Parliamentary Procedure

Parliamentary Procedure

​​​Parliamentary procedure at the Legislative Assembly is founded on constitutional and statutory provisions, the Standing Orders, parliamentary practice, and Speakers' decisions. Assembly proceedings are regulated by parliamentary rules and practices intended to expedite the business of the Assembly while ensuring the right of each Member to participate in the parliamentary process.

​Standing Orders
Standing Orders are the formal written rules adopted by the Assembly to govern its proceedings. The continuing or "standing" nature of these rules means that they remain in effect until the House itself decides to suspend, change, or replace them. Temporary sessional orders change or supplement existing rules for the session in which they were adopted, while special orders may apply to a single or special occasion.

The procedural authority of choice at the Legislative Assembly is Parliamentary Practice in British Columbia, 4th edition, written by E. George MacMinn, QC, OBC – a former Clerk of the House. This print guide to the Standing Orders includes detailed explanatory notes, decisions, and helpful precedents.

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.

Private Bills
A Private Bill relates to proposed legislation to address a matter of special benefit to a particular individual or group and is initiated by that individual or group. An applicant may seek a remedy to a matter which is not possible under existing laws, or might wish to obtain an exemption from the general application of public legislation that governs the laws affecting everyone else. A Private Bill will affect only one or a few persons, or a corporation, service club, or charity, but not the population as a whole.

Any person may apply for a Private Bill by filing with the Clerk of the House not later than 14 days after the opening of a Session. Standing Order 98 requires that the applicant publish a notice stating clearly the nature and objects of the proposed Bill and the name and address of the applicant. This advertising notice must be published in two issues of The British Columbia Gazette and once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in the area where the applicant lives or in the locality most affected by the Bill.

The procedure for applying for a Private Bills is prescribed by Standing Orders 97-115.


JANUARY 14, 2020
FEBRUARY 25, 2020



NOTICE is hereby given that pursuant to Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, applications for Private Bills must be filed with the Clerk of the House not later than February 25, 2020.

Applications for Private Bills must conform to the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly, copies of which may be obtained from the Office of the Clerk, Room 221, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4 or via email Further information may also be requested by phone, 250 387-3785.


Kate Ryan-Lloyd
Acting Clerk of the Legislative Assembly