Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More on Stephen Harper's War With Canadians Over Census

He fought us on the gun registry and continues to fight us over the census. He lost the first war and we have to make sure that he loses the second.

The simmering controversy over the long-form census is boiling over in Parliament again, as MPs prepare to vote on a motion that will put the Harper government on the defensive. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff on Monday highlighted his party's plans to put the spotlight on the issue in an effort to convince the Conservative government to rethink its plans.

"They want to stampede this through and we're saying 'Hold on here. You're in a minority government, you don't have the approval of Parliament, think again, and let's get this right.'" Ignatieff said Statistics Canada is a world-renowned institution and the Harper government is "engaged in a form of vandalism."

And Ralph Goodale insists that it's not too late, despite what the Harperites are suggesting:

Though Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government declared the 2011 census to be voluntary, and the forms have reportedly already gone to the printers, Goodale says that there are any number of ways to reinstate the mandatory census, as so many Canadian organizations are demanding.

“That’s a decision where the government could yet quite easily change its mind,” says Goodale, a former finance minister, who believes that the government is hiding behind the “it’s too late” argument as a way of avoiding debate on its controversial census decision of this summer. This week, the Liberals are pushing forward a vote in the Commons to reinstate the mandatory census, while
an organization representing francophones was in Federal Court on Monday morning, seeking a formal injunction on the decision to make the census voluntary

And even Mark Carney, the "de facto chief steward of the Canadian economy" has given his opinion:

And the youngest central banker among the world’s leading economies has joined the more than 350 groups opposing the federal Tories’ proposed scrapping of the mandatory long-form census. Detailed census data influences the Bank’s decision-making in steering the economy.

Will Carney be the subject of new attacks? Ivan Fellegi, Canada's former chief statistician says he might, after suggesting that Without StatsCan's integrity 'we might as well not exist'.

He has been with StatsCan for 51 years, and fears losing his position for speaking out against Harper's decision to scrap the long-form census.

When a government stops listening to citizens it's time for them to go. Stephen Harper and his cronies must go. It's that simple.

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