Parliamentary committees vary in size but typically have Private Members from all parties, including independents. A Special Committee of Selection usually determines the composition of all parliamentary committees at the start of a session. A chair and deputy chair are elected at the first meeting.
Committee inquiries and reports
A parliamentary committee becomes active when the House assigns a terms of reference that defines the scope of inquiry and permits it to meet, call witnesses, and gather evidence. A committee may also be empowered to conduct public consultations on a particular issue, or to consult with experts or stakeholder groups.
Committee meetings are typically held in public, with proceedings transcribed by Hansard Services. Meetings of appointment committees are held in-camera (behind closed doors) as they involve personnel matters.
At the end of its deliberations, a committee reports its observations and recommendations to the Legislative Assembly in the form of a report, which is presented by the committee chair in the House. If the House is not sitting, the report can be deposited with the Office of the Clerk and then publicly released.