Sunday, March 26, 2006

Say YES! on the 2006 Canadian Census

Soon it will be time for Canadians to fill out our own census forms again. This year, a 'consent question' is part of the census. Without everyone's 'YES' to this question, historical & genealogical information won't be available to future researchers like ourselves.

Remember your excitement when the 1901 and, later, the 1911 Canadian censuses were released for research? Imagine the disappointment and frustration in 2098, 92 years from now, when the 2006 census information is released, and your descendants and their friends see that many of their kin must have been 'black inked', or more likely, 'electronically wiped' from the 2006 census pages.

Make sure your own friends' and family members' answers include a 'YES' to either Question 8 (short census form) or Question 53 (long census form) and keep a copy of your own submissions in your permanent genealogy files.

We must get the word out to everyone how important it is to answer 'YES', however, with e-mails, letters to the editor, personal conversations---anyone can play a role in this.

Don't leave it up to the census far 'Canada Census 2006' has done virtually nothing to promote positive answers to this question.

You will need to dig deep into the 2006 Census webpages to even find mention of a reason to say 'YES", despite the assurances of the Chief Statistician of Canada. Information on the importance of census access in the future should have been included right with the questions.

Remember, as I quote from the website's one mention of genealogical research, with my own emphasis***:

"For those who give explicit permission, Statistics Canada will transfer their information to Library and Archives Canada in 2098, which in turn, will make it publicly available. For those who do not give permission, their personal information will not be transferred."
[Quoted from Statistics Canada 2006 Census : March 26, 2006 ]

For more on the 2006 Canadian Census Consent Question, please see Gordon Watts' recent column, 22 March, 2006 in the Global Gazette at:

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