Monday, April 17, 2006

JUST SAY 'YES' TO HISTORY. Bill Waiser's op-ed piece in the Globe and Mail this past Friday, April 14th, urges all Canadians to answer "yes" to survey question 53 on National Census Day, May 16th 2006. Question 53 asks whether or not you consent to having your census material released once the newly-instituted 92 year (don't ask) holding period is up. Doing the historically unthinkable and answering "no" will deprive historians out of your data long after (sorry) you are dead. Bill was prominent in the public campaign that eventually resulted in federal legislation instituting the 92-year release date, which marks a considerable advance on Canada's previous standard of "never". (Americans, mind you, release their vital statististics after just 70 years, and nobody much minds.) Answering Question 53 in the affirmative on May 16th will allow future generations of genealogists and historians and who-knows-who to delve into one of the most fundamental historical sources there is. So just say yes to history.