of Bill :
This Act to Perpetuate a Certain Ancient Right is significant in our democratic process. Its introduction prior to consideration of the Throne Speech perpetuates the established right of Parliament, through the representatives elected by the people, to sit and act without leave from the Crown. This bill, therefore, asserts the right of this Legislative Assembly to give precedence to matters other than those expressed by the Sovereign.
The practice dates back to the reign of Elizabeth I, when on the 22nd day of March, 1603 (just two days before her death) Parliament made this assertion of independence from the Crown for purposes of legislation.
The Province of New Brunswick has always observed this tradition since 1789. Bill 1 has often been a genuine bill, rather than a pro forma bill, such as this. Indeed, in 1856, four bills were introduced before the Throne Speech was considered.
The introduction of a genuine bill, it is felt, would cloud the origin and constitutional importance of the first bill, and thus the custom would lose its significance.
For this reason, in 1963 the practice of introducing a pro forma bill was initiated.