AuthorJohn Mark Keyes/Wendy Gordon
 
Purposes are important elements of all communication. It is often
dicult to answer a question without knowing why it is being asked.
A simple question such as “Do you have a driver’s licence?” might
be asked to verify any number of things ranging from identity or
age to the capacity to operate a motor vehicle. And when words have
dierent possible meanings, the purposes underlying their use can
help determine which meaning is intended. It is not surprising
that the purposes of legislation have a long history of guiding its
interpretation. eir use has also been reinforced by provisions in
Interpretation or Legislation Acts, such as section  of the federal
Interpretation Act:
Enactments deemed remedial
12 Every enactment is deemed remedial, and shall be given such
fair, large and liberal construction and interpretation as best
ensures the attainment of its objects.
e use of purposes to interpret legislation is rooted in the pri-
mary role of legislators who make legislation to achieve purposes
they consider to be in the public interest. Legislative interpretation
must take these purposes into account. However, as Driedger’s Mod-
ern Principle on Interpretation suggests, purposes are not the only

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