Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement

Annex D: Information Sharing

2015


1.0  Purpose

1.1  The purpose of this Annex and its schedules is to govern the collection, use and disclosure of information, including Personal Information between the Parties to this Agreement.

1.2  This Annex establishes standard terms and conditions that will apply to all schedules attached to this Annex, unless otherwise provided for in a schedule.

2.0  Definitions

2.1  Unless defined differently in this Annex, the definitions in the General Provisions of this Agreement apply to this Annex and its schedules.

2.2  The following definitions apply to this Annex and its schedules:

  1. “Permitted Parties” are specifically identified in a schedule to this Annex and are legally authorized to collect, retain, use, disclose, and dispose of the information shared between the Parties under that particular schedule.
  2. “Personal Information” is information about identifiable individuals recorded in any form including, without limitation, “Personal Information” as defined for Canada, in the Privacy Act R.S.C. 1985, c. P-21, to which Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), as a “government institution”, is subject; and for British Columbia in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act R.S.B.C. [1996], c. 165 (“FOIPPA”). For the purpose of this Annex, personal contact information will be treated as Personal Information for its collection, use, access, storage, disclosure and disposal.
  3. A “Privacy Breach” is the collection, use, disclosure, access, storage or disposal of Personal Information, whether deliberate or accidental, not authorized by the Privacy Act or FOIPPA, this Annex or each Party’s legislation, policy or directives regarding the collection, use, disclosure, access, storage or disposal of Personal Information.
  4. “Schedule Designated Representatives” are the primary contacts for the Parties identified in a schedule to this Annex who are responsible for the interpretation, inquiries, and requests for amendments of a particular schedule and addressing any issues arising from it, in collaboration with the information sharing annex Focal Points.
  5. “Secondary Disclosure” is the disclosure by one Party of information received from the other Party beyond the Permitted Parties, under appropriate authorities and according to the terms and conditions described in this Annex and schedules.
  6. “Statistical Reports” are summary level data reports compiled by, or on behalf of, British Columbia from statistical manipulation of transaction level Personal Information. Statistical Reports may be published or unpublished, regularly provided or ad hoc in nature.
  7. “Third Parties” means any person, corporation, organization or entity, other than a Party.

3.0  Authorities

3.1  In the case of Canada:

  1. Personal Information will be collected, retained, used, disclosed and disposed of, in accordance with the requirements of the relevant laws and policies of the Government of Canada including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Privacy Act, the Access to Information Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Citizenship Act, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, the Canadian Passport Order, the Library and Archives of Canada Act, and all Regulations made under these Acts, as applicable, as well as the Policy on Government Security and supporting directives and guidelines covering the administrative, technical and physical safeguarding of Personal Information.
  2. Canada may enter into information sharing agreements, including this Annex and its schedules, in fulfilling its responsibilities pursuant to Section 5 of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, S.C. 1994 c. 31.

3.2  In the case of British Columbia:

  1. Personal Information will be collected, retained, used, disclosed and disposed of in accordance with the FOIPPA, the Document Disposal Act and British Columbia’s Information Security Policy.
  2. British Columbia may enter into information sharing agreements including this Annex and its schedules in exercising its powers under Section 5 of the Ministry of International Business and Immigration Act R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 304.

3.3  Each Party will notify the other in writing of any changes to legislation, regulations or policies relating to their respective programs or to legislation, policies or directives relating to the collection, retention, use, disclosure or disposition of information likely to affect this Annex and/or its schedules.

4.0  Schedules

4.1  Attached to this Annex and forming an integral part of it, are the following information sharing schedules corresponding to areas of cooperation under this Agreement and its Annexes:

  1. Provincial Nominee Program
  2. Express Entry
  3. Research

4.2  The Parties identify in the schedules the specific purposes for which information is shared and each schedule must be read in conjunction with this Annex.

4.3  This Annex and its schedules replace previous agreements or arrangements between the Parties regarding information sharing only where this is identified in the schedules.

5.0  Statistical Reports

5.1  Statistical Reports will not contain Personal Information under the Privacy Act and FOIPPA when they have been subject to the following small cell suppression process:

  1. except for those values labelled in the Micro Data as "other", "unknown" or "not stated", all data values equal to 1, 2, 3 or 4 and any data values that could reasonably be used to recalculate the true value of those must be suppressed; or
  2. rounding of all data values to nearest 0 or 5.

5.2  The Parties will establish mutually acceptable procedures subject to the requirements of sections 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 10.0, 11.1 and 14.0 of this Annex for Canada to provide Statistical Reports to British Columbia on:

  1. individuals destined to British Columbia whose immigration applications are being considered by Canada;
  2. issuance of permanent resident visas to persons destined to the Province;
  3. permanent residents destined to British Columbia;
  4. Temporary Resident permits, work permits, and study permits issued to those persons destined to the Province; and
  5. additional reports as agreed to by both Parties.

