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Bills are legislative texts introduced in the Assemblée nationale. They are considered by the Members in several stages, both in the Assemblée and in parliamentary committee. Bills become law once they have been passed in the Assemblée and the Lieutenant-Governor has assented to them.

In keeping with the Constitution Act, 1867, bills introduced in the Assemblée nationale are published in both French and English.

There are two types of bills:

  • public bills, both government bills and private Members’ bills
  • private bills

Citizens are welcome to comment on the bills considered by the Assemblée. Consult the Voice Your Opinion section for more information.


Government Public Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills

Public bills are concerned with matters of public policy (as opposed to private bills, which represent private interests). They apply to all or most members of the public and deal with things such as minimum wage, occupational health and safety and the business hours of commercial establishments.

Any Member can introduce a public bill, so long as it does not entail State spending or create new taxes or duties. Only ministers can propose bills with a financial impact.

The MNA or minister who introduces a bill is known as its sponsor.

Most public bills are prepared and introduced by ministers and reflect the Government’s legislative agenda.

  • Government bills are sponsored by a minister.
  • Private Members' bills are sponsored by an MNA.

Stages in the Consideration of a Public Bill

The following stages normally take place in separate sittings of the Assemblée:

  1. Introduction: The bill’s sponsor (an MNA or minister) presents it to the Assemblée for consideration. The bill can usually be consulted online in the list of bills under consideration within one hour of its introduction.
  2. Referral for consultation: This optional stage allows MNAs to learn the needs and opinions of the persons or bodies affected by a bill. To this end, the Government House Leader moves that the bill be referred to a committee for consultation.
  3. Passage in principle: At this stage, MNAs debate the spirit and principle of the bill before the Assemblée.
  4. Committee stage: The bill is studied in a parliamentary committee or a committee of the whole (which includes all 125 MNAs). The committee is chosen according to its areas of competence and its members examine each of the bill’s clauses.
  5. Report stage: The Assemblée votes on the committee’s report, which must be adopted for the process to continue.
  6. Passage: This is the final stage before a bill is given assent.

The bill can be amended in stages 4, 5 and 6; its sponsor (an MNA or a minister) or another Member may propose amendments to the bill. However, in the final stage (passage), only the bill’s sponsor can propose amendments.

Assent by the Lieutenant-Governor

After a bill is passed, it is given assent and becomes a law. The law may take effect the same day it is assented to or on another date mentioned in the bill or to be set by the Government.

Assent is given during a ceremony held at the Lieutenant-Governor’s office in the presence of

  • a representative of the President of the Assemblée nationale
  • a representative of the Secretary General of the Assemblée nationale
  • MNAs (all are invited)
  • other persons invited by the Lieutenant-Governor or a Member.

Assent is usually given in the days following the passage of a bill.

Private Bills

Private bills deal with individual or local interests and thus only affect a small segment of the public. Generally, those seeking the adoption of a private bill are heirs, testamentary executors, property owners and groups sharing a common interest. Municipal corporations, financial institutions, cooperatives, educational or religious institutions and business companies may also seek the adoption of a private bill.

Private bills are introduced in the Assemblée via a Member, who is known as the bill’s sponsor, since the Member is not the bill’s author.

For more on introducing a private bill

Stages in the Consideration of a Private Bill

Private bills’ legislative process is slightly different from that of public bills.

After being introduced in the Assemblée, a private bill is immediately referred to the competent parliamentary committee for examination. The committee holds a public hearing to hear the interested parties before proceeding to clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.

After examining the bill in detail, the committee tables its report in the Assemblée. Unlike for a public bill, there is no report stage for a private bill: the report is put to the vote immediately after being submitted.

Then, at a later sitting, the Assemblée proceeds with the passage in principle and, subsequently, the passage of the bill. Unless five or more Members voice their opposition, the passage in principle and final passage of a private bill can take place at the same sitting. This is unlike the rule for public bills, which are passed on a future sitting day.

Numbering Bills

Bills in the Assemblée nationale are numbered as follows:

Numbering Bills
Type of billNumbers
Government bills 1 to 189, 400 to 489, 500 to 589, etc.
Private Member’s bills 190 to 199, 390 to 399, 490 to 499, etc.
Private bills 200 to 389

Draft Bills

Draft bills are proposed legislative texts that are submitted to Parliament by the Government. They are usually referred to a parliamentary committee, where they are subject to public consultation with a view to preparing a bill.

Draft bills are laid before the Assemblée. They are published and can be consulted online.

To view draft bills, visit the bills section. If no draft bills are displayed for the chosen session, that means none were tabled during that session.

Obtaining a Bill

To obtain a copy of a bill that was introduced or assented to, contact Publications du Québec.

Customer service:

  • Telephone: 1-800-463-2100 (toll-free) or 418-643-5150 (city of Québec area)
  • Fax: 1-800-561-3479 (toll-free) or 418-643-6177 (city of Québec area)