Sunday, 22 February 2015

What's the Canadian Government Hiding?

170,000 historic files overdue for transfer to The National Archives (TNA), review and public release have been identifies by an audit of one British government department.

While many of the files will be duplicates, and others will not be of archival value, some historians, accuse the British government of working to hush up unflattering episodes in British history.

In 2011, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office admitted that it was illegally holding 1,500 Kenya files, nearly 300 boxes, occupying 100 linear feet. Later, the office admitted to possessing 8,800 — and eventually 20,000 — colonial files, covering 37 former colonies, in breach of the Public Records Act.

In Canada we don't have an audit process that would uncover such illegal withholding of files. We do know we have a government that's unfriendly to public access. Can you say Residential Schools?

We do know that files, notably ships passenger lists post 1935, are being withheld. You can read about the restrictive terms under which those records can be accessed from Citizenship and Immigration Canada through the Library and Archives Canada description of the Access to Information process at

1 comment:

Gail B said...

Thank you for this. LAC is gutted, as we know; the scientific reporting community undone. Yes, I can say Residential Schools, we all know now about this.

Here by dragons. We can not negotiate the murky waters that includes no data collection from the Feds.