Munir Sheikh, the head of Statistics Canada, published a public letter Wednesday evening which lambasted the Harper government’s plan to change the mandatory long-form census to voluntary. In the letter, Sheikh also tendered his resignation. Sheikh, a world renowned statistician, was reportedly compelled to write the letter after Industry Minister Tony Clement said that he and StatsCan believed that a voluntary census would suffice. “I want to take this opportunity to comment on a technical statistical issue which has become the subject of media discussion … the question of whether a voluntary survey can become a substitute for a mandatory census,” Sheikh wrote. “It can not,” he concluded. “Under the circumstances, I have tendered my resignation to the prime minister.” Sheikh’s resignation will make it difficult for the Tories to move forward with their proposed census changes. But despite growing opposition to the census changes, the Harper government has yet to announce a new census strategy.