The emergency legislation was introduced Tuesday evening and the MPs moved into committee of the whole, essentially transforming the House of Commons into a large committee room to hear witnesses.
It was a rare event, deputy speaker Bill Blaikie told politicians, and he asked for their patience as Commons' staff worked out the kinks of accommodating the witnesses.
"We are doing something that has not been done for a very long time," Blaikie said.
In fact, he said having witnesses on the Commons floor had not been done since World War 2.
"We have some some logistical problems with microphones so I would beg the House's indulgence as we try to do this procedure that we have no experience at," he said.
To recognize that the committee of the whole is a less formal proceeding, Blaikie stepped down from the Speaker's chair and presided over the evening debate from the clerk's desk. And the large gold mace, which represents the authority conferred by the Queen on the Commons to meet and decide laws, was removed from the clerk's table and placed in a box.
Despite Blaikie's initial concerns, the four hours of testimony went relatively smoothly and at the end of the night, Commons' proceedings resumed and the legislation was passed -- but not before the mace was returned to its place of honor. The House of Commons cannot meet without it.