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Time Limits on Debates on Items of Private Members’ Business

Votable Items

Pursuant to Standing Order 93(1), a votable item of Private Members’ Business (a motion, or a bill at second reading or at report stage and third reading) is eligible for up to two hours of consideration before the question is put. If debate has not concluded at the end of Private Members’ Hour on the day the item is first debated, it is placed at the bottom of the Order of Precedence, pursuant to Standing Order 90.

When the item reaches the top of the Order of Precedence again, it may be debated for a further hour. Unless the item has been disposed of earlier, the Speaker interrupts the proceedings at the end of the hour and puts all motions necessary to dispose of the item.

Non-votable Items

A non-votable item of Private Members’ Business is debated for up to one hour and, once the debate has concluded or the time for debate has expired, the item is then removed from the Order Paper, pursuant to Standing Order 96(1). The removal of a non-votable item does not constitute a decision of the House. A Member may resubmit the item by giving notice in the usual manner.

Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers

Motions for the production of papers may be debated for up to two hours. Unless otherwise disposed of, the item is placed at the bottom of the Order of Precedence after the first hour of debate. After the item has worked its way to the top of the Order of Precedence, it is debated for a further 50 minutes. At that time, the Speaker interrupts the proceedings and allows a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary to speak for a maximum of five minutes, even if he or she has already spoken in debate. The mover of the motion is then permitted to speak for an additional five minutes to close the debate before the Speaker puts the motion to the House. If the motion carries, it becomes an order of the House for the Government to table the documents requested in the motion, or an Address to the Governor General requesting that certain papers be sent to the House.

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