A petition is used to draw attention to an issue of public interest or concern and to request that the House of Commons, the Government of Canada, a Minister of the Crown, or a Member of the House of Commons take some action.
Petitioners cannot directly present a petition in the House of Commons; only a Member of Parliament is able to do so. As a matter of practice, MP Mark Gerretsen will present all petitions submitted to him by his constituents, so long as they comply with House of Commons guidelines and are certified by the Clerk of Petitions.
E-petitions operate somewhat differently than traditional paper petitions. Before an e-petition can be signed by the public, it must first be ‘sponsored’ by a Member of Parliament. A sponsor is an MP who agrees to assist the petitioner in seeing the petition through the various steps in the e petition process. In accepting to sponsor a petition, a Member is not necessarily agreeing with the opinions or request set out in the petition. As a matter of practice, MP Mark Gerretsen will sponsor all e-petitions that are submitted to him by one of his constituents.
Once a Member agrees to sponsor a petition, it is examined by the Clerk of Petitions to ensure that it is procedurally acceptable; generally this is completed within three to five working days. If the petition meets the set requirements, it is translated and published on the website for signature by the general public and residents for a period of 120 days. The Member, petitioner and supporters are notified by email when the petition is published.
Before collecting signatures or submitting your e-petition for sponsorship, we strongly encourage you to contact our Parliamentary office who can assist with the wording and format of your petition to help ensure that they will comply with the guidelines. The Clerk of Petitions holds the final authority to certify that these requirements have been met.