Thursday, December 19, 2013

British Columbia STOP Telegram STOP Census Stats STOP 1893 STOP Indians Chinese Whites STOP

Census Telegrams

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Population British Columbia absolutely as follows: Vancouver Island  Indians, 5,325   Chinese 3,183  Whites 28,767   Mainland Indians 29,634, Chinese 5,727, Whites 26,045, total 61,406 STOP
White Majority STOP

February 26, 1893   to   April 18, 1893   Ten Telegrams

Two years previously ........

Ably reported by Patrick A. Dunae in 1998:

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The census was administered by the Department of Agriculture, under the direction of the deputy minister, John Lowe.

Since a permanent census office did not exist, Lowe had to establish an enumeration bureaucracy before the count could get underway. Early in 1891 support staff were seconded from several government departments and a Census Branch, managed by George Johnson, the government's chief statistician, was created. The actual process of enumeration, however, was in the hands of a hierarchy of non-governmental officials.

The hierarchy consisted of fourteen Chief Census Officers (four each for Ontario and Quebec and one each for the other provinces and the Northwest Territories), 241 Census Commissioners (also known as County Commissioners in Eastern Canada), and approximately 4,300 enumerators.  Nearly all census-takers were political appointees, to some extent. Few were better connected than George Sargison, a 64-year-old accountant in Victoria who was appointed Chief Census Officer for British Columbia.  Sargison was married to the sister of Frank (afterwards Sir Francis) Stillman Barnard, Conservative Member of Parliament for Cariboo. He was also related by marriage to John Andrew Mara, the Conservative MP for Yale. By order-in-council, he was appointed chief census officer for a five-month period commencing January 23, 1891, with a stipend of $605 plus expenses.

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.......For the most part, the populace seems to have been relatively cooperative, although on the Mainland some enumerators found it difficult to persuade the Native people to participate. On the Naas River, Greer noted,  Every Indian wants to know what this work is for, and some even want pay for using their names.  At one village, he recorded, I had to pay the Indians here tobacco to tell me names of their children and friends who were absent hunting or picking berries.  At another, he had to placate suspicious elders who supposed our mission was to find out how many of them there were, and then the Government would do away with them to get their  land. On the northern coast, Ronald Green had difficulty enlisting Chinese cannery workers who suspected that the census had something to do with the federal government's head tax. Chinese residents in Victoria were also suspicious of the government's motives. To allay their fears and encourage their participation, Sargison hired a Chinese interpreter to accompany enumerators in Victoria's Chinese quarter. Enumerators also encountered resistance among the white merchants in Vancouver and Victoria, who balked at reporting their investments and real estate holdings. Even so, there were very few prosecutions for non-compliance in the province. ...... 
.....During the count, George Sargison was in close contact with his census commissioners, clarifying their questions and explaining procedures. He had to explain the difference between the floating population (transients) and the population afloat (people residing on fishing boats or harbour craft and passengers on visiting steamships) to the Nanaimo commissioners. He had to explain to Gosnell in Vancouver that the city's new office blocks, however grandiose, had still to be recorded as uninhabited buildings. Sargison also had to deal with a query from the census commissioner in Kamloops, who asked how prostitutes were to be recorded.

December 20, 2013  Supreme Court of Canada's decision has struck down prostitution laws

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the country’s major prostitution laws, saying that bans on street soliciting, brothels and people living off the avails of prostitution create severe dangers for vulnerable women and therefore violate Canadians’ basic values. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, writing for a unanimous court, stressed that the ruling is not about whether prostitution should be legal or not, but about whether Parliament’s means of controlling it infringe the constitutional rights of prostitutes.

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