5.3  Either Party may request statistical reports, in addition to those agreed to under section 5.2 of this Annex, and will establish mutually acceptable procedures to do so.

6.0  Accuracy of Information

6.1  Each Party will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the information it shares with the other under each schedule is as accurate, up-to-date, and as complete as possible. The Parties cannot guarantee its accuracy and completeness and therefore will not be held responsible for any damage resulting from the transmission or use of any information that is inaccurate or incomplete.

6.2  Each Party shall notify the other, in writing within a reasonable time, if it becomes aware that information shared is not accurate, complete, or up-to-date and shall take all reasonably available steps to amend the information.

6.3  Information, in whatever format, may not be edited, reverse-compiled or otherwise altered unless directed or authorized in writing by the Party providing the information.

7.0  Transmission of Information

7.1  Information shared under this Annex will be provided by each Party in a mutually agreed upon format and manner as described in the schedules.

7.2  The Parties will take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of sharing harmful viruses, programs or data in the transmitted information. The Parties will not be held responsible for any damage resulting from the transmission of harmful viruses, programs or data.

7.3  Information will be transmitted between the Parties in a manner conforming to each Party’s legislation, policies and directives for the secure transfer of information and as described in the schedules.

8.0  Handling and Storage of Information

8.1  Each Party will take all reasonable steps to preserve the confidentiality and integrity of the information in accordance with their respective legislation, policies and directives.

8.2  Each Party will advise the other, upon request, of the security mechanisms, such as administrative, technical or physical measures it uses to protect the integrity of the information received from the other Party and to prevent unauthorized access. Each Party will advise the other as soon as practicable of any subsequent changes to these measures.

8.3  Each Party is responsible for the actions of its own employees, agents, contractors or subcontractors regarding the collection, use, disclosure, handling, storage, safeguarding, retention and disposal of information in its custody or under its control.

8.4  In accordance with the requirements of their employer, employees of Canada and British Columbia who receive information from the other Party under this Annex must obtain personnel security screening to the level that is commensurate with the handling of Personal Information.

8.5  The Parties shall ensure that individuals will have access to and use the information only for the purpose of discharging their duties related to the purposes for which the information was obtained and meeting their obligations and requirements under this Agreement.

8.6  The Parties must ensure that all databases containing information shared under this Annex and schedules are located in Canada.

8.7  Each Party will comply with its business continuity and emergency management plans.

9.0 Disclosure and Use of Personal Information

9.1  A Party may use information it obtains under this Annex only for the purpose(s) for which it was obtained as described in each schedule or for uses consistent with those purposes and that are necessary for operating a program or activity of the Party.

9.2  Unless authorized and agreed to by the Parties, a Party may not purposefully link and/or compare Personal Information collected under this Annex and its schedules for purposes other than those for which the information was originally obtained.

10.0  Access to Information

10.1  A Party receiving an access to information request pursuant to the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act or the FOIPPA, requiring a response that includes information received from the other Party will notify and consult with the Party providing the information to seek that Party’s consent to disclose the information.

10.2  The Parties agree to make their best efforts to comply with each other’s required timelines in responding to access to information requests.

10.3  Notwithstanding sections 10.1 and 10.2, the process of notification, consultation and seeking consent to release disclosed information will not prevent a Party from complying with its relevant timelines in responding to an access to information request. If a response from a Party from whom consent is sought is not received, the other Party may proceed with responding to its access to information request in accordance with its applicable timelines.

11.0  Retention and Disposition of Information

11.1  The Parties agree that information shared under this Annex shall be held for the minimum amount of time necessary, subject to their respective legislation, policies and directives and according to any specific provisions contained in the schedules to this Annex.

11.2  Personal Information will be disposed of in accordance with the respective legislation, policies and directives of each Party.

12.0  Monitoring, Compliance and Privacy Breaches

12.1  The Parties agree to follow the processes established by their respective legislation, policies and directives in order to ensure there are no Privacy Breaches.

12.2  A Party becoming aware of a Privacy Breach will:

  1. follow the processes established by its policies to manage and respond to Privacy Breaches;
  2. immediately notify the other Party and provide details regarding the circumstances of the Privacy Breach; and
  3. investigate the Privacy Breach and report its findings and any remedial actions taken to the other Party within a reasonable time.

12.3  A Party notified of a Privacy Breach may:

  1. review the steps taken or proposed by the other Party to address the Privacy Breach and prevent a recurrence of it;
  2. request the other Party take specific steps to address the Privacy Breach or prevent a recurrence of it; and
  3. suspend the sharing of Personal Information under the schedule where the Privacy Breach occurred, until satisfied that the other Party has complied with the provisions of this Annex and that schedule and with any reasonable requests made under section 12.3(b) of this Annex. The Party will advise the other Party if considering this course of action.

12.4  If the Parties disagree on the steps to be taken to mitigate the consequences of, or prevent recurrence of, a Privacy Breach, the Parties will follow the Dispute Management and Resolution Procedures under S.10.3 of the General Provisions of the Agreement.

