ARCHIVED — Vol. 145, No. 42 — October 15, 2011
DEPARTMENT OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
Notice requesting comments on a proposal to require applicants to furnish upfront evidence of language ability showing achievement of at least Canadian Language Benchmark level 4 in speaking and listening with their citizenship application
The Citizenship Act (Act) requires that applicants for an adult grant of citizenship demonstrate that they have an “adequate knowledge of one of the official languages of Canada” (paragraph 5(1)(d) of the Act). Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is inviting written comments from all interested parties on a proposal to amend the Citizenship Regulations (Regulations) which would introduce a requirement for applicants to provide evidence that they meet this legislative requirement when they submit their application for citizenship. This proposed measure would apply to all adult citizenship applicants who must meet the language requirement. Currently, those between the ages of 18 and 54, representing approximately 134 000 applicants per year, must meet the language requirement. All such applicants would be impacted by the proposed requirement and would be asked to provide evidence showing that they have achieved at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 with their citizenship application. The proposal would not increase the language level required for citizenship but would provide citizenship officials and judges with objective evidence of an applicant’s language ability.
The acquisition of citizenship is a significant step in the integration process for newcomers to Canada. Given the vital importance of newcomers’ language abilities in their successful settlement and integration, the Citizenship Act (Act) requires that applicants for an adult grant of citizenship demonstrate that they have an “adequate knowledge of one of the official languages of Canada” (paragraph 5(1)(d) of the Act).
Under the current system, language is largely assessed through a multiple choice written test which also assesses an applicant’s knowledge of Canada and of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship (a separate requirement under paragraph 5(1)(e) of the Act). The written test is an inadequate proxy for assessing language as it does not adequately assess listening and speaking skills, which are the essential language skills for effective communication with fellow Canadians and for effective integration. If an applicant fails the written test, or if concerns about their speaking or listening ability are flagged following oral interactions with a citizenship official, the applicant is referred for an interview with a citizenship judge. This is inefficient for citizenship processing and does not provide good client service as the processing fee has been paid and there can be a substantial time delay between submission of the application and a subsequent hearing for language. Interviews in these cases contribute to processing pressure and application inventories.
This Notice of Intent is to signal an intention to add a regulatory requirement for applicants to include evidence of compliance with the official languages criteria when submitting their application. The objective of the proposed regulations would be to require applicants to meet the language requirement when they file their application, thus strengthening the integration of newcomers by improving language outcomes and encouraging their full participation in Canadian society. This proposed requirement would also make the application process more efficient and reduce administrative burden by enabling CIC to return applications with the complete fee and a letter advising the applicant that they have not submitted satisfactory evidence of compliance with the official languages requirement. Furthermore, requiring evidence of language ability would provide citizenship judges, who are the decision-makers on citizenship applications, with additional objective evidence on which to base their decisions.
Along with the proposal to introduce a regulatory authority to require that evidence of language be submitted with an application, CIC is also proposing a specific amendment to the Regulations to establish clearer language assessment criteria that align with the established CLB 4, which is the current required level for citizenship. The CLBs are the nationally accepted benchmarks to measure the proficiency of adult immigrants in both official languages as a second language. Moreover, clarifying that the language skills required are listening and speaking would enable greater transparency and consistency in language assessment. These proposed changes would not increase the language level required for citizenship.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada proposes to introduce amendments to section 3 of the Regulations to require applicants to furnish evidence of language ability with their citizenship application. Such evidence could include third-party language tests or alternative evidence. Administrative guidelines would provide a list of preferred language tests which are correlated with the Canadian Language Benchmarks, such as tests which are currently accepted for immigration purposes to Canada. Alternative evidence could include completion of secondary or post-secondary education in French or English or achievement of a certain level in a language training course like the federally funded Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC).
It is proposed that tests previously done by the applicant and accepted for other purposes, such as immigration to Canada, would also be considered acceptable for citizenship purposes. It is expected that the majority of citizenship applicants would already have evidence that they could submit with their application. Therefore, the requirement is not anticipated to pose a burden on the majority of applicants who would already have available to them the evidence of complying with the official languages requirement.
It is also proposed to amend section 14 of the Regulations to provide the ability to assess speaking and listening skills and to capture the key elements of CLB 4 descriptors, such as the ability to take part in routine conversations about everyday topics, use basic grammatical structures and tenses, have sufficient vocabulary for routine oral communication and follow simple instructions and directions.
Finally, the proposed amendment to section 14 of the Regulations would also remove the current requirement that questions be prepared by the Minister, thereby allowing the use of external evidence.
Any person (including citizenship lawyers, stakeholders, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, interested groups, and the general public) may, within 30 days of the publication of this notice, provide their comments on this Notice of Intent, in writing, to the person named below at the address provided.
Comments would be appreciated on the proposed regulatory amendments to require that applicants provide up-front evidence of language ability showing achievement of at least CLB 4 level in speaking and listening with their citizenship application.
Questions and requests for additional information, as well as comments regarding this Notice of Intent, may be directed to Mary-Ann Hubers, Acting Director, Citizenship Legislation and Program Policy, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 180 Kent Street, 6th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1, 613-998-1756 (telephone), 613-991-2485 (fax), email@example.com (email).
