The Leader of the Opposition, in consultation with the leaders of the other opposition parties, may give notice before May 1, of a motion to refer consideration of votes in the main estimates of one or two departments or agencies to Committees of the Whole. Forty-eight hours’ notice is required.
The motion is deemed adopted and the selected votes are automatically withdrawn from the standing committees to which they were deemed referred.
Each of the two debates lasts a maximum of four hours and takes place at the end of the day, following the Adjournment Proceedings or, on a Friday, following Private Members’ Business. The debates must be held no later than May 31.
On a provisional basis, the House amended the timelines for consideration of the Main Estimates for the remainder of the Forty-Second Parliament. Accordingly,
During these debates, Ministers may be accompanied by senior departmental officials who sit with them in the Chamber in order to provide information to the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary as they respond to questions.
Members may rise more than once to speak and put questions, but for no longer than 15 minutes at a time. Only 10 minutes of this time may be spent making a statement.
A Committee of the Whole considering these votes does not have the authority to report to the House and is therefore unable to defeat or reduce any votes in the estimates.
At the conclusion of the debate, the Committee rises, the estimates are deemed reported and the House adjourns until the next sitting day.