The Publication Search User Guide is in the process of being updated; the HTML version will be available soon.
In the meantime, we are pleased to make available the new user guide
(.PDF, 2523 Kb). and the quick start guide
(.PDF, 597 Kb). in PDF format.
The Information Management Unit is responsible for indexing the parliamentary publications. The team also provides reference assistance to persons seeking information regarding publications.
Telephone: (1) 613-992-8976
This search tool offers multiple possibilities to access and share information from the House Debates (Hansard), Committee Evidence and the Journals dating back to September 2001.
Are you interested in a hot topic? Your search results will include hits from these publications as soon as they are posted online. The Hansard and the Journals are available the following day, and Committee Evidence is available 5 to 10 days after.
No need to ask yourself questions like: What tool should I use for a keyword search? Or for a full-text search? How do I subscribe to an RSS feed? You’ll be able to do all of these things and more using just one tool.
Wherever you are, you can use any current Web browser (IE 8 to 12+, Firefox, Chrome and Safari) to access this tool—from your home or office desktop computer, or from your laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Access is at your fingertips, no matter where you are or what device you’re using.
One tool; infinite possibilities.
To learn more about this tool’s functions, please access the following sections.
Do I have to redo my search for each publication?
The user has the ability to search within three different publications: the Debates (Hansard), Evidence (Committee) and the Journals, and can transport the search string from publication to publication by navigating the three publication tabs.
The number of search results found will be displayed in the top right corner. The results will be given in Hansard and committees in the form of an intervention, which is each instance of an individual speaking, or an item in Journals.
How do I do a full-text search?
Can I search the index from the search bar?
How does the highlighting work within search results?
Does the search bar automatically adjust for plural words and verb tenses?
What are the terms and phrases that are suggested when I type in the search bar?
It is important that the user has selected the proper tab for the publication that they wish to search, and is aware that the default setting is the current session of Parliament.
From the search bar, the user can perform a full-text search within the text, as well as search the Discussed Topic and Procedure tags attributed to interventions or items by our team of information management officers. Note that the Procedure tags are not displayed.
For example, while the user is typing dogs in the search bar, suggestions from the list of Discussed Topics and Procedure will appear in a drop down menu. The user can select from the suggested list of terms or search a word or phrase of their choosing.
The results will be highlighted in the text if they are found within the text, or in the Discussed Topic tags at the bottom of the intervention, if they are from the indexed tags. It is possible for an item to be both a Discussed Topic tag, and a word used within the text. Highlighting will only occur if the EXACT word is found in the text. The search tool will automatically search for plural and singular forms and different verb tenses, and any deviation from the exact term will be returned as a result, but not highlighted.
What is the difference between the Search French content button and changing my profile to French?
Using the radio buttons, the user has the ability to search the French content while maintaining their English profile with the same full-text and subject indexed tag searching capability. It is important to note that the indexed tags will remain in the language of the profile.
The user also has the ability to run a search on the French page of the Search Tool by changing their profile into French, while retaining their original search string.
Before launching a new search, click the Clear all filters and criteria option to ensure that all previously selected search fields have been reset to the default.
How do the Boolean operators work?
Can I use the Boolean operators in the search bar?
Are the Boolean operators case sensitive?
The Basic Search can be further refined by using the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT. The user has the flexibility to write their query with operators in the search bar, or using the Add a search criteria option. It is important to note that the Boolean operators are case sensitive in the search bar.
As an example, typing the word dogs in the search bar…
Add the Boolean Operator AND and the word cats to it. This restricts the results to instances where dogs and cats were either spoken about together directly in the text, were indexed as part of the broader subject, or a combination of both.
To broaden the search results, the user can type dogs, then use the Add search criteria option to add a search field, and use the drop down menu to select OR and type the word cats in the search field. This will yield the broadest possible results, with any mention of either dogs or cats or both in the text or as an indexed subject.
To exclude an element from the search results, the user can type dogs, use the Add search criteria option to add a search field, select NOT, and type cats. This will give all instances of the word dog appearing in the text, as well as when it was indexed as a subject, without any mention of cats either in the text or as a subject.
