Although Private Members’ Business hour is regularly scheduled for each day the House sits, it may be cancelled or suspended for a variety of reasons:
if the sponsor of an item scheduled for consideration is not present to move the item or if the sponsor declines to move the item, Private Members’ Business is cancelled for that day (the hour cannot be used for other business without the unanimous consent of the House);
if Members do not have 24 hours’ notice of the item to be considered during Private Members’ Business hour, the Speaker will advise the House that Private Members’ Business will be suspended for that day and the House will continue with, or revert to, the business before it prior to the time designated for Private Members’ Business;
if an exchange of items was requested but no exchange was possible, the House also reverts to the business before it prior to Private Members’ Business;
if proceedings under “Introduction of Government Bills” during Routine Proceedings have not been completed on a Tuesday or Thursday prior to Statements by Members, Routine Proceedings will continue immediately after Question Period until the completion of all items under “Introduction of Government Bills”, thereby suspending as much of Private Members’ Business hour as necessary;
on the last Supply day in June, unless it falls on a Monday, the consideration of Private Members’ Business is cancelled in order to allow more time to consider and dispose of the main estimates;
Private Members’ Business is suspended when a Minister moves a motion in relation to a matter the Government considers to be of an urgent nature, and debate subsequently takes place during the time scheduled for Private Members’ Business. If the maximum one hour of debate allowed on the motion extends into Private Members’ Business hour, then the beginning of Private Members’ Business hour is delayed. If such a motion is moved during Private Members’ Business hour, only the remaining time allotted for consideration of the item being debated is suspended. The item of Private Members’ Business or the time remaining in the hour is rescheduled for another sitting day.
Private Members’ Business is suspended on the day of the presentation of the Budget speech, unless the Budget is presented on a Monday afternoon;
Private Members’ Business is suspended on the day of the presentation of the Speech from the Throne;
Private Members’ Business is suspended when the House proceeds to the election of the Speaker;
if an emergency debate begins prior to the time scheduled for the consideration of Private Members’ Business, it is cancelled; and
Private Members’ Business is suspended until an Order of Precedence is established at the beginning of a Parliament and for 48 hours after the votable or non-votable status of items has been confirmed by the report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, pursuant to Standing Order 91.1(2).
When Private Members’ Business is suspended on a Monday, the House takes up Government Orders during that time slot.
Delays and Interruptions
When Private Members’ Business hour is delayed or interrupted for any reason, the debate is then extended or rescheduled so that no time is lost.
If the start of Private Members’ Business hour is delayed because of deferred votes or a Minister’s Statement or is interrupted so that Members may attend a Royal Assent ceremony in the Senate Chamber, Private Members’ Business hour is extended by the corresponding amount of time, provided the delay was less than 90 minutes from the time Private Members’ Business hour is normally scheduled to begin.
If debate on Private Members’ Business does not begin or resume within 90 minutes of the time it was scheduled to begin, the remaining time or the entire hour is added to another sitting.
Rescheduling of Debate
The rescheduling of any unused portion of a Private Members’ Business hour is done by the Speaker after consultation. The rescheduling ordinarily takes place within 10 sitting days, pursuant to Standing Order 30(7). No more than one adjournment period as provided in the parliamentary calendar may elapse in the rescheduling of the debate. The rescheduled business is considered during an additional Private Members’ Business hour, which is added to the daily schedule of the House.
Twenty-four hours’ notice must be given for the consideration of a rescheduled item. The notice is printed in the Notice Paper on the day the additional debate is to take place.
The Order Paper entry referring to the rescheduled debate, or to a debate awaiting rescheduling, appears at the top of the list of “Items in the Order of Precedence”. On days when Private Members’ Business has been rescheduled, the adjournment proceedings are delayed by the amount of time required to complete the rescheduled debate.