Aboriginal groups says census changes are unconstitutional - Macleans.ca

Aboriginal groups says census changes are unconstitutional

Skewed data will prevent feds from delivering mandatory services: lawyer


A coalition of Atlantic aboriginals is challenging the federal government’s decision to scrap the long form census before the Federal Court. Alex Smith, the lawyer representing the group, told the Court the change is unconstitutional, since it will compromise the government’s ability to carry out its constitutional duties to aboriginal people by skewing the data. “It’s not a representative survey if it’s not mandatory,” Smith said. The aboriginal groups hope the court will issue an injunction that would stop the new voluntary survey and reinstate the long-form census.

Toronto Star

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Aboriginal groups says census changes are unconstitutional

  1. '…by manipulating census data collected on the reserves'

    And i bet you don't have even one iota of evidence.

    • If the cowardly media turned a critical eye towards aboriginal leadership then you would have all the evidence, but the media have neither the courage nor the desire to expose them.

      • What? Do you not read every paper in this country? All have published on this issue – and a very one-sided account, I'd add.

  2. yikes .. .. Why ? Why the ugly words..why more dehumanization of yourself and others?

    Have you ever sat in a healing circle and treated an Aboriginal person as human being?

    Have you ever deeply listened and learned?

    The kind of listening that is more than hearing words.

    The kind of listening that is founded on a profound respect for all creation.

    The kind of listening that is connected to heart more than head.

    The kind of listening that hears beyond the interference of one's own biases and prejudices.

    • Aboriginal leadership 'de-humanizes' the people who live on reserves – they did not even want the charter of rights, human rights!, to apply to people who live on reserves!

      You are using condescending words to make excuses for wealthy aboriginal leaders, you should be ashamed.

    • You have to get used to Philanthropist. Everything is black and white. Anecdotes are deployed to explain how extremely complex issues have extremely non-complex answers. To wit;

      Aboriginal groups are against a government decision. This critique does not matter as all aboriginals are under the jackboots of corrupt chiefs and their enabling Liberal bureaucrats and the Liberal media. Therefore you are wrong and a corrupt Liberal for trying to demonstrate otherwise.

      He takes examples of abuse of power, projects them onto his 'enemies' and blasts righteousness at those who would dare disagree. It is best not to bait such trolls.

      • Chiefs do abuse their power, you can make excuses for them, but I don't have to 'project' anything.

        Chiefs did not want the charter of rights to apply to aboriginals on reserves, rights that even prisoners have, and they got away with that for many years – thanks to their Liberal/NDP pals.

        And you know very well that the media is condescending towards the aboriginal community by refusing to scrutinize their actions.

        You reveal your narrow-minded views by calling an issue 'extremely complex' and use that as an excuse to take no position and do nothing while other people suffer. You are the troll.

  3. since it will compromise the government's ability to carry out its constitutional duties to aboriginal people by skewing the data.

    Wow. The Aboriginal leadership is going with the argument that the people they claim to represent are too stupid to voluntarily get themselves counted, even though getting counted would further their own individual and collective interests of state-supported dependency.

    I suggest Aboriginal people might wish to reconsider who represents them.

    • The lawyer said about 98 per cent of the long forms are filled out and returned, but only about 40 to 50 per cent of voluntary surveys are ever returned.

      She said the data resulting from a smaller sample size could prompt the government to conclude that services are no longer required for aboriginal people'.

      Maybe it's not as cut and dried as you surmise. If it aint broke…'

    • What you're suggesting – certain groups making sure to fill out the voluntary form while other don't – will invariably produce skewed data, something the Aboriginals are actually trying to fight against. How ordinary Canadians have such a poor grasp of even the most basic statistics is very sad.

      • Yes, I understand completely the "skewed data" problem with a voluntary census — I have argued many times that if Harper / Clement really believed that rights were the problem, they should just cancel the long form entirely.

        But don't for a minute try to suggest with a straight face that the Aboriginal representatives are pure and merciful and trying to save this country from unreliable data. They are arguing that the people they represent can't be taught by their own leadership (or figure out for themselves) that failing to cooperate with the voluntary census works against their own gravy-train interests. Statistical purity has nothing to do with this legal action; pure naked greed does.

        "This government decision is unconstitutional. You can't make this voluntary, for then I might not participate. IT'S MY RIGHT to be forced to comply!!" Wow.

    • Madeyoulook – this is the kind of twisted logic that currently grips our misguided government in this issue. It displays your lack of understanding statistics and highlights your bigotry.

      Besides, you forget that this issue was supposedly created by this government to enable those who wish to refuse to complete the long form census. You can't suck and blow at the the same time, you just end up sounding like an idiot.

      • Rob — trust me, I get the stats. This isn't about the stats. It's about the money. And the bigotry is BUILT RIGHT IN to the assumptions and arguments used by the legal representatives of the allegedly aggrieved group.

  4. nothing in the charter says those rights are absolute, welcome to canada.

  5. The original article identifies aboriginal leaders concerns with surveying their members who live off the reserves, not on them. This is an important distinction because they are considered as a group more invisible and more likely to not fill out a voluntary survey, thus further returning flawed community data. They have a right to be concerned.

    There is no justifiable excuse for this government to pay an additional estimated $300 million dollars to return a more skewed result. It may make ideological sense to "believers", but it makes no logical sense to everyone else.

    This issue must be fought and won for Canada.

  6. I lived near a reserve these complaints like many from the natives in urban areas are unfounded.I can remember at this time of the year those kids would receive all kinds of expensive toys from generous people especially bicycles .within a week these bikes would be out in ditches in heavy rain ,toys strewn all over.My family was poor white kids we got sweet tweet and our parents worked their butts off and a big night may be a beer with a neighbor and a card game.I am tired of natives whining while their Chiefs are ripping them off big time Stand up an be counted in your own community

    • Our Lions Club have a request in from the Squamish reserve here in North Vancouver for 300 Christmas Hampers for "poor" families. This from one of the richest bands in Canada – go figure.