February 27, 1911

LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

Copies will be sent to the library, I have several extra copies on hand.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   HAGUE ARBITRATION PRO CEEDINGS.
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Motion agreed to.


THE CENSUS.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax) moved :

For a copy of all enactments, regulations, documents, papers and information of every kind setting forth or showing the systems or method by which the census is taken in the United Kingdom, the British Dominions and foreign countries, respectively; and showing in what respect, if any, the principle, system or method adopted in the United Kingdom, the British Dominions, and foreign countries differs from that proposed for the approaching census in Canada.

He said : I have put this motion on the Order Paper for the purpose of getting some information which I have found it difficult to collect in the time at my command. I do not know how far the method which we use for taking the census of this country is in use by other countries which take a census of their population at regular intervals, as I found it somewhat difficult to get much information upon that point within a reasonably limited time in the library. For that reason I would like to have a return brought down giving this information to the House, and the country, and I would be glad if the occasion would be utilized by my hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture, who, of course, has had great experience upon this question, to give us a brief statement covering in a general way the information which I hope will be brought down in more detail in the return. I have an impression, I do know whether it is correct or not, that in many other countries a different system is followed from that which we have pursued hitherto. I understand tha.t there was at one time a debate in this House upon the expediency of adopting some other method. I trust that there will be no objection to having the return brought down at as early a dav as possible. It would be very interesting to us at the present time, when we are approaching the taking of another census.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I would not like to attempt to give in detail a description of the way in which we take our census, and the way in which the census is taken in other countries. I shall be glad to have a memorandum brought down giving the information which my hon. friend asks for. I may say in a general way that we take in Canada what is called the de jure census and not the de facto. The United States follow the de jure system as we do. The system in England is the de facto. The de jure census is taken for a particular date, all the questions asked having reference to that date. For the coming census the date will be the first day of June. The enumerators are given a reasonable time in which to take the information, going from house to house and filling the schedules. That information covers a great deal besides a simple counting of the people. One schedule has a list of personal questions, another deals with mortuary statistics, another with industrial affairs, another with fisheries, another with agriculture, and so on. The information thus collected is sent in, and is compiled in the census office here in a series of tables, which appear in the census report. The same thing is done in the United States. In England very little is taken beyond the actual counting of the people, and that is all done on one day. The forms are left in every house, the inmates are expected

to fill them up, and then they are collected. Very little information is taken beyond personal information, such as the age and sex of the individual, and things of that kind. Anything with regard to business is taken separately, and almost wholly by correspondence. Forms are sent to business houses, filled up and returned.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Are these embodied in the census returns?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No, the information is issued in special bulletins. For the last ten years or so I have been doing, in the Department of Census and Statistics, a good deal of that work between the decennial censuses, getting information in the same way by correspondence. In this country, besides the decennial census of the whole country, we have to take a quinquennial census of the western provinces for population. In the last one 1 took advantage of the opportunity to get a great deal of agricultural information. The year before that we got by correspondence a good deal of information about manufacturing. At another time we made a dairy census, at another time we got the general crop returns of the whole country. This year all that information will be given in the census schedules. Each individual will give a statement of his own business, and the information will be more accurate than it can possibly be when obtained by correspondence.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The enumerators of the regular census are sworn ; the correspondence is not sworn to ; but in the Census Act there is a penalty provided for anyone who supplies false information.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

As to the population,

what we have recorded in the census of Canada is not the number of people actually in Canada on a certain day, but those who have the right to be? Is that it?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

We count the people whose homes are in Canada. If they happen to be absent at the moment, we still count them, but, on the other hand, if a person from another country happens to be travelling in Canada, he is not counted

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

The question of who has the right to be counted must depend upon the truthfulness of the person who gives the information. Is there any check in any way by the enumerators?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

None, except by question. Instructions are given as to who shall be considered a resident. This is described to the householder or person who gives the information. For instance, a father of a family whose son happens to be away for a month-his statement in regard to that Mr. FISHER.

is accepted. I may say that a discussion has arisen on various occasions as to the advisability of changing our method and adopting the de facto instead of the de jure census. I have been rather impressed with the advantage of the de facto system. But I have to recognize the fact that the census of Canada has been taken some five times now, and always upon the de jure system. If we were to make a change and adopt the de facto census, comparisons would not be quite fair. So, I have not thought it well to attempt to make any change.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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CON

John Waterhouse Daniel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DANIEL.

From whom does the enumerator take his information, as to those whose homes are in Canada at the time the census is taken? Is that information taken from other members of the family alone, or is any one allowed to go to the enumerator and state that so and so is in the United States and expects to come back sooner or later, and hand in his name and have it recorded?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The questions are put to the householders. The enumerators go to the dwellings in their district. In each dwelling they seek to find a responsible person, the head of the family as a rule, or, if it is a boarding house, the keeper of the house, and ask who are residing there at the time. Should there be no resident in the dwelling house at the time, he will try to find out who are the absent people. It would be only people in charge of the dwelling house who would have the right to say who those are who usually dwell in that House but are absent. As to one going to the enumerator and saying that a certain person is absent from Canada but will return, and getting his name recorded in that way, it would be impossible.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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CON

John Waterhouse Daniel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DANIEL.

That information, I take it, is accepted only from the householder, and from no one else-for instance, not from the clergyman of the parish or any one of that kind?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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LIB
CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

What would happen in thia case? Suppose that the minister (Mr. Fisher) himself happened to be in Victoria at the time the census was taken, would he be counted in Ottawa and likewise in Victoria?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No, I should be counted at my home. If I happened to be away, the person in charge would be asked who was in my house. The answer would be that I was the householder but happened to be away, and would give whatever information they could. The hotelkeeper in Victoria, when questioned, would say: Mr. Fisher is here, but he does not live here and that enumerator would not enter my name.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

So far as a hotel is concerned, the proprietor would be supposed to give the names of those who actually live there all the time? And they would be counted?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS.
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February 27, 1911