Legislation is written rules that come from all levels of government. There are two types of legislation: acts (also known as statutes) and regulations. It is important to know the difference between acts and regulations because:
- An act may not have specific details a person needs to understand their legal rights and responsibilities. When you review an act, you should check any related regulation.
- An act may not have the most current information in it. Whenever you review an act, you should check any related regulation to find the current information.
All levels of government create our legislation including federal, provincial and municipal governments. Each government has specific responsibilities set out in Canada’s Constitution Act, 1867. Each government has jurisdiction over different areas of law.
People from other provinces may not realize different laws apply to matters such as renting, driving, and employment. Helping everyone find information about the laws in Alberta can prevent problems from occurring in the future.
Legal information sources and services will also differ depending on which government is responsible for the law. For example, tenants can get renting information by calling the Government of Alberta’s Service Alberta Consumer Contact Centre at 1-877-427-4088. However, the federal government would not be able to help tenants because renting is a provincial responsibility.
If you help a client with finding legal information, make sure it’s for the right jurisdiction. For example, if your client wants to know what minimum wage is in Alberta, make sure the information is Alberta-based.