Skip to main content

Members’ Activities

Members of the House of Commons have a wide range of responsibilities. For a better understanding of their work, let’s look at where they have worked over the past year.

In the Chamber

The Chamber of the House of Commons is where Members meet to debate issues of importance to Canadians, receive documents prepared by government departments and agencies, and debate and vote on proposed legislation and other important matters. Presiding over these activities are the Speaker of the House and other Presiding Officers.

More specifically, Members’ work in the Chamber typically includes:

Reviewing and debating bills and motions
Examining public expenditures
Holding the government to account by means of oral and written questions
Considering resolutions on issues of public interest
Presenting petitions (paper or electronic) on behalf of the public

Statistics about the Chamber (from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023)

  • Sitting days


  • Written questions submitted


  • Statements and rulings by the Speaker in response to points of order or questions of privilege raised


  • Sessional papers tabled


Continuation of hybrid proceedings

In response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, parliamentarians have been able to meet in hybrid format since 2020, where some Members attend in person and others remotely by videoconference. On June 23, 2022, the House of Commons adopted a special order to allow hybrid proceedings for House sittings and committee meetings to continue for another year. House proceedings were broadcast as usual, and the public portions of committee meetings remained available for Canadians.

Support teams from across the House Administration were there to assist Members and their employees for hybrid sittings. They ensured the connectivity and security of the parliamentary network, while Members participated in proceedings in person on the Hill or remotely from across the country.

From April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, the House had 1,009 sitting hours. The most discussed topics in the House included the cost of living, inflation, carbon pollution pricing, COVID‑19 pandemic, and broadcasting.

House of Commons Chamber

What is a typical sitting day?

The daily business of the House of Commons is set out in the Standing Orders, the written rules of the House. It generally consists of daily and routine proceedings, Government Orders, Private Members’ Business, and adjournment proceedings. Although the House meets in accordance with a predetermined daily schedule, it remains flexible in the timing and duration of its sittings.

Parliament Building illuminated in royal blue with the royal cypher projected on the Peace Tower

Tribute to Her Majesty The Queen

Following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Speaker recalled the House on September 15 and 16, 2022. Members met in the Chamber to commemorate Canada’s longest-reigning monarch and to make statements on the accession to the throne of His Majesty King Charles lll.

As a tribute to Her Majesty The Queen, the Parliament Building was illuminated in royal blue and the royal cypher was projected on the Peace Tower from dusk to dawn throughout the mourning period.

Procedural information, one click away

The House of Commons’ new ProceduralInfo website is a collection of tools and resources that helps the public understand the procedural rules and practices of the House and its committees, and their application during proceedings. It provides an easier access to important material, including a centralized video library where the public can learn more about various topics related to parliamentary procedure.

This year, the House also published selected decisions of the 36th Speaker of the House of Commons, Geoff Regan. During a Speaker’s tenure, a Speaker is called upon to interpret how the rules of the House should apply and to make formal decisions or rulings on specific procedural matters before the House. This publication is the tenth in a collection of Speakers’ decisions and is available in both official languages. Also, with the launch of the new ProceduralInfo website, previous collections have been made available online.

Speaker Anthony Rota and former Speaker Geoff Regan, celebrating the publication of the selected decisions of the former Speaker

A special address to Parliament

On Friday, March 24, 2023, the Honourable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., President of the United States of America, addressed parliamentarians in the House of Commons Chamber. In his speech, President Biden spoke about different bilateral and multilateral topics, while focusing on the long-standing friendship between Canada and the United States.

In committees

In committees, Members study matters related to their committees’ mandates, consider and potentially amend proposed legislation, and examine government spending. Members often seek input from stakeholders and invite ministers, public servants, private citizens, experts and representatives of organizations to appear before committees to provide information relevant to a study.

  • Standing committees are established under the Standing Orders of the House of Commons and are authorized to study all matters relating to their mandate and the various government departments assigned to them by the House.
  • Standing joint committees are established under the Rules of the Senate and the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, and are composed of Senators and Members of the House of Commons.
  • Special committees are appointed by the House of Commons to carry out specific inquiries, studies or other tasks that the House deems important. Special committees are dissolved when their final report has been presented to the House or when the House is no longer in session.
  • Special joint committees are established in accordance with orders adopted by both the Senate and the House of Commons, and are composed of Senators and Members of the House of Commons. These committees are tasked with studying specific matters and are dissolved when their final report has been presented to both Houses of Parliament or when the House is no longer in session.
Picture of a committee room

Committee business by the numbers

House Administration staff supporting a committee

On June 23, 2022, the House of Commons adopted a motion to continue holding committee meetings in a hybrid format for another 12 months. From April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, a total of 1,295 committee meetings were held, including meetings for standing and special committees, and their respective subcommittees.

At the beginning of this period, the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying held its first meeting. As well, one new committee was created during this period: the Special Committee on the Canada–People’s Republic of China Relationship.

Committees presented 195 reports to the House of Commons. The reports covered topics such as reducing gas emissions, improving the health of Indigenous peoples in Canada, managing radioactive waste, improving support for victims of crime, mental health of young women and girls, the situation at the Russia-Ukraine border and implications for peace and security, and promoting fairness in Canadian immigration decisions.

During this time, Administration employees offered procedural, administrative, technical and logistical support to all committees. Legal advice was also provided to committees upon request, and amendments were drafted on behalf of Members for studies of bills in committees.

On March 3, 2022, the Board of Internal Economy lifted the suspension of committee travel, which had been imposed due to the COVID‑19 pandemic. The Board’s decision allowed Members of the House of Commons to travel in Canada and abroad to study issues related to their committee work.

For example, in October 2022, the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology travelled to Helsinki, Finland, to attend the World Summit of Committees of the Future. In November 2022, the Standing Committee on National Defence travelled to Washington D.C. to meet with the Ambassador of Canada to the United States and embassy personnel and various officials.

About AMAD

On February 15, 2023, the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (AMAD) presented its final report to the House and Senate: “Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada: Choices for Canadians.” In total, the committee held 36 meetings and heard from almost 150 witnesses. It also received more than 350 briefs and other correspondence, demonstrating the level of engagement in this matter.

More in-person appearances for committee witnesses

The House of Commons is committed to ensuring Canadians’ involvement in the parliamentary process and in Members’ parliamentary work. Committee work in particular offers a key opportunity, seeing that private citizens and experts are regularly invited to appear as witnesses before committees to share information relevant to a topic under consideration. Committee meetings allow witnesses to give their point of view and Members to ask questions.

In April 2022, the House adopted a motion to give witnesses the choice to appear before committees either in person or by videoconference. Since the start of the pandemic, only Senators, Members and departmental and parliamentary officials were allowed to appear before committees in person.

An important conference

From August 28 to 30, 2022, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts hosted the 43rd annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Public Accounts Committees in Ottawa. The event brought together the members of Public Accounts Committees and auditors general from across Canada to discuss recurring and emerging issues in—and good practices for—public administration, which included scrutiny, accountability and political change; the relevance of legislative audit offices; and a study of the public accounts.

A committee room

In international and interparliamentary forums

Parliamentary diplomacy is the practice of dialogue and cooperation among legislators from around the world. The Speaker and Members of the House of Commons represent the Parliament of Canada internationally in a number of ways and, this past year, they engaged with their counterparts on a wide range of topics of national and international interest. This way, they further Canada’s interests at international conferences and meetings, while promoting democracy as well as economic and social ties with other nations.

Speaker’s diplomatic duties

In addition to his role and responsibilities in the House of Commons, Speaker Anthony Rota has a number of ceremonial and diplomatic duties when welcoming visiting heads of state or heads of government to Parliament. He interacts regularly with the diplomatic corps, hosts foreign speakers or visiting delegations, and leads parliamentary missions abroad to maintain positive relations around the world. In 2022–2023, Speaker Rota participated in activities with his counterparts and members of the diplomatic corps from countries such as the United Kingdom, Scotland, Estonia, Austria, Armenia, Malta, and Albania to name a few.

As president of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Speaker Rota welcomed delegates in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference from August 20 to 26, 2022. Hosted by the CPA Canada Region, this conference welcomed almost 400 Commonwealth parliamentarians and 180 clerks and parliamentary officials, representing 42 Commonwealth countries.

Speaker Rota also participated in the 26th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth that took place in Canberra, Australia from January 3 to 6, 2023, where participants discussed parliamentary engagement, innovation and security.

Such events help to strengthen the partnerships that exist between our parliaments and countries.

Statistics about the Speaker’s parliamentary diplomacy (from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023)

  • In-person incoming activities


  • In-person outgoing activities


  • Virtual activities


Support for Ukraine

This year, Canada alongside international partners and allies continued to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Speaker Rota attended the 19th Conference of the Speakers of the G7 Member States in Berlin, Germany, from September 15 to 17, 2022. The conference was an opportunity to engage with counterparts about strengthening democracy through civic education and continuing to support the people of Ukraine.

In October 2022, the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association took part in a parliamentary mission to Poland to witness the impacts of the war. Meetings were held with Polish officials, Ukrainian-language teachers, and the Polish Red Cross to discuss the humanitarian support provided to Ukrainian refugees.

On December 5, 2022, Speaker Rota met with Ukrainian Members of Parliament Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze and Mariia Ionova during their visit to Ottawa. They provided important, first-hand information about the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

Speaker Rota with Ukrainian Members of Parliament Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze and Mariia Ionova during their visit to Ottawa.

A distinguished visitor’s address in the Chamber

On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, Her Excellency Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, addressed Members and Senators in the Chamber of the House of Commons. During this joint session, she spoke of the deep ties uniting Canada and Europe and pledged to keep supporting Ukraine against Russian invasion.

Parliamentary associations and interparliamentary groups

Over the past year, Canadian parliamentarians participated in over 193 events hosted by 13 parliamentary associations and 4 interparliamentary groups, including:

Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association

Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association

As part of its mandate to improve exchanges between Canadian and African parliamentarians, the Canada–Africa Parliamentary Association travelled to Accra, Ghana from May 21 to 27, 2022. Members of the association discussed Ghana’s political, economic, and human rights issues with organizations promoting women’s rights, freedom of the press, and transparency and good governance. Four members of the association also visited Dakar and Thiès, Senegal, from November 5 to 11, 2022, to take part in a productive bilateral mission.

Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group

Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group

From October 26 to 29, 2022, Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group participated in the 30th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. Delegates from both Canada-Japan and Canada-China groups attended this meeting, whose theme was “Parliaments and Post-COVID Sustainable Development.” The topics covered included promoting biodiversity and a green economy, facilitating access to health care services, and strengthening women’s participation in the post-COVID recovery.

68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly logo

Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association

From November 18 to 21, 2022, the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association took part in the 68th Annual Session in Madrid, Spain. Delegates examined the Indo-Pacific region, the war in Ukraine, cybersecurity, radicalization and corruption, migration, the effects of climate change on security, and resilient and secure supply chains.