Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Banner image for Mount Allison University Libraries and ArchivesBanner image link to Mount Allison UniversityMount Allison University Libraries and ArchivesImage Map
Hours | Libraries Home | Music Library | University Archives

Canadian Govt. & Politics: Provincial/Local — Finding & Evaluating

Provincial/Territorial and Local Government & Politics: Finding & Evaluating Substantive Information

The general sources for contemporary Canadian government and politics covered in the main portion of this guide should also be used for this topic. The following are more specialized sources for government and politics at the local and provincial levels.

Finding Sources

Core Journals:

The following are some of the best peer-reviewed, academic journals for research on contemporary Canadian local and provincial/territorial government and politics, followed by other useful journals and magazines which frequently publish articles on these topics:

Acadiensis: Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region/Acadiensis: Revue d'histoire de la région atlantique. Fredericton: University of New Brunswick, 1971 - . Semiannual. ISSN: 0044-5851.

Description: A bilingual scholarly journal of regional history on all aspects of the study of Atlantic Canada. Disciplines covered include: political science, sociology, economics, geography, history, etc.
Includes: Original research articles, book reviews, and an ongoing bibliography of new sources.
Indexed in: America: History and Life, Historical Abstracts, Canadian Periodical Index, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Canadian Index, CBCA, etc.
Tips: Bibliography compiled from the printed bibliographies to 2010 available at https://preserve.lib.unb.ca/wayback/20141205151334/http://atlanticportal.hil.unb.ca/biblio

Alberta History. (Formerly Alberta Historical Review.) Calgary: Historical Society of Alberta, 1953 - . Quarterly. ISSN: 0316-1552.

Description: A peer-reviewed academic journal on all aspects of Alberta history.
Includes: Academic and popular articles; intended to appeal to both academic and popular audiences.
Indexed in: America History and Life, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Canadian Periodical Index, CBCA, Historical Abstracts, Social Science Citation Index, etc.

BC Studies: The British Columbian Quarterly. Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 1969 - . Quarterly. ISSN: 0005-2949.

Description: This is a peer-reviewed journal on British Columbia's cultural, economic and political life. It includes many articles on municipal and provincial government and politics.
Includes: Articles, book reviews, and an ongoing bibliography of recent books, articles and government publications on B.C.
Indexed in: American History & Life, Canadian Periodical Index, CBCA, etc.
Tips: Bibliography, subject and keyword search available at: https://bcstudies.com/bibliography/ and  https://bcstudies.com/index/

Canadian Journal of Regional Science/Revue canadienne des sciences régionales. Canadian Regional Science Association. 1978 - . 3/year. ISSN: 0705-4580. Available online from 1995 on at: https://idjs.ca/en/cjrs/

Description: An academic, interdisciplinary journal on regional and urban issues, especially in Canada.
Includes: Articles, book reviews and research notes in English and French.
Indexed in: Academic Index, CBCA, EconLit, etc.

Canadian Journal of Urban Research/Revue canadienne de recherche urbaine. Institute of Urban Studies, University of Winnipeg, 1992 - . Semiannual. ISSN: 1188-3774.

Description: A bilingual, multidisciplinary journal publishing refereed articles on many issues related to urban and regional studies.
Includes: Articles, book reviews and research notes.
Indexed in: Academic Index, CBCA, Sociological Abstracts, etc.

Journal of Newfoundland and Labrador Studies. (Formerly Newfoundland Studies.) St. John's: Memorial University. 1985 - . Semiannual. ISSN: 1719-1726. https://www.mun.ca/nls/

Description: A scholarly, interdisciplinary journal on the history and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Includes: Essays and book reviews in English and French and a comprehensive bibliography of recent publications on the province is published once a year.
Indexed in: America: History and Life, CBCA, etc.
Tips: The journal is searchable online by author/title and book review.

