Any claim that privilege has been infringed
or a contempt committed is raised in the House by means of a “question of
privilege”. Maingot explains:
The purpose of raising matters of
“privilege” in either House of Parliament is to maintain the respect and credibility
due to and required of each House in respect of these privileges, to uphold its
powers, and to enforce the enjoyment of the privileges of its Members. A
genuine question of privilege is therefore a serious matter not to be reckoned
with lightly and accordingly ought to be rare, and thus rarely raised in the
House of Commons.
The procedure with respect to raising a
question of privilege is governed by both the Standing Orders and practice. A
question of privilege is a matter for the House to determine. The decision of
the House on a question of privilege, like every other matter which the House
has to decide, can be elicited only by a question put by the Speaker and
resolved either in the affirmative or in the negative, and this question is
necessarily founded on a motion made by a Member.
This section will describe the manner in
which such matters are dealt with by the House. (See Figure 3.1 at the end of
this chapter depicting the path of a question of privilege from the time it is
raised until it is disposed of.)
Great importance is attached to matters
involving privilege. A Member wishing to raise a question of privilege in the
House must first convince the Speaker that his or her concern is prima facie
(on the first impression or at first glance) a question of privilege. The
function of the Speaker is limited to deciding whether the matter is of such a
character as to entitle the Member who has raised the question to move a motion
which will have priority over Orders of the Day; that is, in the Speaker’s
opinion, there is a prima facie question of privilege. If there is, the
House must take the matter into immediate consideration.
Ultimately, it is the House which decides whether a breach of privilege or a
contempt has been committed.
Matters relating to privilege may also
arise in standing, special, legislative and joint committees, and in a
Committee of the Whole House. However, the procedures for dealing with such
situations in committee differ from the general procedure followed in the
If a Member believes that a breach of
privilege or a contempt has occurred, but does not feel that the matter should
have priority in debate, the Member may follow an alternate route for bringing
the matter before the House. He or she may place a written notice of a motion
on the Notice Paper.
A complaint on a matter of privilege must
satisfy two conditions before it can be accorded precedence over the Orders of
the Day. First, the Speaker must be convinced that a prima facie
case of breach of privilege has been made and, second, the matter must be
raised at the earliest opportunity. If the Speaker feels that these two
conditions have been met, the Speaker informs the House that, in his or her
opinion, this matter is entitled to take precedence over the notices of motions
and Orders of the Day standing on the Order Paper. The Speaker’s ruling
does not extend to deciding whether a breach of privilege has in fact been
committed. This is a matter which can only be decided by the House itself.
A question of privilege arising out of the
proceedings during the course of a sitting may be raised immediately without
notice. However, Speakers have disallowed questions of privilege during
Statements by Members and Question Period,
the process of Royal Assent, as well as during the Adjournment Proceedings, and the taking of recorded divisions.
In such circumstances, with the exception of the Adjournment Proceedings, the
question of privilege may be raised at the end of the time provided for such
business on that day. A matter of privilege related to the Adjournment Proceedings may be
raised at the next sitting, following the proper notification to the Speaker.
A Member wishing to raise a question of
privilege which does not arise out of the proceedings during the course of a
sitting must give notice before bringing the question to the attention of the
House. The Member must provide a written statement to the Speaker at least one
hour before raising the question of privilege in the House. If such notice is not given, the Speaker will not allow the Member
to proceed. Speakers have also ruled that oral notice is neither necessary nor
sufficient. Questions of privilege for which written notice has been given are
raised at specific times, namely on the opening of the sitting, following
Routine Proceedings but before Orders of the Day, and immediately after
Question Period. They are occasionally raised during a debate.
The notice submitted to the Speaker should
contain four elements:
It should indicate that the Member is writing to give notice of his or
her intention to raise a question of privilege.
It should state that the matter is being raised at the earliest
It should indicate the substance of the matter that the Member proposes
to raise by way of a question of privilege.
It should include the text of the motion which the Member must be ready
to propose to the House should the Speaker rule that the matter is a prima
facie case of privilege.
By providing the Chair with a context for
the question of privilege and a proposed remedy for the problem, the Member
assists the Speaker in dealing with the issue in an informed and expeditious
manner. The inclusion of the text of the proposed motion allows the Speaker
the opportunity to suggest changes to avoid any procedural difficulties in the
wording; otherwise, the Member might be prevented or delayed from moving the
motion should the Speaker rule the matter a prima facie question of
The matter of privilege to be raised in the
House must have recently occurred and must call for the immediate action of the
House. Therefore, the Member must satisfy the Speaker that he or she is
bringing the matter to the attention of the House as soon as practicable after
becoming aware of the situation. When a Member has not fulfilled this important requirement, the
Speaker has ruled that the matter is not a prima facie question of
Should the Speaker receive more than one
notice of a question of privilege, or should more than one Member seek the
floor on a specific question of privilege, the Speaker will determine the order
in which the Members will be recognized.
Generally, the Speaker will recognize Members in the order in which the notices
were received, or recognize the first Member who catches the Speaker’s eye. If
more than one matter is being raised, the Speaker will hear Members on one
question of privilege at a time.
A Member recognized on a question of
privilege is expected to be brief and concise in explaining the event which has
given rise to the question of privilege and the reasons why consideration of
the event complained of should be given precedence over other House business. If the question of privilege cast doubts on a Member’s conduct,
election or right to sit, the Member raising the matter must make a specific
complaint against that Member. Generally, the Member tries to provide the Chair with relevant
references to the Standing Orders, precedents and citations from procedural
authorities and may seek the consent of the House to table related documents. In addition, the Member should demonstrate that the matter is being
brought to the House’s attention at the first opportunity. Finally, the Member
should state what corrective House action is being sought by way of remedy and
indicate that, should the Speaker rule the matter a prima facie question
of privilege, he or she is prepared to move the appropriate motion.
The Speaker will hear the Member and may
permit others who are directly implicated in the matter to intervene. In
instances where more than one Member is involved in a question of privilege,
the Speaker may postpone discussion until all concerned Members can be present
in the House. The Speaker also has the discretion to seek the advice of other
Members to help him or her in determining whether there is prima facie a
matter of privilege involved which would warrant giving the matter priority of
consideration over other House business. When satisfied, the Speaker will
terminate the discussion.
The decision as to the existence of a prima
facie question of privilege belongs exclusively to the Speaker who may take
the matter under advisement to permit a considered judgement in all but the
clearest of cases. In his appearance before the Standing Committee on Procedure
and House Affairs in 2002, the Clerk of the House described the role of the
Speaker in the consideration of a question of privilege as follows:
The Speaker’s role ought to be explained,
and it is that the issue put before the Speaker is not a finding of fact, it is
simply whether on first impression the issue that is before the House warrants
priority consideration over all other matters, all other orders of the day that
are before the House.