Acting Director General
Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
CANADA STUDENT LOANS REGULATIONS
In accordance with subsection 13(3) of the Canada Student Loans Regulations, notice is hereby given that, pursuant to subsections 13(1) and 13(2), respectively, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development has fixed the Class “A” rate of interest at 3.0% and the Class “B” rate of interest at 3.875% for the loan year ending on July 31, 2012.
August 1, 2011
Minister of Human Resources and
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Designation as counterfeit examiner
Pursuant to subsection 461(2) of the Criminal Code, I hereby designate the following persons of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as counterfeit examiners:
Ottawa, September 30, 2011
Assistant Deputy Minister
Law Enforcement and Policing Branch
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Designation as fingerprint examiner
Pursuant to subsection 667(5) of the Criminal Code, I hereby designate the following persons of the Barrie Police Service as fingerprint examiners:
Ottawa, September 30, 2011
Assistant Deputy Minister
Law Enforcement and Policing Branch
NOTICE OF VACANCY
CANADIAN DAIRY COMMISSION
Chief Executive Officer
Salary range: $144,200–$169,600
The Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) is a Crown corporation created by the Canadian Dairy Commission Act and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. The CDC was established to oversee Canada’s milk marketing system and has the mandate to provide efficient producers of milk and cream with the opportunity of obtaining a fair return for their labour and investment and provide consumers of dairy products with a continuous and adequate supply of dairy products of high quality. The CDC is, therefore, responsible for the effective operation of a national milk supply management program and the establishment of a support price for butter and skim milk powder.
The CDC’s governing board, called the Commission, consists of three members: a Chairperson, a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a Commissioner. The Commission oversees the governance of the Corporation and is responsible for ensuring that the objectives of the Canadian Dairy Commission Act and the CDC’s strategic plan are met.
The CEO is a voting member of the Commission and is responsible for the management and direction of all aspects of the operations and management of the CDC. The CEO is the primary liaison between the CDC, dairy industry stakeholders and government officials, while the Chairperson is the primary liaison with the Minister.
To be considered for the CEO position, candidates should possess a degree from a recognized university in a relevant field of study or a combination of equivalent education, job-related training and experience. Corporate governance or financial certification training would be considered assets. The successful candidate should have significant experience in a senior management capacity. Experience in dealing with senior levels of government as well as in leading the day-to-day management and operations of an organization is essential. The preferred candidate should have experience in strategic planning and financial management. Experience in working with a board of directors is required.
The successful candidate should be knowledgeable of the CDC’s mandate, legislative framework, program and activities. An in-depth understanding of supply management in Canada, preferably of the Canadian dairy industry and related issues, is essential. The suitable candidate should also have knowledge of public policy issues related to the dairy industry, as well as knowledge of effective board processes and committee structures.
The ideal candidate should have demonstrated vision and leadership skills, along with excellent managerial and motivational skills. In addition to strong negotiating skills, the chosen candidate should also be able to bridge differing view points and manage conflicts should they arise. The ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with government/industry partners and stakeholders is required. The qualified candidate should have the ability to quickly grasp complex issues and their potential full impact, as well as possess superior communication skills, both orally and in writing. The chosen candidate should also possess superior interpersonal skills, strong ethical standards and integrity. Finally, sound judgment, tact and discretion are essential.
Proficiency in both official languages would be preferred.
The successful candidate must be prepared to relocate to the National Capital Region or to a location within reasonable commuting distance. The candidate must also be willing to travel frequently throughout Canada.
The Government is committed to ensuring that its appointments are representative of Canada’s regions and official languages, as well as of women, Aboriginal peoples, disabled persons and visible minorities.
The preferred candidate must comply with the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders. The guidelines are available on the Governor in Council Appointments Web site, under “Reference Material,” at www.appointments-nominations.gc.ca.
The selected candidate will be subject to the Conflict of Interest Act. Public office holders appointed on a full-time basis must submit to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, within 60 days of appointment, a Confidential Report in which they disclose all of their assets, liabilities and outside activities. For more information, please visit the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner’s Web site at http://ciec-ccie.gc.ca.
This notice has been placed in the Canada Gazette to assist the Governor in Council in identifying qualified candidates for this position. It is not, however, intended to be the sole means of recruitment.
Further details about the organization and its activities can be found on the CDC Web site at www.cdc-ccl.gc.ca.
Interested candidates should forward their curriculum vitae by October 31, 2011, to the Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Senior Personnel), Privy Council Office, 59 Sparks Street, 1st Floor, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A3, 613-957-5006 (fax), GICA-NGEC@bnet.pco-bcp.gc.ca (email).
Bilingual notices of vacancies will be produced in an alternative format (audio cassette, diskette, Braille, large print, etc.) upon request. For further information, please contact Publishing and Depository Services, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0S5, 613-941-5995 or 1-800-635-7943.
OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
MonCana Bank of Canada — Order to commence and carry on business
Notice is hereby given of the issuance, pursuant to subsection 49(1) of the Bank Act, of an order to commence and carry on business authorizing MonCana Bank of Canada to commence and carry on business, effective September 22, 2011.
October 4, 2011
Superintendent of Financial Institutions