Friday, July 16, 2010

Tony Clement Suffering Wrath of Evangelicals Over Census Decision

Outcry over the Harper government's decision to do away with the mandatory long form census is being heard by many groups, including several religious organizations:

The top Jewish and Evangelical Christian organizations in Canada have joined the surging wave of opposition to the Conservative government's axing of next year's long census.The Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada have both written to the Conservative cabinet to say they rely heavily on the data from the census in order to serve their faith communities. Questions on religion are asked on the compulsory census every 10 years and the 2011 census would have been the next opportunity. The government has replaced the long census with a voluntary household survey.

Bernie Farber, CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said every Jewish federation in the country signed a letter this week addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking that he reverse the census decision."It allows us to create long-term planning for charitable fundraising, for implementing programs and services that support everything, from cultural, social, health care, education, housing , recreational needs — the whole gamut," Farber said in an interview. "Without that demographic data, we just can't plan properly."

Tony Clement is known for his arrogance, but if he hopes to have a prayer next election he might want to listen.

One of my favourite columnists Haroon Siddiqui, wrote a great piece for the Star:
When governments want to sneak something by you, they slip the announcement in late Friday, hoping the media won’t notice. Or they print it in the Canada Gazette Saturday, especially during summer weekends. The Stephen Harper government did the latter on Saturday, June 26 (during the G20 meeting in Toronto), conveying its decision to change the national census. As if to rub salt in the wound, Tony Clement, the minister in charge of Statistics Canada, said: “I don’t accept that every time you make a change on every matter of government business, you have to shout it from every rooftop.”

... This has upset a whole lot of people, with good reason. A voluntary survey is not a census. Its data would be skewed, some groups having responded and others not, like the super-rich at one end and the very poor on the other. The problem won’t be solved by boosting the sample to 30 per cent, as the Tories are proposing (at an additional cost of $30 million).
Tony Clement just loves the attention, but why does Herr Harper want to do away with the long form? It has nothing to do with not wanting to intrude into our lives. I mean he's paying a media outlet $ 75,000.00 a pop to spy on us when we're online:
“Harper does not like StatsCan, that’s what we kept hearing,” according to a longtime employee of the agency. “In particular, he does not like the analytical work we’ve done for years.” The Prime Minister thinks of it as fodder for critics.
Like critics need more fodder.


  1. Emily. I have not commented in a while but I want you to know that I'm still here, reading over your shoulder...I think Harper hates statscan be cause to him, we don't count. Pretty simple hey? If you have no intention of serving the public, what better way to let them know than to simply discount them. We are on notice.