[Fwd: Post 1901 Census - New Bill presented]
This is about a new government Bill submitted to the House of Commons today directing the unconditional release of the historic census from 1911 to 2001. There is a catch but I have agreed to support this Bill.
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Subject: Post 1901 Census - New Bill presented Date: Tue, 02 Nov 2004 12:31:18 -0800 From: Gordon A. Watts <gordon_watts@...> Organization: Canada Census Campaign To: Canada Census Campaign <CANADA-CENSUS-CAMPAIGN-L@...>
Greetings All. FYI
----- Original Message ----- From: "Milne, Lorna: SEN" <MILNEL@...> To: <CANADA-CENSUS-CAMPAIGN-L@...> Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2004 12:13 PM Subject: VICTORY Dear friends: It is my great pleasure to inform you that after years of negotiation I can finally announce that the government has my unqualified support, and indeed the support of the leaders of the Canada Census Campaign, the Canadian Historical Society and the Association of Canadian Archivists. I have attached a copy of the text of the bill, as well as copies of the press release that I will be putting out tomorrow. You will see that the additional 20 year rule that would limit our access to census records has been eliminated! There will be no restrictions to the use of census information 92 years after the date of the census. We were very concerned for a long time that the “opt-in” clause would destroy the census as a historical tool. That too has been softened by Statistics Canada. They have now conceded that such a clause could have detrimental effects on the historical record. As a result, they have agreed to review that section after 2 censuses have been completed. We will have an opportunity to look at how this section will work in practice and then deal with any issues that arise. You all should know that none of this would have happened without the hard work of Minister David Emerson, the minister now responsible for Statistics Canada. When I first mentioned this issue to him this summer he told me that he thought the census should be released, and he did not see why he couldn’t resolve the issue quickly. He has lived up to his word. Over the last few months he has stayed in close communication with me and it has allowed me to have significant influence on the text of this bill, and has produced a bill that I am proud of. I hope that all of you will join me in supporting this bill. We have made remarkable gains in this fight. We can now guarantee that all census returns from 1911 to 2001 will be released in a timely manner. Some will be disappointed that people will have the option to withhold their censuses from the historical record, but even that issue will be reviewed in due course. I wanted also to take the time to thank each and every one of you for all of your work on this file. It has been a long journey. I can now say with confidence that the war has been won, and we have been able to gain real access to Canada’s history. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact either me or my assistant Jeff. We’re more than happy to discuss all of the details with you. Yours truly, Hon. Lorna Milne ============== Bill S- An Act to amend the Statistics Act 1. The Statistics Act is amended by adding the following after asection 18: 18.1 (1) The information contained in the returns of each census of population taken between 1910 and 2005 is no longer subject to sections 17 and 18 ninety-two years after the census is taken. (2) The information contained in the returns of each census of population taken is 2006 or later is no longer subject to sections 17 and 18 ninety-two years after the census is taken, but only if the person to whom the information relates consents, at the time of the census, to the release of the information ninety-two years later. (3) When sections 17 and 18 cease to apply to information referred to in subsection (1) or (2), the information shall be placed under the care and control of the Library and Archives of Canada. 2. (1) No later than two years before the taking of the third census of population under section 19 of the Statistics Act after the coming into force of this Act, the administration and operation of subsection 18.1(2) of the Statistics Act as enacted by section 1, shall be reviewed by any committee of the Senate, the House of Commons or both Houses of Parliament that may be designated for that purpose. (2) The committee shall submit a report to the Senate, the House of Commons or both Houses of Parliament, as the case may be, in relation to the review that includes a statement of any changes to the administration of subsection 18.2(2) that the committee recommends. (**French version of the bill will be available soon. No