Library and Archives Canada: Opening Government Records

February 26, 2016

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United States Judge Damon Keith wrote: “Democracies die behind closed doors.” At Library and Archives Canada (LAC), as part of our commitment to Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government, we are working to open doors through open information, open data, and open dialogue. We are guided in this work by the Directive on Open Government, introduced by the Treasury Board Secretariat in 2014.

LAC’s main commitment to the plan is to open archived government records. Since 2010, we have opened more than ten million pages of Canadian government records. They document all aspects of Canadian public life, from our military history to the records of residential schools, from our diplomatic and trade relationships with foreign governments to celebrations of our founding as a nation. Canadians can visit the Library and Archives Canada website to search for records online or start planning an in-person visit.

Memory organizations throughout the world, such as libraries, archives, and museums, are responding to users who rank access to information, along with fresh water and breathable air, as a fundamental right. At the core of our mandate is facilitating public access to our documentary heritage, including the records of the Government of Canada.

Another commitment to the Action Plan on Open Government is to ensure that in the near future, the vast majority of government documents that arrive at LAC for archiving will already be open. The Directive on Open Government requires departments to maximize the removal of access restrictions on records before they come to us, and requires us to establish the criteria which allow records to be made available to the public as soon as possible.

LAC is currently consulting with a number of government departments on the best ways to make government documentary heritage available in the future. I would like to thank those departments for their commitment to this. Working with them, we are also drafting policies and directives which will make the entire process transparent. As a result, Canadians will have better access to their documentary heritage, government departments will have a useful tool for information management, and the conditions of access, as well as the security of government documents, will be clear to all.

We are also working with the Treasury Board Secretariat and Public Services and Procurement Canada on creating a service within the Open Government Portal to make much more Government of Canada information (e.g., publications and archives) discoverable and accessible to Canadians.

The bottom line is that the Government of Canada is committed to providing access to government information to Canadians wherever and whenever they want it.

Dr. Guy Berthiaume
Librarian and Archivist of Canada

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Comments

Submitted by Paulette Huff … on March 01, 2017 - 2:57 PM

Where can I find a list of Cadanian Immigates from 1865 to 1910 from Sweden.

Submitted by open-ouvert on March 01, 2017 - 4:50 PM

Hi, Thank you for your comment. You may be able to obtain this information by submitting a request for custom IRCC data. To submit a request for data, please email the statistiques-statistics@cic.gc.ca mailbox with a detailed description of your requested report. Please note that ad hoc requests for data may require a cost recovery fee to be paid as per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. I hope this helps. Momin, Open Government team.

Submitted by Donna Warren, … on January 27, 2017 - 7:10 PM

I was just about to write you when I saw this page. I was reading something about weather patterns, rising sea levels, and became concerned about some of our records collections. We are spending a lot right now to get archival electronic records off of shared drives and that is good. But you also need to plan to move some large collections to higher ground, sometime in the next 25-50 years. I was particularly concerned about Veterans Records, and perhaps the Winnipeg records centre. How far are they above flood levels? Thanks Donna Warren, Information and Records Management Consultant

Submitted by Husky on December 14, 2016 - 7:32 PM

?

In reply to by Husky

Submitted by open-ouvert on December 15, 2016 - 3:05 PM

Not sure what your question is here, Husky, but we'd love to provide a response if you can give us just a few more details. Thanks so much, Karin - open-ouvert team

