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Cons, Clement have been plugging their ears on census from orgs.

So, the National Statistics Council has issued a press release (detailed at the link from Macleans) calling for a compromise over the contentious changes the Conservative government had tried to issue in secret to the Census in killing the longform mandatory aspect of it. Basically, keep the longform mandatory, but remove the threat of jail time for those who refuse to answer it, and commit to studying what questions might be too “intrusive” or not in time for the 2016 Census.

There is nothing in there that I object to; I think what they suggest makes sense, and the government would be wise to accept those recommendations. What’s more […]


Do some research

That’s my advice to media folks, like Globe and Mail Columnist Neil Reynolds, who tries to say a Census isn’t necessary at all – look at the Europeans – they don’t have one! He then goes to wonder why Harper and company couldn’t have put that forward as an idea to replace the Census (all of it, not just the mandatory longform).

The Scandinavian European countries is a very bad example to be using as an argument not to have a Census of any type, much less a mandatory longform part, as they collect more data, not less, and they are certainly using a system that is more Big Brother’ish, […]


Funny Star cartoon on Harper and the Census

Pretty accurate, I’d say..

Patrick Corrigan is the Toronto Star’s editorial cartoonist. This was his editorial cartoon for the Saturday paper. A list of others can be found here.


New poll: Canadians support keeping mandatory census by 2-1 margin.

I’ve been telling many of our Conservative friends who’ve been pointing to the Ipsos-Reid poll saying that nearly half of Canadians said the changes to getting rid of the mandatory longform were “good” to wait on other polls before asserting that number to be rock solid.

And sure enough, courtesy of Norman Spector in the Globe, comes word of a new Angus-Reid poll released today that shows overwhelming support for retaining the mandatory longform census:

.. according to the poll (margin of error 3.1 points), 52 per cent of Canadians think the government should reverse its decision and keep the mandatory long form census. Only 27 per cent support the […]


My back and forth with London A-News over their census coverage

I’d been meaning to post this sooner, but other events kind of interrupted my intention, so here it is now, for your consideration. When the Census controversy was first brewing last week, it dutifully got reported on last Sunday evening’s broadcast of A-News London (they are a CTV affiliate) as a fight between the Liberals and Conservatives – no mention of the countless editorials and organizations that even then were condemning the move. The station then broadcast excerpts of an interview they did with ex-Cabinet minister (and new apparent point-man for attacking the tyrannical mandatory longform Census and the Liberals who defended it) Maxime Bernier, who happened to be in […]


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 […]


Dan Gardner nails it, I think, on why the Cons want to ditch the mandatory longform census

Dan’s article in the Ottawa Citizen deals mostly with the Conservative government’s hypocrisy on the Conservatives rationale for removing the mandatory longform census because it’s too intrusive on people’s privacy, while at the same time leaving other more intrusive measures in place. That segues into his theory as to why the Conservatives are doing this move to the longform, and I think he nails it:

Hard-core conservatives have long seen the census as the foundation of left-wing social engineering. And not without some justification. Programs like employment equity couldn’t function without census data. Stephen Harper would love to scrap such programs but he wouldn’t dare under current circumstances. And so, […]


Here’s a great example of why Harper wants to gut StatsCanada

Some people have mused that the longform census mandatory form being axed is less of an attempt to bolster the Conservative Tea Party base, then it is to make data less reliable that might cause Harper and his Conservative government grief.

Take this report this morning released by Statistics Canada. It provides very inconvenient facts to counter his ideological rants on the “tough on crime” legislation the Conservatives insist is needed:

Crime rate continues to drop, StatsCan finds

The numbers, rates and severity of crimes reported to police dropped again last year, continuing a 10-year trend, Statistics Canada reports. The numbers fly in the face of the federal Tory government’s […]


A Song In Support of the LongForm Census – ‘Count Me In’

Who says Canadians don’t care about the Census controversy! Check this song that was made by a group of Canadians regarding the Census, called “Count Me In!” – sung in support of keeping the mandatory longform Census:


Even George Bush/US Congressional Republicans weren’t this crazy (on census).

An amusing item comes up today from Canadian Press, courtesy Jennifer Ditchburn, detailing what happened back in 2003, during the reign of President George W. Bush, and an investigation whether or not to make their mandatory census volunteer instead:

The U.S. Census Bureau conducted an experiment in 2003 with a voluntary version of its usually mandatory American Community Survey. The survey is a long form that has detailed questions similar to Canada’s long census form.

The American agency found that response rates dropped by a third with the voluntary process. The numbers of Blacks and Hispanics who mailed back the voluntary survey dropped to around 20 per cent — […]

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