Chapter Four: Order of Business

Rules of the Senate

Chapter Four: Order of Business

 

Prayers

Prayers 4-1. The Speaker shall proceed to Prayers as soon as a quorum is seen.
 

Senators' Statements and Tributes

Senators’ Statements

4-2. (1) Except as otherwise provided, after Prayers the Speaker shall call for Senators’ Statements.

EXCEPTIONS
Rule 4-4(1): Emergency debate request instead of Senators’ Statements
Rule 8-3(1): Order of debate

15 minutes for Senators’ Statements

4-2. (2) Except as provided in paragraph (8)(a) and elsewhere in these Rules, the period for Senators’ Statements shall not extend beyond 15 minutes.

EXCEPTIONS
Rule 4-3(1): Tributes

Rule 4-3(4): Acknowledgements of tributes

Senators’ Statements limited to three minutes each 4-2. (3) A Senator making a statement shall be limited to one intervention, of no more than three minutes.
Priority to oral notice of question of privilege 4-2. (4) A Senator who has provided written notice to the Clerk of a question of privilege, and who intends to proceed with that question later in the sitting, has priority to give oral notice of the question during Senators’ Statements.
Subject matter of Senators’ Statements 4-2. (5)(a) During Senators’ Statements, Senators may, without notice, raise matters that they believe should be brought to the immediate attention of the Senate.
Limitations on Senators’ Statements 4-2. (5)(b) Statements should not relate to an order of the day but should relate to matters of public interest that could not otherwise be brought to the immediate attention of the Senate under its Rules and practices.
No debate on Senators’ Statements 4-2. (6) Matters raised during Senators’ Statements shall not be subject to debate. Senators who are making statements are bound by the usual rules governing the propriety of debates.
No motions during Senators’ Statements 4-2. (7) During Senators’ Statements, no motions shall be received.
Extending time for Senators’ Statements 4-2. (8)(a) At the request of a whip or the designated representative of a recognized parliamentary group, the Speaker shall, at an appropriate time during Senators’ Statements, seek leave of the Senate to extend Statements. If leave is granted, Senators’ Statements shall be extended by no more than 30 minutes.
Evening suspension delayed when Senators’ Statements extended 4-2. (8)(b) If, as a consequence of this extension, the Senate has not concluded its consideration of the Orders of the Day by 6 p.m., the beginning of the evening suspension shall be delayed for a time equal to the additional time provided for Senators’ Statements.
Tributes 4-3. (1) At the request of the Leader of the Government, the Leader of the Opposition, or the leader or facilitator of any other recognized party or recognized parliamentary group, the period for Senators’ Statements shall be extended by no more than 15 minutes for the purpose of paying tribute to a current or former Senator.
Tributes limited to three minutes each 4-3. (2) The Speaker shall remind the Senate that each Senator offering a tribute shall speak only once and for no more than three minutes.
No leave to extend tributes 4-3. (3) No Senator shall seek leave of the Senate to extend Tributes after the 15 minutes have expired.
Acknowledgements of tributes 4-3. (4) After tributes are given to a current Senator, that Senator may speak, and the time for this acknowledgement shall not be counted in the time provided for Tributes.
Tributes in publications 4-3. (5) Tributes, including any acknowledgement, shall appear under the heading “Tributes” in the Journals of the Senate and the Debates of the Senate.
No bar to other tributes 4-3. (6) Nothing in this rule prevents tributes being offered to a current or former Senator, or any other person, by other means than through the period designated for Tributes.
Emergency debate request instead of Senators’ Statements 4-4. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), Senators’ Statements shall not take place when the Clerk receives notice of a request for an emergency debate. The Speaker shall instead proceed immediately after Prayers to consider the request for an emergency debate, and once that request has been decided, the Speaker shall call Routine Proceedings.
When tributes or notice of a question of privilege 4-4. (2) When the Clerk receives notice of a request for an emergency debate, Senators’ Statements shall be called immediately after Prayers if necessary for either Tributes or oral notice of a question of privilege under the provisions of chapter 13 of these Rules. After the Tributes or the oral notice the Speaker shall immediately proceed to consider the request for an emergency debate.
 

Routine Proceedings

Routine Proceedings

4-5. After Senators’ Statements, or after dealing with any requests for an emergency debate, the Speaker shall call Routine Proceedings in the following order:

(a) Tabling of Documents;
(b) Presenting or Tabling Reports from Committees;
(c) Government Notices of Motions;
(d) Government Notices of Inquiries;
(e) Introduction and First Reading of Government Bills;
(f) Introduction and First Reading of Senate Public Bills;
(g) First Reading of Commons Public Bills;
(h) Reading of Petitions for Private Bills;
(i) Introduction and First Reading of Private Bills;
(j) Tabling of Reports from Interparliamentary Delegations;
(k) Notices of Motions;
(l) Notices of Inquiries; and
(m) Tabling of Petitions.

Standing votes deferred during Routine Proceedings 4-6. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), any standing vote requested during Routine Proceedings shall be deferred until 5:30 p.m. the same day.
Dilatory and procedural motions during Routine Proceedings 4-6. (2) Dilatory and procedural motions may be moved without notice and must be decided without debate. Any standing vote requested on such motions during Routine Proceedings shall be taken in accordance with the ordinary procedure for determining the duration of bells. The time taken for a vote on such motions shall not count as part of Routine Proceedings.
 

Question Period

Start of Question Period and limit of 30 minutes

4-7. Except as otherwise provided, Question Period shall begin no later than 30 minutes after the Speaker calls the first item of Routine Proceedings. The time provided for Question Period shall not exceed 30 minutes.

