Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills

Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills

Terms of Reference

Standing Order 108(i)

[The] Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills [is] to be the Committee to which all private bills, other than Estate bills or bills providing for the consolidation of a floating debt or renewal of debentures, other than local improvement debentures, of a municipal corporation, shall be referred after first reading; and, to be the Committee provided for by section 33 of Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006, and having the terms of reference as set out in that section, namely: to be the Committee to which all regulations stand permanently referred; and to examine the regulations with particular reference to the scope and method of the exercise of delegated legislative power without reference to the merits of the policy or objectives to be effected by the regulations or enabling statutes, but in so doing regard shall be had to the following guidelines:

(i)      Regulations should not contain provisions initiating new policy, but should be confined to details to give effect to the policy established by the statute;

(ii)     Regulations should be in strict accord with the statute conferring of power, particularly concerning personal liberties;

(iii)    Regulations should be expressed in precise and unambiguous language;

(iv)    Regulations should not have retrospective effect unless clearly authorized by statute;

(v)     Regulations should not exclude the jurisdiction of the courts;

(vi)    Regulations should not impose a fine, imprisonment or other penalty;

(vii)   Regulations should not shift the onus of proof of innocence to a person accused of an offence;

(viii)  Regulations should not impose anything in the way of a tax (as distinct from fixing the amount of a licence fee, or the like); and

(ix)    General powers should not be used to establish a judicial tribunal or an administrative tribunal,

and the Committee shall from time to time report to the House its observations, opinions and recommendations as required by section 33 of Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006, but before drawing the attention of the House to a regulation or other statutory instrument, the Committee shall afford the ministry or agency concerned an opportunity to furnish orally or in writing to the Committee such explanation as the ministry or agency thinks fit.

 

The procedures that the Committee follows, with respect to Private Bills, are set out in Standing Orders 82 through 97:

82.   (a) Any person, group or corporation may make an application for a private bill by filing with the Clerk of the House,

(i)         a copy of the bill;

(ii)        a fee of $150; and

(iii)       a declaration proving publication of the notices referred to in clause (e).

 (b)  Every applicant for a private bill shall pay,

(i)         the cost of printing the bill at all of its stages, including reprinting if it is |amended; and

(ii)        the cost of printing the Act in the annual statutes.

 (c)  Where, at the request of the applicant, a Standing Order is suspended with reference to a private bill, a charge of $50 shall be levied.

 (d)  Where a private bill relates to a charitable organization within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada), the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills may recommend that the fee paid under clause (a) be remitted and, if the recommendation is approved by the House, the remitted fee shall be applied to reduce any costs payable under clause (b) and the Committee may, having regard to the circumstances, recommend that all or part of the costs payable under clause (b) be waived and, if the recommendation is approved by the House, the costs shall be waived.

 (e)  Notice of an application for a private bill shall be given before it is read a first time by publishing the notice once a week for at least four weeks in each of The Ontario Gazette and one newspaper circulated in the municipality most affected and the notice shall,

(i)         be signed by or on behalf of the applicant;

(ii)        clearly state the nature and object of the application;

(iii)       when the application refers to any proposed work, indicate generally the
            location of the work;

(iv)       where the application is by a municipal corporation for authority to issue debentures, set out the particulars of the existing debenture debt and the
amount of the rateable property of the municipality according to the last revised assessment roll of the corporation and in brief and general terms, the object for which the new issue of debentures is required; and

(v)        state that any person who has an interest in the application and who wishes to make submissions for or against the application when it is considered by the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills should notify the Clerk of the House in writing.

 (f)  Notice of an application for a private bill is valid for the calendar year in which the last notice is published and until the first day of July in the next following calendar year.

 (g)  Where,

(i)         an application for a private bill is made during a Session but the bill is not read a first time; or

(ii)        a private bill is read a first time but is not considered by the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills before dissolution or prorogation,

the application shall be considered during the next regular Session of the House without publishing further notice of the application and without payment of additional fees under clause (a).

83.   The Clerk of the House shall refer to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly any application that, in his or her opinion, does not comply with the Standing Orders.

84.   When any private bill confirming any letters patent or agreement is presented to the House, a copy of the letters patent or agreement shall be included in the bill.

85.   No private bill relating to the status of a corporation shall be considered by the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills until there has been deposited with the Clerk of the House a certificate of the Minister of Finance showing that all taxes payable under the Corporations Tax Act in respect of the corporation have been paid.

86.   (a) Every private bill when read a first time shall, unless it is an Estate bill or a bill providing for a consolidation of a floating debt or for the consolidation or renewal of debentures, other than local improvement debentures, of a municipal corporation, stand referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills and all petitions and correspondence to the House for or against the bill stand referred to the Committee.

