PARLIAMENT of CANADA
House of Commons Procedure and Practice
Edited by Robert Marleau and Camille Montpetit
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Routine Proceedings

The daily routine of business, commonly referred to as “Routine Proceedings”, is a time in the daily schedule when business of a basic nature is considered, providing Members with an opportunity to bring a variety of matters to the attention of the House, generally without debate. The House proceeds to Routine Proceedings at the opening of the sitting on Tuesday and Thursday (immediately after the Speaker has read the prayer and ordered the doors opened), at 3:00 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday, and at 12:00 noon on Friday (immediately following Question Period). [57] 

This segment of the daily program consists of separate headings or rubrics called by the Speaker each day and considered in succession. These headings include:

  • Tabling of Documents;
  • Statements by Ministers;
  • Presenting Reports from Inter-parliamentary Delegations;
  • Presenting Reports from Committees;
  • Introduction of Government Bills;
  • Introduction of Private Members’ Bills;
  • First Reading of Senate Public Bills;
  • Motions;
  • Presenting Petitions;
  • Questions on the Order Paper.

After Routine Proceedings on Wednesday, “Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers” is considered immediately after “Questions on the Order Paper”. (For further details, see the relevant section later in this chapter.) Applications for emergency debates are also considered after Routine Proceedings, prior to the calling of Orders of the Day. (For further information, see Chapter 15, “Special Debates”.)

As the Speaker calls each rubric in Routine Proceedings, Members who wish to bring forward matters rise in their place and are recognized. Usually they will have previously indicated to the Chair or the Table their wish to raise an item. [58]  The amount of time required to complete Routine Proceedings varies from day to day depending on the number of items dealt with under each rubric.

All rubrics up to and including “Introduction of Government Bills” must be called each sitting day. Thus, at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, “Statements by Members” interrupts Routine Proceedings if the rubric “Introduction of Government Bills” has not yet been completed. The ordinary daily routine of business then continues at 3:00 p.m., immediately after Question Period, until all items under “Introduction of Government Bills” are completed, suspending as much of the hour set aside for Private Members’ Business as necessary. [59]  Obviously, this does not apply on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, since on those days “Statements by Members” and Question Period take place before Routine Proceedings. If the proceedings are not completed by the ordinary hour of daily adjournment on any sitting day, the House continues to sit until such time as all rubrics under Routine Proceedings up to and including “Introduction of Government Bills” have been called and completed. The Speaker then adjourns the House until the next sitting day. [60]  However, on days when time remains for Routine Proceedings after “Introduction of Government Bills” is completed, Routine Proceedings could possibly continue until interrupted either by the normal adjournment of the sitting on Monday, [61]  by “Statements by Members” on Tuesday and Thursday, [62]  or by Private Members’ Business on Wednesday and Friday. [63] 

Historical Perspective

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 rubric. 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”. [64]  In 1906, the rubric “Introduction of Bills” was added after “Motions” in the sequence (bills having previously been presented under “Motions”). [65]  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 rubrics dedicated to petitions were dropped. [66]  The order of rubrics under Routine Proceedings did not change again until 1955 when “Government Notices of Motions” was added. [67]  Twenty years later, in 1975, “Tabling of Documents” and “Statements by Ministers” were added to Routine Proceedings to reflect and codify long-standing practices which had previously been dealt with under the rubric “Motions”. [68]  In 1986, the rubric “Presenting Reports from Inter-parliamentary Delegations” was created and the item “Presenting Petitions” was reinstated. [69] 

In late 1986 and early 1987, the moving of motions “to proceed to Orders of the Day” [70]  and “to proceed to the next item of Routine Proceedings” [71]  during Routine Proceedings, combined with requests for recorded divisions on what would normally have been pro forma proceedings, [72] resulted not only in the House failing to reach Government Orders on occasion, but also prevented the government from introducing its legislation. [73] In the fall of 1986, a government bill to amend the Patent Act was placed on the Order Paper. The strong opposition to the bill led to the use of these motions during Routine Proceedings to delay introduction, first reading and second reading of the bill. [74]  After the bill was considered by a legislative committee and reported back to the House with amendments, [75]  the government gave notice of a time allocation motion respecting the report stage of the bill. [76]  The government intended to move the time allocation motion under the rubric “Motions” during Routine Proceedings; however, the use of procedural tactics prevented the House from reaching this rubric. [77]  On April 13, 1987, the government attempted to skip over certain rubrics under Routine Proceedings when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister moved that the House proceed from “Tabling of Documents” to “Motions” which, if carried, would have had the effect of superseding all intervening rubrics. The Speaker had ruled out of order a similar motion only a few months earlier. [78]  A point of order arose, a debate ensued and the Speaker reserved judgement. [79] 

In his ruling, [80]  Speaker Fraser expressed concern about the disruption which these procedural tactics had on Routine Proceedings and the inappropriate use of the rules of procedure as a substitute for debate: “It is a practice which can supersede the presentation of petitions, delay indefinitely the introductions of Bills — those of Private Members as well as those of the Government — and completely block debate on motions for concurrence in committee reports as well as on allocation of time motions.” [81]  Speaker Fraser stated that, in light of the various obstruction tactics which had been used by the opposition parties over the course of a few weeks in response to the controversial legislation and which had completely blocked debate on that and other government legislation, the interests of the House would be served best if the government were allowed to proceed, in this instance only, with its motion, which would supersede certain rubrics under Routine Proceedings. He cautioned, however, that the use of motions to supersede business during Routine Proceedings needed to be examined and “that no procedures should be sanctioned which would permit the House to be brought to a total standstill for an indefinite period.” [82]  He elaborated further that the decision was circumscribed by events for which the rules of procedure offered no solution and was not to be regarded as a precedent.

In June 1987, through amendments to the Standing Orders, the items under Routine Proceedings were reordered to their present form, the rubric “Introduction of Bills” was divided to create separate ones for the introduction of government bills and of private Members’ bills, and the procedure for the completion of “Introduction of Government Bills” was adopted. [83]  In addition, the rubric “Questions on the Order Paper” was inserted into the list of items, and “Government Notices of Motions” was dropped from Routine Proceedings.

