Government House Leader releases discussion paper on the modernization of the House of Commons

News Release

Ottawa, Ontario, March 10, 2017 – Today, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, released a discussion paper on how to modernize the rules of the House of Commons.

The paper contains ideas on how to modernize the House to make it more accountable, predictable, efficient and transparent. Our government wishes to improve the tenor and quality of legislative debate and to make the House a place where MPs from all parties can best perform their duties on behalf of constituents.

Our government will ask the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to consider these ideas in the context of its ongoing study of the Standing Orders. The government looks forward to the discussions to be held by that committee.

The paper suggests three themes for reform:

  • Management of the House:

    • Electronic voting in the Commons.
    • Discouraging governments from abusing prorogation.
    • Examine the effectiveness of Friday sittings against the demands of constituency work.
  • Management of Debate:

    • Replacing time allocation with a model that provides more predictability and improves the scrutiny of legislation.
    • Reforming Question Period so that cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister, are held to greater account.
    • Examine speech time limits and rotations to ensure more MPs are able to participate in debates.
  • Management of Committees:

    • Make committees more inclusive by ensuring that independent MPs are able to more fully participate in the important work of committees.
    • Improving the productivity of committees by ensuring that debate and decisions are taken in an orderly fashion.


“Sensible reforms will serve to modernize this House to bring it into the 21st century and to make it more relevant, transparent and accountable to Canadians.”

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Associated Links


Mark Kennedy
Director of Communications
Office of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Sabrina Atwal
Press Secretary
Office of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

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