- See the article in the online version of the Globe and Mail for Sept.
12, 2007 "Historically Speaking, the Census Represents Us" by Eric Sager.
The census debate is heating up again. As you may recall, we pried
loose the 1906 and 1911 national census of Canada from a VERY reluctant
Statistics Canada, but at a cost. The legislation which freed up the
historic census after 92 years, to and including the 2001 census, also
closed all future census forever unless the person filling in the census
return for a particular household checked off a box consenting (on
behalf of the whole household) to that census return being made
available to researchers in 92 years. Since alot of households did not
tick off the consent box for the eventual release of their 2006 census
return, 2006 is essentially lost forever. Needless to say, Statistics
Canada cannot possibly change its forms for 2011 so that census is
presumably lost, as well. (Funny that Statistics Canada could add the
consent provision and box to check off very quickly but cannot remove it
with out years and years of advance notice; but I digress).
This whole thing about each household having to consent to the release
of its census return is to be reviewed after the 2011 census is taken.
However those of us who believe that the census should be preserved in
its entirety as an historical document and made available to researchers
in due course believe that it should be reviewed as soon as possible to
save the 2011 and 2016 census. We know from experience who we are
dealing with and the lengths it/they will go to in order to prevail.
Eric Sager, a professor of history at U Vic, presents the case that the
census is an unique and invaluable historical document if preserved and
released in its entirety. His article reflects the belief of the
history professors on Our Side that the genealogical community is key to
persuading the government of the righteousness of our cause. The family
history community believes that the history professors are the key to
success because they attract greater respect than we do. It doesn't
matter who is right. What is important is that we keep after the
government about this.
Please keep yourselves informed. If you do not know much about the
census issue, check out past article by Gordon Watts online at the
Global Genealogy web site or my articles and announcements on the
Alberta Family Histories Society web site. There is also a Canada
Census Campaign mailing list through rootsweb which will perk up again
when our campaign moves into actively lobbying our Members of Parliament