LEGISinfo provides information on all bills considered by the Senate and the House of Commons since the start of the 37th Parliament in 2001. (Note: The titles and numbers of most bills considered by Parliament between 1994 and 2000 are also available along with the bill publication.) In addition to bill numbers, long and short (if applicable) titles, and a quick overview of the last stage a bill has completed in the legislative process, the following information is available to users:
Text of the Bill
This link provides direct access to all printed versions of the bill. Bills may be printed on as many as four occasions:
- First Reading
- As amended by committee (House of Commons only)
- As passed by the House of Commons (the Senate)
- Royal Assent
Not all bills are printed at each stage listed above and it is not uncommon for a bill not to be printed as reported by the committee when no significant amendments have passed. Bills reported by Senate committees are not reprinted.
Status of the Bill
This link provides an overview of the current legislative stage of a bill as well as the dates when other stages of the legislative process were completed. You can also access the Debates of the Senate and the Debates of the House of Commons for the dates when the bill was debated, along with major speeches and recorded votes. This portion of the site is updated on a daily basis and reflects any action taken by the Senate or the House of Commons on the previous day.
In addition, from the LEGISinfo home page, you can search for all bills at a certain stage in the legislative process by clicking on the links under the Status heading on the right-hand navigation menu (e.g., House - At Second Reading, Senate - At Third Reading).
Bill Sponsor and Political Affiliation
The name of the Senator or Member of the House of Commons sponsoring a bill is provided. In the case of a government bill, only the Minister’s title is provided. By clicking on the hyperlinked title, you will find the name of the current Minister and related information. By clicking on the name of the sponsor of a Senate public bill or private Member’s bill, you will find additional information about the parliamentarian (e.g., contact information, riding / senatorial division information, committee roles, election / appointment information, etc.).
You may also search for all bills sponsored by a particular Minister, Senator or Member of the House of Commons, by clicking on his or her name provided on the right-hand navigation menu on the LEGISinfo home page.
Users may also search for bills by political affiliation by using the links provided on the right-hand navigation menu on the LEGISinfo home page. Please note that only current political affiliations are available for Senators.
Speaker’s Rulings and Statements
Each chamber’s Speaker may deliver rulings and statements with respect to the procedural acceptability of a bill or, in the case of the House of Commons, the selection of amendments to be debated at report stage. The dates of these important rulings and statements are provided in this section as are the links to the Debates of the Senate and Debates of the House of Commons.
Major Speeches in Parliament
These are speeches delivered in the Senate and the House of Commons at second reading by the bill’s sponsor and the opposition critics or lead speakers from each recognized political party, if applicable.
Similar Bills Introduced in Previous Sessions
It is not unusual for bills not to have completed all stages of the legislative process when Parliament is prorogued. Bills are therefore sometimes reintroduced in a new session of Parliament and LEGISinfo provides selected information on the previous versions of these bills such as when the bill was introduced, as well as its bill number, title and the stage that it reached in the legislative process.
Since 2003, prorogation has had almost no practical effect on private Members’ bills (bills C-201 to C-1000). These bills continue from session to session within a Parliament without interruption, i.e. they do not have to be reintroduced in a new session. They are deemed to have passed all stages completed in the previous session and retain the same place on the Order Paper. LEGISinfo provides information from previous sessions on these bills.
This section provides links to the Debates of the Senate or the Debates of the House of Commons if recorded votes have been taken to move a bill from one stage to the next. For example, when a bill passes second reading with a recorded vote, LEGISinfo provides a link to the results of the vote in the Debates.
Coming into Force
LEGISinfo contains details about the coming into force of each bill. Not all bills or all portions of bills become enforceable when they receive Royal Assent.
At the end of the ‘coming into force’ information, there may be a reference number such as SI-2010/89. This number refers to the specific instrument passed by the Governor in Council proclaiming the Act or sections of the Act in force.
The reference number can be broken down into three key elements:
- SI is an acronym for Statutory Instrument;
- 2010 refers to the year that the SI was published; and
- 89 signifies that this is the 89th SI published for the year 2010.
Publications and Background Information
- Departmental Information: This section provides links to the press releases and background documents prepared by federal government departments on legislation. Departmental information is available for most government bills.
- Legislative Summaries: Legislative summaries are documents prepared by the Library of Parliament to provide parliamentarians with background information and an explanation of the bill. These documents are prepared for most government bills. Analysts, knowledgeable in the relevant area of policy or law, write the summaries as soon as resources permit, following first reading of a bill. New legislative summaries will be posted on the Web site once the texts are available in both official languages.
- Further Reading: This section of LEGISinfo provides several different sources of information. It contains a short bibliography of current magazine and journal articles on the subject matter of the bill; links to press releases prepared by the opposition parties; and links to selected Web sites that are relevant to the subject matter of the legislation.