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Private Members’ Bills—Committee Stage of Bills

Requirement to Report

When a private Member’s bill is agreed to at second reading, it is referred to a committee for study. Proceedings in a committee considering a private Member’s public bill are subject to the same rules and practices that apply to all public bills.

Pursuant to Standing Order 97.1, the committee is required to either:

The committee must give reasons for recommending that a bill not be proceeded with or for requesting an extension. Should a committee fail to report back to the House as required, the bill is automatically considered reported without amendment.

Recommendation Not to Proceed Further

After considering a bill, a committee may report to the House that it does not believe the bill should proceed any further. Once the report is presented, a notice of motion to adopt the report is automatically placed on the Notice Paper. The motion stands in the name of the Member who presented the report, usually the Chair of the committee. The motion is taken up after Private Members’ Business hour on a day fixed by the Speaker. The motion is deemed moved at the beginning of the debate and may be considered for not more than one hour. At the end of the hour, or earlier if no further Members rise to speak, the Speaker puts the question on the motion. If requested, a recorded division on the motion is automatically deferred until the next sitting Wednesday.

When the House adopts the committee’s report, it expresses its agreement that the bill should not proceed further. Therefore, all work on the bill ceases for the remainder of that session. When the House rejects the committee’s report, it is expressing its will that the bill should proceed further. The bill is then deemed reported back to the House without amendment and is set down for consideration at report stage.

Extension

If the committee feels it will not be able to complete its consideration of the bill in 60 sitting days, it may request an extension of 30 further sitting days. Only one extension may be sought. As soon as a committee report requesting an extension is presented, a motion to concur in the report is deemed to have been moved and seconded. No debate takes place, the question is deemed put, and the vote is deferred until the next sitting Wednesday.

If the House agrees to grant the extension, then the committee has an extra 30 sitting days to complete its consideration of the bill. The extension begins immediately after the expiry of the original 60-sitting-day limit, rather than on the day the extension is granted. If the House refuses to grant the extension, but the original 60-sitting-day deadline has yet to pass, the committee may continue to consider the bill until the 60th sitting day. If the extension is refused and the 60th sitting day has already passed, the bill is deemed reported without amendment and an order for its consideration at report stage is set down on the Order Paper.

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