Interpretation Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. I-21)

Act current to 2017-12-11 and last amended on 2015-02-26. Previous Versions

Interpretation Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. I-21

An Act respecting the interpretation of statutes and regulations

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Interpretation Act.

  • R.S., c. I-23, s. 1.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions
  •  (1) In this Act,

    Act

    loi

    Act means an Act of Parliament; (loi)

    enact

    Version anglaise seulement

    enact includes to issue, make or establish; (Version anglaise seulement)

    enactment

    texte

    enactment means an Act or regulation or any portion of an Act or regulation; (texte)

    public officer

    fonctionnaire public

    public officer includes any person in the federal public administration who is authorized by or under an enactment to do or enforce the doing of an act or thing or to exercise a power, or on whom a duty is imposed by or under an enactment; (fonctionnaire public)

    regulation

    règlement

    regulation includes an order, regulation, rule, rule of court, form, tariff of costs or fees, letters patent, commission, warrant, proclamation, by-law, resolution or other instrument issued, made or established

    • (a) in the execution of a power conferred by or under the authority of an Act, or

    • (b) by or under the authority of the Governor in Council; (règlement)

    repeal

    Version anglaise seulement

    repeal includes revoke or cancel. (Version anglaise seulement)

  • Marginal note:Expired and replaced enactments

    (2) For the purposes of this Act, an enactment that has been replaced is repealed and an enactment that has expired, lapsed or otherwise ceased to have effect is deemed to have been repealed.

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-21, s. 2;
  • 1993, c. 34, s. 88;
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 146;
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E).

Application

Marginal note:Application
  •  (1) Every provision of this Act applies, unless a contrary intention appears, to every enactment, whether enacted before or after the commencement of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Application to this Act

    (2) The provisions of this Act apply to the interpretation of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Rules of construction not excluded

    (3) Nothing in this Act excludes the application to an enactment of a rule of construction applicable to that enactment and not inconsistent with this Act.

  • R.S., c. I-23, s. 3.

Enacting Clause of Acts

Marginal note:Enacting clause
  •  (1) The enacting clause of an Act may be in the following form:

    “Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:”.

  • Marginal note:Order of clauses

    (2) The enacting clause of an Act shall follow the preamble, if any, and the various provisions within the purview or body of the Act shall follow in a concise and enunciative form.

  • R.S., c. I-23, s. 4.

Operation

Royal Assent

Marginal note:Royal assent
  •  (1) The Clerk of the Parliaments shall endorse on every Act, immediately after its title, the day, month and year when the Act was assented to in Her Majesty’s name and the endorsement shall be a part of the Act.

  • Marginal note:Date of commencement

    (2) If no date of commencement is provided for in an Act, the date of commencement of that Act is the date of assent to the Act.

  • Marginal note:Commencement provision

    (3) Where an Act contains a provision that the Act or any portion thereof is to come into force on a day later than the date of assent to the Act, that provision is deemed to have come into force on the date of assent to the Act.

  • Marginal note:Commencement when no date fixed

    (4) Where an Act provides that certain provisions thereof are to come or are deemed to have come into force on a day other than the date of assent to the Act, the remaining provisions of the Act are deemed to have come into force on the date of assent to the Act.

  • R.S., c. I-23, s. 5.

Day Fixed for Commencement or Repeal

Marginal note:Operation when date fixed for commencement or repeal
  •  (1) Where an enactment is expressed to come into force on a particular day, it shall be construed as coming into force on the expiration of the previous day, and where an enactment is expressed to expire, lapse or otherwise cease to have effect on a particular day, it shall be construed as ceasing to have effect on the commencement of the following day.

  • Marginal note:When no date fixed

    (2) Every enactment that is not expressed to come into force on a particular day shall be construed as coming into force

    • (a) in the case of an Act, on the expiration of the day immediately before the day the Act was assented to in Her Majesty’s name; and

    • (b) in the case of a regulation, on the expiration of the day immediately before the day the regulation was registered pursuant to section 6 of the Statutory Instruments Act or, if the regulation is of a class that is exempted from the application of subsection 5(1) of that Act, on the expiration of the day immediately before the day the regulation was made.

  • Marginal note:Judicial notice

    (3) Judicial notice shall be taken of a day for the coming into force of an enactment that is fixed by a regulation that has been published in the Canada Gazette.

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-21, s. 6;
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 87.

Regulation Prior to Commencement

Marginal note:Preliminary proceedings

 Where an enactment is not in force and it contains provisions conferring power to make regulations or do any other thing, that power may, for the purpose of making the enactment effective on its commencement, be exercised at any time before its commencement, but a regulation so made or a thing so done has no effect until the commencement of the enactment, except in so far as may be necessary to make the enactment effective on its commencement.

  • R.S., c. I-23, s. 7.

Territorial Operation

Marginal note:Territorial operation
  •  (1) Every enactment applies to the whole of Canada, unless a contrary intention is expressed in the enactment.

  • Marginal note:Amending enactment

    (2) Where an enactment that does not apply to the whole of Canada is amended, no provision in the amending enactment applies to any part of Canada to which the amended enactment does not apply, unless it is provided in the amending enactment that it applies to that part of Canada or to the whole of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Exclusive economic zone of Canada

    (2.1) Every enactment that applies in respect of exploring or exploiting, conserving or managing natural resources, whether living or non-living, applies, in addition to its application to Canada, to the exclusive economic zone of Canada, unless a contrary intention is expressed in the enactment.

  • Marginal note:Continental shelf of Canada

    (2.2) Every enactment that applies in respect of exploring or exploiting natural resources that are

    • (a) mineral or other non-living resources of the seabed or subsoil, or

    • (b) living organisms belonging to sedentary species, that is to say, organisms that, at the harvestable stage, either are immobile on or under the seabed or are unable to move except in constant physical contact with the seabed or subsoil

    applies, in addition to its application to Canada, to the continental shelf of Canada, unless a contrary intention is expressed in the enactment.

  • Marginal note:Extra-territorial operation

    (3) Every Act now in force enacted prior to December 11, 1931 that expressly or by necessary or reasonable implication was intended, as to the whole or any part thereof, to have extra-territorial operation shall be construed as if, at the date of its enactment, the Parliament of Canada had full power to make laws having extra-territorial operation as provided by the Statute of Westminster, 1931.

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-21, s. 8;
  • 1996, c. 31, s. 86.
 
Date modified: