House of Commons Procedure and Practice
Edited by Robert Marleau and Camille Montpetit
2000 EditionMore information …
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Committees conduct their deliberations and make decisions within the framework of meetings. In order to accommodate the wide variety of subjects that a committee may be called upon to consider, considerable latitude is permitted in the format that committee meetings may take. At the same time, there are a number of rules and practices by which committees are bound in transacting their business.

Meetings of committees usually take place in specially equipped rooms in the Parliament Buildings, but committees may hold meetings elsewhere in Canada. The meeting rooms are usually arranged in an open-rectangle configuration. The Chair sits at one end, flanked by the clerk and the research staff. Government members are at the Chair’s right, while opposition members sit on the left. Witnesses, if any, sit at the end of the rectangle opposite the Chair. Members’ staff sit behind the members on either side of the room and there is seating for the public and the press at the rear of the room, behind the witnesses. (See Figure 20.1, Committee Room Configuration.)

Committee meetings are ordinarily open to the public and the media. Simultaneous interpretation services are offered to committee members, witnesses and members of the public at all committee meetings. Public meetings are broadcast on the House of Commons’ internal audio system to all Members of the House and the Parliamentary Press Gallery and may also be publicly televised over the CPAC network. [283] 

Figure 20.1 – Committee Room Configuration
Graphic representation a committee room. In the centre of the room are a series of tables, set in a rectangle, with chairs around the periphery representing the seats for committee members. At the top of rectangle of tables are seats for the committee chair, clerk and research staff. To the right and left of these tables are tables and chairs for Members’ staff. To the top left of the image is a box representing the console operator and to the top left, the receptionist. To the bottom of the image are seats for the public and journalists and a booth for interpreters.

Figure 20.2 – A Committee Room
Photograph of a typical committee room, showing several tables placed in a rectangular format, surrounded by chairs. At the front of the room is a large podium for the console operator.

Types of Meetings

Most committee meetings can be described as evidence-gathering meetings. They have traditionally commenced with presentations made by witnesses, followed by a question and answer period during which committee members have the opportunity to explore selected aspects of an issue in greater detail. In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards gathering evidence in other manners to meet the changing needs of members and to take the best possible advantage of technological developments. Committees may hold meetings to exchange ideas with panels of witnesses representing different points of views in “round-table” discussions. [284]  As well, “town hall” meetings may be organized where members of the public have an opportunity to express their views without making a formal presentation to the committee. [285]  Committees have also taken advantage of developing videoconference technology to hear testimony from across the country and internationally. [286] Where a subject is of interest to two or more standing committees, they may decide to hold a joint meeting. [287]  While the use of these formats has, for the most part, taken place within the existing procedural framework, some modification of the Standing Orders has been necessary. [288] 

On occasion, a committee may decide to hold an in camera meeting to deal with administrative matters, to consider a draft report or to receive a routine background briefing. Committees also meet in camera to deal with subject matters requiring confidentiality, such as national security. [289]  Often a committee which has several items on its agenda will hold part of a meeting in public and part in camera. At in camera meetings, neither the public nor the media is permitted, and there is no broadcasting of any kind. The committee decides, either on a case by case basis or as a matter of general policy, whether a transcript of in camera proceedings is to be kept. [290]  Minutes of in camera meetings are publicly available, but certain information usually found in the minutes of committee meetings is not included. [291]  Members of the House who are not members of the committee are expected to withdraw when a committee is meeting in camera[292]  However, at the discretion of the committee, non-members may remain during in camera sessions. [293]  Divulging any part of the proceedings of an in camera committee meeting has been ruled by the Speaker to constitute a prima facie matter of privilege. [294] 

Committees also meet informally with parliamentarians and government officials from other countries. [295]  As an informal meeting is not, strictly speaking, a committee meeting, it may take place in a much more relaxed atmosphere. Members are not bound by the ordinary rules and practices that govern committee meetings. The proceedings are not recorded or transcribed, nor is the committee entitled to any of the privileges associated with parliamentary proceedings or to exercise any of the powers which the House has conferred on it.

