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Search Help

The home screen is the Display Documents tab. To perform a search, click on either the Simple Search or the Advanced Search tab.

Displaying and Downloading Documents without a Search

Displaying documents

Select the document type from the Bills and Amendments or Assembly Documents and Records link on the main Legislative Assembly website (http://www.assembly.ab.ca). For example:

  • www.assembly.ab.ca > Assembly Documents and Records > Alberta Hansard
  • www.assembly.ab.ca > Bills and Amendments > Bills

Select the year from the drop-down list. The default is the current session.

Drop-Down List

Click on Go Button. Links to PDF and/or HTML versions are displayed in numerical or chronological order.

Click on the required document. For PDFs you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: Hansard afternoon and evening transcripts for the same day are in separate documents.

Downloading PDFs

  • To save the entire document, select the Save icon or File/Save As and follow the prompts.
  • To copy a portion of the text:
    • Highlight the required text
    • Press Ctrl + C (Windows), Command-C (Mac OS), or Edit/Copy to copy
    • Press Ctrl + V (Windows), Command-V (Mac OS), or Edit/Paste to paste

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Simple Searches

Select the sort order from the drop-down list.

Sort results by drop-down

Select the year from the drop-down list.

Select year drop-down

Type search words or phrases. The search is not case sensitive. For example:

  • kananaskis
  • computer*
  • crop insurance
  • traffic safety

Find all documents that contain field

Click on Search button to start.

A search for the term computer will also locate computers. A search of computer* will return the term computers but also computerized, computerization, and so on (see Search Tips).

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Advanced Searches

Overview

Select the sort order from the drop-down list.

Sort results by drop-down

Select the year from the drop-down list.

Select year drop-down

Search terms entered in the top box are transferred to the "Query so far is" box when an option is selected. This helps you keep track of the search string being built.

The query so far field

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Search symbols and options

AND symbol "AND which ALSO contain..."

Use this to find documents containing all keywords or phrases.

  • In the top box type the first search term.
  • Click on AND symbol or "AND which ALSO contain..."
  • In the top box (now empty) type the second search term.
  • Repeat for as many terms as necessary.
  • Click on Search button to start.

Example:

  • Type: traffic safety
  • Click on: AND symbol or "AND which ALSO contain..."
  • Type: inspection
  • Click on: Search button

This will find documents that contain both traffic safety and inspection. However, the two terms might be unrelated. See also Within a PARAGRAPH of or "Within a PARAGRAPH of..."

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OR Symbol "OR which contain..."

Use this to find one or more search terms anywhere a document. It is useful for topics referred to using a variety of terms, such as AEUB / Alberta Energy and Utilities Board or export highway / north-south highway / free trade highway.

  • In the top box type the first search term.
  • Click on OR Symbol or "OR which contain..."
  • In the top box (now empty) type the second search term.
  • Repeat for as many words as necessary.
  • Click on Search button.

Example:

  • Type: physician
  • Click on: OR Symbol or "OR which contain..."
  • Type: doctor
  • Click on: OR Symbol or "OR which contain..."
  • Type: medical profession
  • Click on: Search button

This search will return documents that contain one or more of the terms physician, doctor, or medical profession.

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NOT Symbol"BUT do NOT contain..."

Use this to find documents containing one search term but not a second.

  • Type the first search term in the top box.
  • Click on NOT Symbol or "BUT do NOT contain..."
  • In the top box (now empty) type the second search term.
  • Click on Search button.

Example:

  • Type: health
  • Click on: NOT Symbol or "BUT do NOT contain..."
  • Type: animal
  • Click on: Search button

This will return documents with the term health but not animal.

Note: This search can eliminate unwanted documents such as bills related to health but not animal health. It might also eliminate some useful ones. For example, housing and low-income housing might both be discussed in one Hansard document.

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Within a PARAGRAPH of "Within a PARAGRAPH of..."

Use this to locate keywords or phrases either in the same paragraph or within one paragraph of each other in any order. Terms that are close to one another are more likely to be related.

  • Type the first search term in the top box.
  • Click on: Within a PARAGRAPH of or "Within a PARAGRAPH of..."
  • In the top box (now empty) type the second search term.
  • Repeat for as many words as necessary.
  • Click on Search button.

Example:

  • Type: traffic safety
  • Click on: Within a PARAGRAPH of or "Within a PARAGRAPH of..."
  • Type: stelmach
  • Click on: Search button

This will find instances more likely to relate to both Mr. Stelmach and traffic safety (such as a tabling or speech in the Legislature) than if AND had been used.

