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Committee Meetings Outside the Parliamentary Precinct

Committees ordinarily meet on Parliament Hill in the facilities provided for them by the House of Commons. From time to time, committees also travel to gather evidence, consult or visit sites related to their studies. In order to hold such meetings beyond the Parliamentary Precinct, a committee must obtain permission from the House to travel as well as approval from the Liaison Committee for the necessary travel funds.

The House grants permission to travel by adopting a motion pursuant to Standing Order 56.2, which provides that the travel motion is deemed adopted if fewer than 10 Members rise to object. The House may also authorize committee travel by adopting a motion by unanimous consent or by concurring in a report from the committee recommending that permission to travel be given.

Committees empowered to hold hearings elsewhere in Canada do so in the same manner as on Parliament Hill. The testimony and deliberations of the committee are recorded and made public, the committee retains all of the powers accorded to it by standing or special orders, and committee members and witnesses are protected by parliamentary privilege.

When travelling outside of Canada, committees have the opportunity to consult with groups and individuals and to visit facilities. When conducting meetings outside the country, committees do not hold formal hearings. The powers that the House delegates to committees are not in force when a committee is outside of Canada, nor are committee proceedings protected by parliamentary privilege.

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