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Tabling of Documents

“Tabling of Documents” is the first rubric under Routine Proceedings. The presentation of government reports and returns (responses) is one method by which the House of Commons obtains information. In addition to administrative documents that may be tabled in the House by Ministers, certain returns, reports and other papers are required to be laid before the House each year or session either by statute, by order of the House or pursuant to the Standing Orders.

Tabling of Documents by Ministers

A Minister, or his or her Parliamentary Secretary, may present any report or paper as long as it deals with a matter within the administrative competence of the Government. The Government is required to present:

Any document quoted by a Minister in debate, or in response to a question, must also be tabled. All documents tabled in the House by a Minister are required to be presented in both official languages.

All papers presented in the House or deposited with the Clerk are recorded in the Journals.

Front Door vs. Back Door Tabling

Tabling of documents in the Commons Chamber is often referred to as “front door” tabling. Papers required to be tabled may also be deposited by a Minister with the Clerk of the House on any sitting day. This is known as “back door” tabling.

Tabling of Documents by Private Members

Private Members are normally not allowed to table documents. However, Members have been allowed on occasion to table documents with the unanimous consent of the House; such documents have typically been tabled in only one of the official languages.

Tabling of Documents by the Speaker

The Speaker tables documents:

Tabling of Documents During Periods of Adjournment

During periods of adjournment, Ministers are permitted to deposit with the Clerk of the House, on the Wednesday following the 15th day of any month, any returns, reports or other papers required to be laid before the House.

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