ONTARIO-L ArchivesArchiver > ONTARIO > 2001-04 > 0987836382
From: "Gordon A. WATTS" <>
Subject: [Ont] Counting Ourselves Out!!
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 23:59:42 -0700
Canada Census 2001 is rapidly approaching. Census Day is 15 May 2001.
Over the past couple of years we have had some suggestions that we boycott
the Census and refuse to fill out the forms as a protest regarding
Statistics Canada's refusal to allow public access to Historic Census
records. While in principal, I tend to sympathize with those who feel like
doing this, I think that practically we could not get enough people to do it
to make a difference. I believe that under the threat of fine and/or
imprisonment, most people would end up filling out the forms.
The Statistics Act provides for fines and/or imprisonment for refusal to
complete the Census forms. I am not aware of anyone having been charged and
fined and/or imprisoned for such refusal, although it is possible that it
has happened. Rather than charge someone for refusal to fill out the forms,
what I believe would happen is that they would first receive a telephone
call to try to convince you to fill out the forms. If that failed you would
likely receive a personal visit with the same goal. If that failed, I do
not know if you would actually be charged, but that possibility exists.
All that being said, a method by which we can voice our objection without
fear of retaliation has been drawn up.
A statement has been formulated which I would encourage all to sign and
enclose with their completed Census forms. A downloadable form containing
this statement will shortly be posted on the Post 1901 Census Project
website. The files have been sent and it is simply a matter of Rick Roberts
having the time to load them to the server. That should happen within a day
I include the wording of that statement here and encourage all to either
make up their own letter or download the form from the Post 1901 Census
Project website. Happy Hunting.
Gordon A. WATTS
Co-chair, Canada Census Committee
Port Coquitlam, BC
Keep up to date on Post 1901 Census information at
en français http://globalgenealogy.com/Census/Index_f.htm
Permission to forward without notice is granted.
15 May 2001
Dr. Ivan Fellegi.
Chief Statistician of Canada
Be advised that the Census Forms enclosed herewith have been completed under
They have been filled out only because the law requires me, under threat of
fine and/or imprisonment for non-compliance, to do so.
I take this position because I support public access to Historic Census
Records, 92 years after collection, as per Regulation 6(d) of the Privacy
Act of Canada.
I call on Statistics Canada, Industry Minister Brian Tobin, and the
Government of Canada to accept, and implement, suggestions and
recommendations made by the Expert Panel on Access to Historic Census
Records in their report dated June 2000.