electronic copy was available at the time of this email). MILNE LAUDS MINISTER’ EMERSON’S WORK ON RELEASE OF HISTORIC CENSUS RECORDS OTTAWA – November 2, 2004 – This afternoon the government announced long-awaited legislation that will govern the release of census information. Senator Lorna Milne (Liberal – Ontario), who has been fighting for the release of historic census records since 1998, was quick to proclaim that the bill meets the needs of Canada’s genealogists, historians, and archivists. “Under Bill S-XX Canadians will have unrestricted access to all censuses taken before this date immediately upon the 92nd anniversary of each census. This is the kind of access that Canadians deserve and have been fighting for since 1998.” Milne explained. S-XX also contains provisions that will see Canadians indicate on future census forms whether or not they want to have their census information released after 92 years for future research. The government bill follows the release of the 1906 census in January of 2003, and a government commissioned expert panel that found that there were no legal barriers to the release of historic census information. For six years Canada’s research communities and the government have been debating how to balance the need for privacy against the importance of the census as a historic document. Until now, no one has been able to find a system for access to the records that everyone was willing to agree to. Senator Milne credits Minister Emerson’s work on the file for finding that agreement. “Minister Emerson decided from the outset that he was going to solve this issue quickly and with common sense” Milne revealed. “He was able to quickly identify the fundamental needs of both Statistics Canada and Canada’s researchers. This bill accommodates both sets of needs”. In addition to Minister Emerson and Senator Milne, the Canada Census Committee, the Canadian Historians Association, and the Association of Canadian Archivists all endorse this bill without amendment. “With that kind of support, I would hope that the bill would pass through both Houses of Parliament quickly” said Milne. For more information, please contact Jeff Paul at 613-947-9744 or 613-715-2965. - 30 - LORNA MILNE FÉLICITE LE MINISTRE EMERSON DE SES DÉMARCHES POUR PERMETTRE LA DIVULGATION DES DONNÉES DE RECENSEMENT HISTORIQUES OTTAWA – Le 2 novembre 2004 – Cet après-midi, le gouvernement a annoncé la loi très attendue qui régira la divulgation des données de recensement. La sénatrice Lorna Milne (Parti libéral – Ontario), qui lutte depuis 1998 en faveur de la communication des données de recensement historiques, s’est empressée d’indiquer que le projet de loi répond aux attentes des généalogistes, des historiens et des archivistes du Canada. « Le projet de loi S‑XX permettra la libre consultation des données des recensements effectués avant cette date, au 92e anniversaire de la tenue de chaque recensement. Les Canadiens doivent pouvoir consulter librement ces informations, un droit pour lequel ils luttent depuis 1998 », a précisé Mme Milne. Le projet de loi renferme également des dispositions qui permettront aux Canadiens d’indiquer sur les futurs formulaires de recensement s’ils souhaitent ou non que l’information qu’ils y inscrivent soit communiquée après 92 ans, à des fins de recherche. Le projet de loi fait suite à la publication, en janvier 2003, des données du recensement de 1906 et à la conclusion d’un comité d’experts nommé par le gouvernement selon laquelle il n’existe aucun obstacle juridique à la divulgation des données de recensement historiques. Depuis six ans, le milieu de la recherche et le gouvernement canadiens débattent des moyens de concilier la nécessité de protéger les renseignements personnels et l’importance des données de recensement en tant que documents historiques. Jusqu’à présent, personne n’a trouvé un système de consultation des documents qui fait l’unanimité. La sénatrice Milne loue les efforts faits par le ministre Emerson dans ce dossier pour trouver une entente à ce sujet. « Dès le début, le ministre Emerson a décidé qu’il allait régler cette question de façon rapide et sensée. Il a sans tardé défini les besoins essentiels de Statistique Canada et des chercheurs canadiens. Le projet de loi répond aux attentes du Ministère et des chercheurs. » Le ministre Emerson, la sénatrice Milne ainsi que le Comité de recensement du Canada, la Canadian Historians Association et la Association of Canadian Archivists approuvent tous le projet de loi sans modification. « Vu cet appui, j’espère que le projet de loi pourra être adopté rapidement par les deux Chambres », a ajouté Mme Milne. Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec Jeff Paul au (613) 947‑9744 ou au (613) 715-2965. - 30 -