The Clement caveat -

The Clement caveat

A new release from the National Household Survey


A new release from the National Household Survey and a caveat still applies.

Moreover, the NHS estimates are derived from a voluntary survey and are therefore subject to potentially higher non-response error than those derived from the 2006 Census long form.

Chief Statistician Wayne Smith, who stepped into the job after Munir Sheikh resigned, both acknowledges the shortcomings and defends the data.

He acknowledges the data from the NHS is not of the same calibre as a mandatory census, but says that doesn’t rule out its usefulness. “True, it’s not a census, true, there’s been some loss of small-area data and true there’s more volatility in the estimates for small populations and small areas, particularly small populations in small areas. But the data turns out to be remarkably strong,” given the agency’s ability to use external information and benchmarks to help verify the results.

Frances Woolley has previously considered how economists should approach the NHS. And Stephen Gordon has previously quibbled with Mr. Smith’s defence of the NHS.


The Clement caveat

  1. What are they going to do for the next NHS? Their ability to use external information and benchmarks will have clearly diminished by then considering that part of that information was the next census and other data not being collected by Statistics Canada anymore. Hopefully the next election will bring us a government which believes in real information and in science.

    • The Conservatives actually have a plan in place to eliminate the teaching of science in all schools, including universities. If they get re-elected in 2015, they will implement this.

      • No doubt. These days you seem to be a fore runner of the plan.

      • Who is going to deliver their babies ( and ours ) ?

        This is utterly terrifying – we need science!!

  2. No credible social scientist would cite data from this exercise. Total waste of time and taxpayers’ money.

    Next, I expect Harper will use the survey’s demonstrably limited accuracy as his excuse to simply axe it in the interest of cutting “waste”.

    • Absolutely that’s what Harper will do. He wants to eliminate all information. He is anti-information.

      • Sounds like you’re sobering up Bean.

    • Your last point sounds too rational. Harper doesn’t have a history of axing that which he hath royally screwed up…a la..Duffy, the senate, GST cuts, F35 fiasco… and those fully staffed offices he has sitting around waiting for i forget what now. His preference is to sweep it under the rug, or cloak it in a narrowly defined inquiry of some sort, preferably one that takes years to resolve if ever. And that’s if you can get beyond the first line of defense…deny, deny, deny.

      The census no longer is a census without the herculean efforts of stats Can to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, add to that the further insult that that f’king thing is actually more expensive now. I’d say it serves well as a reminder of what happens when we get a PM who’s too smart for his own ideological britches, constantly favouring short term good politics over good policy, no matter how asinine the result.

  3. It seems the only reason this was done was to keep valuable information from Canadians. The fact Stephen Harper would allow this to happen only exposes he’s extreme dislike for Canada, Canadians and progression in general.

    There really is no good excuse for this. Stephen Harper hurt Canada and Canadians with this decision and it show he cares more about his own ideology and self-interest than governing in the interest of Canadians.

    It is treasonous what he has done and he should be banished from Canada for it. The man is a despicable example of a human being.

    • Hear hear! Bring back banishment! It should be part of the new progressive justice system when Justin Trudeau becomes PM. People with non-progressive views should be banished, preferably to some inhospitable place like Ellesmere Island. Although it’s in Canada. So perhaps Antarctica? Or a really inhospitable planet, as long as the costs of space transport are not prohibitive?

  4. National Household Survey replaces Census ( 1 ) less accurate ( 2 ) costs significantly more—————————————

    Another decision from ` Steve ` ; a man of great intellect ; as his propagandists tell us !!!

    Kool-aid anyone —— as a member of ABC , I`m an abstainer…………….

  5. Have either the NDP or the Libs indicated that, if elected, they will bring back a proper census?

    • It probably won’t appear as a plank in any election platform, because it’s an issue that has limited mainstream appeal and the Cons would attack it as another sop to “elitists” and effete eggheads.

      But any self-respecting government with an interest in sound policy-making instruments will put it back.

      That leaves out the Cons, for sure.