Where Chapter III sets out the days and times of meeting and adjournment of the House, this chapter describes the recurring sequence of each day’s business. Also included are certain Standing Orders related to particular rubrics in the daily program, such as those dealing with Statements by Members, Tabling of Documents, Statements by Ministers, Reports of Interparliamentary Delegations, Reports from Committees and Petitions.
When a quorum of Members has assembled in the House at the start of each sitting day, the Speaker proceeds to read prayers, in accordance with the requirements of Standing Order 30(1).  While prayers are read, the Speaker, the Members and the Table Officers all stand. The prayers are by custom read partly in French and partly in English. When the prayer is finished, the House pauses for a moment of silence for private thought and reflection. At the end of the moment of silence, unless there is any private business to consider first, the Speaker orders that the doors be opened to admit the public, the press and other visitors. Each Wednesday, after the prayer has been read, but before the doors are opened to admit the public, the Speaker recognizes a Member to lead the House in singing the national anthem. 
Section 30(2) requires that House business be under way within two minutes of the completion of the reading of prayers.
The House first adopted a form of prayer in 1877. Early in the session that year, Mr. Macdonald, the Member for Toronto Centre, put forward a motion proposing that the Speaker be empowered to appoint a chaplain to lead the House in prayer each day. Although the leading Members of the House were amenable to the general idea of prayers, many expressed the view that it would be wise to appoint a committee to consider the question before adopting a practice — and prayers — which might not be acceptable to both Protestant and Catholic Members.  Thus a committee was appointed which a week later reported a form of prayer to be read each sitting day by the Speaker.  While the report and the prayers it proposed were quickly endorsed by the House,  there remained some procedural questions: Would the galleries be opened before or after prayers? In what language would prayers be read?
In the brief discussion that followed, Members agreed that prayers would be read before the doors to the galleries were opened because the House sometimes had to deal with internal matters as the first item of business. It was felt that if the doors were opened before prayers, no such “domestic” business could be transacted in private since prayers were necessarily “the first stage of the proceedings.”  With this point settled, the discussion continued on the question of what language would be used in reading the prayers. A number of suggestions were made, but in the end it was agreed that they would be recited in the language most familiar to the Speaker.  It was only two years later that Speaker Blanchet, the Commons’ first bilingual Speaker, inaugurated the practice of reading the prayers in French and English on alternate days.  From then until the 1970s many Speakers, depending on their fluency in the two languages, followed this practice. Since then, some Speakers have alternated between the two languages, while others have used a bilingual prayer.
Aside from references to royalty, the form of the prayers did not change until the early 1980s, when a shorter version based on the original was initiated by Speaker Sauvé. These changes to the prayers have been made informally, without need of an order of the House and indeed sometimes without the House being advised of the change.  Quite separately, there have been many suggestions and recommendations to reword or rewrite the prayers in a non-sectarian form and to have them read by a chaplain instead of by the Speaker. 
In 1994, the House adopted a report recommending a new form of prayer more reflective of the different religions embraced by Canadians.  This prayer was read for the first time when the House met to open its proceedings on February 21, 1994. 
Another point of discussion has been the practice of not opening the gallery doors until after prayers. Many Members over the years have expressed the view that the public should be admitted before the devotions are read.  In fact, in 1976 the House unanimously agreed to a motion to allow the public to hear the prayers,  but the text, in the words of the Speaker of the day, did not say “specifically how its purpose can be implemented.”  In the end, the practice remained unchanged. There have, however, been rare instances when the public has heard the prayers. 
Oddly, although prayers became a part of the daily routine in 1877, a requirement that they be read each day was not included in the Standing Orders until 1927.  This Standing Order requirement has not changed substantially since. Standing Order 30(2), which obliges the House to begin its daily business within two minutes of the completion of prayers (excluding any private business that may have to be conducted before the doors are opened to the public), came into being in 1975 and has not since been amended. 
At 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, after the Speaker has read prayers and ordered that the doors be opened, the House begins “the ordinary daily routine of business”, commonly known as Routine Proceedings. Immediately following Question Period on Mondays and Wednesdays, Routine Proceedings takes place at 3:00 p.m. and on Fridays at 12:00 noon. Routine Proceedings consists of the following rubrics, called by the Speaker and considered in succession, normally in a matter of minutes:
Tabling of Documents (pursuant to Standing Orders 32, 109, 110 and 36(8))
Introduction of Government Bills (see Standing Orders 68 and 69)
Statements by Ministers (pursuant to Standing Order 33)
Presenting Reports from Interparliamentary Delegations (pursuant to Standing Order 34(1))
Presenting Reports from Committees (pursuant to Standing Order 35)
Introduction of Private Members’ Bills (see Standing Orders 68 and 69)
First Reading of Senate Public Bills (see Standing Order 69)
Motions (see Standing Orders 66 and 67)
Presenting Petitions (pursuant to Standing Order 36(6))
Questions on Order Paper (see Standing Order 39).
To ensure that the government is not prevented in any way from introducing its legislation, Standing Order 30(4) provides that the House shall complete “Introduction of Government Bills” every sitting. If this heading is not completed before Statements by Members on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the House continues with Routine Proceedings in the afternoon following Question Period until all the items under “Introduction of Government Bills” have been dealt with, suspending as much of Private Members’ Business as necessary. If proceedings under this heading are not completed by the ordinary hour of daily adjournment, the House continues to sit until such time as all Routine Proceedings up to and including “Introduction of Government Bills” are completed, after which the Speaker adjourns the House.
Full descriptions of each of the rubrics are given under the Standing Orders specifically applicable to them.
Since Confederation, the Standing Orders have provided for a daily routine of business. What has varied over time is its composition, its timing in the parliamentary day, and the classes of items that could be dealt with under each of its rubrics. For almost 40 years beginning in 1867, there were just four rubrics: “Presenting Petitions”, “Reading and Receiving Petitions”, “Presenting Reports by Standing and Select (later Special) Committees”, and “Motions”.  The latter also covered the introduction of bills,  a procedure for which a separate rubric did not exist until 1906. In that year the new heading, appropriately called “Introduction of Bills”, was inserted after “Motions” in the sequence.  A few years later, in 1910, another rubric styled “First Reading of Senate Bills” was added after “Introduction of Bills”, while at the same time the two headings dedicated to petitions were dropped from the order.  The time originally set aside for “Presenting Petitions”, the first of the two dropped rubrics, was reinstated during Routine Proceedings just before “Introduction of Bills” via another Standing Order that allowed petitions to be presented during Routine Proceedings without a specific rubric. 
It was not until 1955 that the House decided to make further changes by eliminating the need for Senate private bills to be read a first time during Routine Proceedings, leaving a separate provision elsewhere in the Standing Orders for the introduction of Senate private bills.  As well, a new item entitled “Government Notices of Motions” was added. This item previously had a place in the day-to-day order of business (see Standing Order 30(6)). Its transfer to Routine Proceedings was a consequence of a change in procedure that now saw government notices of motions automatically called during Routine Proceedings and transferred to the Order Paper under Government Orders for consideration, thus making it easier to reach Orders of the Day.  Meanwhile, by the early 1960s, the practice of making ministerial statements under the rubric “Motions” had grown to such an extent that the House adopted a new Standing Order in 1964 to codify the procedure for greater clarity and understanding (see Standing Order 33).