When a question of privilege has required
an immediate decision of the Chair, the Speaker has, without objection,
suspended the sitting for a short time to deliberate on the matter, and has
then returned to the House with a ruling.
In deliberating upon a question of
privilege, the Chair will take into account the extent to which the matter
complained of infringed upon any Member’s ability to perform his or her
parliamentary functions or appears to be a contempt against the dignity of
Parliament. If the question of privilege involves a disagreement between two
(or more) Members as to facts, the Speaker typically rules that such a dispute
does not prevent Members from fulfilling their parliamentary functions nor does
such a disagreement breach the collective privileges of the House. If the Speaker is satisfied that the necessary conditions have been
met and finds a prima facie breach of privilege or contempt, the
decision is announced to the House. As soon as the Chair has apprised the House
that a prima facie case of privilege has been found, the Member raising
the matter is immediately allowed to move a motion.
In the vast majority of cases, the Chair
decides that a prima facie case of privilege has not been made. In
informing the House of such a decision, the Chair customarily explains (often
in some detail) the factors which resulted in this finding. However, in such
cases, the Chair will often acknowledge the existence of a genuine grievance
and may recommend avenues of redress. If the Speaker rules that there is not a prima facie
question of privilege, the matter ends there. However, if in the future
additional information comes to light, the Member who raised the question of
privilege or any other Member may raise the matter again.
After the Speaker has decided that a matter
is a prima facie question of privilege, it is left to the Member raising
the matter to move the appropriate motion;
like all motions, it must be seconded. Occasionally, the Member will propose a
motion at the end of his or her arguments when initially raising the question
of privilege. Under these circumstances, the Speaker may advise the Member on
the proper form of the motion. In cases where the motion is not known in advance, the Speaker may
provide assistance to the Member if the terms of the proposed motion are
substantially different from the matter originally raised. The Speaker would be reluctant to allow a matter as important as a
privilege motion to fail on the ground of improper form.
The terms of the motion have generally provided that the matter be referred to
committee for study or have been amended to that effect.
Once the motion is properly moved,
seconded, and proposed to the House, it is subject to all the procedures and
practices relating to debate on a substantive motion. The speeches are limited
to 20 minutes, followed by a 10-minute questions and comments period. Only the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition are
permitted unlimited speaking time (followed by a 10-minute questions and
comments period). Members are subject to the rules of relevance and repetition
and the Speaker must ensure that the debate is focused on the terms of the
When the motion being considered touches on
the conduct of a Member, he or she may make a statement in explanation and then
should withdraw from the Chamber. The Chair has interpreted “conduct” to refer to actions which, if
proven, could result in the expulsion of a Member from the House on the grounds
that he or she is unfit for membership, as opposed to actions which could lead
to a Member being “named” by the Speaker.
However, it is not always clear that Members whose conduct was under
consideration actually withdrew from the Chamber.
In some circumstances, a Member may be allowed to return to the Chamber in
order to clarify or explain particular matters.
A privilege motion once under debate has
priority over all Orders of the Day including Government Orders and Private
Members’ Business. However, the debate does not interfere with Routine
Proceedings, Statements by Members, Question Period, Royal Assent, deferred
recorded divisions or the adjournment of the House.
If a privilege motion is still before the House when the House is scheduled to
consider Private Members’ Business, Private Members’ Hour is cancelled. Should debate on a privilege motion not be completed by the ordinary
hour of daily adjournment, this item will take priority over all other Orders
of the Day at the next sitting. It will appear on the Order Paper under
Orders of the Day before all other orders.
Once seized of the privilege motion, the
House may amend it, even if the amendment results in the text of the motion
differing from the one originally accepted by the Speaker and proposed to the
During the proceedings on a privilege
motion, motions to adjourn the debate, to adjourn the House, or to proceed to Orders of the Day are in
order, as are motions for the previous question (“that this question be now
put”), for the extension of the sitting, or “that a Member be now heard”. If a
motion to adjourn the debate or the House is adopted, debate on the privilege
motion resumes the following sitting day.
However, should the previous question be negatived, or a motion to proceed to
Orders of the Day be adopted, then the privilege motion is superseded and
dropped from the Order Paper. Closure may also be moved on the privilege
motion by a Minister.
When debate has concluded on the motion,
the Speaker will put the question to the House.
If the motion is adopted, then the terms of the motion are implemented. If the
motion is defeated, the proceedings are ended.
Since the House has not given its
committees the power to punish any misconduct, breach of privilege, or contempt
directly, committees cannot decide such matters; they can only report them to
the House. Only the House can decide if an offence has been committed. Speakers have consistently ruled that, except in the most extreme
situations, they will only hear questions of privilege arising from committee
proceedings upon presentation of a report from the committee which directly
deals with the matter and not as a question of privilege raised by an
individual Member. As Speaker Milliken indicated in response to a question of
privilege raised in 2003 concerning the disclosure of a confidential draft
committee report: “In the absence of a report from the committee on such an
issue, it is virtually impossible for the Chair to make any judgement as to the
prima facie occurrence of a breach of privilege with regard to such
Most matters which have been reported by
committees concerned the behaviour of Members, witnesses or the public.
Committees have reported to the House on the refusal of witnesses to appear
when summoned; the refusal of witnesses to answer questions; the refusal of witnesses to provide papers or records; the refusal of individuals to obey orders of a committee; the divulging of events during an in camera meeting; the disclosure of draft reports;
and witnesses lying to a committee. Committees could report on instances of contempt, such as behaviour
showing disrespect for the authority or activities of a committee, the
intimidation of members or witnesses, or witnesses refusing to be sworn in.
Unlike the Speaker, the Chair of a committee
does not have the power to censure disorder or decide questions of privilege.
Should a Member wish to raise a question of privilege in committee, or should
some event occur in committee which appears to be a breach of privilege or
contempt, the Chair of the committee will recognize the Member and hear the
question of privilege, or in the case of some incident, suggest that the
committee deal with the matter. The Chair, however, has no authority to rule
that a breach of privilege or contempt has occurred.
The role of the Chair in such instances is to determine whether the matter
raised does in fact touch on privilege and is not a point of order, a grievance
or a matter of debate. If the Chair is of the opinion that the Member’s
interjection deals with a point of order, a grievance or a matter of debate, or
that the incident is within the powers of the committee to deal with, the Chair
will rule accordingly, giving reasons. The committee cannot then consider the
matter further as a question of privilege. Should a Member disagree with the
Chair’s decision, the Member can appeal the decision to the committee (i.e.,
move a motion “Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?”). The committee
may sustain or overturn the Chair’s decision.
