WHAT IS PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS?
Private Members’ Business consists of bills and substantive motions presented by Members of Parliament who are not Ministers of the Crown or Parliamentary Secretaries. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are also excluded from Private Members’ Business.
Like a government bill, a private Member’s bill is a piece of draft legislation which is submitted to Parliament for approval and possible amendment before it can become law. Most private Members’ bills originate in the Commons, but some private Members’ bills are sent to the Commons from the Senate. Strictly speaking, private Members’ bills are public bills, but private bills are also considered under Private Members’ Business, since they must be sponsored by private Members. (Senate bills and private bills are discussed in section 2.)
A private Member’s motion is usually a draft resolution which, if adopted, becomes an expression of the opinion of the House. Motions are also used to introduce resolutions for amending the Constitution.
A motion for the production of papers is a special type of motion asking the government to table a document or documents in the House; when transferred for debate, a motion for the production of papers falls under Private Members’ Business.