EXCEPTION
Rule 4-6(2): Dilatory and procedural motions during Routine Proceedings

Oral questions

4-8. (1) During Question Period, a Senator may, without notice, ask a question of:

(a) the Leader of the Government, on a matter relating to public affairs;
(b) a Senator who is a minister, on a matter relating to that Senator’s ministerial responsibility; or
(c) a committee chair, on a matter relating to the activities of the committee.

No debate during Question Period 4-8. (2) There is no debate during Question Period, and only brief comments or explanatory remarks shall be allowed.
Supplementary questions 4-8. (3) Supplementary questions may be asked.
Oral questions answered in writing 4-9. If a question cannot be answered immediately, it may be taken as notice and answered at a later time in writing.
 

Written Questions and Delayed Answers

Written questions 4-10. (1) Any question to which an answer in writing is requested or that seeks statistical information or other information not readily available shall be sent in writing to the Clerk and published in the Order Paper and Notice Paper on the day following receipt and subsequently on the first sitting day of each week until answered.
Replies to written questions 4-10. (2) The reply to a question on the Order Paper and Notice Paper shall be tabled in the Senate and a copy shall be provided to the Senator who asked the question.
Delayed Answers 4-10. (3) Written replies to oral questions or to written questions shall be given as Delayed Answers at the end of Question Period.
 

Points of Order and Questions of Privilege

Points of order relating to Routine Proceedings or Question Period

4-11. (1) A point of order relating to:

(a) a bill that was introduced during Routine Proceedings shall be raised after the second reading of the bill has been moved;
(b) an item for which notice was given during Routine Proceedings shall be raised after the item has been moved for adoption or, in the case of an inquiry, once debate has begun; or
(c) any other matter arising during Routine Proceedings or Question Period shall be raised at the beginning of the Orders of the Day.

Questions of privilege relating to Routine Proceedings or Question Period

4-11. (2) A Senator may raise a question of privilege relating to:

(a) a notice given during Routine Proceedings only at the time the order is first called for consideration; or
(b) other matters arising during Routine Proceedings or Question Period under the provisions of chapter 13 of these Rules.

Points of order and questions of privilege not allowed during Routine Proceedings or Question Period 4-11. (3) During Routine Proceedings and Question Period, it shall not be in order to raise any point of order or question of privilege.
 

Orders of the Day and Notices

Orders and notices called after Question Period

4-12. At the end of Question Period and the tabling of any delayed answers, the Speaker shall proceed to call, in the following order:

(a) Orders of the Day; and
(b) Motions and inquiries on the Notice Paper.

Priority of Government Business

4-13. (1) Except as otherwise provided, Government Business shall have priority over all other business before the Senate.

EXCEPTIONS
Rule 8-4(1): Adjournment motion for emergency debate
Rule 13-5(1): Consideration of question of privilege
Rule 13-5(2): When question of privilege without notice considered
Rule 13-6(2): Debate on motion on case of privilege

Consideration of Government Business

4-13. (2) Except as provided in subsection (3), Government Business, including items on notice, shall be called in the following order, with Senate bills preceding Commons bills within their categories; bills, motions and inquiries being called in numerical order within their categories; and all other items being called in their categories in the order in which they were placed on the Orders of the Day:

(a) Bills – Messages from the House of Commons;
(b) Bills – Third Reading;
(c) Bills – Reports of Committees;
(d) Bills – Second Reading;
(e) Reports of Committees – Other;
(f) Motions;
(g) Inquiries; and
(h) Other.

Ordering of Government Business 4-13. (3) Government Business shall be called in such sequence as the Leader or the Deputy Leader of the Government shall determine.
Consideration of Other Business

4-14. Except as otherwise ordered by the Senate, Other Business shall be called in the following order, with bills, motions and inquiries called in numerical order within their categories, and any other items within their categories in the order in which they were placed on the Orders of the Day:

(a) Bills – Messages from the House of Commons (with Senate bills preceding Commons bills);
(b) Senate Public Bills – Third Reading;
(c) Commons Public Bills – Third Reading;
(d) Private Bills – Third Reading;
(e) Senate Public Bills – Reports of Committees;
(f) Commons Public Bills – Reports of Committees;
(g) Private Bills – Reports of Committees;
(h) Senate Public Bills – Second Reading;
(i) Commons Public Bills – Second Reading;
(j) Private Bills – Second Reading;
(k) Reports of Committees – Other;
(l) Motions;
(m) Inquiries; and
(n) Other.

Item not disposed of 4-15. (1) Any item not called when the Senate adjourns, except a motion to adjourn the Senate for an emergency debate, shall be carried over to the next sitting.
Items dropped after 15 sitting days without being considered 4-15. (2) Except as otherwise ordered by the Senate, any item of Other Business on the Order Paper and any motion or inquiry on the Notice Paper that have not been proceeded with during 15 sitting days shall be dropped from the Order Paper and Notice Paper.
Limit on adjourning debate in own name after speech started 4-15. (3) If a Senator has started to speak on an item of Other Business on the Order Paper or on any motion or inquiry on the Notice Paper, that debate can be adjourned only once in that Senator's name for the balance of time remaining.
Orders of the Day to be called at 8 p.m. or noon 4-16. (1) The Speaker shall call the Orders of the Day no later than 8 p.m., or noon on Fridays.
Possible interruption at 8 p.m. or noon

4-16. (2) When the Orders of the Day are only first called at 8 p.m., or noon on a Friday, they shall be immediately interrupted, if required, for the purpose of dealing with any of the following in this order:

(a) a motion moved earlier in the sitting relating to a case of privilege;
(b) an emergency debate; or
(c) presentation of a question of privilege.