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Bill S-215

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Second Session, Forty-third Parliament,
69 Elizabeth II, 2020
SENATE OF CANADA
BILL S-215
An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
FIRST READING, October 28, 2020
THE HONOURABLE SENATOR Jaffer
4321917


SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Citizenship Act to provide citizenship for certain persons when they transition out of the care of a child welfare agency or foster parent. It also amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to provide that, in certain circumstances, a removal order cannot be enforced against a person who was not a citizen when they transitioned out of such care.
Available on the Senate of Canada website at the following address:
www.sencanada.ca/en


2nd Session, 43rd Parliament,
69 Elizabeth II, 2020
SENATE OF CANADA
BILL S-215
An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Preamble
Whereas Canada is a State Party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;

Whereas the protection of children and the upholding of children’s rights is a fundamental value in Canadian society;
Whereas the best interests of the child are a primary consideration under domestic and international law in matters affecting children;
Whereas there nonetheless remain significant inconsistencies and gaps in the protection of the rights of children who arrive in Canada as immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers;
Whereas the vulnerability of children in care is compounded if those children also lack the security of citizenship;
Whereas the State acts in loco parentis in respect of children who are in its care, in foster care or under agreements to receive state services to improve their living conditions while not residing with a relative, and therefore has a legal obligation to provide care, guidance, counselling and other services generally expected of parents;
Whereas citizenship is required to ensure that children in care are afforded their fundamental human rights in Canadian society, such as equal access to health care, education and employment;
And whereas citizenship is required to ensure that persons who were in care as children do not face, following their transition out of care, an increased risk of deportation from Canada to states with which they have no connection;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
R.‍S.‍, c. C-29

Citizenship Act

1(1)Subsection 3(1) of the Citizenship Act is amended by adding the following after paragraph (p):
(p.‍1)subject to subsection (1.‍5),
(i)the person was not a citizen on the day before the day on which any of the following circumstances ceases to apply to that person:
(A)the person resided in an institution, a group foster home, the private home of foster parents or the private home of a guardian, tutor or other individual occupying a similar role, under a decree, order or judgment of a competent tribunal, and that person was maintained by
(I)a department or agency of the government of Canada or a province, or
(II)an agency appointed by a province, including an authority established under the laws of a province, or by an agency appointed by such an authority for the purpose of administering any law of the province for the protection and care of children,
(B)the person was maintained by an institution licensed or otherwise authorized under the law of the province to have the custody or care of children, or
(C)the person was provided with services to improve their living conditions when they were not residing with a relative under an agreement made with an agency appointed by a province, including an authority established under the laws of a province or by an agency appointed by such an authority for the purpose of administering any law of the province for the protection and care of children, and
(ii)the person was not returned to the care and custody of their parent when any of the circumstances described in clauses (i)‍(A) to (C) ceased to apply to that person;
(2)Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1.‍4):
Non-application — paragraph (1)‍(p.‍1)
(1.‍5)A person is not a citizen under paragraph (1)‍(p.‍1)
(a)if, in the Minister’s opinion, the operation of that paragraph would result in the person losing the citizenship of another country; and
(b)if the Minister has not, at any time, received written notice from the person that they consent to that loss of citizenship.
2Section 12 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):
Paragraph 3(1)‍(p.‍1)
(1.‍1)In determining if a person is a citizen under paragraph 3(1)‍(p.‍1), the Minister must accept a written statement by the applicant about the existence of any of the circumstances in clauses (A) to (C) as proof of that circumstance unless the Minister establishes on a balance of probabilities that the circumstance did not exist.
2001, c. 27

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

3Section 48 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):
Exception — paragraph 3(1.‍5)‍(a) of the Citizenship Act
(3)Despite subsections (1) and (2), a removal order against a person convicted of a criminal offence who is not a citizen only because of subsection 3(1.‍5) of the Citizenship Act is deemed never to have come into force and is stayed.
Published under authority of the Senate of Canada



explanatory notes

Citizenship Act
Clauses 1 and 2:New.
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Clause 3:New.

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