The Speaker has the power to select and group the motions to amend a bill at report stage. The Speaker delivers the decision regarding the selection and grouping of motions in amendment after the order for the consideration of report stage of the bill has been read. He or she informs the House of the motions in amendment that have been selected and grouped for debate as well as of the voting arrangements. Where applicable, the Speaker will also list those motions in amendment that have not been selected, stating the reasons for his or her decision.
Normally, the Speaker will not select a motion in amendment previously ruled out of order in committee unless the reason for it being ruled out of order was that it required a royal recommendation.
The Speaker will select only motions in amendment that could not be presented in committee. However, motions proposing to further amend clauses amended in committee may be selected by the Speaker. A motion previously defeated in committee will be selected only if the Speaker judges it to be of such significance as to warrant further consideration at report stage. Members are permitted to make written representations to the Speaker at the time they give notice of their amendments, setting out the reasons exceptional significance should be given to them.
When an amendment that has been submitted by more than one Member is selected, the Speaker, after consultation, will designate which Member will propose it (normally, the Member who gave notice of the motion first).
Motions in amendment are grouped for debate according to two criteria: the content and the place in the bill they propose to amend. For the purpose of debate, the Speaker will group motions that have similar intent or are interrelated. In so doing, the Speaker will consider whether debate on the group will allow individual Members to adequately express their concerns.
Motions are grouped according to content if:
If a bill has been sent to committee before second reading, during the report-stage debate, the first Member from each of the recognized parties may speak for no more than 20 minutes on the first amendment proposed at report stage. No other Member may speak more than once or for longer than 10 minutes on any motion or group of motions in amendment. If the report stage occurs after second reading, Members may speak for 10 minutes on each group of motions.
When the Speaker selects and groups motions in amendment, he or she also determines the order in which the motions in amendment will be called during voting and the consequences of one vote on others. The purpose of the voting scheme is to avoid the House having to vote multiple times on essentially the same issue.
Example of a Speaker’s Ruling at Report Stage
Bill C-31, Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1, as reported (with amendment) from the committee
(Debates, June 4, 2014)
The Deputy Speaker: There are 272 motions in amendment standing on the notice paper for the report stage of Bill C-31
Motions Nos. 162 to 165 will not be selected by the Chair, as they were defeated in committee.
All remaining motions have been examined and the Chair is satisfied they meet the guidelines expressed in the note to Standing Order 76.1(5) regarding the selection of motions in amendment at the report stage.
The motions will be grouped for debate as follows.
Group No. 1 includes Motions Nos. 1 to 12.
Group No. 2: Motions Nos. 13 to 160 and 166 to 272.
The voting patterns for the motions within each group are available at the table. The Chair will remind the House of each pattern at the time of voting.
I shall now propose Motions Nos. 1 to 12 in Group No. 1 to the House.