either Party may refer the matter to the Deputy Ministers by providing him/her with a written notice.
- 12.3.5 Both Parties will exchange relevant information and engage in bilateral discussions in an attempt to clarify and resolve the Dispute. Deputy Ministers will:
- provide equal opportunities for representation by each Party;
- attempt to resolve Disputes within thirty (30) days; and
- ensure clarity for the implementation of final decisions.
- 12.3.6 Should the Dispute be resolved, Deputy Ministers will oversee drafting of a short report identifying the issues that have been resolved, specific actions and timelines required to implement the resolution.
- 12.3.7 If Deputy Ministers are unable to resolve the Dispute within thirty (30) days from the date of its referral to them, they will determine the appropriate course of action for its resolution, including elevating the Dispute to Ministers.
- 12.3.8 Ministers will provide advice and direction to their officials on an appropriate course of action to resolve the Dispute.
- 12.3.9 This Dispute management process shall not in any way limit the final authority of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada respecting decisions to interpret and administer the IRPA or the IRPR.
- 12.4 Information Sharing
- 12.4.1 The Parties have a mutual interest in:
- sharing information in order to meet the needs of Immigrants, including prospective Immigrants and Temporary Residents;
- maintaining information sharing mechanisms in accordance with Annex D to this Agreement;
- research and information sharing;
- ensuring policies and programs are informed by research, statistical reports and analysis of mutual interest; and
- supporting policies, strategies and program development through information sharing.
- 12.4.2 To facilitate the implementation of the activities of this Agreement, the Parties agree to exchange information as permitted by applicable laws, policies, instructions, and agreements governing the collection, retention, protection, use, exchange, disposal, and disclosure of information, in accordance with Annex D to this Agreement.
- 12.4.3 Canada acknowledges British Columbia’s request to require that any sharing of personal information between British Columbia and Canada, and the conditions for the use of personal information, be agreed to in an information sharing agreement.
- 12.4.4 Nothing in this Agreement is intended to restrict the ability of the Parties to enter into other agreements or arrangements related to the sharing of information that does not take place pursuant to this Agreement.
- 12.4.5 The Parties agree to inform each other in a timely manner of any immigration related information sharing and research agreements, formal arrangements or formal negotiations they enter into with government departments or ministries, municipalities and other parties concerned under British Columbia’s jurisdiction where such immigration related information sharing, agreements, arrangements or negotiations may impact the implementation of this Agreement.
- 12.4.6 The Parties agree to promote immigration research, to consult annually on research priorities and planned research activities, and to cooperate on common research initiatives as appropriate.
- 12.4.1 The Parties have a mutual interest in:
- 12.5 Program Integrity
- 12.5.1 The Parties will ensure the integrity of their respective programs, including but not limited to activities such as:
- sharing information and intelligence related to program developments overseas and within Canada, including immigration trends and analysis;
- conducting and disseminating research, and identifying knowledge gaps related to immigration priorities;
- establishing mutual reporting arrangements;
- working collaboratively with other agencies, as required, to address issues relating to inadmissibility, including anti-fraud activities;
- investigating potential program abuse to ensure ongoing rigour and confidence in the immigration program; and
- conducting program evaluations.
- 12.5.2 The Parties recognize the importance of evaluating the programs, policies and initiatives that are implemented under this Agreement in order to design, or improve the design, of policies, programs and initiatives, and to assess policy or program relevance and effectiveness, impacts both intended and unintended, and alternative ways of achieving expected results.
- 12.5.3 Annex A establishes the evaluation and audit requirements specific to the program discussed in the Annex and the corresponding accountabilities of the Parties.
- 12.5.4 In addition to the requirements specified in Annex A, the Parties agree to:
- exchange, on an annual basis, evaluation plans that outline the planned evaluations for activities under this Agreement;
- exchange, when developed or updated, evaluation frameworks/performance measurement strategies for activities under this Agreement;
- exchange, upon their completion, the reports of all evaluations that pertain to activities under this Agreement; and
- participate in national evaluations upon the agreement of both Parties.
