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More census talk at committees, Meagan Fitzpatrick on PostMedia News,  politics and the nation

Two House of Commons committees are spending their mornings talking about the cancellation of the long-form census, the issue that just won’t die. Last week, the Status of Women committee had a hearing on it (you can read my story on it here) and they are back at it today. Among the witnesses are representatives from the Canadian Council on Social Development, Federation quebecoise des professeures et professeurs d’university, someone from a consulting firm, and the senior vice-president and chief demographer from Environics Analytics, a member of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association. The executive director of that group, meanwhile, is over at the Human Resources, Skills and Social Development committee, along with a City of Toronto councillor, the Chinese Canadian National Council and a few other witnesses.

There is a long list of groups and organizations that are opposed to the cancellation of the long-form census. The website datalibre.ca in fact, says there are more than 350 of them that have spoken out in opposition to the government’s decision.  I’m not sure how many of them the various committees plan on hearing from, but you can bet with each of them MPs will keep hearing the same refrain — canceling the long-form census was a bad, bad idea, the new voluntary National Household Survey will not produce enough reliable data, and the government should reverse course and bring back the long-form.

Women’s groups decry end of long-form census

Mini Census Media Roundups

It has been a busy time and I have not been able to post media roundups as I would like.  However, with the EU announcements, radio programs and Bi-Elections, women and court challenges..

GIS Day 2010 – Long-Form Census and Neighbourhood


Ms. Tracey P. Lauriault discusses neighbourhood scale research using Census data. She introduces the The Cybercartographic Pilot Atlas of the Risk of Homelessness created at the Geomatics and Cartographic Research and will feature community based research used to inform public policy as part of the Canadian Social Data Strategy (CSDS) . She features maps and data about social issues in Canadian cities & metropolitan areas (e.g. Calgary, Toronto, Halton, Sault Ste. Marie, hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal, & others) and focuses on the importance of local analysis and what the loss of the Long-Form Census could mean to evidence based decision making to communities in Canada’s. She will also discuss issues surrounding the cancellation of the long-form census in Canada.


Tracey P. Lauriault is a researcher at the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre at Carleton University and is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. She participates in activities and represents the GCRC on topics related to the access to and the preservation of Data. She was the Research Leader for the Pilot Atlas of the Risk of Homelessness funded by HRSDC, part of the Project Management Team for the Cybercartography and the New Economy Project responsible for collaboration, transdisciplinary research, organizational theory and lead researcher of the Cybercartographic Atlas of Antarctica Case Study for the International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES) 2 and General Study of Archival Policies of Science Data Archives/Repositories.

Currently, she is working on the Canadian Social Data Strategy a project of Canadian Council on Social Development as a Research Associate with Acacia Consulting and Research. Her PhD dissertation is on mapping data access discourses in Canada.  She is co-founder of CivicAccces.ca, ogWiFi.ca and co-author of datalibre.ca which hosts Census Watch.

OpenData & Public Research

Researchers use OpenData to inform their work, and are also producers of data and software that can be re-shared with the public.  In Canada, much university research is supported by public funds and an argument can be made that the results of that research should be accessible to the public.  The research at the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre will be featured as will community based social policy research in Ottawa.  In Canada some data are accessible, but mostly data are not, and if they are, cost recovery policies and regressive licensing impede their use.  The talk will feature examples where data are open and where opportunities for evidence based decision making are restricted.

Fighting for the Equal Right to be Counted…

Just over 100 days have passed since the Harper Government launched its assault on Canada’s fundamental data source with a sneak attack on the long form census. The most reliable, comprehensive source of information, relied on as a tool to respond to the needs and priorities of every Canadian — wiped out, against the advice of experts across the country and abroad, on a political whim.

Canada’s response to this decision has been unequivocal: Why would the government shut down Canada’s navigation system? CCSD, Canada’s authority on evidence based social policy, has mobilized an unprecedented campaign to fight for the Long Form’s reinstatement, alongside hundreds of partners across the country. To date:

  • Over 370 organizations, representing every aspect of Canadian life, have voiced their opposition to this change
  • More than 16,000 Canadians have petitioned for reversal of this decision
  • Over 10,000 individuals have joined the ‘Long Form Census’ Facebook page dedicated to opposing this change.
  • Canada’s Chief Statistician has resigned in protest
  • All opposition parties have been unanimous and vocal in their condemnation of this move
  • Challenges have been launched in the Federal Court
  • Tens of thousands of ‘ordinary Canadians’ have written, called or visited their Members of Parliament to voice their concerns

While the decision remains unchanged, this battle is far from over. Despite the continued campaign of misinformation from the Conservative government, we know that this decision can be changed well into 2011. It’s not over until the surveys hit our mail boxes.

