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Article Published July 27, 1999 Vol. III No. 12

Gordon A. Watts POST-1901 CENSUS NEWS (Canada)
By: Gordon A. Watts,

Update on The Post 1901 Census Issue

Greetings Readers, and Members of Parliament.

I started writing this column sitting in an RV Park in beautiful Christina Lake, BC intending it to be the last column I wrote while on the road. Things being what they are however, the closer I got to home, the more 'antsy' I got. The consequence of that was that I pushed home, passing over a couple of stops I intended to make, and arrived home sooner than expected. I had a good trip but was looking forward to getting home, at least for a week before I take another short trip to celebrate the 60th birthday of my son's father-in-law. There is a gathering of family and friends being planned for BC's holiday weekend at the beginning of August. Location on their small ranch outside of Vavenby on the Yellowhead highway. This will be another good time and location to gather signatures for the Census petition.

Looking for volunteers

Speaking of gathering signatures, Family Reunions are a great place to do this. One of our frequent contributors on the CANADA-CENSUS-CAMPAIGN mailing list, Don Nisbet, has made a suggestion that deserves repeating and consideration. He has suggested that we should look for a volunteer to co-ordinate a search on the net for organizers of Family Reunions that are being held this summer. The purpose of this search would be to get these co-ordinators to download the Census petition and obtain signatures from those attending their reunions. The person(s) doing this should have at least some experience surfing the net, using search engines, and communicating via e-mail. Some of the duties of such volunteer(s) would be to

    Dot Prepare and send a cover e-mail letter, short, explaining why the contact should care.

    DotOffer to send a longer explanatory email if desired

    DotAttach a copy of the petition in plain text with offers to send in other file formats.

    DotAttach suggested letters to send to Members of Parliament/Minister Manley/Senator Lorna Milne

Much of this could be accomplished simply by directing the organizers of Family Reunions to the Post 1901 Census Project page at

and some of the other websites dealing with the Census issue. Some of this could be done by the Executive of the various Family History Societies that are probably already aware of Family reunions organized by their membership. Don suggested there might be some difficulty at reunions with attendees from other countries wanting to support our campaign however I think that will be covered by my next subject.

Should there be anyone wishing to volunteer to look after this facet of our campaign please let me know at . If more than one person volunteers I will put them in contact with each other to avoid duplication of efforts. Any members of Family History societies that have already done something similar to this please let me know.

New Petitions Available

If it has not been done by the time this column is released, there will shortly be a couple of new petitions put up on the Post 1901 Census Project Page. The first one is a copy of the formal Petition to the House of Commons that has been translated into the French language, thanks to Nicole Groleau, a professional translator, who did the final version of this petition. Thanks go also to Victor Luce and his niece for their contribution. This petition is identical to the original and should be sent to myself.

The second petition is one that many readers have requested. It is to be used by citizens/residents of other countries that have roots in Canada. It has been worded to compliment the formal Petition to the House of Commons and expresses the desire to support Canadian citizens/residents in their effort to obtain release of Post 1901 Census records to the Public. This petition will be presented to the Hon. Lorna Milne, Senator, and should be sent to Muriel Davidson at the address shown on the petition.

New National Archivist of Canada Appointed

The following information was e-mailed by Leland Harvie.

    "A new and very important player has just been thrown into the mix, as per the press release which follows from the office of Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage, the long awaited appointment of a new NATIONAL ARCHIVIST OF CANADA: Mr. Ian E. Wilson.

    This position is of fundamental importance and influence in the realization of the transfer of post-1901 Census records from Stats Can to the NAC (National Archives of Canada). Given his background as Archivist of Ontario it is likely that he is aware of the issue in general.

    In my honest opinion, we need to reach out to him, bring him up to date on the campaign, receive his views on the issue and enlist his assistance and service.

    L. Harvie, Halifax NS"

The Press Release follows:

    Appointments to the Positions of National Archivist and of National Librarian
    OTTAWA, July 5, 1999 - - Minister of Canadian Heritage Sheila Copps announced today the appointments of Ian Wilson to the position of National Archivist of Canada and Roch Carrier as National Librarian of Canada.

    Mr. Carrier will replace the current National Librarian, Marianne Scott, who has held the position since 1984. Internationally renowned author and Officer of the Order of Canada, Mr. Carrier has been active in various cultural organizations such as the Theatre du Nouveau Monde and the Canada Council for the Arts, where he served as president from 1979 to 1981 and as Director from 1994 to 1997. Mr. Carrier will assume his new position in the fall.

    "In a knowledge society, institutions like the National Archives and the National Library of Canada are an indispensable source of information. They aim at preserving our collective memory for future generations. I am pleased to announce the appointments of Mr. Wilson and Mr. Carrier to head these two important national institutions," said Minister Copps. "Their challenge is to lead these institutions into the new millennium and make them more accessible to the Canadian population."

    Mr. Wilson has been the Archivist of Ontario since 1986. He has served as Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculties of Information Studies and Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto and is currently a member of the Ontario Government's Information and Information Technology Management Committee.

    Minister Copps also announced that she has asked Laurier Lapierre to advise her on the establishment of a common Advisory Board to guide the National Archives of Canada and the National Library of Canada into the next millennium. In a report submitted to the Minister last year, John English had made the recommendation to create a common Advisory Board.

    Minister Copps praised Ms. Scott for her many years of public service. "Ms. Scott has worked tirelessly at the forefront of this national institution. She has gained an international reputation for the work she has done to promote the role that libraries play in our society," said the Minister. The Minister also thanked Lee McDonald for his significant contribution over the past two years as Acting National Archivist.

    Catherine Gagnaire
    Communications Assistant
    Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    (819) 997-7788

The appointment of Ian Wilson as National Archivist is welcome news and I thank Leland for bringing it to my attention. I would encourage readers to write to congratulate him on his appointment and to solicit his assistance in our campaign. I will search for an address for him and post it on the CANADA-CENSUS-CAMPAIGN mail list as soon as I find it.

Canadian Historical Association Supports Release of Census

Genealogists are not the only ones looking for release of Census records. The Canadian Historical Association has a number of interesting letters supporting release of Post 1901 Census information. Check them out at:

www.yorku. ca/research/cha/html/english/census/letters_list.htm

E-mail From Senator Lorna Milne's Office

"The Hon. Lorna Milne, Senator concluded the Senate inquiry on access to information on Thursday, June 10, 1999. The issue will be raised again when Parliament resumes sitting in the Fall with the introduction of a Private Senators' Bill amending the applicable legislation."

For your convenience, Senator Milne's concluding speech, as well as other Hansard excerpts containing speeches from the Senate regarding Access to Census Information have been placed on the Post 1901 Census Project page at

MPs Scoreboard

Marks are slowly being added to the MP's Scoreboard. Currently there are seventeen ticks and eight crosses. Keep sending your letters to MPs, Ministers Manley and Copps, and Senator Milne. Let us know of any responses from your MPs so the Scoreboard and the MPs correspondence logs can be updated.

Links to Other Pages

Do you have a web page with information re: Post 1901 Census information? Does it have a link to the Post 1901 Census Project Page? Do you want your site linked from the Post 1901 Census Project Page? If so, contact me at:

Until next time. Happy Hunting.

Gordon A. Watts

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