Bills C-1 and S-1
Bills C-1 and S-1 are pro forma bills introduced in the House of Commons and Senate respectively at the opening of each session of the Parliament of Canada
Parliament of Canada
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislative branch of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in the national capital, Ottawa. Formally, the body consists of the Canadian monarch—represented by her governor general—the Senate, and the House of Commons, each element having its own officers and...

. The bills are given a first reading and are then never proceeded with further. Being pro forma pieces of legislation, introducing them is mostly a formal tradition. They are introduced each session in the Commons and Senate for the purpose of reassuring the right of Members to depart from the reasons for summoning Parliament contained in the Speech from the Throne
Speech from the Throne
A speech from the throne is an event in certain monarchies in which the reigning sovereign reads a prepared speech to a complete session of parliament, outlining the government's agenda for the coming session...

 and to proceed with such business before considering the Speech, therefore signifying Parliament's freedom from the direction of the Crown of Canada
Monarchy in Canada
The monarchy of Canada is the core of both Canada's federalism and its Westminster-style parliamentary democracy, being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Canadian government and each provincial government...


The introduction of a pro forma bill is a practice that has existed since before Confederation
Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the federal Dominion of Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. On that day, three British colonies were formed into four Canadian provinces...

. It originated in the British House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 in 1571. Like in the current Canadian practice, the bill in the British House was meant to show that the House could choose in which order to conduct its business regardless of what was in the throne speech. Originally, a normal bill was used for this purpose, but in 1727 the House began to use a pro forma bill called the Outlawries Bill
Outlawries Bill
A Bill for the more effectual preventing clandestine Outlawries, usually referred as Outlawries Bill, is customarily the first bill on the agenda of the United Kingdom's House of Commons at the start of each session of Parliament.-Ceremonial purpose:...

 for this specific purpose.

In the House, Bill C-1 is normally introduced by the prime minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 and is titled An Act respecting the Administration of Oaths of Office . In the Senate, Bill S-1 is titled An Act relating to Railways . The two differ only in title, and their text does not concern railways or oaths of office.

Bill C-1 was ordered printed on January 26, 2009, in the second session of the 40th Parliament, possibly for the first time. In previous sessions of Parliament it seems the bill was not ordered printed. As a result the text of Bill C-1 is available on the Parliament of Canada website, although it is not available for any previous session. Bill S-1 is also available. The significance of this change in the handling of Bill C-1 is unclear.

External links

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