Many lawyers and legal researchers keep a mental note to look out for new regulations under specific Acts or new proclamations bringing into force an Act of interest. As Shaunna Mireau pointed out in this October 2011 tip though, if you’re only keeping an eye on new issues of the relevant Gazettes, you’ll be days or even weeks behind those who are also keeping an eye on orders in council. Remember, most regulations, proclamations, and orders begin life as orders in council. Then, if required, the OIC is later published in either part of the Gazette. So, stay on top of new regulations by looking at orders in council first.
I’ve compiled a handy reference list below for the jurisdictions I work in most often. Chime in the comments if you have a tip to share about your own early warning system for your province’s regulations or proclamations.
- Federal: Federal orders in council are posted to the Privy Council Orders in Council database as they are signed throughout the week. Do a date-limited blank search for the past two weeks in this database so see the latest OIC’s.
- British Columbia: New regulations are listed in the BC Regulations Bulletin every Thursday and orders in council are posted to the BC Laws website as they are signed throughout the prior week.
- Alberta: Orders in council are posted to the Alberta orders in council webpage on the day or the day after they’re signed throughout the month.
- Ontario: Regulations are posted to e-Laws, here, as they are filed, and extracts from proclamations are listed in the e-Laws Proclamations table as each OIC is signed. (My thanks to the very helpful Susan Merdzan, Manager of e-Laws with the Ontario Attorney General, for confirming this order of operations.)
- Northwest Territories: Registered regulations and orders are not made available in advance. (Thank you to Bev Speight of the NWT Department of Justice Library and her colleagues at the Legislation Division at GNWT for confirming this for me.)
- Nunavut: OIC’s are not made available separately in advance, however often the Government will put out a press release with a heads up if a regulation or proclamation is going to have effect before the next issue of the Gazette is published. (My thanks to Jenny Thornhill, Manager of Court Library Services for the Nunavut Court of Justice for the tip about press releases.)