Remove NOT Cats field by clicking x. Re-run dogs search by hitting Enter.
Highlighting will only occur if the EXACT word is found in the text or as a Discussed Topic tag. The search tool will automatically search for plural and singular forms and different verb tenses, though any deviation from the exact term will be returned as a result but not highlighted.
These results can be further refined by adding multiple criteria and picking from filters in the Refine Your Search list, which will be covered in greater detail in the following sections.
Before launching a new search, click the Clear all filters and criteria option to ensure that all previously selected search fields have been reset to the default.
What operators work in Publication Search and how do they work?
How do I find information from a particular period of time?
How do I find information from before the 37th Parliament?
This section will explore using the Advanced Filter options Parliament and Session, Order of Business and Person Speaking.
The user is given great flexibility in defining the date parameters of their search under the heading Parliament and Session. The default is always the current session of parliament, which gives the user access to all the interventions or items from that session.
The user can change the filter to a particular parliament, and receive all the results from that parliament.
Using the more option the user can perform a full-text search back to September 17, 2001, during the 37th Parliament, 1st session. Subject indexing is only available from the 39th Parliament, 1st session in Hansard and Committee tabs, and the 40th Parliament, 2nd session in Journals tab.
For earlier subject indexing, please contact the Information Management team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 613-992-8976.
The user can use the Date Range filter to restrict the search to a particular day, a lengthy period of time spanning parliaments or to select from the predetermined intervals on the left. When using the date range filter, it is important to remember to select exact dates.
The period of time selected will be displayed under Parliament and Session.
What is the use of the Order of Business filter?
The Order of Business filter is only available in the Hansard and Journals publications. It allows the user to navigate the items covered on the parliamentary agenda during a particular sitting day or across multiple days.
Select more to expand the list of Order of Business and to make a choice.
Can I search for information by party?
How do I find everything said by a Member of Parliament?
Can I find what was said by all the Members of Parliament for a particular province?
The Person Speaking filter allows a user to select one individual or multiple individuals and view all of their interventions. This can be even more useful when combined with a Discussed Topic indexed subject, so the user can follow an individual or multiple individuals’ comments on a particular topic. This filter is not available in Journals since it documents the events of the day, not words spoken.
As an example, if a user click the option more; Type May, Select May, Elizabeth.
Publication Search will show only Ms. May’s intervenions.
Person Speaking can be further refined by using Province/Territory or Caucus, allowing a user to navigate geographically or by party. When choosing Prince Edward Island…
…the members from the province are displayed under Person Speaking.
The user can add more than one location, for example, Yukon. The member for Yukon is now included in the display list.
The Caucus filter works in the same fashion as the Province/Territory filter.
How do I find what was said by a committee witness on a particular topic?
Can I look at the evidence in one particular committee?
The Committees tab, is the only place you will find a list of expert witnesses or ministers who appear before the committees and give evidence to committee members to inform their decisions on bills and studies. The user can limit their search with the Participation Type filter, displaying only Witnesses/Appearance or Committee Members interventions, or both - for the rare instances when committee members appear as witnesses.
Note, witnesses or committee members who are not Members of the House of Commons will not have pictures.
The Committees tab also has the Committee filter, which allows the user to search within the transcripts of a single committee, or across multiple committees. This can be very useful when combined with other filters.
How does the subject index work?
How do I optimize my search results?
Can I refine my results based on my initial subject search?
What does the orange highlighting signify?
What does the orange bar on the right of the text signify?
This section covers the Discussed Topic and Topic filters. To respect the nature of the publications, the filter is called Discussed Topic in Hansard and committees, and Topic in Journals.
A team of information management officers analyzes and indexes all Hansards, committee meetings and Journals to render the publications more accessible to users with subject based inquiries. The user can then research a particular topic and retrieve all significant instances of debate on the matter across publications and sitting days.
