House of Commons sessional records
Available reels: 612
- House of Commons sessional records
RG 14 D 2
Business and commerce
Politics and politicians
- Document source
- Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign (represented by the Governor General) and the Senate. It consists of a Speaker (traditionally chosen from the party in power but now elected from the House by secret ballot), the prime minister and his Cabinet, members of the governing party, members of the opposition parties and the Official Opposition's shadow government, and backbenchers. The House of Commons was established in 1867, when the Constitution Act, formerly the British North America Act, created the Dominion of Canada, and the house was modelled on the British House of Commons. The lower of the two houses making up the parliament, the House of Commons in practice holds far more power than the upper house, the Senate. The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, whose members are known as Members of Parliament (MPs). There are 308 members as of 2011. MPs may hold office until Parliament is dissolved and serve for constitutionally limited terms of up to five years after an election. Historically however, terms have ended before their expiry and the sitting government has typically dissolved parliament within four years of an election according to a long-standing convention. Notwithstanding this, an Act of Parliament now limits each term to four years. Seats in the House of Commons are distributed roughly in proportion to the population of each province and territory.
This collection consists of nearly a complete run of Sessional Papers for the period 1917 to date. Sessional papers are records which are tabled in the House of Commons during a session of Parliament. Some Sessional Papers, such as annual reports of Crown agencies and government departments, reports of government inquiries, commissions and other documents, are published. The remainder of the Sessional Papers are unpublished. Generally speaking, the Sessional Papers are arranged by Session of Parliament and in numerical order as they were tabled in the House of Commons. However, for a variety of reasons, some Sessional Papers do not appear in their proper order. For example, Sessional Papers showing lists of Shareholders and Unclaimed Balances of Chartered Banks were filed separately. The subject indexes to the Journals of the House of Commons should be used by researchers in Order to locate Sessional Paper numbers.
There are maps, profiles, diagrams, architectural drawings and technical drawings pertaining to the Sessional Papers, covering railway routes, the Royal Commission Quebec Bridge inquiry, Quebec Harbour Commission improvements, railway branch line from Buctoche to Richibucto, prefabricated housing, and South Saskatchewan River development under the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act, plans of the air terminal building at Montreal airport, by Archibald, Illsley and Templeton Associates and Larose and Larose, as well as plans of office buildings in Ottawa at Laurier Street West, the Kent Laurier Project and a proposed building at Laurier and Gloucester by G.E. Bemi Architects, Campeau Construction Company Limited and Douglass and Ross Architects. Also included are hydrographic and fisheries charts of the Georges Banks.