Tabling of Documents

The first rubric called by the Speaker under Routine Proceedings is “Tabling of Documents”. This rubric was added to Routine Proceedings in 1975. [84]  Prior to that time, there was no set time for Ministers to table documents, although they would usually do so during Routine Proceedings under the rubric “Motions”. The 1975 rule changes codified the practice already being followed in the presentation of papers.

The presentation of reports and returns [85] is one method by which the House obtains information. For many years if a paper to be tabled was in answer to an Order or Address of the House or in pursuance of a statute requiring its production, 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 Journals. If the government wished to table a document that had not been ordered, it was necessary to adopt a motion in order to allow its presentation. [86]  In 1910, in response to the ever-increasing amount of House time taken to consider these motions, the House adopted a new rule in order to regulate their use. [87]  The rule allowed Ministers simply to seek leave of the House to table these documents, a request customarily granted. [88]  In 1968, the Standing Orders were amended to allow a Minister, or his or her Parliamentary Secretary, to table any report or paper so long as it dealt with a matter within the administrative competence of the government. [89]  Since 1982, the government has also been required to table a comprehensive response to a committee report if the committee so requests, [90]  and since 1986, to table responses to petitions referred to it [91]  as well as announcements of Order-in-Council nominations or appointments. [92] 

In addition to the administrative documents that may be tabled in the House by Ministers, certain returns, reports and other papers are required to be laid before the House each year or session by statute, by order of the House, or by Standing Order. [93]  A number of statutes set forth the specific circumstances for tabling; for example, some statutes require Ministers to table annual reports of the departments, agencies and commissions which fall under their administrative responsibilities. [94] 

A Minister or Parliamentary Secretary acting on behalf of the Minister may table documents in the House during Routine Proceedings when the rubric “Tabling of Documents” is called. [95]  This method of tabling is often referred to as “front door” tabling.

As an alternative, the Standing Orders provide that papers required by statute, by order of the House, or by Standing Order may be deposited by a Minister with the Clerk of the House. [96]  This is known as “back door” tabling. It is entirely at the discretion of the Minister involved as to which method to use for those documents that are required to be tabled; however, if a Minister wishes to table a document which is not required to be tabled, it can only be tabled in the House during Routine Proceedings. Each sitting day, an entry is recorded in the Journals of all papers presented in the House or deposited with the Clerk. [97] 

When a report, return or other paper is required to be laid before the House or an Order-in-Council appointment or nomination is tabled, it is automatically referred to an appropriate standing committee of the House by the Minister, usually according to its subject matter. [98]  The referrals are permanent so that committees are not required to examine the documents by a specific deadline. [99]

All documents tabled in the House by a Minister or, as the case may be, by a Parliamentary Secretary, whether during a sitting or deposited with the Clerk, are required to be presented in both official languages. [100]  Alternative versions (such as computer disks, audio cassettes, video cassettes or CD-ROMs, or documents in Braille or large print) have also been tabled along with the required document in both official languages. [101] 

Any document quoted by a Minister in debate, or in response to a question, must be tabled. [102]  This practice is examined in Chapter 13, “Rules of Order and Decorum”.

Tabling of Documents by Private Members

There has been a long-standing practice in the House that private Members may not table documents, official or otherwise, [103]  even with the unanimous consent of the House. [104]  Unlike Ministers who must table documents required by statute or in respect to their administrative responsibilities, [105]  the Standing Orders contain no provisions for private Members to table documents. Another reason against the tabling of documents by private Members relates to the availability of the document in both official languages as required by the rules. [106]  However, since the 1980s, Members have been allowed on occasion to table documents with the unanimous consent of the House; [107]  the documents have typically been tabled in only one language. [108]  Private Members have sometimes placed on the Table material for the information of Members, although this is not considered an official tabling. [109]  Tabling of documents by private Members is also examined in Chapter 13, “Rules of Order and Decorum”.

Tabling of Documents by the Speaker

The Speaker tables documents pertaining to the administrative or ceremonial functions of the office of the Speaker or to the procedural affairs of the House itself. [110]  As chairman of the Board of Internal Economy, the Speaker also tables:

  • Minutes of Proceedings of the Board of Internal Economy; [111] 
  • Annual reports on committee activities and expenditures; [112] 
  • The By-laws, and amendments thereto, of the Board of Internal Economy; [113] 
  • The annual Report on Plans and Priorities of the House of Commons Administration as approved by the Board of Internal Economy; [114] 
  • The annual Performance Report on the House of Commons Administration as approved by the Board of Internal Economy. [115] 

The Speaker also tables the annual report of the Parliamentary Librarian. [116] 

In addition, various statutes identify the Speaker as the individual through whom reports are to be laid before the House. [117]  In particular, statutory requirements exist whereby five designated officers of Parliament transmit their annual reports and any special investigative reports to the Speaker who then tables them in the House: the Chief Electoral Officer, the Auditor General, the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Access to Information Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner. [118]  The Speaker also tables the annual report of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, [119]  and reports of the provincial and territorial electoral boundaries commissions in the decennial process to readjust constituency boundaries after the reports have been forwarded to him by the Chief Electoral Officer. [120] 

Tabling of Documents During Periods of Adjournment or Prorogation

Since 1994, the Standing Orders have contained provisions allowing Ministers during periods of adjournment to deposit once a month with the Clerk of the House, on the Wednesday following the 15th day of any month during the period of adjournment, any returns, reports or other papers required to be laid before the House pursuant to statute, Special Order, or Standing Order of the House, including responses to petitions and to committee reports. [121]  On the first sitting day following the adjournment, these documents are then entered in the Journals as having been deemed tabled on that Wednesday. [122]  However, even if a document is technically due during the adjournment period, a Minister still has the option of waiting until the first sitting day following the adjournment to table it in the House or deposit it with the Clerk. [123] 

