Finding Alberta Legislation

This guide will help you research and locate information and resources for Alberta legislation.

Bills

Bills come into force on:

  • the day they receive Royal Assent if the act doesn’t state otherwise or
  • a specific date or
  • proclamation or
  • a combination of the above

Legislative Assembly of Alberta – Bills and Amendments The Bills and Amendments page provides free online access to the text of bills and status reports for individual bills from 1906 to present. It also lists session bill activity by date. From this page you can directly search the Hansard for discussion of a specific bill.

Legislative Summary – Summarizes the latest session including bills

Print copies of Alberta Bills may be available from the Legislature Library (780-427-2473), Legislative Counsel (780-427-2217) or laocommunications@assembly.ab.ca. There may be a charge for a copy from Legislative Counsel.

Alberta Hansard – The Bill Status Report located at the end of the last Hansard issue of each session provides a report on the status of all bills introduced in that session. The Thursday Hansard issues give a summary to date. As of January 1, 2016 the Alberta Hansard is only published digitally. Older print copies are available in the library. Electronic versions of the Hansard are also available through: Legislative Assembly of Alberta – Transcripts – Hansard from 1972 – current are available and searchable.

Hansard Debates, Journals, and Royal Commissions

Alberta Hansard

The introduction and discussion of a statute in the Legislative Assembly is found in the Hansard since 1972. The hard copy index has two parts the “Subject Index” and the “Speaker Index”.

As of January 1, 2016 the Alberta Hansard is only published digitally. Older print copies are available in the library. Electronic versions of the Hansard are also available through:

  • Legislative Assembly of Alberta – Transcripts Includes searchable Hansards from the Fourth Session of the 24th Legislature (2000-2001) – current. Also available are House Records, Journals and transcripts for Committees and Reference documents.
  • Alberta Law Collection – Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections at the U of C. Includes Hansards from 1972-1993
  • Scrapbook Hansard is an historical collection of newspaper clippings and a few speech transcripts covering Alberta’s legislative debates from 1906 to 1971 prior to the Alberta Hansard publication.

Journals

Royal Commissions

Orders in Council and Ministerial Orders 

Orders in Council

Ministerial orders

  • Alberta Queen’s Printer – 2015 – current. Searches can be done by year, ministry, ministerial order number, or authorizing act or regulation.
  • are not automatically made public in Alberta.
  • have the force of law
  • are used to make important political and policy decisions

If you know the minister who made the order you can try to locate a copy by:

  • contacting the appropriate Alberta Justice Ministry
  • looking in the Alberta Gazette (sometimes ministerial orders are published)
  • looking online – some departments post their ministerial orders online

For Ministerial Orders made by Justice & Solicitor General email official.documents@gov.ab.ca

Statutes

To become a Provincial law, a bill goes through three readings in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and then receives Royal Assent. A bill becomes law when it receives Royal Assent. Alberta provincial laws are binding only in the province of Alberta. Even though a bill became a law the statute still might not be in force.

Public and Private Statutes

Public Acts are found in the:

  • annual volumes – they include both numeric and alphanumeric chapter numbers in the same volume
  • Revised Statutes of Alberta (R.S.A.) (bound volumes) the latest being RSA 2000 which were proclaimed in force Jan. 1, 2002.
  • Revised Statutes of Alberta (R.S.A.) (looseleaf volumes) – (provides a convenient consolidation and is updated twice a year, but it is not considered an “official” version for citation to the Courts.)
  • in pamphlet form (printed by Queen’s Printer after Royal Assent and before the annual volume is published)
  • online:
    • Alberta Queen’s Printer includes bound volumes from 2014 to present
    • QP Source Professional a fully searchable database including the current text of Alberta’s statutes, regulations and Rules of Court. It also includes Alberta Gazette (1995 to present) and Orders-in-Council (1967 to present), Tables of Public and Private Statutes, the Index of Regulations, and point-in-time statutes (2002 to present).
    • Heinonline includes annual and revised volumes from 1906 to present

    • Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)

Private Acts

  • Are only published in the annual volumes of the statutes. They are not on Canlii or QP Source Professional.
  • The “Table of Private Statutes of the Province of Alberta”, found in the last volume of the Revised Statutes of Alberta (R.S.A. 2000 Looseleaf ed.) and in each of the annual bound Statutes of Alberta volumes (blue pages), lists alphabetically all private statutes and any amendments to them. It is also available on QP Source Professional.
  • Legislation enacted as a private statute is limited and is restricted to private companies, organisations or individuals.

Find

Print

  • Statutes of the Province of Alberta
  • Revised Statutes of Alberta
  • Table of Public Statutes – This is an alphabetical table of statutes including all amendments up to the date specified on the table. It is frequently referred to as the “pink pages”. Found in the last volume of the Revised Statutes of Alberta (R.S.A. 2000 Looseleaf ed.) and in each of the annual bound Statutes of Alberta volumes.
  • Annotated Alberta statutes, you can find texts on specific statutes by searching the ALL Catalogue
  • For older statutes:

E-resources

The following e-resources include updated, searchable consolidated Alberta statutes in their collections. Some of the resources also include access to the annual historical volumes. Check the currency information in each source for the date of their last update.

Coming in Force

New statues and amendments to existing statutes are introduced as bills in the Legislative Assembly and will come into force in one of three ways:

  • upon receiving Royal Assent.
  • by a “coming into force” provision at the end of the statute which specifies a date
  • on proclamation given by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

Once in force, existing statutes may be repealed by the Legislative Assembly. For further information on coming in force provisions consult the Interpretation Act, RSA 2000, c I-8.

To determine if a Statute is in force consult the following sources:

The following two tables are located in the annual bound volumes and the last volume of the Revised Statutes of Alberta (R.S.A. 2000 Looseleaf ed.) :

  1. Table of Public Statutes (pink pages) – includes all of the Acts and amendments back to the last R.S.A. by statute and section. ‘Proc.’ indicates that the statute or amendments are not yet proclaimed, and so not in force, as of the date of the Table. Currency information for the table is clearly given at the beginning of the pink pages.
  2. Enactments brought into force or repealed by proclamation or on a named date – contains the status of proclaimed and unproclaimed statutes including the Gazette reference information. Found just before the pink pages.
  • Alberta Gazette Part I (print)– find the official text of proclamations using the annual index which includes a listing of proclamations.
  • Alberta Queen’s Printer – Alberta Gazette, Part I – 1995 to present
  • Alberta Queen’s Printer – recent proclamations.
  • Alberta Queen’s Printer – Laws online – lists all proclaimed acts alphabetically.
  • QP Source Professional – Under the “What’s new section – Statutes” you can find recent proclamations.
  • The Legislative Counsel Office is responsible for drafting government bills, regulations and Orders in Council. The office also works with the Alberta Queen’s Printer to make the laws of Alberta available to the public. The most current information is available from their office. Call: 780-427-2217

Historical

You can trace the legislative history of a statute using the history notes found at the end of each section of the revised or consolidated statutes. The history notes indicate previous sources for the current legislation and help you determine when a section was added to an act. Table of Concordance Schedule D, in the last volume of the Revised Statutes of Alberta (RSA 2000 Looseleaf ed.), is a chart that shows where previous legislation may be found in the new revision.

Comparing versions

To compare a statute’s amended wording with its former wording go to CanLII:

  • Search for the legislation you are interested in
  • click on the box beside the dates of two versions you are interested in
  • click on COMPARE in the blue box

The result is a side by side view of the two versions:

  • On the left is the older version (changes highlighted in red)
  • On the right is the newer version (changes highlighted in green)

Background & Legislative Intent

The following sources can provide background on the legislative intent behind the passing of legislation:

  • Alberta Hansard
  • Alberta Law Reform Institute Their publications provide a historical overview of the law, explanation of the current law and discuss possible legislative changes.
    As of Jan. 1, 2015, these documents are only published electronically. Older copies are available in the library.
  • Index to Canadian legal literature (ICLL) The “Table of Statutes” section indexes articles under specific statutes, case comments, and annotations. No longer updated in print.
    Also available electronically through WestlawNext (Canada)

English Statutes in Force in Alberta

Regulations

Regulations are rules pursuant to an enabling statute. They provide information on how the provisions of a statute are to be implemented.

Find

  • Alberta gazette, part IIIndex to regulations: Each annual volume of the Alberta gazette, part II includes an index with all the regulations in force as of December 31st of the given year. They are organized under the title of the governing statute, including all the amendments made to the regulation. A cumulative index of regulations for the current year is included at the back of each print issue.
  • Alberta Queen’s Printer – Consolidated versions of the regulations can be displayed alphabetically by title or numerically by regulation number, searched by keyword(s) in the title, or displayed by responsible ministry.
  • Alberta Law Collection – Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections at the U of C.
  • Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) – You can search regulations by keyword(s) or retrieve them from an alphabetical list. This page indicates the last update to the content which may not be as current as other sources.

A few regulations are exempt from publication. For example:

Consolidated Regulations There is no print consolidation for the regulations in Alberta. Check the following e-resources for updated and searchable consolidated Alberta regulations in their collections. Take note of the currency of each resource when using them.

Coming into Force

Regulations are in force on the date they are filed with the Registrar of Regulations, unless another date is specified in the regulation. Such dates are usually located at the end of the regulation.

The filing date appears under the title.

Historical

Use the history note at the end of a section of any consolidated electronic version of a regulation to trace the history of that section.

  • The Alberta gazette Part I & II – Part II: The Index of regulations gives the citation for the original regulation and lists any amendments to that regulation. Information on regulations repealed during that year are included. All regulations in force as of 31 December are included in the annual index for that year. Current year amendments are included in the cumulative index found at the back of each issue.
  • Canadian current law: legislation – This component of the Canadian Abridgment summarizes changes (new, amended, repealed) to regulations. Changes for the year are covered in the annual volumes.
  • Lexis Advance® Quicklaw® – Alberta Repealed Regulations contains repealed and expired regulations from January 1, 2000, which you can browse or search.
  • The Legislative Counsel Office is responsible for drafting government bills, regulations and Orders in Council. The office also works with the Alberta Queen’s Printer to make the laws of Alberta available to the public. The most current information is available from their office. Call: 780-427-2217

Background & Legislative Intent

Judgment Interest Rates

Pursuant to the Judgment Interest Act, RSA 2000, c J-1 (previously Judgment Interest Act, RSA 1984, c J-0.5) the judgment interest rate is set by regulation. A current consolidation of the Judgment Interest Regulation, Alta Reg 215/2011 is available on the Alberta Queen’s Printer website. The Judgment Interest Regulation, Alta Reg 364/84 has been repealed by section 2 of the current regulation.

See Section 1 – Calculation of Interest of the Judgment Interest Regulation, Alta Reg 215/2011 for interest rates from 1993 to current.

See also: Limitations Act, RSA 2000, c L-12, s 11 “Judgment for payment of money”.

Citing

The citation information on this page is following the 7th edition of the McGill Guide as adopted by the Court of Queen’s bench and detailed in the notice to the profession below. At this point the 8th edition of the McGill Guide has not been adopted. Citing Statutes Statutes are cited by the short title, in italics, followed by a non-italized comma. Followed by RSA (Revised Statutes of Alberta) or SA (Statutes of Alberta), and the year followed by a comma and then abbreviate chapter to c and follow it by the numeric or alphanumeric chapter designation as seen in the statute volume.

  • Limitations Act, RSA 2000, c L-12

Revised statutes and all new statutes are cited by an alpha-numeric chapter number

  • Local Authorities Election Act, RSA 2000, c L-21
  • Access to the Future Act, SA 2005, c A-1.5

Amending statutes are cited by a numerical chapter number

  • Traffic Safety Amendment Act, SA 2005, c 34

For pinpoint references (reference to a specific section) use s for section and ss for reference to multiple sections.

Note: If the year is part of the title of statute ensure you include this in the title portion of your citation. Citing Regulations Alberta regulations are cited as “Alta” (Alberta abbreviated) “Reg” (Regulation abbreviated) and a sequential number plus year:

  • Alta Reg 339/91
    • It is the 339th regulation in 1991 and is found in the 1991 annual volume

Since 2000, the year is given in full:

  • Alta Reg 222/2003

For more information on citing statutes or regulations see:

Judicial Consideration

Judicial consideration, or noting up, of a statute or regulation involves searching for case law that interprets or applies the statute or regulation or a section thereof. The judicial decisions retrieved reveal how courts have interpreted and analyzed the legislation. Since statutes and section numbers can change over time, it is important to consider repealed or superseded legislation, with particular attention to changes to the section numbers.

Noting up is easiest done online and is often more current. It is always best to check more than one source when noting up.

E-Resources

Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)

  • Find the statute and then select the Noteup tab at the top of the screen.
  • Select either to retrieve citations to the whole statute or to a specific section or subsection.
  • To retrieve citations to a specific section or subsection, enter the section number in the box provided. You will retrieve a hyperlinked list of decisions citing the statute or section/subsection of the statute.
  • There is no editorial input into this list.

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®

  • In the top search box enter cit: followed by the legislation you wish to noteup.

OR

  • If you already have the legislation on the screen select citing cases on the right of the screen.

WestlawNext Canada This services contains federal and provincial legislation, including rules of practice for every court in Canada except Quebec. It also contains repealed statutes.

  • Under the Find and KeyCite by Name tab > Find and KeyCite a Statute or Regulation by Name
    • ​Enter the title, section (if applicable) and jurisdiction of the legislation you wish to note up
    • Open the legislation
    • Select the Citing References tab

OR

  • Under All Content >Primary Sources select Statutes and Regulations
    • select the appropriate jurisdiction
    • select either statutes or regulations
    • select name in the list and then the section
    • select the Citing References tab.

Paper

Statutes of Alberta Judicially Considered

  • This looseleaf citator service provides judicial consideration of Alberta statutes and regulations. A brief digest accompanies each case listed. There are volumes for R.S.A. 1980 & R.S.A. 2000.

Civil Procedure Encyclopedia by W.A. Stevenson, J.E. Côté Table of Contents

  • This multi-volume legal encyclopedia covers common-law Canada and England. It is arranged by subject. It doesn’t provide a Table of Statutes or Regulations to follow. It’s content is more relevant to court procedures and rules.

Annotated Textbooks
These publications compiled on specific statutes contain the text of the statute along with annotations. The annotations often provide in-depth information on the judicial consideration the statute has received. Many different annotated statute publications can be located through our catalogue. For example:

Halsbury’s laws of Canada

  • This multi-volume set provides judicial consideration of federal and provincial statutes, and statutory instruments in each volume, subject title or particular area of law.

Abbreviations

Table of Public Statutes

  • Proc. – Means to come into force on Proclamation but no Proclamation has been issued as of the date of the table.
  • Rep – Means repealed by
  • R & S – Means repealed and superseded by
  • Supp. – refers to amendment acts included in Vol. 13 of RSA 2000, unproclaimed as of Dec. 31, 2000.

Other

  • O.C. – Order in Council
  • M.O. – Ministerial Order
  • R.S.A. – Revised Statutes of Alberta
  • S.A. – Statutes of Alberts

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