is an independent operating agency of the Government of Canada
and Foreign Affairs Canada
. It operates under the auspices of the Canadian Passport Order, which defines the agency. Prior to March 2005
, it was known as the Passport Office. The office is responsible for issuing, revoking, withholding, and recovering Canadian passports
. Due to the agency's status as a Special Operating Agency
, Passport Canada is financed through the fees collected for issuing passports
and other travel documents. They do not receive funding from the federal government.
Canadian Passport Order
The Canadian Passport Order
was created in 1981
and amended several times. It is an Order in Council
made by the Governor in Council
(the Governor General of Canada
acting on the advice of Cabinet
The Canadian Passport Order is made under the authority of the Royal Prerogative, the residual authority exercised exclusively by the Crown.
The Order establishes who is eligible for a Canadian passport, as well as the procedure and application process for obtaining one. The Order also establishes Passport Canada. Prior to the making of the Canadian Passport Order, residents of Canada could obtain a passport by completing an application and sending it in by mail to the Department of External Affairs, without having to prove their Canadian citizenship.
Under the Canadian Passport Order, Passport Canada can revoke or refuse to issue a passport on grounds specified in the Order. A passport may not be refused or revoked on grounds not specified in the Order (see Issuance and Refusal).
Auditor General's Report
In April 2005
, the Auditor General of Canada Sheila Fraser
gave a scathing report on Passport Canada, claiming that employees of the agency lack proper security clearance
. Prior to the Auditor General's report, Passport Canada had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Corrections Canada
to obtain a full list of inmates' names, as they are ineligible for a passport.