As a general principle, a prorogation puts an end to all proceedings pending in Parliament. Sometimes, however, various papers and documents requested by the House (also referred to as returns) cannot be prepared for tabling in the same session in which they were requested. As these papers and documents are obtained either by a direct Order of the House or by an Address to the Governor General, the ordinary effect of a prorogation would be to force a renewal, in the next session, of these Orders and Addresses for which returns are not yet ready. However, pursuant to the Standing Orders of the House, they are considered to have been readopted at the start of the new session without a motion to that effect. [124]  The Speaker has ruled that outstanding responses to committee reports and to petitions are also given the status of returns ordered by the House and therefore would be tabled in the House in the new session. [125] 

Tabling of Documents After a Dissolution

After a dissolution, the Clerk of the House does not accept in advance for tabling in the next Parliament any returns, reports or other papers required to be tabled pursuant to an Act of Parliament or a resolution or Standing Order of the House. During the period when Parliament is dissolved, however, Ministers or government departments may authorize the release of any return, report or other paper required to be laid before the House. When the new Parliament opens, returns, reports and papers are tabled as required by Ministers on the opening day of Parliament. [126] 

Statements by Ministers

The second rubric under Routine Proceedings is “Statements by Ministers”. Under this rubric, Ministers make announcements or statements on government policy or matters of national interest. [127]  Following the ministerial statement, a spokesperson from each recognized party in opposition is permitted to respond. [128] 

Historical Perspective

This rubric is of recent origin, though the practice of receiving statements from Ministers has been well established for years. At Confederation, no provision existed in the written rules for the kind of ministerial statements that are now possible. Nonetheless, 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. [129]  In addition, until at least 1915, Prime Ministers frequently made statements to explain changes in the membership of the Cabinet. [130]  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. 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 statements took place 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 …”. [131] 

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 allowed for factual pronouncements of government policy which did not provoke debate. It also codified the existing practice of responses by opposition parties. [132]  This last aspect of the rule later provoked a discussion on the question of what constituted a party for the purposes of the Standing Order, with some Members citing the Senate and House of Commons Act (now known as the Parliament of Canada Act) which provided additional allowances to leaders of parties with more than 12 Members. In the end, the Speaker concluded that, until the House defined more precisely who could respond to a ministerial statement, the Chair would be guided by practice, which had long allowed each party, but not independent Members, an opportunity to comment on ministerial statements. [133] 

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”. [134]  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 business. [135]  Following the recommendations of two special committees examining procedural reforms in the early and mid-1980s, the House made several changes to the conduct of “Statements by Ministers”. Rules were introduced to encourage Ministers to make public through the House any announcements of government policy by eliminating the “mini-question period” that generally followed a statement, permitting only a comment by a representative of each opposition party. [136]  These changes were finally adopted on a provisional basis in June 1985 and in February 1986, and made permanent in June 1987. [137]  The new rules also adjusted the schedule of the sitting so as to preserve the amount of time reserved for Government Orders and Private Members’ Business, by extending the sitting if necessary beyond the ordinary hour of daily adjournment by the amount of time taken by the statement. [138] 

Guidelines

During “Statements by Ministers”, Ministers are expected to make brief and factual statements on government policy or announcements of national interest. [139]  Only Members speaking on behalf of parties recognized by the House are permitted to speak in response to a Minister’s statement. [140]  However, with the unanimous consent of the House, other Members have been allowed to respond. [141]  In responding to the statement, Members are not permitted to engage in debate or ask questions of the Minister. [142]  The length of each response may not exceed the length of the Minister’s statement; Members who exceed this length are interrupted by the Speaker. [143]  The rules provide no explicit limitation of time allotted to the Minister or the overall time to be taken for these proceedings, although the duration of the proceedings can be limited at the discretion of the Chair. [144] 

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 there to be no grounds to support a claim that any privilege has been breached. [145] 

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, should no such warning be given, custom does not prohibit the Minister from making a statement. [146] 

The length of time taken up by a Minister’s statement and opposition replies is added to the time provided for government business on the day on which the statement is made. Accordingly, the hour for Private Members’ Business, where applicable, and the ordinary hour of daily adjournment, including the Adjournment Proceedings, may be delayed. [147] 

Presenting Reports from Inter-Parliamentary Delegations

“Presenting Reports from Inter-parliamentary Delegations” is the third rubric under Routine Proceedings. This rubric was created in 1986 following a recommendation of a special committee to provide a means by which inter-parliamentary delegations could report their work to the House. [148] 

Members frequently travel abroad or within Canada on officially recognized inter-parliamentary delegations as representatives of both the House and Parliament. An officially recognized inter-parliamentary delegation is a delegation, composed in whole or in part of Members of the House, which has either been appointed and funded by the Speaker or by a recognized parliamentary association to represent the House or that association at an official inter-parliamentary activity either in Canada or abroad.

A parliamentary association is an international association, whose Canadian component is composed of both Members and Senators, which provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information and for the sharing of knowledge and experience through person-to-person contact. [149]  The main activities of these associations include exchanges, conferences and seminars on various subjects. The Canadian Parliament is a participant in 10 official parliamentary associations:

  • Canada-China Legislative Exchange;
  • Canada-France Inter-parliamentary Association;
  • Canada-Japan Inter-parliamentary Group;
  • Canada-United Kingdom Parliamentary Association;
  • Canada-United States Inter-parliamentary Group;
  • Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF);
  • Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association;
  • Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA);
  • Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU);
  • North Atlantic Assembly (Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association).

These associations choose delegates to participate in and host meetings, seminars and international conferences with counterpart countries. Each association, operating under established constitutions, elects a number of parliamentarians from its membership to form an Executive Committee. Staff support and funding are provided by the Senate and the House of Commons.

In addition to these parliamentary associations, the Canadian Parliament also participates in three formally recognized friendship groups, whose Canadian component is composed of both Members and Senators, established to increase mutual understanding between Canada and another country through bilateral exchanges. The three formally recognized friendship groups are:

  • Canada-Germany Friendship Group;
  • Canada-Israel Friendship Group;
  • Canada-Italy Friendship Group.

