Finding Legislative Histories on eLaws: A Refresher

Looking for legislative history and amendment information for Ontario statutes but find yourself unsure how to begin? Here’s a quick refresher on using e-Laws to get the information you need.

If you click into any piece of current consolidated legislation on e-Laws – I’ve used the Ambulance Act as an example –  you can find three spots that contain legislative history information:

  1. under the “Versions” tab,
  2. in the “Legislative History” note,
  3. and through the Source Notes under each section of the act.

1. “Versions”

versions

The “Versions” tool of the e-Laws website is a great way to view historical versions of consolidated legislation. Simply click one of the listed hyperlinked date ranges to view a snapshot of how that act read during that period of time. e-Laws provides historical versions of consolidated legislation going back until January 2, 2004.

2. “Legislative History”

legislative history

Near the top of every consolidated act you will find a section that reads “Legislative History”. Here, you can find a list of cites to acts that have affected the current act in some way (whether through amendment, repeal or enactment) since the Revised Statutes of Ontario 1990. This is helpful when looking to trace an act back to before the “Versions” cut-off date of 2004.

3. Source Notes

source notes

When looking for legislative history information for specific provisions, look to the citations provided at the end of each section of the act. Unlike the information provided in the “Legislative History” section, these source notes highlight only those acts that have affected the specific section in some way. These source notes go back until the Revised Statutes of Ontario 1990. For more on how to read and utilize source notes, see our blog post here.

Tables on e-Laws

And of course, e-Laws has plenty of tables that can be helpful when conducting legislative research. The “main” table to use when tracing back legislation may well be the “Public Statutes and Ministers Responsible” table. This table provides info concerning minister(s) responsible, legislative history and repeal information going back until the Revised Statutes of Ontario 1990. Here is a full list of e-Laws legislative tables.

Need legislative history information going back before the Revised Statutes of Ontario 1990? HeinOnline has got you covered. You can find tables of public statutes at the end of volumes of the digitized Ontario annual statutes up to 2001. These tables provide information on statutes such as: their citation within the most recent revision as well as amendment and repeal information. And don’t forget — Law Society of Ontario licensees have free remote access to HeinOnline through the Great Library.

HeinOnline Tip: Article Email Alerts

HeinOnline has implemented a new feature to help you keep track of articles on a given subject or written by a particular author. The new Similar Article Email Alerts feature notifies subscribers:

  1. When new material for this author is added to HeinOnline
  2. When new articles in HeinOnline cite this author’s articles
  3. When articles are accessed on HeinOnline each month
  4. When similar articles are published on this author’s works

Whether you want to keep track of an author’s publications or discover new articles that are similar to those written by your favourite author, HeinOnline has you covered.

To set up Similar Article Email Alerts, go to the author’s profile page. You can do this by plugging the author’s name into the search bar. On the results page, find an entry written by your author and click their hyperlinked name. This will bring you to their author profile page. Here is an example of Alice Woolley’s author page:

Alice Wooley’s author page on HeinOnline with email alert “bell” icon at top right

You will notice a bell icon at the top right of the page. Click this icon to set your preferences and subscribe with your email.

For more information on this feature, see HeinOnline’s Tip of the Week.

HeinOnline author alert dialog box, showing what you want to get alerts for

Now you’re all set! Don’t forget that Law Society of Ontario licensees have remote access to HeinOnline through the Great Library. Email refstaff@lso.ca to get yours set up today!

HeinOnline Research Tip: Use “More Like This”

HeinOnline has added several search enhancement tools over the past year, including “More Like This”, a feature that helps you find similar articles to the current article you are viewing.  

Continue reading “HeinOnline Research Tip: Use “More Like This””