Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tony Clement Lied? Say it Ain't So

Documents released today about the decision to suspend the mandatory census, show three things.

1. Tony Clement lied about Stats Canada agreeing with the decision.

2. The government put no thought into the decision beforehand.

3. "Emails and briefing notes also show Privy Council’s effort to kept tight grip on agency’s public comments about controversy."
The former head of Statistics Canada was set to speak out about the Harper government's controversial census change just before he abruptly quit his post, newly released documents show. The papers reveal that Munir Sheikh was going to tell staff that data from a voluntary long-form survey would not be as useful as the current mandatory form. They also show that the government tried to shape the statistics agency's public comments on the matter.

“Many of you have asked whether I believe the National Household Survey will satisfy the needs of all users of the previous long form,” says a draft text of Mr. Sheikh's planned speech to staff. “My response is that the NHS will meet the needs of many users but will not provide useful data to meet the needs of other users of the mandatory long-form census data.”

Kady O'Mally is sharing many of the documents with more to come.

Former head of StatsCanada, Munir Sheikh, is trying to talk some sense into Harper, but we all know how impossible that is.

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