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Canadian Parliamentary Historical Resources provides a centralized, streamlined means of accessing historical debates and journals of the Senate and House of Commons, in both official languages.

The Senate and House of Commons Debates, commonly known as the Debates, or Hansard, contain the transcribed, edited and corrected record of full deliberations of both Houses of Parliament.

Since the adoption of official reporting (in 1871 for the Senate and 1880 for the House of Commons), the daily editions of the Hansard were issued in bound, well-indexed volumes. From 1875 to 1879, for the House of Commons, a verbatim, condensed Hansard was compiled and printed by outside contractors. By 1880, the House of Commons favoured the adoption of a verbatim report compiled by employees of the House itself. This site has been produced from digitized editions of these volumes, all available under their corresponding Parliament and Session, in the Browse function of this portal.

This portal includes reconstituted debates, which represent debates for the years prior to the adoption of official reporting. These reconstituted debates are an unofficial version of the debates, drawn from newspaper reports of the day. Finally, the portal also includes translated debates for the Senate of Canada, which began its official report in English only. All of the reconstituted and translated content can be identified in the records.

The Senate and House of Commons Journals are the notes and records kept by the Clerks and other Table Officers during a sitting. They are the official record of Senate and House decisions and other transactions such as petitions presented, documents tabled, etc.

The Journals were first published in 1867 and the daily editions were issued in bound, well-indexed volumes. This site has been produced from digitized editions of these volumes, all available under their corresponding Parliament and Session, in the Browse function of this portal.

In 1994, the House began to distribute its publications electronically by making its publications accessible worldwide through the Parliament of Canada Web site. The Senate followed suit in 1996. To access debates and journals from these dates and later, please visit parl.gc.ca, under Parliamentary Business.

Browsing and Searching

The Browse function on the left-hand side of the home page allows the user to track down a specific volume in a given Parliament and Session. Once a volume is selected, it can be viewed and further searched.

Also, the Browse function allows users to perform a Keyword search within a selected session, using the search box located in the top left side of the viewer. Those results can then be narrowed down using the different restrictions located to the left of the screen.

The user will notice a difference between the Browse function for the debates and for the journals. The standardization of the Browse function is currently being developed.

The simple Search form on the right-hand side of the home page allows for searching the full text content of the Portal. The user can choose to search either publication or search both simultaneously. For finer control, the user can narrow his search by Chamber, Parliament, Language and Date.

The following features can be used to refine searches:

  • Phrases: ""

    To search for an exact phrase, enclose all of the words in double quotes. You cannot use wildcards within a phrase. For example, to find documents that contain the phrase "quebec city" and not just the individual terms "quebec" and "city": "quebec city"

  • Wildcards: ? and *

    Use ? in the middle or at the end of a word to match any one character. Use * to match any number of characters (including zero). For example, to find either "defence" or "defense": defen?e To find either "labour" or "labor": labo*r

  • Excluded term: -

    Use - in front of a word or phrase to indicate that the term must not appear in the record. For example, to find documents that contain "paris" but not "france": paris -france

  • Alternate terms: |

    To match any one of a number of alternative terms, put a | between them. For example, to find "ontario" and either "york" or "toronto": ontario york | toronto

  • Accents

    Search terms are not case or accent-sensitive: "Français" and "francais" will produce the same result.

Search results page

By default, search results are presented in order of relevance. Users can change the sort order by “newest” or “oldest”.

Page viewer

Use the functions of the page viewer to zoom in on the digitized page image, to select a specific page number, and to otherwise move through the volume. Right-click on the page image and use the “Print picture” function to print the page showing in the viewer.

Linking to your results

Each volume has a permanent URL if you wish to bookmark it, or send the link to someone. This link can be found in the metadata, under the About tab at the top of the page viewer.

Your search result list can also be shared by copying the link in the address bar from the results page.

Linking to a Single Page

To link to a single page from the Debates or Journals, note the image number (not the publication’s page number). Copy the permanent link on the About tab of the viewer for that particular page. Add a forward slash (/) and the image number.

For example, page 3176 of volume 4, 1st session, 15th Parliament of the House of Commons is image number 38. Go to the About tab and copy the permanent link. Add a forward slash (/) and the image number: http://parl.canadiana.ca/view/oop.debates_HOC1501_04/38

This takes you directly to the image.

Downloading Full Volumes

To obtain a PDF copy of a particular publication, you must download the full volume. It is not possible at the moment to download single pages. Download times will vary due to the size of the file and to traffic. It may require several minutes to fully download.

Contact Us

Users are welcome to report any difficulties they are experiencing with the portal. Your help in improving the quality of the Canadian Parliamentary Historical Resources portal is invaluable to us. Please direct any questions or comment here.