Letter to Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Attorney General for Ontario

John DiMarco
CIO, Justice Cluster
Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario
Suite 300
21 College St
Toronto ON M5G2B3

Dear Sir,

My name is Annette Demers and I am a Reference Librarian at the Paul Martin Law Library at the University of Windsor. I am writing to you today to mention a gap in your publications that I think you should be aware of.

As you know, the various tables which assist users in finding legislative information, which were published in the back of volume 2 of the annual Statutes of Ontario until the end of 2001, have now been completely removed from the print version and the print volumes themselves now refer us to eLaws.

Keeping in mind the fact that eLaws will become official on October 19th of this year,
I think it is important to raise the fact that there are still problems with eLaws that need to be addressed in advance of this date.

For example, volume 2 of the 2001 Statutes of Ontario contains the TABLE OF ONTARIO GAZETTE REGULATIONS PUBLICATION DATES starting from O Reg. 1/91 and ending with O Reg. 521/01 (12/01/02).

The eLaws version which is up on the website is this one:
“This Table sets out the dates on which regulations were published in print form in The Ontario Gazette, beginning with Ontario Regulation 1/91 and ending with Ontario Regulation 637/99. The publication dates for regulations filed in or after 2000 are noted in the Annual Lists of Regulations Filed.”

Ultimately, the online version of this table is older than the version that was printed in 2001. This is unacceptable for most users. In particular, on the online version there is a note telling users that “The publication dates for regulations filed in or after 2000 are noted in the Annual Lists of Regulations Filed.”

However when one visits the link for Annual Lists of Regulations Filed, the list begins in 2003.

Online users therefore face a four year gap in coverage for this very useful tool. Savvy users who know that the tables are available in a print format until 2001 still face a one year gap in coverage.

In my honest and sincere opinion, it is a mistake not to publish the tables in the back of the Annual Statutes of Ontario. These provide an essential snapshot of necessary information that will continue to be available to all users throughout time. Once the print volumes are on the library shelves, they cannot be mangled, deleted or otherwise slip through the cracks that very often happen when publishing in an online world.

While I do find the online eLaws tables to be very useful and I send my students there all the time, I don’t trust that the essential tools being provided by eLaws will survive the years as public servants and budgets come and go.

I hope you will seriously consider re-instating the Tables into the back of the Statutes of Ontario volumes.

Thank you
Annette Demers

Annette Demers, BA LLB MLIS
Reference Librarian
Paul Martin Law Library
401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4
Phone: 1-519-253-3000 (2976)
email: ademers@uwindsor.ca
web: http://www.uwindsor.ca/lawlibrary


  1. I should mention that upon closer reading of Ontario’s new Legislation Act, 2006, the “official” hallmark being given to laws and regulations as published on e-Laws – does not extend to the tables that are published there. We should also note that section 35(2) of the Legislation Act allows laws published on e-Laws to be accompanied by a dislaimer saying that a particular copy is not official. We will have to keep our eye out for such examples.