Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

Mandate

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs 
 
As per Standing Committee 110(g), the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs is empowered to review on its own initiative or at the request of the Speaker or the direction of the House and to report to the House its observations, opinions and recommendations on the Standing Orders of the House and the procedures in the House and its Committees; to advise the Speaker and the Board of Internal Economy, and to report to the House its observations, opinions and recommendations on the administration of the House and the provision of services and facilities to Members; and to act as an advisory body to the Speaker and the House on the television broadcast system and to conduct reviews, at least on an annual basis, of the televising of the legislative proceedings and of the guidelines established by the House with respect to the television broadcast system; and to be the Committee which is empowered to review and consider from time to time the Reports of the Ombudsman as they become available; and, as the Committee deems necessary, pursuant to subsection 15(1) of the Ombudsman Act, to formulate general rules for the guidance of the Ombudsman in the exercise of his or her functions under the Act; and to report thereon to the Legislature and to make such recommendations as the Committee deems appropriate; and to be the Committee provided for by section 33 of Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006, and having the terms of reference as set out in that section, namely: to be the Committee to which all regulations stand permanently referred; and to examine the regulations with particular reference to the scope and method of the exercise of delegated legislative power without reference to the merits of the policy or objectives to be effected by the regulations or enabling statutes, but in so doing regard shall be had to the following guidelines: 
 
(i) Regulations should not contain provisions initiating new policy, but should be confined to details to give effect to the policy established by the statute; 
 
(ii) Regulations should be in strict accord with the statute conferring of power, particularly concerning personal liberties; 
 
(iii) Regulations should be expressed in precise and unambiguous language; 
 
(iv) Regulations should not have retrospective effect unless clearly authorized by statute;  
 
(v) Regulations should not exclude the jurisdiction of the courts; 
 
(vi) Regulations should not impose a fine, imprisonment or other penalty; 
 
(vii) Regulations should not shift the onus of proof of innocence to a person accused of an offence; 
 
(viii) Regulations should not impose anything in the way of a tax (as distinct from fixing the amount of a licence fee, or the like); and 
 
(ix) General powers should not be used to establish a judicial tribunal or an administrative tribunal, 
and the Committee shall from time to time report to the House its observations, opinions and recommendations as required by section 33 of Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006, but before drawing the attention of the House to a regulation or other statutory instrument, the Committee shall afford the ministry or agency concerned an opportunity to furnish orally or in writing to the Committee such explanation as the ministry or agency thinks fit. 
 
The Ministry assigned to the Committee is:
Ministry of Legislative Affairs
 
Standing Order 113 
Under Standing Order 113, the policy field committees may conduct relatively unlimited studies. The only restriction is that the study must relate to a ministry assigned to that committee. The subject-matter and duration of the study are left to the committee to decide. This Standing Order is usually used when the committee agrees on what it wishes to study. 
At the beginning of each Parliament and, if necessary, during the course of a Parliament, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs shall prescribe the ministries and offices assigned to the Standing Committees for the purposes of this Standing Order and for the purpose of consideration of Estimates and shall make a report thereon to the House, which report shall be deemed to be adopted. 
 
Standing Order 128 
Once in each Session, each member (including the Chair) of the policy field committees is entitled to propose a matter to be considered by their particular committee. The matter must relate to the mandate, management, organization or operation of the ministries and offices assigned to the committee as well as the agencies, boards and commissions reporting to such ministries and offices.  
The proposal of a member under this Standing Order must be adopted by at least two-thirds of the members of the committee, excluding the Chair.   
A study by the committee under the terms of this Standing Order cannot take precedence over consideration of a government public bill.  
The committee may present a substantive report to the House and may adopt the text of a draft bill on the subject matter. At least three hours of debate will be allowed on the bill in the House at a time decided upon by the House Leaders of the recognized Parties. 
 
Estimates: 
62(a) When a Budget has been presented, the main Estimates shall be tabled in the House no more than 12 sessional days later. During those 12 days the Budget debate shall be completed. If no Budget has been presented by the first sessional day following Victoria Day, the main Estimates shall be tabled at the next available sessional day. 
 
(b) Upon tabling, the Estimates shall be deemed to be referred to the Standing Committees to which the respective Ministries and Offices were assigned pursuant to Standing Order 113(b). 
 
