On Friday, the proposed membership lists for the standing committees of the 42nd Parliament were finally presented in the House of Commons.

The list came in just at deadline: the House affairs committee had only 10 sitting days from the first day of business in December to complete the process. Extended wrangling had slowed things down.

Whips for the three political parties with enough MPs for official party status — the Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats — worked out the assignments this week and reported back. 

Here are a few things to know about committees in this session:

1. Why aren't there any BQ or Green MPs on committees?

Some may think Elizabeth May's credentials and experience would make her a natural pick for the environment committee. But that's not how things work.

Only parties with official party status are represented among the full voting members. In December, the Bloc Québécois made a big stink about that, but its 10 MPs are two short of the threshold for official status. 

That doesn't mean other MPs can't attend or speak at committee meetings to offer their input or ask questions. But when it comes time to vote on a key decision, review and amend legislation clause-by-clause or draft report recommendations, only the three larger parties have an official say.

2. Don't committees usually have 12 members?

After the 2011 election and in Parliaments prior to that, House committees had up to 12 MPs. In the second session of the 41st Parliament, that dropped to 10.

This time, the whips appeared to have settled on 10, with the exception of the three joint committees that also include senators (library, scrutiny of regulations and the special committee studying assisted dying) — 11 or 12 MPs are assigned to those larger committees, balanced with additional senators.

The membership of each committee is designed to roughly approximate the seat count in the House of Commons. That's why a 10-member committee will feature six Liberals, three Conservatives and one New Democrat.

3. It's 2016 — where's the gender balance?

A rough study of the lists suggests the whips have not created committees as that are as gender-balanced as the cabinet. Many have far more males than females.

One committee, however, has nine women among 10 members: status of women.

However, a range of factors can influence committee assignments, including wanting to ensure specific regional representation on a resource-specific committee, such as fisheries, or certain linguistic or ethnic representation on committees, such as official languages or heritage.

Even those representative goals aren't the be-all-end-all of committee assignments: for example, two of the 10  indigenous MPs in this Parliament will sit on aboriginal affairs, while another will sit on finance.

4. What's with all the newbies?

You're forgiven if you're scanning the list of names and not seeing many that look familiar.

Many of the committees consist of a majority of rookie MPs. Perhaps that's only fair: 200 of the 338 MPs in the House of Commons were elected for the first time last October.

While they won't have the same institutional memory and background or procedural knowledge as the veterans, it is a chance for a new set of open minds to approach proposed reforms with fresh eyes.

5. Why are there critics but no parliamentary secretaries?

The Conservative and New Democrat whips have put their senior critics on each committee, which is why you see Lisa Raitt assigned to finance and Charlie Angus on aboriginal affairs.

But the Liberals have kept their promise not to put parliamentary secretaries as voting members on their respective committees.

However, as we've seen so far at procedure and House affairs, that doesn't mean the minister's designate won't turn up, participate and perhaps try to influence the vote of the Liberal majority on the committee.

6. Who will be chairs?

The Liberals promised that committee chairs would be elected by secret ballot. So far, that's happened

As each committee meets for the first time, we'll see who's picked for each chair.

However, skeptics point out, there's nothing to stop the Liberal government from organizing the votes of Liberal MPs to ensure the government's preferred chair wins that election.

For example, word is out that veteran Wayne Easter might chair finance, while rookie Marco Mendicino's background as a high-profile federal Crown prosecutor might recommend him to chair public safety.

Will any opposition MPs win the elections to chair the committees traditionally not helmed by governing party MPs, such as public accounts? Given the government's intention to dramatically reform the budget estimates process, that committee's election will be one to watch.

7. Where's Jason Kenney?

While many veteran opposition MPs have prominent committee assignments to go along with their critic roles, there are a few notable absences.

Presumptive Tory leadership candidates Jason Kenney, a former minister, and Michael Chong, both a former minister and a former committee chair, are not listed among the permanent members. (Long lists of potential alternative members are provided for each committee, which do include these two.)

