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Evidence of meeting #40 for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was adoption.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Mickey Sarazin  Director General, Legislative Policy Directorate, Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch, Canada Revenue Agency
Jacques Paquette  Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Income Security and Social Development Branch, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
Louis Beauséjour  Acting Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Skills and Employment Branch, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
Rénald Gilbert  Director General, International Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Odette Johnston  Director, Social Programs Reform Directorate, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Nicole Girard  Director, Legislation and Program Policy, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
François Weldon  Acting Director General, Social Policy, Strategic Policy and Research Branch, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
Peter Dudding  Chief Executive Officer, Child Welfare League of Canada
Will Falk  As an Individual

9:40 a.m.

Director, Legislation and Program Policy, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Nicole Girard

The parents have the option, if they're planning to return to Canada to live, of sponsoring the child for permanent residence in Canada. Once the child becomes a permanent resident in Canada there's no waiting period; they can immediately apply for citizenship.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Is it a quick process to sponsor that child for permanent residence in Canada? How long does it take?

9:40 a.m.

Director, Legislation and Program Policy, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Nicole Girard

Those cases are treated on a priority basis by the department.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Does it take a year?

9:40 a.m.

Director General, International Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Rénald Gilbert

It would probably take much less than a year. The sponsorship process currently takes about 40 days. After the submission of the application it would go. The first priority is for minor children and spouses.

9:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Candice Bergen

Ms. Beaudin, you have the floor.

December 14th, 2010 / 9:40 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

At the risk of having you repeat what you said, I want to check some information. There is the regular immigration process and there is the direct route to citizenship. Bill C-14 facilitated the direct route to citizenship for parents who adopt a child. Is that correct?

I am going back to some of the testimony we heard from parents who were very happy with Bill C-14 in the end and are not opting for the direct route to citizenship.

What is the benefit of going through the regular immigration process? Is this the additional option that they have and that you referred to earlier?

9:40 a.m.

Director General, International Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Rénald Gilbert

There are two or three benefits to going through the immigration process.

9:40 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Yes.

9:40 a.m.

Director General, International Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Rénald Gilbert

The potential benefits include the possibility of passing on citizenship to the second generation.

9:40 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

And there are all the others as well.

You say that the people who choose to go through the regular immigration process—to acquire citizenship through the regular process—can pass on their citizenship to any children they have or adopt abroad.

9:40 a.m.

Director General, International Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

9:40 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

I get the impression that many parents adopting a child take this route. They have told us they often have difficulty obtaining citizenship for their children once they are here.

9:40 a.m.

Director General, International Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Rénald Gilbert

There is no waiting period, as my colleague was saying. It is an issue of time because many requests are received, but there are no... When you say they have difficulty, I am not sure—

9:40 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Do you have any statistics on the number of parents who adopt a child through regular channels?

9:40 a.m.

Director General, International Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Rénald Gilbert

Last year, in 2009, there were 2,100 foreign adoptions.

9:40 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

How many Canadian parents chose applying for citizenship over immigration?

9:40 a.m.

Director General, International Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Rénald Gilbert

There are 1,300 who chose citizenship. As far as immigration is concerned, it is not necessarily a choice. A number of people do not have a choice in part because they are permanent residents and can therefore not transfer citizenship. There are also certain countries that do not allow adoption in their country. The child therefore has to come to Canada and the adoption process has to be completed in Canada. This is true in quite a number of countries.

9:40 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Parents seem to have difficulty obtaining citizenship at times. If they do not get it, they do not have the right of appeal. Is that correct? Can you elaborate on that?

9:40 a.m.

Director General, International Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Rénald Gilbert

I will come back to that again... Are you talking about the immigration process or citizenship?

9:40 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

The immigration process.

9:40 a.m.

Director General, International Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Rénald Gilbert

Under the immigration process, the right of appeal is automatic for all family class cases, including these cases.

9:40 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Okay. And what happens in the case of citizenship?

9:40 a.m.

Director General, International Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Rénald Gilbert

In the case of citizenship, there is recourse to the Federal Court.

9:40 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

In how many cases or situations have children not received their citizenship and are facing possible deportation or difficulties?