Northern Review: A Multidisciplinary Journal of the Arts & Social Sciences of the North. Whitehorse: Yukon College, 1988 - . Semiannual. ISSN: 0835-3443. (No issues published in 2003, 2004, 2006.)

Description: A scholarly journal devoted exclusively to northern issues. Articles cover the social sciences and humanities.
Includes: Articles, book reviews and "bulletin board" notes.
Indexed in: CBCA, Canadian Periodical Index, etc.
Tips: Sample relevant theme issues: #25/26 Summer 2005: on Governance in the Provincial Norths, #23, Summer 2001: on Northern Communities and the State.

Politique et Sociétés. (Formerly Politique: Revue de la Société québécoise de science politique, La Revue de la Société québécoise de science politique.) Montreal: Société québécoise de science politique, 1982 - . 3/year. ISSN (Print): 1203-9438, Online: 1703-8480.

Description: This academic journal publishes research articles in French, on all aspects of political science, with special emphasis on the province of Quebec.
Includes: Articles, book reviews and research notes.
Indexed in: Canadian Periodical Index, Francis, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, International Political Science Abstracts, PAIS International, Point de Repère, Sociological Abstracts.

Prairie Forum. Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina, 1976 - . Semiannual. ISSN: 0317-6282.

Description: A multidisciplinary journal on research relating to the Canadian plains region.
Includes: Articles and book reviews.
Indexed in: America History & Life, Canadian Periodical Index, Historical Abstracts, etc.

Other Useful Journals and Magazines:

Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance. 2008 - . UTS Centre for Local Government.
Forum. (Formerly FCM Forum). 1976 - . Canadian Federation of Municipalities.
Journal of Urban Affairs. 1981 - . Urban Affairs Association.
Manitoba History. (Formerly Manitoba Pageant.) 1956 - . Manitoba Historical Society.
Municipal Monitor. 1992 - . Association of Municipal Clerks & Treasurers of Ontario.
Municipal World: Canada's Municipal Magazine. 1891 - . Municipal World.
Ontario History. 1899 - . Ontario Historical Society.
Saskatchewan History. 1948 - . Saskatchewan Archives.

Indexes and Databases:
Indexes and databases useful for finding articles and other types of sources on Canadian government and politics in general are listed in the main section of this guide. The following is a select list of some especially useful for the study of local and provincial/territorial government and politics in Canada:

Canadian Research Index. (Formerly Microlog Index, Publicat Index, Urban Canada, ProFile.) Toronto: Micromedia ProQuest, 1973 - .

Description: The major index with abstracts of Canadian reports, articles and other publications from all levels of government in Canada: municipal, provincial and federal, their agencies, boards and commissions, universities and research institutes. Items selected based on "lasting research value".
Coverage: Print: 1973 - 2003. Online: 1982 - Dec. 31, 2018.
Tips: Abstracts are in the language of the publication.

Index to Current Urban Documents (ICUD). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1972 - . Updated every 6-8 weeks. http://www.urbdocs.com

Description: ICUD indexes over 2,400 documents published each year by local government agencies, civic organizations, academic and research organizations, metropolitan and regional planning agencies, etc. in over 500 major Canadian and U.S. cities. Full text documents are available to subscribers in pdf format.
Coverage: Print: 1972 - . Online: 2001 - .

Urban Studies Abstracts. EBSCO. (Formerly Sage.) 1973 - . Subscription database.

Description: A general urban studies index with abstracts, it covers all aspects of the field, including politics, government and law, urban fiscal and budgetary policy, social and public services, etc. Indexes English-language journals from around the world. Some Canadian content.
Coverage: Print: 1973 - . Online: 1998 - .

Books and other Academic Work:

To find books, theses, conference papers, and publications by research institutes and other organizations, use library catalogues. Additional sources listed below.

