Parliamentary Publications

Introduction

The House produces documents for the use of its members, their staff and the public. These documents enable all interested parties to follow parliamentary business; they also provide a permanent record of debate, decisions made, and information about business before the House and its committees. All House publications are published simultaneously in both official languages and are made available electronically on the House of Commons website at www.ourcommons.ca.

Journals

The Journals are the official record of House decisions and of actions such as the presenting of reports and petitions, and the tabling of documents, that clerks in the Chamber record by hand during a sitting.

The unedited Journals for each sitting are usually available shortly after the House adjourns. Revised Journals are published one business day after their original publication.

House of Commons Debates (Hansard)

The House of Commons Debates, commonly known as “Hansard”, is the edited, revised, and corrected transcript of proceedings that take place in the House.

The Debates are produced directly from audio recordings of the proceedings. They are available in both official languages, along with the Journals, usually several hours after the adjournment of a sitting.

Order Paper and Notice Paper

The Order Paper and Notice Paper is a two-part document that includes all the business for which notice must be given or that can be brought before the House on a given day.

The Order Paper is the official agenda of any business that the House of Commons may consider.

The Notice Paper contains items of which notice has been given. So as not to take the House by surprise, members give notice before substantive matters are to be raised. Items on the Notice Paper typically move to the Order Paper once the required notice period is over.

The House publishes the Order Paper and Notice Paper for each sitting day. The electronic version is made available on the website as soon as possible after the previous sitting.

Projected Order of Business

The Projected Order of Business is a simplified, unofficial daily agenda that indicates a forecast order of business, including scheduled votes, for a given sitting day. It is subject to change without notice. It states the length of time members may speak on each item and provides a projection of business for subsequent days. It is published for each sitting of the House and is usually available on the House of Commons website once the previous sitting adjourns.

Status of House Business

The Status of House Business provides a concise history of all business before the House since the beginning of the session. It is published on the House of Commons website and updated daily.

Bills

Bills are proposed laws, published on the House of Commons website under the authority of the Speaker.

The House will reprint Bills during the legislative process if it or a committee makes significant changes to them.

Committee Documents

The committees of the House of Commons publish documents to advise members, interested groups, the media and the public about their work:

  • Notices of Meeting—Notices include information about matters to be discussed, the time and place of the meetings, and a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear.
  • Minutes of Proceedings—“Minutes” are a formal record of all decisions made by the committee (like the Journals in the House).
  • Evidence—Committee Evidence is a transcript of the proceedings of all public meetings of a committee (like Debates in the House).
  • Reports to the House—Reports are how committees make their views and recommendations known to the House. Once they have been formally presented to the House, they are published on the House of Commons website.

Indexes

Comprehensive indexes to the Debates and the Journals of the House of Commons, as well as Committees' Evidence are kept up to date throughout the session and are available on the House of Commons website. Searches can be performed using keywords in the Publication Search tool on the House of Commons website. The indexes to the Debates and the Journals are also printed in bound volumes at the end of each session and are available at the Library of Parliament.