When conducting legislative research, working with statutes is only half the job. Most acts are accompanied by a set of related regulations. They are a package – regulations take care of the important details needed to implement the broader provisions of the act. Therefore, you should not overlook regulations when conducting legislative research. And just as you have to check the coming into force information for statutes, you have to do the same for regulations.
Ontario regulations contain information in the body of its text concerning how it will come into force. Ontario regulations can come into force by three main methods:
- Silence – According to subsection 22(2) of the Legislation Act, 2006, “unless otherwise provided in a regulation or in the Act under which the regulation is made, a regulation comes into force on the day on which it is filed.” Look to the top of the regulation for the filing date (much like the royal assent date of a statute).
- Filing – Although subsection 22(2) of the Legislation Act, 2006 provides for the scenario in which regulations would come into force upon filing (silence), it is more common for a regulation to state that it will come into force on the date of filing.
- Fixed Date – Lastly, a regulation may come into force on a specified date. This date can be in set in the future or retroactively. A regulation also may provide that it comes into force on the day another piece of legislation comes into force (thus initiating a domino effect of researching CIF information).
It’s also important to keep in mind that different sections of a regulation can have differing coming into force provisions.
For more information on coming into force details for both regulations and statutes, look to this great research paper produced by the research services team of the Ontario Legislative Library.
 For more information on coming into force provisions of statutes, look to our blog posts At your Fingertips and A New Year’s Resolution for Legislative Researchers – Never Assume.