Canadian Immigration officials will be allowed to share the personal information of citizens and permanent residents with other government agencies, under new proposals tabled on Friday. The plan would permit the sharing of information between immigration and border enforcement officials, Canada Revenue Agency, Employment and Social Development Canada, the RCMP, and other federal and provincial agencies.
The rules are being proposed to allow government agencies to be alerted to any changes in an individual’s immigration status as well as to authenticate the identity and immigration status of individuals and reduce fraud in the use of government services.
“There is a need to clarify and make explicit the legislative authority for CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) to share personal information through its different business lines and with these partners,” the proposal states.
“CIC has relied on the Privacy Act to support some information sharing. However, this has created uncertainty regarding what information can and should be shared, and has limited CIC’s ability to share information.”
The plan gives the revenue agency a central role in the new information exchange network as it would allow immigration authorities to access the Income Verification Program in order to identify any false or inconsistent declarations of financial circumstances submitted by residency and citizenship applicants.
“This would help uphold the integrity of the immigration system as a whole and improve client service, both in the citizenship and across the government,” it said.