The census mess starting to hit the fan – Thanks @pmharper

Friday, 8 July, 2011

From CBC News “Census Woes” (after news of Royal Tour comes to an end),

“When the decision to scrap the mandatory long form census was originally made in 2010, many statisticians feared incomplete or compromised data.

As the summer’s final push to collect forms comes to an end, some are suggesting it could be worse than they thought.

Reports suggest that in previous years census workers would call up a household that had not filled out its mandatory long questionnaire, and then pay a visit – or even several – to make sure it was completed.

But now Statistics Canada is accepting incomplete forms without conducting a follow-up.

Don McLeish, president of the Statistical Society of Canada, says partial responses could cause problems in using the data.”


Census mourned on World Statistics Day – World Statistics Day and the Canadian Census

Wednesday, 20 October, 2010

CBC has an insightful piece, “Census mourned on World Statistics Day“.

Here is a serious and funny YouTube video that a group took time to create: World Statistics Day and the Canadian Census

Clarifying Harper government disinformation about census complaints

Tuesday, 5 October, 2010

The following two news reports and documents released via Access to Information Act clarifies some of Harper government’s disinformation about census complaints

– “Industry Canada queried Bernier census claims“, CBC News (emphasis added)

“An Industry Canada employee questioned Conservative MP Maxime Bernier’s claims in July that as minister he received about 1,000 complaints a day about the mandatory long-form census, internal documents obtained by CBC News show.

[…] Industry Canada’s “internal survey of correspondence did not show anything close to a thousand a day,” he wrote to Statistics Canada’s Connie Graziadei, adding in brackets “we got a standard 25-30 a year.”” [K comment: This, paradoxically, shows how important factual statistics collection is. Claim of 1,000 complaints a day with NO factual support of these complaints is another example of playing loose with facts at best and unethical behaviour at worst.]

– “Industry Canada’s query to StatsCan about Bernier claims on census complaints“, documents released to CBC News via the “Access to Information Act“.

– “Census change not about complaints: Bernier“, CBC News

Canadian census change challenge heads to Federal Court

Monday, 27 September, 2010

From CBC “Census change challenge heads to Federal Court” (emphasis added),

The Federal Court will hear a complaint Monday by a French-Canadian group that opposes the government’s move to replace the mandatory long-form census with a voluntary survey.

The Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities of Canada has asked the court in Ottawa to void the new policy from Stephen Harper’s government, but it also wants an injunction that would keep the new voluntary national household survey from being distributed this year.

The federation, which has also filed a complaint with Canada’s official languages commissioner about the census change, argues that the government’s new policy violates not only the Official Languages Act, but also the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I totally agree with this bit (emphasis added),

Our fear is that government will no longer have the information it needs to design and elaborate programs and services,” said Marie-France Kenny, the federation’s president.

This data is needed across the country,” she said. “We’re Canadian citizens. We’re not just French citizens, so of course we understand the need for this information for the entire country.

More news,

Group launches court case against census decision” Canadian Press

Census takes centre stage on heels of gun registry debate” TorStar

Census controversy in court” Toronto Sun

Draft bill to reinstate mandatory long-form census

Thursday, 26 August, 2010

More than 300 groups representing a broad spectrum of Canadian society have voiced opposition to a decision to make the census voluntary. The government says the long-form census will instead be sent to more homes but statisticians argue that the results inevitably be biased.” – Globe and Mail

Liberals unveil bill to reinstate long-form census

Liberals draft bill to reinstate mandatory long-form census

Liberals plan to take census issue to Commons

Liberals to table census bill

– The full text of the proposed bill is here. [HT Maclean’s]

Census Madness: Are Minister Clement & Prime Minister Harper Mad?

Saturday, 14 August, 2010

As one depressed senior Conservative put it: “We do pick small hills to die on sometimes.”

After the recent objections by a wide range of Canadian groups (from charities to ethnic groups to business groups to municipalities) to the Harper government proposed census changes, I am shocked to read the news that the Harper government is not  willing to listen or change. It seems the government is only listening to lawsuit.

I am now wondering out loud if Canadians have to organize more lawsuits to force the Harper government to do the right thing? A government that will only do the right thing under the threat of lawsuits lead me to ask: Are Minister Clement & Prime Minister Harper Mad?

Lets hope there are wiser Canadians working on organizing the needed lawsuits to halt this census madness because census data are fundamental to good government. Governments come and governments go, but census affect this and future generations of Canadians for years to come.

Canadian democracy and good government depend on reliable census data that we can compare over the years.

Again, quoting a senior Conservative,

“We do pick small hills to die on sometimes.”

How Clement & Harper just dug a deeper hole – How not to fix the census change mistake

Wednesday, 11 August, 2010

David Eaves has written and excellent post “How not to fix a mistake: How Clement’s just dug a deeper hole” about the Harper government’s latest census changes (with videos). Have a read of the insightful post. I will quote three points in Dave’s post (emphasis added),

b) That the only way to be heard by this government is to take legal action

c) That the government is willingly ignoring the innumerably other stakeholders like the federal ministries, the provinces, cities, plus 300+ NGOs, business groups, religious organizations, etc… that are negatively impacted by this decision

d) That their goal is to destroy the census and that the actions today were about accelerating that process, not consulting or listening to Canadians

It is a sad day in Canada that Canadians have to resort to suing our own government to get them to do something right as simple and basic as census. Yes, the census! Something governments from different parties have been doing over hundred years!

P.S. I am putting Harper’s name on this one. There is no way, I mean NO WAY, Harper himself hasn’t personally cleared what Clement is doing today. So his name is on this one.

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