Role of the Speaker During Question Period
Conduct of Question Period
Points of Order and Questions of Privilege During Question
Principles and Guidelines for Oral Questions
Concerning the Administration of the House
Concerning Matters Before Committees
Replies to Oral Questions
of Questions to Be Raised
or Delay of the Adjournment Proceedings
of Order and Questions of Privilege
Guidelines for Written Questions
of a Written Question
Not Responded to Within 45 Calendar Days
Effect of Prorogation on Written Questions
If the essence of Parliament is
Government accountability, then surely the essence of accountability is the
Question Period in the Canadian House of Commons.
Speaker James Jerome
(Mr. Speaker, p. 51)
The right to seek information from the
Ministry of the day and the right to hold that Ministry accountable are
recognized as two of the fundamental principles of parliamentary government.
Members exercise these rights principally by asking questions in the House. The
importance of questions within the parliamentary system cannot be
overemphasized and the search for or clarification of information through
questioning is a vital aspect of the duties undertaken by individual Members.
Questions may be asked orally without notice or may be submitted in writing
after due notice.
Each sitting day, time is set aside for the
purpose of asking oral questions. Question Period constitutes a unique and
distinct part of the daily program of the House. Members who are not satisfied
with the answer they receive to an oral question may pursue the matter at
greater length during the Adjournment Proceedings, which occur every day except
Friday at the end of the sitting.
Written questions, usually more detailed
than oral questions, appear on the Order Paper after due notice.
Responses are provided during Routine Proceedings under the rubric “Questions
on the Order Paper”.
This chapter outlines the rules and
practices of the House regarding oral and written questions, addressing the
authority for each, their unique aspects and traditions, the current guidelines
under which the House functions, and the role of the Speaker in these matters.
 “Nothing could more weaken the control of Parliament over the
executive than the abolition or curtailment of the right of a Member of
Parliament to ask a question in the House.” Wilding, N. and Laundy, P., An
Encyclopaedia of Parliament, 4th ed., London: Cassell & Company
Ltd., 1972, p. 627.