Consolidation and Statues of Canada
Revised Statutes: Periodically the federal government publishes consolidations of all the statutes or regulations in force as of a particular date. These are referred to as the Revised Statutes or the Revised Regulations. The most current consolidation is the Revised Statutes of Canada 1985. Revised Statutes are denoted by RSC. Example: Canada Elections Act RSC 1985 c E-2.
Annual Statutes of Canada: While Revised Statutes are published periodically, annual statute volumes are published every year. These contain both new and amending statutes which have received Royal Assent during the past year. If a statute is passed after the most recent Revised Statutes, it will be cited to the annual volume in which it appears. SC denotes the Statutes of Canada. Example: Species at Risk Act SC 2002 c 29. To find the Statutes of Canada as passed and as they are currently, including amendments, see below.
Federal Acts as Made/ Passed
Upon Royal Assent, a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament and assigned a statute chapter number. Periodically, these new statutes / sessional Acts are published throughout the year as issues of the Canada Gazette Part III - Acts of Parliament. The Gazette Part III contains new public Acts, Acts and provisions that amend existing Acts, and other publications such as Proclamations of Canada and Orders in Council relating to the coming into force of Acts in a given calendar year as made. The new Acts are also immediately made available on the Department of Justice's Laws website, entitled Annual Statutes.
Federal Legislation Currently in Force
Up to date compilations of Acts and Regulations, including all amendments, are available online to be browsed or searched on:
Statutes and Regulations of Canada (Federal) on CanLII (open access)
Canadian Statutes and Regulations on WestlawNext Canada (UniMelb staff & students) - contains federal Acts and regulations currently in force, as well as recently enacted legislation not yet in force.
Point In-time / Historic Legislation
Use CanLII to navigate to the Statute or Regulation. All versions of the legislation are listed at the top of the page, indicating the period of time they were in force. If there is more than one historic version of an Act, they can be compared by clicking 'versions' at the top of the Act, and then clicking 'compare'. CanLII's historic versions of federal statutes starts in 2003, and federal regulations in 2006.
For detailed information on finding historical Federal Statutes before 2003 and Regulations before 2006, see the Simon Fraser University's Library Guide.
Amendments and Amending Legislation
To see if a Federal legislative provision has been amended, either:
Acts and provisions that amend existing Acts are published in the Annual Statutes. If you want to see the full text text of the amending provision, see 'Acts as Made' above in this box, which will help you find the amending Act.
To quickly find which Acts an amending Act is amending, use CanLII - an Amending link is available at the top of the screen, if the Act amends any other Acts.
Lists of repealed legislation
A list of all Federal Acts repealed since 1985 is on the Department of Justice website. Statutes repealed before 1985 are listed in the annual print volumes of the Statutes of Canada - PDF replicas of these volumes are available on HEIN Online (UniMelb staff & student access) - from 1792 to current (with a two-year delay)
A list of Acts repealed each year is listed in the Canada Gazette, Part I, and those otherwise slated for repeal are found in the Tabling of Annual Reports Under the Statutes Repeal Act.
Using consolidated legislation in CanLII, the Department of Justice or LexisNexis will list all repealed legislation in the alphabetical list of legislation in force, and will provide information such as date of repeal and earlier versions of the legislation, but will not provide access to the full text of the legislation as it existed immediately prior to repeal.
Full text of repealed legislation
Canada Repealed Statutes on Lexis Advance contains the full text of Acts repealed since April 1995 as they existed immediately prior to repeal. To see earlier versions of the repealed Acts, find the Act in the consolidated legislation on CanLII or the Department of Justice Laws website and view the 'previous versions'.
Acts which are partially repealed remain in the Consolidated Statutes until fully repealed.