Canadian Parliament Passes the Canadian Census Act S-18 #general
jan meisels allen <janmallen@...>
This morning (June 28) the Canadian House of Commons unanimously passed S-18, The
Act to amend the Canadian Census. S-18 had already passed the Senate's several
months ago. What is needed to happen now is Royal Assent and as this was a
government sponsored bill it is expected to be given in the very near future.
Enactment of S-18, once Royal Assent is granted, will in effect release for public
review the long-overdue release of the 1911 Canadian census. It is believed
that the Library and Archives of Canada has already scanned images of the 1911
National Census of Canada and they should be available on line almost immediately.
S-18 removes a legal ambiguity for census records made between 1910 and 2005. It
allows unrestricted access to those records 92 years after the census was taken
(their privacy requirement). Starting in 2006 an "opt-in" provision is mandated,
requiring that each Canadian must agree to have their information released to the
public- after 92 years. This "opt-in" provision was opposed by IAJGS but after 7
years of a hard-fought battle many in the census debate thought this was the only
way they could get the censuses released starting with the long-overdue 1911
census. There is a provision in S-18 that requires Parliamentary review of this
opt-in provision and organizations in Canada will start education campaigns to
have encourage Canadians agree to "opt-in".
Anyone wishing to read S-18 may access it by going to:
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Chairperson, Public Records Access Monitoring Committee