Aside from these changes, clarifications and additions to the sequence of Routine Proceedings, the time at which this stage was reached each day — immediately after prayers — remained unchanged until 1975. It was only then, because of the increasingly unpredictable timing of each day’s business, that the House agreed to a strictly delineated schedule for certain stages of House business.  The result was that Routine Proceedings was now slated for 3:00 p.m. (12:00 noon on Fridays), the time at which new 1975 Standing Orders now required Question Period to end. At the same time, two new rubrics, “Tabling of Documents” and “Statements by Ministers”, were added to the daily routine, which was re-ordered as follows: “Presenting Reports from Standing or Special Committees”, “Tabling of Documents”, “Statements by Ministers”, “Introduction of Bills”, “First Reading of Senate Public Bills”, “Government Notices of Motions”, and “Motions”.  Both new headings reflected long-standing practices, and their inclusion merely codified what had already been taking place. By moving “Motions” to the bottom of the sequence, the House corrected the previous difficulty of debates held under this rubric preventing the House from reaching other routine items.
Following the adoption of morning sitting hours in 1982, and following a 1985 reform committee recommendation that called for “a more rational approach to the order of business in the House”,  the times for Routine Proceedings were amended in 1986, and again in 1989 and 1991.  In addition, other reforms led to the creation of a new rubric “Presenting Reports from Interparliamentary Delegations”, the reorganization of existing ones, the reinstatement of the item called “Presenting Petitions”, and the deletion of the reference to the mid-day break. 
Yet while the “routine” in Routine Proceedings was for a long time its byword, events during the Thirty-Second and Thirty-Third Parliaments would change that. Beginning in the early 1980s, the presentation of large numbers of petitions was frequently resorted to as a means of bringing attention to a variety of public issues. The result was that often the daily routine of business was extended and not completed.  Similarly, in the mid-1980s the moving of motions without notice during Routine Proceedings, combined with requests for recorded divisions on what would normally have been pro forma proceedings, on occasion, resulted in the House not reaching Government Orders.  These practices led the Chair to express concern, notably in 1987, over the changing nature of Routine Proceedings,  and resulted in a reordering of the Routine Proceedings rubrics. Notably, “Presenting Petitions” was moved down in the order, while the single “Introduction of Bills” heading was divided to create two separate ones for the introduction of Government and of Private Members’ Bills (see the Commentary for the complete sequence). At the same time, the procedure for the completion of “Introduction of Government Bills” was adopted and the rubric “Government Notices of Motions” was dropped altogether.  Debatable Government Notices of Motions were now taken up under Government Orders after 48 hours’ notice.
In 2001, the Special Committee on the Modernization and Improvement of the Procedures of the House of Commons looked into concerns expressed by many Members that government announcements, regarding legislation or policies, were increasingly being made outside the House of Commons. To remedy the situation, the Committee recommended, first, that the government make greater use of Ministerial Statements in the Chamber, a rubric already provided in Standing Order 33. The Committee also suggested reordering the Routine Proceedings rubrics to call for the Introduction of Government Bills prior to Statements by Ministers. The Committee was of the view that this change “would encourage Ministers to give brief explanations of their legislation in the House, following introduction”.  The adoption of the Special Committee’s report led to the rearrangement of the Routine Proceedings rubrics in their present order.
Time is provided each sitting day for Members’ Statements and Question Period, after which Orders of the Day are reached, or resumed, if already reached before Statements by Members. On Mondays through Thursdays, Members’ Statements, which cannot be made by Ministers,  begins at 2:00 p.m.;  on Fridays, this item begins at 11:00 a.m. The time taken up by this stage cannot exceed 15 minutes, because at no later than 2:15 p.m. from Mondays to Thursdays and 11:15 a.m. on Fridays, the Question Period must begin. This stage in turn may not last more than 45 minutes, since at 3:00 p.m. (12:00 noon on Fridays), other business must be entered upon,  although it has happened that the Speaker has extended Question Period.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the business following Oral Questions is Orders of the Day, while on Wednesdays, Orders of the Day is reached only after the conclusion of Routine Proceedings. On Mondays and Fridays, Orders of the Day is resumed after the conclusion of the daily routine of business.
In the early years after Confederation, the daily business of the House consisted, broadly, of Routine Proceedings on the one hand, and Orders of the Day on the other. Before long, a practice developed under which oral questions on matters of public interest were put without notice to the Ministry just before Orders of the Day. With time, this practice became deeply entrenched, and the time taken up by oral questions increased markedly.  Consequently, the starting time of Orders of the Day was progressively delayed.
By late 1962, the Prime Minister suggested the need for a “self-denying ordinance” limiting the time spent on questions before Orders of the Day to half an hour as a means of saving “15 full days in an ordinary session”.  This idea evidently met with some approval, judging from the comments of the Leader of the Opposition who, a short time later, acknowledged that his party had agreed to “a reduction, if it is a reduction, to 30 minutes of the time spent on oral questions.”  This informal agreement did not last and, in 1964, the House formally addressed the difficulty when it adopted constraints on the length of the Question Period by limiting it to 30 minutes on Wednesdays.  A little more than a year later, this 30-minute limitation was applied to all other sitting days except Mondays, when Question Period was set at one hour.  In January 1966, its duration was increased to 40 minutes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Further changes in 1968 standardized the length of Question Period at 40 minutes on each sitting day. 
Despite these adjustments, the timing of Question Period and, after it, Orders of the Day, remained largely unpredictable. The ordinary daily routine, although usually brief, was no longer a consistently short part of proceedings because of the business occasionally conducted under some of its rubrics (see Standing Order 30(3) and (4)). Because Routine Proceedings came before Question Period in the daily order, unforeseen extensions at that stage pushed subsequent proceedings back, often at great inconvenience to Ministers and private Members. Finally, beginning in late 1968, it became more and more common for Members to rise daily before Question Period under the provisions of the then Standing Order 43 to move, without notice, motions on matters of “urgent and pressing necessity”. As the number of these motions increased, so did the uncertainty surrounding the conduct of each day’s business.
For all these reasons, in 1975 the House adopted a Standing Order which set out a new order and specific times for Question Period, Routine Proceedings and motions under the then Standing Order 43.  The rule made motions under the then Standing Order 43 the first stage of business after prayers. This was followed, at no later than 2:15 p.m. (11:15 a.m. on Fridays), by Question Period, which was allowed an increased maximum length of 45 minutes, such that at 3:00 p.m. (12:00 noon on Fridays) the House proceeded automatically to Routine Proceedings. These provisions succeeded in rationalizing proceedings which had previously been less than regular. Still, the start of Orders of the Day continued to depend on the completion of Routine Proceedings, an arrangement which remained unchanged until 1982. In that year, the adoption of new hours of sitting, together with a provision that Orders of the Day be the first business after prayers on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, added a further measure of reliability to daily proceedings.  Another 1982 reform abolished the then Standing Order 43 and replaced it with a new Standing Order that introduced a new proceeding during that time slot (see Standing Order 31).
