Skip to Navigation Menu

House of Commons Procedure and Practice

Second Edition, 2009

 
Search Term(s): Skip to Content 

 

 

Prorogation of a session usually brings to an end all proceedings before Parliament. Unfinished business dies on the Order Paper and must be started anew in a subsequent session. However, for the purposes of Private Members’ Business, prorogation has almost no practical effect.[245] The List for the Consideration of Private Members’ Business, established at the beginning of a Parliament, and the Order of Precedence continue from session to session.[246] Private Members’ bills and motions originating in the House, including motions for papers which have been transferred for debate, need not be reintroduced in a new session as they automatically are deemed to have passed all stages completed in the previous session and retain the same place on the Order Paper. Thus, items placed in the Order of Precedence remain there. Items designated as non-votable maintain that designation.[247] Private Members’ bills are deemed to have been adopted at all stages of the legislative process agreed to in the previous session. Bills read a third time and passed are deemed to have been done so and a new message is sent to the Senate to that effect. If consideration of an item at a certain stage had begun but had not been completed, the item is restored at the beginning of that stage, as if no debate had yet occurred. Bills that were referred to a committee in the previous session are deemed referred back to the same committee. For the purposes of the Standing Orders, the deadline for reporting a private Member’s bill from committee is 60 sitting days following the day it is deemed referred to the committee, usually on the first day of the session.[248] For ease of reference, all bills and motions under Private Members’ Business retain the same number from session to session.

 

Bills and motions that are adopted, defeated, withdrawn or dropped from the Order Paper are no longer before the House and are therefore not carried over following a prorogation. These may, however, be reintroduced (with the exception of bills given Royal Assent). No item can be carried over from one Parliament to the next.

Some private Members’ bills originate in the Senate and are sent to the House after passage by the Senate. As they are the result of proceedings in the other place, these bills cannot automatically be carried over from session to session. However, should the Senate decide to adopt a bill that is identical to one sent to the House in a previous session of the same Parliament, the sponsor of the bill in the House may ask that it be reinstated at the same stage of the legislative process. Such reinstatement can occur only within the first 60 sitting days of the session.[249] If the bill receives first reading later than 60 days into the session, no reinstatement is possible and the bill must continue through the regular legislative process. In addition, only Senate public bills can be reinstated. Private bills, which are subject to a number of other requirements, are not eligible for reinstatement.

The request for reinstatement of a Senate bill is made by the sponsor at the moment of the bill’s first reading. If the Speaker agrees that the bill is in the same form as a previous bill, he or she then announces that the bill is deemed to have passed whatever stages the House had agreed to in the previous session.[250] If consideration of the bill at a certain stage had begun but had not been completed, the item is restored at the beginning of that stage as if no debate had yet occurred. Bills that were referred to a committee in the previous session are deemed referred back to the same committee.



[245] Standing Order 86.1.

[246] Standing Order 87.

[247] See, for example, Motion M‑322 in the name of Stéphane Dion (Saint‑Laurent–Cartierville), designated non-votable on May 10, 2007 during the First Session of the Thirty‑Ninth Parliament and reinstated in the Second Session on October 16, 2007 (Debates, May 10, 2007, pp. 9287‑8; Order Paper and Notice Paper at Prorogation, September 14, 2007, pp. 39, 41; Order Paper and Notice Paper, October 17, 2007, pp. 17‑8).

[248] Standing Order 97.1(1). See, for example, the Speaker’s statements at the opening of the Third Session of the Thirty-Seventh Parliament (Debates, February 2, 2004, pp. 10-1) and the Second Session of the Thirty‑Ninth Parliament (Debates, October 16, 2007, pp. 2‑3).

[249] Standing Order 86.2(1).

[250] See, for example, Debates, November 30, 2007, p. 1589; December 12, 2007, p. 2095; February 12, 2008, p. 2921.

Top of Page