Answered By: Jonathan Faerber
Last Updated: Oct 10, 2020     Views: 2

Parliamentary proceedings of both the provincial and federal governments are published in volumes, and legal citations or references to these parliamentary papers include this numbering and other identifying information, such as the relevant date and legislative session (McGill Law Journal, 2018, E-59). For example, the following reference from the House of Commons Debates includes the title of the bill being debated and the date of the specific debate as well as information about where the debate was published:

Example citation: "Bill C-51, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act", 2nd Reading, House of Commons Debates, 41-2, 147 (23 February 2015) at 1220 (Murray Rankin).

Example reference: "Bill C-51, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act", 2nd Reading, House of Commons Debates, 41-2, 147 (23 February 2015).

The above examples include the following elements:

  • Title and version of bill being debated: "Bill C-51, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act", 2nd reading
  • Title of publication: House of Commons Debates
  • Legislative session (41st Parliament, 2nd Session): 41-2
  • Volume of publication: No. 147
  • Date of debate: (23 February 2015)
  • Pinpoint (page number): at 1220
  • Speaker: (Murray Rankin)

On the other hand, some government documents--such as the House of Commons' sessional papers published since 1924--are not published by volume (McGill Law Journal, 2018, E-60). Citations and references to this material identify the paper by its document number, in addition to elements such as the date and legislative session, as in this example reference:

House of Commons, "The legal regulation of marijuana in Canada and selected other countries" by Robin MacKay and Karin Phillips, Sessional Paper, 41-2, No 2016-94-E (6 September 2016)

In the above reference, the following elements are included as follows:

  • Title of Legislature: House of Commons
  • Title of paper: "The legal regulation of marijuana in Canada and selected other countries"
  • Author: by Robin MacKay and Karin Phillips
  • Type of document: Sessional Paper
  • Legislative session (41st Parliament, 2nd Session): 41-2
  • Document number: 2016-94-E
  • Date of publication: 6 September 2016

For further examples of references to parliamentary papers, please see the section on "Parliamentary Publications" in the University of British Columbia's Legal Citation Guide. For information on how to identify a specific location of cited text within a legal citation to a bill or other legal resources, please see What is a Pinpoint, and How is it Used in a Legal Citation?.

For general information on McGill Guide (9th ed.) legal citations and references, please see the resources under Canadian Cases, Statutes, and Legislation on the Writing Centre website.

Reference

McGill Law Journal. (2018). Canadian guide to uniform legal citation (9th ed.). Thomson Reuters.