Note: In these databases a paragraph can be as short as one line of text. If Within a PARAGRAPH of does not give results, try "Within a FEW paragraphs of..." (see next section).

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"Within a FEW paragraphs of..."

Use this when "Within a PARAGRAPH of..." does not give results and other searches return too many hits.

  • Type the first search term in the top box.
  • Staying in the top box, type "[space]\number of paragraphs\[space]". Then type the second search term.
  • Click on Search button.

Example:

  • In the top box type: traffic safety \4\ stelmach
  • Click on: Search button

This will find the term traffic safety within four paragraphs either side of Mr. Stelmach.

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Same Paragraph "In the SAME PARAGRAPH as..."

Use this to find documents with two or more search terms in the same paragraph. This is particularly useful when the word order of the phrase is uncertain. For example, a paragraph with information on environmental impact assessments might contain all three words but not the exact phrase.

  • Type the first search term in the top box.
  • Click on Same Paragraph or "In the same PARAGRAPH as..."
  • In the top box (now empty) type the second search term.
  • Repeat for as many terms as necessary.
  • Click on Search button.

Example:

  • Type: traffic safety
  • Click on: Same Paragraph or "In the same PARAGRAPH as..."
  • Type: regulation
  • Click on: Same Paragraph or "In the same PARAGRAPH as..."
  • Type: amend*
  • Click on: Search button

The asterisk (*) will find amend, amends, amending, and amendment. This search will locate paragraphs containing the terms traffic safety, regulations, and amendments.

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Followed anywhere "Followed anywhere by..."

This search returns documents in which one term is followed by a second term. Use Followed anywhere if "Within a FEW paragraphs of..." does not retrieve the desired documents.

  • Type the first search term in the top box.
  • Click on Followed anywhere or "Followed anywhere by..."
  • In the top box (now empty) type the second search term.
  • Click on Search button.

Example:

  • Type: third reading
  • Click on: Followed anywhere or "Followed anywhere by..."
  • Type: real estate
  • Click on: Search button

When used to search Hansard transcripts, this search will find a bill with the words real estate in its title that went through third reading. It might also return documents that are not relevant.

In the Hansard database it can be used in conjunction with the "head:" field (see Hansard searches, head field).

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Within 10 WORDS of "Within 10 WORDS of..."

This search is more specific than "In the SAME paragraph as..."

  • Type the first search term in the top box.
  • Click on Within 10 WORDS of or "Within 10 WORDS of..."
  • In the top box (now empty) type the second search term.
  • Repeat as necessary.
  • Click on Search button when all terms have been entered.

Example:

  • Type: environment*
  • Click on: Within 10 WORDS of or "Within 10 WORDS of..."
  • Type: impact
  • Click on: Within 10 WORDS of or "Within 10 WORDS of..."
  • Type: assess*
  • Click on: Search button

This search will return the phrases assessment of environmental impacts, environmental impact assessment, assessing impacts on the environment, and so on.

Within 10 WORDS of

You can narrow or broaden the search by changing the number in the query box manually:

Within 10 WORDS of

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Search Results – Simple and Advanced Searches

Displaying and downloading search results

  • If a search returns one document, only the HTML version is displayed. Select Download Download to view the PDF.
  • If the search returns more than one result, links to both the HTML and the PDF versions are displayed. The third column indicates the number of hits (citations).

Searching PDFs

  • PDFs are searchable. Type the search term in the box containing the word "Find" on the right of the tool bar. Hit the return key, or click on the down arrow to the right of the box and select "Find Next in Current PDF."
  • Repeat until you find the citation you are looking for.
  • Hansard transcripts of Assembly debates contain searchable headings.

Searching HTML documents

The top bar has the following options:

HTML Navigation

  • First Hit First Hit displays the first occurrence of the search term.
  • Back Back moves the cursor to the previous document.
  • Next Next advances the cursor to the next document.
  • Download Download displays the PDF.
  • Search Results Search Results returns you to the search results.
  • New Search New Search returns you to the search screen.

Citations display the following navigation symbols.

  • moves the cursor to the next occurrence of the search term either within the document or in the next document (mouse over to see which applies).
  • moves the cursor to the previous occurrence of the search term within the document or in the previous document (mouse over to see which applies).