The time for Routine Proceedings was changed in 1986 to 11:00 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a stated 3:00 p.m. time for Orders of the Day was also established.  In 1989, the arrangement of business for Mondays was amended so that Routine Proceedings would begin at 3:00 p.m., followed by Government Orders.  The degree of reliability attained in 1982 for Orders of the Day on those days has remained essentially the same. The arrangement for Wednesdays and Fridays has remained essentially unchanged since 1975, except for the replacement of Standing Order 43 in 1982, and the assurance on Fridays of at least one hour for Orders of the Day.
As in the case of Routine Proceedings, the House considers its other business in a predetermined sequence. Two of the three headings in the sequence encompass a host of items, which in turn fall into a variety of classes. The sequence or “order of business” is variable from day to day as outlined in the Standing Order.
Government Orders includes anything that is ordered by the House on a certain day and for which the motion for consideration is proposed by a Minister or Member acting for the government. Thus even when an opposition Member moves a motion on an allotted day, he or she does so under the continuing order for Supply moved by the government at the beginning of each session. Administratively, Government Orders has been broken down on the Order Paper as Supply Proceedings, Ways and Means Proceedings, Government Bills (Commons), Government Bills (Senate) and Government Business. The classes under Private Members’ Business are listed in the Standing Order.
On Mondays, after Private Members’ Business, Government Orders are considered by the House until 2:00 p.m. Following Statements by Members, Question Period and Routine Proceedings (see Standing Order 30(5)), the House resumes consideration of Government Orders from 3:00 p.m. until the ordinary time of daily adjournment.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, after Routine Proceedings at 10:00 a.m., the House considers Government Orders immediately, until 2:00 p.m. After Statements by Members and Question Period, Government Orders are again taken up from 3:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., when Private Members’ Business is reached.
On Wednesdays, after Statements by Members, Question Period and Routine Proceedings, Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers are taken up shortly after 3:00 p.m. Thereafter, Government Orders are considered until 5:30 p.m., when Private Members’ Business is reached.
Like Mondays, Fridays are also unique in that at 10:00 a.m., Government Orders are taken up immediately the House begins and are proceeded with until 11:00 a.m., when Statements by Members, Question Period and Routine Proceedings occupy the House for, usually, a little over an hour. The House then returns to Government Orders until 1:30 p.m., at which time Private Members’ Business begins, thus closing out the day.
Full descriptions of the headings in the day-by-day order of business are given under the Standing Orders or Standing Order chapters specifically applicable to each one.
In 1867, the program of the House varied according to the days of the week.  Thereafter, almost every time major rule revisions took place, the order of business was affected. Thus, changes occurred in 1876, 1906, 1910, 1927, 1952, 1955, 1961, 1964, 1968, 1975, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991 and 1994.  The majority of these alterations came about because of the changing nature of the business coming before the House, because of the growing volume of government business to be transacted and because of changes to the hours of sitting. Many such changes served to reduce the proportion of House time devoted to private bills or made available to private Members and to increase the time taken up by the government.
If Private Members’ Hour is delayed or interrupted for any reason, the debate on the item of business is then extended or rescheduled to another time. When consideration of Private Members’ Business is delayed because of a recorded division,  a ministerial statement  or a question period on a time allocation motion,  or if the period is interrupted by a Royal Assent ceremony  or by an emergency alarm,  then Private Members’ Hour is extended by a corresponding amount of time.  If the delay or interruption extends 30 minutes or more beyond the ordinary ending of Private Members’ Hour, the Speaker will add the remaining time or the entire hour to another sitting.
Any unused time of a Private Members’ Hour due to a delay or interruption may be rescheduled at the discretion of the Speaker, after consultation with the Member involved. Under this Standing Order, the rescheduled debate takes place within ten sitting days,  but no more than one adjournment period as provided in the parliamentary calendar may intervene in the rescheduling of the debate.  The rescheduled business is considered during an additional Private Members’ Hour, which is added to the daily schedule of the House, normally after the ordinary time of daily adjournment.
The regular 24 hours’ notice of the item to be considered is given to the House and is printed on the Notice Paper on the day the additional debate is to take place.  The Order Paper entry referring to the rescheduled debate appears at the top of the list of “Items in the Order of Precedence”.  On days when Private Members’ Business has been rescheduled, the adjournment proceedings are delayed by the amount of time required to complete the rescheduled debate.
On May 10, 1990, the forerunner to the current Standing Order 30(7) was adopted provisionally by the House. The new provision stated that, if Private Members’ Business was to be taken up on a day, other than a Monday, appointed for the consideration of the business of supply, the time provided for it would be delayed by one hour. It would be further delayed by the time required for the completion of any division arising out of the business of supply or any deferred division set down for that day. In addition, the new section stated that any recorded division demanded during the time provided for Private Members’ Business would be deferred until 6:00 p.m. the next sitting day (7:00 p.m. on Monday).  As this amendment was provisionally in effect until the last sitting day in December 1990, it lapsed when the House adjourned on Wednesday, December 19, 1990. As a result, only the rules which had been included in the Standing Order before the amendments of May 1990 remained in effect.
The next year, the House adopted a permanent change to the Standing Order. The new rule was basically the same as the amendment adopted in May 1990, differing only in that the requirement for rescheduling a recorded division in the manner set down in Standing Order 45(6) for proceedings on a Friday was removed from the Standing Order. 
In 1993, the idea of amending the Standing Order to consider delays or interruptions for any reason in Private Members’ Hour was broached. In its report on parliamentary reform, the Standing Committee on House Management mentioned that various proceedings — such as the holding of a recorded division or the granting of Royal Assent — could result in less time being available for the discussion of Private Members’ bills and motions, and that this unfortunate state of affairs should be corrected. The Committee recommended that, if Private Members’ Hour was delayed or interrupted, the time of the delay or interruption be added to the end of the Hour. 
On February 7, 1994, the House approved the recommendation made the previous year by the Standing Committee on House Management. The amendment to Standing Order 30(7) clearly stipulated that, regardless of the nature of the delay or interruption in the Private Members’ Hour, a period of time corresponding to the time of the delay or interruption would be added to the end of the Hour. Furthermore, the new provision stated that, if the delay or the interruption continued past thirty minutes after the time when Private Members’ Hour would have ordinarily ended, the Hour (or the part of the hour remaining) would be resumed at a later date designated by the Speaker, after consultation with the Member involved. This amendment also included the stipulation that the debate was to be resumed within the next ten sitting days, but that there was to be no more than one adjournment period under Standing Order 28(2) intervening. 