Friendship groups receive administrative assistance from the House and Senate but do not receive funds to cover meetings and travel expenses. Their sole source of revenue is membership fees they receive from individual parliamentarians.

Each inter-parliamentary delegation is required to present to the House a report on its activities on any trip taken in fulfillment of its duties, either in Canada or abroad, within 20 sitting days of its return. [150]  The report typically includes the names of the Members who participated on the delegation, the travel dates, and information on the delegation’s activities and on the cost of the trip. When “Presenting Reports from Inter-parliamentary Delegations” is called by the Speaker during Routine Proceedings, the head of the delegation, or a Member acting on his or her behalf, rises and presents the report. [151]  The Member may comment briefly on the content of the report at this time; no debate is permitted. [152]  The Speaker has also presented reports after official visits abroad by parliamentary delegations headed by a presiding officer. [153]  The report is recorded as a sessional paper and as such is open to public scrutiny. [154] No other action is taken.

Presenting Reports from Committees

Any information to be transmitted to the House from standing, special or legislative committees and standing or special joint committees of the House must be presented by way of a report. Committees submit reports on a variety of subjects, including:

  • bills;
  • Estimates;
  • subject matter inquiries;
  • matters concerning the mandate, management and operation of the departments assigned to them;
  • Order-in-Council appointments and nominations;
  • delegated legislation;
  • provisions in statutes requiring a review.

This is done under “Presenting Reports from Committees”, the fourth rubric under Routine Proceedings and one of the four original rubrics provided for in the rules of the House at the time of Confederation. When the Speaker calls this rubric, the committee chair, or in his or her absence a Member of the committee, once recognized by the Speaker, rises in his or her place to present the report and to provide “a succinct explanation of the subject matter of the report”. [155]  If the committee has adopted a motion to request a response from the government to its report, that request is communicated orally at the time. [156]  Provided that a report is tabled in printed format in both official languages, it may also be tabled in alternative forms of media, such as on computer disk, audio cassette, video cassette or CD-ROM, or in Braille or large print. [157]  All related Minutes of Proceedings of the committee are also tabled with the report.

While there is no provision in the rules for the tabling of minority reports, [158]  since April 1991 committees have been permitted to append supplementary or dissenting opinions or recommendations to their reports. [159]  Following the presentation of the report and any statement offered by the chair or presenting Member, a committee member representing the Official Opposition, speaking on behalf of those who support the opinions expressed in the appended material, may provide a brief explanation of these views. [160]  No other Member may comment on the report at this time. [161] 

A motion to concur in a committee report may be moved during Routine Proceedings under “Motions”, following the 48-hour written notice requirement. However, after presenting a report, usually on a non-controversial matter, a committee chair may advise that he or she intends to move concurrence in it later in the sitting, with the unanimous consent of the House. When “Motions” is called, the chair rises and seeks the unanimous consent of the House to move concurrence. If requested, a Table Officer will typically read the report aloud because printed copies of the report are not readily available to Members in the House. [162]  Concurrence is often granted without debate.

Further information on committee reports is found in Chapter 20, “Committees”.

Introduction of Government Bills

“Introduction of Government Bills” comes immediately after the presentation of committee reports. Prior to June 1987, all public bills sponsored either by the government or private Members were introduced under the rubric “Introduction of Bills”. As a result of amendments to the Standing Orders, the rubric was divided into “Introduction of Government Bills” and “Introduction of Private Members’ Bills”. [163] 

Legislation emanating from the Ministry is first presented for the consideration of the House during Routine Proceedings under this rubric. Following a minimum 48-hour notice period, [164]  any public bill sponsored by the government is placed on the Order Paper in chronological order. When “Introduction of Government Bills” is called by the Speaker, the Minister wishing to introduce a bill signals his or her desire to proceed with the bill (advance notice having been given to the Chair of the Minister’s desire to introduce a bill), thereupon the Speaker proposes the motion for leave to introduce the bill. The following formula is used: “(name of Minister), seconded by (name of Member), moves for leave to introduce a bill intitled: ‘An Act to …’.” [165]  A motion for leave to introduce a bill is deemed carried, without debate, amendment or question put. [166]  After the motion has been agreed to, the Minister may give a succinct explanation of the bill. [167] 

Immediately after the motion for leave to introduce a bill is adopted, the Speaker proposes to the House that the bill be read a first time and be printed. [168]  This motion is also deemed carried, without debate, amendment or question put. [169]  A Table Officer then rises and declares, “First reading of this bill/Première lecture de ce projet de loi”. [170]  The Speaker completes the process by routinely asking, “When shall the bill be read a second time?” and responds “At the next sitting of the House.” The House agrees to this without the adoption of a motion. [171]  The expression “next sitting of the House”, when used to state the time that a question is ordered to stand over, means the bill is placed on the Order Paper in its proper place for a second reading at a future sitting according to the precedence given to it by the Standing Orders, the government determining the order in which government legislation is called. No bill can be read a second time on the same day as introduction and first reading without a special order or the unanimous consent of the House. [172]  Following first reading, the bill is then placed on the Order Paper under “Orders of the Day” for a second reading at some future sitting of the House. The one exception to this rule is for the passage of appropriation bills at all stages on the last allotted day in a Supply period. [173] 

A government bill may only be introduced by a Minister. A government bill standing on the Order Paper in one Minister’s name may be moved on his or her behalf by another Minister since the bill is considered an initiative of the entire Cabinet. [174]  If the Minister does not wish to introduce the bill when the rubric is called, the bill remains on the Order Paper for introduction and first reading at a later date. Although the usual practice is for the government to have a Minister second a motion to introduce a government bill, it is not mandatory; [175]  another Member may be chosen as the seconder for a bill.

