Turning the tables on legislative research

Work smarter, not harder… by using the legislative tables on e-Laws. Read on for more info and test your knowledge on our legislation FAQs!

What are legislative tables and where do I find them on e-Laws?

On the e-Laws homepage, find the Legislative Tables link under “Recommended for you” on the left side of the screen. On the Legislative Tables page, you will find:

  • Table of Public Statutes and Ministers Responsible
  • Table of Proclamations
  • Table of Private Statutes
  • Table of Regulations

These searchable tables are primarily used to answer these common questions:

  1. Has my STATUTE been amended since it was ENACTED or CONSOLIDATED?
  2. Has my REGULATION been amended since it was FILED or CONSOLIDATED?
  3. When was my STATUTE proclaimed IN FORCE?

On the Legislative Tables page, you can also find tables which address corrections and consolidation errors on e-Laws.

The Legislative Tables page also includes:

  • Public statute provisions repealed under section 10.1 of the Legislation Act, 2006: A list of public statute provisions that are repealed since they were unproclaimed for 10+ years after enactment.
  • Detailed legislative history tables: Discontinued and archived tables (from the previous iteration of e-Laws) which provide section-by-section legislative history information for e-Laws statutes. You can download these archived tables as a zip file.

Time for a quick quiz on some FAQs!

Here are other FAQs that are easily answered with Legislative Tables.

Can you guess which table answers each question? Answers are linked below!

  1. This entity was enacted by a private statute a long time ago; how do I find its citation?
  2. I can’t find this obscure public statute in the RSO 1990, is it still in force?
  3. Where do I get a list of regulations under this statute?
  4. My annual statute does not provide a commencement date. Has it come into force yet?
  5. Which ministry is responsible for this statute?

Q1. This entity was enacted by a private statute a long time ago; how do I find its citation?

Answer: Check the Table of Private Statutes on e-Laws.

Private statutes can enact certain special types of organizations into existence or affect specific individuals [1]. Private statutes address a diverse range of entities, including municipalities, educational institutions, religious or charitable organizations, and more. They are not consolidated like public general statutes. Thus, we rely on the Table of Private Statutes to locate their amendments and citations.

The Table of Private Statutes on e-Laws contains “a list of the private statutes of the Legislature of Ontario passed since 1867 that may still have effect”. Although its landing page notes that “The inclusion or omission of a private statute in or from the table does not affect its status”, it remains our go-to resource for looking up information about private statutes in Ontario.

In the example below, you can find the private statute incorporating Prince Edward County by entering keywords (“Prince Edward County”) and then limiting the results list by subject (“Municipality). The result displays two statutes citations associated with the municipality of Prince Edward County.

Screenshot of Table of Private Statutes, showing keywords “prince Edward county” in the search field and selecting Municipal from the Subject drop-down list. The table displays one search result for the municipality of Prince Edward County and citations for its corresponding private statutes.
Click image to view the larger version.

Q2. I can’t find this obscure public statute in the RSO 1990, is it still in force?

Answer: Check the Table of Public Statutes and Ministers Responsible on e-Laws.

Occasionally, some public statutes were left out of the periodic consolidation of Ontario’s statutes for various reasons [2]. As a result, it might be difficult to locate them on e-Laws, since e-Laws’ coverage of annual statutes begins in 2000. If you have the name of an unconsolidated public statute, you can search the table to find out 1) its citation, 2) whether it is on e-Laws, 3) its legislative history, and 4) whether it was subsequently repealed after RSO 1990 was published.

In the example below, if you are seeking the Society of Management Accountants of Ontario Act, you simply enter the whole (or part of the) name of the Act in order to filter the table.

Screenshot of e-laws’ Table of Public Statutes and Ministers Responsible, showing search results for “Society of Management Accountants of Ontario Act”.
Click image to view the larger version.

The entry tells us the act’s citation (S.O. 1941, c. 77), its status on e-Laws (not on e-Laws), its legislative history (it has been amended 5 times). We also learn that this act was repealed on May 18, 2010 by a 2010 amendment.

Q3. Where do I get a list of regulations under this statute?

Answer: Check the Table of Regulations on e-Laws.

Although you can locate current or recently revoked/spent regulations from the consolidated statute’s page, the Table of Regulations provides a more comprehensive listing. Unlike the tabs on the parent statute’s page, the Table of Regulations includes regulations which were revoked prior to the existence of e-Laws.

In the example below, searching ‘“milk act” cheese’ brings up regulations made under the milk act that include “cheese” in the title. In the Table’s results, Cheese – Exchange (RRO 1990, Reg. 746) and Cheese – Marketing (RRO 1990, Reg. 748) regulations were both revoked in 1992 and are not on e-Laws.

