(Canada) Bill Before Parliament to Reinstate the Mandatory Long-Form Census #general

Jan Meisels Allen

An Act to Amend the Statistics Act, Bill C-626, would reinstate the
mandatory long-form census will be before the House of Commons at second
reading on Thursday, January 29. It is item 5 in the bill. The long-form is
the census form that contains the individual information that genealogists
and descendants wish to access after the 92-year release (the required
length of time by Canada for releasing such information). The bill language
states the long-form census is to comply with the length and scope of
previous censuses and specifically mentions the 1971 census and the every
five-year census >from 1981-2006. To read the bill see:
Original url:

The bill also addresses the appointment of the chief statistician,
prescribing additional duties and increases the independence of that role in
carrying out his/her duties.

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The mandatory long-form census was implemented in 1971-since then there have
been two census forms: a long form and a short form. When the long-form was
mandatory it had a 94 percent response rate.
Statistics Canada's mandatory long-form census was abolished by the Harper
government. A "voluntary" census was instead imposed which had a low
response rate-68 percent. In 2010, Statistics Canada abandoned the long-form
for the 2011 census and turned over to the National Household Survey (NHS) a
voluntary long form. In 2010 the Canadian House of Commons voted to restore
the long-form but the then government Industry Minister stated he would not
heed the Commons motion.

To read more about the history of the long form see:
Original url:


Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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