Introduction of Private Members’ Bills

Any public bill sponsored by a Member who is not a Minister may be introduced under this rubric. This rubric was created in June 1987 when “Introduction of Bills” was divided into “Introduction of Government Bills” and “Introduction of Private Members’ Bills”. [176]  The procedures here are exactly the same as for bills introduced by the government under the previous rubric: the notice period is the same; [177]  the Speaker reads the rubric “Introduction of Private Members’ Bills” from the Order Paper; a Member wishing to introduce a bill signals his or her desire to proceed at that point. If the Member is not in the House or is not ready to introduce the bill, the bill remains on the Order Paper. However, with the unanimous consent of the House, a Member other than the sponsor of the bill may move the introduction of the bill on behalf of the sponsor. [178]  After the Speaker identifies a seconder for the bill, the motion for leave to introduce is deemed carried without debate, amendment or question put. [179]  Where a Minister generally foregoes the opportunity of commenting briefly on a bill at this stage, a private Member will invariably do so. [180]  The Chair may interrupt the explanation if the Member is engaging in debate. [181] 

After the Member has commented briefly on the bill, the Speaker proposes to the House that the bill be read a first time and printed. This motion is also deemed carried without debate, amendment or question put. [182]  A Table Officer then rises and declares, “First reading of this bill/Première lecture de ce projet de loi”. The bill is then placed on the Order Paper under “Private Members’ Business” where it is set down for a second reading. [183]

First Reading of Senate Public Bills

Under Routine Proceedings, “First Reading of Senate Public Bills” comes after “Introduction of Private Members’ Bills” and before “Motions”. Prior to 1910, public bills emanating from the Senate were read a first time under the rubric “Motions”. The rubric “First Reading of Senate Public Bills” was created in April 1910 and immediately followed “Introduction of Bills”. [184] 

When a Senate public bill has been passed by the Senate, a message is sent so informing the House and requesting its concurrence in the measure. This message is received by the Clerk of the House, and the Speaker makes the announcement of its contents at the first convenient opportunity. [185]  The Speaker reads the message, stating, “I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that it has passed the following bill to which the concurrence of the House is desired: An Act to …”. There is no need for a motion for leave to introduce the bill since it is already available in printed form. The bill is then placed on the Order Paper under the heading “First Reading of Senate Public Bills” in Routine Proceedings[186] 

If the Member or Minister [187]  sponsoring the bill in the House of Commons signals his or her desire to proceed with the bill when the rubric “First Reading of Senate Public Bills” is called by the Chair during Routine Proceedings, the question,“That this bill be now read a first time”, is deemed carried without debate, amendment or question put. [188]  Since a Senate public bill is already printed when it is introduced in the House, there is no need to order that it be printed again. If the Member or Minister sponsoring the bill in the House is not present or is not ready to move first reading of the bill when the rubric is called, then the bill remains on the Order Paper for first reading at a later sitting. In the case of private Members’ bills, with the unanimous consent of the House, a Member other than the sponsor of the bill may move first reading of the bill on behalf of the sponsor; in the case of government bills, a bill standing in the name of one Minister may be moved on his or her behalf by another Minister. If no Member chooses to sponsor a bill emanating from the Senate, no further action is taken following the reading of the message from the Senate. The bill remains on the Order Paper under “First Reading of Senate Public Bills”.

After the motion for first reading is adopted, the Speaker routinely asks, “When shall the bill be read a second time? At the next sitting of the House?” The House agrees to this without a formal motion and the order for second reading is placed on the Order Paper under Government Orders if the bill is sponsored by a Minister, [189]  or under “Private Members’ Business” at the bottom of the list in the Order of Precedence if the bill is sponsored by a private Member. [190]

Motions

“Motions” was one of four rubrics provided for in Routine Proceedings at the time of Confederation. [191]  Over the years, various kinds of motions, once considered under this rubric, have been categorized and assigned their own place in the Daily Program, including private Members’ motions, motions to introduce bills, and motions to adjourn under Standing Order 52 (emergency debates). For example, until 1906, bills were introduced under this rubric. [192]  And it was only in 1964 that the House adopted a new Standing Order to provide a separate rubric for ministerial statements which had been taking place under “Motions”. [193]  In 1975, the items under Routine Proceedings were reordered so that “Government Notices of Motions” [194]  and “Motions” were the last two rubrics to be considered each day. By moving “Motions” to the bottom of the list, the House was no longer prevented from reaching other routine items because of lengthy debates. [195]  In 1987, the rubric “Government Notices of Motions” was dropped and the others were reordered to their present form. [196] 

Different categories of business have developed over the years in response to the need to adapt to the organization of House business. Some categories are now uniquely reserved for the government or the opposition, some are reserved for private Members, and still others are reserved for items which affect the transaction of routine business of the House. As a general rule, motions dealing with matters of substance or government policy are moved either by Ministers under Government Orders or private Members under Private Members’ Business. The kinds of motions permissible under “Motions” has been narrowed to consist primarily of motions for concurrence in committee reports and motions relating to the sittings and proceedings of the House. [197] 

The Chair has consistently ruled that any motion pertaining to the arrangement of the business of the House should be introduced by the Government House Leader [198]  and may be considered under “Motions” or under Government Orders, depending on where the Minister giving notice has decided to place it. [199]  The Chair has also ruled that while the rubric “Motions” “usually encompasses matters related to the management of the business of the House and its committees, it is not the exclusive purview of the government, despite the government’s unquestioned prerogative to determine the agenda of business before the House”. [200]  Accordingly, the Chair accepts certain motions put on notice by private Members for consideration under the rubric “Motions”, such as motions of instruction to committees and for concurrence in committee reports. [201]  When private Members give written notice of other substantive matters, these motions are placed under “Private Members’ Business” on the Order Paper[202] 

When the Speaker calls “Motions” during Routine Proceedings, any Member or Minister may rise and move a motion, if it has been placed on the Notice Paper 48 hours in advance. Otherwise, a Member or Minister must seek unanimous consent to move the motion. [203]  If a Member or a Minister who has given notice of a motion is not in the House or does not wish to move it, the matter will stand on the Order Paper until a subsequent sitting.