The Standing Order was clarified the following June. It then specified that, in the event that Private Members’ Hour was extended, as much of the business set out in Standing Order 30(6) as necessary would be suspended. It also provided that the section would not apply in cases where the Speaker adjourned the House pursuant to Standing Orders 2(3), 30(4)(b) or 83(2), that is, following the election of a new Speaker, following consideration of Routine Proceedings up to and including “Introduction of Government Bills”, and following the budget presentation. 
Standing Order 31 allows Members who are not Cabinet Ministers, when recognized by the Speaker, to address the House for up to one minute on virtually any matter of national, provincial or local concern during the 15-minute period that precedes Question Period.  The Speaker nevertheless retains discretion over the acceptability of each statement,  and has the authority to order a Member to resume his or her seat if improper use is made of the Standing Order. Personal attacks, criticisms of courts, judges or decisions rendered under law, reflections on the Senate and Senators, solicitation of funds or advertisement of causes, defamatory comments about non-Members, quoting verbatim remarks of a private citizen, or clearly frivolous statements have been ruled out of order. The time limit has been strictly enforced, on occasion leaving Members in mid-sentence. 
Points of order arising from “Statements by Members” are normally dealt with after Question Period, pursuant to Standing Order 47, although in some cases unparliamentary language is dealt with immediately. 
Although Standing Order 31 was added to the rules of the House in 1982, its varied antecedents were much older. For the first sixty years after Confederation, a rule existed whereby motions could be proposed without notice by unanimous consent of the House,  although such motions were rare. In 1925, however, following a recent increase in the number of such motions, a special committee reported that “The unanimous consent of the House is usually granted with such readiness and so little opposition that in many cases motions are passed before the House has had time to understand them.”  In 1927, the House finally agreed to a recommendation that the Standing Orders be amended so that unanimous consent could be sought only “in case of urgent and pressing necessity previously explained by the mover.”  The rule as amended was infrequently invoked until late 1968, when more and more Members began to rise daily before Question Period under its provisions, often in regard to cases where no “urgent and pressing necessity” appeared to exist.
This trend increased until finally, in 1975, a further control was instituted via Standing Order 15(2) (today Standing Order 30(5)) whereby such motions could only be moved by Members not of the Ministry during a restricted time period before Oral Questions.  Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, presiding officers were obliged to limit, as best they could, continued abuses of the (by then) infamous Standing Order 43.  In 1982, the recommendation of the Special Committee on Standing Orders and Procedure to abolish Standing Order 43 was endorsed by the House, which also endorsed the Committee’s proposal to institute a new, renumbered Standing Order that “would enable Members to make statements on current issues on a daily basis during the first 15 minutes of the sitting.”  The new Standing Order 31 was further amended in 1986 when the time for each Member’s statement was reduced from 90 to 60 seconds. 
In April 1993, the Standing Committee on House Management made recommendations pertaining to the recognition of Members, enforcement of the time limits, and using the time during the ringing of the division bells for “Statements by Members”, but the report was neither debated nor concurred in.  In June 1994, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs also studied the practices relating to “Statements by Members”, but did not recommend any changes. 
Many statutes and several Standing Orders require that certain returns, reports and other papers must be laid before the House each year or session by a representative of the government or by the Speaker of the House of Commons.  As well, resolutions or orders are occasionally made that require that particular documents be tabled. Whatever the case may be, Standing Order 32(1) indicates that the presentation or tabling of such papers can be done by delivering the material to the Clerk of the House on any sitting day, a procedure commonly known as “back-door” tabling. This is an alternative to the long-established practice by which a Minister or other government representative formally presents such papers from his or her place in the House.
During a period of adjournment, Ministers may deposit with the Clerk of the House, on the Wednesday following the 15th day of the month, any returns, reports or other papers that must be laid before the House pursuant to a statute, Special Order or Standing Order of the House.  These documents are deemed tabled that Wednesday even though they are not entered into the Journals until the first sitting day following the adjournment. 
In other instances, the government is in possession of reports or papers on matters under its administrative responsibility for which tabling is not required by an Act of Parliament or by a House order or resolution, but which the government nevertheless wishes to put before the House.  In this case, Standing Order 32(2) allows a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary acting on a Minister’s behalf to table the reports or papers in question in much the same way as he or she would do in formally presenting (or "front door" tabling) the kind of papers referred to in Standing Order 32(1). The reports or papers referred to in Standing Order 32(2) may not be deposited with the Clerk for tabling “by the back door”.
Each sitting day, a record is published in the Journals of all papers presented to the House (or delivered to the Clerk) under Standing Order 32(1) and (2). Presentation of papers in the House normally takes place during Routine Proceedings, under “Tabling of Documents”,  while papers may be deposited with the Clerk until the ordinary hour of daily adjournment on a sitting day and until 6:00 p.m. during an adjournment.
Various Speakers’ rulings have confirmed that it is not the responsibility of the Chair to rule on the content of documents tabled in the House,  and that there is no requirement that a treaty be tabled before the House debates a motion to ratify it.  Since the 1990s, it has been acceptable to table documents in alternative formats, as long as a print version is tabled at the same time.  Private Members are not allowed to table documents.  Finally, Standing Order 32(4) provides that documents of the type referred to in sections (1) and (2) must be in both official languages. 
One of the Commons’ first Speakers interpreted the general rule on tabling of documents that applied in the House in the early years after Confederation as: “No documents can be regularly presented to the House, unless sent down by Message from the Governor General, or in answer to an Order or Address of the House, or in pursuance of a statute requiring their production.”  So long as the paper to be tabled fell into one of the categories cited, a Minister had only to rise (usually during Routine Proceedings) and formally present the document to the House. A record of its presentation was then printed in the Votes and Proceedings. If the government wished to table papers that had not been ordered, a motion had to be adopted allowing their presentation.  Another practice, still followed today, suggested that whenever a Minister quoted a departmental document in the House, that document quoted should be tabled. 
In the early 1900s, motions for the production of papers began to take up a larger proportion of House time. This development led to the adoption in 1910 of a new Standing Order to regulate the use of such motions.  Thereafter, Ministers no longer resorted to formal motions to table this class of document; instead, they sought, and almost always obtained, leave to table them.  In all other respects, the presentation of papers by what had now become well-established usage continued for some time.
In 1955, a time-saving procedure was made possible through the introduction of a new Standing Order.  It would no longer be necessary to formally present to the House returns, reports or other papers required by statute or otherwise. Instead, these could be deposited privately with the Clerk on any sitting day, and would, like those formally presented, be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings.
In 1968, in response to an increased number of reports and papers being tabled by leave rather than by statutory requirements, orders or addresses, a further addition was made to the Standing Orders to remove the requirement that leave be obtained before the documents in question could be laid before the House.  This new Standing Order provided for formal tabling as long as the documents in question came “under the administrative responsibilities of the government”, a very broad category of documents.
