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ARCHIVED - A Nation's Chronicle: The Canada Gazette

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Democracy in Action

(Ages 13 to 18)


Downloadable Formats
[PDF 48 KB], [RTF 449 KB]


The Canada Gazette is one of the oldest and most important of Canadian federal government publications, and a key link between government and its citizens. It serves all Canadians by giving them access to the laws and regulations that govern their daily lives; it assists the private sector in meeting legal requirements.

As the official newspaper of the Government of Canada, the Canada Gazette publishes formal proclamations, notices and regulations for the information of all Canadians. From its first issue in 1841, by the Queen's Printer for the Province of Canada, right up to today, the Canada Gazette remains a primary source that documents the evolving history, society and democracy that is Canada.

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) website, A Nation's Chronicle: The Canada Gazette, allows students to research approximately 9,000 issues from 1841 to 1997 (issues from 1998 to the present are available on the website of the Canada Gazette Directorate). The database of the LAC Canada Gazette website offers a "browse by date/issue" feature as well as keyword searching. The browse function can be used with the page-turning application to enhance access to both official languages.

The following three activities will:

  • Investigate as a specific topic "the use of medicinal marihuana" and the related history and laws, and generate class discussion on the issues, the importance of public input and the regulatory impact analysis statements;

  • Provide students with an opportunity to investigate, in small groups, recent important topics or issues and find related laws and regulations of historical significance. Students will complete a graphic of selected key laws and regulations by means of a keyword search on: women and suffrage; historical decisions in equality rights; the War Measures Act and recent anti-terrorism decisions; Canada's environmental protection; and historical events concerning French–English relations. After their research, students will summarize their opinions on the effects of past laws and regulations on the present issue;

  • Ask students to apply their learning of the regulatory process by drafting their own regulations in the classroom, following the process demonstrated in the Canada Gazette. Students will then communicate their knowledge and understanding of the regulatory process (e.g., they will create bullying regulations).

Suggested Learner Modifications

1. Assist students in reading the research information and selecting pertinent references.

2. Provide scaffolding techniques, such as a starter sentence or keyword lists for students with writing difficulties. Assist students with organization and presentation of ideas.

3. Simplify the research by omitting certain parts of the assignment, such as the graphic organizer, or ask students to present using notes only.

4. Provide extra time.

5. Provide teacher or tutor support and direction during individual activity work.

6. Allow students to dictate orally the information and scribe.

7. Allow students to present the information on audio tape.

8. Allow ESL (English as a Second Language) students to prepare topics in their first language, provided appropriate materials are available. Students should still give their oral presentation in English.

9. Allow students to contribute to the group activity through learning styles of their choice, such as a visual representation, an oral explanation, a dramatic portrayal or a technical contribution.