The motions which are considered under this rubric are often moved without notice by unanimous consent and adopted without debate. Examples of motions moved under this rubric include those to:

  • manage the proceedings and business of the House or its committees; [204] 
  • change the order of business of the House; [205] 
  • arrange the times or days of sitting of the House; [206] 
  • amend the Standing Orders; [207] 
  • suspend the Standing Orders; [208] 
  • discharge an Order of the House; [209] 
  • concur in a committee report; [210] 
  • authorize a committee to travel; [211] 
  • establish a special committee; [212] 
  • instruct a committee to do something; [213] 
  • alter the membership of a committee; [214] 
  • appoint officers of the House (such as the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Privacy Commissioner, the Chief Electoral Officer and the Information Commissioner); [215] 
  • extend messages to another country; [216]  and
  • censure Chair occupants. [217] 

Although motions of congratulations have been moved under this rubric, the Speaker has warned against this practice. [218] 

After a motion has been read to the House by the Chair, debate begins and amendments may be moved to it; the normal rules of debate apply. During debate, if a motion to proceed to the Orders of the Day is moved and adopted, the motion being debated would be superseded and dropped from the Order Paper[219]  When debate on any motion considered during Routine Proceedings is adjourned [220]  or interrupted (either by the normal adjournment of the sitting on Mondays, for “Statements by Members” on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or for Private Members’ Business on Wednesdays and Fridays), [221]  the order for resumption of the debate is transferred to Government Orders. [222]  The motion will be considered again only under Government Orders in such sequence as the government determines. [223] 

Motions for Concurrence in Committee Reports

Motions that call for concurrence in committee reports are listed under “Motions” on the Order Paper after a 48-hour notice period. Any Member may give notice of a motion for concurrence in a committee report, and more than one Member may give notice of a motion to concur in the same committee report. [224]  Generally, the Chair of the committee will give notice of a motion to concur in a report of his or her committee and move the motion. However, as with any notice of motion not sponsored by a Minister, the Member who placed the notice on the Order Paper is the only one who may move the motion. In the absence of the sponsor, another Member may move the motion on the sponsor’s behalf only with the unanimous consent of the House. [225] 

As noted above, such a motion may be moved, without prior notice, with the unanimous consent of the House during the sitting in which the committee report is presented. [226]  Normally, the Member presenting the report states that he or she will seek the leave of the House to move concurrence in the report later that day when the rubric “Motions” is called; the report of the committee may be considered, with leave of the House, at that time. These reports often pertain to the powers, sittings or membership of a committee and are typically adopted without debate.

Routine Motions for Which Unanimous Consent Has Been Denied

A rule adopted in April 1991 allows the House to consider any routine motion for which written notice has not been provided and whose presentation requires, but has not been granted, unanimous consent. [227]  A routine motion is defined in the Standing Orders as one “which may be required for the observance of the proprieties of the House, the maintenance of its authority, the management of its business, the arrangement of its proceedings, the establishing of the powers of its committees, the correctness of its records or the fixing of its sitting days or the times of itsmeetings or adjournment”. [228]  When consent has previously been denied for the moving of such a motion, a Minister may rise under the rubric “Motions” during Routine Proceedings to request that the Speaker propose the question to the House. [229]  The Chair puts the question without debate or amendment. [230]  The Speaker then asks those opposed to the motion to rise in their places. If 25 Members or more rise to object, the motion is deemed withdrawn; [231]  otherwise, the motion is adopted. [232]  Since 1991, motions proposed pursuant to this Standing Order have fixed the hours of sitting of the House, dealt with the adjournment of the House and the management of its business, and authorized certain committees to travel.

Presenting Petitions

A Member wishing to present petitions in the House may do so in one of two ways: at any time during a sitting of the House, a Member may file a petition with the Clerk of the House who enters it into the Journals for that sitting day; [233]  or a Member may present the petition in the House during Routine Proceedings when “Presenting Petitions” is called by the Speaker. [234]  Before being presented, a petition must be examined and certified correct as to form and content by the Clerk of Petitions. [235]  If the petition meets the requirements specified in the rules of the House, a Member, after being recognized by the Chair under this rubric during Routine Proceedings, presents the petition and gives a brief statement to inform the House of its content.

The period provided for the presentation of petitions is not to exceed 15 minutes. [236]  The Speaker recognizes a Member only once during “Presenting Petitions”; if a Member has more than one petition to present, he or she must present them all when given the floor. [237]  In his or her statement, the Member may summarize the prayer (or request) of the petition, state the parties from whom it comes and the number of signatures it contains. [238]  The Member may not make a speech or enter into debate on or in relation to the petition. [239]  The petition itself is not read. [240] 

Historical Perspective

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”. In 1910, substantial changes were made to the rules on petitions. The rubric “Presenting Petitions” was removed from Routine Proceedings and Members wishing to present petitions from their places did so before “Introduction of Bills”. A second procedure, copied from Great Britain, was also adopted to allow Members merely to file their petitions with the Clerk of the House during the hours of sitting. [241]  The rules respecting the presentation of petitions remained intact until 1986 when the rubric “Presenting Petitions” was restored to Routine Proceedings. [242]  However, on occasion, the presentation of petitions took up long periods of House time, thus preventing the House from reaching other business. [243]  This led, in part, to changes in 1987 to the order of the rubrics under Routine Proceedings; “Presenting Petitions” is now the second to last rubric considered. [244]  In 1991, the period for presenting petitions was restricted to 15 minutes to prevent Members from using petitions as a means to delay the House from proceeding to other routine business and the Orders of the Day. [245] 

A number of conditions, conventions and practices apply to the certification and presentation of petitions. These matters as well as the history of presenting petitions in the House are examined in detail in Chapter 22, “Public Petitions”.

Questions on the Order Paper

This is the last rubric considered during the daily routine of business. The rules of the House have always provided a mechanism for responses to written questions. [246] However, between 1867 and 1975, the rubric “Questions on the Order Paper” was not necessarily considered on each sitting day for two reasons. At one time, the rubric had precedence over the Orders of the Day only on certain days of the week and, on the other days, the House typically never reached the rubric. At other times, the rules provided for the rubric to be called only on certain days of the week, such as Mondays and Wednesdays. After 1975, a rule change ensured that the House would reach this rubric daily; indeed, it was the first item of business every day following the daily routine of business and before the Orders of the Day were called. [247]  In June 1987, as a result of amendments to the Standing Orders, the rubric “Questions on the Order Paper” was added to the list of items considered during Routine Proceedings. [248] 

Members may place on notice no more than four questions “relating to public affairs” at any one time to a Minister. [249]  A Member may ask the government to respond to a specific question within 45 calendar days by so indicating when filing the question; [250]  a Member may also ask that an oral answer be provided by attaching an asterisk to no more than three questions. [251]  After the notice requirement has been fulfilled, the question appears on the Order Paper.

