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SOCI - Standing Committee

Social Affairs, Science and Technology

Report of the committee

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology has the honour to present its


Your committee, to which was referred Bill S-235, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, has, in obedience to the order of reference of June 1, 2023, examined the said bill and now reports the same with the following amendments:

1.Clause 1, pages 2 and 3:

(a) On page 2,

(i) replace lines 4 to 9 with the following:

1 The Citizenship Act is amended by adding the following after section 5.2:

5.3 (1) The Minister shall grant citizenship to any person who applies for it and who was ordinarily resident in Canada on the day on”,

(ii) replace line 13 with the following:

(a) the person resided in an institution — in-”,

(iii) replace lines 21 to 23 with the following:

(i) a department or agency of the Government of Canada or a province mandated with the protection and care of children, or

(ii) an agency appointed by a province, in-”,

(iv) replace line 29 with the following:

(b) the person resided in or was maintained by”,

(v) replace lines 33 to 36 with the following:

(c) the person was provided with services to improve their living conditions by an agency appointed by a province,”, and

(vi) replace lines 42 and 43 with the following:

(d) the person

(i) was not returned to the care and custody of their parent when any of the circumstances described in paragraphs (a) to (c) ceased to apply to that person, unless the return took place within 365 days of the date upon which the person reached the age of 18 years,

(ii) has been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days before the date of their application,

(iii) was subject to one or more of the circumstances described in paragraphs (a) to (c) for at least 365 days cumulatively, and

(iv) has not resided outside of Canada for more than 10 years since reaching the age of 18 years.

(2) The Minister may, in their discretion, after having reviewed a person’s particular circumstances, waive on compassionate grounds any of the requirements set out in paragraph (1)(d).”; and

(b) on page 3, delete lines 1 to 11.

2.Clause 2, page 3:

(a) Replace lines 14 and 15 with the following:

(1.1) In determining whether to grant an application made under section 5.3, the Minister must accept a written state-”; and

(b) replace line 17 with the following:

“circumstances in paragraphs 5.3(1)(a) to (c) as proof of that cir-”.

3.Clause 3, page 3:

(a) Replace line 20 with the following:

3 Section 50 of the Immigration and Refugee”; and

(b) replace lines 22 to 26 with the following:

ing after paragraph (c):

(c.1) in the case of a foreign national who has applied under section 5.3 of the Citizenship Act, until a final decision has been made on the application;”.

Your committee has also made certain observations, which are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,



Observations to the twentieth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (Bill S-235)

Your committee heard from witnesses that, while the $630 application fee and documentation requirements associated with obtaining a grant of citizenship would represent insurmountable barriers to too many individuals who were formerly in the child welfare system, these barriers can be effectively eliminated through regulation.

Your committee shares the expectations expressed by witnesses that the Government of Canada will consult with immigration and citizenship law experts and eliminate, through regulation, barriers to applying for citizenship under Bill S-235, including by ensuring that no applicants under this legislation are charged application fees.

Your committee observes that ensuring that applications for citizenship pursuant to Bill S-235 are free of cost is in line with the Government of Canada’s approach in its recent policies respecting temporary residence permits and permanent residence for those formerly in the child welfare system, recognizing the inequalities, injustices and marginalization that the latter too often experience, as well as the particular responsibility of the government with respect to those formerly in the care of the state.

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