Useful LC and Canadian Subject Headings for Library Catalogues:

local government — Canada
municipal government — Canada
municipal government — [province] -- [city, county, region, etc.] (e.g. municipal government -- ontario -- toronto)
provincial governments — Canada
[province] — politics and government
[city (prov.)] -- politics and government (e.g. Toronto (Ont.) -- politics and government)
political parties — [province]
political parties — Canada -- provinces
[name of political party] (e.g. Liberal Party of Ontario)
politicians — [province]
[name of politician]
elections — [province] — [city]
local elections — Canada or — [province]
by-laws — [province] — [city]
federal-provincial relations — [province]
federal-local relations — Canada
provincial-local relations — [province]
provincial-local fiscal relations
regionalism — Canada
urban policy — Canada, or — [province] — [city]
voting — [province] — [city]

Conference Papers:
Besides the papers published from the Atlantic Provinces, British Columbia, and Canadian Political Science Association conferences, universities, research institutes, municipal federations and other organizations periodically organize conferences from which the presentations are published. To find these, search your library catalogue or the Union Catalogue Voilà.

Municipal and provincial governments, their departments and agencies, may also sponsor conferences occasionally, as can Royal Commissions and other fact-finding task forces. Other government-sponsored conferences from which "public documents" are sometimes made available include the provincial-territorial conferences of Ministers responsible for municipal affairs, Premiers' conferences, various regional Premiers' conferences, and federal-provincial conferences. These can also be found in library catalogues with the relevant subject headings and "congresses" (e.g. interprovincial relations -- canada -- congresses).

If your library doesn't have these, you can contact the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat, which produces lists of these conferences that include notes on the agendas, whether the sessions were closed or not, significant outcomes, etc. On the Secretariat's Publications page see: Premiers' Conferences, 1887-2002, and updates, and First Ministers' Conferences, 1906-2004. (Note: These tend to be closed meetings; only press releases are usually produced.)

Theses:

Many excellent theses have been written in Canadian universities on provincial and local government and politics. Search the Theses Canada Portal for these. Library and Archives Canada maintains a collection of every M.A. and PhD thesis written at Canadian universities. Where a link to an online thesis is not available, and for print theses, request an inter-library loan through your library.  Most universities also maintain a collection of the electronic theses written at their institution. Some are accessible through their institutional repositories.

Research Reports:

See the "Research Organizations" tab for examples of organizations that publish research on this topic.

Current Events / News:

See the Finding Current Events/News section in the main part of this guide for newspaper websites, indexes and databases that include current provincial and local newspapers, such as the subscription databases Canadian Major Dailies (ProQuest), Eureka (CEDROM-SNi inc.), and Factiva (Dow Jones).

There are several historical newspaper digitization projects, most with a focus on the earliest years. The following are selected online provincial newspaper directories, indexes and digitized collections that include news from the 1940's and more recent:

(Alberta) Peel's Prairie Provinces: Newspapers. http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/advanced/
BC Historical Newspapers. https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/bcnewspapers
(Newfoundland) Newspapers. https://collections.mun.ca/digital/#Newspapers

Nova Scotia Historical Newspapers Online. https://lamns.ca/initiatives/nova-scotia-historical-newspapers-online/
Ontario Community Newspapers Portal. https://news.ourontario.ca/
(PEI) Island Newspapers. https://islandnewspapers.ca/home
Saskatchewan News Index. https://library.usask.ca/sni/

Canadian News Online. Library and Archives Canada. https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/newspapers/newspaper-collection/Pages/canadian-news-online.aspx#c

This LAC page has information on the LAC newspaper collection but also links to Canadian newspapers online by province and territory, and to newspaper indexes by province and territory in the Geographical Index List. 

For the latest provincial government news see the websites of the provincial/territorial governments and look for "What's New", press releases, media rooms, newsletters, events calendars, etc.

For news from provincial/territorial legislatures see:

Canadian Parliamentary Review "Legislative Reports" section. By the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Canadian Region. Quarterly. 1978 - . http://www.revparlcan.ca/en/home/
The "Legislative Reports" section of each issue summarizes important legislation passed or under consideration, committee activities, etc. for each of the provincial and territorial legislatures.