Meetings Outside the Precinct of Parliament

Committees ordinarily meet on Parliament Hill in the facilities provided for them by the House of Commons. From time to time, committees also travel for the purpose of gathering evidence, consulting or visiting sites related to their study. In order to hold such meetings beyond the parliamentary precinct, a committee must first obtain approval from the Liaison Committee for the necessary travel funds and then the permission of the House to travel. [296]  The House may grant permission to travel by adopting a motion to that effect or by concurring in a report recommending that such permission be given. [297] 

Committees empowered to hold hearings elsewhere in Canada do so in the same manner as on Parliament Hill. The testimony and deliberations of the committee are recorded and made public, the committee retains all of the powers accorded to it by standing or special orders, and committee members and witnesses are protected by parliamentary privilege.

When travelling outside of Canada, committees have the opportunity to consult with groups and individuals and to visit facilities. When conducting hearings outside the country, committees do not hold formal hearings. [298]  The powers which the House delegates to committees are of no force when a committee is outside of Canada, nor are committee proceedings protected by parliamentary privilege.


As an alternative to committee or witness travel, committees from time to time also make use of videoconferencing technology to hear witnesses from outside Ottawa, either elsewhere in Canada or internationally. [299]  Videoconferencing provides for direct audio and video transmission between a committee room on Parliament Hill and a witness in another location. On occasion, several witnesses in different locations are linked with a committee simultaneously. Special permission of the House is not required for committees to hold videoconference meetings. [300]

Times of Sitting and Room Allocation

Standing and legislative committees are empowered to sit either when the House is sitting or when it stands adjourned, and similar powers are usually accorded to special committees in their orders of reference. [301]  However, committees may not sit when Parliament is prorogued. [302]  During periods when the House is sitting, most committee meetings take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. While the average length of a committee meeting is two hours, a committee may choose to meet for a shorter or longer period as it sees fit. [303]  While committees usually adjourn or suspend their proceedings when the division bells summon Members to the Chamber for a vote, committees may continue to sit while a vote is being held. [304] 

Standing committees are prohibited from sitting at the same time as a legislative committee studying a bill which emanates from, or principally affects, the department for which they are responsible. [305]  No such prohibition exists with respect to a standing committee sitting while the House itself is considering such a bill. [306]  When the House is actually sitting, committees studying legislation or Estimates have priority over all other committees. [307]  When the House is not sitting, priority is given to meetings of standing, special and joint committees in accordance with a schedule established by the Chief Government Whip in consultation with the other parties. [308] 

Committee meeting rooms provided by the House of Commons are allocated according to a priority system established by a report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. [309]  The Committee’s report typically gives each committee priority of access to multi-purpose meeting rooms at set times. [310] The Committee may adjust the room allocation system from time to time, either to reflect changes in committee structure or to take into account requests made by individual committees. [311]  Special committees are given priority during periods other than those allotted to standing committees. Committees may meet during any period, even if they do not have priority access to meeting rooms, provided that there is space available. For committees which do not have priority in a given time period, access to meeting rooms is on a first-come-first-served basis, after those entitled to meet at that time.

Committees meeting in locations other than the meeting rooms on Parliament Hill are not bound by the room priorities established by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. However, they must still respect the stipulation in the Standing Orders concerning conflicts between standing and legislative committees. [312]  Furthermore, any meeting not held in the facilities provided by Parliament entails the expenditure of funds from the committee’s budget and requires the permission of the House. [313] 

Convening a Meeting

Committee members are convened, that is, called together for the purpose of meeting, by the Chair, acting either on a decision made by the committee [314]  or on his or her own authority. [315]  On rare occasions, the House itself may instruct a committee to meet at a specific time. [316]  The clerk of the committee, on instructions from the Chair, sends a notice of each upcoming meeting to all committee members. Where a committee has not made a formal decision concerning the convening of its members, either by adopting a work plan or by concurring in a steering committee report, the Chair usually consults with members informally concerning possible future meetings.

Where a committee decides to sit jointly with another committee or committees, each committee is convened separately by its Chair. [317]  Meetings of joint committees are usually convened by one or other of the Joint Chairs. [318]  A sub-committee is convened by agreement of its members or by its Chair in the same manner as the main committee. Meetings may be convened on the Chair’s instructions when he or she is unavailable to preside, but a Vice-Chair has no power to convene the committee when the office of Chair is vacant.

