Canadian Politicans: Come to Your Census!

In this op-ed for the Globe and Mail, four leading Canadian scholars argue that the Harper government's unilateral decision to scrap the long form census should be put to a vote in the House of Commons.
August 11, 2010, 11am PDT | Michael Dudley
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Mel Cappe, Pierre Fortin, Michael Mendelson and John Richards write that Canadians' core values of "peace order and good government" require the vital data produced by the long form census, which is set to be scrapped. The opposition parties, they suggest, must defend it:

"For many decades, the census generated detailed information by way of a 'long form' that a random 20 per cent of households are required to complete. The average family can expect to complete the form twice in a lifetime. In June, with no prior consultation, the government substituted a voluntary National Household Survey. As former chief statistician Munir Sheikh said at the time of his resignation, the data arising from the proposed voluntary survey will not be reliable.

This is an occasion for MPs to stand up and be counted. We call for the three opposition leaders to agree on the text of a resolution in defence of census integrity and preservation of the mandatory long form, and to state publicly their intent to move it upon reopening of the House of Commons."

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Published on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 in The Globe and Mail
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