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Help

Welcome to the Help page! Here, you’ll find information on basic searching, advanced searching, and additional features that can be found on the search interface.

Types of Policy Documents

Policy DocumentsFocused position statements on a wide variety of issues
Parliamentary SubmissionsResponse to a parliamentary committee (Senate, House of Commons or Provincial/Territorial legislatures)
Responses to consultationsResponse to a government department consultation (not parliamentary)
Policy ResolutionsResolutions passed by CMA General Council or the Board of Directors
Policy EndorsementsPolicy that has been endorsed by CMA in partnership with another organization
Court SubmissionsSubmissions to the Supreme Court of Canada

Searching

You can conduct searches by entering search terms into the main search bar. Type in your search terms and then click the "Search" button or hit the "Enter" key.

Features

While searching, keep in mind that you have access to the following helpful features.

Automatic Spelling Corrections and "Did you mean" Search Suggestions

As you enter search terms in the main search bar, suggested topics or names will come up automatically for you to choose from. If your initial search does not bring up any results, the system will suggest alternate searches that are known to bring back results.

Refining Your Search

If you run a search and get a lot of search results, you can refine your search by:

  • Adding more words to your search, using the search box near the search results.
  • Removing search options by clicking the next to each.
  • Using the facets to select topics, names, places, dates or others aspects of the data.

Brief and Detailed Views

You can view more information about each item in your search results by clicking on the name of the item. Clicking on the item name a second time will bring back the brief view of the item.

Selection List

You can save items that you’re interested in to a temporary list by clicking on the "Select" button. If you would like to remove an item from the list, click on the "Remove" button. Multiple items can be added to the list, across different searches. To view your list, select the "View Selections" link or button.

Advanced Searching

You may have the option of selecting an Advanced Search form to help you build more complex searches if you are looking for a particular item or researching a very specific topic. To access the Advanced Search form, click on the "Advanced Search" link under the main search bar, and select the "Advanced Search" tab if it’s not already selected.

To create an advanced search, use the "Select a field" drop down menu to select a field that you would like to search, and then type in your search terms. You can search up to 3 fields at once to help narrow down your search results.

You can also click and drag the stoppers on the timeline to narrow down your results by date, or manually enter a date range in the "From Date" and "To Date" boxes.

Once you have finished filling out the form, click the "Search" button to run your search. Alternatively, you can choose to start over by clicking the "Clear Form" button.

Additional Search Options

The additional search options listed here can be used as described, on their own, or in combination.

Combining Search Terms with Boolean Operators

You can combine search terms with the AND, OR, and NOT Boolean operators (typed out in all capitals).

Multiple search terms are automatically assumed to be combined with AND, but you can combine the search terms explicitly by typing out AND between the terms. Use AND for searching when you want results that match both (or more) search terms.

e.g., to search for documents that contain both cannabis and tobacco, in the search bar, type:

cannabis AND tobacco

To look for records that match any one of your search terms, use OR.

e.g., to search for documents that contain either cannabis or tobacco, in the search bar, type:

cannabis OR tobacco

Use NOT if you would like to include one search term but exclude another.

e.g., to search for documents that contain cannabis but do not contain tobacco, in the search bar, type:

cannabis NOT tobacco

Grouping Terms

You can use parentheses to group terms and phrases. This can be very useful if you want to control the boolean logic for a query.

e.g., to search for documents that contain both cannabis and tobacco, but not vaping, in the search bar, type:

(cannabis AND tobacco) NOT vaping

Phrase Searches

To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks in the search bar.

e.g., to search for documents that contain the exact words cannabis and youth type:

"cannabis and youth"

Wildcard Searches

Wildcard searches can be used when you do not know the exact term you are searching for, or if you wish to look at variations of your search term.

e.g., to find results that match text or test, you can use the ? symbol and search for:

te?t

The ? symbol is used in place of a single character. To search for multiple unknown characters, use the * symbol.

e.g., to find results that match test, tests, tester, testing, or any other variation that begins with test, search for:

test*

The * symbol can be used in the middle of a term.

e.g., to find test, tempest, tenet, etc. (i.e., any words that begin with "te-" and end in "-t"), search for:

te*t

You can also use the ? and * symbols at the start of a term.

e.g., to search for test, harvest, forest, etc. (i.e., any words that end in "-est"), search for:

*est

Proximity Searches

To search for documents that have two terms within a certain number of words of each other, use the ~ symbol with a number.

e.g., to search for the terms cannabis and tobacco within 10 words of each other, search for:

"cannabis tobacco"~10

where the desired terms are in quotation marks, followed immediately by the ~ symbol and a number.

Fuzzy Searches

The ~ symbol can also be used for approximate searches, but only when a single word is being searched.

e.g., to search for terms that are similar in spelling to cat, search for:

cat~

This will bring back results that match terms like bat, rat, mat and hat, in addition to cat.

Range Searches

To perform a range search, use the [ ] symbols and the word TO (in all capitals).

e.g., if you’re searching for names that fall alphabetically between Hudson and Gibson, search for:

[Hudson TO Gibson]

You can also search a range of numbers using the same method.

e.g., if you’re searching for documents from between 2006 to 2008, search for:

[2006 TO 2008]

Boosting a Term

To give one search term more importance over another, you can use the ^ symbol followed by a number.

e.g., if you want to search for documents with both cannabis and tobacco but cannabis is the more important search term, search for:

tobacco cannabis^5

which will give the term cannabis 5 times the value of the term tobacco.