… there is nothing wrong in trying to improve the life style of parliamentarians, many of whom are men and women with family responsibilities. … The fact that Members of Parliament would not have to sit in the evening will upgrade their role in the sense that … they would be free to come and go as they please, to look after the interests of their constituents, to sit on the standing committees of the House, to participate actively in the special caucuses of their respective parties, [and] to go and address the Canadian people in many communities located within a reasonable distance from Ottawa.

YVON PINARD, President of the Privy Council

(Debates, November 29, 1982, p. 21070)

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A “sitting” of the House begins when the Speaker or another Presiding Officer takes the Chair, sees that a quorum is present, and calls the House to order. A sitting ends with the adjournment of the House. When the House meets, it follows a predetermined daily schedule,1 but it retains significant flexibility in organizing its sittings. It therefore sometimes deviates from the usual daily timetable.

This chapter deals with the opening of a sitting, the requirements for quorum, the way in which the hours of sitting are set or altered, and unusual or special types of sittings.