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This article describes the process of passing a bill in the Senate or House of Commons. Usually the government will introduce the idea of a bill, and then it will to go through a few stages to be approved and made law. Opposition and individual parliamentarians can also introduce new bills called Private Member’s Bills.



1)      First Reading


When an idea for a new law or a change for a current law comes forth, it is written down and given a name, it is then called a Bill. If the idea for the Bill came from the House of Commons, it will have the letter “C” in front of it and then a number. It will look like this: Bill C-50. If the idea came from the Senate, it will have an “S” in front and look like: Bill S-51. The Bill is then printed and read in the House the idea came from.




2)      Second Reading


The Bill is read a second time in its originating House. Members of Parliament can ask questions and debate about the Bill at this time. They ask, “Does it meet people’s needs?”, “Who will be affected?”, “Is it a good idea”?

If the Bill is voted for, then the Bill is passed to a committee which will meet in a committee room outside of the Council Chambers to discuss it.




3)      Committee Stage


At this stage, the Bill is looked at and considered very carefully. Members of the Committee can hold special meetings or hearings where people outside or within the government can attend and give their opinion. Sometimes members of the government are asked to come as witnesses to answer questions. Afterwards, the committee will make a report to the House and are able to suggest changes to the Bill.




4)      Report Stage


At this stage, the committee reports back to the House. All members of parliament can then debate over it. Those who were not part of the committee and studied the Bill can suggest changes.




5)      Third Reading


This time, the Bill is read a third time. Members of Parliament can debate it again, or completely change their minds on it. Sometimes it won’t go through the Third Reading even though it was approved at the Second Reading. If it does pass this stage, it will be sent to the other House (Senate or House of Commons) to go through the same stages.



6)      Royal Assent


At this stage, the Senate and the House of Commons have gone through all the stages, and both Houses have approved the Bill in the same wording. The Bill is then given to the Governor General for final approval. This is called Royal Assent and it can become law.


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May 13, 2014 at 5:39 pm by admin
Category: Bills