How the Government Turns a Good Idea into a Law

  • The government or a parliamentarian has a good idea for a new law!
  • The minister or the member introduces the Good Idea Bill

HOUSE OF COMMONS

  • Introduction and First Reading: Reading of the title of the bill (The Good Idea Bill)
  • Second Reading: Debate in Chamber and vote on the idea behind the Good Idea Bill
  • Committee Stage: A parliamentary committee examines the Good Idea Bill line by line in committee.
  • Report Stage: The parliamentary committee reports on the Good Idea Bill. Amendments are considered and voted on.
  • Third Reading: Debate and vote on the changed version of the Good Idea Bill.

THE GOOD IDEA BILL PASSES! Now, it goes to the SENATE.

SENATE

  • Introduction and First Reading: Reading of the Good Idea Bill
  • Second Reading: Debate and vote on the idea of the Good Idea Bill
  • Committee Stage: A parliamentary committee examines the Good Idea Bill line by line in committee.
  • Report Stage: If the parliamentary committee proposes no amendments on the Good Idea Bill, the report stage is then skipped
  • Third Reading: Debate and vote on the changed version of the Good Idea Bill

THE GOOD IDEA BILL PASSES THE OTHER CHAMBER! Now it’s almost a law.

ROYAL ASSENT: The Good Idea Bill receives Royal Assent after being passed by both Houses (the Senate and the House of Commons).

Presenting the NEW GOOD IDEA LAW!

DID YOU KNOW?

During the ceremony to receive Royal Assent, bills that have to do with taxes and financial matters are tied with a green ribbon; all others are tied with a red one.

WORD BUILDER

Both Senators and MPs work on committees. You probably have committees at your school. The root of this word comes from commit — from the Latin word committere, com- (together) and mittere (to put, or send).

NOUN VERB
a commitment to commit
a committee  

Here are some sentences:

  • The Senator is busy; she has a commitment this afternoon.
  • He sits on the Human Rights committee.
  • MPs commit many hours to committee work.

The prefix com- or con-, meaning together, is a common one in English. Write down all of the words you can think of that start with com or con. What do they mean? Is there a connection?