FamilySearch International is going to make the indexes to the 1861, 1871, and 1916 census available online for free with the help of online volunteer indexers, and an agreement with Ancestry.ca.
The press release says that "Online volunteers are needed to help transcribe select information from digital images of the historical documents into easily searchable indexes."
The completed indexes will be available for free at <www.familysearch.org>.
If you want to become a volunteer, you can start right away by registering online at <familysearchindexing.org>, by downloading the free indexing software, and selecting the 1916 Canada Census project.
It will take about 30 minutes to finish one page of the census, and the volunteer has one week to finish it, if need be.
"The 1916 census was selected first because it is the most recent and smallest of the three census targeted in the first place. It included three of the western provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta), and has about 1.7-million names - so it will not take long to complete," said Stephen Young, FamilySearch Project Manager.
It is interesting that they have picked three personalities known to people, that is; Arthur Gordon Kelly (Art Linkletter), Sir William Samuel Stephenson (real-life inspiration for James Bond), and Elvina Fay Wray (Fay Wray) who appeared in the 1916 census as example of people you can meet along the way to indexing the census - to make it more interesting to transcribe, I suppose.
The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) owns, and is providing the digital images for, the Canada Census Project.