In the Chamber -- Grant Mitchell's Blog

Out of sight, out of mind – cancelling the long form census

Posted 8/21/2010 by Grant Mitchell

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The long form census is critical to getting reliable information on any number of important social groups and issues. It is this data that helps to analyze, for example, the needs of seniors, health concerns facing different groups of Canadians, the funding for francophone groups and the particular needs of certain immigrant groups. Of course, if we do not have this data, then how do we define these groups and their needs?

And if we cannot do that, then their needs can simply slip out of view and any imperative to fund these groups slips out of view too. That is, government does not have to deal with a problem if it has taken steps to make sure that there is no way to define that problem. Cancelling the long form census could be a way to diminish social program spending while minimizing political damage. Out of sight – out of mind.

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