Ecojustice Blog – Special Update Posted on February 14, 2014 (updated: February 17, 2015)

How to make searching for environmental debates in Hansard simple (and stress free)

Will AmosLawyer

How much time do you waste wading through the Hansard, Canada’s official collection of parliamentary debates?

What interests you are discussions about the environment and natural resources. But to reach that content, you wade through a swamp of irrelevant information.

But what if you could sweep aside the irrelevant parts and focus instead on the information crucial to your work? Imagine the spike in your productivity, the envy of fellow colleagues, the other tasks you could accomplish with a tool that simplifies your Hansard research.

The solution is … EnviroHansard
We’ve made that vision a reality and all you have to do is visit EnviroHansard is a free, easy-to-use collection of House of Commons discussions and debates posted online. It’s curated to include only material focused on the environment or natural resources. With less filler, EnviroHansard makes your research is easier.

How does it work?
You can search the website by date, Member of Parliament, text content or category (see categories at right).

EnviroHansard Categories:

Aboriginal affairs
Climate change
Coastlines and oceans
Environmental assessment
Health and safety
Local initiatives
National parks
National resources
Oil & energy
Rivers & lakes
Science & research
Transportation & railways
Wildlife & habitat

Say you’re interested in what politicians are saying about Canada’s fisheries. Once you visit the website, select categories and then choose “Fisheries.”

EnviroHansard will deliver a list of all the debates referencing that topic, listing a title, date and any other topics mentioned in that discussion. Click the title to see the discussion in its entirety.

You’ll see speech bubbles containing the debate text, along with the speaker, their party affiliation and government portfolio. From there you can click on the speaker’s name and EnviroHansard will retrieve any discussion referencing that MP.

The other option
Of course, you can always return to the original Hansard documents, surrender your precious hours and find a salve for your increased stress. But I’m guessing you’ll relish your improved research efficiency and ability to track the debates that are shaping Canada’s laws and policies on the environment and natural resources.

At Ecojustice, we believe informed Canadians are better able to protect the land, air and water that sustains our communities. EnviroHansard is a non-partisan tool to empower people like you.

Parliament’s back
Canada’s MPs returned to the House of Commons on Jan. 27. We published the first 2014 EnviroHansard update on Feb. 3. New updates appear every Monday, when Parliament is in session, and include the past week’s debates and discussions.

Please note: EnviroHansard debate archives go back to September 2011.

Try EnviroHansard today and see how it can help you.

About the EnviroHansard
The EnviroHansard is maintained by law students at the University of Ottawa and supported by funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Law Foundation of Ontario and Community Foundation of Ottawa: The Canyon Foundation Fund.

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