It further provided that Parliamentary Secretaries could table such documents on behalf of Ministers and that the tabling of documents, whether presentation or deposit was required or not, would be duly recorded in the Votes and Proceedings. As Speaker Lamoureux put it in 1969, the new rule enlarged “the class of papers which [could] be tabled by the government without notice and without leave.” 
In 1975, a heading called “Tabling of Documents” was added to Routine Proceedings to codify the practice already being followed in the presentation of papers.  In 1988, a Private Members’ Motion calling on the House to require that official documents tabled or distributed in the House be in both official languages was adopted, thus leading to the addition of Standing Order 32(4) to the Standing Orders. 
The 1955 Standing Order and the 1968 addition remained unchanged until June 10, 1994, when the House adopted the Twenty-Seventh Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. In its report, the Committee recommended that documents to be tabled pursuant to statute or an Order might be tabled during an adjournment of the House, on the Wednesday following the 15th day of the month.  There have been no substantial amendments to sections (1) to (4) of this Standing Order since 1994.
Under the provisions of this Standing Order, messages from the Senate concerning bills to be given Royal Assent by written declaration may, during an adjournment, be deposited with the Clerk of the House. Such messages are deemed to have been received by the House on the day on which they are deposited with the Clerk. 
The Speaker then informs the House of the granting of Royal Assent by written declaration by having the message concerning the written declaration of Royal Assent, and the prior messages from the Senate concerning every bill in the declaration, published in the Journals. 
The question of reforming the Royal Assent process has arisen on a number of occasions, beginning in the 1980s.  The reform initiatives were an attempt to address the long-standing desire of governments and parliamentarians to modernize the Royal Assent procedure and at the same time preserve the traditional Royal Assent ceremony. Unlike its predecessors, Bill S-34, the Royal Assent Act, introduced in the Senate by the Leader of the Government in the Senate on October 2, 2001,  received Royal Assent on June 4, 2002.
As neither the Constitution Act, 1867 (section 55) nor the Royal Assent Act set out a procedure to be followed, the House was required to establish its own methods for informing Members during an adjournment of the House that a bill had received Royal Assent by written declaration. A few days later, the House adopted provisions allowing for the tabling during an adjournment of messages from the Senate concerning bills to be given Royal Assent (Standing Order 32(1.1)) and for printing the message signifying Royal Assent by written declaration and any other message received from the Senate in the Journals (Standing Order 28(5)). 
Several reports, returns or other papers must periodically be laid before the House to meet the requirements of certain Acts of Parliament.  Once tabled, these reports, returns or other papers are automatically referred to the appropriate standing committee, usually according to their subject-matter.  The referrals are permanent, so that committees will not be limited to studying the documents only in a specific historical time frame.
A slightly different arrangement exists for papers detailing Order-in-Council appointments. After tabling, these are referred to the appropriate standing committee, as determined by the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary tabling them. The duration of the automatic referral is limited to a maximum of 30 sitting days (see Standing Order 110).
Generally, until 1982, a report, return or other paper laid before the House in accordance with the requirements of a statute could not be directly studied or discussed by a standing committee unless the House specifically referred it to the committee for that purpose.  After 1982, however, a new Standing Order provided that all such reports, returns and papers were to be automatically referred to a standing committee as soon as they were tabled.  The referrals would be permanent and the choice of committee would be determined by the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary tabling the document. This latter provision was amended in 1985 to its present form so that now the referral is made automatically “to the appropriate standing committee”. 
Standing Order 32(6) was adopted in 1986,  following the recommendation of the Special Committee on Reform of the House of Commons that standing committees be given the power to scrutinize Order-in-Council appointments and an announcement by the Prime Minister of government policy in this regard.  The referral of papers describing Order-in-Council appointments, while automatic upon tabling, is in force only for up to thirty sitting days.
This Standing Order provides that, on each sitting day during Routine Proceedings, Ministers may rise under the rubric “Statements by Ministers” to address the House on matters of government policy or of national interest.  A Minister’s presentation must be brief and factual. Naturally, representatives of each opposition party  may wish to comment on the statement or announcement.  In responding to the statement, Members are not permitted to engage in debate or ask questions of the Minister,  and their responses too must be short. Typically, each response is of about the same length as the Minister’s statement.  The duration of the entire proceedings can be limited at the Speaker’s discretion.
The Standing Order further provides that the time taken up by such statements or announcements and the comments that follow is not lost from the total time allotted to Government Orders. Instead, the time is added to the time set aside for Government Orders at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays, 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and at 1:30 p.m. on Fridays. A 5:30 p.m. extension on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, or a 1:30 p.m. extension on a Friday, has the effect of delaying Private Members’ Business and, if applicable, the Adjournment Proceedings. A 6:30 p.m. extension on a Monday merely delays the ordinary time of daily adjournment. When a ministerial statement takes place on days when Private Members’ Business is suspended, an extension of Government Orders, if necessary, merely delays the Adjournment Proceedings, when applicable, and the ordinary time of daily adjournment.
When sittings are extended in June (pursuant to Standing Order 27), it is common for the House to push back the time of adjournment. As such, further extensions due to ministerial statements occur at the new adjournment hour, where applicable. 
A Minister is under no obligation to make a statement in the House. The decision of a Minister to make an announcement outside of the House instead of making a statement in the House during Routine Proceedings has been raised as a question of privilege, but the Chair has consistently found that there are no grounds to support a claim that any privilege has been breached.  It is customary that, as a courtesy, a Minister advises opposition critics in advance of his or her intention to make a statement in the House. However, nothing prohibits the Minister from making a statement in the event that no such notification was given. 
At Confederation, no provision existed in the written rules for the kind of ministerial statements that are now possible. This is not to say, however, that such statements were not made. In fact, beginning in 1867, Ministers rose from time to time, just before Orders of the Day, to make presentations on matters of government policy or public interest.  In addition, until at least 1915, Prime Ministers frequently made statements to explain changes in the membership of the Cabinet.  Representatives of the opposition parties routinely responded to policy statements, while ministerial changes traditionally elicited comments from the Leader of the Opposition.
As the number of policy statements increased, House practice became more defined; by the early 1950s, it had become customary to allow only party leaders to respond to the statements.  At the same time, successive Speakers indicated the responses should not be generalized, but should be “directed strictly to the statement”. 
By 1959, not only had the practice reverted from allowing responses only from party leaders to allowing responses from one speaker from each of the opposition parties, but the procedure was now under the rubric “Motions” during Routine Proceedings, instead of just before Orders of the Day. A further modification to the practice occurred that year when the Speaker advised the House that he considered unacceptable any opposition responses which “went beyond the length of the statement itself”. 
Eventually, in 1964, a Standing Order was adopted both to formalize the tradition of making statements under “Motions” and to provide guidelines by which the procedure could be regulated. The new rule, which allowed only for factual pronouncements of government policy, also required that these not provoke debate. It further codified the existing practice of responses by the opposition parties.  This last aspect of the rule later provoked a discussion on the question of what constituted a political party for the purposes of the Standing Order, with some Members relying on the Parliament of Canada Act to arrive at the figure of twelve Members as the minimum requirement to achieve party status in the House. Others disagreed and, in the end, the Speaker concluded that, in this regard, the House should be guided by practice, which had long allowed each party (although not independent Members) an opportunity to comment on ministerial statements, regardless of its membership in the House. 