If, in the opinion of the Chair, the issue
raised relates to privilege (or if an appeal should overturn a Chair’s decision
that it does not touch on privilege), the committee can proceed to the
consideration of a report on the matter to the House. The Chair will entertain
a motion which will form the text of the report. It should clearly describe the
situation, summarize the events, name any individuals involved, indicate that
privilege may be involved or that a contempt may have occurred, and request the
House to take some action. The motion is debatable and amendable, and will have
priority of consideration in the committee.
If the committee decides that the matter should be reported to the House, it
will adopt the report which will be presented to the House at the appropriate
time under the rubric “Presenting Reports from Committees” during Routine
Once the report has been presented, the
House is formally seized of the matter. After having given the appropriate notice,
any Member may then raise the matter as a question of privilege. The Speaker will hear the question of privilege and may hear other
Members on the matter, before ruling on the prima facie nature of the
question of privilege. As Speaker Fraser noted in a ruling, “… the Chair is not
judging the issue. Only the House itself can do that. The Chair simply decides
on the basis of the evidence presented whether the matter is one which should
take priority over other business”. Should the Speaker rule the matter a prima facie breach of
privilege, the next step would be for the Member who raised the question of
privilege to propose a motion asking the House to take some action. Should the Speaker rule that there is no prima facie
question of privilege, no priority would be given to the matter.
If a committee presents a report advising
the House of a potential breach of privilege but no Member raises a question of
privilege following the presentation of the report, the Speaker cannot deal
with the matter. As with any committee report, any Member may still seek concurrence
in the report by following the normal procedures during Routine Proceedings. If the report contains a recommendation and the report is
subsequently concurred in by the House, the recommendation becomes an Order of
Given that the House infrequently sits as a
Committee of the Whole, and that when it does, the proceedings are typically
completed in a matter of minutes, questions of privilege are not often raised
today in a Committee of the Whole. The practice regarding the raising of questions of privilege in a
Committee of the Whole is virtually identical to that for standing, special, or
When the House sits as a Committee of the
Whole, a Member may raise a question of privilege only on matters which have
occurred in the Committee and which are relevant to its proceedings. A Member
may not raise as a question of privilege matters affecting the privileges of
the House in general or something which has occurred outside the Chamber. If a
Member wishes to raise a question of privilege about something that does not
concern the Committee, he or she may move a motion that the Committee rise and
report progress in order that the Speaker may hear the question of privilege. If the motion is adopted, the Chair will rise and report to the
Speaker who will then hear the Member.
If a Member rises on a question of
privilege which is relevant to the proceedings in a Committee of the Whole, the
Chair will hear the question of privilege. As in a standing, special, or
legislative committee, the role of the Chair is to decide whether the matter
raised does in fact relate to privilege.
Again, that decision may be appealed. However, such an appeal is not to the
Committee of the Whole, but rather to the Speaker.
If the matter raised by the Member touches on privilege and relates to events
in the Committee of the Whole, the Chair will entertain a motion that the
events be reported to the House. The motion is debatable and amendable, and has
priority of consideration in the Committee. If the Committee agrees to report
the matter, the Chair rises, the Speaker takes the Chair and receives the
report. The text of the report to the House should summarize the events,
indicate that privilege may be involved, and include a request for the
Committee to sit again to consider its business.
Only after the Chair has reported to the
House may the matter be brought properly before the House for the Speaker to
deal with it. A Member should rise on a question of privilege and put the
matter before the Speaker, who may allow interventions on the matter. When
satisfied, the Speaker will rule whether or not it is a prima facie
question of privilege. If a prima facie case of privilege is found, the
Member may move a motion in the usual manner dealing with the matter. If the
Speaker finds that there is no prima facie question of privilege,
then the House will resume its regular business. Under Orders of the Day, the
House may sit again as a Committee of the Whole to resume consideration of the
matter originally before it, or the House may proceed to another Order.
The Speaker will entertain a question of
privilege in regard to a matter that occurred in a Committee of the Whole only
if the matter has been dealt with first in the Committee of the Whole and
reported accordingly to the House.
If a Member believes that a breach of
privilege or a contempt has occurred, but does not feel that the matter should
have priority in debate, in a procedure very rarely resorted to, the Member may
place a written notice of motion on the Notice Paper. In this instance,
at the conclusion of the 48 hours’ notice period, the motion is placed under
the appropriate heading on the Order Paper. When sponsored by a
Minister, the motion may be considered by the House, at the expiry of the
48 hours’ notice period, when called under Government Orders. When sponsored by a private Member, the motion will be placed on
the Order Paper under the list of Private Members’ Business items
outside the Order of Precedence following the 48 hours’ notice period.
However, following the 48 hours’ notice
period, the Member in whose name the item stands may decide to seek priority in
debate for the motion (e.g., if new information were to come to light). The
Member must then seek to convince the Speaker that the matter raised in the motion
should be considered a prima facie question of privilege. In such a
case, the Member would be required to notify the Speaker in writing at least
one hour before raising the matter in the House.
Historically, there have been a number of
occasions when Members have chosen to give written notice of their motions of
privilege, particularly in cases where the matter stemmed from events occurring
outside the House. In 1874, for instance, a motion for which written notice had
been given, and which was not likely to arise on a particular day, was taken up
before its turn, displacing scheduled business. A
similar case in 1886 saw a motion taken up before its turn at the request of
the Member attacked in the motion. Yet, it was not always so easy and, in two rare cases in 1892,
motions for which written notice had been given were refused precedence as the
Speaker judged them not to contain true matters of privilege. Furthermore, in cases involving a motion amounting to a charge
against a Member, etiquette required that the sponsor of such a motion
privately advise the Member concerned when the motion would be moved.
These practices endured into the twentieth
century, and oral and written notices, although not required, were both common
when questions of privilege were raised. In 1911, for example, a matter of
privilege was raised following oral notice,
while in 1932, a motion regarding charges which had been made against the Prime
Minister was taken up after written notice had been given. There were other cases where matters were raised without any
Eventually, an attempt was made to convince
the Speaker to take a notice of motion out of sequence because it appeared to
involve privilege. In June 1959, the Leader of the Opposition gave notice
of a motion in which he questioned the conduct of a government Member. The
Speaker, who had not ruled on whether or not it should be given precedence,
sought the advice of the House. After a lengthy discussion on this point, the Speaker was able to
arrive at the conclusion, in keeping with the recently established criteria
guiding Speakers on questions of privilege, that, prima facie, no matter
of privilege appeared to exist and that therefore he would not allow other
business to be set aside to debate the motion. As
a result, the motion stayed on the Order Paper and was never reached.
A written notice of motion, dealing with an
alleged contempt of the House, was placed on the Notice Paper on
February 27, 1996. The text of the motion, sponsored by Don Boudria
(Glengarry–Prescott–Russell), accused Ray Speaker (Lethbridge) of
attempting to put pressure on the Speaker to recognize the Reform Party as the
Official Opposition. The motion further declared that this constituted a
contempt of Parliament and ordered that the Member for Lethbridge be admonished
at the Bar of the House by the Chair. After the required notice period, the
motion was placed on the Order Paper under Private Members’ Business and was subsequently chosen for debate after a random draw on
March 4, 1996. In accordance with the Standing Orders governing Private
Members’ Business in place at that time, the motion was designated non-votable.
