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Procedure Committee visits Canada as part of territorial constitution inquiry

22 February 2024

The House of Commons Procedure Committee visited Canada on 4-8 February as part of its ongoing inquiry into the procedure of the House of Commons and the territorial constitution.

The Committee visited Ottawa and Quebec City to discuss how Canada facilitates greater joint working between the Canadian Parliament and provincial legislatures to balance national and territorial interests, and ensures decisions made by provincial legislatures are communicated to the Canadian Parliament.

The Rt Hon Dame Karen Bradley MP, Chair of the Procedure Committee, said:

“It was a pleasure to meet representatives of the Canadian Parliament, the National Assembly of Quebec and academics to learn about the Canadian federal system and relations with the provincial legislatures.

We heard a range of views and examples of best practice and will be reflecting these in our final report.”

Committee members meet Hon Greg Fergus, Speaker of the House of Commons and Eric Janse, Acting Clerk of the House of Commons in Canada

Committee members meet Hon Greg Fergus, Speaker of the House of Commons and Eric Janse, Acting Clerk of the House of Commons in Canada

Meetings were held with:

  • Hon Greg Fergus, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, and Eric Janse, Acting Clerk, on the comparison between the Westminster and Ottawa parliaments, including how the Canadian Parliament responds to disciplinary matters and the exclusion of Members
  • Chris d’Entremont, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, on Federal and Provincial relations
  • Galen Countryman, Director General of Federal-Provincial Relations and Social Policy at Finance Canada, on how the Federal Government allocates funding to provinces
  • Nathalie Roy, President of the National Assembly of Quebec, on the current procedural challenges faced in the National Assembly and the restoration of the second chamber
  • Simon Jolin-Barerette, Quebec Justice Minister and House Leader, on the ongoing dispute between Quebec Government and Federal Government over indigenous bodies being able to pass bills relating to their jurisdictions within Quebec
  • Dominic Garant, Secretary for the Public Administration Committee in the Quebec National Assembly, on how the Committee system works in the National Assembly, and how it interacts with Federal-level Committees
  • Francois Arsenault, Associate General for Parliamentary Affairs and Procedure, on the key differences between the Quebec province and other provinces
  • The Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, on their role in promoting legislatures overseas
  • The Canada-UK Inter-Parliamentary Association on the relationship between Canadian Federal Government, provinces, and municipalities, and the distribution of powers between the different levels of governance.

Further information

Image credit: UK Parliament