Tips for searching Hansard - Basic Search Page
The basic search page has been created to make searching this large database easy and straightforward.
If you need any help in using the Ontario Hansard search engine or if you need additional material please call the Hansard Reporting Service at (416)325-7400.
The Hansard database is structured to allow fast and easy access to Debates.
Each day's Hansard has been broken down into the following hierarchy of parts and each level in the hierarchy can be viewed as a separate HTML document:
Issue - the full issue of Hansard. (note: on any day when the House sits past 6:00 p.m., two issues of Hansard are published. The first issue covers the time between the beginning of proceedings up to 6:00 p.m., the second covers from 6:00 p.m. to the time the House rose).
Type of Business - relating to an order of business (e.g. petitions; oral questions) during the day's proceedings
Topic - relating to the subject being debated under each section
Speaker - relating to the member debating
Note: Given the amount of material in the Hansard database, it is important to make your searches as specific as possible. Simply searching for a speaker over the whole database for example (i.e. not limiting your search to a specific date, Topic, Type of Business or Session), may retrieve an unmanageable amount of material.
Try to focus your search as narrowly as possible by filling in as many of the search fields as you can.
Type in any word or phrase you want to search for. The term or phrase will be found if it occurs in anywhere in the legislative Debates (i.e. in the title, session, date, section, speaker etc.)
You may restrict your search to a specific session. To search a number of sessions at once, use the date range field instead of the session field.
In the keyword field you can search for a word, several words or a phrase.
To search for a phrase,
use quotation marks to define the phrase e.g.:
" early voting results "
will find only
those debates containing the exact phrase "early voting
truncation operator (*) if you want to search for variations of a
will find debates containing "train", "trains", "training" etc.
Note that left truncation (e.g. " *train ") is not supported.
The following (boolean) operators available in the keyword field.
AND - search field must include both terms e.g.:
acid AND rain finds debates that contain both of the words anywhere in the text
AND NOT - search field does not contain the term or phrase in e.g.:
acid AND NOT rain finds debates that contain the word "acid" but not the word "rain"
OR - debates contain either one term or the other or both e.g.:
' acid rain ' OR acidulated finds debates with either one or both of the terms. Results are presented in order according to how often each of the terms appear.
NEAR - debates contain both terms or phrases and are ranked according to how close to each other the terms appear. e.g.:
interest NEAR default finds debates containing both of the words "interest" and "default" close together. The debates are presented in order, debates containing e.g. "interest in default" will appear higher in the results list than those with "interest is charged by default".
Advanced Search Screen
The advanced search screen allows you to construct queries using command language. The advanced search features allow a more detailed and complex search statement than is the case with the standard search page.
Click here to go to the advanced search page.
Command Language Search Screen
The command language search screen allows you to construct queries using command language. The command language search features, while a little more difficult to master, allow a more detailed and complex search statement than is the case with either the basic or advanced standard search screens.
Click here to go to the command language search page.
The results of your search are presented in reverse chronological order (most recent debates first), then according to how closely each article matches your search request. The most recent debates containing the greatest number of your search terms will appear first in the search results list.
SessionWhile a search for a keyword alone (the highest level of Hansard's hierarchical structure) will display the following:
Type of Business
SessionThe Brief record will also link you to the full text of the Hansard retrieved by your search.
Note: As some Hansard documents are quite large, you may need to use your browser's find function to locate the occurrence of your search words in the retrieved document.
Back to search page
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Office of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This page was last updated 30/03/2000