Responding to the overwhelming and very real concerns about the consequences of this catastrophic decision, the Canadian Council on Social Development has launched a legal challenge in the Federal Court defending the equal right of all Canadians to be counted. Partners in the Challenge include:

“Experts across the country and abroad have made it clear; a voluntary survey will under-represent significant communities such as Aboriginal Canadians, Canadians living with disabilities and visible minorities.” said Steve Lurie, of CMHA Toronto

“A voluntary survey will under-represent the numbers, and minimize the service needs, of marginalized communities.” said Avvy Go, Director of Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic

“This undercounting will be more evident at the local neighborhood level, rendering this data unusable for local service planning – depriving the undercounted of services to which they are entitled.” said Charles Hill, Aboriginal Housing Association.

“By excluding some groups from the 2011 census, the federal government is saying some Canadians simply don’t count as much as others.  The Charter protects the right to be treated equally, and that includes the equal right to be counted.” Paul Champ, Legal Counsel, Champ & Associates

“This is about all of us. The last 100 days have dramatically demonstrated that as Canadians we understand the benefits and obligations of citizenship, and we stand together and are willing to speak up for what is best for our country said Peggy Taillon, President & CEO, CCSD.

“The next hundred days provide an opportunity for the government to reconsider their position and for Canadians to continue to come together and take action to ensure they do.” said John Campey, Executive Director, Social PlanningToronto.

For more information on CCSD’s legal challenge, or on the Campaign to Reinstate the Long Form Census, contact Peggy Taillon at CCSD, 613-236-8977 x 1, 613-769-5499 or via email: taillon@ccsd.ca

Also Contact: John Campey, at Social Planning Toronto: 1-416-351-0095, 1-647-283-9657, jcampey@socialplanningtoronto.org

About the Canadian Council on Social Development For more than 90 years, the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) has been a key proponent of “unconventional” policies and programs that Canadians now consider essential. In the 1920s we helped shape the first Old Age Pension program. In the 1950s, we were champions of Unemployment Insurance. In this decade, we demonstrated why the National Child Benefit and tax credits for the working poor are wise investments. Through our research and partnerships with organizations across the country, we continue to act as a catalyst for innovative, evidence-based approaches to reducing poverty and building resilient, hopeful thriving Canadian communities. For more information, visit www.ccsd.ca.

OpenAccess Week Speaking Engagements

1. Event: Open Access Week 2010, Carleton University, October 21, Noon to 1PM.

2. Event: Open Access Week, Université d’Ottawa, Apps4Ottawa Showcase, October 21, 5-7PM.

  • Title: OpenData & Public Research
  • Abstract: Researchers use OpenData to inform their work, and are also producers of data and software that can be re-shared to the public.  In Canada, much of university research is supported by public funds and an argument can be made that the results of that research should be accessible to the public.  The research at the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre will be featured as will community based social policy research in Ottawa.  In Canada some data are accessible, but mostly data are not, and if they are, cost recovery policies and regressive licensing impede their use.  The talk will feature examples where data are open and where opportunities for evidence based decision making are restricted.

3. Event: Statistical Society of Ottawa 8th annual seminar – Our Statistics Community on Monday the 25th of October.

  • Title: The Real Census informs Neighbourhood Research in Canada
  • Abstract: Ms. Tracey P. Lauriault will discuss neighbourhood scale research using Census data.  She will introduce the The Cybercartographic Pilot Atlas of the Risk of Homelessness created at the Geomatics and Cartographic Research and will feature community based research used to inform public policy as part of the Canadian Social Data Strategy (CSDS).  She will feature maps and data about social issues in Canadian cities & metropolitan areas (e.g. Calgary, Toronto, Halton, Sault Ste. Marie, Ottawa, Montreal, & others) and will focus on the importance of local analysis and what the loss of the Long-Form Census could mean to evidence based decision making to communities in Canada’s.

Its official!

StatCan expects a 50% response rate from the Voluntary National Household Survey and would have expected a 94% response rate from a mandatory Long-Form Census.

