39th Parliament, 2nd Session
October 16, 2007 -
September 7, 2008
About this Committee
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development studies and reports on matters referred to it by the House of Commons or on topics the Committee itself chooses to examine. It is a permanent committee established by the Standing
Orders, the permanent written rules under which the House of Commons regulates its proceedings. Legislation, departmental activities and spending, and other matters related to the general subject area of the Committee may be referred to it.
The general subject area of the Committee includes:
- Canadian foreign and development policy, including Canada’s relations with other countries;
- International affairs (including developments or crises in specific regions or countries) and international security;
- International organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation, the G8, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Commonwealth, the Francophonie, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Because of the expansive nature of foreign affairs, the work of many government departments and agencies today has an international dimension. Examples include:
- Environment Canada (global climate change, international environmental agreements),
- Finance (debt relief, international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank),
- Canadian Heritage (UNESCO, the New International Instrument on Cultural Diversity),
- Justice (international law, war crimes and crimes against humanity, police training, assistance to legal reforms and transitional justice programs in other countries), and
- Agriculture (food security).
The major departments and agencies under the Committee's scrutiny are:
The following autonomous agencies reporting to Parliament through the Minister of Foreign Affairs also fall under the Committee’s mandate:
The powers of a committee are defined in Standing
Order 108(1). They include the following powers:
- to examine matters referred to it by the House;
- to report to the House the results of its studies;
- to request papers and records, and to ask witnesses to appear before the Committee;
- to create subcommittees and delegate to subcommittees all or any of its powers except the power to report directly to the House;
- to examine Order-in-Council appointments; and
- to study and report on all matters relating to the mandate, management and operation of the departments of government which are assigned to it. This includes:
- the statute law relating to these departments;
- the program and policy objectives of the departments and their effectiveness in implementing them;
- their expenditure plans and the effectiveness of their implementation;
- an analysis of the relative success of the departments, as measured by the results obtained as compared with its stated objectives; and
- other matters, relating to the mandate, management, organization or operation of the department, as the committee deems fit.
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