 (b)  No private bill shall be given first reading unless a compendium of background information has been deposited with the Clerk of the House by the applicant.

 (c)  The compendium required under clause (b) shall cite the precedents, if any, used in drafting the private bill and shall contain an up-to-date consolidation of existing legislation that is amended by the bill.

 (d)  The Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills may adopt guidelines related to the form and content of the compendium required by clause (b).

 (e)  Where the purpose of a private bill application is to amend a section of an existing Private Act or the private bill would have the effect of amending a section of an existing Private Act, the private bill shall re-enact the section in its entirety.

87.   (a) Every private bill or part of a bill of a municipal corporation providing for the consolidation of a floating debt, or the consolidation or renewal of debentures, other than local improvement debentures, stands referred to the Ontario Municipal Board after first reading.

 (b)  The Board, after due enquiry, shall report to the House whether or not it is reasonable that the bill, or that part thereof relating to the matters referred to in clause (a), should pass and what, if any, alterations are necessary.

 (c)  A report of the Ontario Municipal Board shall be transmitted to the Clerk of the House.

 (d)  The bill and report shall stand referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills.

88.   (a) Every Estate bill or part of a bill that contains an Estate bill provision stands referred to the Commissioners of Estate Bills after first reading.

 (b)  The Commissioners of Estate Bills, or any two of them, shall report their opinion on the bill or the part thereof that has been submitted to them, and whether, presuming the allegations contained in the preamble to be proven to the satisfaction of the House, it is reasonable for the bill or the part thereof to pass and what, if any, alterations are necessary.

 (c)  A report of the Commissioners of Estate Bills shall be transmitted to the Clerk of the House.

 (d)  Where the Commissioners of Estate Bills report that, in their opinion, it is not reasonable that the bill or the part thereof submitted to them pass into law, the bill or the part thereof shall not be further considered.

 (e)  Where the bill or the part thereof submitted to the Commissioners of Estate Bills is reported favourably by the Commissioners, the bill and the report shall stand referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills and where only part of a bill is submitted to the Commissioners and the Commissioners report that, in their opinion, it is not reasonable that the part pass into law, the bill shall stand referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills and the Committee shall amend the bill by deleting therefrom the part to which the report relates.

89.   The Clerk of the House shall post on all notice boards five calendar days' notice of the date on which any private bill is to be considered by the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills and the notice shall be published in the Orders and Notices Paper.

90.   Any person whose interest or property may be affected by a private bill, when required, shall appear before the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills to express his or her consent or objection, or may consent in writing, proof of which may be demanded by the Committee.

91.   Private bills when reported by the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills shall be placed on the Orders and Notices Paper for second reading.

92.   Private bills amended by a Committee may be reprinted before further consideration, as the Clerk of the House may direct.

93.   Private bills, after second reading, shall be ordered for third reading, unless specially ordered referred to the Committee of the Whole House.

94.   Except when waived by unanimous consent of the House, notice is required for a motion to dispense with any Standing Order relating to private bills.

95.   A Private Bill Register shall be kept in the office of the Clerk of the House, in which shall be entered the name, description, and place of residence of the parties applying for the bill, or of their agent, and all the proceedings thereon, such Register to be open to public inspection daily, during office hours.

96.   (a) Every parliamentary agent conducting proceedings before the House is personally responsible to the House and to the Speaker for the observance of the Standing Orders and practices of Parliament, and also for the payment of all fees and charges.

 (b)  Any parliamentary agent who wilfully acts in violation of the Standing Orders and practices of Parliament, or who wilfully misconducts himself or herself in prosecuting any proceedings before the House, is liable to an absolute or temporary prohibition to practise as a parliamentary agent, at the pleasure of the Speaker.

97.   The Clerk of the House shall publish weekly in The Ontario Gazette the following notice:

APPLICATIONS TO PARLIAMENT
PRIVATE BILLS
PUBLIC NOTICE

The rules of procedure and the fees and costs related to applications for private bills are set out in the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly. Copies of the Standing Orders, and the guide "Procedures for Applying for Private Legislation", may be obtained from the Legislative Assembly's Internet site at http://www.ontla.on.ca or from:

Procedural Services Branch
Room 1405, Whitney Block
Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A2

Telephone: 416/325-3500
(Collect calls will be accepted.)

Applicants should note that consideration of applications for private bills that are received after the first day of September in any calendar year may be postponed until the first regular Session in the next following calendar year.

 

Committee Documents