Orders-in-Council database

A new version of the Orders-in-Council database is now online. Digitized images for the years 1911 to 1916 are now available, plus new descriptions for the years 1916 to 1924 have been added. You’ll also notice new sorting features available in the Results pages.

Start searching the Orders-in-Council database now!

How to access Orders-in-Council preserved at Library and Archives Canada

The article “How to find Orders-in-Council at Library and Archives Canada” explains how to find complete references to these Orders-in-Council (OICs). But then how do you access the OICs that interest you?

You have several choices: consult the originals on site, search in the Canada Gazette, consult the OICs on microfilm, or request a reproduction.

For OICs that are discoverable and accessible online, see the article on “Orders-in-Council: What you can access online.” Continue reading

How to find Privy Council Orders at Library and Archives Canada

In the article “Orders-in-Council: What you can access online” we learn that Library and Archives Canada holds the Privy Council Orders-in-Council published between 1911 and November 1, 2002. However, many of them are not available online. You must therefore do your research on site to find the full references.

Can’t come in person? You can send a reference request using the form Ask Us a Question, or you can hire a freelance researcher. Please note that our research services are limited.

Privy Council Office fonds

Orders-in-Council are part of the Privy Council Office fonds, series “Orders-in-Council,” sub-series “Minutes, Annexes and Reports.” The entire group is identified by the document group number RG2-A-1-a, an essential part of the reference number.

Indexes and registers

It is important to first consult the annual registers and indexes, which list all the Orders-in-Council submitted by the Privy Council Office and provide details to be included in the references (including order numbers and approval dates). Most registers are bound to their respective indexes.
A number of indexes and registers are on microfilm; please see the list in finding aid FA 2-6. Continue reading

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. 

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!