(c) Notwithstanding clause (b), upon tabling, any Estimates or Supplementary Estimates approved by the Board of Internal Economy shall be deemed to be concurred in. 
 
63(a) The consideration of Estimates shall not take precedence over consideration of a Government Bill. 
 
(b)(i) The order of consideration of the Estimates of the Ministries and Offices referred to each committee shall be determined by selection of Members of the Committee, such that the Members of the party forming the Official Opposition shall select first, followed by the Members of the other recognized parties in decreasing order of their membership in the House, and the Members of the party forming the Government shall select last. 
 
(ii) With each turn, the Members of each party may choose the Estimates of 1 Ministry or Office. 
 
(iii) If, when their turn to select occurs, the Members of a party decline to make a selection, the selection process proceeds to the next party in rotation as provided in sub-clause (i). 
 
(c) The Estimates of the Ministries and Offices shall be considered in the order in which they were selected. The Sub-committee on Committee Business of each committee may, by unanimous agreement, alter the order of consideration. 
 
(d) The time for the consideration of the Estimates of each Ministry or Office shall be determined by the respective committee. 
 
(e) No Estimates shall be considered in a committee while any matter, including a procedural motion, relating to the same policy field is being considered in the House. 
 
64(a) All other Estimates not selected for consideration by each Committee shall be deemed to be passed by the Committee and shall be reported back to the House. 
 
(b) The report of the Committee shall be deemed to be received and the Estimates for the Ministries and Offices named in the report shall be deemed to be concurred in. 
 
65(a) Upon tabling, all Supplementary Estimates shall be deemed referred to the Standing Committee to which their Ministry or Office has been assigned pursuant to Standing Order 113(b). 
 
(b) Each Standing Committee shall consider Supplementary Estimates of the Ministries and Offices selected within the time allocated pursuant to Standing Order 63(d) for the consideration of the main Estimates. 
 
(c) All other Supplementary Estimates shall be reported back to the House. The report of each Committee shall be deemed to be received and the Supplementary Estimates for the Ministries and Offices named in the report shall be deemed to be concurred in. 
 
66(a) Each Standing Committee shall present one report with respect to all of the Estimates and Supplementary Estimates considered pursuant to Standing Orders 63 and 65 no later than the third Thursday in November of each calendar year. 
 
(b) In the event the Committee fails to report the said Estimates on the date provided for in clause (a), the Estimates and Supplementary Estimates shall be deemed to be passed by the Committee and shall be deemed to be reported to and received by the House. 
 
(c) In the event that any Supplementary Estimates are not presented to the House until the third Thursday in November, or thereafter, then those Supplementary Estimates shall be deemed to be referred to the appropriate Committee as they are presented to the House, shall be deemed to be passed by that Committee and shall be deemed to be reported to and received by the House. 
 
(d) There shall be an Order for Concurrence placed on the Orders and Notices Paper for each of the Estimates reported from each Committee. There shall be 2 hours, apportioned equally among the recognized parties, allotted to the debate on the Orders for Concurrence, at the end of which time the Speaker shall without further debate put every question necessary to dispose of the Order for Concurrence in Supply for each of the Ministries and Offices named in the Committees’ reports. No amendment to any question may be moved. If a recorded vote is requested by 5 Members, all divisions shall be stacked and disposed of in one single vote, and the division bell shall be limited to 10 minutes. 
 
67 Adoption of Orders for Concurrence shall constitute an Order to bring in a Supply Bill founded on the resolutions contained therein, and founded on the resolutions contained in the deemed Concurrences made pursuant to Standing Orders 62, 64 and 65. Two hours, apportioned equally among the recognized parties, shall be allotted to the debate on the Second Reading stage of the Supply Bill, at the end of which time the Speaker shall without further debate or amendment put all questions necessary to dispose of this stage of the Bill. A Supply Bill given Second Reading shall be ordered for Third Reading, and the Order for Third Reading shall then immediately be called and the Speaker shall put the question forthwith without further debate or amendment, no deferral being permitted. In the case of any division under this Standing Order, the division bell shall be limited to 10 minutes. 
 
68 The Minister or person answerable for the Estimates considered by the respective Standing Committees shall provide each Member of the Committee and the Clerk of the Committee with advance briefing material which shall include such information as growth rates, interim expenditures for the previous fiscal year, and an explanation of the programs and funding by particular item. 
 
