PARLIAMENT of CANADA
House of Commons Procedure and Practice
Edited by Robert Marleau and Camille Montpetit
2000 EditionMore information …
 Search 
Previous PageNext Page

13. Rules of Order and Decorum

[51] 
Journals, March 14, 1928, pp. 154-5.
[52] 
See, for example, Journals, February 10, 1953, p. 232; November 5, 1991, p. 4609. See also Bourinot, 4th ed., p. 345. The same rule applies with the previous question (“That the question be now put”): the Member who moves the previous question is deemed to have spoken to both the previous question and the original motion. For further information, see Chapter 12, “The Process of Debate”.
[53] 
See, for example, Journals, May 30, 1960, pp. 514-5.
[54] 
Beauchesne, 4th ed., p. 138.
[55] 
See, for example, Debates, January 25, 1983, p. 22176; January 31, 1985, p. 1845. Upon commencing debate at second or third reading of a government bill, a parliamentary secretary often speaks on behalf of the Minister after the Minister has moved the motion. See, for example, Debates, October 6, 1997, p. 495.
[56] 
See, for example, Debates, September 26, 1967, pp. 2484, 2486; November 18, 1997, p. 1824; March 19, 1998, p. 5138.
[57]
It is only during the debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne when the seconder speaks immediately after the mover. See Chapter 15, “Special Debates”.
[58] 
See, for example, Debates, December 11, 1990, p. 16563; May 11, 1998, p. 6814.
[59] 
Bourinot, 4th ed., pp. 345-6.
[60] 
Bourinot, 4th ed., p. 346.
[61] 
Bourinot, 4th ed., p. 346.
[62] 
See, for example, Debates, September 24, 1991, p. 2672; November 28, 1991, pp. 5481-2; November 18, 1997, p. 1824.
[63] 
Standing Order 43(1).
[64] 
Standing Order 44(1).
[65] 
See, for example, Debates, March 1, 1991, pp. 17872-3; November 27, 1991, p. 5433. In the past, Members frequently abused this right by going beyond the provisions of the Standing Order which prohibited the introduction of “new matter” when an explanation was given. See Bourinot, 4th ed., pp. 350-1, for an enumeration of the many types of violations of this rule.
[66] 
Standing Order 44(2).
[67] 
Standing Order 44(2). A substantive motion is a self-contained proposal not dependent on another motion or proceeding. Normally such motions require notice before they can be moved in the House. For further information, see Chapter 12, “The Process of Debate”. See also the Chair’s remarks in Debates, October 4, 1994, p. 6548; October 17, 1994, p. 6752.
[68] 
Standing Order 44(2). Until 1906, the Standing Order only allowed Members who had moved substantive motions the right of reply. In 1906, the rule was amended to extend the right of reply to the mover of second reading of a bill, even though it was well understood that a second reading motion was not a substantive motion. The reason was given by Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, who explained that “When a Bill is moved for the first time the member who introduces the Bill may make his speech upon it. Our practice generally is to have that explanation on the second reading.” Thus the exception was a way of guaranteeing the mover of a bill two opportunities to speak during debate on second reading. See Debates, July 9, 1906, cols. 7467-70. The right of reply does not apply to the third reading motion (Debates, May 4, 1990, p. 11034).
[69] 
Standing Order 44(3). See, for example, Debates, May 28, 1984, pp. 4122-3; October 4, 1994, p. 6548; April 4, 1995, pp. 11516-7; February 15, 1999, p. 11866; February 19, 1999, p. 12201.
[70] 
See, for example, Journals, February 7, 1961, p. 226.
[71] 
See, for example, Debates, November 7, 1957, pp. 877-8; February 11, 1985, pp. 2219-20. This rule has had a varied history and, as late as 1984, a parliamentary secretary was allowed the right of reply to close off debate without seeking the unanimous consent of the House (Debates, June 8, 1984, p. 4492).
[72] 
If a Minister were to exercise his or her right of reply, the length of time he or she would be allowed to speak would depend on the rules being applied at that time. For example, if a Minister chose to close the debate during the first five hours of debate on a second reading motion, he or she would be entitled to speak for 20 minutes. If a Minister chose to close the debate after the first five hours, he or she would get 10 minutes to reply. For an example of a Minister closing off debate on a second reading motion, see Debates, January 25, 1971, p. 2726.
[73] 
Standing Order 95(2). This Standing Order was adopted on October 10, 1997 (Journals, p. 107). See, for example, Debates, October 31, 1997, p. 1433.
[74] 
Standing Order 97(2). See, for example, Debates, November 2, 1998, pp. 9676-7.
[75] 
Standing Orders 16(2) and 48.
[76] 
Standing Order 43(1).
[77] 
Beauchesne, 4th ed., pp. 113-4.
[78] 
Standing Order 17. See, for example, Debates, January 24, 1994, p. 251; November 29, 1994, pp. 8406-7; October 10, 1997, pp. 784-5. Members have been permitted to speak from a place other than their own, but only by consent of the House (see, for example, Debates, April 9, 1962, p. 2629).
[79] 
See, for example, Debates, November 24, 1992, p. 13977; January 24, 1994, pp. 215, 218;February 2, 1998, p. 3181; October 21, 1998, p. 9229.
[80] 
See, for example, Debates, February 24, 1993, p. 16404.
[81] 
Franks, p. 124.
[82] 
