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Glossary 

Glossary of terms used on the e-Laws web site

Act: A bill that is passed by the Legislative Assembly after its Third Reading and that receives Royal Assent is enacted and becomes an Act, i.e. law. The terms "statute" and "Act" are interchangeable. (loi)

Amending Act: An Act that adds, removes or substitutes text in an existing Act. These modifications to the text are called amendments. (loi modificative)

Amending bill: A bill that, if enacted, would add, remove or substitute text in an existing Act. These modifications to the text are called amendments. (projet de loi modificatif)

Amending regulation: A regulation that adds, removes or substitutes text in an existing regulation. These modifications to the text are called amendments. (règlement modificatif)

Annual regulations: Regulations filed with the Registrar of Regulations after December 31, 1990 are published in print in The Ontario Gazette. Regulations filed after December 31, 1999 are also published on e-Laws as Source Law and may be accessed by year of filing. Each regulation has a title and a regulation number. Regulation numbers are assigned sequentially in the order in which the regulations are filed in a given year. For example, a regulation titled "Drinking-Water Testing Services", made under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, was filed with the Registrar of Regulations on June 16, 2003 and was assigned the number 248/03, signifying that it was the 248th regulation filed in 2003. The regulation may be cited as Ontario Regulation 248/03, which may be abbreviated as O. Reg. 248/03. (règlements annuels)

Annual statutes: Statutes enacted after December 31, 1990 are published in print in annual statutes volumes. Statutes enacted after December 31, 1999 are also published on e-Laws as Source Law and may be accessed by year of enactment. The statutes that received Royal Assent in 2006, for example, are referred to as the Statutes of Ontario, 2006, which may be abbreviated as S.O. 2006. Each statute has a title and a chapter number. Chapter numbers are assigned sequentially in the order in which statutes receive Royal Assent in a given year. For example, the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 is chapter 17 in the Statutes of Ontario, 2006 and may be cited as S.O. 2006, c. 17. (lois annuelles)

Bill: A proposed Act that is before the Legislative Assembly for consideration. In order for a bill to be enacted and become an Act, it must receive three readings and be passed by the Legislative Assembly and then receive Royal Assent. (projet de loi)

Change powers: The powers conferred on the Chief Legislative Counsel under subsection 42 (2) of the Legislation Act, 2006 to make limited, specified types of changes to consolidated laws. A change cannot be made under the change powers if it would alter the legal effect of any Act or regulation. There is no legal significance to the date on which a change power is exercised; a change that is made to a consolidated law may, if appropriate, be read into historical versions of that law or into the relevant source law. (modifications autorisées)

Chief Legislative Counsel: The counsel who is responsible for the overall operation of the Office of Legislative Counsel, which serves the Government, the Legislative Assembly and the public by providing legislative authoring and publication services for all Ontario bills, statutes and regulations, including providing the content for the e-Laws website. (premier conseiller législatif)

Coming into force: The time when an Act that has been enacted by the Legislature or a regulation that has been filed with the Registrar of Regulations takes effect.

The commencement section in a source law Act, usually found at the end of the Act, states when the provisions of the Act come into force. It may state that the provisions of the Act come into force on the day the Act receives Royal Assent, on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, on a specified date or in specified circumstances. Different provisions of the Act may come into force on different dates.

The commencement section in a source law regulation, usually found at the end of the regulation, states when the provisions of the regulation come into force. It may state that the provisions of the regulation come into force on the day the regulation is filed, on the day a provision of an Act comes into force, on a specified date or in specified circumstances. Different provisions of the regulation may come into force on different dates. If a regulation has no commencement section, it came into force on the day it was filed with the Registrar of Regulations. (entrée en vigueur)

Consolidated law: A statute or regulation into which are incorporated any amendments that have been enacted in the case of a statute, or that have been filed with the Registrar of Regulations in the case of a regulation, as well as any changes made by the Chief Legislative Counsel under the change powers set out in subsection 42 (2) of the Legislation Act, 2006.

