How To Make a Presentation
A Guide for the Public Presentations Before a Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
After a Bill has received First and Second Reading, it is then referred to a Standing Committee of the House. It is at this stage that members of the public may make oral presentations or offer written submissions expressing their opinions and observations. The following is a general guide for persons wishing to appear before Standing Committees of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
Individuals or groups wishing to make an oral presentation on a piece of legislation (Bill) at Committee stage must register with the Office of the Clerk. If you simply wish to express your opinion or view of a Bill but do not wish to present or provide a written submission, you should contact either your MLA or the Minister responsible for the Bill.
Members of the public may register with the Office of the Clerk by calling (204) 945-3636. Registrations will only be accepted after the Bill has received First Reading in the House. When registering, you will be asked for your name, address and contact information. You will also be asked whether you will be speaking as a private citizen or on behalf of an organization and, if so, which organization you are representing. Only one person may register to speak on behalf of an organization and each presenter is only allowed to appear once on a given Bill.
In accordance with Manitoba's rules, registrations will not be accepted after midnight on the third evening that a Committee meets to consider a specific Bill.
Notice of Meetings
The Government House Leader must give two days notice in the House of the first meeting of a Standing or Special Committee considering Bills if presenters are registered to speak when the meeting is set.
20 Copies of Written Materials
Should you wish to offer a written version to accompany your oral presentation (optional), we request that you provide us with 20 copies of that material. Most of these copies are distributed to Committee Members (MLAs) to assist them in preparing questions regarding your presentation. Written copies also enable Hansard staff to verify your presentation for inclusion in the Committee Hansard (verbatim transcript of proceedings). If you are unable to make copies, our staff can assist you with this before or during the meeting. It is requested that presenters hold on to their 20 copies until they are called to the podium to speak.
If you wish to make your presentation in French, please advise the person taking your registration so that translation services can be provided.
What Happens After You Register?
Your name will be placed on a "List of Presenters" in the order of registrations received. Once the Government House Leader has announced the meeting to consider the Bill you registered for, staff from the Office of the Clerk will contact you to advise of the meeting's date, time and location. Upon arrival at the meeting, you will find a "List of Presenters" posted outside the Committee Room indicating your position on the list.
Registered presenters are not given designated speaking times. It is advised that you be in attendance at the beginning of the meeting so that you are aware of where you are on the list and how long the meeting may run.
Times of Meetings
Meetings held in the evening to consider legislation must commence at 6:00 p.m. As an exception, if a Committee considering a bill in the afternoon has not finished hearing public presentations at 6:00 p.m., the Committee may recess and reconvene at 7:00 p.m.
A Committee meeting in the evening to consider a Bill cannot sit past midnight unless:
- Presentations to the bill have been heard on two previous evenings;
- There are less than 20 presenters registered to speak at the commencement of the 6:00 p.m. meeting
Answers to Questions at Committee
Listed below are answers to the most frequently asked questions by public presenters at Committee.
Are there time limits?
Yes. Manitoba's rules provide for time limits on public presentations. Presenters are allowed a maximum of 10 minutes to make a presentation and an additional 5 minutes to respond to questions from the Committee.
What if I cannot provide 20 copies of my presentation?
If it is not possible for you to provide copies of your presentation, please advise either the Clerk of Committees or other staff as soon as you arrive and they will arrange to make copies for you.
Who do I address my submission to?
Until the Government House Leader announces the Standing Committee we will not be able to answer this. Once the Committee meeting is announced, your submission should be addressed to the Standing Committee on (here you would insert the Committee name, e.g. Justice, Agriculture and Food, etc.).
What happens if a presenter is not present when their name is called?
Manitoba's rules indicate that if a presenter is not in attendance when their name is called, their name is dropped to the bottom of the list. If the presenter is not present when their name is called a second time, their name will be removed from the list.
Are there special considerations? - Decisions are made at the opening of each meeting regarding whether or not certain groups of people will be allowed to make their presentations ahead of others. These include but are not limited to: out of town presenters, presenters requiring translation services, and persons with disabilities.
What if I'm registered but cannot attend the meeting?
If you are registered but cannot attend the meeting you may send a written submission to:
Clerk of Committees
251 Legislative Building
Winnipeg MB R3C 0V8
You may also fax your submission to (204) 945-0038, or send it by email to email@example.com.
What is a written submission?
Instead of making a verbal presentation, you also have the option of providing a written submission which would be distributed to all MLAs on the Committee. Additionally, the Committee will be asked to include your submission at the end of the Hansard transcript of the meeting, which will be published in hard copy and also appear on the Legislative Assembly website. Note, only text will be included in the Hansard transcript, any images submitted will be provided to the MLAs but not included in the transcript.
What if I attend the meeting and want to make a presentation but am not registered?
As long as the Committee has not concluded the public presentation process, or it is not after midnight on the third evening that a Committee has met to consider a specific bill, you may still register to make a presentation any time during the meeting. To register during a meeting, you should speak with staff at the entrance of the Committee room.
Can the public view Committee proceedings?
The public may watch the proceedings of a Committee meeting in Rooms 254 and/or 255 of the Legislative Building. Both rooms are wheelchair accessible. All Standing Committee meetings are also broadcast and are available to watch on our website: Committee Broadcasts and on our YouTube channels: Room 255 and Room 254.
We have attempted to answer the most frequently asked questions with this document. Should you have further questions please contact either the Office of the Clerk (204) 945-3636, or the Clerks of Committees at (204) 945-4729 or (204) 945-0796. You may also contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.