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A resignation with honour (and calling out the Conservative ideologues with grace)

I’ve gained the utmost respect for this man, the now former head of Statistics Canada, Munir Sheikh:

There has been considerable discussion in the media regarding the 2011 Census of Population.
There has also been commentary on the advice that Statistics Canada and I gave the government on this subject. I cannot reveal and comment on this advice because this information is protected under the law. However, the government can make this information public if it so wishes. I have always honoured my oath and responsibilities as a public servant as well as those specific to the Statistics Act.

I want to take this opportunity to comment on a technical statistical issue which has become the subject of media discussion. This relates to the question of whether a voluntary survey can become a substitute for a mandatory census.

It can not.

Under the circumstances, I have tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister.

A professional, and a very professional calling out of the Conservative Tea Party ideologues that are in power.

FURTHER THOUGHT: I want to hear how Tony Clement squares this with his earlier comments that the head guy of StatsCan was all hunky dory with this obviously political, ideological move. That was about as equivocal a statement as there could be that a voluntary census was not what he recommended.

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7 comments to A resignation with honour (and calling out the Conservative ideologues with grace)

  • Ottlib

    StatsCan has been very vigilent in not getting involved in the politics of this whole mess. They have been good public servants and made certain they did not say anything to contradict what Mr. Clement and the government were saying. Mind you they did not say anything to support their assertions either.

    I believe the last straw was Mr. Clement claiming that Dr. Sheikh agreed with this decision when it is obviously not true.

    At that point it became about Dr. Sheikh’s personal reputation and he could not stand by to see it sullied by the lies of this government. However, he also could not clean up his reputation without involving StatsCan politically in this scandal.

    So, by resigning he keeps StatsCan out of it while allowing himself the freedom to clear the air.

    Of course, Dr. Sheikh’s resignation just put the reversal of this decision out of reach. The Conservatives have passed that point where they can reconsider their decision without doing themselves more political damage than sticking to their guns. They are now committed and their is no turning back.

    • @Ottlib — yes but they wouldn’t have changed their minds anyway. Harper is too committed to appeasing their “base”.

      • But part of his own base — evangelicans, for instance — rely upon an accurate census in their work and planning. That the Stephen Harper government has become addicted to polling and focus grouping for its decisions and actions knows the importance of reliable, constant data. But that’s only if the data can be used against their opponents.
        Big government is here already. Harper’s fat-ass plan to dumb down, drown out and defile Canada’s social services is in high speed.

  • “I want to hear how Tony Clement squares this with his earlier comments that the head guy of StatsCan was all hunky dory with this obviously political, ideological move. ”

    Wanna bet the word “elite” comes up?

  • Roll Tide

    Warren Kinsella to head StatsCan.

  • Nam

    “It can not.”

    The Cons will just hire a new hack who’ll say it can.

  • Big Winnie

    Succintly said. No room for argument!

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