Debate is not a sin, a mistake, an error or something to be put up with in Parliament. Debate is the essence of Parliament.

STANLEY KNOWLES, M.P. (Winnipeg North Centre)

(Debates, December 10, 1968, p. 3763)

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From time to time, when certain parliamentary events, emergencies, or national or international issues arise, the House will put aside its normal proceedings to consider such matters. These debates are referred to in the Standing Orders as “Special Debates”. This chapter deals with the rules pertaining to the debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, the debate on the Standing Orders and procedure of the House and its committees, emergency debates, debates to suspend certain Standing Orders in order to consider urgent matters, and take-note debates.

In addition to these specific debates, the House occasionally holds debates that are not specifically provided for in the Standing Orders, but that are prescribed by statute. A statutory debate occurs when a statute passed by Parliament includes provisions for a debate on the floor of the House with regard to an order, regulation, declaration, guideline or other instrument of delegated legislation. It may also require an examination of a statute or one of its components.