Orders in Council (Federal) - obtaining copies
Last revised August 02, 2022

Published Orders

Prior to 1947, selected Orders in Council of public interest were published:

  • in the Statutes of Canada, from 1872 to 1939 
  • in the Canada Gazette, from 1867 to 1947
  • in separately published series of orders and regulations (See also: Gazettes Part I and II)

Since 1947, when the Canada Gazette was divided into parts, federal Orders in Council that qualify as regulations have been published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

Certain other Orders in Council requiring publication are published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

To view issues of the Canada Gazette from its beginning in 1841 until 1998 (with the exception of the 1978 Consolidated Regulations of Canada), go to the Library and Archives Canada's online database that includes all issues of the Canada Gazette dating back to 1841 and is searchable by keyword, issue and year.  Between 1864 and 1924 Orders in Council had their OIC number hand-written on the original document, but Library and Archives Canada has indexed each Order in Council with the correct number in their database.

Finally, the Canada Gazette Directorate has a searchable database on its website of all issues since 1998.

Unpublished Orders

Most Orders in Council have not been published.  For copies of unpublished orders check the following sources:

Privy Council Office
The Privy Council Office maintains a searchable listing of all federal Orders in Council from 1990 to the present.  Full text orders from November 1, 2002 onwards are included as attachments to the database records.

Library and Archives Canada
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has a number of resources and can provide copies of most unpublished Orders in Council.  They also provide access to:

  • Online records of Orders in Council from 1867 to 1916.  Many of these records include images of the original document.
  • Annual indexes
  • Departmental records
  • A collection of legislative instruments exempted from publication dating from 1867 to 1999

Contact LAC Reference Services for assistance.



Library and Archives Canada
Reference Services (Library)
395 Wellington St.
Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0N4
tel.: 613-992-3884
toll free: 1-866-578-7777
fax: 613-995-6274
Email: reference@lac-bac.gc.ca