Government of Canada Moves to E-Printing

It is important for all persons working in the legal field to have an understanding of how this impacts on perpetual access to legal information from the federal government.

This email was sent to members of the infodep listserv (from the Depository Services Program) on July 8, 2013:

“The new Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) Procedures for Publishing are now in effect. These procedures clarify the continuing role of Publishing and Depository Services during the Government of Canada’s transition to electronic publishing.

They apply to all departments listed in Schedules I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act, unless excluded by specific acts, regulations or orders in council.

A TBS news release concerning the new procedures is also available. [reproduced below].

In order to clarify section 6.7 of the Procedures for Publishing for Government of Canada departments and agencies, we have provided supplementary information on our Web site on the Services for the Government of Canada page.

Graeme Campbell, MLIS
Gestionnaire p.i., Programme des services de dépôt | A/Manager,
Depository Services Program Éditions et Services de dépôt | Publishing
and Depository Services Direction générale des services intégrés
Integrated Services Branch Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux
Canada | Public Works and Government Services Canada

News Release
For immediate release
July 5, 2013

Government of Canada Moves to E-Printing

Ottawa – The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today announced the Government of Canada has made electronic publishing its new standard for all documents as part of an ongoing commitment to reduce costs and modernize operations.

“Our Government is committed to delivering information to Canadians in the most efficient and cost effective way,” said Minister Clement. “From now on electronic publishing will be the default for all government organizations, significantly reducing the amount of large volume printing and the costs associated with it.”

In 2011–12, the Government of Canada spent about $19 million on the printing, distribution and warehousing of communications products. Through these new procedures, the Government will reduce these costs.

Publications will still be available in print ready formats and will be printed on request. Publications related to health, safety and security will continue to be made available in print formats.

The Procedures for Publishing, which are now in effect, support the Government’s Economic Action Plan 2013 commitment to modernize the production and distribution of government publications by shifting to electronic publishing and making print publications the exception.

For more information regarding the Procedures for Publishing and guidance to departments and agencies, please visit the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website.

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For more information, contact:

Matthew Conway
Press Secretary
Office of the President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for FedNor

Media Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

If there is a discrepancy between any printed version and the electronic version of this news release, the electronic version will prevail.


  1. Is there information somewhere about how one proves – say in court – that the electronic publication one wants to introduce in evidence is the genuine article? Can one rely on the integrity of a third-party data base under an implementation of the Uniform Electronic Evidence Act?

    What about the hearsay problem: must courts take judicial notice of documents electronically published by the Queen’s Printer?

  2. Of the several shortcomings of the Government of Canada’s otherwise admirable move to all-digital publishing, the most glaring is the failure to provide for authentication of the digital documents. This is especially regrettable given the admirable standards already implemented by the United States Government Printing Office (GPO) for official documents in digital formats ( With the American model readily at hand, the Canadian government’s failure to provide for authentication is curious and regrettable.

  3. From the Authentication page

    “Software Requirements for Validating Authenticity Adobe Acrobat or Reader 8.0 or 7.0 “.

    Good thing Reader is free. Otherwise, people might have to go to SourceForge.