Friday, July 16, 2010

Changes in Canadian Census

Until recently one of every five Canadian households received a long-form census with 53 extra questions about such things as ethnicity, disabilities, religion, education, and income. In response to complaints that this long form was an invasion of privacy, starting next year the Canadian government will send out a voluntary form with more detailed questions than the short form to one of every three households. Many think tanks, academic experts, statisticians, genealogists and public policy developers fear this move since they think it might impact policy and funding decisions because of skewed and incomplete information.

More information about the impacts of this decision is available on the July 14, 2010 CBC Radio One Show, "The Current". Included on the show is Ivan Fellegi who was Statistics Canada's Chief Statistician for 23 years before retiring in 2008, Richard Shearmur who is a professor of urban and regional economics at the Universite du Quebec, and Dean del Mastro, the Conservative MP for Peterborough and a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.  Industry Minister Tony Clement who currently oversees Statistics Canada was unable to participate in the radio interview but did include a written statement.