Participation in Committees

A legislative committee is a small working group of MPPs responsible for detailed consideration of any matter that it is authorized to review. In the course of its work, a committee may hold public hearings, where citizens from across Ontario have the opportunity to comment on or provide evidence relating to the matter under review.

The three most common ways in which individuals or organizations can engage in the committee process are by appearing as a committee witness, submitting written material to a committee, or attending committee hearings.

Submitting material to a committee

Guidelines for Submitting Briefs to Standing or Select Committees

The following suggestions are offered as guidelines and are not intended to place any limitations on groups, organizations, or individuals interested in making submissions. Those who follow the suggestions will facilitate the work of the committee. Those who do not or cannot follow these guidelines will not be penalized in any way nor will their submissions receive any less attention.

General

Handwritten or typed documents will be accepted. In addition to hard copies, it is also appreciated if documents are sent by email. It is helpful if groups or organizations include information on their membership and objectives.

Briefs submitted to the standing or select committees of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario are considered public documents and are made available to the public for inspection or for copying.

For a list of past submissions pertaining to a particular bill, please contact the Clerk of the Committee for an exhibit list.

Content of Submissions

Briefs should deal specifically with the subject matter which has been referred to the committee. If in doubt, the Clerk of the Committee should be contacted.

To ensure that submissions to the committee assist the members in obtaining a full understanding of the views put forward and of the recommendations made, the following points should be considered when preparing briefs:

  • factual information should be included to substantiate the conclusions put forward, the views expressed and the claims made;
  • recommendations should be as specific as possible;
  • the brief should be prefaced with a summary of the main conclusions and recommendations; and
  • brevity is recommended.

Format of Submissions

Briefs should be double spaced with consecutive pages numbered, on 8 1/2 x 11" paper.

The name and address of the group or organization submitting the brief should be clearly identified on the title page.  In the case of a brief submitted by an individual, the name of the individual should be clearly identified on the title page. 

For copying purposes, the ink colour should be as dark as possible (preferably black) and the colour of the paper should be white.

Number of Copies of Submissions

The committee requires 25 copies of each brief. If it is not possible to supply the quantity required, the additional copies will be made by the Clerk of the Committee for the committee's own use. 

Copies of presentation briefs are required for official purposes—not only for committee members, but also for committee staff, the Ontario Archives and Legislative Library exhibits. Briefs are also distributed to media representatives, ministry and members' staff and members of the public present at the hearings.

Presentation of Submissions

At committee hearings, witnesses may be asked to summarize the information contained in their submissions as well as their conclusions and recommendations. Witnesses may be invited to elaborate orally and/or present arguments and may be questioned by members of the committee.

Witnesses may wish to ask the Clerk of the Committee to clarify the committee process prior to their presentation as the process may vary from committee to committee and from bill to bill.

To assist with the identification of witnesses, a list of the name and position or title of each person appearing before the committee is required. This list should be verified for correct spelling of all names and titles, and should be given to the Clerk of the Committee before a presentation is made to the committee.

Please be aware that your submission will form part of the official public record of the committee. Your name and testimony will be published in the committee’s Hansard transcripts, the electronic version of which will be posted on the Internet. Your presentation may be recorded on video for broadcast on the Legislative Assembly’s television service, which will also be made available on the Internet.

Sending Written Submissions

Those who wish to comment on a particular bill or issue may send written submissions to the appropriate committee by fax, mail or email. You may call the Procedural Services Branch to ask for the email address of the Clerk of the Committee.

Procedural Services Branch
99 Wellesley Street West
Room 1405, Whitney Block
Toronto,  ON  M7A 1A2

Telephone:  416-325-3500
Fax:  416-325-3505
TTY:  416-325-3538
Collect calls are accepted.

All written submissions must be received by the Clerk of the Committee by the advertised deadline. Please see the Notice of Hearings section of the particular committee for information.  

Please be aware that your submission will form part of the official public record of the committee. Your name and submission may be made available for public search on the Internet.