These guidelines remained in effect until 1975 when, on the recommendation of a procedure committee, the way in which ministerial statements were commented upon was modified to allow both comments by opposition representatives and questions by Members in general.  At the same time, the Speaker was given full discretion in limiting the time taken up by such proceedings, which would now be conducted under a newly-created item in Routine Proceedings called “Statements by Ministers”. In the beginning the new procedure worked well, although before long it became lengthy and difficult to regulate — so much so that the making of policy statements and announcements in the House fell into disuse in order, it seems, to preserve valuable House time for other Government Orders.  By 1983, another procedure committee recommended changes to the Standing Order for this very reason, and advocated the elimination of the “mini” question period and the addition of the time used under “Statements by Ministers” to the total sitting time of the House.  While the two suggestions were not initially agreed to, they continued to be discussed and eventually resulted in a corresponding Standing Order change in 1985. 
As a result, the time taken up by ministerial statements was added to the time for government business (at 5:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, and at 4:00 p.m. on Fridays), and no questions could be allowed subsequently, although the possibility of comments from each party was still provided for. As before, the Speaker retained full discretion as to the length of such proceedings, while Private Members’ Business and the Adjournment Proceedings were, where applicable, merely delayed by the length of the extension.
In 1986, when the time for Routine Proceedings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays was moved to 11:00 a.m. (see Standing Order 30(3) and (4)), the House decided that the time to be made up due to ministerial statements would be added at 1:00 p.m. during the luncheon interruption on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Should this one-hour period not be sufficient, the remaining time would, as in 1985, be added at the end of the day, thus in some cases delaying Private Members’ Business and the Adjournment Proceedings.  On Wednesdays, the procedure would remain the same as in 1985. 
The 1986 version of the Standing Order was slightly modified in 1987 to account for the new hours of sitting on Fridays,  and again in 1989, this time to reflect the new sitting hours for Monday.  In February 1994, as a result of the disappearance of the mid-day interruption, the Standing Order was amended so that the sitting would be extended in the afternoon of the day on which the ministerial statement had been given, rather than during the lunch break. 
In 2001, the Special Committee on the Modernization and Improvement of the Procedures of the House of Commons looked into concerns expressed by many Members that government announcements regarding legislation and policies were increasingly being made outside the House of Commons. To remedy the situation, the Committee recommended that Ministers and their departments make greater use of the forum provided by the House of Commons and that more statements and announcements be made by Ministers in the House. The Committee also suggested reordering the Routine Proceedings rubrics to allow for the introduction of government bills prior to Statements by Ministers. The Committee was of the view that this change “would encourage Ministers to give brief explanations of their legislation in the House, following introduction”.  No substantial changes have been made to this Standing Order since 2001.
Members frequently travel abroad or within Canada on officially recognized interparliamentary delegations as representatives both of the House and of Parliament. An officially recognized interparliamentary delegation is a delegation composed, in any part, of Members of the House, which has been appointed and funded by the Speaker or by a recognized parliamentary association to represent the House or that association at an official interparliamentary activity either in Canada or abroad. Standing Order 34(1) requires that a report of each such trip be made to the House within 20 sitting days of the return of the delegation, either by the head of the delegation or by a Member acting on his or her behalf.
Standing Order 34(2) allows the presenter to make a short explanation of the report’s subject-matter; no debate is permitted. Reports are presented and explanations given under the rubric “Presenting Reports from Interparliamentary Delegations”, during Routine Proceedings.  The Speaker has also presented reports after official visits abroad by parliamentary delegations headed by a presiding officer. 
Both sections of this Standing Order were adopted in 1986,  following a 1985 recommendation by the Special Committee on the Reform of the House of Commons. The Committee had been concerned that there was no vehicle by which an increasing number of interparliamentary delegations could report on their work to the House of Commons. 
Similar concerns had been expressed as early as 1973, when a Member proposed a motion aimed at “bringing to the attention of the House of Commons… some of the deliberations that are held at the various meetings of the Interparliamentary Union”. 
Since its adoption, Standing Order 34(1) has been invoked numerous times, and its requirements generally adhered to.
Since delegations often found it difficult to meet the requirement to table a report within 10 sitting days (in at least two cases reports were presented late ), in 1987 Standing Order 34(1) was amended to increase from 10 to 20 the number of sitting days within which delegations must present a report. 
Section (1) of this Standing Order provides legislative, special and standing committees with a mechanism to make their views known to the House by means of a report. Although the presentation of a report to the House is typically made by the Chair, the report may also be presented by another member of the committee on his or her behalf. The member presenting the report must stand in his or her place, and is free to explain briefly the report’s subject-matter.  The presentation must be made during Routine Proceedings under the rubric “Presenting Reports from Committees”, or, if it is a report on the Main Estimates of one department or agency named under Standing Order 81(4)(b), at any time during the sitting in question prior to the reporting deadline, by reverting to Routine Proceedings.
Section (2) of the Standing Order provides that if the report of a standing committee is accompanied by supplementary or dissenting opinions or recommendations,  a committee member belonging to the Official Opposition may rise to give a brief explanation of the appended material. The comments of this Member follow those of the presenter of the report, and he or she speaks on behalf of those who support the opinions expressed in the appended material. No other Member may comment on the report at this time. 
The Chair has ruled that, when commenting on a dissenting or supplementary opinion, a committee member from the Official Opposition has an equal amount of time as that of the presenter of the committee report. 
The original 1867 Standing Order on the presentation of committee reports was abandoned in 1986. Until then, the interpretation given to this old rule did not permit of any explanation of reports when these were presented to the House.  Instead, until 1955, each report was read in its entirety at the table by an Assistant Clerk, and thus included in the Votes and Proceedings for that day (unless it was lengthy, in which case its reading was often dispensed with).  After 1955, the practice of reading each report was abandoned and the only reports read were those for which the Member presenting had stated his or her intention to move concurrence later the same day.  Still, the texts of all reports, both read and not read, were included in the Votes and Proceedings. This arrangement remained in effect until 1981 when it was decided to include only the texts of reports on bills and estimates in the Votes and Proceedings.  Other reports were nevertheless assigned sessional paper numbers which in turn were included in the Votes and Proceedings. Reports for which the Member presenting stated an intention of moving concurrence later the same day continued to be read by a clerk at the Table. 
In 1986, however, while the 1981 reading and printing arrangements remained essentially the same, section (1) of the present Standing Order was adopted.  It allowed (and still allows) a “succinct explanation of the subject-matter” of each report by the Member presenting it. The change was made as a result of a 1985 reform committee recommendation that “there should be a better method of bringing [reports] to the attention of the House”. 
