What are public and private bills?

November 6, 2023

MPPs in the House

Bills are written proposals presented to the Legislative Assembly by MPPs. They must pass through three stages, called “readings” in the House to become a new law or to change an existing one.

Public bills

Public bills affect the public interest or Ontarians in general. There are three kinds of public bills:

  • Government bills affect public policy and are introduced by ministers. These bills may charge a tax or direct how public funds are used. Usually, the minister responsible for the policy area most relevant to the bill introduces it and starts debate.
  • Private members' public bills are introduced by MPPs who are not ministers. These bills deal with issues of public concern, but cannot charge a tax or direct public funds. They may be co-sponsored by up to four MPPs from any party.
  • Committee bills are introduced by the Chairs of certain standing committees and are the result of committee studies.

Private bills

Private bills ask for special powers or exemptions from the general law for a person or group. They are introduced by MPPs who are not ministers on behalf of a municipality, a group like a company or charity, or an individual.

How a bill becomes law

Once a bill has passed all readingsit is presented to the Lieutenant Governor to receive Royal Assent to become law, called an “act” or a “statute.” The act comes into force immediately or at a later date.

Learn more

Read how an Ontario bill becomes law.

See current bills.

Apply for a private bill.