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Strategic Objective 1

To respond to the changing needs of Members and the institution

The needs of Members—and of the House of Commons itself—are constantly evolving. To keep pace, the House of Commons Administration must constantly examine and refine its tools, programs and processes to make them as innovative and reliable as possible while still maintaining parliamentary history and traditions.

An evolving tradition

Improve the availability of up-to-date information on parliamentary procedures and rules

The practices and procedures of the House of Commons have helped define Canada’s democratic process; it is important that they serve to sustain that democracy for generations to come. The House Administration has an ongoing commitment to support the evolution of parliamentary practices. As historical rules and procedures are adapted to better meet the needs of Members in today’s parliamentary context, the House Administration will initiate planning of a third edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice. Originally published in 2000, with a second edition released in 2009, this book is the authoritative source on parliamentary forms, customs and procedures, and is frequently referred to by Members and their staff.

One of the roles of the Speaker of the House of Commons is to interpret and explain parliamentary practices.

At the dissolution of the 40th Parliament, the Honourable Peter Milliken ended his tenure as the 34th Speaker—the longest-serving Speaker in the history of the House. The House Administration will compile and publish a selection of his decisions—the eighth in a series of volumes that brings together significant rulings by Speakers.

Opening up and reaching out

Enhance Members’ and Canadians’ access to parliamentary information

In collaboration with the Senate and the Library of Parliament, the House Administration will continue to identify opportunities to enhance the collection, management and accessibility of information. The tripartite Parliamentary Information Management Committee has committed to providing a more coordinated approach to information services in the coming years, including information about Members of Parliament.

The 40th Parliament’s renewal of the Speaker’s Permission—which outlines how Chamber and committee proceedings can be reproduced—allowed the House of Commons Administration to adopt new standards for publishing legislative information in open, accessible and easily searchable formats available to all Canadians. Information related to parliamentary proceedings, bills and the voting records of elected Members has gradually been made available in open data format on the Parliament of Canada Web site (www.parl.gc.ca); this information may be freely reused by governments, citizens, not-for-profit organizations and the private sector.

During the 41st Parliament, the House Administration will continue to expand Canadians’ access to information related to the business of Parliament and will facilitate its reuse through Web and social media technologies. For example, several new services will be enabled on ParlVU, the self-serve media portal that allows viewers to watch and listen to Chamber and committee proceedings live and on demand.

 

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