Insider’s Guide to the Ontario Legislative Process

01Feb12

I like it when a workshop lives up to it’s billing as Rick Sage‘s Insider’s Guide to the Ontario Legislative Process did on January 26, 2012. It was part of the Toronto Association of Law Libraries’ Lunch and Learn series. Sage gave a highly entertaining and informative overview of the legislative process.

As I don’t delve into legislative research on an ongoing basis, this was a good refresher for me. I learned things like there are 2 types of more public bills (Private Member’s Public Bills and Committee’s Bills) The latter type, which Sage predicts will likely occur more frequently in the dynamics of a minority government, because a 2/3 majority of members can bring them forward.

Prior to 1990 there was no Committee Hansard. Sometimes there is a sentence stating that the Committee tabled the bill. If that is the case then it means the act of tabling the bill was the report itself, and no written record of discussions and amendments exist. Standing orders are the equivalent to Rules of Civil Procedure, as Ontario court rules are commonly known as.

Mainly Sage drew his talk from How Bills Come Into Law. An updated revision to Acts and Regulations – how they come into force is about to be launched. It was written by Philip Kaye and Eve Leung. (Disclaimer as I work with Eve Leung.) She said that the fixed date in the future did not work well, so methods were revised. The new document will likely become a training tool at the Ministry of Attorney General.

Way to go Eve! Also thanks to Toronto Association of Law Libraries’ and the Legislative Library at the Legislature of Ontario.

– Brenda

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