Submitted by lisemorand42@y… on July 18, 2016 - 12:59 AM

Bonsoir, je me demande si je peux avoir accès à une certaine banque de données pour faire de la Généalogie sur Internet . J'aimerais beaucoup aider les gens sur Facebook à trouver leurs racines et pouvoir faire leur livre d'histoire familiale. J'ai 74 ans et je suis membre de plusieurs sites de généalogie, mais malheureusement ils n'ont pas tout. Je recherche encore sans avoir trouvé pour continuer la lignée ancestrale de mon gendre et de mon beau-frère. Je comprends très bien la difficulté que les gens peuvent éprouver et c'est un peu la raison qui me pousse à agir. Vous comprenez aujourd'hui avec toutes ces familles reconstituées les futures générations ne l'auront pas facile pour se retrouver dans tout ce casse-tête. Je me dis que si chaque famille arrive à faire son livre familial et bien leurs problèmes seront à moitié réglés. L'an passé, je parlais avec une petite fille et bien elle ne savait pas qui étaient les véritables parents de sa mère et de son père. Imaginez cette pauvre petite m'énumérait les noms de ses papis et mamies et il y en avait tellement que je n'ai pas été capable de me retrouver dans tout ceci. Vous dire que j'ai cru comprendre chaque papi et mamie de chaque conjoint ou conjointe de ses parents s' étaient pris d'affection pour cette petite et continuaient de communiquer avec elle! Imaginez pour les parents qui ont 3 ou 4 et + enfants avec chaque conjoint , quel méli-mélo pour ces enfants. Si je peux aider quelqu'un avec mon expérience dans ce domaine et bien je me ferai un plaisir de le faire. Merci de votre bonne compréhension et de votre bonne collaboration. Lise Morand

Submitted by lisemorand42@y… on July 18, 2016 - 12:32 AM

Bonsoir J'aimerais avoir l'histoire du Canada de ses débuts à aujourd'hui. Je sais que Jacques Cartier a découvert le Canada en 1534, mais j'aimerais avoir un résumé accompagné de belles photos pour placer sur ma page Facebook. Je veux commencer dès demain le 18 juillet 2016, sur ma page Facebook : HISTOIRE ET GÉNÉALOGIE DU CANADA. Par la suite, j'aimerais bien ajouter chaque province de notre beau pays qu'est le Canada, afin de faire connaître notre Histoire. Peu importe la province, nous avons toute notre histoire à raconter pour faire connaître davantage notre coin de pays. Je suis native de Trois-Rivières et j'ai 74 ans et je veux faire connaître mon pays au monde entier, et ceci, avant la fin de ma vie sur terre. Alors vous comprenez comme moi que je me dois de presser le pas et ne pas attendre davantage, si je veux réaliser mon projet. J'ai de la documentation dans mes livres de Racine de la Maison Laffont et quelques livres de l'Historien Jacques Lacoursière, mais je préfère avoir la documentation venant de vous les Archives canadiennes. J'ai vu sur le site acadien une très belle collection de photos représentant la vie au Canada des premiers arrivants, fait par un artiste peintre et que parcs Canada avait acheté sa collection, afin de ne pas perdre cette richesse. Je remercie sincèrement parcs Canada de cette belle initiative, car c'est une vraie richesse pour notre pays de posséder une telle collection de belles photos et/ou de toiles de cette époque! J'ai besoin de votre aide afin de présenter les vraies choses concernant notre beau pays pour le présenter au monde entier. Je ne veux pas aller contre la loi pour mon projet, mais je sais qu'en m'adressant à vous de la Bibliothèque des Archives du Canada, vous possédez déjà tout ce dont j'ai besoin pour commencer mon beau projet demain. Merci de votre bonne compréhension et de votre belle collaboration , Lise Morand

Submitted by James Richard … on June 23, 2016 - 6:18 PM

My name is James Douglas and my rights have been completely ignored by alot of your policies and regulations.... Personal Health information that is very sensitive has been released and told to multiple agents working for the agencies you represent. My home has been broken into, on a daily basis and all my garbage rooted through and to be quite frank, all everyone of my civil liberties have been violated.... I need to request a meeting to confirm all of this factual information im writing down at this time... Rev canada, TBS and Federal privacy commisioner, all of my letters sent have not been by me, and not only that but my health card and has been sent out to multiple agents and along with my license and all personal information has been revealed and not only that but very sensitive health information...please i dont have a email address bc they have all been compromised by the so called government agencies..... Myu rights seem to be taken away and i want them back,,,Along with my life please...Ive been humiliated to the extreme and i want to be apologised to and make further arrangements

Submitted by Mike Gifford on May 23, 2016 - 4:04 PM

I'm happy to hear about the progress in this area. A lot of work was done 6 years ago to set up a mechanism so that there mechanism to provide more permanent government citations. Worth checking out http://citability.pbworks.com