The Member for Lethbridge subsequently
raised a point of order in the House to question whether a motion which was not
votable could be used to make a charge against another Member. On June 18, 1996, Speaker Parent ruled that the motion was
procedurally acceptable under the rules for Private Members’ Business. He
The hon. Member is quite correct in his
assertion that the conduct of a member can be brought before the House only by
way of a specific charge contained in a substantive motion. Often, in such
cases, members will choose to raise the matter on the floor of the House
without giving the required 48‑hour or two‑week notice and ask the
Speaker to give it priority or right of way for immediate consideration by the
House, thus putting all other regular House business aside …. In the
current circumstances, I find that the rules for Private Members’ Business have
been followed and that there is therefore no point of order.
The Member for Lethbridge immediately
raised a question of privilege which would have provided a way of resolving the
charge made against him by permitting the matter to come to a vote. He argued
that allowing the charge to remain unresolved would seriously affect his
reputation. In ruling that the matter was not a prima facie breach of
privilege, the Speaker reminded the House that motions regarding the conduct of
Members had in the past been placed on the Order Paper under Private
Members’ Business without ever being voted on by the House.
If the terms of the privilege motion
stipulate that the matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure
and House Affairs, then the adoption of the motion by the House constitutes an
order of reference to the Committee. The Standing Orders empower the Committee
to enquire into all such matters referred to it and to send for persons, papers
and records. While the Committee is free to determine its own agenda, both the
Committee and the House take such enquiries very seriously. The Committee does
not have the power to punish. This power rests with the House. The Committee
may only study the matter and report to the House. The conduct of the Committee
in investigating a privilege matter is the same as for other business
considered by any committee of the House, though the nature of the order of
reference would encourage the Committee to proceed cautiously.
The form of a report of the Standing
Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on a matter of privilege is no
different from a report of any other committee of the House on a substantive
matter. It may or may not contain recommendations for action or punishment and, if the Committee so orders, it may also have appended to it
dissenting or supplementary opinions or recommendations.
Frequently, the report itself may be sufficient to put an end to the matter and
no further action is required by the House. A
report may, on the other hand, recommend that the Speaker take some action or
that some administrative action be taken.
Just as with most committee reports, following appropriate notice, a Member may
move a motion for concurrence which the House may debate. If the report is concurred in, the Committee’s recommendations may
be considered an order of the House to take a specific action or to implement a
The Chair may occasionally grant leave to a
Member to explain a matter of a personal nature although there is no question
before the House.
This is commonly referred to by Members as “a point of personal privilege” and
is an indulgence granted by the Chair. There is no connection to a question of
privilege, and as Speaker Fraser once noted, “[t]here is no legal authority,
procedural or otherwise, historic or precedential, that allows this”.
Before rising to speak in the House, the Member must first give the Speaker
written notice of the matter; oral notice may also be given privately to the
Such occasions are not meant to be used for
general debate, and Members have been cautioned to confine their remarks to the
point they wish to make.
The Speaker has also stated that, as these are generally personal statements
and not questions of privilege, no other Members will be recognized to speak on
Members have used this procedure to make personal explanations, to correct errors
made in debate,
to apologize to the House,
to thank the House or acknowledge something done for the Member by the House,
to announce a change in party affiliation,
to announce a resignation,
or for some other reason.
3.1 The Path of a Question of Privilege
Maingot, 2nd ed., p. 217.
Standing Order 48(1).
This is based on recommendations in the Second Report of the Standing Committee
on Procedure and Organization, presented to the House on March 14, 1975,
and concurred in on March 24, 1975 (Journals, March 14, 1975,
pp. 372‑6; March 24, 1975, p. 399; April 14, 1975,
p. 441). See also Debates, April 19, 1983, pp. 24624‑6;
December 20, 1983, p. 355. For further information, see Chapter 11,
Debates, December 17, 1990, p. 16830.
Debates, April 30, 1964, pp. 2799‑802; November 25, 1985,
p. 8795. See also Chapter 11, “Questions”.
Debates, April 12, 1962, p. 2909;
March 20, 1990, pp. 9557‑8.
See Speaker Parent’s ruling, Debates, December 7, 1995,
Standing Order 48(2).
See, for example, Debates, March 22, 1971, p. 4451; October 31, 1986,
pp. 955‑6; December 17, 1990, p. 16830;
March 2, 1995, p. 10273; June 17, 2005, p. 7378.
See also Debates, November 3, 1989, p. 5511 where a
Member sought and obtained the consent of the House to waive the usual one
 See, for example, Debates,
March 10, 1966, p. 2477; March 18, 1982,
p. 15557; May 12, 1982, p. 17338; May 19, 1982,
p. 17596; February 2, 2004, p. 11.
 See Speakers’ comments, Debates,
April 4, 1973, p. 2947; February 18, 1982,
See Debates, October 29, 2001, p. 6671 where Speaker Milliken
reminded Members of the rules respecting the raising of questions of privilege and
indicated that if these four elements were not included in a letter of
notification, the notice would be returned to the Member.
See, for example, Debates, February 17, 1999, pp. 12011‑2.
Debates, May 29, 2008, pp. 6276‑8.
On occasion, the Speaker has included in a ruling a caution that Members bring
forward questions of privilege in a timely fashion (see, for example, Debates,
January 28, 1988, p. 12360; May 22, 1990,
p. 11636). Any matter found to be prima facie and referred to
committee in one session but not reported on would not survive a prorogation.
However, if a Member wished to raise the question of privilege again in the
following session, the Speaker could reconsider the matter provided that the
rules of timeliness were respected. See, for example, Debates,
February 6, 2004, pp. 243‑4.
See, for example, Debates, May 10, 1966, pp. 4923‑4;
October 12, 1966, pp. 8553‑5; November 28, 1967,
pp. 4773‑4; June 9, 1969, pp. 9899‑900;
September 27, 1971, p. 8174. In 1983, Speaker Sauvé did allow Bill
Domm (Peterborough) to raise a question of privilege, even though the Member
could have raised the matter earlier (Debates, October 4, 1983,
See, for example, the questions of privilege raised by John Reynolds (West
Vancouver–Sunshine Coast), Jim Pankiw (Saskatoon–Humboldt), Garry Breitkreuz
(Yorkton–Melville) and Roy Bailey (Souris–Moose Mountain) concerning
picket lines blocking access to Parliament Hill and entrances to certain
buildings on February 17, 1999 (Debates, pp. 12009‑12).
