Powers and Mandate
Over the past decade, the mandate of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities has changed on several occasions, as indicated in Evolution of the Committee.
Under Standing Order 108(1), standing committees can examine any matters referred to them by the House of Commons and can delegate to subcommittees all or any of their powers, except the power to report directly to the House.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (“the Committee”) used this power to create two subcommittees in the 38th Parliament:
Standing committees may also consider the Estimates, Order in Council appointments, and returns or other papers tabled in the House of Commons.
Under Standing Order 108(2), the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities can study and report on all matters, including legislation and expenditure plans, relating to the following departments:
On 6 February 2006, the new government announced the reconsolidation of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Social Development Canada. The new department is called Human Resources and Social Development Canada.
The Committee can choose to study a wide range of topics including, for example : Employment Insurance, Employment Benefits and Support Measures; income security programs; Social Insurance Numbers; post-secondary education and training; literacy; the Canada Labour Code; urban Aboriginal matters; and social programs for seniors, families, children and persons with disabilities. You may wish to consult the Past Work of the Committee for information on Committee studies completed in the first, second and third session of the 37th Parliament and the 38th Parliament.
The Committee is also empowered to study and report on the mandate, management and operations of the following agencies and Crown corporation:
Standing Order108(3)(d) further gives the Committee the specific mandate to propose, promote, monitor and assess initiatives aimed at the integration and equality of disabled persons in all sectors of Canadian society. For most of the period since November 1998, the Committee has delegated this specific mandate to the Subcommittee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities.
The Committee is also responsible for administering the award provided under the Centennial Flame Research Award Act, enacted in 1991 to provide an annual monetary award to a Canadian with a disability to research and produce a report aimed at publicizing the contributions to public life of persons with disabilities. The award consists of money collected from the Centennial Flame fountain on Parliament Hill, plus any private and corporate donations made to the Centennial Flame Research Award Fund. Those interested in more information on this award may consult the selection criteria or contact the Office of the Clerk of the Committee.
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