A statute is a law passed by a legislative body. The words "law", "act", and "statute" all mean essentially the same thing.
In Canada, federal and provincial laws are published on a yearly basis. When a law gets amended, it is not immediately republished as a whole; just those parts that have actually been changed are published. Every 10 to 15 years or so, all the laws for a jurisdiction used to be republished with any modifications that had been made since the last revision. This is no longer the case, however. The last time the federal statutes were all republished was in 1985, while the last time Ontario did so was in 1990.
Today, if you want to see the most up-to-date version of an act, with all the modifications, you can get a rolling (constantly updated) consolidation on the Internet. You can also get individual statutes on a yearly basis online.
- Federal Department of Justice Laws
- Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General e-laws
We also have print copies of all the statutes, both annual and consolidated, at the MacOdrum Library.