Thursday, August 26, 2010

Liberals to Present Legislation Demanding the Return of the Long Form Census

This is very good news.
Liberal MP John McCallum announced at a news conference on Thursday that his party will introduce legislation to bring back the mandatory long-form census questionnaire when the House of Commons resumes sitting in the fall.

Mr. McCallum said the decision by the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to scrap the mandatory long-form census over privacy issues is a thinly veiled attack on the ability of all levels of government to deliver progressive social programs.

“A voluntary survey will skew the picture of what Canada really looks like as lower income minority Canadians will be less likely to fill it out,” he said. The bill to be introduced by the Liberals will clarify that that 20 per cent of the Canadian population will receive a mandatory long-form questionnaire during the census period - the same percentage of Canadians that received it in previous years. Mr. McCallum said the bill will also remove the controversial threat of jail time for not completing the census.
McCallum believes, as most do, that Stephen Harper is trying to dumb down politics, and it's a shame, because we have so many intelligent people out there who could do wonderful things for this country. And we can start with John McCallum.

From Wikipedia:

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens' College, Cambridge University, a diplôme d'études supérieures from Université de Paris and a Doctorate in economics from McGill University. He was a professor of economics at the University of Manitoba from 1976 until 1978, Simon Fraser University from 1978 until 1982, the Université du Québec à Montréal from 1982 until 1987, and McGill University from 1987 until 1994. He is an honorary member of the Royal Military College of Canada, student #S139. He was also Dean of the Faculty of Arts at McGill University. He then became Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist of the Royal Bank of Canada.

He is the author of 1980 book, Unequal Beginnings: Agriculture and Economic Development in Quebec and Ontario until 1870. He is also the co-author (with Clarence Barber) of Unemployment and Inflation: The Canadian Experience and Controlling Inflation: Learning from Experience in Canada, Europe and Japan. He also co-wrote Parting as friends: the economic consequences for Quebec in 1991 and Global Disequilibrium in the World Economy in 1992.

... As McGill University’s Dean of Arts, McCallum secured a $10 million contribution from Charles Bronfman for the establishment of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada

.... McCallum was the Royal Bank of Canada’s chief economist for six years. While consistently achieving the highest media coverage of bank chief economists, he also engaged in social issues, notably a 1997 Royal Bank conference designed to align the business community with the recommendations of the 1996 Report on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The tenth anniversary of his paper at that conference, "The Cost of Doing Nothing," was recently highlighted in Aboriginal Times Magazine

.... McCallum successfully nominated Nelson Mandela as the second honorary citizen in Canadian history. McCallum was quite vocal in Canada's debate on Same-Sex marriage. He told the Edmonton Sun in August 2003, "If people want to do something and it doesn’t hurt other people, doesn’t reduce other people’s rights, we should let them do it. Why not?"

I'm so tired of this constant assault on higher education, like it's a disease. Mr. McCallum is well educated, intelligent and enlightened, and he shouldn't have to apologize for that.

And as he says, Stephen Harper's approach is "a triumph of ignorance over knowledge, a triumph of ideology over science." Harper has never worked a single day as an economist so his degree means nothing, and his science minister, Gary Goodyear, doesn't believe in evolution. How can he be a science minister?

We deserve better.

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