The subject based indexing is available in Publication Search from the 39th Parliament, 1st Session in Hansard and committees, and the 40th Parliament 2nd Session in Journals. For earlier subject indexing, please contact the Information Management team by email at email@example.com or by phone at 613-992-8976. Note: there is a brief delay in indexing after the sitting day, Hansard and Journals - 1 business day; Committees 5 to 20 business days.
To refine your search using the Discussed Topic or the Topic filter, you can select from the terms that appear automatically as suggestions, or use the more option to view the list of terms indexed during the time period specified.
The default setting is All Discussed Topics, but the type of information to be retrieved can be specified using the drop down menu. The user can type their query into the Filter Bar and search for the term desired.
Once an initial subject term has been selected,
the suggestions and the options available with the more option under Discussed Topic will change to reflect terms that have been tagged together with the initial subject, to help the user further refine their search.
The selected Discussed Topic term appears in tag form highlighted in orange at the bottom of the intervention or item. Each paragraph in the intervention or item the term is tagged to has an orange bar on the right. Additional subjects can be added to or subtracted from the initial subject by clicking on the tags appearing in the interventions or from the list under Discussed Topic.
When using the Discussed Topic filter to search the controlled vocabulary, only the items that have been tagged with that exact term will appear–synonyms and hierarchy are not considered.
The Discussed Topic tags are searched automatically from the search bar, in addition to the full-text search. In a controlled vocabulary, it is necessary to have synonym control, so a search for reindeer in the search bar will yield results with the Discussed Topic tag Caribou; which is the term that has been selected as the official index term.
Since the terms at a higher level in the hierarchy are considered, if the user types the broad term: Cervidae in the search bar, instances indexed with a more specific term as Caribou will be displayed as results to the user.
To leverage the maximum benefit from the hierarchical structure of the controlled vocabulary, it can sometimes be more fruitful to start with the broadest search terms possible in the query before refining the results.
Does the search bar work together with the options under Refine Your Results?
How do I search for debate on a motion?
Why can’t I see the Procedure tags?
The Discussed Topic filter can be used in conjunction with any other filter, and is very powerful when combined with the search bar for a full-text search or for a search on a particular subject, as a procedural subject term.
The procedural terms are attributed by information management officers based on parliamentary rules and procedures, and will be useful to anyone looking for precedents or instances of a procedural element occurring in the House.
For example, the user can type Opposition motions in the search bar and select Federal elections from the Discussed Topics filter to obtain all instances about the opposition motion debate concerning the federal elections.
The Procedure tags are searchable in the search bar, but they do not appear below the interventions or the items with the Discussed Topic tags, and they are currently unavailable as a filter under Refine Your Search.
What are the elements and options included in the presentation of the search results?
How do I access a Member of Parliament’s profile?
This section presents the various elements of the results box.
When you do a search in the Journals, the results correspond to the business of the House in relation to the search you just did.
In the House of Commons Debates, called Hansard, and the Committee Evidence, the results, called interventions, correspond to the transcription of what someone said in connection with the topic searched.
For Hansard and Committee publications, the name and a photo of the person speaking are displayed above each result.
By clicking on the Member of Parliament’s photo or name, you will access the Member’s profile on the parliamentary website. This option is available only for Members of Parliament.
Under the person’s name or the item, you will also find the date and time. In addition, the page number of the printable format is displayed for the Hansard and the Journals.
If the intervention or item is fairly long, you can see the rest of the text by clicking on “…More” below the text or anywhere on the text once your pointer becomes a hand.
To go back to the abridged view, click “…Less” below the text.
For Hansard and Committee publications, you will sometimes see the names of other persons speaking before or after the interventions in your results.
These names are clickable and allow you to access and read the previous or following intervention, even if it is not included in your search results.
To hide these supplementary interventions, simply rerun your search by clicking on the magnifying glass symbol beside the search box.
How do I create a list of favourites from different searches or different publications?
In the upper right corner of each results box, you will find two important icons: a star and a menu icon, represented by three horizontal lines.
The star lets you make a list of your favourite results. By clicking on this icon, you are tagging your result, and the icon becomes dark blue. A new tab with a blue star will appear between the “Journals” and “Help” tabs. This list contains all of your tagged results. To unselect the result in your favourites, click on the star again.
