ARCHIVED – Canada-Ontario Memorandum of Understanding on Information Sharing - March 2004

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Between

The Government of Canada, Department of Citizenship and Immigration, as represented by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (hereinafter referred to as “Canada”)

And

Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, as represented by the Minister of Community and Social Services, (hereinafter referred to as the “Ontario”);

1.0 Preamble

1.1 WHEREAS any reference to “Ontario” shall be read to include ‘or delivery agent’;

1.2 AND WHEREAS Ontario desires to obtain certain personal information in the possession of Canada for the purposes of:

  1. administering and enforcing the Ontario Works Act, 1997 (S.O. 1997, c. 25, Sch. A) and the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 (S.O. 1997, c. 25, Sch. B) or carrying out a lawful investigation thereunder;
  2. administering and enforcing social assistance cases administered under the former General Welfare Assistance Act (R.S.O., 1990, c. G.6) and the Family Benefits Act (R.S.O., 1990, c. F.2); and
  3. enforcing a debt due to Ontario by virtue of subsection 145(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, subject to this agreement between Ontario and Canada;

1.3 AND WHEREAS paragraph 8(2)(f) of the Privacy Act (R.S.C.   1985, c. P-21) provides that a federal government institution may disclose personal information under an agreement or arrangement between the Government of Canada or an institution thereof and the government of a province, or any institution of any such government, for the purposes of administering or enforcing any law or carrying out a lawful investigation;

1.4 AND WHEREAS an institution of a province referred to in clause 1.3, in the case of Ontario, means an institution as defined under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (R.S.O. 1990, c. F-31) or the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (R.S.O. 1990, c. M-56), whichever shall apply;

1.5 AND WHEREAS Canada desires to obtain certain personal information in the possession of Ontario for the purposes of:

  1. administering and enforcing the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations, or carrying out a lawful investigation thereunder;

1.6 AND WHEREAS Canada is authorized to collect and disclose personal information for the purposes described above under sections 4 and 8 of the Privacy Act (R.S.C.   1985, c. P-21);

1.7 AND WHEREAS section 53 of the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 (S.O. 1997, C.25, Sch. B.) and section 71 of the Ontario Works Act, 1997 (S.O. 1997, c. 25, Sch. A) provides that Ontario may enter into an information-sharing agreement with Canada for the purposes of administering and enforcing provincial and federal legislation and conducting lawful investigations; and whereas section 53(9) of the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 (S.O. 1997, C.25, Sch. B.) and section 71(9) of the Ontario Works Act, 1997 (S.O. 1997, c. 25, Sch. A) provide that a delivery agent is bound by the terms and conditions of such an agreement;

1.8 AND WHEREAS Ontario is authorized to collect and disclose personal information to Canada for the purposes described above under the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (R.S.O. 1990, C. F-31) and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (R.S.O. 1990, C. M-56);

The Parties, therefore, agree as follows:

2.0 Purpose

The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding is to put in place a formal mechanism for the exchange of information between the parties for the purposes described herein.

3.0 Use of Information

3.1 The information provided by Canada to Ontario under clause 4.1 herein shall only be used to administer and enforce:

  1. the Ontario Works Act, 1997 and the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 or carrying out a lawful investigation thereunder;
  2. the former General Welfare Assistance Act and the Family Benefits Act, and
  3. subsection 145(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;

and which purposes shall include, inter alia, the determination of eligibility of individuals to benefits and services under the Acts in (a) and (b), the detection of abuse and fraud under the Acts in (a) and (b), the identification and collection of overpayments, the identification and recovery of debts incurred as a result of immigration sponsorship default, and the institution of legal proceedings against individuals in cases where the person is believed to have received social assistance to which they are not entitled by law.

