1906 Canadian Census Released Today

by E.B. Lapointe

A Special Bulletin Exclusive to GenealogyToday.com

(Ottawa) - The Minister of Industry responsible for Statistics Canada, Alan Rock, and Shelia Copps, the Heritage Minister responsible for the National Archives, have just announced that the 1906 Special Census of the three Canadian Prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta has been released to the National Archives of Canada, so that it can made ready for researchers to view.

After many months of discussion regarding Canada’s privacy laws, and how they apply to the release of primary historical documents, such as census records—along with a review of many hours of input by the country’s historians and genealogists—the departments responsible for the collection and distribution of heritage documents have agreed to release this particular record. (It should be noted that the release of this census is so important because it has documented the thousands of European immigrants who were just starting to go to the western part of Canada).

Minister Rock stated in his press release today that “The 1906 census records are an invaluable source of information for anyone doing research into the families and communities of the Prairie provinces.” As he pointed out, the 1906 census recorded the respondent's name, address, age, sex, martial status, and country of origin.

Minister Copps, in the same press release, stated that “It contains data useful to all who are interested by Canadian history and by the genealogy of the great Canadian family.”

It had also been anticipated that news would be released today on the status of the post-1901 country-wide census, but such was not the case. However, it was stated that the government has concluded that more clarification is needed to the Statistics Act before the question of releasing post-1901 censuses can be actioned. A study of both the Statistics Act and the Privacy Act, as it pertains to census records, will have to be completed before legislation can be introduced to the Canadian Parliament for debate and possible passage. Readers will be kept updated on the progress of both the discussion and subsequent legislation.

For more information on the release of the 1906 census, please contact the Reference Desk at the National Archives in Ottawa at (613) 992-3884 or toll-free, 1-888-578-7777.

To view the 1906 Census, please go to the National Archives website at http://www.archives.ca.

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