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Referral of the Subject Matter of a Bill to a Committee

During debate on the motion for second reading, a Member may propose an amendment to withdraw the bill and refer its subject matter to a committee for consideration. This proposal, if adopted, has the effect of preventing proceedings on the bill from continuing. This type of amendment replaces all the words after “That” in the second reading motion with words proposing: “the bill be not now read a second time, that the order for second reading be discharged, the bill withdrawn from the Order Paper and the subject matter referred to a committee.”

Certain conditions must be met for this type of amendment to be in order:

A committee that receives an order of reference to study the subject matter of a bill may report its findings only in relation to the subject of the legislation and not in relation to the bill itself. Unless the committee is given a deadline in the order of reference, it is under no obligation to report on the matter.

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