Section (2) of Standing Order 35 was adopted in April 1991,  at the same time as standing committees were given the authority to append, if they so desired, supplementary or dissenting opinions to their reports.  Pursuant to the Standing Order, only a member of the committee who belonged to the Official Opposition was entitled to rise to comment briefly. 
Before a Member may present a petition, he or she must submit it to the Clerk of Petitions, who ensures that it meets the specific form and content requirements set out in the Standing Orders before certifying it. An uncertified petition may not be presented to the House.
Standing Order 36(2) lists several conditions that must be met before a petition is certified. The first is that a petition must be addressed to the House of Commons, the House of Commons in Parliament assembled, the Government of Canada as a whole, an individual Minister of the Crown, or a Member of the House of Commons. The prayer should be “clear, proper and respectful” and it may call for the expenditure of public funds. At the same time, the general tone of the whole petition must satisfy the sense of propriety of the Member presenting it, since each Member is accountable, under the provisions of Standing Order 36(3), for any impertinences and improprieties in it. The signatures of at least 25 people, other than Members of Parliament, along with their addresses if they have a fixed place of residence, must be included on the petition before it can be presented. 
The physical appearance of the petition must also meet strict specifications. It must be on paper of usual size (typically 21.5 cm x 28 cm (8½" x 11") or 21.5 cm x 35.5 cm (8½" x 14") sheets) and may be written, typewritten or printed. Writing or printing between the lines of the text of the petition is unacceptable. If a petition contains more than one sheet of signatures, the second and any subsequent sheets must contain an indication of the petition’s subject matter. Finally, in order to ensure that individuals may be protected from unknowingly being included in a petition, all petitions must bear original signatures and addresses, where applicable, which are “written directly onto the petition”. Signatures and addresses which are pasted, photocopied or altered in any way will render the petition incorrect as to form.
Since Confederation, petitions presented to the House have been subject to verification by a House official. The principal difference between the present-day verification rules and those which existed prior to 1986 is that petitions are now verified before presentation, where previously they were verified after the fact (see the Historical Summary for Standing Order 36(4), (5), (6) and (7)). This meant that from 1867 to 1986, there was no formal check on the presentation of irregular petitions; the Standing Order only warned that Members were “answerable” that their petitions did not “contain impertinent or improper matter”. This latter provision, which exists today as Standing Order 36(3), became the foundation of an honour system under which Members assured themselves that the petitions they were presenting met form and content requirements, many of which were not codified in the rules respecting petitions.  Nevertheless, petitions were presented from time to time which did not conform with the known requirements and which, as a result, were ruled out of order by the Speaker when the time came for their reception.
In 1867, the Standing Order on the form and content of petitions outlined only two conditions: petitions could be either written or printed, and the signatures of three petitioners had to be subscribed on the sheet containing the prayer of the petition. The rule was never interpreted, however, as precluding a single petitioner from approaching the House and, in 1906, the text of the rule was revised to reflect this long-standing practice.  Until 1986, no further conditions were codified in the Standing Orders. Between 1867 and 1986 and particularly in the 19th century House, however, a body of practice evolved which considerably increased the number of form and content requirements which had to be met before a petition could be received. In 1868, for instance, when faced with an objection to the reception of a petition that would have required a grant of public money, the Speaker applied a British rule in rejecting it.  The following year, when a similar case presented itself, the Speaker clarified his earlier ruling by making a distinction between petitions directly requesting funding and those indirectly doing so.  As a result, after 1869, petitions which indirectly sought pecuniary aid were acceptable for reception. In 1872, a petition telegraphed to Ottawa from Manitoba was ruled out of order because it did not contain original signatures. 
Two years later, a petition seeking action on an election return was ruled out of order because the House’s jurisdiction in such matters had been given over to the courts.  Later cases established a practice where all petitions relating to matters on which the House had delegated its authority to act were ruled out of order.  Memorials were deemed unacceptable in 1876,  as were petitions containing appendices.  The following year, a petition signed by non-resident foreigners was refused on the ground that “aliens, not resident in this country, had no right to petition this Parliament”.  During successive sessions, dozens of petitions continued to be ruled irreceivable because they directly sought the expenditure of public funds.  In 1884, when Bourinot’s first edition was published, many of these precedents were restated, and others, such as a requirement that petitions be free of erasures and interlineations, were added to the list. 
In 1885 a number of petitions were refused as the names attached to them were “in print, instead of in writing”,  while others were called into question amid allegations that many of the signatures were in the same handwriting.  In 1886, a petition with names pasted on was ruled out of order.  Two petitions reflecting improperly on the Prime Minister and the courts were refused in 1905 and 1909 respectively.  In 1917, the Speaker ruled that petitions ought to be addressed to the House of Commons in Parliament assembled.  Throughout this period, several petitions were rejected which did not contain a prayer, or which did not meet other explicit or usage-based requirements.  On the whole, however, the requirements established over several decades of practice were generally observed.
The decline in the number of petitions presented, particularly in the period 1940 to 1980, did not make it imperative to codify or standardize the by now vast (and varied) body of precedents related to the form and content of petitions. However, in the early 1980s the presentation of petitions became more common. On occasion, the presentation of petitions took up large proportions of House time.  In some cases, there were accusations of false signatures on petitions,  while in others the Chair was obliged to rule on the procedural acceptability of petitions at the reception stage.  By 1985, all of this had led to the view, as expressed by a House reform committee, that there was:
a definite need to clarify the rules relating to petitions, to promote increased uniformity in their presentation and to ensure that they are acceptable by the House in terms of content. There should be guidelines concerning the form of the petition and the signatures placed on it. 
The Committee proposed a series of recommendations, perhaps the most important of which sought rule changes requiring the certification of petitions before presentation. The Committee included in its report a partial list of the precedent-established requirements which they felt should be met before a petition could be certified.  The following year, amendments to the Standing Order were adopted that incorporated most of the recommendations and, at the same time, eliminated references to the reception of petitions.  In 1987, adjustments to some of the codified conditions were adopted, the most notable of which was a new requirement that the addresses of signatories must also be included in petitions. 
In June 1995, section (2)(d) was modified to clarify that it was the text of the petition which had to be free of erasures and interlineations.  In June 2001, the Special Committee on the Modernization and Improvement of the Procedures of the House of Commons recommended a loosening of the rules regarding the prayer and technical format and requirements, and in particular recommended that the Speaker, after consultation with the House Leaders, table simplified requirements.  It was not until September 2003 in the following session, however, through concurrence in the Fourth Report of the Special Committee that the text of Sections (2)(a), (b), (d) and (g) were amended to their current form.  In that same report, the Special Committee reflected on the issue of electronic petitions, recommended the development of a system for such petitions, and requested that the Clerk of the House develop options and a proposal for submission to and approval by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. 
At present, only petitions meeting the requirements set out in Standing Order 36(2) are certified for presentation (see the Commentary). Since 1986, no uncertified petitions have been received, except pursuant to unanimous consent. 
