- 1st reading - Bill is received, printed and circulated. Often referred to as "tabling" the bill.
- 2nd reading - Debate on the principle of the bill.
- Study - Bill is sent to a committee for study. Often witnesses will speak on the merits of the bill, making committee proceedings useful if you are trying to determine the legislative intent of a bill.
- Report stage - Committee reports back to the House or Senate. Any motions to amend the bill are now debated.
- 3rd reading - Bill, as amended, is re-printed and circulated. There is no debate at this stage; the bill is put to a vote.
- FEDERAL ONLY - The approved bill is sent to the other house (either the House of Commons or the Senate, depending on where the bill originated) where steps 1 through 5 are repeated.
- Royal assent - Once the bill passes its final 3rd reading, it is sent to the Governor-General (federal) or Lieutenant-Governor (provincial) for final approval.
- Proclamation date - Bill comes into force (that is, becomes an official law). Sometimes this is the same date as the Royal assent, and sometimes it is a different date entirely which is usually mentioned in the law itself.
For more information, see: