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The blog of the Great Library at the Law Society of Ontario


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House of Bills: A Weekly Update on Ontario Bills

Below, we have compiled a list of those bills which progressed through the House during the emergency sessions of March 19 and March 25. As of now, the House stands adjourned until Tuesday, April 14. Additionally, all committee meetings have been cancelled until further notice.

Sitting dates: March 19 & 25 legend
42nd Parliament, 1st Session

Bill 181, Supply Act, 2020
Royal assent (March 19)

Bill 186, Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020
First reading (March 19)
Second reading, carried (March 19)
Third reading, carried (March 19)
Royal Assent (March 19)

Bill 187, Municipal Emergency Act, 2020
First reading (March 19)
Second reading, carried (March 19)
Third reading, carried (March 19)
Royal assent (March 19)

Bill 188, Economic and Fiscal Update Act, 2020
First Reading (March 25)
Second Reading, carried (March 25)
Third Reading, carried (March 25)
Royal Assent (March 25)


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Remote Access to Online CPD Materials

Did you know that you can remotely access continuing professional development (CPD) materials through the Great Library’s catalogue? Whether searching through the “Everything”1or “CPD”tab (shown below), you can search, summon, download and send digitized CPD materials remotely.

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Searches using the “Everything” tab are conducted on the search platform InfoLocate. While searches on this platform will summon results other than CPD materials, you can use the filter “Online Law Society CLE Articles” found on the left to narrow your results to only include online CPD materials. See below:

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Searches using the “CPD” tab are conducted using the database AccessCLE. This database is home to hundreds of free, digitized PDFs of Law Society of Ontario CPD materials.

Another place to look for online CPD materials is CanLII. The County of Carleton Law Association CPD materials from 2018 and 2019 were recently made available on CanLII’s “Commentary” platform. Find these by navigating to the “Conference Proceedings” link on the Commentary page, or click here.

Having access to CPD materials can really come in handy as they are a great way to keep up to date on emerging legal issues and can act as primers or introductory overviews of major legal topics in a given field. They are also great tools for finding forms and precedents!


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House of Bills: A Weekly Update on Ontario Bills

After taking a few days to get our ducks in a row, we will be catching up on House of Bills posts for those sitting dates we have missed due to COVID-19 interruptions. Here is the post for the sitting week of March 9-March 12. Stay tuned for the next post which gathers all progress made to Ontario bills in the third and fourth weeks of March during the COVID-19 emergency sitting sessions.

March 9 – March 12legend
42nd Parliament, 1st Session

Bill 141, Defibrillator Registration and Public Access Act, 2020

Third Reading (March 10 & 11)

Bill 156, Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020

Discharge the Order of referral to Committee (from Standing Committee on Justice Policy) (March 9)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on General Government (March 9)

Bill 159, Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020

Second Reading (March 10-12)

Bill 161, Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2020

Considered by Standing Committee on Justice Policy (March 12)

Bill 171, Building Transit Faster Act, 2020

Considered by Standing Committee on Social Policy (March 10)

Bill 174, Ditch the Switch Act, 2020

Second Reading, carried (March 12)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills (March 12)

Bill 175, Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, 2020

Second Reading, carried on division (March 9 & 10)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Social Policy (March 10)

Bill 177, Sikh Genocide Awareness Week Act, 2020

Second Reading, carried (March 12)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Justice Policy (March 12)

Bill 180, Somali Heritage Week Act, 2020

First Reading (March 10)

Bill 181, Supply Act, 2020

First Reading (March 10)
Second Reading, carried on division (March 11 & 12)
Third Reading, carried on division (March 12)

Bill 182, Franco-Ontarian Emblem Amendment Act, 2020

First Reading (March 10)
Second Reading, carried (March 12)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills (March 12)

Bill 183, Strengthening Human Rights in Ontario Act, 2020

First Reading (March 11)

Bill 184, Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020

First Reading (March 12)

Bill 185, Vision Zero Strategy Act, 2020

First Reading (March 12)


