Pursuant to House of Commons Standing Order 108(1), standing committees may consider any matter referred to them by the House of Commons or whose study is required by law. Standing committees may report to the House and are authorized to call witnesses, require that records and documents be produced and can delegate their powers to subcommittees. Standing committees may sit when the House is sitting or when it has adjourned, and may sit jointly with other standing committees.
The Standing Committee on Official Languages is not attached to a specific department. According to Standing Order 108(3)(f), the mandate of the Official Languages Committee is as follows:
… shall include, among other matters, the review of and report on official languages policies and programs, including Reports of the Commissioner of Official Languages, which shall be deemed permanently referred to the Committee immediately after they are laid upon the Table.
Moreover, Section 88 of the Official Languages Act stipulates that:
The administration of this Act, any regulations and directives made under this Act and the reports of the Commissioner, the President of the Treasury Board and the Minister of Canadian Heritage made under this Act shall be reviewed on a permanent basis by such committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament as may be designated or established for that purpose.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages currently holds this mandate. The Commissioner of Official Languages’ reports are automatically sent to the Committee after having been presented to the Speaker of the House and the Speaker of the Senate, pursuant to section 69 of the Official Languages Act.