Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

OGS Continues to Advocate for the Protection of Unregistered Cemeteries

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

In Spring 2011, a group jointly representing OGS and the Ontario Historical Society had a meeting with the then Minister of Consumer Services, John Gerretsen. The result of this meeting was a commitment by the Registrar to register all Ontario cemeteries provided we could acquire location information for these cemeteries.

Since 2011, OGS volunteers have worked in the branches and Provincial Office, to gather GPS information for cemeteries across the province and send that information to the Registrar. To date, we have received no word that any of the previously unregistered cemeteries had been registered, so OGS President, Shirley Sturdevant, wrote a letter to the current Minister of Consumer Services to inquire about the delay.

The letter is available on the OGS Advocacy page and resulted in a request for a meeting from the Registrar.

The Ontario Genealogical Society continues to work for the protection of Ontario cemeteries.

OGS Applauds Huronia Regional Centre Cemetery Settlement

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

OGS 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.

The letter is available on the OGS website:

Advocate for Archives: Share your Story on the Usefulness of Archives

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

The Archives Association of Ontario has shared the following request with the research and archival community. As archives are a major source of information for genealogists, you may have a story you wish to share as well. If you do, please send an account of your experience to the President of the AAO at .

Here is their unabridged message:

“I have been contacted by the office of NDP MP Pierre Nantel, the Official Opposition Critic for Heritage, in order to gather evidence to advocate for a government commitment to archives. I have summarized the request I received from Mr. Nantel’s office below.

Quebec’s TVA network recently started reporting on the cuts to archives and are covering Mr. Nantel’s related questions in the House. Essentially they are looking to make the issues at hand as understandable as possible to the public. For example, he cites the following story from a TVA news report ” Library and Archive’s website shows internationally-renowned Quebec artists Luc Plamondon accepting a Juno, with a subtitle that says “an unidentified man with a Juno”! ( This is an easy-to-understand issue for the media and the public, and can be directly attached to the Harper Govt’s cuts.”

Mr. Nantel would like positive examples of historically significant items or documents that have been discovered by archivists or in archives. Things that would not have been discovered or celebrated if it wasn’t for archives/archivists (ie. if we’re all suffering cuts, there won’t be anyone to discover, interpret, or preserve this material). As a bonus, if you can provide an example of something related to the War of 1812 this would allow Mr. Nantel to “demonstrate that the Government’s interest in 1812 is all about show and no substance – and that real investment in our history has to involve the professionals that do the research.”

Please don’t limit yourselves to projects that were accomplished through NADP although these examples are still relevant. You can send me your examples by responding to this email ( There is some urgency to the matter as Mr. Nantel’s office wants to continue the wave of support generated from the TVA.”

Talk To Your MPP about Bill 126

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Image: Evgeni Dinev, link below

Bill 126 has passed first reading and we need to keep the momentum going if we want the Bill to become a law. Read the Bill here

It’s great to sign a petition but what the government really needs to hear is your thoughts and feelings on the importance of cemetery preservation.

The preamble to the Act states that:

“Ontario’s cemeteries are unique repositories of human history and the resting places of human remains and associated artifacts like grave markers, tombstones and monuments. They are important elements of our collective heritage, a priceless authentic historical record of the past and witnesses to the continuity of life in Ontario. Many of Ontario’s cemeteries also contain significant ecological features invaluable to the natural heritage of Ontario.”

Cemeteries in Ontario, particularly those that are inactive, are under attack from those who would route roads through and build residential or commercial properties on them. This must not be allowed to happen.

If you feel likewise, you need to tell your government that this practice of allowing our cemeteries to be destroyed must be stopped. Form letters are ignored, therefore in your own words,

Tell them:

  1. The sanctity of the deceased is of paramount concern.
  2. The deceased have a right to rest in peace in the tradition and custom of their religion or beliefs at the burial site of their choosing.
  3. Common human dignity must be respected.
  4. The living must be responsible for the care of the deceased.
  5. The cultural heritage to which burial sites bear witness must be maintained to ensure the historical record for future generations.

If we don’t respect these places, it would be disastrous for the continuity of the historical record and our collective culture in this province.

Contact the following and tell them what you want them to do. You can use the telephone, email, postal mail or, if you see them on the street, stop and talk with them.

Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario
Tim Hudak, Leader, Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Andrea Horwath, Leader, New Democratic Party of Ontario
John Gerretsen, Minister of Consumer Services (responsible for cemeteries)
Your local M.P.P.

Contact information is at

Hearing from you personally is the best way to make sure that they understand that this Act is important to you and should be passed into Law.

Time is of the essence as this Bill has only had 1st Reading. It needs to pass 2nd Reading, go through Committee hearings and then pass a 3rd Reading before it can be put into use. An election is scheduled for October 2011 and there will be the usual long summer recess so there is not much time to get all of the work done.

Please get busy!!

Image: Evgeni Dinev /

Help Make Bill 126 Law!

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Bill 126 – An Act to Protect Ontario’s Inactive Cemeteries was introduced at the Ontario Legislature on November 2nd. The Bill prohibits the relocation of inactive cemeteries despite anything to the contrary in another Act or regulation dealing with cemeteries.

We need your help to get the Bill passed.

Find out how you can help here: Bill 126 – An Act to Protect Ontario’s Inactive Cemeteries