Private Members Bill Process
The Private Members Bill process allows any Member of Parliament to submit a bill on an issue that is of concern to them. Selection of members' name (members' name is submitted not specific bill) is by a lottery-style draw There are 301 Members of Parliament but not everyone submits bills. There is no political party quota. The Canadian Alliance members are known for using this legitimate process to get issues on the agenda.
Thirty names are drawn at the start of a parliamentary session. When the original group dwindles to about 15, another draw is made. In the 36th Parliament, 2nd session, 120 members names were drawn between October '99 and September "00.
A new draw is being made February 28, 2002.
Each MP is allowed to have only one item going through the House at any time, but they can submit more than one bill and/or motion to the lottery.
Once the member's name has been drawn in the lottery, the drafted bill comes to them from the legal services in its final format. A copy of the bill is then sent to Journals branch to be put on the Order Paper. Only after 48 hours the MP may call the Private Member's office to indicate when they want to introduce the bill in the House of Commons.
The Bill is put on the orders of the day and MP introduces it in first reading. At that time the bill is assigned an number, i.e. C-402. Bill is sent, along with others, to the sub-committee that will choose what items will be votable. Bill appears on the orders of the day sometime thereafter.
The Bill then goes through the normal House of Commons debate process (1st, 2nd and 3rd reading) and can be voted on by MPs or can be sent to committee for further study.
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