Committees - Frequently Asked Questions
HOW ARE STANDING COMMITTEES SELECTED?
At the start of the first session of each Legislature, the House Leaders determine the proportional representation of Members by party to serve on the various Committees.
ARE SUBSTITUTIONS ALLOWED?
At the start of each committee meeting, the Whip or the Whip’s designate must provide in writing to the Committee Clerk the membership list of Members to serve on the committee for that particular meeting. Membership substitutions can be made during the meetings.
WHO PRESIDES OVER THE MEETINGS?
Every committee has a Chairperson. At the first meeting of a Committee or in the case of a vacancy, the first order of business is the election of a Chairperson.
THE CHAIRPERSON'S ROLE
The Chairperson maintains order and decides all questions of order, subject to an appeal to the Committee.
CAN THE CHAIRPERSON VOTE?
Only when votes are tied, can a Chairperson cast the deciding vote.
MEETING LOCATION AND TIME
Committee meetings are usually held at the Legislative Building. There have been a number of occasions in the past, however, where meetings have been held in rural areas.
WHO CALLS THE MEETINGS?
After consulting with the Opposition House Leader, the Government House Leader schedules the meetings after the Bill receives Second Reading.
REGISTRATION TO MAKE A PRESENTATION
Once the Bill receives First Reading, members of the public may register to speak at Committee stage by completing the online presenter registration form on our website. Alternately, you may register by phoning the Office of the Clerk at (204) 945-3636.
When registering, you must provide your name, address and contact information. You will also be asked to indicate whether you will be speaking as a private citizen or on behalf of an organization and, if so, which organization you are representing. Only one person may register to speak on behalf of an organization and each presenter is only allowed to speak once on a given Bill.
Please note that online registrations for a 6:00 pm Committee meeting will not be accepted after 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting, though walk-in registrations will continue to be accepted after that time and during the meeting.
In accordance with our Rules, registrations will not be accepted after midnight on the third evening that a Committee meets to consider a specific Bill.
Upon arrival at the Committee meeting, out-of-town presenters should notify the Committee Clerk or staff present that they are from out of town. The Chairperson will usually request that the Committee decide whether or not to hear from out-of-town presenters first.
As per the Sessional Order passed in the House on November 9, 2023, public presentations to Bills at Standing Committees may take place both virtually and in person. As well, since the spring of 2022, our public galleries in the Committee rooms are again open to members of the public wishing to observe the proceedings.
CAN I PRESENT AT A COMMITTEE IF I LIVE OUTSIDE OF MANITOBA?
Standing Committees may hear a maximum of two presentations from presenters who reside outside of Manitoba who wish to present virtually. The two out-of-province virtual presentation slots will be filled by the first two presenters to register. There is no limit to the number of presenters who reside out-of-province who may present in person at a Committee meeting. If there are more than two out-of-province presenters who wish to present virtually, the Committee may agree to hear the additional virtual presentations by unanimous consent.
NOTICE OF MEETING
There is no way of knowing how far in advance a Committee meeting will be scheduled. If presenters are registered to speak to a bill, two calendar days’ notice must be given during sittings of the Legislature of the first meeting considering the Bill. Intersessionally, ten days’ notice is required for the first meeting, and five days’ notice for subsequent meetings.
CONTACTING REGISTERED PRESENTERS
Presenters are placed on a "list of presenters," in order of registration. Once the Government House Leader has called a meeting, presenters are contacted by staff in the Office of the Clerk as soon as possible and informed of the meeting's date, time and location.
WHAT IF A PRESENTER IS ABSENT WHEN THEIR NAME IS CALLED AT THE MEETING?
Except by unanimous consent, the names of absent presenters' are dropped to the end of the list. If the presenter is absent when called a second time, that name is removed from the list.
Each presenter is allowed a maximum of 10 minutes to make a presentation, and an additional 5 minutes to respond to questions from Members of the Committee. Questions are asked in a rotation and have a 30 second time limit per question. As an exception, the Chairperson may, with the unanimous consent of the Committee, allow a presenter who has spoken for 10 minutes more time to present and to respond to questions.
SUPPLEMENTARY WRITTEN MATERIALS
Should you wish to provide supplementary information to accompany your oral presentation (optional), we request that you provide us with 12 copies of that material. Please note that it is not necessary to provide a written copy of your oral presentation.
CAN I SEND A WRITTEN SUBMISSION IN LIEU OF MAKING AN ORAL PRESENTATION?
If you cannot attend the meeting you may send a written submission on the Bill using our online presenter registration form.
You may also email your submission to: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT IS A WRITTEN SUBMISSION?
Instead of making a verbal presentation, you also have the option of providing a written submission which would be distributed to all MLAs on the Committee. The written submission will, with the agreement of the Committee, be included at the end of the Hansard transcript of the meeting. This transcript will be published in hard copy and also appear on the Legislative Assembly website (see below).
Please note, only text will be included in the Hansard transcript, any images submitted will be provided to the MLAs but not included in the transcript. Also, for written submissions there is a limit of 9,999 characters.
NO PRESENTATIONS AFTER MIDNIGHT
Unless unanimous agreement is given by the committee, presentations will not be heard after midnight.
The public may watch the proceedings of a Committee meeting in Rooms 254 and/or 255 of the Legislative Building. Both rooms are wheelchair accessible. All Standing Committee meetings are also broadcast and are available to watch on our website: Committee Broadcasts and on our YouTube channels: Room 255 and Room 254.
NO INTERSESSIONAL MEETINGS
It has been established that unless agreed to by the Government and Opposition House Leaders, Standing Committees cannot meet to hear public presentation on legislation during the following months: January, February, June, July and August.
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
Presenters may access committee manuscripts online by accessing the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba website at https://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/hansard/hansard.html or by viewing copies at the Legislative Library.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Once a Committee considers a Bill, the Chairperson reports all findings to the House. This is followed by the Report Stage, Concurrence and Third Reading, and Royal Assent.
Please see Fact Sheet No. 4: "How Laws are Made", for further details.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, presentations have been made virtually over Zoom to Standing Committees.