Monday, May 08, 2006

Will You Be Remembered in the Year 2098? (Canadian Census)

Just received this and wanted to share it since I have plenty of Canadian cousins!


Will you be remembered in the year 2098?

Canadians can now choose to take their place in the country’s history

Toronto, ON May 8, 2006 -- Canadians have 8 days to make a difference. On Tuesday, May 16, 2006, the National Census questionnaire will find it’s way to the 32.5 million people living in Canada. Unlike previous censuses, for the first time in the history, it will ask Canadian’s for their permission for their personal information to be included in the census of 2006.

The confidentiality question is of particular concern to genealogists and historians who fear that survey participants won’t realize the importance of saying ‘yes.’

Why should Canadians care about what happens almost a century from now?

The personal information of those who answered “no” or don’t answer the question will be irretrievably erased from the census. Important information about where and how we lived could be lost to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as to future historians and researchers.

“Important studies in the field of social history by Canadian scholars…have relied heavily on raw data found in census records,” adds Ian Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, in his March 31st address to Canadians regarding the census. “Historians have collectively shaped our national memory by shedding light on the history of the Canadian family, immigration and rural life. Without census records and the valuable information they contain, these…historians would lack the resources necessary to weave the tapestry of Canada’s rich and textured past.”

Recent changes to the Statistics Act mean that census information will be made available to researchers and genealogists on the 92nd anniversary of each census.

If Canadians don’t opt-in to have their information released to Library and Archives Canada in 2098, a family’s descendants may never be able to access this important research regarding where they came from and how their ancestors lived. One of the dangers is that typically one adult per household participates in the census, answers the questions and makes the decisions on behalf of the entire household. As a result, some young children will have no say in whether their grandchildren and great-children will be able to retrieve information about them in the year 2098 and beyond.

For genealogical services like online family research site the information gleaned from the national Census is critical for Canadians who wish to trace their family history or build a family tree. According to Senior Vice President, International, Andre Brummer, “There is a growing interest in family history research worldwide as people search for more information about where they came from and their backgrounds. We have to say “yes” to enable future generations to make a connection back to us.”

Although Canadians are legally required to fill out Census forms, answering ‘yes’ to the confidentiality question is entirely voluntary. This May 16th, say ‘yes’ and be a part of Canadian history. For more reasons to say ‘yes’, visit

For more information or to speak to a Canadian genealogist please contact:

Communications MECA on behalf of Lindsay Peterson, 416-425-9143 x229,; Tonisha Robinson, 416-425-9143 x230,


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