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Cons, Clement have been plugging their ears on census from orgs.

So, the National Statistics Council has issued a press release (detailed at the link from Macleans) calling for a compromise over the contentious changes the Conservative government had tried to issue in secret to the Census in killing the longform mandatory aspect of it. Basically, keep the longform mandatory, but remove the threat of jail time for those who refuse to answer it, and commit to studying what questions might be too “intrusive” or not in time for the 2016 Census.

There is nothing in there that I object to; I think what they suggest makes sense, and the government would be wise to accept those recommendations. What’s more interesting to me is this piece in the paper talking about why the NSC decided to issue these recommendations from it publicly:

The National Statistics Council says it has been trying without success for two weeks to contact Industry Minister Tony Clement, who oversees Statistics Canada, to present their recommendations. They finally resorted to going public because they were concerned the debate had reached a stalemate and time was running out.

“We had tried to communicate with the minister . . . through formal channels to move toward a solution,” Ian McKinnon, chair of the council, said in an interview. “We have not been able to get a response. We felt that this was exceptionally important and we had no other avenue left to us.”

In otherwards, Tony didn’t want to hear from anyone who he felt was inclined to disagree with his and the government’s move, or he was ordered to plug his ears from the PMO/PM Harper.

UPDATE: Someone writes to me that maybe if the NSC had sent Tony a Tweet on Twitter, they’d have gotten a faster response time. Good point.


3 comments to Cons, Clement have been plugging their ears on census from orgs.

  • Tom

    If there are no penalties for refusing to complete the long form, then the result is a voluntary completion of the long form. Does this mean that the National Statistics Council is really in favor of making the long form non-compulsary?

  • Brent

    That’s standard procedure in Parliament. I do some lobbying for harm reduction and we’ve never been able to get a meeting with Leona Aglukkaq or Michael Ignatieff for that matter. We’ve had plenty of meetings with other Conservatives and Liberals, but never with the important ones.

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