Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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.

Introduction to Bills

A Bill is a proposed law that is submitted to Parliament.

PUBLIC BILLS - deal with items that are in the national or public interest

  • Government Bill

    • introduced and sponsored by a Minister in the House of Commons

    • may be introduced by the Senate as long as it does not have anything to do with the spending or raising of money, eg.  taxation

  • Private Members' Bill

    • submitted by a Member of Parliament who is not a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary

PRIVATE BILLS - purpose is to confer special powers or benefits on individuals or groups of individuals, including corporations or to exempt these individuals or groups from the application of a Statute

  • may not be introduced by a Minister

  • petition is signed by the person(s) promoting it

  • usually introduced in the Senate, rarely in House of Commons


  • Bills introduced by the House of Commons are numbered C- 

    • Public Bills

      • C-1 to C-200 = Government BillsGovernment Bills

      • C-201 to C-1000 = Private Members' Public Bills

  • Private Bills

    • C-1001+


  • Bills introduced by the Senate are numbered S-

    • Public Bills

      • S-1 to S-200 = Government Bills

      • S-201 to S-1000 = Senators' Bills

    • Private Bills

      • S-1001+