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Save the Census Campaign issues press release

Re-quoted in full:

Census War Heats Up – Opponents hit the “300” Mark

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Today, the “Census War” reached another milestone, as the list of organizations opposing the Conservative plan to gut the long form census moved past the 300 mark. The continued growth of this list, comprising religious, professional, business, academic, government and medical organizations – virtually every sector of Canadian society – stands in stark contrast to the lack of support, outside the Conservative caucus, for the government’s position.

“It is revealing that the Conservative MPs found it necessary to force the postponement of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, (INDU).  The committee was preparing a witness list drawn from the over 300 organizations representing the vast majority of Canadians.  The Conservative members delayed so that they can scour the country to find some supposed ‘ordinary Canadians’ who will support their position,” said Peggy Taillon, President of the Canadian Council on Social Development.  “This is yet further proof that, lacking any scientific justification or popular support for their decision, the government is now just making this up as they go along.”

Opponents of the government decision point to the ongoing public and media interest in this issue as a clear indication that “ordinary Canadians” are, indeed, concerned about the damage to their health, prosperity, and safety that will result from the cancellation of the compulsory long form census.  “As people realize that this decision will hamper research into treatments for diseases like cancer and diabetes, will hurt the capacity of churches to do their charitable work, and means that jobs and investment may not come to their communities, the public outcry against it is growing stronger” said  Randy Hatfield, Executive Director of the Human Development Council in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The “Save the Census” campaign is vowing to continue to build pressure on the government to reverse this decision.  “There is a month until Parliament resumes on September 20th.  We anticipate that one of the first priorities of the new session will be ensuring that Canada continues to have the information we need to address current needs, and to plan for the future,” said Susan Morrissey, Executive Director of the Edmonton Social Planning Council.

“We are amazed at the way in which Canadians across the country have responded to the ‘sneak attack’ launched on the Census at the beginning of the summer, and have rallied to the defense of this critical Canadian institution.  The fight is not over yet!” said John Campey, Executive Director of Social Planning Toronto.

Opponents of scrapping the long form census are rallying behind the recommendations of the government’s own National Statistical Council, which has called on the government to:

–  Reinstate  mandatory long form census questionnaire for 2011 — we are too far down the road to change at this juncture and a process can be undertaken to make changes that would satisfy the government’s  goals in the 2016 Census. We are willing to work with the Government to find the best approach to achieve their goals and save this important tool

– Take the necessary time to study the impact of a voluntary survey

–  Adjust penalties for non compliance, removing the jail penalty

– Strengthen independence of the agency  ensuring a transparent appointment process for the new Chief Statistician.

For more information contact:

Peggy Taillon, CCSD (613)769-5499 [email protected]

John Campey, Social Planning Toronto, (416) 351-0095 x 260 or 647) 283-9657 [email protected]

The most comprehensive listing of organizations opposing and supporting the government’s decision is available at


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