Archived - Part 3 – Various Measures: Division 4

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Passports

In July 2013 the accountability for the Passport Program was transferred from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Under this transfer, the Minister of Employment and Social Development will support the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration as Service Canada (SC) will serve as the delivery agent for passport services on behalf of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) will continue to provide passport services abroad, working in partnership with CIC and SC.

As a result of this transfer, technical amendments to various Acts are required to firmly establish the Minister of CIC’s legal authority with respect to the delivery of the Passport Program.

The first is a proposed amendment to s.11 of the DFATD Act to replace the Minister of Foreign Affairs with the Minister of CIC, thereby establishing the legal authority to charge a consular fee for the issuance of a travel document.

The second is a proposed amendment to s. 57(5) of the Criminal Code to amend the definition of a passport to one issued by the Minister of CIC as opposed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This would ensure that the government’s ability to bring forward charges under the Criminal Code in relation to forged passports, false statements to obtain a passport and, possession of forged passports or passports obtained by false representation, is not affected. The amendment will also ensure that the offence can be prosecuted for passports previously issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and that the offences will  apply to all passports and travel documents irrespective of their form or supporting system.

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