Researching Canadian Federal Statutes


The origin of new legislation

There are three different types of bills.

  • New legislation sponsored by the government, known as a government bill, originates in government ministries.
  • New legislation can also originate from a bill sponsored by a member of the legislature, known as a member’s bill.
  • New legislation can
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Statute revisions

Every 15 to 30 years, a revision of the federal statutes takes place. The last revision occurred in 1985. The purpose of a revision is to consolidate all amendments to the statutes since the last revision, and to improve the statutes by making non-substantive changes in wording, style …

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The nature of regulations

Subordinate legislation includes regulations, orders, directives, tariffs, bylaws and proclamations.

The Statutory Instruments Act governs federal regulations. Section 2 of that Act distinguishes between regulations and other types of statutory instruments. Regulations are defined as a statutory instrument “made in the exercise of a legislative power …

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Judicial consideration

Best practices

Judicial consideration involves looking for decisions that have considered a particular statutory provision. References are located by using the citation to the legislation. If there is not much judicial consideration of the current version of the legislation, then you must trace the legislative history of the section back …

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Statutory research texts

Rt Hon Michel Bastarache et al, The Law of Bilingual Interpretation (Markham: LexisNexis, 2008).

Stéphane Beaulac, Handbook on Statutory Interpretation: General Methodology, Canadian Charter and International Law (Markham: LexisNexis, 2008).

Stéphane Beaulac, Frédéric Bérard, Précis d’interprétation législative, 2nd ed (Markham: LexisNexis, 2014).

Francis AR Bennion & Oliver Jones, Bennion

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