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1777Re: [CCC] 1911 census

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  • Rene Dussome
    Jul 18, 2003
      Dear Lois:

      A very well-written e-mail.

      All I can say is that I am very glad you are on our side!

      Rene Dussome

      > Lois Sparling wrote:
      > For those tuning in late, "Beatty et al versus the Chief Statistician
      > et al" was our Action in the Federal Court demanding the release of
      > the 1906 census. We won out of court. The National Archives released
      > the 1906 census online and by distributing microfilm to libraries
      > around the country. "Beatty versus the Chief Statistician et al" is
      > demanding the release of the 1911 census. I think of it as Beatty#2.
      > There are parallel efforts to lobby the Members of Parliament for
      > amendments to Bill S-13. Some of us speak of killing the Bill unless
      > it is amended. Others just talk about amending the Bill. The delays
      > we are experiencing in Beatty#2 relate to the time frame in Parliament
      > for Bill S-13. They want to stall the Federal Court action so Bill
      > S-13 can be passed first. We want to win in court before Bill S-13
      > passes so its limitations on census release (if any) will not effect
      > the 1911 census.
      > Dear Gordon
      > Actually, while you were away, I did suggest that people send an ATI
      > request to the National Archives, too. This is in response to one of
      > the arguments in the Justice Department's written argument to have our
      > action struck out. It is my feeling that the National Archivist has
      > to bear SOME responsibility for the statements of his lawyers. The
      > main thrust of their argument this time is that if the Chief
      > Statistician has to turn over the census to the National Archivist
      > (which they deny), then the National Archivist is not obliged to make
      > it available to researchers. Therefore our application has no chance
      > of success. Anyway, I thought the 1911 census microfilms were in a
      > National Archives facility and that it is the legal control over those
      > microfilm which is in dispute.
      > Responses to the 1906 ATI requests don't count this time round for the
      > 1911 census. Administrative law has really picky requirements which
      > tax my family law lawyer mind. Form and procedure are REALLY
      > important; not what I am used to. However, I will be making exactly
      > your argument - Mertie is aware of the Chief Statistician's public
      > statements and position from the 1906 Action but also from the Senate
      > debates on Bill S-13. She is also aware that the 1911 census has not,
      > in fact, been made available despite the National Archivists
      > statements in a letter Professor Waiser acquired during the last
      > round. If that is not good enough, better to find out now so we can
      > start another Action right away with the proof we now have that her
      > requests have been denied.
      > I have been urged to explain about making a second formal request
      > under the Access to Information Act. The primary target for a formal
      > request under the ATI (Access to Information Act) is the Chief
      > Statistician. Many of us have already done so and already received
      > our rejection letters. The next step is to send a letter of complaint
      > to the Information Commissioner about this rejection of our legitimate
      > request to see the 1911 census. The Information Commissioner does an
      > investigation, takes a formal position on the legitimacy of our
      > requests and then, if the Chief Statistician refuses to comply, the
      > Information Commissioner sues him in Federal Court on behalf of one or
      > more of the complainants. To hurry things along, I sued the federal
      > government early last June, shortly after the 92 years was up for with
      > holding the 1911 census. I just used one Applicant this time. For
      > poetic effect, I used Mertie Beatty whose name came first in the list
      > of Applicants for the 1906 census Action. She also lives in Calgary
      > and can drop by my office whenever I need her. Although Mertie made
      > an ATI request to the Chief Statistician to see the 1911 census, we
      > did not wait for his reply before commencing this second Action. The
      > federal government is arguing that our Action was premature because we
      > did not have the Chief Statistician's reply to her ATI request when we
      > started and have not asked the National Archivist for his position.
      > These government lawyers act for both the Chief Statistician and the
      > National Archivist and they present one position - the position of the
      > federal government. We, therefore, have to get over thinking of the
      > National Archivist as our ally. Whatever his personal feelings and
      > opinions, he is our opponent in court and before Parliamentary
      > committees.
      > We cannot afford to ignore the legal arguments of the government. If
      > they put it in writing that our Action has no chance of success
      > because Mertie did not ask the National Archivist for access to the
      > 1911 census, we have to react by ensuring we have a pool of potential
      > Applicants (or Complainants under the Information Commissioner's
      > procedures) who have met these silly, picky but possibly legal
      > requirements. It also serves to remind the National Archivist and
      > others that we are committed to this cause enough to spend another $5
      > plus postage to respond to HIS lawyers' argument. Remember, it is the
      > National Archivist's own lawyer who is making this argument.
      > Think of the act of sending an ATI request form to see the 1911 census
      > to the National Archivist as the equivalent of attending a
      > demonstration or voicing your support at a public meeting.
      > The address of that lucky information and privacy co-ordinator for the
      > National Archivist is:
      > Julie Attallah
      > National Archives of Canada
      > 395 Wellington Street, room 350
      > Ottawa, Ont K1A 0N3
      > I'm sure she has nothing better to do than to process our ATI requests
      > and draft a form letter to send back to us. From past experience, we
      > can hope that she, unlike Pamela White (for the Chief Statistician)
      > will return our $5 cheques.
      > Lois Sparling
      > Gordon A. Watts wrote:
      > > Hi Norma.
      > >
      > > The legal beagles that oppose us will try anything -- including
      > > things
      > > that make no sense, and have no bearing on the matter at all.
      > >
      > > Merle Beatty made request to the National Archives on our last
      > > go-around
      > > for the 1906 records so is well aware that the National Archives
      > > does
      > > not have possession of them. I would think that this fact would be
      > > an
      > > effective counter to this charge. We are not at this time
      > > suggesting we
      > > again submit requests to the NA.
      > >
      > > Gordon
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: "Norma Brown" <browndm@...>
      > > To: "Lois Sparling" <lsparling@...>
      > > Cc: "Gordon A. Watts" <gordon_watts@...>
      > > Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 5:32 AM
      > > Subject: Re: [CCC] 1911 census
      > >
      > >
      > > But aren't we all bright enough to know that the National Archivist
      > > does
      > > not
      > > have the 1911 census! That is the problem!! I thought one applied to
      > > the
      > > agency possessing the information when requesting an ATI.
      > >
      > > The Stats Can refusal letter certainly gave no indication that we
      > > should
      > > also apply to the National Archivist.
      > >
      > > Is this just a stalling tactic from the government lawyers to drag
      > > out
      > > this
      > > case in the calendar?
      > >
      > > If another ATI is truly required then we should get our letters in
      > > the
      > > mail
      > > now before the postal strike, which I think is still in the works
      > > for
      > > Friday.
      > >
      > > Norma
      > > Nepean, ON
      > > ***********
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >> From: Lois Sparling <lsparling@...>
      > >> Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 19:38:53 -0800
      > >> Subject: [CCC] 1911 census
      > >> Resent-From: CANADA-CENSUS-CAMPAIGN-L@...
      > >> Resent-Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 19:32:17 -0600
      > >>
      > >> I note that one of their arguments is that our Applicant
      > >> (Mertie Beatty) has not requested access to the 1911 census from
      > >> the
      > >> National Archivist.
      > >>
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >

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