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By Christine Muldoon, Resource Coordinator
We are pleased to announce – at long last – the publication of the Historical Table of Public Statutes 1909-1978. This resource was painstakingly compiled and donated to the Law Society by Merrilee Rasmussen, Q.C. As outlined in the Winter 2017 issue of Benchers’ Digest (at pp. 5-7), Merrilee began this project during her time as Legislative Counsel and Law Clerk at the Legislature during the 1980s. She recognized the difficulty that many of us, whether lawyers, librarians, or other researchers, have faced when trying to trace the history of a given Act: traditionally, we have been forced to work backwards, starting with the current iteration of a statute and tracing its history through historical notes.
Each statute revision in Saskatchewan has included tables of the history and disposal of statutes, but these do not indicate which provisions were amended. While Publications Saskatchewan does provide Tables of Public Statutes, Merrilee’s Historical Table collects them all in one place and provides more ample detail about the disposition of particular sections, making note of transitional provisions and coming-into-force dates.
The task of transcribing all the information from Merrilee’s recipe cards was time-consuming. There were also a number of statutes in the list that did not include a disposition. Since those of us at the Law Society Libraries in Regina and Saskatoon have convenient access to a complete set of Saskatchewan statute books (as well as Consolidated Ordinances of the North-West Territories – as it turns out, the years in the title of the Table are somewhat misleading), it made sense to us to try to fill in as many blanks as possible. So, in addition to all of our gratitude to Merrilee Rasmussen, Q.C., I want to extend my thanks to Ken Fox and Alan Kilpatrick (Reference Librarians in Saskatoon and Regina, respectively) and Pat Kelly (Library Tech in Saskatoon) for their meticulous research.
We sincerely hope that members find this resource helpful. I claim responsibility for any errors that may have crept in, and I invite readers to alert me if they find any. I can be reached at email@example.com.