3.2 The information provided by Ontario to Canada under clause 4.2 herein shall be used only to:

  1. administer and enforce the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations or carry out a lawful investigation thereunder,

and which purposes shall include, inter alia, the determination of eligibility of individuals to submit sponsorship undertakings on behalf of foreign nationals seeking permanent resident status in Canada, the determination of foreign nationals’ admissibility, the verification of the validity period of an undertaking and identification of sponsorship default, the determination of the location of persons who have eluded examination, inquiry or removal under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and the detection of individuals who provide false or misleading information or who are otherwise in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations.

3.3 Anonymized, non-identifiable information exchanged between Ontario and Canada pursuant to this agreement may be used to carry out research, studies, analyses and evaluations in support of immigration policy development by both parties.

3.4 Neither party shall use the information provided under this Memorandum of Understanding unless it is for a purpose specifically authorized herein or specifically required by law.

4.0 Information to be Exchanged

4.1 Upon being provided by Ontario with the name, date of birth, and, if known, the Federal Client Identification number or Document Identification Number of an individual, Canada will search its records and will provide Ontario, if available, the following information about the individual:

  1. Federal Client Identification number or Document Identification Number;
  2. Name;
  3. Date of birth;
  4. Sex;
  5. Current and/or last known addresses(es);
  6. Current and/or last known telephone number(s);
  7. Marital status;
  8. Date of entry or arrival in Canada;
  9. Date of landing or permanent resident status;
  10. Immigrant category or class;
  11. Immigration status which shall include but is not limited to information relating to the individual’s:
    1. current residency status in Canada,
    2. application for refugee status, eligibility decision with respect to the individual’s refugee claim and date of final determination,
    3. application for permanent resident status,
    4. date immigration warrant issued,
    5. current and prior removal orders, including date of issuance and date of actual removal or departure,
    6. appeals of a decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB);
  12. Details of any sponsorship undertaking including, but not limited to:
    1. name, date of birth and current and/or last known address(es) of sponsor,
    2. name, date of birth and current and/or last known address(es) of undertaking co-signer,
    3. name(s) and date(s) of birth of person(s) listed on the sponsorship undertaking,
    4. start and end dates of the sponsorship undertaking;
  13. Details of any notifications of sponsorship default sent to sponsors and/or co-signers;
  14. Eligibility to apply for a work permit and validity period of the work permit if one has been issued;
  15. Eligibility to apply for a study permit and validity period of study permit if one has been issued;
  16. Financial assets;
  17. Eligibility for and/or receipt of assistance or other financial assistance in cash or kind, such as that provided by a governmental resettlement assistance program;

This information shall only be used for the purposes described in clauses 3.1 and 3.3 herein.

4.2 Upon being provided by Canada with the name, date of birth and if known, the provincial Person Identification number of an individual, Ontario will search its database systems and, if the individual is currently or since 1985 has been in receipt of social assistance under the former General Welfare Assistance Act, 1990, the Family Benefits Act, 1990, the Ontario Works Act, 1997 and the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 provide Canada, if available in the database system, the following information about the individual:

  1. Provincial Person Identification number;
  2. Name;
  3. Date of birth;
  4. Sex;
  5. Current and/or last known address(es);
  6. Current and/or last known telephone number(s);
  7. Marital status;
  8. Details of any social assistance applied for, if no final determination has been made, or received, including but not limited to:
    1. social assistance office number,
    2. start and end dates of social assistance payments made,
    3. type of monthly social assistance paid,
    4. amount of monthly social assistance paid,
    5. name(s) and date(s) of birth of any family member(s) covered by the social assistance,
    6. total amount of social assistance paid and/or the value of services provided for each period collected,
  9. Details regarding repayment of any amount resulting from sponsorship default, including but not limited to:
    1. whether the sponsor or co-signer is willing or able to resume sponsorship obligations and if not, the reasons why;
    2. reason(s) for deferred collection,
    3. confirmation that any debt resulting from sponsorship default has been repaid to the satisfaction of Ontario;
  10. Other sources of earned income;
  11. Name and address of current or previous employers;
  12. Financial assets;

This information shall only be used for the purposes described in clauses 3.2 and 3.3 herein.

