Updated IRCC ministerial mandate letter

While the bulk of the letter consists of standard government-wide priorities, the specific ones for IRCC Minister Mendicino are below.

No sign of recognizing the reality that 2021 levels are unlikely to be met given ongoing COVID waves and related travel restrictions, making the “modest and responsible” increases in the previous mandate letter increasingly out of date:

In addition to the priorities set out in my mandate letter to you in 2019, as Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, you will implement on a priority basis the following commitments, as set out in the Speech from the Throne 2020 and building off the investments in the Fall Economic Statement 2020.

  • Continue to bring newcomers to Canada safely to drive economic growth and recovery, as recently set out in the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, including by:
    • Expanding pilot programming to welcome skilled refugees through economic immigration streams;
    • Continuing to support expedited family reunification; and
    • Continuing work on sectoral and regional pilot programs.
  • Continue to implement measures that create pathways to permanent residency for those who have provided health care in long-term care homes or medical facilities or performed other essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Continue working with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Health to protect the health and safety of Canadians through safe, responsible and compassionate management of the border with the United States and other ports of entry into Canada.
  • Continue exploring pathways to permanent residency and citizenship for temporary foreign workers.
  • Support the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion to continue to fully support and protect workers who are vulnerable to COVID-19 and secure labour to fill workforce gaps in farming and food processing.
  • Continue working with provinces and territories to support high-quality settlement services and facilitate the successful settlement and integration of new Canadians. This includes continuing to support French-language training, while respecting provincial jurisdiction and complementing existing measures, supported by the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.
  • Support the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to implement recommendations and lessons learned from the report of the Special Advisor for Canada’s ongoing response to the Ukraine International Airlines tragedy, including commemorating the lives of the victims and supporting their families, pursuing truth and accountability from Iran, and preventing future disasters through the Safer Skies Initiative.

Source: https://pm.gc.ca/en/mandate-letters/2021/01/15/minister-immigration-refugees-and-citizenship-supplementary-mandate

For handy reference, the 2019 commitments are below:

I will expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory and Cabinet processes to deliver on your top priorities. In particular, you will:

  • Ensure the effective implementation of Canada’s increased annual Immigration Levels Plan for 2020-2022, attracting more than a million new permanent residents to Canada over that time. This continues our modest and responsible increases to immigration, with a focus on welcoming highly skilled people who can help build a stronger Canada.
  • Advance the full implementation of the new professional governance regime for immigration and citizenship consultants under the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act, bringing strengthened government oversight and new compliance and enforcement tools into effect.
  • Work with the provinces and territories to ensure a renewed focus on the delivery of high-quality settlement services to ensure the successful settlement and integration of new Canadians. This will require a rigorous approach to data in order to accurately measure outcomes.
  • Work on reducing application processing times, improving the department’s service delivery and client services to make them timelier and less complicated, and enhancing system efficiency, including in the asylum system.
  • Complete the legislative work on changes to the Canadian Oath of Citizenship to reflect the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
  • Introduce a dedicated refugee stream to provide safe haven for human rights advocates, journalists and humanitarian workers at risk, with a target of helping resettle as many as 250 people a year.
  • Introduce a Municipal Nominee Program that will allow local communities, chambers of commerce and local labour councils to directly sponsor permanent immigrants. At least 5,000 new spaces will be dedicated for this program.
  • You will also take the steps required to make the Atlantic Immigration Pilot permanent. At least 5,000 new spaces will be dedicated for this program.
  • Bring forward a plan to eliminate fees for citizenship for those who have fulfilled the requirements needed to obtain it.
  • Support the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness on irregular migration, including the new Border Enforcement Strategy and continued work with the United States to modernize the Safe Third Country Agreement.
  • With the support of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development and the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, work to implement pilot programing to encourage more newcomers to settle in rural Canada.
  • Work with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to continue to advance reforms and investments in the capacity of the asylum system to ensure it is efficient while meeting Canada’s international legal obligations.

These priorities draw heavily from our election platform commitments. As mentioned, you are encouraged to seek opportunities to work across Parliament in the fulfillment of these commitments and to identify additional priorities.

Source: https://pm.gc.ca/en/mandate-letters/2019/12/13/minister-immigration-refugees-and-citizenship-mandate-letter

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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