The Provincial Legislative Record (monthly), and the more frequently updated Canadian Legislative Pulse, both by CCH Canada provide updates to provincial/territorial legislation for a fee. See Primary Sources -- What's Happening Now for the official legislative sites which provide this information up to date and for free.

For municipal / local government news, see the provincial departments responsible for municipal affairs and their links to the official websites of municipalities (listed in Clarification - General Facts). Local government news is also compiled by the following:

Municipal Information Network. By Jaguar Media Inc. https://municipalinfonet.com/
A daily e-newsletter on municipal affairs listing news headlines from news releases issued by governments and related organizations, and from a press review of Canada's dailies and hundreds of local and regional news sources. The site displays news headlines only. Access to the articles requires a subscription.

Political parties, some research organizations, municipal federations, and other related organizations also provide news on local & provincial government and politics on their websites (see Research Organizations tab and Primary Sources -- What's Happening Now.)

Government Information:

Provincial/territorial and local governments and their agencies, boards and commissions are generally not as prolific publishers as the federal government is. However, they still produce many official records useful for understanding their work and some commission or carry out research on policy-related issues. The following section describes tools and techniques for finding provincial/territorial and local government information in general. These include government websites, libraries, archives, government publication lists, and access to information offices. To find specific types of government sources such as Royal Commission reports, debates, bills, bylaws, etc. see Selected Primary Sources & their Finding Aids.

Government Websites:
The latest, most well-known publications are generally available on provincial or local government websites. The official provincial and territorial websites, and the departments responsible for municipalities, which link to local government websites, are listed in Clarifying - General Facts.

Libraries:
While large university library catalogues and the union catalogue Voilà can be useful for finding some provincial documents, the main depository libraries for provincial government information are the Legislative Libraries in each province and territory. These libraries will have many more documents than the government websites, as it is their mandate to collect and preserve them. Systematic programs to download electronic documents and make them accessible through the legislative library catalogues generally started after 2000 and are slowly progressing in most provinces, as well as some digitization of earlier documents. Search their online library catalogues or the GALLOP Portal for provincial government documents in print and electronic form. 
NOTE: Most legislative library websites also post research guides and link to special collections of interest, or have a separate database for electronic documents. Check the links available on legislative library websites as well as their library catalogue.

Provincial/Territorial Legislative Libraries:

GALLOP Portal (Government and Legislative Libraries Online Publications Portal).  http://www.gallopportal.ca/

A joint catalogue combining the holdings of  nine provincial and one territorial legislative library and the federal documents identified by the DSP in the federal government publications catalogue. (Does not include PEI, Nunavut or Yukon.) Records include links to the full text where available. NOTE: Coverage starts in the 2000s for most of the libraries. There may also be significant lag times before current records are added. See the "Scope Notes" for details on what publications are included for each participating library.

Municipal and Provincial Government Archives:

The provinces and territories, most large cities, and some other municipalities have archives with a mandate to collect and preserve the publications produced by their municipal or provincial / territorial government. 

Directory of Archives. Canadian Archival Information Network. https://archivescanada.accesstomemory.ca/repository/browse

Searchable and browsable database of close to 800 archives in Canada. Note: The category "government" does not include all the archives with government documents. Many municipal archives are found under "community". 

Municipal Archives (Selected examples):

Calgary: https://www.calgary.ca/ca/city-clerks/archives/holdings.html
Edmonton: https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/edmonton_archives/city-of-edmonton-archives.aspx
Halifax: https://www.halifax.ca/about-halifax/municipal-archives
Ottawa: https://ottawa.ca/en/arts-heritage-and-events/city-ottawa-archives
St. John's, NL: http://www.stjohns.ca/living-st-johns/city-services/archives
Toronto: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/accountability-operations-customer-service/access-city-information-or-records/city-of-toronto-archives/
Vancouver: https://vancouver.ca/your-government/city-of-vancouver-archives.aspx 
Victoria: https://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/residents/archives.html

Other municipal government document collections are maintained by the provincial / territorial archives, or the main public library branch in the region. Any of these may have finding aids to help you. For example:

Municipal Records in Ontario: History and Guide. By Fraser Dunford. Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 2005. 182 p.

