A message from Ian E. Wilson,
Librarian and Archivist of Canada
March 31, 2006
Every five years Statistics Canada conducts a national Census of Population. The next Census Day is Tuesday, May 16, 2006.
The National Census is an unparalleled source of information about Canada and its population. Information about seniors, immigrants, ethnic groups and workers that might otherwise be lost is captured and stored through census data. Also, because the census is conducted every five years using consistent lines of questions, it is possible to compare even subtle changes that have occurred in the demographics of Canada's population over time.
Those of you who have done historical research or who have read history know the value of census records. Important studies in the field of social history by Canadian scholars such as Chad Gaffield, Bettina Bradbury, Bruce Elliott and Ruth Sandwell have relied heavily on raw data found in census records. These 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 and other social historians would lack the resources necessary to weave the tapestry of Canada's rich and textured past.
Census data are transferred to Library and Archives Canada and made publicly available 92 years after they are recorded. This year, for the first time, Canadians will have the opportunity to choose if they wish to have their census information shared with future Canadians in this way. Information gathered in 2006 will be transferred from Statistics Canada to Library and Archives Canada in 2098, for those who gave their permission. These records will provide a wealth of information for future historians and those with an interest in the history and development of Canada.
I am inviting you to count yourself in on Census Day this year and to be sure to indicate your agreement to help ensure that your role in Canada's history is recognized now and well into the future. You, too, can take an active role in the promotion of Census Day 2006 by encouraging your friends to also take their place in history. Together, we can help ensure a strong and vital Canadian historical record that will benefit future generations.
2006 Census of Canada [www12.statcan.ca/english/census/Index.cfm]
For historical information visit: