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Archiver > LUNEN-LINKS > 2003-02 > 1045001188


From: "Gordon A. Watts" <>
Subject: [LL] Post 1901 Census - A little time and a little trust
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 14:06:28 -0800


Forwarded on behalf of Senator Lorna Milne's office.

Gordon

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul, Jeff: SEN" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 9:01 AM
Subject: [CCC] A little time and a little trust


Greetings to the list:

Well everyone, Senator Milne and I were hoping that it would not come to
this, but unfortunately we are going to have to put an awful lot in
jeopardy to deal with the concerns of everyone here. The fact of the
matter is that Senator Milne has been working furiously behind the
scenes for 2 months on each and every one of the issues that have been
raised by everyone. The problem all along has been that she was asked
to sponser the bill. That is a double edged sword that we were by and
large willing to deal with. On the one hand it gives us complete
control of how the bill is managed through the Senate. On the other
hand, it forces us to look like we support the government position until
a new concensus "emerges" that allows everyone to save face. It allowed
us to do our work without looking aggressive and without beating up our
opponents with big sticks. My dad always taught me to be a good and
classy winner, and we had intended to do so.

However, in all good conscience to all of those who genuinely care, and
to the many thousands of you who have been supportive of us, we have to
speak out about what is being said on the listserve. Last week we asked
for some time and some trust and asked for constructive support.
Unfortunately this is too emotional an issue for some. Senator Milne
knows what I am about to write, and she has one message to everyone.
Spilling the beans right now jeopardizes our chances for 100% success
over the next two months. However, the conspiracy theories that are
being suggested by many people out there simply are not true, and left
unto themselves they will do substantial damage to the bill. They have
no basis in fact. This is the biggest file of Senator Milne's career as
a Senator. She is not going to abandon it and is not going to settle
for a half of a loaf. Let me be specific.

THIS BILL WILL BE AMENDED. Senator Milne has lined up other Senators to
introduce the amendments so she can maintain her spot as the sponsoring
sentoar. Senator Milne will vote for amendments to this bill. In fact
last week I personally met with the Senate's legal counsel who is an
expert in legislative drafting. I directed him to draft a few
amendments for us that will be introduced by others. The Minister of
Industry, the Government Leader in the Senate, the Deputy Government
Leader in the Senate and all of their staffs all know this is coming.
They have given us the weight of a government bill to let us get it
through. They gave us a framework and told us to go to town. This bill
will get through only after Senator Milne is happy with it.

THE 1911 AND 1916 CENSUES WILL BE RELEASED WITHOUT RESTRICTION. An
amendment is currently being drafted to deal with exactly that issue.
Dr. Fellegi has admitted to Senator Milne in my presence that the
government will not try to argue that there are different legal
circumstances for the 1911 and 1916 census than the 1906 census. We
will bring that out in committee and use it to punch through an
amendment.

WE'VE ALREADY TOLD YOU WHAT THE WAIVER IS. The only thing that I have
not done yet is actually post the waiver on the listserve. The Privy
Council Office has extremely strict rules on how regulations can be
handled. This
is a problem with each and every bill that the government has. I have
made myself look like a dolt trying to play dumb, trying to play smart,
asking, pleading, and demanding that this waiver be released. If I
release it Sen. Milne will be violating the Official Secrets Act. The
only way it can be done legally is by the Pricy Council Office. I'm not
ready to go to jail on this one folks. The Privy Council Office refuses
regulations for ALL legislation and does not make exceptions. I can't
make them budge. I have already said exactly what the waiver does,
though. In its 94 words the waiver allows complete access to the
records and limits publication to tombstone data such as name, address,
age, sex, marital status, origin and occupation. I think that there was
also a mention of the Copyright Act as well, but I haven't brought that
up because genealogists have always had to follow the Copyright Act.
But given the fact that this is the biggest sticking point of all I will
go to the mountain once more and see what I can do.

OPT IN VERSUS OPT OUT. Another amendment that is currently being
drafted will specifically create the situation where those who do
nothing will have their census forms sent to the National Archives.
Privacy freaks will actually have to spend real energy to get their
census out of the loop. If we did not have an informed consent for
future censuses it would not have gone through cabinet. Pure and simple
that is the 1 price we have to pay is informed consent. We would have
lost at cabinet without it. It WAS that close. If we kill this part of
the bill we will lose the backing of cabinet and the house of cards
comes down. Do we really want to seal the deal to eliminate access to
census material forever?

WHO IS GOING TO ENFORCE THIS? Great question! Who is going to spend
money on police for this? Great question! Who is going to spend cash
to creat a bureaucracy? Great question! The answer is NOBODY. The only
way that any penalty provisions will ever be enforced is if someone
complains directly to Ivan Fellegi. In fact there is a deal in place
where Stats Canada will only enforce this through complaints. There
have been over 54 million hits to the Archives website for the 1901 and
1906 census and there has not been one complaint. The waiver and
conditions will not affect people who just want to find their family.

IS THERE STRATEGY GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES? Absolutely. I talk to
Gordon Watts daily. Muriel talks to the Senator almost daily (not as
much this week with renovations going on, though). We hosted a
conference call to get the message out on the first day this bill was
introduced in the hopes that we could explain what was happening and ask
for some time and space to do our job. I've gone to lunch with
potential witnesses on the bill to line up strategy and ensure we are
all singing from the same song sheet. This is the biggest file in the
office. Everywhere the Senator has gone for the last week she has been
lining up Senators to get this thing worked out. Sometimes, though, we
can't reveal everything we do as it all has to happen in a specific
order.

Folks I hope this better explains what we are doing here in the office.
We are not going to let you down. We know how important this is. We
know this is all about family and nothing could be more personal. All
Senator Milne needs is a little more time and a little more trust. I
hope that this gives everyone reason to give that to her. We have also
been receiving lots of positive messages directly in our office. I
would ask that those who support our point of view to please be a little
more active on the listserve. I suspect that the debate has been one
sided and would appreciate more interventions from the other side.

Yours very truly,

Jeff Paul
Policy Advisor
Office of the Hon. Lorna Milne



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