Although the focus is on finding information on people, this guide describes the documents produced by municipalities in Ontario from the 1800's on and has a list of all villages, towns, cities, counties, districts, townships, regional and modern municipalities with their important dates.

Provincial / Territorial Archives:

Alberta: https://provincialarchives.alberta.ca/
British Columbia: https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/bc-archives/info
Manitoba: https://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/search.html
New Brunswick: https://archives.gnb.ca/archives/?culture=en-CA
Newfoundland & Labrador: https://www.therooms.ca/
Northwest Territories: https://www.nwtarchives.ca/
Nova Scotia: https://archives.novascotia.ca/
Nunavut: https://www.gov.nu.ca/culture-and-heritage/information/archives
Ontario: http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/index.aspx
Prince Edward Island: http://www.archives.pe.ca/atom/index.php/
Quebec: https://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/
Saskatchewan: https://www.saskarchives.com/
Yukon: https://yukon.ca/en/archives

ArchivesCanada.ca. Canadian Council of Archives. https://archivescanada.accesstomemory.ca/

The gateway to Canadian archives includes a database of the holdings descriptions from archives across the country searchable by name, place, subject, media type, creator, and institution. 

Provincial Archival Networks. Canadian Archival Information Network. http://archivescanada.ca/Networks

Use to find links to many types of archives within each province.
 

Government Publication Lists:
Besides the publications listed on provincial and some municipal government websites, more comprehensive, historical publication lists and bibliographies existed at one time for all provinces and territories. The following are selected examples (note exact print titles and publishers may vary) for coverage from 1945 on. Some provinces also have government book stores with publications lists or catalogues:

Alberta:
Government Publications Relating to Alberta: A Bibliography of Publications of the Government of Alberta from 1905 to 1968, and of the Publications of the Government of Canada Relating to the Province of Alberta from 1867 to 1968. By John Forsyth, 1971. Thesis in 8 vols.
Alberta Government Publications. Public Affairs Bureau, 1973 - . Online: 1996 - .
https://open.alberta.ca/opendata/government-of-alberta-publications
British Columbia:

British Columbia Government Publications Monthly Checklist. Crown Publications, 1970-2001 (print). Online by Legislative Library, 1990 - . http://www.llbc.leg.bc.ca/databases/checklist/
Manitoba:

Manitoba Government Publications Monthly Checklist . Legislative Library, 1970 - . Monthly with annual cumulations. Online: 2006  - . https://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/leg-lib/checklist.html
New Brunswick:

Publications of the Governments of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, 1758-1952. By Olga Bishop. Ottawa: National Library, 1957. 237 p.
New Brunswick Government Documents: A Checklist of Government Documents Received at the Legislative Library. 1955 - . Monthly with annual cumulations. Online: New Brunswick Government Publications Checklist. 2000 - .
https://www1.gnb.ca/leglibbib/en/Publications.aspx/Index
Newfoundland and Labrador:

List of Publications Offered by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Information Services, 1974-1978.
Publications Listing. 1995 - .
https://www.gov.nl.ca/publications/
Northwest Territories:

Publications of the Governments of the North-West Territories, 1867-1905 and of the Province of Saskatchewan, 1905-1952. By Christine MacDonald. Regina: Legislative Library, 1952. 109 p.
Government Publications Catalogue. Dept. of Information, 1977 - .
Checklist of Northwest Territories Government Publications. Legislative Library, Print and Online: 1994 - . https://www.ntassembly.ca/library/checklist

Nova Scotia:

Publications of the Governments of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, 1758-1952. By Olga Bishop. Ottawa: National Library, 1957. 237 p.
Publications of the Province of Nova Scotia. Legislative Library, 1967 - . Monthly Checklist Online: 1995 - .
Monthly Checklist (Searchable version): 2012 - .

