The long reach of the long-form census - Macleans.ca
 

The long reach of the long-form census


 

Statistics Canada documents show how, and by who, the long-form census was used.

The Department of Finance reported using long-form data to track Canadian migration patterns during economic changes. Health Canada employs it to assess well-being in first nations communities, while the Public Health Agency relies on this information to target services to clusters of immigrants or particular ethnic groups. The Canada Student Loan Program uses this census data for demographic analysis of post-secondary enrolment, and the Department of Justice uses it to tailor studies on elder abuse to different ethnic populations.


 

The long reach of the long-form census

  1. "…the Department of Justice uses it to tailor studies on elder abuse to different ethnic populations."

    Pfft. The free hand of the market should be coming up with solutions to elder abuse, not a bunch of government bureaucrats.

  2. But hey, you had to READ 40 pages, and readin' is hard!

  3. Sadly, reminders like this will be appearing in the media for *years*. The census story isn't one that will go away, because every year another organization, government department, commercial entity, province, city, charity, etc etc etc will realize the data they used to use (at high cost in many cases!) is gone, and cannot be recovered. The census is not a partisan thing, nor is it an expensive thing, yet now it has been made more expensive, less useful, and partisan.

    I really and truly would trade the long gun registry for the census being returned to the "actually useful" column. There are plenty of legitimate disagreements on the value of the former, but the loss of the latter simply does not have justifications that old water.

  4. Getting rid of the long-form census: Dumb with a capital D. Of course, Conservatives partisans will argue, correctly, that no one cares about the long-form census. Then they'll argue, quite incorrectly, that because people don't care it makes the decision OK. This will go down in the annals of Canadian governance as one of the stupidest decisions of all time.

  5. On the one side of this argument, we have hundreds of organizations, government departments and business groups from all walks of life and points on the political spectrum.

    On the other side of this argument, we have one man who refuses to listen to facts or change his mind.

  6. Damn straight. How is a bureaucrat going to know which group of elders it is more efficient and cost effective to abuse, eh?

  7. Actually it is incorrect to say that people don't care. Too many people from too wide and varied a group of Canadians use and are knowledgeable about about the census and think this was Dumb with a capital D.

    In polling, even those not fully engaged in the issue seem quite decided (something like 55% if memory serves) disagreed with the government on this. That's not as big as the number of Canadians who support the long gun registry, but it is big and I think only about 20-25% of Canadians thought thought the census decision was good, which means even a sizeable number of Conservative supporters disagreed with Harper.

  8. Yeah but he complained and according to Clement that's all it takes.

  9. You're wrong. The private sector will be sure to create this missing data so as to get into the lucrative business of elder abuse prevention.

  10. I hope you are being as sarcastic as I was.

    'Cause otherwise your comment sounds kinda insane.

  11. I think the point I was trying to make was that the census decision was not a game-changer politically (although, if you ask me, it should be a game-changer because the decision was monumentally stupid, and it will cause lasting damage.) Thanks for picking up on that so I could clarify.

  12. I agree on all three counts.

    It was monumentally stupid and will cause lasting damage but the impact of the decision is so diffused that it won't be a game changer. The census change is important, but not as significant as a very lot of many other things.

    However, the interesting thing is that it was just so monumentally stupid, and so unnecessarily stupid, and seen as obviously such by such a wide group of Canadians from every walk of life, that there is also lasting damage to the Conservatives. It is such a bad call that their judgment is now forever called into question. Canadians are a lot less trustful of the Conservatives now than before, even if we have yet to be convinced that Ignatieff is the solution or better.

    I think that a decision like this, on its own, could never be a game changer. But he's had many issues, and a rapidly growing list of issues, that show how out of touch Harper and the Cons are. The pile of issues is not ready to topple over onto to them, but it is getting awfully high.

  13. I'm not sure that this issue has at all penetrated the minds of all that many Canadians. I'm sure the majority are quite oblivious to this issue, but could most certainly tell you who is amazing on "Dancing with the Stars"….

  14. The Department of Finance reported using long-form data to track Canadian migration patterns during economic changes – This can be done with short-form data.

    Health Canada employs it to assess well-being in first nations communities
    I guess sending out a survey every four years is easier than sending doctors.

    the Public Health Agency relies on this information to target services to clusters of immigrants or particular ethnic groups
    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that the government shouldn't be targeting services based on ethnicity. Because suggesting that First Nations communities have higher crime rates, for example, would be denounced as racist. Right?

    Department of Justice uses it to tailor studies on elder abuse to different ethnic populations
    Curious that there has never been a public report released on this data. If certain elasticities are more prone to elder abuse, shouldn't they be made aware of it? Could it be because it would be deemed offensive by certain groups?

  15. Just a second…
    I work in the area of abuse prevention for seniors. I've always been in favour of the long form census and realize its tremendous value… but there really isn't anything in the long form census that will guide Justice Canada in tailoring studies on abuse of seniors in ethnic communities. It may tell them where large groups of ethnic seniors reside or demographic percentages, but that's about it..

    Let's focus on the real value of the Long Form Census for policy making not made up or superficial explanations.