Notice of Meeting

A committee meeting is convened by a notice sent to the members by the clerk, in accordance with the Chair’s instructions. The notice is sent electronically to the Parliament Hill offices of committee members over the House of Commons local area network. [319] The notice indicates the subject matter of the meeting and the authority under which the committee will meet, [320]  as well as the time and place of the meeting. The notice also provides other relevant information: the meeting number, [321] whether the meeting is public or in camera, whether it will be broadcast on the CPAC television network, and the names of any scheduled witnesses. The notice also indicates whether the witnesses will appear in person or by videoconference and provides the radio frequencies on which public meetings will be broadcast over the House of Commons’ internal network. [322] As well as informing the committee members of an upcoming meeting, the notice also serves to alert the various administrative components of the House which provide logistical support for meetings — maintenance, transcription, interpretation, security and the messenger service. It is sent as well to the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

Meeting Convened at the Request of Four Members

An individual member of a committee, other than the Chair, cannot convene a committee meeting. [323]  The Standing Orders provide, however, that four members of a standing committee may make a request in writing that the committee meet. The request must specify the reasons for which the meeting is to be convened, and the Chair must then convene the meeting within 10 sitting days of the receipt of the request. Forty-eight hours’ notice of such a meeting must be given to the members. [324] 

The matter under consideration at such a meeting is whether or not the committee wishes to take up the requested subject, rather than deliberations on the subject itself. There is no obligation on the committee either to conclude debate on the proposal to study a particular topic or to reach a decision on it. The Chair may agree to consider the matter at a meeting that has already been scheduled, rather than calling a meeting for that purpose alone. [325] 

Cancelling a Meeting

Circumstances sometimes arise which make it necessary to cancel a committee meeting, after a notice convening the committee has been sent. Where a committee has agreed to adjourn to the call of the Chair, the Chair instructs the clerk to send an amendment to the notice convening the members, informing them of the cancellation. Where the meeting has been convened by order of the committee, the Chair consults with representatives of the various parties before sending the cancellation notice. In joint committees, the committee may decide whether a single Joint Chair may convene or cancel meetings or whether both Joint Chairs must act together. [326] 


Committees most often adjourn to the call of the Chair, that is, the decision as to the exact time of the next meeting is left to the discretion of the Chair. [327]  This is done even when the committee has adopted a workplan that lays out in detail its schedule of meetings. In this way, the Chair is given the flexibility to respond effectively to changing events and to the unforeseen availability or unavailability of potential witnesses. Committees may also adjourn to a specific time. [328]  This is usually done when the next meeting is scheduled for the immediate future, for example, the next day or later the same day. Committees may, on occasion, adjourn without making any provision for a future meeting, that is, to adjourn sine die[329] 


In order to exercise the powers granted to it by the House, a committee is required by the Standing Orders to have a quorum at its meetings. A quorum is the minimum number of committee members who must be present in order for a committee to make decisions. In the case of standing, legislative or special committees, a quorum is a majority of the members. [330]  The Chair of a legislative committee, who is named by the Speaker from the Panel of Chairmen, is not counted for the purpose of establishing a quorum. Members of the House who are present at committees are not counted as part of the quorum unless they are either members of the committee or properly designated substitutes. As a courtesy, most committees do not begin their meetings until at least one member of the opposition is in attendance, even if a quorum is present. However, committees may meet and adopt motions in the absence of one or all opposition parties. [331] 

The quorum for joint committees is not provided for in the Standing Orders but is established separately. Standing joint committees usually present reports to both Houses recommending the number of their members which should constitute a quorum. The quorum is set when the two Houses concur in the report. [332]  The quorum for a special joint committee is usually set out in the order of reference which establishes it. [333]  For all joint committees, it is common to stipulate that the quorum requires the presence of members from both Houses. [334] 

Meeting Without a Quorum

The Standing Orders permit standing and legislative committees to authorize the Chair of the committee to hold meetings when a quorum is not present, for the purpose of taking evidence. [335]  A similar provision is often included in the order by which a special committee is established. [336]  In granting permission for such meetings, committees usually stipulate the number of members it wishes to be present for the meeting to take place. The motion granting permission to meet with what is called a “reduced quorum” will usually also indicate any other conditions the committee wishes to have met. [337]  No motions may be moved at such meetings nor may any votes be held. Committees do, however, retain the power to publish the evidence received at meetings held with a reduced quorum. [338] 

Organization Meeting

Before a committee can begin to consider its work, it must be properly constituted, that is, its members must have been appointed and a Chair selected. [339] Where the Chair has not been appointed by the House or named by the Speaker, the election of the Chair takes place at a committee’s first meeting, [340] called the “organization” meeting.