Nunavut:
Publications. Legislative Library, 1999 - . Online: The Legislative Library Catalogue can be searched limiting to "government publication" for documents published by the Government of Nunavut as well as the Federal and Northwest Territories governments.
Ontario:

Publications of the Government of Ontario, 1901-1955. By Hazel MacTaggart. Toronto: U. of Toronto Press, 1964.
Publications of the Government of Ontario, 1956-1971. By Hazel MacTaggart & Kenneth Sundquist. Toronto: Min. of Gov't Services, 1975.
Ontario Government Publications: Monthly Checklist. Publisher varies, 1971 - . Annual: 1979 - .  Online: Oct. 2020 - . https://www.ola.org/en/offices-divisions-branches/library-research/data-resources

Publications Ontario Bookstore: https://www.publications.gov.on.ca/  and its Monthly Library Checklist.
Prince Edward Island:
Publications of the Governments of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, 1758-1952. By Olga Bishop. Ottawa: National Library, 1957. 237 p.
PEI Provincial Government Publications Checklist. Island Information Service. Monthly. 1976 - .

Publications: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/publications
Québec:

Répertoire des publications gouvernementales du Québec, 1867-1964 and 1965-1968. By A. Beaulieu et al. Secrétariat de la Province, 1968 and 1970.
Catalogue de l'Editeur Officiel du Québec. 1966 - .
Publications gouvernementales du Québec revues à la bibliothéque nationale du Québec. 1981- . Online: 2001 - .

Liste mensuelle des publications gouvernementales du Québec. 2017 -  . https://www.banq.qc.ca/ressources_en_ligne/np_publications_gov.html
Saskatchewan:

Publications of the Governments of the North-West Territories 1876-1905 and of the Province of Saskatchewan 1905-1952. By Christine MacDonald. Regina: Legislative Library, 1952. 109 p.
Saskatchewan Publications 1974/75/76 and Supplement. Saskatchewan Library Association, 1977.
Checklist of Saskatchewan Government Publications. Legislative Library, 1976 - . Monthly with annual cumulations. Online: 1997 - .
https://www.legassembly.sk.ca/library/monthly-checklist/
Yukon Territory:

Yukon Bibliography. Boreal Institute for Northern Studies, 1963 - 1987.
Catalogue of Yukon Government Publications. Government Services, 1995 - . Annual.
Documents. https://yukon.ca/en/documents

Access to Information Requests:
If you have identified provincial or municipal government information that should be available to you, either directly or through libraries or archives, but is not, then you should make an informal request to the relevant government body. If you are denied access, then your next option is to make a formal request under the Access to Information legislation of the appropriate province or municipality. Every province and territory has similar legislation to the federal Access to Information Act (in some cases called "Freedom of Information" or "Right to Information") which generally includes access to most  provincial and municipal government records, with some exceptions. In some provinces the provincial Act covers municipalities; in others, there is a separate municipal Freedom of Information Act. This legislation gives the public the right to access government information, and if not supplied, to file an appeal with the Provincial Information Commissioner or Ombud.

Provincial and Territorial Government Access Requests:

These web pages provide details on the access to information act and related procedures, including how to file a request, and in most cases, a link to the Access Co-ordinators within government whose job it is to assist you with filing a request:

Alberta: Freedom of Information and Protection of Priviacy (FOIP)
British Columbia:  Freedom of Information Requests
Manitoba: Access to Information (FIPPA)
New Brunswick: Right to Information and Protection of Privacy
Newfoundland & Labrador: Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Office
Northwest Territories: Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Nova Scotia: Information Access and Privacy
Nunavut: Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (ATIPP Office)
Ontario: How to Make a Freedom of Information Request
Prince Edward Island: Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP)
Quebec: Commission d’accès à l’information  
Saskatchewan: Access to Information Requests
Yukon: Submit an ATIPP Request