There are three subsets of consolidated law on e-Laws: Current consolidated law; Period in time (PIT) law; and Repealed, Revoked and Spent law (namely, repealed statutes, revoked regulations and spent regulations). These terms are defined separately in this Glossary.

The following types of provisions, usually found at the end of a source law statute or regulation, are omitted from the consolidation of the statute or regulation: provisions that amend or repeal other laws, commencement provisions and the provision that enacts the short title of an Act.

The short titles of all Acts enacted after 1990 include the year of enactment in the title (e.g. the ABC Act, 1994). The year always remains in the short title of a consolidated Act, even if the Act is amended in subsequent years, except in the rare situation in which the short title is itself specifically amended to remove the year. (texte codifié, texte lègislatif codifié)

Consolidation period: Indicated at the top of each current and historical version of a consolidated statute or regulation on e-Laws, the consolidation period is the period during which that version is an accurate consolidation of the statute or regulation on the day the version is accessed on e-Laws. (période de codification)

Correction: This term, when used in reference to a published source or consolidated law, refers to the correction of an error in the publication or consolidation of the law. The correction of a publication or consolidation error serves only to bring the published source or consolidated statute or regulation into line with the statute as it was enacted by the Legislature or the regulation as it was filed with the Registrar of Regulations. Notice of the correction of a publication or consolidation error may or may not be provided, depending on the nature of the error. (correction)

Current consolidated law: A database comprising the most recent versions available on e-Laws of every consolidated statute and regulation. (codifications)

e-Laws currency date: This term is used in the context of a consolidation period, and is the "current to" date for most current consolidated laws on e-Laws. The e-Laws currency date is located on the e-Laws Consolidation Currency Date web page. The page can be accessed from any current consolidated law that is current to the e-Laws currency date, as shown in its consolidation period. (date à laquelle Lois-en-ligne est à jour)

Explanatory note: A brief summary of the content of a bill, written to assist readers. It appears on the inside front cover of a published bill and accompanies the bill through the legislative process. If the content of a bill changes after first or second reading, the explanatory note is changed accordingly. If a bill is enacted (i.e. becomes an Act), the Explanatory Note is dropped, because it does not form part of the law. However, the Explanatory Note to the bill can be a useful way to quickly determine the general nature of what the Act is about. Explanatory Notes to third reading bills that are enacted are accessible on e-Laws by browsing Source Law Public Statutes as Enacted. The icon for the Explanatory Note on the Browse page appears at the right end of the line that states the statute title. (note explicative)

Historical version: When any of the following events occurs after January 1, 2004 in the case of a consolidated law, a new consolidated version of that law is created for the purposes of e-Laws. The consolidated version of the law as it read immediately before the event occurred is retained on e-Laws as a historical version.

  • Amendment of the text of the consolidated law, as well as amendment of the text of a commencement provision or a provision amending or repealing another law (even though the text of source law commencement, amending and repealing provisions is omitted from the consolidated law). However, this does not include modification of only editorial text in the consolidated law, such as editorial notes, notices of amendment, tables of contents and headnotes.
  • The coming into force of a provision not previously in force. In the historical version, the not-in-force provision is shaded in grey and is accompanied by an editorial note stating when or how it will come into force; in the new version, the grey shading and editorial note respecting the not-in-force provision are removed.
  • Amendment of a regulation that was made in English only by adding a French version. In the historical version, the statement preceding section 1 indicates that the regulation is made in English only; in the new version, the statement preceding section 1 indicates that this is the English (or French) version of a bilingual regulation. (version antérieure)

Legislation: This term encompasses both Acts enacted by the Legislature and regulations made by a person or body whose authority to make them is set out in an Act. (législation)