See, for example, Debates, March 9, 1972, p. 661;
February 1, 1973, p. 850. See also remarks by the Speaker in Debates,
June 26, 1990, p. 13124; October 4, 1990,
pp. 13771‑2; March 22, 2001, p. 2130;
September 26, 2001, p. 5598.
Debates, September 28, 1998, pp. 8469‑73. All
evidence upon which a question of privilege involving a charge against a Member
is based must be made explicit. See the comments of Speaker Milliken in Debates,
June 13, 2003, pp. 7296‑7. See also the motion moved on
March 12, 1996 (Journals, p. 79).
Private Members are not permitted to table documents without the consent of the
House. See, for example, Debates, September 27, 2000,
p. 8735 (consent granted); May 11, 2001, p. 3939 (consent
denied); April 15, 2002, pp. 10395‑7 (consent denied);
November 22, 2004, p. 1658 (consent granted);
October 3, 2005, p. 8333 (consent granted). A Minister is not
required to seek consent before tabling documentation related to a question of
privilege (see, for example, Debates, March 11, 2002,
pp. 9469‑70; April 22, 2005, pp. 5465, 5470). On
occasion, the Speaker has asked that the relevant documentation be given to the
Table (or to the Clerk of the House) for transmission to the Speaker’s office
rather than be tabled (see, for example, Debates, March 14, 2001,
p. 1652; April 16, 2002, p. 10466).
See, for example, Debates, February 15, 1985, pp. 2398‑9;
October 12, 1990, pp. 14106‑10; October 15, 1990,
pp. 14148‑9; October 18, 1990, pp. 14367‑8;
April 26, 1999, pp. 14326‑7; March 17, 2000,
pp. 4805‑6; December 12, 2002, pp. 2639‑40;
October 15, 2004, pp. 437‑9; May 15, 2008, pp. 5883, 5920‑4.
Debates, March 31, 1981, pp. 8800‑6. See also
remarks by Speaker Milliken in Debates,
November 29, 2001, p. 7685; January 31, 2002,
Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, Evidence,
February 19, 2002, Meeting No. 45. In November 2003, a
question of privilege was raised about the conduct of a former Privacy
Commissioner before a House committee. In addition to other matters, the Speaker
was asked to provide the House with “an outline of its options should the Chair
find a prima facie case of contempt …” (Debates,
November 5, 2003, p. 9192). In his ruling, Speaker Milliken
addressed this request: “In my view, it is not the role of the Speaker to
suggest how the House may wish to deal with a question of privilege or a case
of contempt, always assuming that the House has decided that it is faced with
such an offence. The ruling will deal only on whether or not the Chair has
found a prima facie case of contempt” (Debates,
November 6, 2003, p. 9229).
See, for example, Debates, February 7, 1990, p. 7953;
March 12, 1996, pp. 561‑2.
See, for example, Speakers’ rulings found in Debates,
February 3, 1971, pp. 3024‑5; June 4, 1975,
pp. 6431‑3; December 16, 1988, pp. 154‑5;
October 6, 1994, pp. 6597‑8; February 18, 2002,
p. 8926; April 21, 2005, pp. 5411‑2;
October 30, 2006, pp. 4414‑5; May 28, 2008, pp. 6171‑2. As Speaker Jerome concluded in a
1975 ruling, “a dispute as to facts, a dispute as to opinions and a dispute as
to conclusions to be drawn from an allegation of fact is a matter of debate and
not a question of privilege” (Debates, June 4, 1975,
See, for example, Debates, May 23, 1989, pp. 2051‑2;
September 24, 1990, pp. 13216‑7; June 13, 1991,
pp. 1644‑6; December 8, 1992, pp. 14807‑8;
June 10, 1994, pp. 5160‑1; November 16, 1998,
pp. 10020‑1; February 25, 2003, pp. 3986‑7; April 20, 2005, pp. 5334‑5;
June 8, 2005, pp. 6826‑8.
See, for example, the question of privilege raised by Jag Bhaduria (Markham–Whitchurch–Stouffville)
on February 15, 1994 (Debates, pp. 1387‑8), withdrawn
on February 23, 1994 (Debates, p. 1728), and reintroduced
on March 23, 1994 (Debates, p. 2677), and the Speaker’s
ruling on March 24, 1994 (Debates, pp. 2705‑6). See
also the question of privilege raised by Judy Wasylycia‑Leis
(Winnipeg North Centre) on October 1, 1997 (Debates,
pp. 336‑7), the Speaker’s ruling on October 9, 1997 (Debates,
pp. 689‑90), the question of privilege reintroduced by the Member on
November 25, 1997 (Debates, pp. 2190‑1), and the
Speaker’s ruling on December 4, 1997 (Debates, pp. 2695‑6).
“Until the motion is actually put to the House, the House is not seized of it,
and therefore, the Member may amend or withdraw his proposed motion without the
consent of the House” (Maingot, 2nd ed., p. 261). In 2003, a prima facie case of contempt having been found with respect to the conduct of the
former Privacy Commissioner, George Radwanski, before the Standing
Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, the Member who raised the
matter was invited by the Speaker to move the appropriate motion. Before
Derek Lee (Scarborough–Rouge River) could do so, the Chair of the
Committee, Reg Alcock (Winnipeg South), informed the House that he had
received a letter of apology from Mr. Radwanski and the letter was read into
the record. Mr. Lee subsequently announced that he had planned to move a
motion to summon Mr. Radwanski to the Bar of the House but, given the
apology, he considered the matter concluded. A number of Members rose to
express the opinion that the matter should not be dismissed without a motion
from the House condemning Mr. Radwanski’s behaviour. Debate on the matter
was subsequently adjourned in order to allow consultations to take place among
party representatives. Later in the sitting, Mr. Lee sought the leave of
the House to move the following motion: “That this House find
George Radwanski to have been in contempt of the House, and acknowledge
receipt of his letter of apology, tabled and read to the House earlier today”.
Leave was granted and the motion was adopted by unanimous consent. See Debates,
November 6, 2003, pp. 9229‑31, 9237.
In the Allan Lawrence (Northumberland–Durham) case in December 1978, there
was a difference between the motion the Member proposed to move if the question
of privilege were found to be prima facie and the one actually moved in
the House (Debates, November 3, 1978, p. 780;
December 6, 1978, p. 1857). In October 1990, Albert Cooper
(Peace River) proposed to move a motion which implicated another Member in a
demonstration in the public gallery of the House. When Speaker Fraser ruled on
the matter some days later, he stated that because the accused Member had
denied any advance knowledge of the demonstration, the Chair could not find a
question of privilege in that respect. However, the Speaker allowed that,
without the reference to the Member, the matter of the demonstration would be a
prima facie question of privilege. Mr. Cooper changed his motion which
was then adopted by the House (Debates, October 18, 1990,
p. 14360; November 6, 1990, pp. 15177‑81).