Previous Access Requests: Some provinces provide the information online that was previously released due to access requests. Where possible, use these sites before submitting a request. Even if the information you need is not there, it can be helpful to see the kinds of information provided (and denied) for previous requests, and can help you to formulate your request appropriately:

British Columbia. Search for Information Releases (FOI Requests). https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/search?id=4BAD1D13C68243D1960FECBBF7B8B091&q=FOI

Newfoundland and Labrador. Completed Access Requests. https://atipp-search.gov.nl.ca/

Nova Scotia. Information Access. https://openinformation.novascotia.ca/

Provincial/Territorial Information Commissioners:

These are legislative officers separate from government. They are responsible for investigating any complaints about the process. Information Commissioner websites provide details on the Act, how to file an appeal if information is denied, previous investigation reports, and in some cases, provide more information on the process than the government websites do.

Alberta Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner: https://www.oipc.ab.ca/
British Columbia Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner: https://www.oipc.bc.ca/
Manitoba Ombudsman, Access & Privacy Division: https://www.ombudsman.mb.ca/info/access-and-privacy-division.html
New Brunswick: OmbudNB, Access to Information & Privacy Division: https://ombudnb-aip-aivp.ca/
Newfoundland & Labrador Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner: https://www.oipc.nl.ca/
Northwest Territories Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner: https://atipp-nt.ca/
Nova Scotia Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner: https://oipc.novascotia.ca/
Nunavut Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner: https://atipp-nu.ca/
Ontario Information & Privacy Commissioner: https://www.ipc.on.ca/
PEI Information & Privacy Commissioner Office: https://www.assembly.pe.ca/offices/information-and-privacy-commissioner
Quebec Commission d’accès à l’information: https://www.cai.gouv.qc.ca/english/
Saskatchewan Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner: https://oipc.sk.ca/
Yukon Information & Privacy Commissioner: https://www.yukonombudsman.ca/yukon-information-and-privacy-commissioner/for-the-public

Larger municipalities may have a Freedom of Information Office, or a dedicated web page with information on how to file access requests (e.g. City of Toronto, City of Vancouver). In others, it may be harder to find. Note: Not all municipalities are covered by Access legislation on Prince Edward Island. The Northwest Territories is the first of the three territories to include municipalities in 2019.

Political Party Information:

Besides statements made to the press, or in the provincial/territorial legislatures, provincial political parties' election platforms, policy documents and other statements, including on local government issues, may be found on their websites, in libraries and archives, or by contacting the party directly. See the Primary Sources section for examples.

For contact information or links to the websites of registered provincial political parties in each province, see the links from the Chief Electoral Officer's website in each province/territory.

Political party financial information (election expenses, contributions, etc.) must also be reported by all provincially registered parties and are made public. See the Chief Electoral Officer's website for each province/territory. Even if there is a separate office for political financing, there will be a link to it from the official provincial Elections or Chief Electoral Officer's site. (For example, this information can be found in the Annual Report of the New Brunswick Office of the Supervisor of Political Financing.)

Research Organizations:
Some organizations that publish research on local and provincial government and politics in Canada:

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). https://www.policyalternatives.ca/
Founded in 1980, CCPA is an independent, nonpartisan research institute interested in social and economic justice. It is well known for its federal alternative budgets. Offices in BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Nova Scotia occasionally also publish alternative provincial budgets. Research reports and the bi-monthly magazine The Monitor, often include provincial and local government issues, and public policy recommendations. Examples:

Many Dangers of Public-Private Partnerships in Newfoundland and Labrador. By Christine Saulnier. Sept. 2020. 57 p.
State of the Inner City Report. Manitoba office. Annual. 2005 - . 
Under Pressure: How Public Policy is Constraining Ontario Municipalities. By Carlo Fanelli. Oct 2014. 31 p.
Winding Down BC's Fossil Fuel Industries: Planning for Climate Justice in a Zero Carbon Economy. By Marc Lee and Seth Klein. March 2020. 44 p.