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House of Bills: A Weekly Update on Ontario Bills

March 2 – March 5legend
42nd Parliament, 1st Session

Bill 145, Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2020
Royal Assent (March 4)

Bill 156, Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020
Second Reading, carried on division (March 4)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Justice Policy (March 4)

Bill 159, Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020

Reported as amended (March 2)
First Reading, Ordered for Second Reading pursuant to Standing Order 77(b) (March 2)
Second Reading (March 5)

Bill 161, Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2020

Second Reading, carried on division (March 3 & 5)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Justice Policy (March 5)

Bill 162, Public Accountability and Lobbyist Transparency Act, 2020

Discharge the Order of referral to Committee of the Whole House (March 3)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Justice Policy (March 3)

Bill 166, Great Lakes Protection Amendment Act, 2020

Second Reading, carried (March 5)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills (March 5)

Bill 171, Building Transit Faster Act, 2020

Second Reading, carried on division (March 3)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Social Policy (March 3)

Bill 175, Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, 2020

Second Reading (March 2-5)

Bill 178, Black Mental Health Day Act, 2020

First Reading (March 2)

Bill 179, Assessment Amendment Act (Areas in Transition), 2020

First Reading (March 3)


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House of Bills: A Weekly Update on Ontario Bills

February 24 – February 27
42nd Parliament, 1st Sessionlegend

Bill 141, Defibrillator Registration and Public Access Act, 2020

Considered by Standing Committee on Social Policy (Feb 24 & 25)
Reported as amended (Feb 26)

Bill 145, Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2020

Third Reading, carried on division (Feb 26 & 27)

Bill 159, Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020

Considered by Standing Committee on Justice Policy (Feb 27)

Bill 161, Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2020

Second Reading (Feb 27)

Bill 168, Combating Antisemitism Act, 2020

Second Reading, carried on division (Feb 27)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Justice Policy (Feb 27)

Bill 171, Building Transit Faster Act, 2020

Second Reading (Feb 24-26)

Bill 173, Ontario Day Act, 2020

First Reading (Feb 24)
Second Reading, carried (Feb 27)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills (Feb 27)

Bill 174, Ditch the Switch Act, 2020

First Reading (Feb 25)

Bill 175, Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, 2020

First Reading (Feb 25)

Bill 176, Maternal Mental Health Act, 2020

First Reading (Feb 25)

Bill 177, Sikh Genocide Awareness Week Act, 2020

First Reading (Feb 26)


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LEGISinfo: Tips for Tracking Federal Bill Activity

As some of you may know, the Great Library has been reporting on the legislative activity of Ontario public bills in our new blog series “House of Bills”. Though we don’t cover the federal side of things, here are a few tips for using LEGISinfo to keep track of federal bills as they move through the House of Commons and the Senate.

On the home page of LEGISinfo, you’ll notice that there are a few filter options near the top of the page. For the purposes of tracking the most recent activity of bills, we will be using the “Latest Activity Date” and “Show Details” filters shown below:

By clicking on the “Latest Activity Date”, the bills with the most recent activity are pulled to the top of the page in descending order.

Now that we’ve manipulated the list to show the bills with the most recent activity first, we can use the “Show Details” filter to reveal more information concerning the activity of each bill.  Once expanded, we can now see the last stage the bill has completed under the “Last stage Complete” section and by the bar graph in the top right corner (shown below):

It’s important to note that the data contained in this section reflects the latest stage that the bill has completed, and not necessarily the stage the bill is currently being considered under. For instance, though the entry shown above for Bill C-6 only mentions the first reading, the bill is currently being considered for second reading. If you click the “View Complete Bill Details” link, you will be taken to a page that shows that Bill C-6 sat for second reading on February 24, though it has not yet completed the second reading stage.

