Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Post 1901 Canadian Census Access---------Bill S-18 Update June 7, 2005

We are so close to gaining access to the 1911 Canadian census which legally should already have been released and to ensuring future release of Canada's 'historical censuses'. Please e-mail & write your Members of Parliament today. We won't give up! Diane R.

This today from Gordon Watts:

"Greetings All.

Once again, even though Second Reading of Bill S-18 was listed on the Projected Order of Business for Monday 6 June 2005, it was not debated.It does not appear on the POB for today (Tuesday). Today and Thursday are 'allocated' days and so I do not expect S-18 to be on the agenda for Thursday either. As to Wednesday or Friday, it is anybodies guess.

According to the Parliamentary Calendar, Friday would be the normal last day of sitting of the House of Commons. It would appear however that the sitting will be extended, possibly for another two weeks, until 23 June.

On Thursday last, the Hon. Tony Valeri (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons) gave a projection of the business expected to be conducted in the House for this week. Included in that projection were Bills C-43, C-22, S-18 and C-52. He made reference to the House sitting during the next three weeks', lending credence to the belief the House will sit until 23 June.

In watching political news on CPAC last evening, an MP being interviewed (I forget which one) made reference to his party being prepared to sit' into the summer' to deal with the issue being discussed. While this may be a possibility, I do not expect it to happen.

With the 'form letter' responses being received from Conservative MPs re: our requests to 'fast-track' Bill S-18 by foregoing the Committee and Report stages of Bill S-18, I am not optimistic that this is likely to happen. While supporting the access we seek, these responses make reference to wishing to hear from the Chief Statistician and Privacy Commissioner, and that would not happen if the Committee stage were to be bypassed. It appears unlikely at this time that a Conservative MP would make a motion to pass S-18 in a single day, and should the government make such a motion there could be some opposition to it.

There has been some indication that the Committee to which Bill S-18 would be referred has been prepared to deal with it as expeditiously as possible. Presumably, with the expectation that it would be dealt within the House and the referral made, indications are that S-18 may have been on the proposed agenda of the Committee a number of times.Unfortunately, as we all know, that referral has not yet been made.

As I have indicated before, I am not optimistic that we will see passage of Bill S-18 before Parliament recesses for the summer. It would seem that we will once again be spending our summer fighting for the access we seek, rather than researching newly released records of the 1911 National Census records. I would love to be proven wrong in this.

We need everyone to continue urging their MPs to support Bill S-18 to see it passed as quickly as possible. Do not allow them to think that we have given up seeking the access to Historic Census records that existing legislation states we are entitled to.

Happy Hunting.

Gordon A. Watts gordon_watts@telus.net Co-chair Canada Census Committee
Port Coquitlam, BC

en francais http://www.globalgenealogy.com/Census/Index_f.htm

Permission to forward without notice is granted

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