Canadian Urban Institute (CUI). https://canurb.org/
Established in 1990 by the City of Toronto and the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, this nonprofit organization's purpose is to conduct research to enhance policy making and the management of urban areas and exchange information between urban areas in Canada and internationally. Some of their research reports and other publications are available online, as is CityWatch, an interactive platform that tracks emergency response measures implemented in Canada's largest cities.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). https://fcm.ca/en
A national advocate for municipal governments since 1901, FCM represents over 1,600 members including provincial and territorial municipal associations, cities and small urban and rural communities. It undertakes and sponsors research and lobbies the federal government on municipal policy and program matters. Some of its publications: research papers, policy statements, submissions to government, etc. are available online. For example:

The Case for Growing the Gas Tax Fund: A Report on the State of Municipal Finance in Canada. By Sunil Johal. Sept. 2019. 23 p.
GMF Municipal Energy Roadmap: A Guide to Help Canadian Municipalities Prioritize and Tackle Deep Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions in Municipal and Community Buildings. 2020. 280 p.
Investing in Canada's Future: The Cost of Climate Adaptation at the Local Level. Final Report. With the Insurance Board of Canada. Feb. 2020. 60 p.

(See also Municipal Associations in each Province and Territory.)

Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance. Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto. https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/imfg/
This institute conducts research on government finance and governing structures in Canada's large cities with the goal of finding solutions to their fiscal problems. Its publications (articles, papers, presentations, newsletter and others) are available online. The institute also sponsors conferences, visiting speakers and other educational events. Sample research reports:

Policy in Place: Revisiting Canada's Tri-Level Agreements. By Neil Bradford. 2020 42 p.
Re-imagining Community Councils in Canadian Local Government. By Alexandra Flynn and Zachary Spicer. 2017. 31 p.
Theme and Variations: Metropolitan Governance in Canada. By Zack Taylor. 2020. 59 p.

Intergovernmental Committee on Urban and Regional Research (ICURR). 1968 - 2011. (See Muniscope.)

Metropolis. https://www.metropolis.org/
A global network of major cities and metropolitan areas. Canadian city members are Toronto and Montreal. Publications online include policy statements, issue papers, and research published by their members and partners. For example:

Blockchain: A Tool for Metropolitan Governance? Issue Paper #5. By Alfonso Govela. June 2018. 20 p.
Sub-National Urban Policy: A Guide. Nairobi: UN Habitat, 2020 65 p.

Muniscope. 2002 - . Provincial-Territorial Officials Committee on Local Government (PTOC). https://www.muniscope.ca/home

The website of the former Intergovernmental Committee on Urban and Regional Research (ICURR), it represents a national organization dedicated to research on municipal and regional issues. It has a library and research services accessible to members and subscribers only. Available online are the library's new acquisitions lists since 2014 and some of the former ICURR Research Reports.

Videos and Films:

National Film Board of Canada Catalogue. https://www.nfb.ca/subjects/
The NFB online catalogue can be searched by keyword or browsed by subject. Relevant subject categories include "Politics and Government -- Canada", then "Provincial Politics and Government " and "Municipal Politics and Government".

Eastern Eye: A Nova Scotia Filmography 1899-1973. https://archives.novascotia.ca/easterneye/ By Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management.
An online bibliography of over 2,500 film, video and selected television productions created by, for or about Nova Scotians from 1899 to 1973. It can be searched by subject, genre, name, etc. and includes several on municipal and provincial government and politics.

 

See Primary Sources - Recorded Images for selected examples of primary source audiovisual materials on this topic.

 

 

Evaluating Sources


Please refer to Evaluating Information in the main part of this guide.