4.3 Each party shall communicate the information covered by this Memorandum of Understanding in such form and at such intervals as shall be mutually agreed upon between the parties concerned.

4.4 Exchange of information under this Memorandum may occur through such computerized exchanges as may be developed between the parties, respecting the purpose and context of this Memorandum.

5.0 Social Assistance

5.1 Section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations defines ‘social assistance’ as “any benefit in the form of money, goods or services provided to or on behalf of a person by a province under a program of social assistance, including a program of social assistance designated by a province to provide for basic requirements including food, shelter, clothing, fuel, utilities, household supplies, personal requirements and health care not provided by public health care, including dental care and eye care”.

  1. Programs of social assistance designated by Ontario are listed in clauses 5.2 and 5.4 herein.

5.2 Pursuant to paragraph 133(1)(k) (social assistance) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, an individual will be ineligible to sponsor an application for permanent residence of a foreign national if he or she is in receipt of:

  1. “basic financial assistance” under section 5 of the Ontario Works Act, 1997 (S.O. 1997, c. 25, Sch. A)

5.3 A person in receipt of benefits by reason of a provincially recognized disability, specifically a benefit under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 (S.O. 1997, c. 25, Sch. B) is not considered to be receiving social assistance for the purposes of paragraph 133(1)(k) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

5.4 Pursuant to paragraph 133(1)(g)(i) and section 135 (default) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, a sponsor is considered to be in default and ineligible to sponsor an application for permanent resident of a foreign national if, during the validity period of a sponsorship undertaking, a previously sponsored person received:

  1. “assistance” under the former General Welfare Assistance Act (R.S.O., 1990, c. G.6);
  2. “benefits” under the Family Benefits Act (R.S.O., 1990, c. F.2);
  3. “basic financial assistance” under section 5 of the Ontario Works Act, 1997 (S.O. 1997, c. 25, Sch. A); or
  4. “income support” under section 3 of the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 (S.O. 1997, c. 25, Sch. B).

6.0 Enforcement of Sponsorship Default

6.1 Pursuant to the authority of subsection 145(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, an amount that a sponsor is required to pay under the terms of an undertaking is payable on demand to Her Majesty in right of Canada and Her Majesty in right of Ontario and may be recovered by Her Majesty in either or both of those rights.

  1. In this case, the amount payable is payable to Her Majesty in right of Ontario.

6.2 Pursuant to section 135 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, default ends when the sponsor reimburses the province, in full or in accordance with an agreement with the province, for amounts paid by it. These agreements may permit, for example, partial repayments or staggered re-payment. In either case, default continues until the total amount that a person is required to pay is repaid to the satisfaction of the province.

6.3 In documented cases of family violence, Ontario will make a determination pursuant to its own guidelines whether collection action should be taken immediately or deferred until a later date. The sponsor will remain in default until social assistance payments are repaid to the satisfaction of the government concerned.

7.0 Financial Arrangements

Each party waives any claim for reimbursement from the other party of any cost it may incur in carrying out its obligations under this Memorandum of Understanding.

8.0 Confidentiality and Limitations

8.1 Each party undertakes to maintain, respect and protect fully the confidentiality of the information received under this Memorandum of Understanding and not to release it to anyone other than the individual to whom it relates, unless such release is clearly authorized herein or specifically required by law.

8.2 In order to prevent the unauthorized disclosure, copying, use, or modification of information provided to a party under this Memorandum of Understanding, the receiving party is to restrict access to such information on a need to know basis, and use recognized security mechanisms such as passwords, encryption or other reasonable safeguards.

8.3 Any personal information supplied by either party to the other shall be maintained, retained or disposed of in accordance with,

  1. in the case of information in the possession of Canada, the National Archives of Canada Act (R.S.C.   1985, c. 1 (3rd) (Supp.)), the Privacy Act and regulations made thereunder and with the Government of Canada Security Policy covering the administrative and technical safeguarding of personal information; or
  2. in the case of information in the possession of Ontario, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, whichever shall apply, and supporting operating directives and guidelines covering the administrative, technical and physical safeguarding of the personal information;

whichever shall apply.

