Consolidated Federal Statutes: Current and Previous Versions (Tip of the Week)

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By Ken Fox

Researching legislation is getting easier.

The Justice Laws Website, the Federal Justice Department’s online source of consolidated legislation, now hosts official versions of all of Canada’s Acts & Regulations, along with Annual Statutes, the Table of Public Statutes and Responsible Ministers, and many other legislative documents.

The Consolidated Acts, like Saskatchewan’s, are arranged alphabetically, with a separate page for each letter. Clicking on the title of an act brings up a front page containing currency information, links to the Full Document in HTML or PDF Format, a clickable Table of Contents, Related Information, and links to any regulations made under the act.

And notably, each act now contains a link to Previous Versions, which allows the researcher access to historic versions back to 2002.

Here is the table of Previous Versions of the Competition Act:

FedLeg1

Each date displayed in the hyperlinks represents the effective date of an amendment – so the date ranges point to versions of the act that were in force during that time period. In other words, if you need to know what Canada’s Competition Act looked like on February 29, 2012, simply click the second link from the top.

The Justice Department will no doubt continue add older and older versions of the acts. A complete set of online, point-in-time statutes going back to confederation? It’s only a matter of time.

This is Part 1 of a multi-part series on researching federal legislation:  Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

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