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Parliamentary Puzzle Follow that Bill Parliament in Action Canada/USA P.M. Challenge
How does a bill become a law?
1. The Government, an individual Member of Parliament (MP) or a Senator comes up with the idea for a new law.
2. Once that idea is described in a written document, it is called a bill.
3. In this case, the bill is introduced in the House of Commons. (Although less common, a Senator can also introduce a bill in the Senate, as long as it is not about taxes or spending money.)
4. The First Reading of the bill takes place at the same time as the introduction.
5. The bill gets a Second Reading in the House of Commons, during which MPs from all parties debate its strengths and weaknesses. This debate ends with a vote on the principle of the bill.
6. If the bill passes Second Reading—meaning the vote ends in favour of the bill—a committee examines it in detail, clause by clause, and decides whether any changes should be made. These changes are called amendments.
7. The chairperson of the committee reports the bill to the House with any amendments that may have been made. Individual MPs can also propose their own amendments. This stage ends with a debate on any additional amendments.
8. After all amendments have been passed or rejected, the bill goes to Third Reading. During Third Reading, MPs debate the final form of the bill and vote to decide whether or not the House should pass it.
9. After the bill passes Third Reading it is considered passed by the House.
10. The Bill then moves to the Senate.
11. In the Senate the bill receives a new First Reading.
12. Just as in the House of Commons, when the bill gets a Second Reading in the Senate, Senators debate its strengths and weaknesses and vote on the principle of the bill.
13. After the bill passes Second Reading, it is examined clause by clause by a committee of the Senate. The committee decides whether any changes (amendments) should be made.
14. The chairperson of the committee reports the bill to the Senate with any amendments, and individual Senators propose their own amendments if they wish. Senators then debate all amendments that have been suggested.
15. After all amendments have been passed or rejected in debate, the bill goes to Third Reading in the Senate. During Third Reading, Senators debate the final form of the bill and vote to decide if it should be passed.
16. The bill is then passed by the Senate (If amendments have been made, the other chamber must agree to any amendments to the bill, and messages may go back and forth until agreement is reached).
17. Once the House of Commons and the Senate pass the bill in exactly the same wording, it goes to the Governor General or a representative of the Governor General for approval.
18. The Governor General or a representative of the Governor General gives the bill Royal Assent and it can then become a law.

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