Copyright 1995 Martha Foote
RÉSUMÉ: Cet article retrace le développement de la Gazette du Canada depuis ses origines jusqu'à ce jour et l'enchaînement de son histoire avec celle du Canada. Une attention spéciale est portée à la législation qui a régi la Gazette du Canada. Le reste de l'article se concentre sur le contenu, l'indexation et quelques commentaires sur l'avenir de la Gazette du Canada.
The Canada Gazette is the official newspaper of the government of Canada. It has been published regularly by the Queen's Printer since 1841, although its antecedents can be traced back more than two centuries. In it are published new statutes and regulations, proposed regulations, decisions of administrative boards and an assortment of government notices which are required by statute to be published so as to disseminate this information to the public.
In addition to the London Gazette, which is now published each weekday, there are a number of other Commonwealth gazettes including the Belfast Gazette, the Edinburgh Gazette, the New Zealand Gazette, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette and the Canada Gazette. Each province and territory of Canada also publishes its own gazette.
For the first couple of years the publication of new Acts was an important part of the Canada Gazette and the size of an issue was usually determined by the number and length of the statutes published therein. The content of the Gazette soon began to expand to include other types of information such as selected treaties of the British government, notices of Royal Assent, proclamations and regulations, financial statements of chartered banks, corporate notices, notices of bankruptcy and a variety of miscellaneous notices including the appointments of notaries and justices of the peace, admissions to the Law Society of Upper Canada, and appointment of Queen's Counsel. Not everything was strictly business; a notice dated 26 June 1847 announced that the wife of the Governor-General, the Countess of Elgin and Kincardine, would receive ladies at her residence from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays. The text of new Acts appeared only sporadically after the mid-1840's, although notices of proclamations remained an important component of the Canada Gazette.
The Canada Gazette's status was strengthened and confirmed in 1849 with the passage of An Act to provide for the insertion of certain official and legal notices in the Canada Gazette.9 This statute took effect on 1 October 1849. It substituted the Canada Gazette for the Upper Canada Gazette and the Quebec Gazette, both of which were still being published in spite of their diminished status. Section 1 of the Act speaks of the circulation of the two regional gazettes as "limited and local" and that of the Canada Gazette as "great and co-extensive".
Until 1843 the French-language content was almost negligible. This was slow to change, but gradually more and more of the Canada Gazette came to be printed in French, although the English section always preceded the French. In almost every instance the French version was a translation of the English. Volume numbering did not commence until January, 1853; until then there were only consecutive issue numbers. Extra issues, or "gazettes extraordinaire" were printed as required, for example, to announce the Royal Assent of new bills, the recall of Parliament, or the departure of the Governor-General. An index was published for the years 1841-1844 and there were annual indexes thereafter.
Individual issues of the new series were brief, with a strong English focus, publishing proclamations, parliamentary and government notices, and orders in council of a general nature. Material from London, such as notices from Downing Street and information about English schools, was also included. The continuing series had much larger issues with more detail and a definite, although not exclusive, focus on Quebec. It contained proclamations, notices of bankruptcy, sale of real estate, and corporation, government and parliamentary notices, the majority of which were concerned with Quebec. The rules of court for Quebec were also published here. Very occasionally the text of a new statute was published as a supplement.
The language issue did not die with the union of the Canadas. While the English content continued to be printed first, the French began to increase as more information was printed in both languages. Most government notices and proclamations were printed in English and French, but not all corporate, bankruptcy and miscellaneous notices. The practice was to translate items pertaining to Quebec, although this did not happen in every case.
Two years after Confederation, Parliament passed legislation concerning the Canada Gazette. An Act respecting the office of Queen's Printer and the Public Printing11 came into force on 1 October 1869 and dealt with the appointment, salary and duties of the Queen's Printer, one of which was the printing and publication of the Canada Gazette, "the Official Gazette of the Dominion" (s. 2). Section 3 specified the content of the Canada Gazette: "All Proclamations issued by the Governor or under the authority of the Governor in Council, and all official notices, advertisements and documents relating to the Dominion of Canada, or matters under the control of the Parliament thereof, and requiring publication, shall be published in the Canada Gazette, unless some other mode of publication thereof be required by law." Section 9 gave the Governor in Council the power to prescribe the "form, mode and condition of publication of the Canada Gazette". The Canada Gazette was governed by this Act (cited as the Public Printing and Stationery Act from 1906) until its repeal by the Government Organization Act, 1969,12 of which more will be said later.
Both series continued to publish until 30 October 1869 when the original series ended. The numbering sequence which began with the new series remained and has continued to the present day.
