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Legislative Process

Reasoned Amendments to Bills

A reasoned amendment allows a Member to state the reasons why he or she opposes second or third reading of a bill. While the Standing Orders of the House of Commons contain no provisions respecting reasoned amendments, practice has developed over the years regarding both the form and substance of such amendments.

A reasoned amendment generally takes the form of a request to the House to decline to give a bill second or third reading based on two broad categories of reasons:

To be in order, a reasoned amendment must be relevant and relate strictly to the bill being considered. A reasoned amendment is not relevant, for example, if it:

In addition, a reasoned amendment must not be a direct negation of the principle of the bill and, if what is sought may be accomplished by amendments in committee, it must not relate to particulars of the bill. It must not attach a condition to the adoption of the second reading motion.

There have been no instances where the House has decided in favour of a reasoned amendment. If it were to do so, debate on the bill would end and the bill would be dropped from the Order Paper.

 

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Modified: March 2006
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