Documents show StatsCan tried to fight decision to kill long-form census

Advisory panel described change as ‘devastating’


According to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request, Statistics Canada’s arm’s length panel of experts resented the government’s unilateral decision to scrap the long-form census. The government-appointed National Statistics Council was kept in the dark about the decision. And though most of its members kept quiet through the controversy, documents obtained by Postmedia News show a flurry of messages urging the agency and government to reconsider or to explain the decision. University of Toronto professor Janet Smylie, for one, said, “We should do whatever we can to indicate that our advisory council is opposed to this change and/or reverse this decision,” adding that the move would have a “devastating” impact on the ability to track aboriginals and other marginalized groups. Then-chief statistician Munir Sheikh was asked in one document whether Statistics Canada had any information on the impact of the decision. “No, we haven’t prepared any material on the impacts,” he replied. Sheikh ultimately resigned in protest.

National Post

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Documents show StatsCan tried to fight decision to kill long-form census

  1. I can't believe that they were contemplating this TWO MONTHS before they announced it.


    And here I thought it was a spur of the moment bit of idiocy from the PMO. Apparently it was a fully gestated bit of idiocy.

    • Well, I was absolutely looking forward to having my life pried into by useless pencil pushers and empire builders. Was soooo wanting to inform how many toilets I have, bedrooms or crazy aunts who live in the basement and then the "Evil Harper" went and ruined all my fun!!! Not to worry though I can fill all that crap voluntarily along with all the Liberals and Granola crunchers who feel the world will end if those useless forms are not filled out! Cheers.

      • Perhaps Stephen Harper can also outlaw jury duty, and instead make it voluntary. I sure don't relish the thought of being forced to give up a week of my life for virtually no compensation just to ensure that democracy and our justice system perform as designed.

        • Democracy is so darned inconvenient. Can't we try something else? Something easier?

  2. Just to jump ahead of the game here:
    1) 43% in the polls, majority coming, lol, next
    2) too inside-politics — Canadians don't care, just academic elitists and the loony left
    3) Adscam
    4) all bureaucrats are Liberal plants conspiring against the CPC
    5) why does the government need to know how many toilets I have?

    I think I'll start drinking early today.

    • Most of that 43% is concentrated in ridings they already hold, so they can gain much. They're going nowhere in Quebec, so it's another minority for Harper I'm afraid. They'll win again, but another minority again. Adscam does indeed still have some traction, but as time goes on– it's been 5 years already– the gaffes and rule-breaking of the government piles up.

      • 5 years since they lost the election over it. More than 15 years since it happened!

  3. For me the biggest issue is that they pulled it out of nowhere and lied when they said they ahd the support of StatCan.

    It's pathetic really.

    • The most disturbing thing through all of this, including the census and the KAIROS decision, is that the government isn't principled enough to actually come out and say "we took this decision for reasons x, y, and z". Instead, they hide behind bureaucrats and deflect any responsibility. How can I trust a government that won't tell me their underlying motivations for decisions?

  4. Let's just be glad it's gone.

    • Yes, it makes it so difficult to pull the wool over people's eyes about what effect government programs have when we have reliable statistics. I'm sure the CPC is quite happy it's gone.

      • The less tracking there is, the easier it is to not track reported crime. Therefore, unreported crime is rising! We need more jails! Activist judges!!

        (How'd I do?)

        • That was ^NOT very impressive.

  5. The only thing I care about when it comes to the census is where my ancestors lived back in the old days, and this for genealogy purposes. other than that I could care less. keep it simple.

    • Keep it simple? Have I got the cabinet minsiter for you…

      • Nope, because I really don't care about the census. Surely there are more pressing matters that need to be dealt with.

        • I'm sure there are. Which makes it all the more puzzling why they needed to hack the census to death in the first place. Thanks for making my point.

        • And I couldn't care less about your genealogy. So now that we've got that settled, let's deal with the reality that society consists of more than just you or me.

    • You don't track demographics for corporations interested in marketing their products/expertise. Neither do I. However, if I did, I'd probably want access to data from a single reliable source, rather than having to rely on multiple surveys from multiple contractors with differing methodologies at 10 times the cost. Keep it simple.

      • "multiple surveys from multiple contractors with differing methodologies at 10 times the cost."

        Like, ummm… pollsters?

        • Pollsters are really the whores of the statistical measurement industry, aren't they? ;)

  6. Mes amies were having tout production out of scamming the census, to proliferhate our language and cult-ture hacross notre countrie. Mais wee, nous take anotre track. Les henglish are defeated, now pour les finallie. And den send dem da bill.

    • the sad thing is that you think you are being clever……

    • There are not enough minuses in the world.

      • He sounds like Black Jacque Larocque from the Bugs Bunny cartoon. All he needs is to start building a damn…

  7. LOL, les francais, patrole la web. Just in case, there an hopining to grab a grant. Jusca me try parle les france cum Harperier, so je can talk a la Americans and regarda la strange look on der faces. lol
    Hamericans say, we don mind being one Country with drug oushing killer mesicans , but we draws the line to back stabbing french!

  8. Looks like Tony Clement lied. But then again, that was pretty much a given. Statscan wasn't a political plaything until he made it one. Nice work, Harpercrites! One more step towards the Republicanization of Canada.

    • Hey! Like any curious child, he just wanted to take it apart to see how it worked!

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