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Contemporary Canadian Govt. & Politics: What was written

Selected Primary Sources and their Finding Aids: What Was Written -- Introduction

The official documents produced by political parties and the federal government are valuable primary source material for researchers and should not be overlooked. They not only show the workings of these institutions, they can contribute to an understanding of political and social change. They provide an excellent window on the issues of the day and reveal the motivations and thinking of those who would influence them. Click on the headings below for details on some of the key written records of Canadian political parties and the federal government.


See also Special Topics for primary source documents relevant to Climate Change Policy, Immigration Policy, International Relations, Government & Political Party Finance, Women in Politics, and Provincial and Local Government and Politics.

Political Party Publications:

  • Party platforms, Campaign literature, etc.
  • Special collections

Government Publications:

  • Reports (Departmental annual reports, Royal Commissions, Task forces)
  • Policy papers
  • In Parliament (Journals, Sessional papers, Committee reports)
  • Law and legislation (Acts, Bills, Regulations, Orders in Council)
  • Court reports

For details on news sources see Finding Information: Current Events/News and check which sources cover the time period relevant to your research. For news from government and political parties see What is Happening Now.