LAC Act Review


The LAC Act 2004, which is now 15 years old, merged the former National Archives and the National Library into one institution.

While the legislative review of the LAC Act is not expected to change the institution’s core mandate or functions, it will help bring clarity and precision to certain vague terminology and inconsistencies within the Act that have presented interpretation and application issues since 2004.

Specific areas for consideration for review of the LAC Act, submitted to the Department of Justice (JUS) for their review, are provided in the Annex below.

The review of LAC’s Act will also strengthen and support the institution’s ability to respond to the technological advances affecting the institution, while also providing an opportunity to better understand and meet the current expectations of users and other cultural institutions. Further, it may expose additional areas of concern with the current LAC Act that may not have been visible during the internal review.

Discussions between LAC and JUS about the legislative review started in October 2018. Current legal analysis is focused on the first several items on the priority list provided in the Annex below (consultative committees and records of defunct institutions).

Work continues until March 31, 2021, when legislative drafting instructions are planned for completion.


Internal consultation and approvals:

  • Key contacts have been identified across LAC for targeted consultations as part of LAC Act Review Reference Group.
  • Updates will be provided to Senior Management Teams across LAC, and to Management Board (MB) at regular intervals with key decision points.
  • Regular updates will be provided to Portfolio Affairs at Canadian Heritage.


  • As feedback is received from JUS, additional exchanges will be required, aligned with internal discussion and with external consultation on an as- needed basis.
  • Strategic Research and Policy is conducting in-depth analysis and is responsible for the legislative drafting instructions in consultation with Justice Canada.


Jessica Squires, A/Manager, Strategic Research and Policy
Tel: 343-549-4725

ANNEX: Items for Consideration in Order of Priority (working document)

LAC Act Article


Priorities requiring legal analysis

Art. 6

Consultative committees—what types exist federally and which are compatible with the current Act?

Art.13 (2)(4)

Records of defunct institutions where functions have been privatized.

Several articles

Harmonization of terms “care, custody, control” as well as “responsibility.”


Clarification of difference between government and ministerial records.

Art.7 (d);
Art.8 (1)(g)

Does the current law allow LAC to establish standards applicable to Government of Canada (GC) institutions and to play a more significant role in information management?

Art.15 (1)

Clarification of the article to determine time of transfer and to establish that LAC is not responsible for Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) while the records are active.

Art 16-17

Clarification of the article to establish that the LAC can dispose of GC publications before their physical transfer.

Art.20 (1)

Make this applicable when article 13 is abrogated; can it be enforced?

Art.52 (1-7)

Withdrawal of these transitional articles from the original implementation of the law.

Art. 18

Should the article be clarified to establish in what circumstances LAC can charge or change user fees.

Priorities requiring in-depth internal analysis, but not legal analysis

Art.10 (1)

Once decision is taken regarding whether it still makes sense to acquire two copies of everything, change article to reflect this.

Art.10 (4)

Once decision is taken regarding whether it still makes sense to acquire all formats, change article to reflect this.


Definition of publication needs updating.

Art.8 (2)

Article concerning web harvesting needs updating to reflect current realities.

Priorities requiring validation internally, but no further in-depth analysis

Art.7 (e);
Art.8 (1) (h)

Withdrawal of the articles that mandate LAC to coordinate libraries in GC institutions.

Art.8 (1) (c)

Clarification of the article to establish that LAC facilitates but does not create the union catalogue.

Preamble (A)

Add “acquisition” to preamble, and make the three “pillars” of equal status (Acquisition, Preservation, Access).

Preamble (C)

Broaden to include individuals, organisations, etc.

Art.7 (a-b)

Combine the two articles to underline the integrated nature of the LAC mandate.

Definitions; abbreviated title

Clarify definition of department head in the two languages; harmonise name of department.

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