For another tool that shows you the latest stage a bill has reached and not necessarily completed, select the “Legislative at a Glance” option located on the left-hand side of the LEGISinfo home page. “Legislation at a Glance” provides an overview of bills under consideration in either the Senate or the House of Commons


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House of Bills: A Weekly Update on Ontario Bills

After their winter break, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario is officially back in session as of February 18, 2020.  This also marks the return of the Great Library’s weekly updates of Ontario legislative activity in our House of Bills blog series.

Though the Legislature returned on February 18, our first post of the year includes activity preceding this date. This is because, if designated, committees can meet during any recess or adjournment (Click here for the calendar listing of dates on which committees or the House can meet). We have included all committee activity of this year thus far below.  

January 2 – February 20
42nd Parliament, 1st Sessionlegend

Bill 141, Defibrillator Registration and Public Access Act, 2020

Considered by Standing Committee on Social Policy (Jan 16 & 29)

Bill 145, Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2020

Considered by Standing Committee on General Government (Jan 8, Feb 3 & Feb 19)
Reported as amended (Feb 20)

Bill 156, Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020

Second Reading (Feb 18 & Feb 20)

Bill 159, Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020

Considered by Standing Committee on Justice Policy (Jan 20-22)

Bill 161, Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2020

Second Reading (Feb 19)

Bill 162, Public Accountability and Lobbyist Transparency Act, 2020

Second Reading, Carried (Feb 20)
Ordered referred to Committee of the Whole House (Feb 20)

Bill 163, Food Day Ontario (Food Day Canada in Ontario) Act, 2020

Second Reading, Carried, (Feb 20)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on General Government (Feb 20)

Bill 167, Legislative Assembly Amendment Act, 2020

Second Reading, Carried (Feb 18)
Ordered referred to Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly (Feb 18)

Bill 171, Building Transit Faster Act, 2020

First Reading (Feb 18)

Bill 172, Education Statute Law Amendment Act (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), 2020

First Reading (Feb 18)


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Divorce Act & Bill C-78 – Unofficial Consolidation

Now available: an unofficial consolidation of the Divorce Act & Bill C-78.

A handy unofficial version of the Divorce Act that incorporates the pending changes in Bill C-78 is now available for free. The consolidation was created by B.C. family law arbitrator and author, John-Paul Boyd and announced on Slaw this week.

While commonly referred to as “The New Divorce Act”, Bill C-78 is officially cited as “An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act”, S.C. 2019, c. 16. The act significantly amends, but does not replace the current Divorce Act.

Boyd’s consolidated version will fill an important research need until the Bill C-78 changes take effect and are incorporated into the official consolidation of the Divorce Act on Justice Laws. Currently these amendments are listed separately following the text of the Divorce Act, under the heading “Amendments Not In Force”.

Further reading on Bill C-78:


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Yes, the Words are Important!

Doing some online research and getting no results? Are you using the right words?

When we did research using print sources, the right terms weren’t as essential as they are today. In the print sources you could browse the table of contents and index, review a relevant chapter, and sometimes even open the book to the exact page you need (serendipity – it has happened, honest!).

Doing research with print provides a context; you’re starting with Waddams’ The Law of Contracts, or Brown on Insurance Law in Canada. As you read you discover other relevant terminology and learn more about the area of law. But with online searching you’re sending words into a void with the hope that the results contain the answer you seek.

So how can you avoid wasting time? Begin with the right words. For example, searching for a precedent for a “motion for rectification” instead of an “application for rectification” will return zero results. If you’re not sure of the right words, first do some research in secondary sources such as Perell & Morden’s The Law of Civil Procedure in Ontario, the C.E.D. (print or through WestlawNext Canada) or books on wills and probate. Secondary sources are your friends!

If your online search still doesn’t pull up relevant results, tweak your search. Instead of using a phrase such as “application for rectification”, try broadening the search and do a proximity search instead: application /5 rectification. Be sure to use the correct connectors for the online source since they aren’t always consistent.

It may seem like a waste of time to begin with some preliminary research to gain context and an understanding of a topic, but in the end it may save you time – because the words are important.