The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (“the Committee”)
plays a central role in supporting cultural, artistic and civic activity in
Canada, and in preserving and protecting Canada’s cultural and natural heritage
and shared history.
The Committee 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 of the House.
The power of the Committee to examine any matter referred to it by the
House is found in Standing
Order 108(1). The Committee can report to the House, send for persons
or records, and delegate its powers to subcommittees. It can sit whether the
House is sitting or adjourned and may sit jointly with other standing committees.
Order 108(2), the Committee also has the power to study and report on
the policies, programs and legislation of the department and agencies assigned
to it, as well as other matters relating to the mandate, management, organization
or operation of the department and agencies, as the committee deems fit. This
includes examining expenditure plans and assessing the success and effectiveness
of a wide range of organizations, programs and policies. Key examples are:
A comprehensive list of organizations, programs and policies administered
through the Department of Canadian Heritage and which the Committee may study
can be found on the Department's
In addition to its cultural and civic mandate, the Committee may also study
and report on the Public Service Commission, which
reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
The Committee also has the specific mandate to monitor the implementation
of the principles of the federal multiculturalism policy throughout the Government
of Canada. The object of this, as set out in Standing
Order 108(3), is:
encourage the departments and agencies of the federal government to reflect
the multicultural diversity of the nation; and
- to examine existing and new programs and policies of federal departments and
agencies to encourage sensitivity to multicultural concerns and to preserve
the multicultural reality of Canada.
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