69 When the Committee has concluded its consideration of the Estimates of a Ministry or Office or the time established for the consideration of such Estimates has expired, the Chair shall put without further amendment or debate every question necessary to dispose of the Estimates. 
The procedures that the Committee follows, with respect to Private Bills, are set out in Standing Orders 85 through 99: 
 
85(a) Any person, group or corporation may make an application for a Private Bill by filing with the Clerk of the House, 
 
(i) a copy of the Bill; 
 
(ii) a fee of $150; and 
 
(iii) a declaration proving publication of the notices referred to in clause (e). 
 
(b) Every applicant for a Private Bill shall pay the cost of printing the Bill at all of its stages, including reprinting if it is amended. 
 
(c) Where, at the request of the applicant, a Standing Order is suspended with reference to a Private Bill, a charge of $50 shall be levied. 
 
(d) Where a Private Bill relates to a charitable organization within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada), the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs may recommend that the fee paid under clause (a) be remitted and, if the recommendation is approved by the House, the remitted fee shall be applied to reduce any costs payable under clause (b) and the Committee may, having regard to the circumstances, recommend that all or part of the costs payable under clause (b) be waived and, if the recommendation is approved by the House, the costs shall be waived. 
 
(e) Notice of an application for a Private Bill shall be given before it is read a first time by publishing the notice once a week for at least 4 weeks in each of The Ontario Gazette and 1 newspaper circulated in the municipality most affected and the notice shall, 
 
(i) be signed by or on behalf of the applicant; 
 
(ii) clearly state the nature and object of the application; 
 
(iii) when the application refers to any proposed work, indicate generally the location of the work; 
 
(iv) where the application is by a municipal corporation for authority to issue debentures, set out the particulars of the existing debenture debt and the amount of the rateable property of the municipality according to the last revised assessment roll of the corporation and in brief and general terms, the object for which the new issue of debentures is required; and 
 
(v) state that any person who has an interest in the application and who wishes to make submissions for or against the application if it is considered by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs should notify the Clerk of the House in writing. 
 
(f) Notice of an application for a Private Bill is valid for the calendar year in which the last notice is published and until the first day of July in the next following calendar year. 
 
(g) Where, 
 
(i) an application for a Private Bill is made during a Session but the Bill is not read a first time; or 
 
(ii) a Private Bill is read a first time but is not considered by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs before dissolution or prorogation, the application shall be considered during the next regular Session of the House without publishing further notice of the application and without payment of additional fees under clause (a). 
 
86 The Clerk of the House shall refer to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs any application that, in his or her opinion, does not comply with the Standing Orders. 
 
87 When any Private Bill confirming any letters patent or agreement is presented to the House, a copy of the letters patent or agreement shall be included in the Bill. 
 
88 No Private Bill relating to the status of a corporation shall be given First Reading until there has been deposited with the Clerk of the House a certificate of the Minister of Finance showing that all taxes payable under the Corporations Tax Act in respect of the corporation have been paid. 
 
89(a) Subject to Standing Orders 90 and 91, every Private Bill when read a first time shall remain ordered for Second Reading, unless a request is filed in writing to refer the Bill to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs with the Clerk of the House by, 
 
(i) a permanent Member of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs; or 
 
(ii) 5 Members of the Assembly not of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, 
in which case the Order for Second Reading of the Bill shall be discharged and the Bill shall be deemed to be referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. 
 
(b) If no such request is received within 16 sessional days of the Bill being read a first time, the Order for Second Reading of the Bill may be called at the discretion of the Government House Leader. When such Order is called, the Speaker shall without debate or amendment put all questions necessary to dispose of this stage of the Bill. A Private Bill given Second Reading shall be ordered for Third Reading, and the Order for Third Reading shall then immediately be called and the Speaker shall put the question forthwith without debate or amendment. 
 
(c) No Private Bill shall be given First Reading unless a compendium of background information has been deposited with the Clerk of the House by the applicant. 
 
(d) The compendium required under clause (c) shall cite the precedents, if any, used in drafting the Private Bill and shall contain an up-to-date consolidation of existing legislation that is amended by the Bill. 
 
(e) The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs may adopt guidelines related to the form and content of the compendium required by clause (c). 
 
(f) Where the purpose of a Private Bill application is to amend a section of an existing Private Act or the Private Bill would have the effect of amending a section of an existing Private Act, the Private Bill shall re-enact the section in its entirety. 
 
90(a) Every Private Bill or part of a bill of a municipal corporation providing for the consolidation of a floating debt, or the consolidation or renewal of debentures, other than local improvement debentures, stands referred to the Ontario Land Tribunal after First Reading. 
 
(b) The Tribunal, after due enquiry, shall report to the House whether or not it is reasonable that the Bill, or that part thereof relating to the matters referred to in clause (a), should pass and what, if any, alterations are necessary. 
 
(c) A report of the Ontario Land Tribunal shall be transmitted to the Clerk of the House. 
 
(d) The Bill and report shall stand referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. 
 
91(a) Every Estate Bill or part of a bill that contains an Estate Bill provision stands referred to the Commissioners of Estate Bills after First Reading. 
 
(b) The Commissioners of Estate Bills, or any 2 of them, shall report their opinion on the Bill or the part thereof that has been submitted to them, and whether, presuming the allegations contained in the preamble to be proven to the satisfaction of the House, it is reasonable for the Bill or the part thereof to pass and what, if any, alterations are necessary. 
 
(c) A report of the Commissioners of Estate Bills shall be transmitted to the Clerk of the House. 
 
(d) Where the Commissioners of Estate Bills report that, in their opinion, it is not reasonable that the Bill or the part thereof submitted to them pass into law, the Bill or the part thereof shall not be further considered. 
 
(e) Where the Bill or the part thereof submitted to the Commissioners of Estate Bills is reported favourably by the Commissioners, the Bill and the report shall stand referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and where only part of a bill is submitted to the Commissioners and the Commissioners report that, in their opinion, it is not reasonable that the part pass into law, the Bill shall stand referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the Committee shall amend the Bill by deleting therefrom the part to which the report relates. 
 
92 The Clerk of the House shall publish 5 calendar days’ notice of the date on which any Private Bill is to be considered by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. 
 
93(a) The Speaker shall advise the House of any notices received by the Clerk of the House pursuant to Standing Order 85(e)(v) and all submissions related to the Bill shall stand referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. 
 
(b) Any person whose interest or property may be affected by a Private Bill, when required, shall appear before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to express his or her consent or objection, or may consent in writing, proof of which may be demanded by the Committee. 
 
94 Private Bills when reported by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs shall be placed on the Orders and Notices Paper for Second Reading, which Orders may then be called by the Government House Leader, and the provisions of Standing Order 89(b) shall then apply. 
 
95 Private Bills amended by a committee may be reprinted before further consideration, as the Clerk of the House may direct. 
 
96 Except when waived by unanimous consent of the House, notice is required for a motion to dispense with any Standing Order relating to Private Bills. 
 
97 A Private Bill Register shall be kept in the office of the Clerk of the House, in which shall be entered the name, description, and place of residence of the parties applying for the Bill, or of their agent, and all the proceedings thereon, such Register to be open to public inspection daily, during office hours. 
 
98(a) Every parliamentary agent conducting proceedings before the House is personally responsible to the House and to the Speaker for the observance of the Standing Orders and practices of Parliament, and also for the payment of all fees and charges. 
 
(b) Any parliamentary agent who wilfully acts in violation of the Standing Orders and practices of Parliament, or who wilfully misconducts himself or herself in prosecuting any proceedings before the House, is liable to an absolute or temporary prohibition to practise as a parliamentary agent, at the pleasure of the Speaker. 
 
99 The Clerk of the House shall publish weekly in The Ontario Gazette the following notice:  
 
APPLICATIONS TO PARLIAMENT 
PRIVATE BILLS 
PUBLIC NOTICE 
  
The rules of procedure and the fees and costs related to applications for private bills are set out in the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly. Copies of the Standing Orders, and the guide “Procedures for Applying for Private Legislation”, may be obtained from the Legislative Assembly’s Internet site at www.ola.org or from: 
  
Procedural Services Branch 
Room 1405, Whitney Block 
Queen’s Park 
Toronto, Ontario 
M7A 1A2 
Telephone: (416) 325-3500 
(Collect calls will be accepted.) 
 
Applicants should note that consideration of applications for private bills that are received after the first day of September in any calendar year may be postponed until the first regular Session in the next following calendar year.