A notice of an organization meeting of a standing committee is sent by the clerk in conformity with provisions of the Standing Orders, which require that the committee meet within 10 sitting days of the adoption of the report establishing the membership of the standing committees. [341]  Members must be given at least 48 hours’ notice of this meeting. [342]  The authority of the clerk in convening a meeting for the purposes of organization of a standing committee is restricted to the election of the Chair. [343]  While a committee may limit its organization meeting to the election of a Chair, in practice it is common to proceed immediately to the election of the Vice-Chairs. [344] The committee may then consider a series of administrative motions, called “routine” motions, to facilitate its work over the course of the session.

As the Chairs of legislative committees are named by the Speaker from the Panel of Chairs, these committees are not required to meet for the purpose of organization. However, they must meet to begin their work within two sitting days of the naming of the Chair and the appointment by the House of their membership or the referral of a bill to the committee. [345]  The notice for the first meeting of a legislative committee is thus sent on the Chair’s authority.

The Standing Orders contain no provision with respect to when the first meeting of a special committee must take place, nor is it usual to include such a provision in the order of reference which establishes such a committee. When the Chair of a special committee is not named in the order of reference, the organization meeting is convened by the Clerk of the House, following informal consultations among the parties, and the notice is sent by the clerk of the Committee. When the Chair is named in the order of reference, then the meeting is convened by the Chair in the usual fashion.

Routine Motions

As they begin their work, committees find it convenient to adopt a series of motions to deal with items of routine business. Since each committee is free to organize its work as it sees fit, there is no standard list of “routine” motions which every committee must adopt. The following is a list of the principal routine motions which committees have found useful. In many instances, a committee will adapt these motions in order to suit its own particular circumstances.

Examples of each type of routine motion are given in the boxes which follow the description. Note that the examples given below are for purposes of illustration only.

Sub-committee on Agenda and Procedure

Most committees establish from among their members a sub-committee on agenda and procedure, usually referred to as the “steering committee”. The steering committee recommends how the committee should proceed to consider its orders of reference and advises on such topics as the selection of witnesses and the schedule of meetings. The composition of the steering committee may vary from one committee to another and from one Parliament to another. It usually consists of the Chair, the Vice-Chairs, representatives from each of the other parties and, on committees having a departmental responsibility, the Parliamentary Secretary. As a steering committee usually meets in camera for the purpose of discussing the future business of the committee, no specific delegation of powers is made in establishing it. Since the recommendations of the steering committee are reported to the main committee and so appear in the Minutes, steering committees do not require the power to print and do not publish their own minutes.

That the Sub-Committee on Agenda and Procedure be composed of the Chair, the Government Vice-Chair, the Parliamentary Secretary, two Liberal members, one member from the Reform Party, one member from the Bloc Québécois Party, one member from the New Democratic Party, and one member from the Progressive Conservative Party. [346] 

Research Assistance

In order to carry out their work, committees seek the assistance of expert researchers from the staff of the Library of Parliament. The usual motion leaves the control and coordination of the research staff to the Chair of the committee.

That the Committee retain the services of one or more research officers from the Library of Parliament, as needed, to assist the Committee in its work, at the discre tion of the Chair. [347] 

Meeting Without a Quorum

Committees may authorize the Chair to hold meetings for the sole purpose of hearing evidence when a quorum is not present. [348]  Although the Standing Orders would permit the Chair to hear evidence when no other member is present, it is more usual for the committee to stipulate some minimum number of members who must be present in order for the committee to hear witnesses. [349]  This number is referred to as a “reduced quorum”. Another element which committees take into consideration in establishing a reduced quorum is whether any or all of the opposition parties need to be in attendance. [350] 

That the Chair be authorized to hold meetings and to receive evidence when a quo rum is not present, provided that at least five members are present, including two members of the opposition. [351] 

Time for Opening Remarks and Questioning of Witnesses

When hearing witnesses, committees normally set limits on the time each group or individual is given to make their opening presentation. They also set out the length of time that will be devoted to questioning by committee members and how that time will be divided among the members of the various parties represented on the committee. The division of time for questioning may change from Parliament to Parliament to reflect changes in the number of parties represented on committees. Each committee seeks to balance, as best it can, the desire to ensure that representatives of all parties have the opportunity to put questions. As well, some committees adopt special rules for the questioning of Ministers. [352] 

That witnesses be given five minutes to make their opening statement.