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Search Tips – Simple and Advanced Searches

Keyword searches

  • Plurals: A basic search will also return the regular plural form of the word (formed by adding s).
  • Substitutions (wild cards): Asterisk (*) will return the term entered plus variations.

Examples:

  • Type: forest
  • Returns: forest and forests
  • Type: forest*
  • Returns: forest, forests, foresters, forestry, and so on
  • Numbers and single letters are searchable.

Example: 4-H clubs

For tips specific to Assembly and committee transcripts, see the section on Hansard documents.

Nonsearchable words

  • Reserved symbols (Boolean operators): AND, OR, TO, BUT, NOT
  • Short, common words: an, are, as, had, has, it’s, its, I’ve, the, was, were

Example: "Kilroy was here" will be searched as "kilroy" within two words of "here."

Phrase searches

  • You can enter phrases with or without signs such as hyphens or slashes. Examples:
    • low-income or low income
    • federal/provincial or federal provincial
  • If a simple search returns no results, try an advanced search.

Date searches

To search for references to a particular date (e.g., the September 5th Accord) or to search for a particular sitting date (especially in previous years), in the Simple Search or Advanced Search tab,

  • Type the month and day in ordinary text.
  • Click on Search button.

Example:

  • Type: september 5
  • Click on: Search button

This will find documents dated September 5 but also those where that date was mentioned in the text.

Query within query

(Restricting a subsequent search to the previous search results)

Narrowing a search can eliminate irrelevant documents and make searching more precise.

Enter the search terms for the second and any subsequent search in the "Search within results" box at the end of the Search Results screen.

Search within results

The Advanced Search options must be typed as part of the search string as follows:

Option Search Symbol
AND which ALSO contain... AND
OR which contain... OR
BUT do NOT contain... NOT
Within a paragraph of... \\
In the same paragraph as... //
Within 10 words of... /10/
Followed anywhere by... ...

Example:

To find where Mr. Cenaiko spoke on a private member's motion about terrorism in a Hansard transcript, first search for Hansard documents containing the text "Motions Other than Government Motions."

  • In the top box type: motions other than government motions
  • Click on: Search button

Then search only those documents. Search for the name Cenaiko within a paragraph of words beginning with "terror" (such as terrorist, terrorists, terrorism). If "Within a paragraph of..." does not yield results, try a broader search; for example, within three paragraphs of the name.

  • In the "Search within results" box at the end of the Search Results screen, type: cenaiko: \3\ terror*
  • Click on: Search button

You can also search for "Motions Other Than Government Motions" in a Hansard document heading (see Hansard documents).

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Hansard Documents (Assembly Proceedings, Committee Transcripts, and Indexes)

Members’ speeches

A member's name followed by a colon (:) will find only those places where that member is actually speaking.

Example: rodney:

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Using the head field

Headings for House business are designated as the field "head:". You can search for just that field, ignoring the rest of the text.

In most cases you can use the Simple Search screen. See below for cases where Advanced Search is required. Always use Advanced Search if you are combining search terms.

When searching for a heading, you need to type enough text to distinguish it from other headings. Here is a list of official and informal names for headings along with the search terms needed.

Head Search Term

Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund (used until 1994)

heritage in head:

Bills, Government (formal heading is Government Bills and Orders)

government bills in head: BUT NOT public bills in head: (use Advanced Search)

Bills, Introduction of (formal heading is Introduction of Bills)

introduction of bills in head:

Bills, Private (formal heading is Private Bills)

private bills in head:

Bills, Private members' (formal heading is Public Bills and Orders Other Than Government Bills and Orders)

public bills in head:

Budget Address

budget in head:

Capital Fund Estimates (used until 1993)

capital fund in head:

Committee of Supply

supply in head:

Committee of the Whole

whole in head:

Committees, Presenting reports by (formal heading is Presenting Reports by Standing and Special Committees)

presenting reports in head:

Consideration of Her/His Honour the Lieutenant Governor's Speech

honour in head:

Deputy Chair of Committees, Election of (formal heading is Election of Deputy Chair of Committees)

deputy chair in head:

Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees, Election of (formal heading is Election of Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees)

deputy speaker in head:

Election of (a) Speaker

election in head: AND speaker in head: (use Advanced Search)

Emergency Debate

emergency in head:

Estimates

estimates in head:

First reading of Bills (formal heading is Introduction of Bills)

introduction of bills in head:

Government Bills and Orders

government bills in head: BUT NOT public bills in head: (use Advanced Search)

Government Motions

government motions in head:

Government Motions, Motions Other than (official heading is Motions Other than Government Motions)

motions other than in head:

Introduction of Bills

introduction of bills in head:

Introduction of Guests (used to introduce school groups and other guests)

guests in head:

Introduction of Special Guests (used to introduce school groups and other guests; used until 1993)

special guests in head:

Introduction of Visitors (used to introduce visiting parliamentarians, diplomats, et cetera)

visitors in head:

Lottery Fund Estimates

lottery in head:

Main Estimates

main in head:

Members' Statements

members in head:

Ministerial Statements

ministerial in head:

Motions for Returns

motions for returns in head:

Motions Other than Government Motions

motions other than in head:

Motions under Standing Order 40 (used until 2006)

standing order in head:

Notices of Motions

notices in head:

Oral Question Period

oral in head:

Orders of the Day

day in head:

Prayers

prayers in head:

Presenting Petitions

petitions in head:

Presenting Reports by Standing and Special Committees

presenting reports in head:

Private Bills

private bills in head:

Private members' Bills (Official heading is Public Bills and Orders Other Than Government Bills and Orders)

public bills in head:

Private members' motions (Official heading is Motions Other than Government Motions)

motions other than in head:

Privilege

privilege in head:

Projected Government Business

projected in head:

Public Bills and Orders Other Than Government Bills and Orders

public bills in head:

Question Period (official heading is Oral Question Period)

oral in head:

Questions, Written (official heading is Written Questions)

written in head:

Recognitions (used until 2005)

recognitions in head:

Reports, Tabling (official heading is Tabling Returns and Reports)

tabling in head:

Reports by committees, Presenting (official heading is Presenting Reports by Standing and Special Committees)

presenting reports in head:

Request for Emergency Debate

request in head:

Returns, Motions for (official heading is Motions for Returns)

motions for returns in head:

Returns, Tabling (official heading is Tabling Returns and Reports)

tabling in head:

Royal Assent

royal in head:

Second Reading

second in head:

Speaker, Election of (official heading is Election of Speaker)

election of speaker in head:

Special Guests, Introduction of (official heading is Introduction of Special Guests; used up until 1993)

special guests in head:

Speech from the Throne

throne in head:

Speech from the Throne debate (official heading is Consideration of Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor's Speech)

honour in head:

Statement by the Speaker

statement by in head:

Supplementary Estimates

supplementary in head:

Supply committee (official heading is Committee of Supply)

supply in head:

Tabling Returns and Reports

tabling in head:

Tablings to the Clerk (used since 2003)

tablings in head: (or to avoid possible confusion: clerk in head:)

Third Reading

third in head:

Visitors, Introduction of (official heading is Introduction of Visitors)

visitors in head:

Written Questions

written in head:

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Indexes

Indexes for Hansard and all standing and special committee meeting transcripts are particularly useful when a search returns many irrelevant entries or search terms contain common words with multiple meanings.

For example, the index has one heading for "privilege" whereas a keyword search would find the word in all contexts (e.g., "Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise ...").

Example:

  • In the index do an Adobe Acrobat search for the word privilege.
  • Note the page numbers under that heading.
  • Go to the page number directory at the beginning of that index, find the transcripts containing the first page number, and click on the link to that issue.
  • Do an Adobe Acrobat search for the page number within that transcript and locate the point of privilege. (Do not search the word privilege as this might give you more occurrences of that word than you want.)
  • Repeat for each page number.

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Sample searches

Throne speeches

To find all throne speeches:

  • Select: All years option
  • Type: throne in head:
  • Click on: Search button

Then click on the dates you wish to see. In most years there is one Speech from the Throne. In an elect year there might be two.

Members’ statements

To find a member's statement made by Mr. Stelmach:

  • Type: members' statements in head:
  • Click on: Followed anywhere or "Followed anywhere by..."
  • Type: stelmach:
  • Click on: Search button

"Followed anywhere by..." was used because on a given day several members might make members’ statements, so the name of the member you are searching for might be far from the heading. The search may also produce documents that are not relevant. View all the retrieved documents to find the one you want.

Divisions (recorded votes)

In a division members’ names are printed in Hansard as voting either "For the motion" or "Against the motion." Divisions are always preceded by the phrase: "The division bell was rung at ..."

To find how Mr. Abbott voted in divisions:

  • Type: division bell
  • Click on: Followed anywhere or "Followed anywhere by..."
  • Type: abbott [with no colon]
  • Click on: Search button

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