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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Saskatchewan Justice

The Interpretation Act, 1995 establishes general rules that govern the interpretation of all statutory instruments.

A statutory instrument is a provincial Act, regulation, order in council, rule of court, form, tariff of costs or fees, proclamation, letter patent, bylaw or resolution enacted under a power conferred by a provincial Act.

The Act deals with matters that generally affect all statutory instruments. Dealing with these matters in one Act removes the need to repeat them in every statutory instrument. The purpose of The Interpretation Act, 1995 is to ensure a uniform interpretation of statutory instruments and to facilitate the drafting of clearer and simpler statutory instruments.

Unless otherwise indicated in the statutory instrument, the Act applies to every statutory instrument. However, the Act does not apply to court orders or to orders made by a public officer or administrative tribunal with respect to a dispute between two or more persons.

Among the important matters dealt with in the Act are:

  • general rules of interpretation;
  • rules governing the form of Acts;
  • rules respecting the coming into force and repeal of Acts and the effect of repeal or amendment on an enactment;
  • rules governing the citation of Acts and governing references in one statutory instrument to another statutory instrument;
  • rules respecting corporate rights and powers, duty of care for officers and directors, indemnification and conflict of interests for corporations that are not governed by other legislation that establishes such rules;
  • rules for calculating majorities and quorums for statutory boards and commissions and for appointments to boards and commissions; and
  • rules governing various matters on the demise of the Crown.

The Act also defines words that are commonly used in statutory instruments. This eliminates the need to define these words every time they are used in an enactment.

The Act provides that no provincial Act affects the rights of the Crown unless it expressly states that the Crown is bound by it, and no Act or regulation lessens Aboriginal and treaty rights under the Constitution Act, 1982.



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