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Presentation of a Committee Report in the House of Commons

Committee reports are presented, pursuant to Standing Orders 30(3) and 35, during the Daily Routine of Business, when the Speaker calls “Presenting Reports from Committees”. The Chair normally presents the reports in the Chamber, upon the instruction of the committee. However, other members of the committee may also present the reports, in the absence of the Chair.

The Member presenting a committee report may offer a brief explanation of its subject matter. Where a report has supplementary or dissenting opinions appended to it, a committee member from the Official Opposition may offer a brief explanation pursuant to Standing Order 35(2). The Standing Orders do not permit any other Member to comment on the report at this time. Where no dissenting or supplementary opinion has been appended, no other Member is permitted to comment on the report when it is presented.

The House sometimes provides for the presentation of committee reports during adjournment periods by permitting them to be filed with the Clerk of the House. This has been done both for specific reports and as a general provision for any committee reports completed during the adjournment period.

Committee reports must be presented to the House before they can be released to the media or the public. The majority of committee reports are discussed and adopted at in camera meetings. Even when a report is adopted in a public meeting, the report itself is considered confidential until it has actually been presented to the House. In addition, where a committee report has been considered and approved during in camera committee meetings, any disclosure of the contents of a report prior to presentation, by either committee members or non-committee members may be judged a breach of privilege.

It is not in order for Members to allude to committee proceedings or evidence in the House until the committee has presented its report to the House. This restriction applies to references made by Members both in debate and during Oral Questions.

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