When do Ontario Regulations Come into Force?

When conducting legislative research, gathering data on 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 gather the coming into force information for statutes[1], so too do you have to do the same for regulations.

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[1], you have to do the same for regulations.

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At your Fingertips: Proclamations and Annotations

Four annotated volumes of the statutes of Ontario with a background of the Great Library

When conducting legislative research, it’s important to remember that just because a statute has received royal assent, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of its sections have come into force. This is why it is so important to look through the commencement provisions of the statute in question to discern when the statute will be “fully operational” so to speak.

Unfortunately, deciphering coming into force dates isn’t always as straightforward as looking at these commencement provisions. While these provisions will sometimes neatly list the specific coming into force dates, other times they simply indicate that the statute will come into force “on a date to be determined by Proclamation”.

Proclamations are published in most jurisdiction’s official Gazettes. But luckily you don’t have to sift through piles of weekly Gazettes issues to find the proclamation you need. There are more efficient alternatives:

For Ontario, you can check the Table of Proclamations found on e-Laws, and for federal statutes you can check the coming into force dates in the Table of Public Statutes and Responsible Ministers on the Justice Laws website.

Another source which covers proclamations for all Canadian jurisdictions going back many years is the Great Library’s annotated statute volumes. We annotate our legislative volumes with coming into force information. This means we will actually pencil in the coming into force dates, along with the proclamation information, right next to the relevant provisions. Easy Peasy! Look for the volumes with the “Annotated” sticker on the spine to take advantage of this service, or alternatively, shoot us an email for coming into force information.

The New Divorce Act: the Changes Are Coming…Eventually

Recently, we’ve been getting a lot of questions concerning what has been colloquially referred to as the “New Divorce Act”. This act, which is officially known 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, (Bill C-78)) —you can see the need for a shortened title—received royal assent on June 21st of this year and will make many changes to the Divorce Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 3 (2nd Supp.)).

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