Every item of Private Members’ Business is deemed votable by default.
A Member who does not wish his or her item to come to a vote must notify the Clerk of the House in writing within two sitting days of the item being placed in the Order of Precedence, pursuant to Standing Order 87(2)(b).
The Subcommittee on Private Members’ Business may decide that a particular item should not be votable and in that case reports that decision to the clerk of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
The criteria to determine non-votability adopted by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs pursuant to Standing Order 91.1 are as follows:
It should be noted that the Subcommittee on Private Members’ Business, in applying these criteria, only assesses bills against other bills and motions against other motions.
Once it has determined that an item should be designated non-votable, the Subcommittee on Private Members’ Business presents its report to the clerk of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs pursuant to Standing Order 92(1).
A Member who disagrees with the decision of the Subcommittee on Private Members’ Business designating his or her item non-votable may, within five sitting days of the Subcommittee’s report being presented to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, appear before that committee or present a written argument to the committee with reasons why his or her item should be votable. If the committee agrees with the Member, the item remains votable. If the committee agrees with the subcommittee, it presents a report to the House, stating that the item should not be votable.
Within five sitting days of the presentation of a report from the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on a non-votable item, the sponsor of the item may file an appeal with the Speaker, in the form of a notice of motion that the item remain votable. In addition to the sponsor, five other Members, representing the majority of the parties in the House, must sign the appeal, in accordance with Standing Order 92(4)(a).
Pursuant to Standing Order 92(4)(b), if the appeal is in order, the Speaker calls a vote by secret ballot to be held over the course of two sitting days. A ballot box is placed on the Table in the Chamber for this purpose. The Speaker announces the results of the ballot at the next sitting of the House.
A Member may also choose to substitute an item that has been deemed as non-votable with another item of Private Members’ Business. The Member must give notice of his or her intention to substitute within five sitting days of the presentation of the report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the non-votability of the item.
The Member may choose to substitute another item already on the Order Paper or Notice Paper. If he or she does not already have a notice of motion on the Order Paper or Notice Paper or a bill on the Order Paper for consideration at the second reading stage, the Member has 20 days from the tabling of the Standing Committee’s report to have a motion placed on notice or a bill introduced. If the Member fails to do so, his or her name is dropped from the Order Paper.