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3197[Fwd: Post 1901 - Information Commissioner's Response]

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  • Lois Sparling
    Oct 5, 2004

      -------- Original Message --------
      Subject:Post 1901 - Information Commissioner's Response
      Date:Tue, 05 Oct 2004 07:05:47 -0700
      From:Gordon A. Watts <gordon_watts@...>
      Organization:Canada Census Campaign
      To:Canada Census Campaign <CANADA-CENSUS-CAMPAIGN-L@...>

      Greetings All.
      As I start to write this it is 6:00 AM Pacific Time.  I was awakened at
      5:30 AM to the sound of my fax line ringing.  I was not upset, however,
      as the incoming fax was the long awaited response from the Information
      Commissioner to our complaints regarding the refusal of Statistics
      Canada to return control of the 1911 Census records.  It took almost 30
      minutes for some 40 pages to be received.
      The most important of the pages received was a two page letter signed by
      the Hon. John M. Reid.  In that letter the Information Commissioner
      advises that he "found access to the withheld records is authorized
      pursuant to paragraph 19(2)(c) of the Access to Information Act by
      reference to subsection 8(3) of the Privacy Act and section 6 of the
      Privacy Regulations."
      Mr. Reid further stated "On June 22 and July 22, 2004, I recommended
      that SC release the requested schedules.  However, on August 24, 2004,
      The Honourable David Emerson, the Minister of Industry, informed me that
      he does not intend to follow my recommendation."
      Mr. Reid sought permission to apply to the Federal Court on my behalf
      for a review of the refusal by the Minister of Industry to release the
      records is question.  He indicated that there were 90 complaints made by
      90 individual complainants and that he intends to bring one application
      for review before the Federal Court seeking relief for the benefit of
      all complainants who have provided their constent.  Copies of all signed
      consent forms will be filed with the Court as part of this application.
      By the time you read this the Information Commissioner's responses to
      all 90 complainants should be in the mail.  I cannot stress strongly
      enough the importance of signing the consent forms to be received.
      Please return them to the Information Commissioner as soon as
      possible -- preferably by return mail.  Perhaps as you do this you could
      drop me a line to advise that you have responded to the Information
      Commissioner's request.
      I am extremely pleased by the response received from the Information
      Commissioner.  It was worth waiting for.  On the other hand I am
      disappointed that virtually the first act of the Hon. David Emerson,
      newly elected Member of Parliament and newly appointed Minister for
      Industry, was to refuse to follow the recommendations of Mr. Reid.
      This is one more step closer to realizing our immediate goal of access
      to the 1911 National Census of Canada, and eventual release of
      subsequent Censuses.  We must, however, continue our efforts by signing
      petitions and contacting our parliamentary representatives to advise of
      our concerns in this matter.
      With your help we will succeed.
      Happy Hunting.
      Gordon A. Watts  gordon_watts@...
      Co-chair Canada Census Committee
      Port Coquitlam, BC
      en francais  http://www.globalgenealogy.com/Census/Index_f
      Permission to forward without notice is granted