- 12.5.1 The Parties will ensure the integrity of their respective programs, including but not limited to activities such as:
- 12.6 Communication
- 12.6.1 The Parties agree that Canadians have a right to transparency and public accountability, which is facilitated through the provision of full information about the benefits of this Agreement.
- 12.6.2 Any announcement related to activities jointly undertaken by the Parties will ensure that communications material reflects the graphic guidelines of both orders of government (including the word mark for the Government of Canada) and be available in both of Canada’s official languages. Canada will assume responsibility for translation of joint communications products.
- 12.7 Term and Amendments
- 12.7.1 The French and English language versions of this Agreement are equally authoritative.
- 12.7.2 The Parties agree to review the effectiveness of this Agreement no later than twelve (12) months prior to expiry.
- 12.7.3 Upon mutual consent of both Parties in writing, the term of this Agreement can be extended at any time prior to its expiry, subject to any required approval or authorization including the approval of the Governor in Council for Canada and the Lieutenant Governor in Council for British Columbia.
- 12.7.4 This Agreement may be amended by the mutual written consent of the Parties, subject to any required approval or authorization including the approval of the Governor in Council for Canada and the Lieutenant Governor in Council for British Columbia.
- 12.7.5 Either Party may terminate this Agreement at any time by providing at least twelve (12) months notice in writing to the other Party. Upon notice of termination, the AMC will negotiate a transition strategy.
- 12.7.6 Specific arrangements for duration, amendments and termination as detailed in any Annex to this Agreement take precedence over sections 12.7.3, 12.7.4, 12.7.5 and 12.7.10. The termination of an Annex to this Agreement does not affect the continuation of the General Provisions. Similarly, the termination of the General Provisions does not affect the continuation of an Annex and all provisions of this Agreement necessary to give full force and effect to the intent that the Annexes will survive termination of this Agreement where that Annex is not also terminated.
- 12.7.7 In keeping with the purpose and objectives of this Agreement, Canada will be open and transparent concerning agreements reached with other provinces and territories respecting immigration. Upon request by British Columbia, Canada will negotiate amendments to this Agreement in order to afford similar treatment to British Columbia, taking into consideration the different needs and circumstances of British Columbia.
- 12.7.8 The commitments pursuant to this Agreement will not be interpreted by either Party to impose legal, financial or other obligations beyond whatever specific arrangements and conditions are already in operation or are mutually agreed upon.
- 12.7.9 This Agreement may be entered into by each Party signing a separate copy of this Agreement (including a photocopy, facsimile or electronic submission) and delivering it to the other Party, each of which when taken together shall constitute an original Agreement.
- 12.7.10 This Agreement will take effect when signed by the last of the Parties to do so and will be valid for five (5) years.
- 12.7.11 Upon signature of this Agreement by the last of the Parties to this Agreement, the 2015 Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement, is terminated and replaced by this Agreement.
13.1 Any notice to be delivered under this Agreement should be sent to the Party concerned as follows, as well as to the Parties’ Designated Representatives:
Address for notice to Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
Address for notice to British Columbia
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
P.O. Box 9846 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 9T2
13.2 Either Party may, from time to time, change a Designated Representative by giving notice in accordance with this Agreement.
13.3 Any notice, information or document provided for under this Agreement may be delivered or sent by letter, electronic mail or facsimile, postage or other charges prepaid. Any notice that is delivered will be deemed to have been received on delivery; any notice sent by electronic mail or facsimile will be deemed to have been received one working day after having been sent; and any notice mailed will be deemed to have been received eight (8) calendar days after being mailed.
In witness whereof this Agreement has been signed by the Parties on the dates written below.
for the government of canada
The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
For the government of british columbia
The Honourable Josie Osborne
Minister of Municipal Affairs
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: