| All bills normally pass through a series of steps that are
similar in both the Senate and the House.
The above process is described in detail in the
House of Commons Compendium of Procedure, which replaced
Précis of Procedure.
- Introduction in either the House of Commons or the
- 1st Reading: This step is not an actual reading but
rather a first presentation of the Bill. This step authorizes the publishing of
the Bill and allocates it a number: C-# for House bills and S-# for Senate
- 2nd Reading: The principle of the bill is debated.
Once the principle is adopted, the Bill is referred to parliamentary committees
for further study.
- Committee: A committee hears
witnesses, examines the bill clause by clause and submits a report with or
- Report Stage: Additional amendments to the bill may be
moved, debated and voted on.
- 3rd Reading: This reading is the last opportunity for
the House to amend the bill. Following this review, the bill is published for
the last time.
- Sent to the other House (e.g., if the bill was passed
by the House, it is then referred to the Senate): The process starts again from
- Royal Assent: The Governor General or a deputy gives
the bill Royal Assent in the Senate when the bill has been passed in exactly
the same form by both Houses. It is assigned a Chapter number (e.g., Bill C-7
became Chapter 1 of the Statutes of Canada, 2000). The bill will then become
law and comes into force on the day of Assent, unless otherwise provided in the
- Proclamation: If the coming-into-force date
is to be fixed by an order of the Governor in Council, the date is determined
by Cabinet, on the advice of the minister responsible for administering the
Act. Draft orders are prepared by that minister's department. They are not
subject to the Regulatory Review Process or the regulation-making requirements
of the Statutory Instruments Act, because they are not considered to be
regulations. However, before they are made, they are examined by the
Regulations Section of the Department of Justice. After they are made, they are
required by the Statutory Instruments Regulations to be published in Part II of
the Canada Gazette under the "SI" designation. A list of proclamations or
orders in council relating to the coming-into-force of Acts is published in
each edition of Part III of the Canada Gazette.
Availability of Bills Status
of House Business and First and Third reading copies of a bill are published on
the Parliament of Canada
There are three versions of a public bill that are
A private bill is published in first and third reading
versions. It will also appear in the Annual Statutes of Canada.
- First Reading Cat. #: XB(Parliament #)(Session #)-Bill #-1
e.g. Bill C-5, 1st reading, 36th Parliament, 1st session will be:
- Third Reading Cat. #: XB(Parliament #)(Session #)- Bill
- Royal Assent version which is the final version to be
published. Cat.#: YX3-Year-Chapter #
Standing Committee A standing committee is an
ongoing committee of the Houses of Parliament (there are Senate committees and
House of Commons committees). Examples are the Commons Finance Committee and
the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee.
When a bill's subject
matter relates to an existing standing committee, that committee will study the
Catalogue # for minutes of a Senate standing committee: YC(Committee
#)-(Parliament)(Session#)-1-Issue# e.g. YC11-361-1-12
Legislative CommitteeA legislative committee is
struck when a bill's subject matter does not match that of a standing
committee. In that case, a new committee is created. Catalogue # for minutes of
a Senate legislative committee: YC1-(Parliament)(Session#)-Bill#-Issue# e.g.
Committee Documents House of Commons Committees
publish minutes, reports and evidence of proceedings on the
Parliament of Canada website.