British Columbia.

AuthorHill, Lisa
PositionLegislative Reports

With the start of the fall sitting on October 4, 2021, the House adopted a new sessional order, following the expiration of the previous sessional order on June 30. The new sessional order was similar to the previous sessional order enabling hybrid proceedings with the exception that divisions were no longer deferred until the end of the day and were taken as called unless otherwise agreed to or provided for. Safety protocols in relation to COVID-19 were updated to allow for all Members to attend proceedings in person; most Members opted to attend in person during the fall sitting.

The House adjourned on November 25, 2021 and is expected to resume on February 8, 2022 with the anticipated prorogation of the Second Session of the 42nd Parliament in the morning and the opening of the Third Session with the Speech from the Throne in the afternoon.

Speaker's Decision

On October 20, 2021, the Member for Saanich North and the Islands raised a question of privilege regarding the introduction of Bill 22, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Amendment Ad, 2021 and the work of the Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The Committee was appointed on June 16, 2021 to examine the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and to report back to the Legislative Assembly within one year, pursuant to section 80 of the Act which requires a special committee to review the Act every six years. On October 18, 2021, the Minister of Citizens' Services introduced Bill 22. The Member suggested that the Bill's consideration by the Legislative Assembly was a breach of his privilege as a Member of the Committee. The Official Opposition House Leader stated that the work of the Committee was being "circumvented" by the introduction of the Bill. The Government House Leader noted the Crown's prerogative, acting on the advice of the Executive Council, to bring forward legislation for consideration by the Legislative Assembly.

The following day, the Speaker ruled that since the matter had been raised two days after the Bill's introduction, the requirement for raising a question of privilege at the earliest opportunity had not been met. The Speaker took the opportunity to recognize the right of the government and all Members to introduce legislation for the consideration of the House, while also noting that, "there are instances when the timing of the introduction of a Bill could be discourteous to the...

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