With so many Liberals to go around, it's also a little surprising to see a few of the governing party's MPs doing double-duty: for example, Jati Sidhu is listed on both foreign affairs and public accounts. Similarly, Sven Spengemann is listed on both national defence and public safety.

What else strikes you as interesting about the committee assignments? Tweet us at @CBCPolitics.


The committees

Here's the full list tabled on Friday, plus the membership list for the two committees already sitting (House affairs and assisted dying). Note that the list does not include a previously announced special civilian oversight committee on security issues, which requires government legislation to establish.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Members (10):

Gary Anandasangaree
Charlie Angus
Mike Bossio
Andy Fillmore
Rémi Massé
Cathy McLeod
Michael V. McLeod
Don Rusnak
Arnold Viersen
David Yurdiga

Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

Members (10):

Daniel Blaikie
Bob Bratina
Blaine Calkins
Nathaniel Erskine-Smith
Matt Jeneroux
Pat Kelly
Joël Lightbound
Wayne Long
Rémi Massé
Raj Saini

Agriculture and Agri-Food

Members (10):

Pierre Breton
Ruth Ellen Brosseau
Francis Drouin
Pat Finnigan
Jacques Gourde
Alaina Lockhart
Lloyd Longfield
Joe Peschisolido
Bev Shipley
Chris Warkentin

Canadian Heritage

Members (10):

Pierre Breton
Julie Dabrusin
Hedy Fry
Larry Maguire
Pierre Nantel
Seamus O'Regan
Darrell Samson
Peter Van Loan
Dan Vandal
Kevin Waugh

Citizenship and Immigration

Members (10):

Shaun Chen
Ali Ehsassi
Jenny Kwan
Michelle Rempel
Randeep Sarai
Bob Saroya
Marwan Tabbara
David Tilson
Borys Wrzesnewskyj
Salma Zahid

Environment and Sustainable Development

Members (10):

John Aldag
William Amos
Mike Bossio
Nathan Cullen
Jim Eglinski
Ed Fast
Darren Fisher
Mark Gerretsen
Deborah Schulte
Martin Shields

Finance

Members (10):

Guy Caron
Wayne Easter
Raj Grewal
Ron Liepert
Steven MacKinnon
Phil McColeman
Jennifer O'Connell
Robert-Falcon Ouellette
Lisa Raitt
Francesco Sorbara

Fisheries and Oceans

Members (10):

Mel Arnold
Fin Donnelly
Pat Finnigan
Ken Hardie
Bernadette Jordan
Ken McDonald
Robert Morrissey
Scott Simms
Robert Sopuck
Mark Strahl​

Foreign Affairs and International Development

Members (10):

Dean Allison
Tony Clement
Peter Fragiskatos
Peter Kent
Hélène Laverdière
Michael Levitt
Marc Miller
Robert Nault
Raj Saini
Jati Sidhu

Government Operations and Estimates

Members (10):

Ramez Ayoub
Steven Blaney
Francis Drouin
David Graham
Raj Grewal
Tom Lukiwski
Kelly McCauley
Yasmin Ratansi
Erin Weir
Nick Whalen

Health

Members (10):

Ramez Ayoub
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Don Davies
Doug Eyolfson
Darshan Singh Kang
K. Kellie Leitch
John Oliver
Sonia Sidhu
Len Webber

Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities

Members (10):

Niki Ashton
Gérard Deltell
Wayne Long
Bryan May
Yves Robillard
Dan Ruimy
Ramesh Sangha
Filomena Tassi
Mark Warawa
Bob Zimmer

Industry, Science and Technology

Members (10):

René Arseneault
Chandra Arya
Frank Baylis
Maxime Bernier
Earl Dreeshen
Majid Jowhari
Lloyd Longfield
Brian Masse
Alexander Nuttall
Dan Ruimy

International Trade

Members (10):

