Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Warning: Next Harper Target May Be 2016 Census

Three researchers at Quebec universities warn that the 2016 census may be the cut because of "budget reasons."  In an op-ed piece in Le Devoir they outline the problems that have already arisen due to the Harper government's decision to remove the obligation of citizens to fill out the long form census in 2011.

The reasons give for doing that were that the questions asked infringed on privacy, they note.  But by not asking questions that people were required to answer anonymously about such things as their housing, ethnicity and language spoken at home, it is becoming difficult to make comparisons with previous censuses.  The result is that we don't know where we are and can't make predictions about where we're going or where we should go, the researchers note-.

This appears to be part of Stephen Harper's game plan, as witness the restraints being put researchers in many fields, they add.  Add to this Harper's stated aim of eliminating the federal deficit before the next federal election in 2015, and you get a scenario where it wouldn't be surprsing if the government slashes the $500 million necessary from the 2016 census from the budget. 

For more information about what Statistics Canada is planning to do, check out its website.  Definitely a dossier to watch.

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