For general Canadian information, check out The Canadian Encyclopedia, Canadian Information by Subject and/or the various Government of Canada Publications.
If have a question, you might want to call the Canadian Consulate General's Library (212-596-1628) or the Library and Archives Canada (613-996-5115), which is a combination of the Canadian National Library and the National Archives of Canada.
Background Checks: In Canada, criminal record checks are handled by the police department (e.g., Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police). See also "Finding People," below.
Bankruptcy Information: To find out if a person or business has filed for bankruptcy, search the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.
Business Information: Several free Internet sites provide good Canadian business information, including Industry Canada Online, Canada Business Online and Yahoo!. Canadian business news articles are searchable on Lexis.
To locate a Canadian business, look it up on Industry Canada and/or the Canadian Trade Index .
To compile a report on a Canadian company, you can (1) get the Industry Canada profile; and/or (2) get a Dun & Bradstreet report and/or (3) get a credit report from SkyMinder and/or (4) search the Internet and/or (5) search business news sources (discussed below) and/or (6) if the company is public, get any useful corporate filings (as discussed below).
Canadian companies can incorporate with either the Federal government or a province. Corporations Canada handles Federal registration, and you can retrieve registration records for Federally incorporated companies is available through Industry Canada. For filing with the provinces, Industry Canada posts links to the Provincial Registers. You can retrieve corporate registration records (including images of filings) for Ontario companies is available through Oncorp Direct; credit card access is available. For British Columbia, use BC Online.
You can get Canadian securities filings from SEDAR, the Canadian equivalent of EDGAR. SEDAR filings are also available through LIVEDGAR and SEC Info. Note: Canada does not have a central securities commission; each province has its own.
To find additional reference books and databases, see the Canadian Companies Research Guide guide to information resources on Canadian companies posted by the Winspear Business Reference Library. See also "Company Information."
Finding People: I have read repeatedly that Canada's privacy laws prevent business and government from providing personal information. As such the best tool for locating people is often phone directories, such as Canada411; also try the fee-based sources listed in the Foreign section of the "Telephone Numbers" entry in this Guide. Also check ReferenceUSA, which is often available through public and academic libraries. See also "Background Checks," above and the separate entry on "Finding People."
Legal Materials: See the separate entry for "Canadian Legal Materials."
News: For general news, try Yahoo!, Canoe or use Westlaw's CANADANP database. For government and business news, try Canada Newswire. CanadaNewswire has Canadian press releases (Westlaw CANNEWS).
Canadian business new sources include Corporate Canada Online is available on Lexis. CanadaNewswire has Canadian press releases (CANWIRE on Westlaw).
Government: Government of Canada provides links to government agencies, etc. Canada Newswire carries government press releases.
Stock Exchanges: Much of the most important material is compiled in CCH's Canadian Securities Law Reporter, or see the relevant Exchange's web site. See also the separate entry for "Stock Exchanges."
Telephone Numbers: See the Foreign section of the "Telephone Numbers" entry in this Guide.