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2004 November Report of the Auditor General of Canada

November 2004 Report—Chapter 7

Exhibit 7.1—Some restrictions governing the form and content of written questions

A written question must not

  • be of unreasonable length;
  • be ironical, rhetorical, offensive, trivial, vague, meaningless, or hypothetical;
  • contain an expression of opinion, epithet, innuendo, satire, ridicule, inferences, imputations, or charges of a personal character;
  • repeat in substance a question already answered;
  • ask the government's opinion on matters of policy;
  • raise a matter of policy too large to be dealt with in the limits of an answer to a question;
  • criticize decisions of the House; and
  • seek information on secret matters, such as decisions or proceedings of Cabinet, or advice given to the Crown by law officers.

Source: Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms of the House of Commons of Canada (with Annotations, Comments and Precedents), 6th edition, (1989) Fraser, Alistair; Dawson, W.F.; and Holtby, John. Adapted by permission of Carswell, a division of Thomson Canada Limited.