Archiver > CENSUS-CHAT > 2003-12 > 1071263322

From: "Gordon A. Watts" <>
Subject: Post 1901 Census - New Cabinet Members
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2003 13:10:13 -0800

Greetings All.

Our new Prime Minister Paul Martin has announced this morning the makeup
of his new Cabinet. Those of particular interest to us are the
appointments of Lucienne Robillard as Minister for Industry, and Helene
Chalifour Scherrer for Canadian Heritage.

Lucienne Robillard (Quebec) is shown on our Scoreboard as 'sitting on
the fence' because the only response to our questions of support for
access has been an acknowledgement of receipt from her staff. She has
never personally responded to our questions.

Helene Chalifour Scherrer (Quebec) is shown with a blue question mark --
indicating that she has never responded to our questions of support for

Paul Martin (Quebec) is also shown as 'sitting on the fence'. His only
responses to our questions has been referring the questions to then
Industry Minister Brian Tobin and an auto-response that did not in any
way respond to the questions asked.

It is time once again to sharpen our pencils and limber up our fingers
on the keyboards to write to these new Ministers in particular, and all
Members of Parliament, to remind them that we seek the same unrestricted
access to Historic Census records that we have had for 240 years of
records up to 1906.

We must encourage the new Heritage Minister to continue, and expand, the
provision of online access to Historic Census records, and other records
of vital interest to genealogists and historians.

We must advise the new Industry Minister, and all Members of Parliament,
that the conditions and restrictions of Bill S-13 (should it be
resurrected) are not what the people of Canada have been seeking. They
must be reminded that those conditions and restrictions have not been
supported by any reports or studies, and in fact they have been
previously rejected by virtually everyone who has expressed an opinion
regarding public access to Census records.

We must remind now Prime Minister Paul Martin of his statements that the
roll of public servants is to administer government policy while the
roll of Parliament and government is to direct that policy. He should
be reminded that he suggested civil servants should 'butt out' of
attempts to direct policy rather than administer it. He should be
requested to follow through on his reported position regarding this and
direct Chief Statistician Ivan P. Fellegi to obey the existing laws of
Canada and transfer Historic Census records to the care and control of
the National Archivist in accordance with those laws.

We have had a short rest in our efforts to regain public access to
Historic Census records. It is time now, with a new Prime Minister and
Cabinet, to renew those efforts.

Happy Hunting.

Gordon A. Watts
Co-Chair, Canada Census Committee
Port Coquitlam, BC

en fran├žais http://globalgenealogy.com/Census/Index_f.htm

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