Report Stage Rulings
The Speaker has the power to select and group the motions to amend a bill at report stage. The Speaker delivers the decision regarding the selection and grouping of motions in amendment after the order for the consideration of report stage of the bill has been read. He or she informs the House of the motions in amendment that have been selected and grouped for debate as well as the voting arrangements. Where applicable, the Speaker will also list those motions in amendment that have not been selected, stating the reasons for his/her decision.
Normally, the Speaker will not select a motion in amendment previously ruled out of order in committee, unless the reason for it being ruled out of order was that it required a Royal Recommendation.
The Speaker will only select motions in amendment that could not be presented in committee. However, motions proposing to further amend clauses amended in committee may be selected by the Speaker. A motion previously defeated in committee will only be selected if the Speaker judges it to be of such significance as to warrant further consideration at report stage. Members are permitted to make written representations to the Speaker at the time they give notice of their amendments setting out the reasons why exceptional significance should be given to them.
When an amendment is selected that has been submitted by more than one Member, the Speaker, after consultation, will designate which Member will propose it (normally, the Member who gave notice of the motion first).
Grouping for Debate
Motions in amendment are grouped for debate according to two criteria: the content and the place where they propose to amend the bill. For the purpose of debate, the Speaker will group motions that have similar intent or are interrelated. In so doing, the Speaker will consider whether debate on the group will allow individual Members to adequately express their concerns.
Motions are grouped according to content if:
- they could form the subject of a single debate;
- once adopted, they would have the same effect in different places in the bill; or if
- they relate to the same provision or similar provisions of the bill.
If a bill has been sent to committee before second reading, during the report stage debate, the first Member from each of the recognized parties may speak for no more than 20 minutes on the first amendment proposed at report stage. No other Member may speak more than once or longer than 10 minutes on any motion or group of motions in amendment. If the report stage occurs after second reading, members may speak for 10 minutes on each group of motions.
When the Speaker selects and groups motions in amendment, he or she also determines the order in which the motions in amendment will be called during voting and the consequences of one vote on the others. The purpose of the voting scheme is to avoid the House having to vote multiple times on essentially the same issue.
Example of a Speaker's Ruling at Report Stage
(Bill C-10, an act to amend the Contraventions Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act)
(Debates, February 23, 2004)
The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Hinton) : There are seven motions in amendment standing on the Notice Paper for the report stage of Bill C-10.
Motions Nos. 5 to 7 will not be selected by the Chair as they could have been presented in committee.
Motions Nos. 2 and 3 will not be selected by the Chair as they were defeated in committee.
As well, Motions Nos. 2, 3 and 6 have not met the notice requirement pursuant to Standing Order 76(2).
All remaining motions have been examined and the Chair is satisfied that they meet the guidelines expressed in the note to Standing Order 76(5) regarding the selection of motions in amendment at the report stage.
Motions Nos. 1 and 4 will be grouped for debate and voted upon separately. Motions Nos. 1 and 4 shall now be proposed to the House.