Legislature: The Queen, as represented by the Lieutenant Governor, acting by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly. After a bill receives three readings and is passed by the Legislative Assembly, the Lieutenant Governor, on behalf of the Queen, assents to the bill by signing it. The bill is thus enacted by the Legislature. (Législature)

Lieutenant Governor: The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, or the person administering the Government of Ontario for the time being in Her Majesty's name. (lieutenant-gouverneur)

Lieutenant Governor in Council: The Lieutenant Governor acting by and with the advice of the Executive Council of Ontario. (lieutenant-gouverneur en conseil)

Notice of change: Notice given by the Chief Legislative Counsel of a change made to a consolidated law under the change powers set out in subsection 42 (2) of the Legislation Act, 2006. The Chief Legislative Counsel must give notice of most of the types of changes that are made, and may give notice of the other types of changes. Notices of change appear on e-Laws in separate legislative tables for consolidated statutes and consolidated regulations, with a different table for each date on which one or more notices of change were given. Notices of change are set out in a citeable format for ease of reference. (avis de modification autorisée)

Ontario Gazette (The): A weekly publication by the Queen’s Printer under the Official Notices Publication Act. All proclamations issued by the Lieutenant Governor and all regulations filed with the Registrar of Regulations must be published in The Ontario Gazette. Regulations are usually published in The Ontario Gazette on the third Saturday following the date of filing. (Gazette de l’Ontario)

O. Reg.: The abbreviation for Ontario Regulation. Regulations filed with the Registrar of Regulations are assigned a number based on the order in which they are filed in a given year. Using the abbreviation O. Reg., followed by the regulation number, is a way of citing a regulation. For example, the regulation titled "Community Safety Zones", made under the Highway Traffic Act, may be cited as O. Reg. 510/99, signifying that it was the 510th regulation filed in 1999. (Règl. de l'Ont.)

Parent Act: The Act that an amending Act amends.

Parent regulation: The regulation that an amending regulation amends.

Period in time (PIT) law: A database of current and historical versions of consolidated statutes and regulations that is searchable by date, enabling the user to find different consolidated versions of a law as they read during different periods in time. A historical version of a consolidated statute or regulation is available on e-Laws only if the statute or regulation is amended or affected by a coming into force event after January 1, 2004. (versions successives)

Private statute: An Act that is enacted by the Legislature on the application of an individual, a municipality or a corporation and which relates only to the interests of the applicant. As of 1983, the chapter number for private Acts has the prefix Pr. For example, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent Act, 2003 is chapter Pr1 in the Statutes of Ontario, 2003 and may be cited as S.O. 2003, c. Pr1. (loi d’intérêt privé)

Proclamation: If an Act states that the Act or specified provisions of the Act come into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, the Lieutenant Governor may issue one or more proclamations naming a date on which the Act or specified provisions of the Act come into force. Different provisions may be proclaimed to come into force on different dates. By convention, proclamations are issued in accordance with an order made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Proclamations are published in The Ontario Gazette. (proclamation)

Public statute: Any Act that is not a private Act. A public bill may be introduced by a Minister of the Government, in which case it is called a Government bill, or by a member of the Legislative Assembly who is not a Minister, in which case it is called a private member’s public bill. Public bills generally deal with issues of broad significance and generally apply to the whole province. A private member’s public bill may deal with any subject that a Government bill may deal with, but may not impose a tax or specifically direct the allocation of public funds. (loi d’intérêt public)

Registrar of Regulations: A lawyer in the Office of Legislative Counsel who is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to exercise powers and perform duties under Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006. (registrateur des règlements)

Regulation: A law that is made by a person or body whose authority to make the law is set out in an Act. Usually the authority is given to the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Sometimes the authority is given to a Minister of the Government or to another person or body. Regulations are considered to be "delegated legislation" because the authority to make them is delegated from the Legislative Assembly. A regulation deals with topics related to the Act under which it is made; the purpose of a regulation is to provide details to give effect to the policy established by the Act. The process for amending a regulation is usually shorter than the process for amending an Act. (règlement)

