The Canada Gazette celebrates its 180th birthday

A paper publication of the first edition of the Gazette

For 180 years, the Canada Gazette has been the Government of Canada’s official newspaper. It provides information on new acts and regulations, proposed regulations, decisions of administrative tribunals and public notices. The Canada Gazette, published by the Queen’s Printer, was first published in October 1841.

The Canada Gazette is intended for everyone, but those most interested are politicians such as ministers, members of the House of Commons and senators. In addition, public servants, federal regulators, and employers and employees who report to the federal government are also readers of the Canada Gazette.

However, Canadians who want to know about new regulations, legislation or interest rates also consult it.

A little history

Even before Confederation in 1867, the Canada Gazette was used to publish official proclamations of war and peace, the holding of federal elections, amendments to regulations, and proclamations opening and closing sessions of Parliament.

Since its creation in 1841, the publication model has undergone some restructuring. It has evolved from a 1-part, general publication to the 3-part publication we know today. The Canada Gazette became a fully bilingual publication in 1970, when the English and French versions began to be printed in 2 parallel columns.

Part II was added in January 1947 as a result of the rapid increase in the number of regulations being enacted in Canada, combined with the government’s recognition that regulations would become part of the daily lives of Canadians.

Another important change to the Canada Gazette was the creation of Part III. First published in December 1974, Part III made it possible to publish public acts as soon as they received royal assent, eliminating the long delay between the publication of bills and the publication of official acts.

Big changes

For the first century and a half, the Canada Gazette offered its publications only in print form. On June 4, 1998, the publication also became available free of charge on the Canada Gazette. As of April 1, 2014, the government stopped offering the print publication.

In March 2020, the announcement of the global pandemic did not spare the Canada Gazette. The impact of the pandemic, including telework, meant that a whole new way of producing the Canada Gazette had to be quickly adopted.

Finally, in April 2021, a new feature was added to the Canada Gazette website to allow Canadians to submit comments on proposed regulations published in Part I of the Canada Gazette. The commenting feature enhances transparency, fairness and accountability and provides a better understanding of the regulatory concerns and challenges of Canadians and stakeholders.

Over the years, the Canada Gazette has been able to renew itself and remain relevant. Today, despite its 180 years, it continues to be essential to the Canadian democratic process.

To learn more, watch this Canada Gazette video. To find publications and more resources, visit the Canada Gazette.

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