Press releases are a good source of free current awareness alerts and a legitimate resource for understanding the intent of new legislation. I’m sharing a few of my favourite sources for timely and helpful press releases today. I’m a BC law librarian so I use these three sources often. Please share your own favourite sources for press releases for your area of Canada in the comments!
Supreme Court of Canada – There are two places you can sign up for press releases from the SCC, but if you want the most timely updates, get this one*, not this one. I like these press releases because they give you a 2-4 day heads up on which applications for leave to appeal will be decided each Thursday and which appeals will come out each Friday.
BC Government – If you sign up for press releases for your area of interest and choose to get them “as soon as it’s published”, you’ll be the first to know when a relevant bill is introduced in the BC legislature. Not only is this a great real-time alert for legislative developments, but the press release often links to backgrounders and the full text of the bill. Also, the press release is the first place you’ll learn about the intent of a bill, since it will be available long before Hansard. Because the BC government press releases are so comprehensive and timely, they’re the perfect document to flip to a client when an important bill comes down.
Federal Department of Finance – The central fire hose of federal government press releases is overwhelming and often omits significant niche announcements. I recommend signing up for email delivery of individual Ministry press releases instead, such as for the Department of Finance. The option to receive press releases about new Notices of Ways and Means Motions will keep the tax lawyers among us happy, while the option to receive press releases on new public consultations is important for solicitors advising clients on lobbying opportunities.
* The SCC press release mailing list I prefer is often difficult to subscribe to from institutional internet connections. Make a note to subscribe at home on your personal internet connection instead