Know How

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


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Legal Research Survival Guide, Part 6 —Help with Hansard

In our previous Survival Guide posts, we’ve covered planning your research and getting off to a quick productive start with research guides, current legal texts and CPD papers. This week we’re continuing with some practical tips for conducting effective statutory research, using Hansard.

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Finding Hansard Online: Canada and Ontario

It is the universal dilemma of the researcher in the Digital Age: suspecting the information you seek is accessible online, but not knowing where or how to find that information. While not all of the Hansard transcripts (Debates) of the Parliament of Canada and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario are available online, a significant portion has been digitized and made freely available on public websites. This blog post is meant to act as a quick guide to finding Hansard online.

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Ontario Hansard Then and Now

Here’s a handy chronology for finding past and present Ontario Legislative Debates:

1841 – 1953:

Newspaper Hansard, also called Scrapbook Hansard, is a collection of newspaper articles actually clipped from various newspapers whose reporters reported on the goings-on in the Legislature from1841 to 1953. The Scrapbook Hansard has been microfilmed, and the Great Library has the microfilm reels plus a microfilm reader/printer.

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