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House of Commons Procedure and Practice

Second Edition, 2009

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vertical-duo364-k-copy.jpgA new edition of any book enjoys the benefit of being able to build upon the foundation of its predecessor. The Senior Editors of the First Edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Clerk of the House Robert Marleau (1987 to 2000) and Deputy Clerk Camille Montpetit (1998 to 1999) set a high standard of scholarship in publishing this milestone. In recognition of this achievement, their names are recorded in the preliminary pages of this second edition.

Not surprisingly, in the years since the publication of the first edition in 2000, the breadth of procedural evolution has been significant. There have been a number of rule changes and an even greater number of new precedents and practices. As a result, the preparation of the second edition has proven to be, no less than that of the first, a major undertaking. It is the fruit of years of labour by a team of devoted professionals of whom the Clerk of the House, Audrey O’Brien, and I, as Senior Editors, are very proud, and whose efforts deserve to be acknowledged.

The ink was barely dry on the first edition when already work began on the next one. Starting in 2000, week by week and year by year, reference information was painstakingly collected until in 2006 drafting of the second edition began. From 2007 to completion, Acting Deputy Principal Clerk Barbara Whittaker was in charge of the project, taking over from Deputy Principal Clerk Luc Fortin, who initially led the team. As the project’s lead manager, Ms. Whittaker was indefatigable, juggling the multitude of responsibilities involved in the production of a work of this magnitude. I am extremely grateful to her. Day-to-day management of the project was placed in the capable hands of Paulette Nadeau, the project coordinator until her much-deserved retirement. She was succeeded most professionally by Lisa Chartier-Derouin, who was greatly assisted by Natalie Foster.

The skilled drafting team was composed of procedural clerks Miriam Burke, José Cadorette, Diane Deschamps, Marc-Olivier Girard, Nancy Hall, Debra Manojlovic‑Ford, Marie‑Thérèse Messier, Terence Moore, Paulette Nadeau, Marie-France Renaud, Gary Sokolyk and Graeme Truelove. Significant research assistance was provided by Olivier Champagne, Rachel Clement, Christine Holke David, Jonathan Holmes, Yves Rouillard and Katy Treehuba, as well as numerous House of Commons Pages.

As the draft of each chapter was completed, it was reviewed and revised. This important task involved both the drafters and their procedural colleagues from all branches of Procedural Services. I would like to thank Clerk Assistants Marie-Andrée Lajoie, André Gagnon, Eric Janse and Beverley Isles; Principal Clerks Janice Hilchie, Colette Labrecque-Riel and Jeffrey LeBlanc; Deputy Principal Clerks, Robert Benoit, Luc Fortin, Rosanne Karith (Acting), Jeremy LeBlanc, Ian McDonald, Pierre Rodrigue and Marie-Danielle Vachon; the Procedural Clerks who conducted the peer reviews of the chapters, Wayne Cole, Monique Hamilton, Christine Lafrance, Guillaume La Perrière, Lucile McGregor, Lucie Tardif-Carpentier and Marc Toupin; and Procedural Clerks Samy Agha, Danielle Bélisle, Andrew Chaplin, Angela Crandall, Carmen DePape, Diane Diotte, Isabelle Dumas, Georges Etoka, Joann Garbig, Catherine Gérin-Lajoie, Jean‑François Lafleur, James Latimer, Chad Mariage, Catherine Millar, Chloé O’Shaughnessy, Jean‑François Pagé, Alexandre Roger, Louise Thibault and Justin Vaive for their attention to detail and invaluable research input they provided in reviewing chapters.

I would also like to thank Rob Walsh, Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, and Richard Denis, Deputy Law Clerk, for setting up a team of Parliamentary Counsel and Legislative Editors who reviewed certain chapters and provided us with advice throughout the project. Thanks also to Louis Bard, Chief Information Officer of Information Services; Kathryn Butler Malette, Director General, Human Resources and Corporate Planning Services; Claire Kennedy, Chief Financial Officer; and Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers for the input received from their respective services. In addition, I wish to extend my appreciation to Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson and her staff for their assistance with those parts of Chapter 4, “The House of Commons and Its Members” dealing with the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons; to the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Marc Mayrand, and his staff for reviewing those sections of the same chapter dealing with our electoral process; and to Auditor General Sheila Fraser and her staff for their input on certain portions of Chapter 18, “Financial Procedures”.

While research and drafting may be the foundation of this publication, its creation has also required the participation of many others. I would like to underline the contribution of Sylvie Ouellet, the administrative assistant responsible for inputting, revising and formatting the text, and thank her for her hard work and dedication. Johan Fong and Maureen Quirouet worked tirelessly on all publication and design aspects of the project and they are to be commended for their efforts. The Translation Bureau assigned several seasoned translators to handle the heavy demands of the project. A special note of thanks is to be given to Josée Deschênes and Patricia Galbraith who, as the lead translators assigned to the book, provided valuable recommendations and worked with us onsite throughout the project. Our appreciation as well to their colleagues Catherine Bouchard, Lucie Boisvenue, Elizabeth Cowan, Yvon de Repentigny, Terri Irwin, Stephen Mullen and Judith Poirier, who supported them under the supervision of Louise Lafontaine. Pierre Couture, Angèle Doiron and Carl Forget took on the important job of reviewing the English and French texts for concordance, and Cecylia Lisiecki and Michel Whelan greatly assisted with the review of the proofs. Thanks to Brian McCambridge, Manager of the Publishing Service, for his guidance and support in coordinating the work of the reviewers. The indexing in both official languages was undertaken by Nicole Blais, Bruce Hubbard, Yves Laliberté, Richard Lueger, François Poliquin, Suzanne Proulx and Joanne Sacoutis, under the direction of Kim Buzzetti, Chief of the Publishing Service. Important administrative, logistical and design support was provided by Diane Joly, Dominik Marengère and Samuel St-Amand. David Monaghan, Curator of the House of Commons, provided invaluable advice, and photographers Christian Diotte and Bernard Thibodeau were most helpful in taking new photos and images for the second edition. Thanks to Gilles Bourget, Vimy Khan, Konrad Kyc, Memduh Eroglu, Mark Gregory, Andrew Lis and Roger Savard from the Systems Integration and Application Development section in Information Services, the online version of the book became a reality. True to their reputation, the staff of the Library of Parliament provided a prompt and efficient service in responding to our numerous requests for reference material.

I would also like to thank the following people who came to our assistance in preparing the contract requirements for the publication of the book: from Printing Services, Marcel Néron, Manager of Client Services and Planning; from Finance Services, Alain Franchomme, Senior Contracting Officer, Richard Gauthier, Chief Procurement Officer, Gilles Larocque, Senior Financial Advisor, and Tamara Taylor, Strategic Procurement Advisor; and from my own office, Janet Villeneuve and Lyne Jutras, Executive Assistants. A note of thanks also to Sylvie Lévesque, Johanne Forget, Michel Forrest, and Philippe Lanthier from the publisher Les Éditions Yvon Blais for their guidance, patience and direction.

Finally, I wish to thank the Clerk of the House—whose legendary editorial talents speak for themselves—for her understanding and patience when I repeatedly and at times unreasonably laid claim to her scarce time for the final review of the manuscript.

The preparation of this second edition has been a major enterprise and all those who participated in this project are to be congratulated for their fine work. All of us know that even as we go to print, the House of Commons will continue to break new procedural ground. In that sense, the evidence is never all in and the time for the last word is a figure of speech. Only the Members can write the next chapter.


Marc Bosc

Deputy Clerk of the House of Commons
June 2009


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