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Annex D: Sponsorship

2010


1.0  Preamble

Canada and British Columbia are committed to reducing the incidence and cost to the Parties of debts incurred as a result of sponsorship default. 

2.0  Purpose and Scope

2.1  Purpose

The purpose of this Annex is to confirm that Canada and British Columbia will exchange information and undertake collaborative measures respecting:

  1. sponsorship eligibility;
  2. deterrence and enforcement activities aimed at minimizing and reducing the cost to the Parties of sponsorship default;
  3. notification and recording of sponsorship default;
  4. recovery of  debts arising from sponsorship default pursuant to section 135 of the IRPR and due to British Columbia pursuant to subsection 145 (2) of the IRPA; and
  5. research to support sponsorship policy and program development.

2.2  Scope

This Annex relates to all sponsorship undertakings (excluding sponsorships under Part 8 of the IRPR) obliging a sponsor to reimburse Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada or a province for every benefit provided as Social Assistance to or on behalf of a sponsored foreign national (and his or her sponsored family members) entering Canada as an Immigrant.

3.0  Definitions

For the purposes of this Annex,

“Disability Benefits” means, any type of disability assistance, hardship assistance or supplement provided by British Columbia under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act.

“Social Assistance” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the IRPR and includes:

  1. “income assistance”, “hardship assistance” or a “supplement” under the Employment and Assistance Act (S.B.C. 2002, c.40);
  2. “disability assistance”, “hardship assistance” or a “supplement” under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act (S.B.C. 2002, c.41);
  3. "income assistance" or “social services” under the former Guaranteed Available Income For Need Act (R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 158);
  4. “income assistance”, “hardship assistance” or “benefits” under the former BC Benefits (Income Assistance) Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 27);
  5. a “youth allowance” or “benefit” under the former BC Benefits (Youth Works) Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 28); or
  6. a “disability allowance” or “benefits” under the former Disability Benefits Program Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c.97)

4.0  Roles and Responsibilities

4.1  Canada will:

  1. pursuant to the IRPA and the IRPR, determine eligibility for sponsorship and administer the decision-making process for sponsorship applications;
  2. maintain accurate records for the effective implementation of the IRPA and for monitoring the integrity of the sponsorship program; and
  3. pursuant to a mutually agreed upon approach, as provided for under section 4.3 (a) of this Annex, provide British Columbia with information relevant to sponsorship undertakings as required for the purposes of this Annex.

4.2  British Columbia will:

  1. administer provincial programs of Social Assistance;
  2. advise Canada, pursuant to a mutually agreed upon approach:
    1.   if a sponsor is in receipt of Social Assistance other than Disability Benefits;
    2.   when a sponsored person and/or his or her family members listed on the sponsorship undertaking are receiving Social Assistance; and
    3.   when the debt incurred as a result of sponsorship default has been extinguished or repaid to the satisfaction of the province so that Canada no longer considers the sponsor to be in default.

4.3  Canada and British Columbia will:

  1. enter into separate memoranda of understanding as required to give effect to this Annex that will specify information and data to be shared, and appropriate mechanisms and procedures for transmitting and retaining information and data; and
  2. work collaboratively to:
    1. arrange for and monitor collaborative efforts to deter default, to enforce sponsorship undertakings and to recover costs due to British Columbia as a result of sponsorship default;
    2. identify, analyze, and recommend to the Agreement Management Committee (AMC) new measures to encourage repayment of sponsorship debts or to reduce the incidence and cost of sponsorship default;
    3. exchange updates on operational changes and identify and respond to items of concern; and
    4. define and pursue research projects to support sponsorship policy and program development.

5.0  Implementation

5.1  Governance

5.1.1  In accordance with section 10.1.1 of the General Provisions of the Agreement, the AMC will determine the appropriate mandate, structure and reporting requirements for the implementation of the annex.  In the absence of specific direction to the contrary, designated representatives (federal and provincial) will report to the AMC on an annual basis.

5.1.2  The designated representatives for the purpose of communication and notification pursuant to this Annex are:

  1. for Canada, the Director, Social Immigration Policy and Programs, Immigration Branch , Citizenship and Immigration Canada; and
  2. for British Columbia, the Executive Director, Employment and Income Assistance Branch, Ministry of Housing and Social Development.

5.2  Dispute Resolution

In the case of a dispute or a disagreement under this Annex, Canada and British Columbia agree to follow the dispute resolution process outlined in section 10.3 of  the General Provisions  of the Agreement.

5.3  Information Sharing

All arrangements made for information sharing shall be in accordance with section 10.4 of the General Provisions of the Agreement.

5.4  Program Integrity

The appropriate accountability measures for this Annex will be determined by the AMC within six (6) months of the Agreement coming into effect.

5.5  Term and Amendments

5.5.1  In accordance with sections 10.8.2 and 11.3 of the General Provisions of the Agreement, this Annex will be valid for five (5) years from the date of the Agreement coming into force.

5.5.2  The Parties agree to evaluate the effectiveness of this Annex no later than twelve (12) months prior to expiry.

5.5.3  Upon mutual consent of both parties in writing, the terms and conditions of this Annex can be extended at any time prior to its expiry, subject to any required approval or authorization including the approval of the Governor in Council.

5.5.4  Amendments to this Annex will be made in accordance with section 10.8.3 of the General Provisions of the Agreement.

5.5.5  Either Party may terminate this Annex at any time by providing at least six (6) months notice in writing to the other Party.

5.6  Notices

5.6.1  The Parties referenced in section 5.1.2 of this Annex undertake to give one another notice of any change in policy, regulations or legislation relating to their respective programs that is likely to affect this Annex.

5.6.2  In addition to those identified in section 11.1 of the General Provisions of the Agreement, any notice to be delivered under this Annex should be sent to the Party concerned as follows:

Deputy Minister
Ministry of Housing and Social Development
7th Floor – 614 Humboldt Street
P.O Box 9934 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, BC, V8W 9R2

Date Modified: