Online Federal Legislation Authoritative

Library Boy noted yesterday that as a consequence of the Legislation Revision and Consolidation Act federal consolidated statutes and regulations are ‘official’ and can be used for “evidentiary purposes.” The government press release is here.

The federal Laws Site also now offers a side-by-side bilingual version of legislation in PDF.


  1. The statutory revisions now proclaimed in force were part of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) that got Royal Assent in early May, 2000. Nine years later …

    I don’t know if any subsequent amendments were needed to give effect to the publication and security measures that are now being used.

    My recollection is that the legislation had some interesting protections of the integrity of the legislative data base, establishing the paper text signed by the Clerk of Parliament as the official base text in case of any doubt. But this does and should not stop people from relying on the online version in court, any more than it does in Ontario. Ontario’s provision (which has been mentioned on Slaw) makes an official copy usable as Ontario law in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

  2. So, are Ontario and Canada/Federal the only jurisdictions in Canada where electronic versions of legislation are official? Any idea if other provincial or territorial jurisdictions will be making their electronic legislation official any time soon?