The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
February 21, 2017

Types of Bills

Bills introduced in the House of Assembly must receive three readings and are classified, based on their content, as:

Public Bills

These contain statements of law that are of general application throughout the whole province and apply to all citizens of the Province.

Government Bills

These are Public Bills that may be introduced by a Minister at any time during a session. Drafts of Government Bills are approved by Cabinet before introduction because they represent Government policy. Government Bills are drafted by the Legislative Counsel usually on instructions from the department involved.

Private Members’ Bills

These are Public Bills which seek to establish or amend a Public Act but are introduced by a private Member. Any Member may introduce a Private Member’s Bill at any time during the Session as long as it is not a bill requiring expenditure of money or making tax changes. These bills do not necessarily reflect the policy of the Government.

Private Bills and Local Bills

Private Bills and Local Bills may be introduced by any Member. They are bills which affect only private individuals or persons of a particular locality and confer upon them some privileges or exemptions from the general law. For example, a Private Bill may provide for the incorporation of a hospital board or the change of a person’s name. The Rules of the House require that before introduction, the Bill be certified to be correct in form by the Legislative Counsel.