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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.

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+