Government Information

The Government Publications Section of Bata Library—part of the Maps, Data & Government Information Centre on the 4th floor—is where you will find the library’s collection of publications, reports, official plans, and other resources issued by governments and their agencies. 

This collection includes many primary source materials from the Canadian government, Ontario's provincial government, and local municipal governments, as well as selected resources from other provinces, the UK, and the USA. The physical collection spans over 200,000 items, including discussion papers, laws, financial reports, research, and demographic profiles.  

In this section of the Library, you can: 

  • find information about the inner workings of government  
  • locate a bill and all its amendments  
  • access government-funded research 
  • examine technical reports 
  • track your MP's voting record 
  • read through transcripts of legislative debates 
  • compare census records of population and agriculture over time 
  • read Supreme and Federal Court case reports 
  • and much more. 

Physical and digital government publications available from Trent and other university libraries and are discoverable through Omni, the library’s online academic search tool. There are also many excellent online sources where you can find current and historical government documents. 

Library staff are on hand to help navigate the collection, conduct research, or integrate these resources into classroom instruction. Click here to contact MaDGIC for personalized support.

  • Visit Trent Library’s Indigenous Research Portal for a list of online resources to learn more about Indigenous rights, governance and agreements. 
  • Learn more about Indigenous self-government in Canada. This web page is published by the federal government and links to additional source materials such as maps, policies, discussion tables, and consultations with many First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities. 

  • Visit the official website for the City of Peterborough where you will find council agendas and meeting minutes, and information on city services, budgets, finances, local initiatives, and more. 
  • Explore the official website for the County of Peterborough, Ontario to find documents related to county governance, accessibility, green initiatives, finances and purchasing, strategic plans, taxes, and more. 
  • The Association of Municipalities of Ontario website is a resource for everyone who lives, works, and plays in Ontario to understand the ways in which municipal governments touch the day-to-day lives of residents and their communities. 
  • The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing works with local governments and partners to build communities across Ontario. Their site provides many useful resources related to housing, land use planning, municipal programs, and building codes.

  • Publications Ontario is the online destination for Ontario Government publications such as provincial strategies, building codes and guides, health reports, program guides, and more. 
  • The e-Laws Ontario site provides online access to official copies of Ontario’s statutes and regulations. 
  • The Legislative Assembly of Ontario makes laws that affect Ontarians. MPPs present, debate, and vote on proposed laws (bills), form committees to study issues or topics, and report back to the House. Their website provides access to legislative business documents and resources so you can follow what’s happening in the House. 
  • The Ontario Gazette is the official publication for legislative decisions, proclamations of new statues, regulations, and public notices. This publication is available in digital format only as of March 31, 2021. Historical issues are available in Trent Library’s collection in the Bata Library. 

  • Government of Canada Publications is a catalogue of over 570,000 publications from the Canadian government, with more than 449,000 items in digital format. 
  • Library and Archives Canada (LAC) provides a searchable collection of historical and more recent federal government records, books, newspapers, images, and more. Find historical census records or conduct genealogy and family history research. Start with LAC research guides for help using the search tools or contact for personalized assistance. 
  • The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) is a non-profit organization that provides the legal profession and the public with permanent open online access to laws and legal decisions from all Canadian jurisdictions. [this is in our A-Z Databases list] 
  • Justice Laws Website is the online source for the consolidated Acts and regulations of Canada in both English and French. A consolidated Act or regulation is one that incorporates changes the federal government has made to existing Canadian laws so public users do not have to research and piece together amendments over time. As of 2009, all consolidated Acts and regulations on the Justice Laws Website are “official”, meaning they can be used for evidentiary purposes.  
  • Canada Commons is a database of more than 40,000 general policy documents and specialized technical publications from Canadian public policy institutes, government agencies, advocacy groups, think-tanks, research centers and other public interest groups. The organizations included in this collection represent the leading edge of primary research and opinion in all areas of Canadian public policy, including in health and medical research.