That five minutes be allocated to each questioner in the following order: On the first round of questioning — five minutes each to the Reform and Bloc Québécois parties, five minutes to the Liberal Party and five minutes each to the NDP and Conservative parties. On the following rounds of questioning — five minutes per party alternating between the government and opposition parties.

That the five-minute allocation for questioning be applied for all witnesses, including Ministers. [353] 

Witness Expenses

Whether attending meetings held on Parliament Hill or those held while a committee is travelling across Canada, many witnesses incur significant expenses in travelling to appear before committees. As no expenditure can be made from committee funds without committee approval, it is necessary that a motion be adopted setting out the conditions under which witness expenses are to be paid. The Board of Internal Economy has set out guidelines for acceptable levels of reimbursement, but it is up to each committee to decide under what circumstances they will agree to reimburse witnesses. [354] 

That, as established by the Board of Internal Economy and if requested, reasona ble travelling, accommodation and living expenses be reimbursed to witnesses who are invited to appear before the Committee up to a maximum of two representatives for any one organization, and that payment for more than two representatives in exceptional circumstances be at the discretion of the Chair. [355] 

Document Distribution

Members of the House of Commons are entitled to receive documents in the official language of their choice. At the same time, members of the public have the right to communicate with a parliamentary committee in either official language. [356]  This frequently leads to the situation where a document is presented in a single official language to a committee, while the committee members are entitled to receive it in whichever official language they prefer. Committees must balance the right of members to be treated equally with the benefits they derive from receiving documents in a timely manner. Each committee must decide whether documents submitted to it in only one official language will be distributed to members immediately or once a translation is available.

That the Clerk of the Committee be authorized to circulate the documents received only when they exist in both official languages. [357] 


That the Clerk of the Committee be authorized to distribute documents to the Members of the Committee in the language received, and to ensure that such docu ments are translated and distributed as promptly as possible. [358] 

Transcripts of In Camera Meetings

While no public record is produced of what is said during in camera proceedings, committees often find it useful to have a transcript produced for the private consultation of the members and staff of the committee. In addition to deciding whether or not to keep a transcript of an in camera meeting, the committee must also decide how such transcripts will be disposed of at the end of the session (i.e., whether they will be made part of the committee’s permanent record for historical purposes, or destroyed). Committees sometimes prefer to deal with the question of the disposal of in camera transcripts on a case-by-case basis. [359] 

That in camera meetings be transcribed; that the transcription be kept with the Clerk of the Committee for consultation by members of the Committee; and that these transcripts be destroyed at the end of the session. [360] 

Staff at In Camera Meetings

Committees normally exclude everyone from in camera meetings except members, committee staff and invited witnesses. [361]  Members often find it useful, however, to modify this policy by permitting members of their personal office staff to attend. At the same time, it is recognized that the committee may from time to time wish to adopt a more strict interpretation of the in camera rule. [362] 

That each Committee member be allowed to have one staff person present at in camera meetings, unless there is a decision for a particular meeting to exclude all staff. [363] 

Order-in-Council Appointments

The referral of Order-in-Council appointments to committees and their review of such appointments are governed by the Standing Orders. As some committees receive notice of a large number of appointees during the course of a year, it is necessary for each committee to decide how it will deal with its responsibility for the consideration of the nominations and the documentation associated with each one. [364] 

That, pursuant to Standing Order 111(4), whenever an Order in Council for appoint ment or a certificate of nomination for appointment is referred to the Committee, the Clerk shall obtain and circulate to each member of the Committee a copy of the résumé of each appointee. [365] 

Notice of Motion

Neither the Standing Orders nor usual practice in committees require the giving of notice prior to presenting a motion in committee. However, in order to better balance their workload and make efficient use of their time, committees sometimes find it appropriate to adopt notice requirements. Thus, when a member wishes to raise a new topic for consideration, committee members have an opportunity to reflect on it beforehand, rather than having the motion placed before the committee without warning. This also prevents undue interruption of a meeting or a series of meetings already planned. [366]  Committees may also decide to have such notices considered by the steering committee in proposing a work plan for the committee. Such consideration does not prevent the member who gave notice from moving the motion when the notice period has expired.

In imposing a notice requirement, committees must consider what types of motions will require notice, how notice is to be given (whether orally or in writing) and to whom (the Chair or the clerk). They must also determine how the other members of the committee are to be informed of the proposed motion, as committees do not have a Notice Paper.

That forty-eight (48) hours’ notice be given to the members of the Committee before any substantive motion is considered, but this rule does not apply to a motion in amendment to a Bill considered by the Committee… .

That the motion be filed with the Clerk of the Committee and circulated to all members in both official languages. Upon receipt of the notice, the Clerk will put the motion on the agenda of the Steering Committee’s next meeting. [367] 

In addition to the routine motions listed above, there are a wide range of motions related to procedure and administration that committees may adopt from time to time. Some are related to particular kinds of committees only, while others deal with specific aspects of a committee’s work, such as the preparation of a report to the House. Certain committees routinely adopt motions which relate specifically to their mandate or work methodology, which are not pertinent to other committees. [368] 


Many of the routine operational expenses of committees are borne directly by the House of Commons’ administration. [369] Standing committee budgets are drawn up on a project-by-project basis [370]  and each budget must be adopted by a committee before it is submitted to the Liaison Committee for approval. [371]  Although committees are provided with limited interim spending authority, [372]  they require approval of the Liaison Committee for any expenditures which exceed the amount initially allocated. [373]  In addition to project funds, all requests for travel funds must be part of a separate budget request, just as the power to travel must be specially sought from the House. [374] 

Special and legislative committees make their budget requests directly to the Board of Internal Economy. [375]  The budgets of joint committees are provided by the two Houses in proportion to the size of each House. In order to obtain budgetary approval, it is necessary for standing joint committees to present their budgets to both the Liaison Committee and the Senate Committee on Internal Economy. [376]  Special joint committees require budgetary approval from the Board of Internal Economy and the Senate Committee on Internal Economy. [377] 

Orders of Reference and Instructions

An order of reference is an order of the House to a committee instructing it to consider a matter or defining the scope of its deliberations. Committees are provided with orders of reference when they are established and may receive additional orders from time to time.

The Standing Orders provide standing committees with permanent orders of reference by giving them departmental and policy-area responsibilities. [378]  In addition, the Standing Orders provide that a number of other matters shall be routinely referred to standing committees for consideration: reports and other documents tabled in the House pursuant to statute, [379]  the Estimates, [380]  Order-in-Council appointments [381]  and legislation. [382]  While the Standing Orders provide that these matters shall be referred to committee, the House must specify the committee to which each referral is made by separate motion. [383]  With respect to documents, including Order-in-Council appointments, the committee to which they are referred is specified when the documents are tabled. In addition to the orders of reference contained in the Standing Orders, the House reserves the right to refer additional matters to its committees as it sees fit. Committees may also receive orders of reference which derive from statutes previously passed by Parliament. [384] 

When a bill is referred to a committee, the bill itself constitutes the order of reference. When a special committee is established, the order of reference is contained in the motion establishing it. [385]  Joint committees receive their orders of reference from both Houses. While the Standing Orders set out mandates for the three standing joint committees, [386]  no similar provisions exist in the Rules of the Senate. [387] 

Committees are bound by their orders of reference and may not undertake studies or make recommendations to the House which go beyond the limits established by them. [388]  In particular, a committee studying a bill may report it with or without amendments, but may not include any comments or recommendations in its report. [389]  With the broad powers which standing committees have had since 1986, [390]  they may make recommendations to the House related to a bill which has been referred to them. Such recommendations must, however, be presented to the House in a report separate from the report on the bill. [391] 

In addition to a committee’s initial order of reference, the House may issue further directions to the committee once it has begun a particular study. Directions of this sort are called “instructions” and are sometimes mandatory, but usually permissive. A mandatory instruction is one which directs a committee to deal with a particular issue or to conduct its study in a certain way. [392]  A permissive instruction gives a committee the power to do something it would not otherwise be able to do, but does not compel the committee to use that power. For example, the House may adopt a motion which provides the committee with the power to travel or to report at a later time than envisaged in the initial order of reference. [393]  The Standing Orders contain provisions to permit either a Minister or a private Member to move a motion instructing a standing, special or legislative committee to prepare and bring in a bill. [394] 

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