A petition is a request made by at least three citizens seeking the assistance of the House of Assembly in addressing a perceived
Petitions must follow certain form and content requirements to be considered acceptable by the House of Assembly. Any petition that
does not follow the established guidelines, as outlined below, may be rejected.
Addressee of Petitions
The following guidelines apply with respect to the Addressee of the petition:
Form of Petitions
- All petitions are to be addressed to the House of Assembly of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Petitions cannot be addressed to Government or government departments directly. However, they can call on the House to request
that Government address the matter (See guidelines below on "Prayer of Petition" for further information). If a petition is addressed to
Government or a government department, it must be presented there and not to the House of Assembly.
- All petitions must relate to matters within provincial jurisdiction.
All petitions to the House of Assembly must be written in English, or be accompanied by a translation. They must also include the
Prayer of Petition
- A heading which identifies it as a petition and indicates that it is addressed to the House of Assembly of the Province of
Newfoundland and Labrador.
- A statement which identifies the reason(s) for the petition or the statement of grievance.
- A statement which identifies the petitioners – those who have signed the document.
- A request, called the "prayer", which outlines the action petitioners wish to see taken in response to the statement of grievance
(see "Prayer of Petition" below for further guidelines).
- The signatures and addresses of the petitioners. At least 3 signatures must be included on the page containing the prayer of the
It is important to ensure that the prayer of a petition is worded properly so that it is considered acceptable. The prayer is the
"remedy" to the alleged grievance that has been previously outlined in the petition. All petitions presented to the House of Assembly
must contain a prayer that is clear, temperate and respectful.
The following guidelines should be followed when developing the prayer of the petition:
Template for Petition
- The prayer of a petition must request action that is within the powers of the House of Assembly.
- The prayer must be addressed to the House of Assembly, and call upon the House to take specific action:
"The undersigned, your Petitioners, humbly pray and call upon the House of Assembly to…"
- The prayer cannot be addressed to Government directly, but can urge the House to request Government to address the matter to which
the petition relates. For example:
"We the undersigned, your Petitioners, humbly pray and call upon the House of Assembly to urge Government to…"
- It is recommended that the prayer appear on each page when the petition consists of more than one sheet of signatures and
addresses, so that petitioners are made fully aware of the nature of the document they are supporting.
The following template
can be used by citizens as a guideline for developing petitions.
Citizens may wish to contact the Office of the Clerk
of the House of Assembly if they require further
clarification with respect to petitions.
Presentation of Petitions
- All petitions must be vetted by a Table Officer prior to being presented in the House of Assembly. As outsiders are not
permitted to address the House directly, petitions must be presented by a Member. A Member of the House of Assembly must also sign
the first page of the petition in order to present it to the House of Assembly.
- Please note that Members are not obliged to present petitions and cannot be forced to do so.