See, for example, Debates, February 17, 1999, pp. 12011‑2.
Debates, April 19, 1977, p. 4766. See also Maingot,
2nd ed., pp. 260‑1.
In March 1966 during the Munsinger affair, having ruled that Douglas
Harkness (Calgary North) did have a prima facie question of privilege,
Speaker Lamoureux ruled out of order the motion proposed by the Member
condemning the behaviour of the Minister of Justice. Other motions proposed by
other Members were also ruled out of order because they were couched in terms
which were too general or because they were substantive motions requiring
notice. Speaker Lamoureux more than once pointed out that it was Canadian practice
to refer such matters to committee for study and suggested that this should be
the avenue pursued. It was not, however, and no motions were put to the House (Journals,
March 10 to 15, 1966, pp. 267‑93). There have,
however, been exceptions to this practice. See discussions in Debates,
October 17, 1973, pp. 6942‑4;
October 31, 1991, pp. 4271‑85;
November 6, 2003, pp. 9229‑31, 9237;
April 10, 2008, p. 4721. See also Maingot, 2nd ed.,
Standing Order 43(1)(a) and (b).
Standing Order 20. Since 1953, there have been no instances where a matter
touching on the conduct or election of a Member, or on his or her right to a
seat, has led to a statement by a Member prior to his or her withdrawal.
Debates, May 25, 1956, p. 4348.
See Debates, May 17, 1894, cols. 2931‑3;
July 22, 1903, cols. 7095‑103; March 6, 1911,
cols. 4645‑56; May 22, 1924, pp. 2401‑7. In
1996, Jean‑Marc Jacob (Charlesbourg) was present in the House during
debate on the motion concerning his behaviour. He voted on a motion to adjourn
the debate (Division List No. 7, Journals, March 12, 1996,
p. 80), made a comment recorded in Hansard (Debates, March 13,
1996, p. 673) and voted on the motion that the debate not be further
adjourned (Division List No. 10, Journals, March 14, 1996,
pp. 94‑5). In 2000, Leon Benoit (Lakeland) spoke for 20 minutes
during debate on a motion concerning his conduct and then responded to
questions and comments (Debates, March 28, 2000, pp. 5369‑73);
he also voted against the motion to refer the matter to committee (Division
List No. 1255, Journals, March 29, 2000, p. 1504).
In 2002, Keith Martin (Esquimalt–Juan de Fuca) participated in the debate
on the privilege motion suspending him from the service of the House for his
actions in disregard to the authority of the Chair and in contempt of the House
(Debates, April 22, 2002, pp. 10664‑9).
See, for example, Journals, November 3, 2005, pp. 1250‑2;
November 4, 2005, pp. 1253‑7; November 14, 2005,
On Mondays, when the sitting begins at 11 a.m. with the consideration of Private Members’ Business, the Hour is cancelled and the House continues at that
time with resumed debate on the privilege motion. Standing Order 30(7),
which provides for the rescheduling of Private Members’ Hour, does not apply.
Instead, the item of Private Members’ Business retains its placement in the
Order of Precedence. See, for example, Order Paper and Notice Paper,
November 4, 2005, p. 33; November 14, 2005,
p. 35. See also Debates, February 1, 2002, p. 8619;
November 4, 2005, pp. 9552‑3. For further information, see
Chapter 21, “Private Members’ Business”.
See, for example, Order Paper and Notice Paper, November 14, 2005,
p. 23; November 15, 2005, p. 23.
See, for example, Journals, March 13, 1996, pp. 88‑9;
March 14, 1996, pp. 95‑6;
March 18, 1996, pp. 107‑10;
November 3, 2005, p. 1251; November 14, 2005, pp. 1266‑7. During the proceedings on the Jacob
case on March 13, 1996, Jim Hart (Okanagan–Similkameen–Merritt)
challenged the acceptability of an amendment stating that it was “trying to
completely gut the spirit of the motion”. The Speaker ruled the amendment
procedurally in order (Debates, March 13, 1996, p. 649).
See, for example, Debates, March 12, 1996, pp. 566‑7;
February 4, 2002, pp. 8626‑8.
See, for example, Debates, February 4, 2002, p. 8627;
February 5, 2002, p. 8680; February 6, 2002,
p. 8766; February 7, 2002, pp. 8792, 8831.
See, for example, Debates, March 13, 1996, p. 666;
March 14, 1996, pp. 680‑1.
If a recorded division is requested on a privilege motion and the division is
subsequently deferred to later in the sitting or to another sitting day, the
vote on the privilege motion does not take precedence over other previously
deferred divisions. See, for example, Journals,
April 23, 2002, pp. 1333‑8.
See, for example, Journals, October 24, 1966, pp. 915‑6;
March 21, 1978, pp. 525‑6; December 7, 1978,
pp. 228‑9; February 20, 1984, pp. 188‑9;
March 29, 2000, pp. 1503‑4; November 15, 2005,
For the House to give penal powers to committees would be an extension of the
privileges of the House requiring legislation. See United Kingdom, House of
Commons, First Report from the Select Committee on Procedure, Together
with the Proceedings of the Committee, Minutes of Evidence and Appendices,
Session 1977-78, Vol. I, Report and Minutes of
Proceedings, Appendix C, “Powers of Select Committees to Send for Persons,
Papers and Records (PPR), Memorandum by the Clerk of the House”, July 17, 1978
(reprinted 1979), p. 26, par. 55.
See, for example, Debates, June 30, 1987, p. 7822;
December 9, 1987, p. 11628; March 26, 1990,
pp. 9756‑8; April 2, 1990, pp. 10074‑6;
November 28, 1990, pp. 15854‑5; June 19, 1991,
p. 2070; November 7, 1991, pp. 4772‑3; May 18, 1995,
p. 12760; September 16, 1996, pp. 4233‑4;
December 9, 1997, p. 2945; March 17, 2000,
pp. 4805‑6; November 27, 2002, pp. 1949‑50;
March 22, 2004, p. 1512; May 4, 2004, pp. 2716‑7;
June 12, 2008, pp. 6893‑5.
Exceptionally, in 1992, Speaker Fraser found a prima facie case of
privilege with respect to threats made to a witness who had appeared before a
subcommittee without waiting for a report from the main committee (Debates,
December 4, 1992, pp. 14629‑31).
See also the comments of Speaker Milliken in Debates,
May 10, 2007, p. 9288.
Debates, February 25, 2003, p. 3986. In another ruling
delivered in 2004, Speaker Milliken explained that the “Speaker is not
empowered to substitute his judgment for that of the committee prior to any
decision being taken by it” (Debates, April 1, 2004,
See, for example, Journals, April 26, 1878, pp. 218‑20;
August 27, 1891, p. 454; September 1, 1891,
p. 467; September 24, 1891, p. 532; June 7, 1894,
p. 242; June 11, 1894, p. 288; June 13, 1894,
pp. 298‑300; November 22, 1990, pp. 2280‑1.
