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Archiver > ROOTS > 2004-11 > 1099427478

From: "Gordon A. Watts" <>
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Post 1901 Census - New Bill presented
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 12:31:18 -0800

Greetings All.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Milne, Lorna: SEN" <>
To: <>
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).



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

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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

« 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.

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