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Home > Voice Your Opinion > Taking Part in a Public Consultation

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A parliamentary committee may hold a consultation on a matter of public interest either on its own initiative or under an order of reference from the National Assembly. The committee then seeks and gathers input from individuals and organized groups. The committee then tables a report in the Assembly, which may contain observations, recommendations and conclusions.

Taking Part in a Consultation

A committee can hold two types of consultation: general consultations and special consultations.

Taking Part in a General Consultation

General consultations address the public as a whole. There are four ways to participate:

A public notice of consultation must be issued before a general consultation may be held.

Once the deadline for submissions has passed, the committee chooses who will be heard in a public hearing from among the individuals and organizations that submitted a brief or a request to address the committee.

Ongoing general consultations are listed in the “Taking Part in a Consultation” section of the Parliamentary Proceedings home page. Click on the title of a consultation to access the appropriate page.

Taking Part in a Special Consultation

Special consultations are limited to individuals and organizations chosen by the committee for their knowledge of the matter being studied. The individuals and groups chosen may submit a brief or present their opinion before the committee.

Participation in special consultations is by invitation only. However, there are two ways in which members of the general public may make their opinion on the subject of the consultation known:

Notice of Consultation

Whenever a parliamentary committee holds a general consultation, the committee clerk publishes a notice of consultation:

  • in the Gazette officielle du Québec
  • in Québec’s major daily newspapers
  • on the page set up for the consultation on the National Assembly website

The notice of consultation sets out:

  • the subject of the consultation
  • the date the public hearings start
  • instructions for submitting briefs and requests to be heard
  • the deadline for submitting briefs and requests to be heard to the Committees Service

The deadline for submitting briefs and requests to be heard is at least 30 days after the publication of the notice.

Public Hearings

Public hearings are the high point of a consultation. They generally take place at the Parliament Building in Québec City, but in certain cases can be held elsewhere.

In a public hearing, the individuals and organizations that have been summoned present their brief or their opinion and answer the questions of the MNAs.

Replying to an Invitation

The committee clerk summons the individuals and organizations the committee has decided to hear at least seven days before the hearing. In the case of a special consultation, the lapse of time may be shorter.

Invitations:

  • are in writing
  • state the date, time, place and duration of the hearing
  • state the time allotted for each presentation, including the discussion with the MNAs

See the plan of the parliament buildings to find the location of the hearing.

Those who have been summoned must confirm their presence with the committee clerk as soon as possible. Organizations must provide the name and title of the people appointed to present their briefs or opinions to the committee.

Preparing a Presentation

A witness who has confirmed his or her participation may contact the committee clerk for information on:

  • how sittings are conducted
  • the procedure followed during public hearings

It might also be helpful to consult the brochure The Parliamentary Committees of Québec's National Assembly (PDF, 663 Kb).

Committee clerks can be reached:

  • by telephone: 418-643-2722 (toll-free: 1-866-337-8837)
  • by fax: 418-643-0248

Parliamentary committees can also be reached via email.

The National Assembly provides wireless Internet access in the rooms in which public hearings are held.

Obtaining a Recording of a Presentation

Public hearings are recorded. Some of them are broadcast :

That last section also contains archives of hearings.

It is possible, for a fee, to obtain a video excerpt of a public hearing.

More on ordering a video excerpt

Obtaining a Transcription of a Presentation

The public hearings of each committee are transcribed in the committee’s Journal des débats (Hansard). Transcripts of debates can be viewed online. Consult the committee’s page in the Committee Proceedings section.

To Learn More

For more on public consultations and how to take part in them, contact the Committees Service.

  • Telephone: 
    • Québec City area: 418-643-2722
    • Toll-free number: 1-866-337-8837
  • Fax: 418-643-0248
  • Email: commissions@assnat.qc.ca

Standing orders 166 to 173.1 of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly govern consultations by parliamentary committees.

 

Additional Information