See, for example, Journals, August 12, 1891, p. 402;
August 13, 1891, p. 407; August 18, 1891, p. 414;
August 19, 1891, p. 417; September 29, 1891,
p. 561; May 30, 1906, p. 316; June 1, 1906,
p. 323; June 4, 1906, pp. 331‑3; July 3, 1906,
pp. 475‑6; March 27, 1907, p. 371; April 4, 1907,
pp. 388‑9; February 14, 1913, p. 249;
February 17, 1913, p. 254; February 18, 1913,
pp. 266‑7; February 20, 1913, pp. 274‑8.
See, for example, Journals, June 5, 1891, p. 205;
June 16, 1891, pp. 211‑2; December 19, 1990,
p. 2508; February 28, 1991, p. 2638; May 17, 1991,
p. 42; May 29, 1991, pp. 92‑9; May 6, 2004,
p. 388; May 13, 2004, p. 416.
See, for example, Journals, May 1, 1868, pp. 267‑8;
May 2, 1868, p. 271; May 10, 1873, pp. 317‑8;
May 12, 1873, pp. 327‑8.
See, for example, Journals, April 28, 1987, p. 791;
May 14, 1987, p. 917; December 18, 1987, pp. 2014‑6.
See, for example, Journals, March 21, 2000, p. 1413;
February 27, 2007, p. 1073; March 2, 2007,
p. 1096; March 28, 2007, p. 1171; June 17, 2008, p. 1000.
See, for example, Journals, November 4, 2003, p. 1225;
February 12, 2008, p. 423.
For further information on the role of a committee Chair, see Chapter 20,
“Committees”. See also Maingot, 2nd ed., pp. 221‑2.
For an example of the consideration of a question of privilege raised in a
committee, see Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Minutes of Proceedings
and Evidence, March 31, 2004, Meeting No. 18; Minutes
of Proceedings, April 1, 2004, Meeting No. 19.
See Speaker Fraser’s ruling, Debates, May 14, 1987,
Standing Order 48(2).
See, for example, Debates, April 28, 1987, pp. 5299,
5329; March 21, 2000, pp. 4914, 4959‑62;
November 4, 2003, pp. 9111, 9150‑1;
November 5, 2003, pp. 9192‑3; February 12, 2008,
p. 2921; April 10, 2008, p. 4721.
Debates, May 14, 1987, p. 6110. See also
Speaker Milliken’s comments in Debates,
December 12, 2002, p. 2636: “Should a committee report
concerning matters related to breaches of privilege or contempt, the Chair
stands ready to accept such a report as evidence of a prima facie
question of privilege and permit the House to proceed accordingly”.
See above for the procedure for dealing with questions of privilege in the
In 2007, three committees presented reports to the House about potential
breaches of privilege resulting from the disclosure of information contained in
draft reports; no questions of privilege were subsequently raised in the House.
See the Eleventh Report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and
Immigration, presented to the House on February 27, 2007 (Journals,
p. 1073); Thirteenth Report of the Standing Committee on Status of Women,
presented to the House on March 2, 2007 (Journals,
p. 1096); Fifth Report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources,
presented to the House on March 28, 2007 (Journals,
p. 1171). One committee presented a similar report to the House in 2008
(Eighth Report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International
Development, presented to the House on June 17, 2008 (Journals, p. 1000)).
See also the Second Report of the Standing Committee on National Defence and
Veterans Affairs, presented to the House on February 28, 2000 (Journals,
p. 1037), in which the Committee brought to the attention of the House a
potential breach of privilege involving comments made by the Auditor General.
No further action was taken on the Report.
See Chapter 10, “The Daily Program”, for the procedures for concurring in
See, for example, the Third Report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and
Agri‑Food, presented to the House and concurred in on
May 6, 2004 (Journals, p. 388). As a result of the
adoption of the Report, the House found three companies to be in contempt of
the House for refusing to provide the Committee with documents it had
requested. These companies were also ordered to provide the documentation to
the Committee within five days.
For a description of the functioning of a Committee of the Whole, see
Chapter 19, “Committees of the Whole House”.
See, for example, Debates, April 30, 1964, p. 2782;
October 29, 1964, pp. 9561‑2; June 2, 1966,
For example, on April 30, 1964, in a Committee of the Whole, Lawrence
Kindt (Macleod) rose on a question of privilege which, he stated, affected
every Member of the House. The question of privilege concerned remarks made by
the Minister of Transport (Walter Pickersgill) outside the House, which the
Member claimed should have been made in the House. The Chairman of the
Committee of the Whole pointed out that the Member could only raise such a
question of privilege when the Speaker was in the Chair. Another Member, Erik
Nielsen (Yukon), then moved that the Committee rise and report progress and
seek leave to sit again in order that Mr. Kindt might raise his question of
privilege. The Committee adopted the motion, the Chairman rose, reported
progress, and Mr. Kindt presented his question of privilege. The Deputy Speaker
ruled that the matter was not a prima facie question of privilege and
the House then went back into a Committee of the Whole (Debates,
April 30, 1964, pp. 2782‑3).
See, for example, Debates, November 23, 1970, p. 1373;
November 8, 1971, p. 9435; October 23, 1974,
p. 665; May 22, 1975, pp. 6012‑3; December 20, 1983,
Standing Order 12. See also Chapter 19, “Committees of the Whole House”.
A question of privilege was raised in a Committee of the Whole in 1987 by John Nunziata
(York South–Weston) who rose to complain that a Member had assaulted him
because he was not in his own seat. He requested an apology, but the Member
refused. Although the Chairman advised that he would report on the matter to
the full House, only the bill under consideration in the Committee was reported
later that day (Journals, October 15, 1987, pp. 1688‑9).
The following day, Mr. Nunziata raised his question of privilege in the
House. The Member about whom Mr. Nunziata had complained rose in the House
and apologized to Mr. Nunziata and to the House, and the Speaker declared the
matter closed (Debates, October 15, 1987, p. 10064;
October 16, 1987, pp. 10089‑90).
See Debates, June 12, 1980, pp. 2030‑1;
December 20, 1983, pp. 364‑9. In the 1983 instance, a
Member argued that because the Committee had risen and reported progress, the
House was apprised of the circumstances surrounding the question of privilege.
The Speaker ruled that the Committee had only risen, reported progress and
asked for leave to sit again. The Committee had not reported the bill or any
concerns to the House.
Standing Orders 48(2), 54 and 56(1).
Standing Orders 48(2) and 87.
Standing Order 48(2).
Journals, April 15, 1874, p. 64. See also Bourinot,
4th ed., pp. 304‑5.
Debates, April 5, 1886, p. 488.