The tagged results can come from any publication. This list is dynamic, and you can add as many results as you wish from different searches. You can click on the favourites tab at any time to see your full list.
You can remove favourites, in the list, one by one by clicking on the star beside the result you want to remove or erase all the favourites at once by clicking on “Clear all favourites”.
Favourites are kept in the user’s computer memory and can be consulted any time the user accesses the search tool. For more information, the section “Managing and Sharing Results” presents options for managing and sharing your results.
How do I limit the results to a specific person?
How do I watch the audiovisual recording of a person speaking?
How do I get the full publication or access a printable format from a result?
How do I share the results of a search using social media?
In the Hansard and Committee publications, the icon represented by three horizontal lines offers four different options. You can add a filter on a person, watch the video of the intervention (some committees offer only audio recording), view the full Web publication in which the result appears or view the exact location of the result in print format. Only the last two options are available in the Journals publications.
You can also share the result for any publication on Facebook and Twitter.
What do the tags (blue labels) under each result represent?
The last elements of the results box can be found at the bottom of each result. These tags (blue labels) correspond to subjects indexed by our information management team who analyze House of Commons Debates, Committee Evidence and Journals items.
These topics come from a controlled and structured vocabulary. By clicking on one of these topics, you can limit your search to that specific topic.
Please consult sections on Basic Search, Boolean Search and Advanced Search to find out how to optimize your results depending on your needs.
How do I save my search results?
How do I retrieve or delete previously saved results pages?
This section reviews the various options available to handle, display, save and share your results. You have several options, whether you are viewing results pages directly or have created a list of favourites.
These options can be found at the top right and top left of the results page.
The first icon of the left-hand group, allows you to save a results page as displayed. Give it a name that represents your search to make it easy to find.
Please note that the saving option is not available from the favourites list. Favourites are stored in the user’s computer memory and can be consulted any time the user accesses the search tool. In addition, favourites are built in such a way that the URL address reflects the entire list. Therefore, you can easily copy the URL for that page and send it by email so that you can access it from any work station.
The next icon, the file folder, allows you to open the various results pages you have already saved.
These files are also saved on the local computer. When you open the saved pages window, you can access a particular folder by clicking on the name, or delete it by clicking on the minus sign to the right of the name.
How do I change how results are displayed?
How do I display the results in both official languages?
The next icon, represented by a cog provides viewing options.
By default, the view displays results in “Detail” mode, which means that each result displays part of the text and includes many useful elements. Please refer to the “Elements of the Results Box” section for more information. You can also choose the “List” view for a general overview of your results in a streamlined mode. If you then want to see the full text, click on the word “Expand” under the line bearing the date and time of the intervention you want.
Another interesting option has to do with viewing the text in both official languages. By default, your results appear in the same language as your interface. By turning on the “Show both official languages” option in detail or list mode, you can see the text of the interventions side-by-side.
Please note that the option for viewing both official languages text is not offered for the Journals. To see that publication in both official languages, click on the “Options” menu, represented by three horizontal lines, and choose “View the publication” or “View the print format”.
The last viewing option relates to the total number of results per page.
Once you have chosen all your viewing options, they apply to all publications.
How do I subscribe to an RSS feed based on the search criteria?
How do I save the results in csv or xml formats?
You will find three coloured buttons to the right of the cog.
These functions allow you to save and export your searches in several formats, and also provide an option for subscribing to a news feed in order to continuously receive new content related to your searches.
The RSS button is used to configure a subscription to an RSS feed following a search. Once the subscription has been configured in a second window, you will automatically receive all the new results that relate to your search criteria as they become available.
The CSV button allows you to export the results in a plain text format that can be read in a spreadsheet program. You can get up to 100 results per file.
The XML option allows you to get and export your search results in XML.
How do I share my results using social media?
How do I print results pages or my list of favourites?
How do I send my results by email?
The options for managing results relating to sharing and distributing results can be found in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. You will find options for sharing using social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and an icon to send your results by email. The “+” sign gives you even more sharing options, as well as the option to print your results.