Repealed statute: A consolidated version of an Act as it read immediately before it was repealed. An Act can be repealed by a provision in the Act itself or by a provision in another Act. A repealed Act is not in force but may continue to apply in some situations. For example, transitional provisions may extend its application in certain circumstances or it may have application in relation to past events. (loi abrogée)

Repealing Act: An Act that repeals an existing Act. (loi abrogative)

Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990: The last decennial regulations revision undertaken in Ontario resulted in the 9-volume Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990, often abbreviated as R.R.O. 1990. Each regulation in the revision has a title and a number. For example, the regulation titled "Endangered Species", made under the Endangered Species Act, is Regulation 328 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 and may be cited as R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 328. (Règlements refondus de l'Ontario de 1990)

Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990: The last decennial statutes revision undertaken in Ontario resulted in the 12-volume Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990, often abbreviated as R.S.O. 1990. Each statute in the revision has a title and a chapter number. For example, the Environmental Assessment Act is chapter E.18 in volume 4 of the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990 and may be cited as R.S.O. 1990, c. E.18. (Loi refondues de l’Ontario de 1990)

Revision: Until 1990, Ontario had traditionally revised its public statutes and regulations approximately every 10 years, i.e. decennially. Each revision consolidated all public statutes and all regulations, with some exceptions set out in schedules or tables to the revision. The revision also made a variety of changes to the text of those statutes and regulations, such as re-numbering and updating of terminology. Each revision legally replaced the pre-existing source law and was, therefore, a new starting point. Ontario has not undertaken a traditional revision since 1990, although it consolidates public statutes and regulations on an ongoing basis on e-Laws. As the last revision occurred in 1990, the starting points for purposes of e-Laws are the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990 and the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990. (refonte)

Revoked regulation: A consolidated version of a regulation as it read immediately before it was revoked. A regulation can be revoked by a provision in the regulation itself, by a provision in another regulation or by a provision in an Act. A revoked regulation is not in force but may continue to apply in some situations. For example, transitional provisions may extend its application in certain circumstances or it may have application in relation to past events. (règlement abrogé)

Revoking regulation: A regulation that revokes an existing regulation. (règlement abrogatif)

Royal Assent: When a bill is passed by the Legislative Assembly after Third Reading, the Lieutenant Governor, on behalf of the Queen, assents to the bill by signing it. The bill is thereby enacted and becomes an Act, i.e. law. (sanction royale)

R.R.O. 1990: The abbreviation for the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990. (R.R.O. 1990)

R.S.O. 1990: The abbreviation for the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990. (L.R.O. 1990)

S.O.: The abbreviation for Statutes of Ontario. Statutes are assigned a chapter number based on the order in which they receive Royal Assent in a given year. Using the abbreviation S.O., followed by the year of Royal Assent and the chapter number, is a way of citing a public statute. For example, the first public statute that received Royal Assent in 2006, the Family Statute Law Amendment Act, 2006, may be cited as S.O. 2006, c. 1. (L.O.)

Source law: Law as made by the person or body with the authority to make it. In the case of Acts, the source law is the Act as enacted by the Legislature. In the case of regulations, the source law is the regulation as filed with the Registrar of Regulations. A source law may be a new Act or regulation (called the parent), an amending Act or regulation (it amends the parent), or a repealing or revoking Act or regulation (it repeals the parent Act or revokes the parent regulation). (texte législatif source, texte source)

Spent regulation: A consolidated version of a regulation as it read immediately before it became spent. A regulation is spent if:

  • statutory authority for it is no longer in force,
  • events or the passage of time have rendered the regulation obsolete, or
  • the regulation contains a set date for expiration and that date has passed.

A spent regulation is not in force but may continue to apply in some situations. For example, transitional provisions may extend its application in certain circumstances or it may have application in relation to past events. (règlement caduc)

Statute: The terms "statute" and "Act" are interchangeable. (loi)

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