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Government Publications - Canada

A guide to government publications - Canada

About this page

This page provides access points for documents and publications of the Government of Canada including Parliament and federal departments and agencies.  

For help understanding the publication of Canadian official publications, consult:


The Journals of the House of Commons  and the Journals of the Senate are the official records of the proceedings of Parliament. In the Journals you will find a record of transactions and decisions as well as a record of votes.

House of Commons


Parliamentary Debates (Hansard)

House of Commons


Sessional Papers

Sessional Papers consist of various reports that the House of Commons or Senate require to be formally tabled in the House of Commons and Senate. Each report tabled in a legislative session is assigned a unique number in chronological order. Sessional Papers include:

  • Departmental annual reports
  • Reports and evidence of parliamentary committees
  • Royal commission reports
  • Answers to written questions from members of Parliament to a government agency or department
  • White papers
  • Green papers

The Sessional Papers are a rich source of historical primary materials about Canadian government and society.

Sessional papers of the Parliament of the Dominion of Canada (1867-1924)

From 1867 - 1924, the Sessional papers were published in bound volumes for each legislative session. Not all Sessional papers during this time were printed. Some of the Sessional Papers that were not printed are available in the Unpublished Sessional Papers 1916-1988 (below).


Annual departmental reports / Dominion of Canada (1925-1930)

Annual departmental reports continued to be published after 1924 in the standalone publication Annual Departmental Reports. For departmental reports after 1930 - search the library catalogue by departmental name.

Unpublished Sessional Papers (1916-1988)

The Unpublished House of Commons sessional papers are a microfilm collection of the sessional papers that were not included in the bound Sessional Papers (1867-1924) or otherwise published. Pre-1916 unpublished Sessional Papers were destroyed in the 1916 Parliamentary Hill fire.

The Journals of the House of Commons can be used as an 'index' for this collection.

Parliamentary Committees

As legislation (bills) proceed through the House of Commons and Senate, at second reading, bills may be referred to committee. Committee minutes and proceedings, evidence, and reports  are found either online, in print, or on microfilm.  

1867 - 1932  (Senate) and 1867-1945 (House) - committee reports, if published, are found in the Journals in appendices. The Journals are available in print in the Law Library and online in the Canadian Parliament Historical Resources

 From 1932 or 1945, committee reports minutes, and proceedings were published separately in print. These can be found in the library by searching the library catalog  using a name of a committee, entered as a keyword search.  The library does not hold all committee publications in print. However, a full set of House of Commons committee publications are found on microfiche

Canadian Parliamentary Committees [microform]. 1935-2008 (1st Sess.39th Parl.) Arrangement: 1935 to 1979 (18th to 31st Parliament), alphabetically by Committee. 32th Parliament onward, by Parliament and Session. There is some overlap. With this 40th Parliament, Parliamentary Publications will no longer produce microfiche for its committee publications
Priestly Law Microfiche Call Number: KE37 C35

Committee publications from 1994 on are available on the Parliament of Canada website,  Chose either House or Senate and then locate the committee pages.   

House of Commons and Senate Standing and Special Committees Minutes and Proceedings. Shelved by Committee, starting at Call Number J103 J6

Speeches from the throne

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This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.