12.5  The Parties may provide information to each other detailing the internal controls adopted for protecting Personal Information. The Parties will follow their respective audit practices with respect to the activities described in this Annex. The Parties may provide copies of audits and evaluations they carry out, or that are carried out on their behalf, upon written request of the other Party and subject to the Party’s respective privacy legislation.

13.0  Secondary Disclosure of Personal Information

13.1  A Party will not disclose Personal Information unless:

  1. authorized or required by law; and
  2. in accordance with the provisions of this Annex and its schedule.

14.0  Distribution of Statistical Reports to Third Parties

14.1  British Columbia may, at its discretion, distribute to Third Parties, Statistical Reports provided by Canada under section 5.0 of this Annex, or reports that it generates using information Canada provides under the Research Schedule, subject to the following notice requirements:

  1. British Columbia will inform Canada of its intention to release Statistical Reports, including posting on the Internet, by providing Canada with an advance copy of the Statistical Report for review.
  2. On receiving the advance copy, Canada retains the benefit of refusing to concur with the release if, in the opinion of Canada’s Research Schedule Designated Representative, the data presented inappropriately reports on the activities of Canada.
  3. Canada will have fifteen (15) business days from the date it is provided the advance copy by British Columbia to advise British Columbia in writing, with reasons, that Canada is prohibiting the release of the Statistical Report. If Canada does not respond within 15 days, Canada is deemed to have agreed to the release of the Statistical Report by British Columbia.
  4. Once the contents of the Statistical Report have been agreed upon by the Parties there will be no further requirement for British Columbia to notify Canada of future releases, unless the contents of the Statistical Report change, specifically the addition of data variables.
  5. The notice of the intention to release such a Statistical Report should be made in writing along with a copy of the report to be released. The addressee will be Canada’s Research Schedule Designated Representative. An acknowledgement of receipt will be made electronically.

14.2  When distributing Statistical Reports to Third Parties, British Columbia will:

  1. Cite “Citizenship and Immigration Canada” as the source of the data used for Statistical Reports that Canada provides under sections 5.2 or 5.3 of this Annex; and
  2. Cite “Citizenship and Immigration Canada” as the source of the data used and British Columbia as the originator for Statistical Reports that it generates using information Canada provides under the Research schedule.

15.0  Fees

15.1  Information provided to a Party under this Annex or any schedule to this Annex and Statistical Reports agreed to under section 5.2 of this Annex will be free of charge, unless otherwise specified.

15.2  Statistical Reports requested under section 5.3 of this Annex may be subject to fees as follows:

  1. Applicable fees payable for processing applications for immigration statistical data reports under section 314 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as amended from time to time; and
  2. Applicable fees set by the directive of British Columbia’s Minister of Finance from time to time pursuant to Ministerial Directive 2009.02 under section 47(1) of the Financial Administration Act, R.S.B.C. 1996 c. 138.

15.3  Fees identified in section 15.2 of this Annex are not fixed with respect to this Annex and may change from time to time.

16.0  Dispute Management and Resolution Procedures

16.1  Each Party designates an individual as a Focal Point.

For Canada:

Director General, International and Intergovernmental Relations,
Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

For British Columbia:

Executive Director, Policy and Stakeholder Relations.
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour

16.2  The Focal Points agree to attempt to resolve any issues or disputes arising from this Annex, in consultation with the schedule Designated Representatives as required. If unable to do so, the Parties agree to follow the Dispute Management and Resolution Procedures outlined in s. 10.3 of the General Provisions of this Agreement.

17.0  Term and Amendments

17.1  This Annex will be valid for five (5) years unless terminated or replaced by another agreement between the Parties specifically terminating this Annex.

  1. The Parties may terminate this Annex by written agreement of both Parties at any time.
  2. Either Party may terminate this Annex, or any schedule to this Annex, by providing the other Party at least 12 months’ notice in writing.
  3. Upon mutual consent of both Parties in writing, the terms and conditions of this Annex and any of its schedules can be extended at any time prior to their expiry, subject to any required approval or authorization including the approval of the Governor in Council.
  4. Either Party may terminate this Annex or any schedule to this Annex at any time if a Party fails to meet its obligations under this Annex, and having followed the Dispute Management and Resolution Procedures described in this Agreement.

17.2  The Parties agree that their responsibilities to protect and maintain the integrity of information shared under this Annex, including retention and disposition of the information, continue after this Annex is terminated.

17.3  In case of termination of this Agreement before this Annex, the General Provisions of the Agreement will survive to the extent necessary to give full force and effect to the intent of this Annex.

17.4  This Annex and its Schedules are subject to the review and amendment provisions described in this Agreement.

17.5  In case of termination of the Agreement before this Annex, the Parties agree to review this Annex and its schedules before it is terminated.

Date Modified: