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Reinstate the Long-Form Census in Time for the 2016 Count

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In 2010, Steven Harper's Conservative government scrapped the long-form census.

Arguing it would save the Government money, the Conservatives replaced the 2011 mandatory long-form census with a voluntary National Household Survey. But the National Household Survey had a collection response rate of only 68.6%, significantly lower that the 2006 Census long form that achieved a response rate of 93.8%.

The loss represented by this lower response rate as well as the change in data collection methods is enormous. The information collected by the long-form census is vital to policy makers as well as to academic researchers. Policy makers at all levels use data gathered from the long-form census to plan better programs, such as Employment Insurance, Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan, and to know more about what infrastructure is needed, from public transit and health care, to child services and education. Without accurate data, the ability of policy makers to make good decisions is seriously compromised.

The long-form census is also of vital importance to Social Science and Humanities Research in Canada. Researchers use census data to track demographic patterns and shifts in the Canadian population; to know more about where we're coming from and where we're settling; to shed light on our ethnic, linguistic, racial, and religious make up; to identify disparities in income and education levels, among, for instance, immigrant, second-generation, and aboriginal peoples, and between men and women; and to understand how we think about our identities. Losing the long-form census represents the loss of this key research tool, and compromises the culture of research in Canada.

This year marks the 350th anniversary of the first Canadian census. The newly-elected Liberal Government has promised to restore the long-form census. We ask you to restore the long-form census in time for the 2016 census.

Today: Karina is counting on you

Karina Vernon needs your help with “Wayde Smith, Deputy Minister responsible for Statistics Canada, Leader, Liberal Party of Canada/Chef, Parti libéral du Canada Justin Trudeau: Reinstate the Long-Form Census in time for 2016”. Join Karina and 24,619 supporters today.