Western Libraries

Canada - Bills, Statutes and Regulations

Listed below are sources on the process of making legislation. For Definitions see our Government Publications Glossary

Definitions and the Legislative Process

Consult the Legislative Process section of the Compendium of House of Commons Procedure for detailed information. This web site provides definitions of the various types of bills, describes referral of bills to committees, etc..  Or, consult a print source such as the Federal Legislative Process in Canada, DBW govt JL 103.9.J87 1987.F43. Stages of a Bill:

1st Reading: Bills are printed after the first reading.

2nd Reading: Bills are rarely printed at second reading. Bills are usually referred to a legislative, standing or special committee, or to the Committee of the Whole.

3rd Reading: Debate and vote on the bill as amended. Following passage in the legislative body, the bill goes through a similar process in the Senate.

After Royal Assent the new legislation is first printed in Part 3 of the Canada Gazette (see below). 

Canada. Bills, Statutes and Regulations since Confederation. Selected online sources. See below.  Created by John Sadler, Law Librarian, University of Western Ontario.

Text of Bills:

Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Bills:
1994/96 (35th Parl. 1st Sess.) – current Online
1973 (29th Parl. 1st Sess.)–current, DBW govt J 103.K5B55
1957/58 (23rd Parl. 1st Sess.) – 1972 (28th Parl. 4th Sess.), Storage – Use Request Item CA1 PA B34

Canada. Parliament. Senate. Bills:
1997/99 (36th Parl. 1st Sess.) – current Online
[1973 (29th  Parl. 1st Sess.) – 30th], [1988 (34th) -1996/97 ( 35th )] - current, DBW govt J 103.J5B5
1963 (26th Parl. 1st Sess.) – 1984 (32nd Parl. 2nd Sess.), Storage – Use Request Item CA1PB B34

Information about Bills:

For recent parliaments (last two or three parliaments), use the  LEGISinfo web site to find information on the legislative stages of bills as well as background and analysis on most bills.

For less recent parliaments, consult the Index to the Journals of the House of Commons or the Index to the Journals of the Senate to identify first and second reading dates, etc.

Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Journals
1867 (1st Parl. 1st Sess.) - 1970 (28th Parl. 2nd Sess.), DBW govt mfilm CA1 PA J57
1970/72 (28th Parl. 3rd Sess.) – current, DBW govt J 103.K3J68
1994/96 (35th Parl. 1st Sess.) - current Onlinne

Canada. Parliament. Senate. Journals
1867 (1st Parl. 1st Sess.) - 1969/70 (28th Parl. 2nd Sess.), DBW govt mfilm CA1 PB J57
1970/72 (28th Parl. 3rd Sess.) – current, DBW govt J 103.J3J6
1996/97 (35th Parl. 2nd Sess.) – current, Online

Use the dates found in the Journals to locate verbatim speeches in the House Debates and/or Senate Debates. Debates record what was said during the question and answer period in parliament.

Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Debates
1869 (1st Parl. 2nd Sess.) – current, DBW govt J 103.K2
1994/96 (35th Parl. 1st Sess.) - current Online

Canada. Parliament. Senate. Debates
1869 (1sstParl. 2nd Sess.) – 1878 (3rd Parl. 5th Sess.) and 1973/74 (29th Parl. 1st Sess.) - current, DBW govt J 103.J2
1871 (st Parl. 4th Sess.) - 1972 (28th Parl. 4th Sess.), DBW govt mfilm CA1 PB D27
1996/97 (35th Parl. 2nd - current Online

You can also use the following databases:

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