Read: StatCan National Household Survey: data quality

StatCan Cuts – Loss of Surveys & Census

The Canadian Government cuts the Long-Form Census,creates a survey that costs  $ 35 million for less reliable data and then cuts the agency back again by $7 million!

Canadian Press: Troubled StatsCan facing $7M in cuts

Hamilton Spectator:  StatsCan to cut more 5 more surveys

The Article includes the following surveys – I think I have the correct links but I am unsure!:

  1. The Industrial Pollutant Release Survey (I cannot find a link)
  2. The article says The Quarterly Energy Use  (Households and the Environment: Energy Use or Quarterly Industrial Consumption of Energy Survey which one?) and the  Greenhouse Gas Emissions Survey (Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Private Vehicles in Canada, 1990 to 2007 or Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report which one?) both pilot projects;
  3. The National Population Health Survey;
  4. The Survey of the Suppliers of Business Financing; and
  5. The Survey on Financing of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

Mercer Rant and the Long-Form Census


Census Media Round-up

I will link the content later on!  Til then, you can enjoy digging for the info!  It has been a great couple of weeks where we have heard many discussions on Right To Know, Data Access and Open Data, and that is where I have been busy and thus a bit of a backlog on these round-ups.


  • Angus Reid Public Opinion Poll: Majority of Canadians Support Move to Reinstate Long Form Census http://www.visioncritical.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/2010.10.06_Census_CAN.pdf
  • The Hamilton Spectator: Census Lie Exposed http://www.thespec.com/opinion/editorial/article/262888–census-lie-exposed
  • CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/09/30/liberals-census-motion.html?ref=rss
  • CBC: Francophone challenge to census rejected http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/10/06/census-francophone-courts.html?ref=rss
  • Global News: Court rejects francophone census challenge http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/10/06/census-francophone-courts.html?ref=rss
  • Macleans: Census appeal hits dead end in Federal Court http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/10/06/census-suit-meets-dead-end-in-federal-court/
  • Toronto Sun: Group’s request to overturn census decision denied http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/10/06/15603441.html
  • Winnipeg Free Press: Canadians give PM an earful on decision http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/canadians-give-pm-an-earful-on-decision-104555779.html
  • Telegraph Journal: Federal court nixes challenge to Ottawa’s census changes http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/front/article/1252362
  • The Vancouver Sun: Bernier praised long-form census in 2006 letter http://www.vancouversun.com/news/canada/Bernier+praised+long+form+census+2006+letter/3637990/story.html
  • Ottawa Citizen: Census war still on http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Census+still/3641182/story.html
  • Global Toronto: Bernier blunders http://www.globaltoronto.com/Bernier+blunders/3638971/story.html
  • Inside Halton: Halton MP’s town hall meeting draws out census debate http://www.insidehalton.com/news/article/883482–great-to-see-bonnie-of-bonnie-clyde
  • The Toronto Sun: Tories Reject Census Defeat http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/09/29/15523871.html
  • vancouver Sun: Minister praised long-form census in letter http://www.vancouversun.com/Minister+praised+long+form+census+letter/3642006/story.html
  • Macleans: Make your own Commons http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/09/28/make-your-own-commons/
  • The Globe and Mail: Opposition, provinces fail to stir Tories from census positionhttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/industry-minister-shoots-down-ontario-and-quebecs-last-ditch-census-complaint/article1731919/?cmpid=rss1
  • National Post: Tories ignore opposition motion to bring back long-form census http://www.nationalpost.com/Tories+ignore+opposition+motion+bring+back+long+form+census/3599603/story.html
  • International Statistical Institute: ISI President Jef Teugels sent a letter to the Canadian
  • Minister of Industry, and the Minister of Industry replied http://isi-web.org/news/long-form-in-the-canadian-census
  • The Toronto Star: Long and Short of the Census Debate: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/869260–long-and-short-of-the-census-debate
  • The North Bay Nugget: Agencies defend censushttp://nugget.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2781578
  • The whig Standard: Government’s census policy against the law: group http://thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?
  • Vernon Morning Star: Trustees fight for census http://www.bclocalnews.com/okanagan_similkameen/vernonmorningstar/news/103757984.html
  • The Montreal Gazette: Bernier backs off on census claims http://www.montrealgazette.com/Bernier+backs+census+claims/3628705/story.html
  • the Globe and Mail: Language groups hit snag in census battle http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/language-groups-hit-snag-in-census-battle/article1743946/
