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Canadian Sessional Papers

During each session of Parliament, various documents and reports are submitted to both the House of Commons and the Senate. These include, among others, the reports and evidence of parliamentary committees, departmental annual reports, and answers to written questions from members of Parliament. Some of the papers submitted are subsequently published, with copies distributed to depository libraries. Recent documents may also be available online.

Post-Confederation

1924-present

Since 1924, papers have been published individually rather than as part of a collection. In some cases, parliamentary papers are printed as appendices to the Journals.


Sessional Papers of the Dominion of Canada, 1867-1924

Previously, most of the papers ordered to be printed were collected and published in the Sessional Papers. This series holds a wealth of primary source material from Canada's early years. Included are reports of departments, commissions and business institutions, statistics, foreign affairs documents, maps and other documents of historical significance. Parliamentary committee reports were excluded as these were printed as appendices to the Journals.


Unpublished Sessional Papers

Not all Sessional Papers are printed. In this case, an original copy is retained by Library and Archives Canada. For certain years, the McGill Library has a copy of unprinted papers on microfilm. Subject access is through the index to the Journals.

Note: All pre-1916 unpublished sessional papers were burned in a fire at the Parliament buildings.


Province of Canada (United Canada)

Papers ordered to be printed were collected in the Appendices to the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada (1841-1859) and the Sessional Papers of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada (1860-1866). Other papers were included within the Journals of each chamber.

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