University of Winnipeg The Re

Bill Analysis Guide

Worth 30% of the final grade

A key feature of the Canadian legal system is statutory law enacted by provincial legislatures.

Students will choose a government bill or private member’s bill passed by the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and, by relying on a careful reading of the bill, Hansard, news releases, and media reports, will analyze and comment on the reasons for the bill, the issues raised, the response of legislators, stakeholders, and the public, and its likely or known impact.

This is an online exercise requiring no personal interviews.

The assignment must be:


no more than 1,250 words (excluding title page, footnotes, and bibliography);

in 12 point, Times New Roman font;

double spaced, and

free of spelling or grammatical errors.

Any format (eg: MLA, APA, Chicago) is fine but it must be used throughout the paper.

What bill should I analyze?

  1. From media reports, or personal interest and experience, you may be aware of recent legislation passed by the Legislative Assembly in the 3rd Session of the 42nd Legislature (during the Pallister Progressive Conservative Government).
  2. To look for a bill that interests you.
  3. Go to “The Legislative Assembly of Manitoba” website and click “Bills;”
  4. Click on “Sessional Bills (Current and Past)” (in red);
  5. Click on “Current Session 42 – 3 (2020-)

Find the title of a bill that interests you;

Ensure it has received Third Reading (been enacted) as shown with an entry such as “SM 2020, c. 18”, under the heading, “As enacted;”

To determine if this bill is your choice, click on the title of that bill and read the bill, or if the bill’s purpose is unclear, under the “As enacted’ column, click on the “SM 2021, c. XX” line to read the bill’s “Explanatory Note”; and

For later reference, back on the Bills page, refer to the “Status of Bills (current session) for the dates when each stage of the bill was completed.

Budget bills (Appropriation or Loan Acts) are not recommended for analysis.

How to analyze the bill:

You must first understand what the bill changes. If the bill amends an Act, you may need to read the amended sections of the existing Act to grasp your bill’s impact;

On the Assembly website, click “Hansard” (the official verbatim transcript of the debates of the Legislative Assembly and committees);

  1. Click “Index” for the “House” to find all the days the bill was debated in that session;
  2. Do this for the relevant “Committee” as well (there is a separate index for .)
  3. For related media releases about a government bill, go to the “Province of Manitoba News Releases” website and use the search box to enter key words from the bill’s title. Alternatively, you may search for releases based on dates. Also search opposition party and caucus websites (Manitoba NDP; Liberal) about the bill or about a private member’s bill. The releases will often be dated the same day as the First Reading.

Search online for media reports, editorial comment, and stakeholder news releases about the bill. If you cannot access a media outlet’s website, a library search of an article may be needed.

  1. What must be covered in the paper:
  2. a) the bill’s key provisions;

b) the known genesis and the government’s or private member’s stated reasons for the bill and provide a critique;

  1. c) the response of legislators at each step of the bill, briefly noting the key points of opposition;

d) the response of media, stakeholders and the public, briefly describing and analyzing the responses;

  1. e) the bill’s likely or known impact; and

f) a brief critique of the process.

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