Screenshot of e-laws’ Table of Public Statutes and Ministers Responsible, showing search results for “Society of Management Accountants of Ontario Act”.
Click image to view the larger version.

If you check the Milk Act’s “Revoked/spent regulations under this Act” tab, neither the Cheese – Exchange (RRO 1990, Reg. 746) and Cheese – Marketing (RRO 1990, Reg. 748) regulations appear in the list.

Screenshot of Ontario’s Milk Act on e-Laws, with the Revoked/Spent regulations under this Act tab selected. The Cheese Exchange and Cheese Marketing regulations are not included in the list of revoked/spent regulations.
Click image to view the larger version.

Q4. My annual statute does not provide a commencement date. Has it come into force yet?

Answer: Check the Table of Proclamations on e-Laws.

If the commencement section of your annual (source) statute states “comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor”, then you must determine if the proclamation was issued yet.

To determine if a proclamation was made, visit the Table of Proclamations, enter the title of your act, and check if there is corresponding “Date In Force” information. You can also search by copy-and-pasting the short title and/or citation information directly from your annual (source) statute. Please note that the search box is sensitive to spelling, spacing, and punctuation.

As an example, the “An Act to amend the Construction Lien Act” does not return any results, but “Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017” and “S.O. 2017, c. 24” do return results in the table. According to the table’s search results, the Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017, s. 75 (1) was proclaimed in force on July 1, 2018.

Screenshots of e-Laws’ Table of Proclamations showing different search results when a statute’s long title is used compared with its short title or citation
Click thumbnail to view a larger version of this image.

You may also use the Table to determine if a parent statute has any unproclaimed provisions. In the example below, searching for “vital statistics” brings up amendments that affect the Vital Statistics Act. The first two entries are not yet in force since the “Date in Force” column is left blank.

Screenshot of e-Laws’ Table of Proclamations, showing proclamation dates of individual source statutes, which affect their parent Vital Statistics Act.
Click image to view the larger version.

Q5. Which ministry is responsible for this statute?

Answer: Check the Table of Public Statutes & Ministers Responsible.

This e-Laws table pulls double-duty: it lists amendments affecting a particular statute in addition to noting which Minister is responsible for it. Ministerial responsibility is often noted in the statute itself (often in the interpretation or definitions section), but it can be much faster to search this table. Responsibility for statutes is typically conferred by order in council (OIC), and the table includes a column for citations to the most recent OIC and date that it was printed in the Ontario Gazette.

In the example below, if I search “wild rice” in the Table, it indicates that the Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry is responsible for administering the Wild Rice Harvesting Act. The table also refers to the Order in Council 1035/2021 from the August 21, 2021 issue of the Ontario Gazette, which appointed the minister to be responsible for the Wild Rice Harvesting Act [3].

Screenshot of e-Laws’ Table of Public Statutes, showing that the Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry is responsible for the Wild Rice Harvesting Act.
Click image to view the larger version.

How did you do?

Just for laughs, rate yourself on the scale below:

  • 5/5 – You’re so good at this…obviously, you work at e-Laws!
  • 4/5 – Are you a law librarian?!
  • 3/5 – Nice work – looks like this isn’t your first legal research rodeo!
  • 2/5 – Not bad! Perhaps it’s worth reviewing these tables one more time!
  • 0/5 or 1/5 –Hey, you learn something new every day, right?

No matter your score, you can sign up for a 1:1 tutorial with one of the Great Library Librarians or email us at refstaff@lso.ca and we’ll help you answer your legislative questions!

References

[1] See “Chapter 23 Private Bill Practice” from Marc Bosc & André Gagnon, House of Commons Procedure and Practice, 3rd ed (Ottawa: House of Commons, 2017), online: Parliament of Canada <https://www.ourcommons.ca/procedure/procedure-and-practice-3/ch_23_1-e.html>.

[2] I could only locate one source that partially explains why some unrepealed acts remain unconsolidated. The Appendix C from Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1877 is titled: “ACTS and parts of Acts of a Public General nature, which affect Ontario, and have relation to matters not within the legislative authority of the Legislature of Ontario, or in respect to which the power of legislation is doubtful or has been doubted, and most of which have in consequence not been consolidated; and also Acts of a Public General nature, in force in Ontario, which have not been, for other reasons, considered proper Acts to be consolidated” (emphasis mine).

[3] For more information about ministerial responsibility, see “Chapter 6 – VI Ministers and their Departments” in Privy Council Office, Government of Canada, Responsibility in the Constitution, Privy Council Office, Government of Canada, 1993 CanLIIDocs 266, <https://canlii.ca/t/t0qs&gt;, retrieved on 2022-06-07.