Canada, 2006 Census, and Your Rights

The Durham Region News has an article by Jeff Hayward,
Choose ‘yes’ on Census, urges group
, that is pushing Canadians to check off ‘Yes’ on releasing their census information in 92 years.

An Uxbridge organization wants residents to know that their future relatives might never know they existed if they don’t check off ‘yes’ to a question on an upcoming government census.

The Uxbridge Genealogy Group has put a call out to residents to inform them 2006 Canada Census forms are being distributed in the near future. This year, for the first time in 340 years, according to the group, residents will have a choice whether their information can be released in 92 years.

If you check ‘no’, future genealogists will be faced with gaps in their family history research.

“You should know that if this question is not answered ‘yes’, or is left unanswered, your descendants will be unable to find information on you in census records in the future… so far as the census is concerned, you will not have existed,” said Eileen Wilson, vice-chairwoman of the genealogy group.

I’m sure most genealogists will check off yes, but many people will not or will not understand the implications.

On a related note, in the US, they are currently doing a “test” run of the 2010 census which has caused a lot of controversy among some groups of people, namely due to the “YOU ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO RESPOND” theme on the census information as well as the questions asked. From a genealogist’s perspective, the questions asked are interesting. As a private citizen, I found the information very intrusive, but that’s for another article.

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