House of Commons Committees
Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (FAAE)
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40th Parliament, 3rd Session
March 3, 2010 - March 26, 2011

About this Committee


The House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development is a permanent committee established by the Standing Orders, the written rules under which the House of Commons regulates its proceedings. The Committee studies and reports on matters referred to it by the House of Commons or, under Standing Order 108 (2), topics chosen by the Committee itself. Legislation, departmental activities and spending, and other matters related to the Committee’s subject area may be referred to it by the House.

The subject area of the Committee includes matters pertaining to:

  • Canadian foreign and development assistance policies and programs, including Canada’s relations with other countries and regions;
  • International affairs and diplomacy, international development, international security, and international human rights, including events or crises in specific regions or countries;
  • 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 G20, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Commonwealth, the Francophonie, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The major government departments and agencies under the Committee's scrutiny are:

The Committee is also empowered to study and report on the mandate, management and operation of the following autonomous agencies and Crown corporations which report to Parliament through the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

The Committee may at its discretion also consider the work of any government department and agency that has an international dimension, reflecting the expansive nature of foreign affairs today.


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.