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Tips Tuesday: Check the Currency of Laws Before Relying on Them

The House of Commons adjourned for the summer on June 20, 2024. A number of federal bills received Royal Assent the same day, including two omnibus acts, Bill C-59, the Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2023, and Bill C-69, the Budget Implementation Act, 2024, No. 1.

While not all the amendments made by these acts came into force on Royal Assent, a number of them did. However, the federal Justice Laws Website has not yet added these changes to the consolidated legislation and, based on previous patterns, the consolidated legislation will take a while to be updated.

As a result, you cannot assume that the consolidated acts and regulations published on the Justice Laws website are completely up-to-date. It is important to check the currency of this legislation before relying on it. The same goes for provincial and territorial legislation.

You can see the currency of federal legislation on the Justice Laws Website by looking at the top of the HTML document (e.g. “Act current to 2024-05-28 and last amended on 2024-02-01”) or at the bottom of the first page of the PDF (“Current to May 28, 2024”).

For provincial legislation, the location of the currency date varies; for example, Ontario has the currency date on its own page and for BC it is at the top of the consolidated act.

Note that since CanLII gets its legislation from the various King’s Printers, if their legislation is not current, the version of CanLII will not be current either.

Susannah Tredwell

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