Government hiring outside contractor to create Canada’s new citizenship test

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People take the citizenship oath at Pier 21 immigration centre in Halifax on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Adina Bresge/ The Canadian Press

The federal government is turning to the private sector to help draft the latest version of the Canadian citizenship test.

A request for proposal went out on Tuesday morning, with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) explaining that it needs help to “develop a pool of (400) multiple choice official questions, a test blueprint, and 15 versions of the Canadian citizenship knowledge test.”

The value of the contract is, as of right now, undetermined. But bidders have until mid-January to submit their proposals and the contract is slated to last one year, likely ending in early 2019.

A spokesperson for IRCC said a rollout date for the new test has not yet been determined.

The Liberal government is also in the process of overhauling the study guide that is used by citizenship hopefuls to prepare for the test. That work is being done internally, however, and isn’t finished yet. It’s unclear how work on the test could begin before the guide is complete.

The request for proposal documents note that “significant revisions” are being made to the guide, and the citizenship test “will need to be updated to reflect the new version.”

“This will support the success of our clients while ensuring they obtain and demonstrate the knowledge required for citizenship.”

Last July, a draft copy of that new guide was obtained by the Canadian Press and it generated significant controversy. The draft, which the government took pains to note was not the final version, removed a warning to readers that certain “barbaric cultural practices” such as honour killings and female genital mutilation are crimes in Canada.

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