Sukh Dhaliwal
Mark Eyking
Peter Fonseca
Randy Hoback
Linda Lapointe
Karen Ludwig
Kyle Peterson
Tracey Ramsey
Gerry Ritz
Dave Van Kesteren

Justice and Human Rights

Members (10):

Chris Bittle
Michael Cooper
Ted Falk
Colin Fraser
Anthony Housefather
Ahmed Hussen
Iqra Khalid
Ron McKinnon
Rob Nicholson
Murray Rankin

National Defence

Members (10):

James Bezan
Darren Fisher
Stephen Fuhr
Cheryl Gallant
Randall Garrison
Mark Gerretsen
Pierre Paul-Hus
Jean Rioux
Sherry Romanado
Sven Spengemann

Natural Resources

Members (10):

John Barlow
Candice Bergen
Richard Cannings
T.J. Harvey
Denis Lemieux
James Maloney
Michael V. McLeod
Marc Serré
Shannon Stubbs
Geng Tan

Official Languages

Members (10):

Mauril Bélanger
Sylvie Boucher
François Choquette
Bernard Généreux
Linda Lapointe
Paul Lefebvre
John Nater
Denis Paradis
Darrell Samson
Dan Vandal

​Procedure and House Affairs

Members (10):

Chair (elected in December): Larry Bagnell
Vice-Chairs: Blake Richards, David Christopherson
Arnold Chan
David deBurgh Graham
Randy Hoback
Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Scott Reid
Ruby Sahota
Anita Vandenbeld

Public Accounts

Members (10)

Chandra Arya
David Christopherson
Joël Godin
T.J. Harvey
Paul Lefebvre
Alexandra Mendès
Pierre Poilievre
Brenda Shanahan
Jati Sidhu
Kevin Sorenson

Public Safety and National Security

Members (10):

Pam Damoff
Nicola Di Iorio
Matthew Dubé
Nathaniel Erskine-Smith
Marco Mendicino
Larry Miller
Robert Oliphant
Erin O'Toole
Alain Rayes
Sven Spengemann

Status of Women

Members (10):

Pam Damoff
Sean Fraser
Marilyn Gladu
Rachael Harder
Karen Ludwig
Sheila Malcolmson
Eva Nassif
Ruby Sahota
Anita Vandenbeld
Karen Vecchio

Transport, Infrastructure and Communities

Members (10):

Vance Badawey
Luc Berthold
Kelly Block
Linda Duncan
Sean Fraser
Ken Hardie
Angelo Iacono
Judy Sgro
Gagan Sikand
Dianne Watts

Veterans Affairs

Members (10):

Bob Bratina
Alupa Clarke
Neil Ellis
Doug Eyolfson
Colin Fraser
Robert Kitchen
Alaina Lockhart
Irene Mathyssen
Sherry Romanado
Cathay Wagantall

Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament

Members (12):

Gordon Brown
Kerry Diotte
Todd Doherty
Jim Hillyer
Angelo Iacono
Michael Levitt
Eva Nassif
Anne Minh-Thu Quach
Don Rusnak
Marc Serré
Gagan Sikand
Scott Simms

Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations

Members (12):

Harold Albrecht
Gary Anandasangaree
Vance Badawey
John Brassard
Shaun Chen
Nicola Di Iorio
Pierre-Luc Dusseault
Fayçal El-Khoury
Garnett Genuis
Bernadette Jordan
Tom Kmiec
Geng Tan

Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying

Members (11):

Chair (elected Jan.18): Rob Oliphant
Vice-chairs: Michael Cooper and Murray Rankin
Harold Albrecht
John Aldag
René Arseneault
Guy Caron
Julie Dabrusin
Gérard Deltell
Denis Lemieux
Brenda Shanahan

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said that each committee of ten has seven Liberals. In fact, the number is six. In addition, an earlier version of this story said that committees in the last Parliament had 12 members. While that was the case for the first session of the 41st Parliament, in the second session committees shrank to ten members. This story has been adjusted to reflect that.
    Jan 30, 2016 3:42 PM ET