Advocacy

The Ontario Genealogical Society acts as the voice of Ontario genealogists on issues that could impact the ability of genealogists to find their families and preserve and share our common heritage. The following are some of the issues the Society feels strongly about, and the work we are doing. Please consider getting involved and adding your voice to the chorus.

Preserve the Fegan Home

The Society learned that the City of Toronto had a current interest in the site of the former Fegan Boys Distributing Home at 295 George St. in the City of Toronto. The structure was damaged by fire in 2012. Many of the boys passing through these walls left their mark by way of inscribing their names and the dates of their stays on the bricks. These names are still visible.

The Society, along with the broader genealogical and heritage community, requested that the City of Toronto seriously consider the historic significance of this treasure and find a way to preserve it and the information it holds.

The Society’s letter to the City of Toronto contains photos of genealogical information contained on the site of Fegan Home.

Huronia Regional Centre Cemetery Settlement

The Society’s then Secretary, Bob Crawford, on behalf of the Society, penned a letter applauding the recent settlement concerning the Huronia Regional Centre where the Ontario Government promised to maintain the cemetery attached to the Centre and create a registry of those who are buried there.

Release of 1921 Canada Census

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) took possession of the 1921 Canada Census from Statistics Canada 92 years following its compilation on June 1, 1921 as per the The Statistics Act. On its own blog dated June 4, 2013, LAC stated its intention to index the data “so it can be mined for historical and genealogical research as soon as possible.” As of June 18, 2013, there had been neither release of information about this index, nor further comment on release of the digitized census images to the public.

Shirley Sturdevant, then President of The Ontario Genealogical Society sent a letter on behalf of the Society encouraging the “timely release of these fully indexed and searchable records” to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Read the letter.

Society members and the general public were encouraged to write their own letters or emails of interest and concern and encourage the Minister to direct LAC to accommodate this request as promised.

The 1921 census was subsequently released and indexed, reflecting the public’s right to access this information.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

Cuts announced by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) will affect the ability of LAC to provide a high level of service to researchers and will affect the public’s ability to access records housed at LAC. The Ex Libris Association has produced a description of these changes and explanations of how researchers are impacted by them.

Additionally, LAC has announced cuts to programs that support archives throughout Canada, which will affect the ability of these organizations to continue to make Canada ‘s documentary history accessible.

Inactive and Unregistered Cemeteries

Bill 126, Inactive Cemeteries Protection Act, 2010, died due to the Legislature being prorogued on the 1st June. So, unfortunately, the impressive amount of work that done to promote the passage of this bill came to an end. Mr. Brownell, who introduced the Bill, did not run for office in the 2011 provincial election. We will have to see if we can find another champion in the legislature to work in our stead with the current government.

Read our Position Paper on Cemeteries. Find out about Unregistered Cemeteries.

Census and Census Records

Read our Position Paper on the Census and Census Records.

Print on Demand

Read our Position Paper on Print on Demand and the Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) Program.

War of 1812 Battle Honours

The Ontario Genealogical Society supports the group Honour Our War of 1812 Heroes in their fight to secure recognition for the military units which fought to protect Canada during the War of 1812 and to allow modern Canadian units to link their histories to these War of 1812 units who fought in a war that helped shape what would later become the nation of Canada.