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GOVINFO: Canadian Parliamentary (Legislative) Publications

This guide focusses on a particular type of government document produced by the federal Government of Canada, the Parliamentary Papers.

Parliamentary Papers vs Non-Parliamentary Papers

The official publications of a government may be divided into two categories:

Parliamentary Papers

  • documents that are required by Parliament to conduct its daily business
  • documents for use by Members of Parliament, their staff and the general public
  • enable those interested in following the business of parliament
  • provide a permanent record of debate, decisions and other business
  • includes reports that, by Statute, are required to be presented to Parliament
  • provide information on future business

Non-Parliamentary Papers

  • Papers produced by government departments/ministries for use outside of Parliament.  Some of these may be useful to government as well.

 

 

 

Types of Parliamentary Papers

Documents are produced for the use of the Members of Parliament, their staff and the public.  They serve several purposes:

  • help individuals follow the business of Parliament
  • provide a permanent record of what happened in Parliament including debates, decisions made, etc.
  • provide information about future business

House of Commons:  "Official" Publications

 

Senate:  "Official" Publications

  • Bills
  • Committee Documents
    • Notices of Meetings
    • Minutes of Proceedings
    • Evidence
    • Reports to the House
  • Debates
  • Journals
  • Minutes of the Proceedings of the Senate
  • Order Paper and Notice Paper

 

 

 

Examples of Parliamentary Publications (Official Publications)

The following are produced by order of the House, under the authority of the Speaker.  For these reasons they are considered to be "official" publications.

  • Bills
    • proposed laws submitted to Parliament for approval
  • Committee Documents
    • Notices of Meetings
  • Bills
    • proposed laws submitted to Parliament for approval
  • Committee Documents
    • Notices of Meetings
    • Minutes of Proceedings
    • Evidence (word-for-word account of what is said in the committee meetings)
    • Reports to the House
  • Debates (Hansard)
    • record of what is said in the House of Commons and in the Committee of the Whole.
  • Journals
    • official record of what is done in the House of Commons
  • Order Paper and Notice Paper
    • Order Paper
      • official agenda of the House, produced for each sitting day, and listing all items that may be brought forward that day.
    • Notice Paper
      • contains notices of items which Ministers and Members may wish to bring before the House.
  • Projected Order of Business
    • daily document containing an unofficial forecast of the order of business for the House that day, including such information as the length of speeches and any time limits on debate.
  • Status of House Business
    • updated daily, provides cumulative information on the status of bills, motions and written questions.
  • Votes and Proceedings
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