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Research Guides

Public policy: key government resources

A guide to governmental and grey literature sources for public policy research prepared by Sam-chin Li, University of Toronto Libraries.




Finding information on government policy:

  • Search on "[topic] policy" in the custom Google search (from Carleton University) below as a place to start.


  • Search also the Canadian Public Documents Collection for Canadian public policy
  • Note: works best when the government has made a clear statement on policy
  • Leave out the word "policy" in the search to retrieve a range of documents from which to intuit the government's policy

For the fullest information on government policy, it is often necessary to search across the full range of government publications.

  • The Debates cover arguments for and against policies
  • Statutes codify policies
  • The Budget sets out fiscal policy
  • The Public Accounts track the money spent to realize the policies
  • Annual reports (of departments, of programs, on acts) track implementation of policies
  • Statistics measure the impact of policies
  • Audit reports evaluate policy effectiveness
  • News releases announce new directions in policy