Re: [CCC] 1911 census
- Dear Lois:
A very well-written e-mail.
All I can say is that I am very glad you are on our side!
> Lois Sparling wrote:http://www.afhs.ab.ca
> 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
> 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
> >> To: CANADA-CENSUS-CAMPAIGN-L@...
> >> 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.