Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • CCPA in Europe for CETA speaking tour October 17, 2017
    On September 21, Canada and the European Union announced that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a controversial NAFTA-plus free trade deal initiated by the Harper government and signed by Prime Minister Trudeau in 2016, was now provisionally in force. In Europe, however, more than 20 countries have yet to officially ratify the deal, […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Twelve year study of an inner-city neighbourhood October 12, 2017
    What does twelve years of community organizing look like for a North End Winnipeg neighbourhood?  Jessica Leigh survey's those years with the Dufferin community from a community development lens.  Read full report.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Losing your ID - even harder to recover when you have limited resources! October 10, 2017
    Ellen Smirl researched the barriers experienced by low-income Manitobans when faced with trying to replace lost, stolen, or never aquired idenfication forms. Read full report here.  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA recommendations for a better North American trade model October 6, 2017
    The all-party House of Commons trade committee is consulting Canadians on their priorities for bilateral and trilateral North American trade in light of the current renegotiation of NAFTA. In the CCPA’s submission to this process, Scott Sinclair, Stuart Trew, and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood argue for a different kind of trading relationship that is inclusive, transformative, and […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Ontario’s fair wage policy needs to be refreshed September 28, 2017
    The Ontario government is consulting on ways to modernize the province’s fair wage policy, which sets standards for wages and working conditions for government contract workers such as building cleaners, security guards, building trades and construction workers. The fair wage policy hasn’t been updated since 1995, but the labour market has changed dramatically since then. […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers

Meta

Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

Calgary Stampede – Census related, of course

A research colleague from Calgary sent along news of the latest Calgary Herald editorial on the topic. I am copying the email with permission, on condition of anonymity.

**********************

Here is a link to the lead editorial in yesterday’s Calgary Herald. This is the second editorial on this in the past 3 weeks. You know you’re in trouble when the official spokespaper of your party can’t even get onside.

On a related note, The Herald also ran an online poll the day before asking “would you fill out the long form if it weren’t mandatory?” The results were 52% “No”. Even recognizing the inherent limitations of such online polls, the Census would clearly be in deep deep trouble if even close to half the population refused to complete it. As we’ve been saying all along!

**********************

This second point may be the greater sit-up-and-and-take-notice comment. It speaks to the distinction between the “air war” (uncontroversially lost by the Conservatives) and the “ground war” (perhaps not lost by the Conservative strategy).

Whatever the final outcome of the census brouhaha, the well has been tainted. That may have been the point all along.

As mentioned in a recent post, the likelihood is growing with every passing day that some workable resolution will be found.

The Harper team has focused its political fighting power for weeks on getting Canadians to a) be wary of questions, any questions, from the census and b) understand that the Conservatives are on your side should you choose not to answer questions posed by “the state”. Just short of telling people to break the law, they have moved the game to the place where penalties for non-compliance will surely be softened. The effect will be that more people will walk away from this exercise.

Now the challenge is to make clear to everyday Canadians – if you don’t tell your story when you are asked (as rare as that may be) you won’t count.

Having the data doesn’t guarantee that governments or even marketers will address the needs and desires of people just like you. But without such data, you’re as good as invisible. Voice and visibility will be increasingly the preserve of those who can buy it.

Perhaps we can help redirect the stampede of refusniks, turning their concern in another direction. In the era of facebook, credit info, and resales of personal info to floggers of merchandise, Canadians can and should distinguish between what is a bogus threat to your personal privacy and what is not.

But there is a legitimate cause for concern in this trumped-up census affair: the less information about people just like you there is out there, the less your interests are going to get represented in the democratic process.

The Americans went through this a few years ago. Here’s an inspired way to capture what’s at stake. Pretty sure this wasn’t what the Conservatives had in mind, but a whole new generation of Canadians might just get turned on by politics because of the summer-time buzz they just wouldn’t kill. To quote the lyrics of this amazing video: “We gonna get counted, No way ’round it…..Young like that, To amount like that….We all matter…..” That’s what we’re talkin’ about.

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from Kathleen Lahey
Time: August 2, 2010, 2:16 pm

Also note at the end of the proposed National Household Survey that Person #1 gets to report on which other members of the household — including children under the age of 15 — ‘elect’ to not have their census information made public in 92 yrs.

k

Write a comment





Related articles