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Third Reading and Adoption of a Bill

Third reading is the stage at which Members must decide whether a bill should be adopted. Third reading and passage of a bill are moved in the same motion.

Debate at this stage of the legislative process is on the final form of the bill. The amendments admissible on a motion for third reading are similar to those that were admissible at second reading stage—to an amendment for a three- or six-month hoist and a reasoned amendment. However, at third reading stage, reasoned amendments must deal strictly with the bill and not be contrary to the principle of the bill as adopted at second reading.

The House may also decide to recommit the bill to a committee with instructions to reconsider certain clauses for a specific purpose. The House may refer the bill back to committee several times, and it may refer it with or without any instructions. In the latter case, the whole bill is open to reconsideration. When a bill is referred with instructions, the committee may consider only the clauses or amendments referred to it.

Consideration of the motion for third reading may begin in the same sitting as concurrence at report stage if no amendment has been proposed. The motion for third reading may also be moved the same day if the bill has been reported from a Committee of the Whole, with or without amendment, pursuant to Standing Order 76.1(11).

When amendments have been moved to a bill at report stage, the bill may not be presented for third reading and passage before the next sitting of the House, pursuant to Standing Order 76.1(10). The Standing Order also stipulates that when a bill has been considered by a committee before second reading and the report and second reading stages have been combined, the House may not proceed to third reading and passage until the next sitting of the House.

When the motion for third reading has been adopted, the Clerk of the House certifies that the bill has passed by inserting the date at the foot of the bill (Standing Order 72). The bill is then sent to the Senate for its consideration. Should the House defeat the motion for third reading, the bill is automatically withdrawn.

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