When “Questions on the Order Paper” is called during Routine Proceedings, a Minister, or more usually the Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader, rises in his or her place to announce which questions the government intends to answer on that particular day. The government may answer written questions in one of two ways. First, the Parliamentary Secretary may simply indicate to the House the number of the question being answered, [252]  and the text of the answer appears in the Debates of that day as if the Minister to whom the question was directed had actually stood in the House and given a full reply. [253]  If an oral reply has been requested, the Parliamentary Secretary may give the answer orally, or may seek the consent of the House to deem the question answered without actually reading aloud the text of the answer; the answer will be printed in the Debates[254]  The second method is that the government may request the House to transform a certain question into an “order for return”; that is, the House orders the government to table a document which will serve as a response to the question. This is normally done when the reply is too lengthy to be easily printed in the Debates. If there is agreement from the House to proceed in this way, the tabled response is filed with the Clerk as a sessional paper, open to public scrutiny; the text of the response does not appear in the Debates[255]  If there is no agreement, the government would proceed to read the answer in the case of a starred question; in the case of a request for tabling, the government may choose not to proceed with the question on that day [256]  or have the Minister table the answer under “Tabling of Documents”.

After the designated Parliamentary Secretary or Minister has enumerated the questions which are to be answered on a given day, he or she will then ask the House to stand the remaining unanswered questions. This permits the questions to retain their position on theOrder Paper; otherwise the unanswered questions would be struck from the Order Paper[257] 

It is at this time that Members raise any concerns they have about their questions, typically seeking information about the status of the reply. If a Member has requested that a question be answered within 45 days and it remains unanswered after that time, he or she may rise during “Questions on the Order Paper” and give notice of his or her intention to transfer the question and raise the matter during the Adjournment Proceedings of the House. [258]  The question is then removed from the Order Paper.

Procedures regarding written questions and responses to them are examined in greater detail in Chapter 11, “Questions”.

Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers

The rubric “Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers” is called only on Wednesday. It is considered as the final item of Routine Proceedings following the rubric “Questions on the Order Paper”. Ministers are required by statute to table various documents relating to their departmental responsibilities (see section in this chapter on “Tabling of Documents”). On occasion, however, a Member may want to see papers that are not required by law to be tabled. In such instances, the Member may place on theNotice Paper notice of a special type of motion requesting that the government compile or produce certain papers or documents and table them in the House. After the 48-hour notice requirement, such notices of motions are transferred to the Order Paper under the rubric “Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers”.

Historical Perspective

In the early years of Confederation, motions for papers were treated in the same way as other private Members’ motions. They were called only on private Members’ days and had priority only according to the date on which they were put on the Order Paper. Because the House rarely considered these motions, a custom developed whereby motions for papers were called by consent and passed in a block.

In 1910, a new procedure for obtaining papers was introduced. [259]  A mechanism was created to allow any Member to move a motion for the production of papers without debate. This was done under “Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers”, which had precedence over the existing rubric “Notices of Motion”. Notices of motions for the production of papers were disposed of at once when called. If a Member or Minister wished to have a debate on a motion, it would be transferred for debate under “Notices of Motions”.

In 1955, an amendment to the Standing Orders listed “Notices of Motions for the Productions of Papers” as a rubric formally on the daily agenda of business. It also guaranteed that motions for papers would be reached on days designated as Private Members’ Days. [260] 

Provisional changes to the Standing Orders in 1961, [261]  which were made permanent in 1962, [262]  provided that “Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers” would be called only on Wednesday at the conclusion of Routine Proceedings. These changes also provided that notices of motions for the production of papers transferred for debate would be listed under a new specific category called “Notices of Motions (Papers)” under Private Members’ Business. This procedure is still being used today, although Members have seldom chosen to place notices of motions (papers) on the Order of Precedence for Private Members&sdquo; Business following the draw. [263] 

Manner in Which Notices Are Called

Notices of motions for the production of papers resemble written questions in that they are requests for information from the government. All such motions are worded in the form of either an Order of the House (“That an Order of the House do issue …”) or an Address to the Crown (“That a humble Address be presented to his/her Excellency praying that he/she will cause to be laid before the House of Commons …”). Thus, a motion, if adopted, becomes either an Order that the government table (“produce”) certain documents in the House or an Address to the Governor General requesting that certain papers be sent to the House. An Order of the House is used for papers concerning matters directly related to federal departments. Addresses are formal messages to the Crown through which the House requests the production of documents in the Crown’s possession, such as correspondence between the federal and other governments, Orders in Council, and papers concerning the administration of justice, the judicial conduct of judges and the exercise of the prerogatives of the Crown. [264]  Motions for papers should be carefully prepared and state clearly and definitely the exact information required. [265]  The Speaker is responsible for ensuring that the motion before the House is in proper form; that is, that it is the appropriate motion to do what is sought to be done. [266] 

When this rubric is called by the Speaker on Wednesday, one of several outcomes may take place for each of the notices of motions called: [267] 