Debates, March 18, 1892, cols. 245‑9; March 21, 1892,
cols. 287‑9; April 6, 1892, cols. 1032‑5.
See, for example, Debates, April 25, 1877, p. 1810;
May 11, 1891, cols. 156‑7.
Debates, March 3, 1911, cols. 4566‑7.
Debates, February 8, 1932, p. 8.
See, for example, Debates, May 22, 1924, p. 2401.
Debates, June 16, 1959, p. 4761.
Journals, June 19, 1959, pp. 581‑6. See also
remarks by Svend Robinson (Burnaby–Kingsway) on a similar instance in Debates,
May 25, 1989, pp. 2119‑23, in particular pp. 2122‑3.
Order Paper and Notice Paper, February 28, 1996,
p. VI. Mr. Boudria’s motion was designated Private Members’ Notice of
Debates, May 9, 1996, pp. 2523‑4.
Debates, June 18, 1996, p. 4028. The Chair also noted
that it did not have the authority to make the motion votable. He further
pointed out that there were “procedures at the disposal of the House to ensure
that a sense of fair play prevails in all its proceedings”.
Debates, June 18, 1996, pp. 4029‑31.
Debates, June 20, 1996, pp. 4183‑4. The Speaker
suggested that the Member consider pursuing the matter of the non-votable
motion with the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. On
October 23, 1996, the Speaker announced to the House that
Mr. Boudria had advised the Chair in writing that he could no longer move
his motion because of his recent appointment to Cabinet. The Speaker, who has
the duty under the Standing Orders to make arrangements for the orderly conduct
of Private Members’ Business, directed that Mr. Boudria’s motion be
removed from the Order Paper (Journals, October 23, 1996,
p. 768, Debates, p. 5630).
Maingot, 2nd ed., pp. 267‑9.
See, for example, the Seventh Report of the Standing Committee on Elections,
Privileges and Procedure, presented to the House on December 18, 1987
(Journals, pp. 2014‑6); Twenty‑Fourth Report of the Standing
Committee on Privileges and Elections, presented to the House on
March 6, 1991 (Journals, pp. 2666‑7); Sixty‑Fifth
Report of the Standing Committee on House Management, presented to the House on
February 18, 1993 (Journals, p. 2528); Fiftieth Report of
the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House
on March 22, 2002 (Journals, p. 1250); Eighth Report of
the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House
on March 8, 2004 (Journals, p. 146); Fifty‑First
Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to
the House on November 18, 2005 (Journals, pp. 1289‑90).
See, for example, the Twenty‑Second Report of the Standing Committee on
Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House on June 18, 1996 (Journals,
pp. 565‑6); Twenty‑Ninth Report of the Standing Committee on
Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House on April 27, 1998 (Journals,
p. 706); Fortieth Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House
Affairs, presented to the House on November 29, 2001 (Journals,
See, for example, the Twenty‑Fourth
Report of the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, presented to the
House on March 6, 1991 (Journals, pp. 2666‑7);
Fourteenth Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs,
presented to the House on May 9, 2001 (Journals, pp. 385‑6).
See, for example, the Sixty‑Fifth Report of the Standing Committee on
House Management, presented to the House on February 18, 1993 (Journals,
p. 2528), which recommended that the Speaker write a letter to the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and a named individual advising them of the
content of the Report; Sixty‑Sixth
Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to
the House on April 14, 1999 (Journals, p. 1714), which
suggested improvements for handling demonstrations around the Parliamentary Precinct
and other parliamentary buildings (in particular par. 16 to 23); Thirty‑Eighth
Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to
the House on May 11, 2005 (Journals, p. 738), which
recommended that the Speaker issue a press release in certain communities
apologizing for sending a Member’s mailing into the wrong riding.
Standing Order 66(2). See, for example, the motion for concurrence in the Sixty‑Fifth
Report of the Standing Committee on House Management, adopted on
February 25, 1993 (Journals, p. 2568); the motion for
concurrence in the Twenty‑Second Report of the Standing Committee on
Procedure and House Affairs, debated in the House on June 20, 1996,
superseded by a motion to adjourn the debate and transferred to Government
Business on the Order Paper (Journals, pp. 592‑3); the
motion for concurrence in the Twenty‑Ninth Report of the Standing
Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, adopted on a recorded division (Journals,
May 5, 1998, pp. 744‑5); the motion for concurrence in the
Twenty‑First Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs,
debated on May 2, 2005 (Journals, pp. 678‑80) and
deemed carried on division on May 17, 2005 (Journals,
See also Chapter 13, “Rules of Order and Decorum”.
Debates, November 21, 1990, p. 15526.
In 1996, Speaker Parent advised the House that Jean‑Marc Jacob (Charlesbourg) would be rising to make a solemn declaration to the House. The Speaker
cautioned Members that the statement was not to incite debate. The Speaker
subsequently interrupted Mr. Jacob and ruled that “the words being used [in the
statement] tend more toward a debate than a solemn declaration”. The Member was
not allowed to continue (Debates, June 18, 1996,
p. 4027). See also Debates, May 11, 1989, pp. 1571‑3,
when a Minister rose on a matter of personal privilege to clarify a statement
he had made the previous day. Following the statement of the Minister, the
Speaker recognized the critic from the Official Opposition to respond to the
statement. However, when the Minister began to engage in a debate with the
opposition Member, the Speaker closed off the remarks and advised the House
that Members could seek further information from the Minister on another
Debates, March 17, 1997, p. 9060. On occasion, however,
some limited responses have been permitted. See, for example, Debates,
March 20, 2001, pp. 1869‑70; October 11, 2002,
pp. 632‑3; June 19, 2007, pp. 10830‑4.
See, for example, Debates, June 13, 1977, pp. 6584‑5;
October 8, 1987, p. 9827; June 18, 1996, p. 4027.
See, for example, Debates, May 11, 1989, pp. 1571‑3.
Debates, December 18, 1987, pp. 11950‑1;
March 19, 1991, p. 18710; October 9, 1991,
pp. 3515‑6; January 24, 1994, p. 197;
October 31, 1996, pp. 5948‑9; April 28, 1999,
p. 14448; March 20, 2001, p. 1869; April 4, 2008, p. 4489.
See, for example, Debates, November 26, 1992, pp. 14113‑5.
See, for example, Debates, November 21, 1990, pp. 15526‑8;
March 17, 1997, pp. 9059‑60.
See, for example, Debates, March 15, 1984, pp. 2138‑9;
May 12, 1986, p. 13149; February 3, 1988,
p. 12581; October 11, 2002, p. 632;
June 19, 2007, pp. 10830‑1; June 20, 2007,
Debates, January 26, 1990, p. 7495; December 12, 1990,
pp. 16635‑6; May 27, 1991, p. 610;
May 10, 2005, pp. 5884‑5; May 31, 2006,