  • Vancouver Sun: Census saga continues with Liberal MP’s bill http://www.vancouversun.com/news/canada/Census+saga+continues+with+Liberal+bill/3603580/story.html
  • the CBC news: Industry Canada queried Bernier census claims http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/10/04/census-bernier-complaints-documents.html?ref=rss
  • The Vancouver Sun: Judge throws out census-decision challenge http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Judge+throws+census+decision+challenge/3632646/story.html
  • The Mark: http://www.iassistdata.org/blog/iassist-letter-canadian-government-loss-2011-census-long-form  http://www.themarknews.com/articles/2671
  • The Concordian: Voluntary census will cut federal costs http://www.theconcordian.com/opinions/voluntary-census-will-cut-federal-costs-1.1662988
  • CBC News: Francophone challenge to census rejected http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/10/06/census-francophone-courts.html
  • The Mark News: The long-form census controversy holds important lessons for both federal public servants and their political masters. http://www.themarknews.com/articles/2655
  • The Mark: Former industry minister Maxime Bernier said earlier this year that he received 1,000 complaints a day about the long-form census. http://www.themarknews.com/articles/2677-conservatives-exaggerated-census-complaints-data-suggests
  • The Chronicle Herald: http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorials/1204970.htmlhttp://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorials/1204970.html
  • CBC Inside Politics: Orders of the Day – Let’s All Take A Trip Down Census Crisis Memory Lane! http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/09/orders-of-the-day—lets-all-take-a-trip-down-census-crisis-memory-lane.html
  • Le Devoir:Recensement – Bernier veut aller encore plus loin http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/canada/297718/recensement-bernier-veut-aller-encore-plus-loin?utm_source=infolettre-2010-10-08&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=infolettre-quotidienne
  • Global News: Harper government faces court challenge on census http://www.globalnews.ca/entertainment/Harper+government+faces+court+challenge+census/3587334/story.html
  • Le Devoir: Recensement – La Cour donne raison à Ottawa http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/canada/297621/recensement-la-cour-donne-raison-a-ottawa?utm_source=infolettre-2010-10-07&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=infolettre-quotidienne
  • The Globe and Mail: The census is for Parliament to decide http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/editorials/the-census-is-for-parliament-to-decide/article1729166/
  • National Post: Tories will stick with census plan: Harper http://www.nationalpost.com/news/tories+will+stick+with+census+plan/3592632/story.html
  • Edmonton Journal: Paying both sides on census http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/Paying+both+sides+census/3589380/story.html
  • Toronto Star: Government knew costs of axing census, documents show http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/census/article/866944–not-too-late-to-save-census-goodale
  • CBC News: Liberals move to reinstate long-form census http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/09/28/pol-long-form-census-liberals.html?ref=rss
  • Toronto Sun: Census….the debate never endshttp://www.torontosun.com/blogs/thehill/2010/09/28/15509581.html
  • The Ottawa Citizen: Court challenge, opposition both blast government over scrapped census http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Court+challenge+opposition+both+blast+government+over+scrapped+census/3586122/story.html
  • The Toronto Star: Government knew costs of axing census, documents show Liberals, critics still hope census decision can be reversed http://www.thestar.com/article/866944–not-too-late-to-save-census-goodale
  • The Montreal Gazette: Census compromise falls short, court told http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Census+compromise+falls+short+court+told/3588179/story.html
  • The Whig Standard: Census Controversy in Court http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2774901
  • Ottawa Sun: Opposition attacks government’s census policy http://www.ottawasun.com/news/canada/2010/09/26/15482996.html
  • The Telegram: Shorter forms lead to census information shortage http://www.thetelegram.com/Opinion/Columns/2010-09-25/article-1793117/Shorter-forms-lead-to-census-information-shortage/1
  • CTV News; Liberals introduce bill to reinstate long-form census http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Politics/20100930/bill-census-100930/
  • Northumberland Review: Liberals Introduce Motion To Reinstate Mandatory Long-Form Census http://www.northumberlandview.ca/index.php?module=news&func=display&sid=4461
  • Canadian Press: Layton loses bid for emergency census debate http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100920/national/census_scrubbed_2
  • The Toronto Star: StatsCan credibility, independence feared damaged in census scrap http://themes.thestar.com/article/06NW8R08RT4WP/articles?q=
  • The Montreal Gazette: NDP bid for census debate thwarted http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/census+debate+thwarted/3553691/story.html
