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Senators' Attendance and Activities on Sitting Days


A check mark will appear beside each date during the month on which the Senate is convened. If the Senate is adjourned over an entire month, as is often the case for July and August, no check marks will appear, as there are no sitting days for that month.


Senators who participate in any of the following activities on sitting days are deemed to be “in attendance to business”:

  1. attendance at a sitting of the Senate
  2. attendance at a committee meeting, authorized by the Senate to sit within the National Capital Region during the sitting of the Senate. In such situations, the committee meeting must actually take place over the entire time that the Senate is sitting in order for attendance at the committee meeting to be considered “attendance to business.”
  3. attendance at a meeting of a Senate committee, authorized by the Senate to sit outside the National Capital Region on that day or to be on travel status on that day.
  4. participation in a delegation of a recognized parliamentary association that is conducting its business outside the National Capital Region on a sitting day or is on travel status for that day.
  5. conducting “official business” outside the National Capital Region on a sitting day, or being on travel status for that day.
    1. Official business is defined as an activity that takes place outside the NCR on a sitting day that has specifically been authorized by the Senate or a Senate committee such as a committee fact-finding mission or conference, or requested in writing by a Minister of the Crown. It also includes participation in a Speaker’s Delegation outside the NCR.


Senators can be engaged in “public business” on both sitting days and non-sitting days as explained below:

  1. on non-sitting days, all activities carried out by a senator in that official capacity, which are not related to the senator’s private (marital, family, social, etc.) concerns, are considered “public business”.
  2. on sitting days, any activity which a senator carries out in that official capacity that is not related to the senator’s private concerns and which does not fall under the meaning of “attendance to business” is considered “public business”.
  3. attending a committee meeting when the Senate is not sitting.
  4. participation in the work of a parliamentary friendship group is always considered “public business.”


A check mark will be entered against the appropriate date if:

  1. Less than six days: A senator may be absent from the Chamber for six consecutive sitting days without penalty, or without requiring a medical certificate.
  2. More than six days: When a senator is absent due to illness for more than six consecutive sitting days in a given session, the senator must submit a medical certificate to the Clerk of the Senate. The medical certificate may serve for one or more sitting days within a period of up to three calendar months, after which a subsequent medical certificate must be issued, should the senator fall ill in the following twelve calendar months.


The number of committee meetings attended by a senator will be recorded against the appropriate date.


Senators are allotted 21 leave days at the start of each session.

The Parliament of Canada Act, provides for a deduction “from the sessional allowance of a member of either House of Parliament for every day beyond 21” on which the member is deemed to be in “non-attendance.” In accordance with Rule 15-1(3) of the Rules of the Senate, deductions are in the amount of $250 per day of non-attendance in the Senate.

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