MPs can submit written questions. So far in the current session (42nd Parliament, 1st session) there have been over 500 written questions submitted.
You can find the list of all questions for the current session in Status of House Business – Part III – Written Questions http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=status&File=12
The questions are available online (although not easily found as far as I can tell). The answers must be requested from the Library of Parliament.
An example of a process one could follow is:
- Find out about a question from Status of House Business – Part III – Written Questions.
Note that questions are numbered sequentially per session of Parliament (AFAIK). So they are not globally unique, just Parliamentary-session unique.
- Locate the text of the question in the Order Paper and Notice Paper (it seems like the one from the day after the question is the best place to look)
- Verify that the question is of interest
- Find the Sessional Paper number(s) of the documents provided in reply in Status of House Business.
Note that sometimes answers are provided verbally in which case the document approach doesn't apply.
- Email the Library of Parliament with the Sessional Paper number(s) you want. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wait for an email with the documents.
Note that stringent copyright restrictions are claimed for the documents.
e.g. for Q-525 (42nd Parliament, 1st session)
1. Discover the question through the title in Status of House Business
Q-5252 — Mr. Jeneroux (Edmonton Riverbend) — Cyber attacks — Notice — September 30, 2016
2. Locate the question in the Order Paper and Notice Paper for the house sitting day after the question (October 3, 2016)
Q-5252 — September 30, 2016 — Mr. Jeneroux (Edmonton Riverbend) — With regard to cyber attacks, broken down by month, and by department, agency, and crown corporation, since January 1, 2016: (a) how many cyber attacks have occurred, either against a department, agency or crown corporation or on one of their servers or networks; (b) how many of the attacks referred to in (a) resulted in government information being stolen; (c) how many of the attacks referred to in (b) resulted in classified government information being stolen; (d) how many of the attacks referred to in (a) resulted in individuals' personal information being stolen; (e) for each of the attacks referred to in (d), how many individuals' personal information was stolen; (f) were the individuals from whom information was stolen informed of the theft, and, if so, how were they informed; and (g) for each case where individuals' information was stolen, was the Privacy Commissioner notified?
3. Verify it is of interest
4. Find the Sessional Paper numbers in Status of House Business
Answer tabled (Sessional Paper No. 8530-421-14) — November 16, 2016
Made an Order for Return and answer tabled (Sessional Paper No. 8555-421-525) — November 18, 2016
5. Email email@example.com requesting Sessional Papers No. 8530-421-14 & No. 8555-421-525
6. You will get back scanned PDFs of printed documents.
Copyright restrictions claimed on the documents are as follows:
COPYRIGHT NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER
Except to the extent of the uses permitted under copyright law or the
applicable licensing agreement, no part of this document or
attachments may be reproduced or transmitted without the prior written
consent of the copyright holder.
The views expressed should not be regarded as those of the Library of
Parliament or of its employees. Furthermore, the information provided
does not represent legal or other professional advice.
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
are addressed. If you have received this email in error, please notify
the Library of Parliament by email.
The attached or following information, regardless of format, is
provided solely for the purpose of research or private study; any
other use may require the authorization of the copyright owner.
Digital reproductions of print material are provided for convenience;
in the case of any inconsistency between the digital version and the
original print version, the original print version shall prevail.
The superscript 2 means 2 Response requested within 45 days.
And no, I don’t know how anyone would know any of this without spending a lot of time on parl.gc.ca plus getting some help.