A fundamental concept of parliamentary democracy is the right of the public to have access to parliament by way of petition. A petition can be from an individual or group and can relate to the passage of a bill or the government’s consideration of an important public issue. Since the Legislative Assembly is a representative institution, it considers only those matters submitted to it by its own Members and petitions are no exception.
A petition addressed to the Legislative Assembly must be based on the template attached below, be drafted in respectful terms and must comply with the following basic rules:
- All signatures must be original and written directly on the face of the petition, and not pasted or transferred to it. Petitions must be free of erasures or insertions.
- If a petition consists of more than one sheet of signatures, the text of the petition must appear at the top of each sheet. Each person petitioning the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia must print his or her name and address and sign his or her name under the text of the petition.
- Petitions must be written, typewritten or printed, and it is recommended that the paper be standard letter or legal size.
- Petitioners must be residents of British Columbia.
- Petitions must not request any expenditure, grant or charge on the public revenue, whether payable out of the consolidated revenue fund or out of moneys to be provided by the Legislative Assembly.
The form of a petition is prescribed by Standing Order 73 and its accompanying Appendix A.
To the Honourable the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, in Legislature Assembled:
The petition of the undersigned, ____________________________ , of the ____________________ , states that: [here state the object of the petition, briefly setting forth the reasons therefor].
Your petitioners respectfully request that the Honourable House [take such action as may be deemed appropriate.]
Dated __________ day of ____________________ , 20__ .
Name (printed) Address (printed)