See, for example, Debates, November 28, 1991, p. 5475; April 18, 1996, pp. 1628-9; March 19, 1998, p. 5115.
[83] 
See, for example, Debates, February 8, 1994, pp. 1083, 1084.
[84] 
Until 1994, the Standing Orders did contain one rule respecting a dress code: when participating in any proceedings, Members were required to rise “uncovered”, that is, to remove their hats. The Speaker allowed Members to wear hats as long as they removed the head gear before rising to speak. See Debates, March 17, 1971, p. 4338; June 20, 1983, pp. 26564-6; June 3, 1992, pp. 11348-9. However, since Members are no longer in the habit of wearing hats in the Chamber, this aspect of the Standing Order had become anachronistic and was finally deleted in June 1994. See the Twenty-Seventh Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence, June 9, 1994, Issue No. 16, p. 3), presented on June 8, 1994 (Journals, p. 545), and adopted June 10, 1994 (Journals, p. 563).
[85] 
See, for example, Debates, October 19, 1979, pp. 405-6; December 10, 1981, pp. 13920-1; September 12, 1983, pp. 26977-8; August 10, 1988, p. 18176; August 11, 1988, pp. 18208-9; April 5, 1990, p. 10206; June 3, 1992, pp. 11348-9; November 20, 1992, p. 13745; April 19, 1996, p. 1703.
[86] 
See, for example, Debates, November 29, 1974, p. 1795; February 19, 1990, pp. 8485-6, and Speaker Fraser’s ruling, Debates, May 3, 1990, pp. 10941-2. On occasion, male Members not wearing a tie have been permitted to vote. See, for example, Debates, March 31, 1987, pp. 4726-7; April 5, 1990, p. 10206.
[87] 
See, for example, Debates, January 25, 1985, pp. 1685-6.
[88] 
See, for example, Debates, February 4, 1943, p. 162.
[89] 
See, for example, Debates, April 5, 1990, pp. 10242-3.
[90] 
R.S.C. 1985, Appendix II, No. 5, s. 133. The Constitution Act, 1982 also stipulates that the English and French languages have “equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and government of Canada” (s. 16(1)) and that everyone has the “right to use English or French in any debates and other proceedings of Parliament” (s. 17(1)). The only references to language requirements in the Standing Orders are found in Standing Orders 7(2), 32(4) and 65. Standing Order 7(2) stipulates that the Deputy Speaker must have a full and practical knowledge of the official language which is not that of the Speaker. Standing Order 32(4) requires that documents distributed or tabled in the House be in both official languages. Standing Order 65 requires motions that are seconded to be read in English and French. See also Debates, November 25, 1998, pp. 10432-3.
[91] 
In 1958, the House agreed to the installation in the Chamber of a system for simultaneous interpretation in both official languages (Journals, August 11, 1958, p. 402). See also Debates, August 11, 1958, pp. 3331-40. On occasion, there have been minor mechanical problems with the simultaneous interpretation system, but debate has not been unduly hampered because of this inconvenience to Members (see, for example, Debates, November 1, 1994, p. 7473; March 23, 1999, p. 13311; April 29, 1999, p. 14503).
[92] 
On one occasion, a Member rose on a point of order to complain about another Member who had spoken in Inuktitut. The Chair responded that there was no rule preventing a Member from using a language other than French or English (Debates, June 12, 1995, p. 13605). See also Debates, June 13, 1995, p. 13702, where the Speaker requested that a Member who had made a speech in Inuktitut consider answering questions in one of the two official languages. The Member complied. Other languages which have been used in debate include Dene-North Slavey (see, for example, Debates, October 21, 1991, pp. 3699, 3702), Italian (see, for example, Debates, September 10, 1992, p. 12928; September 15, 1992, p. 13164), Punjabi (see, for example, November 19, 1991, p. 5067), Cree (see, for example, Debates, June 12, 1998, p. 8119; November 5, 1998, p. 9893), Ojibway (see, for example, Debates, November 5, 1998, p. 9893) and Salishan (see, for example, Debates, November 5, 1998, p. 9893). On one occasion, there was an exchange between two Members in Latin and Greek (Debates, February 18, 1983, p. 22983).
[93] 
See, for example, Debates, June 4, 1993, pp. 20356-61; June 13, 1995, p. 13700; March 18, 1998, p. 5041; March 24, 1998, p. 5278; June 9, 1998, p. 7806.
[94] 
Debates, December 8, 1964, p. 10926.
[95] 
See, for example, Debates, May 13, 1998, pp. 6918-9; May 6, 1999, p. 14381.
[96]
The one notable exception to this practice is when the Minister of Finance is presenting a Budget.
[97] 
May, 22nd ed., p. 372. See also Bourinot, 4th ed., p. 335. In 1947, Speaker Fauteux noted: “If the rule were otherwise members might read speeches written by other people and the time of the house [would] be taken up considering the arguments of persons who are not properly elected representatives of the people.” Debates, May 29, 1947, pp. 3567-8.
[98] 
Journals, April 19, 1886, pp. 167-8.
[99] 
See, for example, Debates, June 14, 1940, p. 781; September 20, 1942, pp. 730-1; September 11, 1945, p. 66; May 29, 1947, pp. 3567-8; February 20, 1951, pp. 496-7; May 29, 1951, pp. 3494-5.
[100] 
See Speaker’s statement on reading of speeches, Journals, January 31, 1956, pp. 92-102, in particular p. 97.


Top of documentPrevious PageNext Page