The original Standing Order governed all petitions presented to the House, including those for private bills. The requirements for petitions for private bills are now listed separately, in Standing Order 131.
There are two ways to present a petition to the House. The first, provided for by Standing Order 36(5), is to file it with the Clerk of the House during sitting hours, after it has been duly certified by the Clerk of Petitions as to form and content. The second method, provided for by Standing Order 36(6), is for the Member presenting the petition to do so formally from his or her place, again, after it has been duly certified, during Routine Proceedings under the rubric “Presenting Petitions”, for which a maximum of fifteen minutes is provided each sitting day. In either case, the Member must endorse (sign the back of) the petition, and the presentation is recorded in the Journals. 
Several conditions apply to the presentation of petitions in the House during Routine Proceedings, the most notable of which is the prohibition on “debate on or in relation to” petitions presented in this way noted in Standing Order 36(7). Members have frequently been cautioned not to indicate if they are in favour of or disagree with the contents of the petitions. In 1986, the Speaker issued guidelines which not only reiterated the provisions of Standing Order 36(7), but also invoked the practices which had evolved on the manner of presenting petitions:
When presenting a petition during Routine Proceedings, the Member may make a brief summary of the Prayer of the petition, state the parties from whom it comes and the number of signatures it contains, but may not make a speech or enter into debate on or in relation to the petition. The Member should also indicate that the petition has been certified in order, pursuant to the Standing Orders.
The Members should also note that they will be given the floor only once in a sitting to present all of their petitions. 
It has long been deemed irregular for the Speaker to present a petition; an obliging colleague does it instead.  It is also not uncommon for Members to present petitions with which they do not agree, although they are not bound to present petitions and cannot be compelled to do so. 
For the first 40 years of Confederation, the only method available to Members for presenting a petition was for them to rise during Routine Proceedings under a rubric called “Presenting Petitions”, briefly state the object of the petition,  and then send it to the Table via a Page. No debate was allowed.
A Member wishing to have a petition read at that time requested the reading of it by the Clerk. Because such petitions were not verified as to form and content when presented, they could not be officially read and received by the House until a House official (later designated the Clerk of Petitions) had reported to the Speaker, two days later, on whether or not the petitions were in conformity with House rules. With the report in hand, the Speaker could rule on any irregular petitions before the acceptable ones were formally “read and received” on a motion to that effect. The motion was made to apply to all petitions reported upon that day.  Occasionally, an objection was raised to the reception of a petition, and a debate followed on whether to receive it or not.  In urgent cases, a Member could request that a petition just presented be read at length and received immediately, although after 1885, this course, which required the unanimous consent of the House, was less commonly used.  Petitions received in this manner were often referred to a committee for consideration. 
In 1910, substantial changes were made to the rules on petitions and a second procedure, copied from Great Britain, was adopted to allow Members merely to file their petitions with the Clerk of the House during the hours of sitting. Petitions filed in this way before 4:00 p.m. on any given day were recorded in that day’s Journals, while those filed after 4:00 p.m. were recorded a day later. The old method of formal presentation in the House was retained, although the elimination of the rubric “Presenting Petitions” meant that Members wishing to present petitions from their places could now do so only “during Routine Proceedings” but before “Introduction of Bills”. The rubric “Reading and Receiving Petitions” was also dropped from the daily routine and the rights of Members in this regard were thus considerably curtailed. From then on, the routine reading and receiving of petitions was no longer done. Petitions which met the rules and practices of the House were merely “deemed” read and received. In addition, a new rule, identical to the present-day Standing Order 36(7), was adopted which clearly prohibited debate on the presentation of petitions, thus codifying past practice in this regard. Nevertheless, it remained possible by leave of the House to have an urgent petition read and received on presentation, although this was an unusual proceeding after 1910.  The changes also brought in the new title “Clerk of Petitions”. 
In 1927, the 4:00 p.m. recording rule was dropped, and any petition filed during sitting hours was recorded in that day’s Votes and Proceedings.  Aside from this change, the rules respecting presentation of petitions remained unrevised until 1986, when the rubric “Presenting Petitions” was restored to Routine Proceedings. At the same time, the current system of an examination by the Clerk of Petitions prior to presentation was adopted and “reading and receiving” was removed from the rule.  Petitions are now merely presented — none is deemed received.
Between 1910 and the 1970s, formal presentation of petitions was less common than it is today, and there were only a few instances where Members requested that their urgent petitions be read and received.  Since the early 1980s, however, it has become more common to present petitions, sometimes in such large numbers that the House has not reached other business. This increased number of petitions has led not only to new practices and conditions on the presentation of petitions,  but has also led, in part, to changes in 1987 to the order of the rubrics in Routine Proceedings. “Presenting Petitions” comes later in the order in the daily routine.  As well, in 1991, the amount of time set for “Presenting Petitions” was limited to a maximum of fifteen minutes. 
The requirement that Members endorse (sign the back of) the petitions they present has remained unchanged since 1867.
The House of Commons is frequently petitioned on a variety of matters of public concern. Naturally, many of the petitions presented touch on questions with which the government is seized or in which it has a policy interest. The intent of this Standing Order is to provide that all petitions presented in the House are referred to the government for consideration and response within a fixed time period of 45 calendar days. The petitions are referred to the government — actually the Government House Leader — by the Clerk of the House. The Standing Order does not specify the form of the response. Written responses are tabled during Routine Proceedings under the rubric “Tabling of Documents”  or may be filed with the Clerk of the House pursuant to Standing Order 32(1). 
Section (8)(b) provides that if a response from the government has not been received within the 45-day period, the matter of the failure to respond is referred to the appropriate standing committee. The Chair of that committee must then convene a meeting to consider the failure of the Ministry to respond. 
The requirement to respond to petitions survives prorogation. 
Before 1986, almost all petitions were simply presented, read and received (“deemed” read and received after 1910) and no answer was ever given to the allegations or grievances raised in them. In isolated cases, a petition was discussed on the motion to receive it (see Historical Summary for Standing Order 36(4), (5), (6) and (7)); in other rare instances, petitions were referred to committee for consideration. 
As the number of petitions presented increased in the early 1980s, there were calls for reforms to provide that responses would be made to petitions. In 1983, one Member put forward a private Members’ bill which would have obliged the government to respond to all petitions presented to the House within two weeks of their presentation. The bill died on the Order Paper after a brief debate at second reading.  In 1985, a committee on House reform recommended a similar arrangement.  In 1986, the intent of the various proposals was incorporated into section (a) of the present-day rule which requires responses to petitions referred to the government to be given within 45 days of their presentation.  Section (a) was then further amended in June 1994 to provide that such responses could be filed also with the Clerk of the House, pursuant to Standing Order 32(1), in addition to the usual practice which was to present the response in the House during Routine Proceedings. 
In September 2003, section (b) was added to the Standing Order to provide that if the government failed to respond to the petition within a 45-day period, the matter of the failure to respond would be referred to a standing committee.