Canada Gazette, 23 January 1901,
announcing death of Queen Victoria
Canada Gazette, 23 January 1901, announcing death of Queen Victoria
Following the creation of Part II in 1947 to publish the text of statutory instruments and regulations, this part of the Canada Gazette became Part I, publishing material of a general nature. It is still published every Saturday with the occasional extra issue as required. The habit of separating the English and French sections did not die out until 1970 when it was replaced by English and French text in parallel columns, thus making the Canada Gazette a completely bilingual publication.
Today's Canada Gazette Part I contains a mixture of government and parliamentary information. The following list sets out the more important types of data to be found therein:
Each issue of the Canada Gazette Part I has its own non-cumulating index, a practice begun with volume 14 in 1880. The early indexes were very brief and covered very little of the actual content, while those of today are much more detailed. There are also quarterly indexes to Part I, but these are non-cumulating and slow to be published. It is advisable for libraries to retain these indexes, and it would be desirable for the Queen's Printer to publish a cumulation.
Growth in the amount of delegated legislation -- orders in council, rules, regulations and proclamations -- was significant during the war years and has not decreased since that time. Between 1932 and 1938, the federal government approved 23,139 orders in council; between 1939 and 1945 the number soared to 60,655; in the years immediately following the end of the war, 1946 to 1952, there were 40,953.14 No specific statute pertaining to the publication of delegated legislation yet existed and would not be created until the passage of the Regulations Act, 1950. Those orders which required publication could be found in the Canada Gazette.
Thus the road was paved for the creation of a permanent series which would publish delegated legislation. The Canada Gazette Part II was authorized by P.C. 1946-4876, The Statutory Orders and Regulations Order, 1947, which was made on 26 November 1946 and ordered that after 1 January 1947 the Canada Gazette be published in two parts. Part I was to be called "General" and would contain "the matter which prior to the said date was published in the Canada Gazette excepting the matter to the published in Part II as hereinafter set out." Part II was entitled "Statutory Orders and Regulations" and was to contain "proclamations, orders, rules and regulations" as set out in section 4 of the order. Section 6 stated that "Part II of the Canada Gazette, entitled 'Statutory Orders and Regulations', shall be published regularly by the King's Printer, on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month."
This order was subsequently revoked and replaced by P.C. 1946-5355 of 30 December 1946. Section 6(a) directed the Clerk of the Privy Council to prepare a consolidation of "all such orders, minutes, rules or regulations" that were in force as of 31 December 1947. This consolidation was eventually published in 1950 under the title Statutory Orders and Regulations, Consolidation, 1949 and was followed by similar editions in 1955 and 1978, with the Canada Gazette Part II functioning as the updating tool.15
Part II of the Canada Gazette was published for the first time on Wednesday, 8 January 1947. It did not commence with volume one but instead continued the numbering sequence begun in 1867, so that the initial issue was volume 81, number 1. The text of each instrument was printed in full, together with its registration number and date. Two non-cumulating tables were printed at the back of each issue. The "Table of Contents" was arranged by instrument number and provided the title, name of administering body and page reference, while the "Index to Statutory Orders and Regulations" had a topical arrangement, also with page references.
In 1950 Parliament passed the Regulations Act.16 This new statute required the Clerk of the Privy Council to keep a record of regulations transmitted to him by regulation-making authorities, the Governor in Council and the Treasury Board. It also required that all regulations be published in the Canada Gazette, in English and in French, within 30 days of being made. Publication in the Canada Gazette was to be considered proof of a regulation's existence. The Act further provided that regulations be cited as "Statutory Orders and Regulations" or "S.O.R." followed by the number. SOR/50-572, which took effect 1 January 1951 pursuant to the new Act, continued the Canada Gazette in two parts and prescribed that Part II was to contain regulations as defined in section 2(a) of the Regulations Act, thus tightening the requirements set out in The Statutory Orders and Regulations Order, 1947.
At the same time, SOR/50-572 directed the Clerk of the Privy Council to publish every three months a consolidated index and table of all regulations made since the last consolidation, together with all amendments, revocations or other modifications. This index commenced 1 January 1950 and took up where the 1949 Statutory Orders and Regulations consolidation left off. Its main feature was a "Table of Statutory Orders and Regulations" which listed new regulations and amendments to existing ones, giving the name of the enabling Act, name of the regulation, volume and page reference to the 1949 consolidation (where applicable) and amendments with page reference to Part II.
In 1972 the Regulations Act was repealed and replaced by the Statutory Instruments Act.17 Section 10 continued the Canada Gazette as the official gazette of Canada. The status of the Canada Gazette had been in doubt since its parent statute, the Public Printing and Stationery Act, was repealed in 1969 by the Government Organization Act which made no mention at all of the Canada Gazette. In his appearance on 16 February 1971 before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, which was examining the statutory instruments bill, the Hon. John Turner, Minister of Justice, stated that "the Canada Gazette is recognized as the official gazette of Canada but this recognition has no statutory basis ... we are not creating the Canada Gazette by statute. We are just saying ... 'The Queen's Printer shall continue to publish the Canada Gazette as the official gazette of Canada.'"18
The question of the Gazette's status was the subject of a lively debate in the House of Commons on 8 March 1971, shortly after the Minister's appearance before the Standing Committee. The opposition raised the issue of the Gazette, claiming that, since the repeal of the Public Printing and Stationery Act, it had no statutory authority. According to the honourable member, the repeal of this statute had "abolished" the Gazette; while the Government Organization Act, 1969 continued the office of Queen's Printer, it did not authorize the printing and publishing of an official gazette. "I suggest, and the minister himself confirmed this, that in the course of the preparation of the government reorganization bill of April, 1969, something was inadvertently done which removed the statutory authority which gave the Canada Gazette its status as the official gazette of Canada."19
An examination of Hansard reveals the niceties of the issue. The Minister of Justice told the House that "This clause [section 10] does not provide that the Queen's Printer shall continue to publish the Canada Gazette as the official gazette of Canada; it simply provides it shall be continued as the official gazette of Canada. At the present time, the Canada Gazette is recognized as being the official gazette, but this recognition needs a statutory basis, one which the clause in question will give to it. There has been no interruption in the authority for the publication of the gazette."20 Later in the same debate he said: "The Canada Gazette retains its status as a journal in which documents needing publicity for validation must be published ... Authority for the Canada Gazette lies in the fact that it is the Canada Gazette, not that it is designated as the official gazette. All the statutes to which the hon. member refers speak of the Canada Gazette. The legal power is not changed by designating it the official gazette."21 This debate was not resumed as the House moved on to consider other sections of the bill.
The Statutory Instruments Act was duly passed and remains the governing statute for the Canada Gazette.22 The Gazette's official status is continued by section 10, and section 12 permits the Governor in Council to "direct that any statutory instrument or other document, or any class thereof, be published in the Canada Gazette" and further directs that the Clerk of the Privy Council, under the authorization of the Governor in Council, "may direct or authorize the publication in the Canada Gazette of any statutory instrument or other document, the publication of which, in his opinion, is in the public interest." Section 14(1) continued the quarterly consolidation of regulations and 14(2) made provision for a quarterly index to Part I.
Because the number of regulations made by the federal government continues to increase, the importance of the Canada Gazette Part II has not diminished. Its contents now encompass "all 'regulations' as defined in the Statutory Instruments Act and certain other classes of statutory instruments and documents required to be published therein"23 including the proclamations of new Acts. Since January, 1984 it has been published every second Wednesday, and instead of separate English and French editions there is one edition with English and French in parallel columns.
The quarterly cumulative index is now called the "Consolidated Index of Statutory Instruments" and is perhaps the most valuable index produced by the federal government next to the "Table of Public Statutes". It cumulates from 1 January 1955 and contains only those instruments still in force. Table II, "Table of Regulations, Statutory Instruments (Other than Regulations) and Other Documents Arranged by Statute" lists all amendments in force under the short title of regulations which are in turn arranged alphabetically by name of the enabling Act. Instruments made by other than statutory authority can be found at the end of this table. Table I is an alphabetical list of regulations, giving the name of the enabling statute so that the researcher can then refer to Table II for amendments. Table III lists those regulations which are exempt from registration and publication in the Canada Gazette. Fortunately there are very few and the table takes up no more than one or two pages. Anyone doing retrospective research should consult back copies of the "Consolidated Index" for those instruments which were made after January 1, 1955 but are no longer in force.
Special issues are published as required. The most important to date is "Special Issue 1978", which was published in two volumes on 31 December 1978 in conjunction with the release of the Consolidated Regulations of Canada 1978, the first revision and consolidation of federal regulations since 1955.
Publication in Part III does not necessarily signify that an Act is in force, since proclamation is frequently required in addition to Royal Assent. Therefore each issue also contains a non-cumulating "Table of Proclamations" covering Acts which have been proclaimed in force during the time period covered by that specific issue.
Until very recently Canada Gazette Part III included two other very useful tables which were published under separate cover from the new Acts and the "Table of Proclamations". The "Table of Public Statutes" is an alphabetical listing of Acts in force since 1907 together with section by section amendments to those Acts and notes about coming into force. Statutes not consolidated in the Revised Statutes of Canada 1927, 1952, 1970 and 1985 are listed as well. A "Table of Acts and the Ministers responsible for their administration" was published under the same cover as the "Table of Public Statutes", allowing for easy identification of administering departments.
The Canada Gazette Part III dated August 25, 1993 carried the announcement that both these tables would cease to be published with Part III, citing the high cost of printing as the reason. This decision has not resulted in the demise of the tables, which are of great value to the researcher. Instead, they are now published independent of Part III by the Department of Justice. The "Table of Public Statutes" is also published with the annual bound volume of the statutes. There has been talk of discontinuing Part III because the statutes are now published annually and "assented to" Acts were introduced in 1990. The original reason for creating Part III no longer exists. So far this has not happened and Part III continues to be published.
Martha Foote, "The Canada Gazette," Government Information in Canada/Information gouvernementale au Canada, Vol. 1, no. 4.2.
Martha Foote Librarian Borden & Elliot Toronto, CanadaThe author wishes to thank Michel LeClerc, Regulatory Analyst, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and Elizabeth Deavy, formerly Official Publications Specialist, National Library of Canada, for generously sharing their expertise on this subject.
 P.M. Handover, A History of the London Gazette 1665-1965 (London: H.M.S.O., 1965), pp. 2-12.
 For more information on the Upper Canada Gazette consult Brian Tobin, The Upper Canada Gazette and its Printers, 1793-1849 (Toronto: Ontario Legislative Library, 1993).
 (U.K.), 1840, c. 35.
 Olga B. Bishop, Publications of the Government of the Province of Canada 1841-1867 (Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1963), p. 58.
 Stewart Derbishire (1794?-1863), an Englishman, pursued a variety of careers including soldier, lawyer and journalist before coming to Canada in 1838 to gather intelligence for Lord Durham, the governor general of British North America, concerning the 1837 rebellion in Lower Canada. His connection with government officials led to his appointment in 1841 as Queen's Printer, a post he held until he died.
George-Paschal Desbarats (1808-1864) was a French Canadian who, unlike Derbishire, had a solid grounding in the printing trade, having entered his family's printing business when he was eighteen. His commissions included the Journals of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada. He and Stewart Derbishire were named Queen's Printer in 1841. Following Derbishire's death, Desbarats shared his responsibilities with Malcolm Cameron until his own death in 1864.
 Section 41 of the Union Act, 1840 specified that the legislative records of the Province of Canada were to be kept in English only. Translations were permitted but were not to be housed with the records of the Legislature nor would they have the force of an original record. Prov. C. 1841, c. 11, passed in the following year by the Parliament of the Province of Canada, permitted the Governor to appoint "one proper and competent person, versed in legal knowledge and having received a classical French education, and possessing a sufficient knowledge of the English language" to translate the statutes of the Province, and any applicable Imperial statutes, into French. This is the authority for English and French Queen's Printers. However, the language provision in the Union Act, 1840 remained in force until its repeal by 1848, c. 56 (U.K.).
 Prov. C. 1849, c. 26.
 Malcolm Cameron (1808-1876) was born in Lower Canada of Scottish parentage. A businessman and politician, he held cabinet posts in pre-Confederation governments before succeeding Stewart Derbishire as Queen's Printer in 1863. He held this post until 1869 when Georges-Edouard Desbarats (1838-1893), the son of George-Pashal Desbarats, was appointed Canada's first official printer.
 S.C. 1869, c. 7.
 S.C. 1968-69, c. 28.
 Michel LeClerc, "History of the Canada Gazette Part II" (Ottawa, 1991) [unpublished]. The author gratefully acknowledges M. LeClerc's assistance with this section.
 LeClerc, "History of the Canada Gazette," p. 2.
 There were two previous consolidations of orders in council, in 1874 and 1889.
 S.C. 1950, c. 50. The Act was proclaimed in force on 1 January 1951.
 S.C. 1970-71-72, c. 38. The Act received Royal Assent on 19 May 1971 and came into force on 1 January 1972. It is now cited as R.S.C. 1985, c. S-22.
 Canada, House of Commons, Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence, no. 7 (16 February 1971), p. 7:17.
 Canada, House of Commons, Debates (8 March 1971), p. 4046.
 Canada, House of Commons, Debates (8 March 1971), pp. 4046-7.
 Canada, House of Commons, Debates (8 March 1971), p. 4047.
 In April 1985, Bill C-84 An Act to provide for the review, registration, publication and parliamentary scrutiny of regulations and other documents and to make consequential amendments to other Acts was introduced in the House of Commons by the Minister of Justice. This bill would repeal the Statutory Instruments Act and replace it with a new Regulations Act. Should this bill become law, it would be the governing legislation for the new Canada Gazette.
 Canada Gazette Part II, cover statement.