Paper Petitions: Overview

STEP 1: Create a Petition

Follow the rules outlined in the Paper Petition Guide

Shortcut: Use our petition for a basic income guarantee demonstration project. We developed two petitions that have been reviewed by the Clerk of Petitions and that follow all formatting and content rules:

Creating your own petition? Send a draft to the Clerk of Petitions to make sure it follows the rules before collecting signatures. 

STEP 2:  Collect at least 25 signatures

Collect 30 signatures to be safe. Each signature is reviewed by the Clerk of Petitions, and some may be disqualified if they don’t follow the rules. A Petition must have at least 25 approved signatures to be presented in the House of Commons.

To sign a Petition, you must be a Canadian citizen or resident.

There is no minimum age requirement. Children can sign!

STEP 3: Submit your Petition to any Member of Parliament (MP)

Write to the MP of your choice asking them to present your Petition in the House of Commons. You are not required to submit it to the MP in your own riding.  While MPs are not required to present your petition, if they decline, you can remind the MP that accepting to present the Petition does not mean they endorse the views or information in the Petition. 

Only submit your Petition (which must be the original) to an MP who has agreed to present it to the House of Commons. 

STEP 4: The MP will send your Petition to the Clerk of Petitions

The Clerk will review and certify that your Petition is admissible and has followed all the rules. A Petition submitted for certification which does not meet the requirements will be returned to the MP with an explanation.

STEP 5: The MP will present your certified Petition in the House of Commons

A record of the Petition appears in the Journals for that day and the text of the Petition, along with the total number of signatures, is published on the Petitions website. The names and contact information of the Petitioner and the signatories will not be made public.

STEP 6: Response from the Government of Canada

The government is required to respond to every petition presented in the House of Commons within 45 calendar days (or at the next sitting of the House). The response will be posted on the Petitions website along with the Petition as soon as possible after the response has been formally presented.