  1. Motion acceptable to government
    A Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary (usually the Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader) [268] rises and states that the notice of motion is acceptable to the government. The Speaker then asks the House if it wishes to have the motion deemed adopted. If the House agrees, the motion is carried without debate or amendment. This becomes an order for the government to produce the document (a “return”) either immediately or at a later date. [269]  If the House does not agree, the motion must either be transferred for debate, [270] or be put immediately to the House without debate or amendment.
  2. Motion acceptable to government with reservations
    A Minister or Parliamentary Secretary rises and states that a notice of motion is acceptable to the government subject to certain reservations (e.g., confidentiality). The Speaker then asks the House if it wishes to have the motion deemed adopted. If the House agrees, the motion is carried without debate or amendment. This becomes an order for the government to produce either immediately or at a later date only those papers or documents not subject to the reservation. [271]  If the House does not agree, the motion must either be transferred for debate, [272] or be put immediately to the House without debate or amendment.
  3. Motion not acceptable to government; Member is asked to withdraw the notice
    A Minister or Parliamentary Secretary rises and states that a notice of motion is not acceptable to the government and asks that the Member withdraw the notice. If the Member agrees, the motion is withdrawn. [273]  Otherwise, either the Member sponsoring the item or a Minister may then ask that the motion be transferred for debate. [274]  There have been numerous occasions when the sponsor has not been present in the House, but a request was made anyway to have a notice of motion withdrawn. Logically though, a request to withdraw should be made only when the sponsor is present. In the absence of the sponsor, an alternative way of proceeding would be for a Minister, once a notice of motion is called, to immediately request that it be transferred for debate. When a request to transfer is made, the motion is transferred, without debate or amendment, to a heading on the Order Paper under Private Members’ Business entitled“Notices of Motions (Papers)” on the list of items outside the Order of Precedence. It may be subject to debate at a subsequent time if it is selected by the Member following the draw for the Order of Precedence. If no request is made that the motion once called be transferred for debate, the motion must be put immediately to the House without debate or amendment. [275] 
  4. Member asks that notice be called
    A Member rises and requests the Speaker to call his or her notice of motion. The Member or a Minister may request that it be transferred for debate under Private Members’ Business. [276]  The motion is then transferred, without debate or amendment, to a heading on the Order Paper under Private Members’ Business entitled “Notices of Motions (Papers)” on the list of items outside the Order of Precedence. It may be subject to debate at a subsequent time if it is selected by the Member following the draw for the Order of Precedence. If neither the Member nor the Minister requests that it be transferred for debate, the motion must be put immediately to the House without debate or amendment. If the motion is adopted, it becomes an Order of the House that the document be produced either immediately or at a later date. [277] 
  5. Notices allowed to stand
    A Minister or Parliamentary Secretary rises and asks that all notices of motions be allowed to stand and retain their place on the Order Paper[278]  If some notices have been dealt with, the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary asks that the remaining notices be allowed to stand.

Responses to Orders for the Production of Papers

In 1973, the government tabled in the House of Commons its views on the general principles governing “Notices of Motions for Production of Papers”. [279]  Although not formally approved by the House, these principles have been followed since then: [280] 

General Principle
To enable Members of Parliament to secure factual information about the operations of government to carry out their parliamentary duties and to make public as much factual information as possible consistent with effective administration, the protection of the security of the state, rights to privacy and other such matters, government papers, documents and consultant reports should be produced on Notice of Motion for the Production of Papers unless falling within the categories outlined below, in which case an exemption is to be claimed from production

Exemptions
The following criteria are to be applied in determining if government papers or documents should be exempt from production:

  1. Legal opinion or advice provided for the use of the government;
  2. Papers, the release of which would be detrimental to the security of the State;
  3. Papers dealing with international relations, the release of which might be detrimental to the future conduct of Canada’s foreign relations (the release of papers received from other countries to be subject to the consent of the originating country);
  4. Papers, the release of which might be detrimental to the future conduct of federal-provincial relations or the relations of provinces interse (the release of papers received from provinces to be subject to the consent of the originating province);
  5. Papers containing information, the release of which could allow or result in direct personal financial gain or loss by a person or a group of persons;
  6. Papers reflecting on the personal competence or character of an individual;
  7. Papers of a voluminous character or which would require an inordinate cost or length of time to prepare;
  8. Papers relating to the business of the Senate;
  9. Papers, the release of which would be personally embarrassing to Her Majesty or the Royal Family or official representatives of Her Majesty;
  10. Papers relating to negotiations leading up to a contract until the contract has been executed or the negotiations have been concluded;
  11. Papers that are excluded from disclosure by statute;
  12. Cabinet documents and those documents which include a Privy Council confidence;
  13. Any proceedings before a court of justice or a judicial inquiry of any sort;
  14. Papers that are private or confidential and not of a public or official character;
  15. Internal departmental memoranda;
  16. Papers requested, submitted or received in confidence by the government from sources outside the government.

Ministers’ Correspondence
Ministers’ correspondence of a personal nature, or dealing with constituency or general political matters, should not be identified with government papers and therefore should not be subject to production in the House.

Consultant Studies
In the case of consultant studies, the following guidelines are to be applied:

  1. Consultant studies, the nature of which is identifiable and comparable to work that would be done within the Public Service, should be treated as such (the reports and also the terms of reference) when consideration is being given to their release.
  2. Consultant studies, the nature of which is identifiable and comparable to the kind of investigation of public policy for which the alternative would be a Royal Commission, should be treated as such, and both the terms of reference for such studies and the resulting reports should be produced.
  3. Prior to engaging the services of a consultant, Ministers are to decide in which category the study belongs and in case of doubts are to seek the advice of their colleagues.
  4. Regardless of the decision as to which category (1. or 2. above) the consultant report will belong, the terms of reference and the contract for the consultant study are to ensure that the resulting report comprises two or more volumes, one of which is to be the recommendations while the other volume(s) is(are) to be the facts and the analysis of the study. The purpose of this separation is to facilitate the release of the factual and analytical portions (providing that the material is not covered by the exemptions listed above) enabling the recommendations (which, in the case of studies under category 1., would be exempt from production) to be separated for consideration by Ministers.

Despite these principles enunciated by the government, it is not the role of the Chair to decide which documents must be tabled or if all documents have been tabled. If a Member is not satisfied with the response, the Member may pursue the matter by means of another motion. [281] 

While there is no time limit on Orders to produce papers, if the House has adopted an Order for the production of a document, the Order should be complied with within a reasonable time. [282]  However, the Speaker has no power to determine when documents should be tabled. [283]  A prorogation does not nullify an Order for the production of papers. [284] 


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