Extrinsic Aids to Statutory Interpretation: Legislative Debates

AuthorSusan Barker, Erica Anderson
chapter four
Extrinsic Aids to Statutory Interpretation:
Legislative Debates
Extrinsic aids are generay dened as any source beyond the actual
text of a statute or regulation that can be used to aid statutory inter-
pretation.1 Legislative evolution and legislative history are the two
types of extrinsic aids to statutory interpretation that are the focus
of this guide. While legislative evolution is restricted to the text of a
bi or statute and changes to that bi or statute, legislative history
casts a much wider net and can include the many kinds of extrinsic
aids, documents, and records, for example, that surround the bi’s
A critical component of compiling a legislative history is locating
what has been said about a bi in Parliament. Records of what was said
about a bi, when it was introduced, why it was amended, and its dif-
ferent stages are captured in various ocial House documents, includ-
ing the ocial reports of proceedings, also caed Hansard or referred
1 Ruth Suivan, Suivan on the Construction of Statutes, 6th ed (Markham, ON:
LexisNexis Canada, 2014) at 657.

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