  • The Record: Census set to take centre stage on Parliament Hill http://news.therecord.com/News/CanadaWorld/article/782584
  • Winnipeg Sun: Opposition attacks government’s census policy http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/canada/2010/09/26/15482801.html
  • North Bay Nugget: Agencies defend censushttp://www.nugget.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2781578
  • Times and Transcript: Dieppe protests federal census changes http://timestranscript.canadaeast.com/news/article/1243621
  • toronto Sun: Anger over Conservatives’ census decision heads to court and House of Commons votehttp://www.torontosun.com/blogs/thehill/2010/09/28/15508596.html
  • The Toronto Star: Census debate: It just won’t go away http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/867582–census-debate-it-just-won-t-go-away
  • The Montreal Gazette: Conservatives to stick with census planhttp://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Conservatives+stick+with+census+plan/3595019/story.html
  • The Vancouver Sun: Court challenge, opposition both blast government over scrapped census http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Census+controversy+boils+over+Parliament/3586122/story.html#ixzz11no7H4cW
  • Canadian Press: Conservative Snub Parliament, Ontario, Quebec on Census Reversal http://news.sympatico.ca/canada/conservatives_snub_parliament_ontario_quebec_on_census_reversal/ae00f43e
  • The Mark: A bill will be tabled on Oct. 1 that would make it illegal to get rid of the long form census. http://www.themarknews.com/articles/2541-opposition-takes-census-fight-to-parliament
  • The Winnipeg Sun: Tories reject census defeathttp://www.winnipegsun.com/news/canada/2010/09/29/15523896.html
  • The Toronto Star: PM ‘confusing stubbornness with leadership’ over census, Ignatieff says http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/census/article/868232–pm-confusing-stubbornness-with-leadership-over-census-ignatieff-says
  • Toronto Sun: Ontario and Quebec Ministers urge the Conservative government to reverse census decision http://www.torontosun.com/blogs/thehill/2010/09/29/15522631.html
  • CBC News: MP launches bill to restore census http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2010/09/30/liberals-census-motion.html
  • The Sault Star: City and local agency defend censushttp://www.saultstar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2779937
  • The Winnipeg Free Press: Conservatives snub Parliament, Ontario, Quebec on census reversal http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/mobile/ontario-quebec-want-long-form-census-reinstated-as-soon-as-possible-103991754.html
  • AOL News: Liberals Move To Reinstate Long-Form Census http://news.aol.ca/canada/article/liberals-move-to-reinstate-long-form/1299370
  • The Globe and Mail: Tories haul out ‘coalition’ label in census spat with oppositionhttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-haul-out-coalition-label-in-census-spat-with-opposition/article1731436/
  • The Toronto Star: Speaker rejects NDP call for emergency census debate http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/census/article/863807–speaker-rejects-ndp-call-for-emergency-census-debate
  • PostMedia News: Liberals tout bill to re-introduce long-form census http://www.canada.com/news/Liberals+tout+bill+introduce+long+form+census/3570495/story.html
  • The Ottawa Citizen: Census change concerns brushed off by Clement http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Census+change+concerns+brushed+Clement/3565872/story.html
  • North Bay Today: NDP keeps heat on census issue http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/full_story.asp?StoryNumber=48607
  • The Toronto Star: Olive: Carney is a game-changing central banker http://www.thestar.com/article/865817–olive-carney-is-a-game-changing-central-banker
  • CBC News: Census change challenge heads to Federal Court http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/09/26/census-court-challenge.html
  • Post Media News: Court challenge, opposition both blast government over scrapped census http://www.canada.com/news/Census+controversy+boils+over+Parliament/3586122/story.html
  • The Mark: A Francophone group is seeking an injunction against the voluntary survey that replaced the mandatory long-form census. http://www.themarknews.com/articles/2554-census-faces-court-challenge-today
  • Canadian Press: Axing census costs data, feds admitted http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100927/national/census_challenge
  • Ottawa Sun: Long-form census asks too much http://www.ottawasun.com/comment/editorial/2010/09/27/15493306.html
  • CTV news: Feds knew they’d lose data in census switchhttp://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100927/census-court-100927/20100927/?hub=TorontoNewHome
  • CFRA 580 News: Census Debate Continues http://www.cfra.com/?cat=3&nid=75934
  • Winnipeg Free Press: Conservatives snub Parliament, Ontario, Quebec on census reversal http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/ontario-quebec-want-long-form-census-reinstated-as-soon-as-possible-103991754.html

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