Thursday, 6 June 2013

1921 Census of Canada Count-up: Day 5

This is Day 5 since the 1921 census officially passed into the custody of Library and Archives Canada.

At LAC on Tuesday I went to the Genealogy Desk and almost before I could open my mouth was told there was nothing new regarding the 1921 census;  they`re obviously getting questions. I`m attempting to find out how and by whom the decision to not promptly release the census was made.

Undoubtedly the reduced number of staff at LAC, including the loss of some of the best people who chose to leave rather than put up with nonsensical dictates, has something to do with it.

LAC`s claim that they could not do anything until the census was in their custody is rubbish. Statistics Canada has a Research Data Centres (RDC) Program.

RDCs provide researchers with access, in a secure university setting, to microdata from population and household surveys. The centres are staffed by Statistics Canada employees. They are operated under the provisions of the Statistics Act in accordance with all the confidentiality rules and are accessible only to researchers with approved projects who have been sworn in under the Statistics Act as 'deemed employees.'
If Stats Can allows university researchers access to confidential data why if approached properly would they not extend the same privilege to  LAC staff so they could prepare census material for prompt release?

1 comment:

M.C. Moran said...

The contrast between the timely (well-planned, and well-orchestrated) release of the 1940 US Federal Census and the what? (release? maybe? at some point in the as-yet-undefined future...?) of the 1921 Census of Canada is just embarrassing.