8.4 The parties agree the information requested under the terms of this Memorandum of Understanding will be a copy of the information requested, and do not guarantee its accuracy and will not be held responsible to the other party for any damages resulting from the transmission or use of any information that is inaccurate or incomplete.

8.5 Where the providing party has supplied information that is later found to be inaccurate, it is to give written notice to the receiving party who is, subject to its laws, to take the action necessary to conform its records to those of the providing party.

9.0 Monitoring and Audit/Evaluation

9.1 Monitoring of this Memorandum of Understanding will be subject to regular discussion on an as-needed basis at the request of either party.

9.2 Both parties reserve the right to inspect and investigate any matter of concern arising from the implementation, administration and enforcement of this Memorandum of Understanding. Such inspections or investigations shall be performed directly by the parties or through an agent mutually agreed upon by the parties.

10.0 Notices

10.1 The parties may agree to amend in writing this Memorandum of Understanding in whole or in part. The parties 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 Memorandum of Understanding.

10.2 Any notice to be delivered in this Memorandum of Understanding should be sent to the party concerned as follows:

Address for notice to Canada:

Deputy Minister
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1

Copies to:

Director General, Selection Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
7th Floor, 300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1

Director General, Ontario Region
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
25 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 200
Toronto, ON M4T 1M2

Director General, Departmental Delivery Network
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
14th Floor, 365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1

Address for notice to Ontario:

Office of the Assistant Deputy Minister
Social Assistance and Employment
Opportunities Division
Ministry of Community and Social Services
6th Floor, Hepburn Block
80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1E9

Copy to:

Director
Ontario Disability Support Program Branch
Ministry of Community and Social Services
3rd Floor, Hepburn Block
80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1E9

11.0 Coming into Force/Termination of Memorandum of Understanding

11.1 This Memorandum of Understanding shall commence on, and take effect from, the date on which it is signed by the last of the parties to do so.

11.2 This Memorandum of Understanding may be amended only by written agreement of the parties hereto.

11.3 This Memorandum shall remain in effect until terminated by either party in accordance with sections 11.4 and 11.5.

11.4 Either party shall reserve the right to terminate this Memorandum of Understanding by giving three months written notice of termination to the other party.

11.5 Notwithstanding clause 11.4, either party shall reserve the right to terminate this Memorandum of Understanding unilaterally in the event of non-compliance with the provisions regarding the use of, security, confidentiality, collection, disclosure, maintenance, retention, destruction, disposal and the information that are contained herein. The party wishing to terminate this Memorandum of Understanding shall send to the other party a written notice of termination stating the reasons for termination and the latter party shall then have seventy-two (72) hours from the date of receipt of this notice to remedy the situation to the satisfaction of the first party, failing which the Memorandum of Understanding shall be automatically terminated.

11.6 Either party shall reserve the right to suspend this Memorandum of Understanding giving seventy-two (72) hours written notice of suspension to the other party, unless both parties mutually agree in writing to the immediate suspension of the Memorandum of Understanding. Once a party suspends this Memorandum of Understanding, both parties are no longer required to continue supplying each other with information but are otherwise bound to respect the terms of this Memorandum of Understanding. The suspension shall be for a specified period, pending the resolution of matter(s) of concern, but it will not constitute an act of termination pursuant to clause 11.4 or 11.5 herein.

IN WITNESS THEREOF this Memorandum of Understanding has been signed on behalf of Canada by the Assistant Deputy Minister, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and on behalf of Ontario by the Director of the Ontario Disability Support Program Branch of the Ministry of Community and Social Services on the dates written below.

FOR CANADA

Original signed by:

Daniel Jean
Assistant Deputy Minister
Citizenship and Immigration

March 18, 2004
Date

_________
Witness

FOR ONTARIO

Original signed by:

Debbie Moretta
Director
Ontario Disability Support Program Branch
Ministry of Community and Social Services

March 5, 2004
Date

_________
Witness

Date Modified: