Orders-in-Council: What you can access online

The term “order-in-council” refers to a legislative instrument generated by the governor-in-council, and constitutes a formal recommendation of Cabinet that is approved and signed by the Governor General of Canada. Orders-in-council address a wide range of administrative and legislative matters, from civil service staffing to capital punishment, and from the disposition of Aboriginal lands to the maintenance of the Library of Parliament.

Did you know that you can search online for some of these Orders-in-Council (OIC)? Here’s how:

Orders-in-Council from 1867 to 1916

You can search the indexes for OICs produced from July 1, 1867 to 1916.  For OICs approved from 1867 to 1910 you can view the full text online.  You can do all this using the Orders in Council database available on the LAC website.

This database will be updated over the years to extend the date range of these records through to the mid-20th century.*

Orders-in-Council from 1990 to the present

Recent OICs can be accessed online directly from the Privy Council Office website. Their database allows you to search OICs produced from 1990 to the present.  For OICs approved after November 1, 2002, you can view the full text online.

This means that OICs produced from 1911 to November 1, 2002, are not yet available online.  Upcoming blog posts will provide additional information on how to access these OICs, which are held by LAC but not yet available online.

*Correction: The Orders-in-Council database on our website will only be updated until it reaches the end of the records from 1919. Records from 1920-1970 will be digitized and made available through our Microform Digitization initiative. 

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