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The legal fight begins on the Census.

With regards to the Conservative government ditching the mandatory aspect of the longform census, there have been more then a few charges that this move is not constitutionally legal. Basically, the argument has been that this move violates the Official Languages Act, as well as the Constitution. There have been more then a couple of analysts who say the former allegation has merit. Both allegations are about to be ruled on in Canada’s courts:

Census: All-out legal attack launched

A French-Canadian group is launching a legal attack on multiple fronts against the federal government’s move to scrap the mandatory long-form census. The group has not only asked Federal Court to void the Harper government’s new policy, but also wants an injunction that would keep the new type of census from being distributed this year. It is also asking the court to fast-track its case so that it can be heard by mid-October, before the government distributes the 2011 census…

The Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities of Canada tabled its papers in Federal Court on July 26. The Canadian Press obtained copies of those documents today. The federation argues that Ottawa’s move violates not only the Official Languages Act, but also the Constitution’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Hopefully, the outcome of this legal action will come out the correct way for us all, since it appears Harper and his band of government who’d rather just act on hunches then actual evidence, are ideologically determined to destroy reliable data from the long-form census. There is still time for Harper to reverse his decision of course, but I’ve my doubts we’ll see him back down from this, if he has not done so after all this pressure. It will take the courts to legally force him to reinstate it, or another government to do so once this sorry lot gets thrown out of office – the sooner the better.

2 comments to The legal fight begins on the Census.

  • Observer

    The compromise and most reasonable solution is for the form to still be mandatory but the penalty changed from threats of jail to threats of fines up to $300. Most people would probably comply.

  • One can hope that this will be successful, but I’m not holding my breath. A similar challenge was made when Harper killed the Court Challenges Program (on the bilingualism argument) and it didn’t really get that far. Frankly, the PM should just admit he was wrong … which would be extraordinary for him but at least it would be the honest thing to do.

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