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  • Help us build a better Ontario September 14, 2017
    If you live in Ontario, you may have recently been selected to receive our 2017 grassroots poll on vital issues affecting the province. Your answers to these and other essential questions will help us decide what issues to focus on as we head towards the June 2018 election in Ontario. For decades, the CCPA has […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Does the Site C dam make economic sense for BC? August 31, 2017
    Today CCPC-BC senior economist Marc Lee submitted an analysis to the BC Utilities Commission in response to their consultation on the economics of the Site C dam. You can read it here. In short, the submission discussses how the economic case for Site C assumes that industrial demand for electricity—in particular for natural gas extraction […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Ontario's middle and working class families are losing ground August 15, 2017
    Ontario is becoming more polarized as middle and working class families see their share of the income pie shrinking while upper middle and rich families take home even more. New research from CCPA-Ontario Senior Economist Sheila Block reveals a staggering divide between two labour markets in the province: the top half of families continue to pile […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Join us in October for the CCPA-BC fundraising gala, featuring Senator Murray Sinclair August 14, 2017
    We are incredibly honoured to announce that Senator Murray Sinclair will address our 2017 Annual Gala as keynote speaker, on Thursday, October 19 in Vancouver. Tickets are now on sale. Will you join us? Senator Sinclair has served as chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), was the first Indigenous judge appointed in Manitoba, […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • How to make NAFTA sustainable, equitable July 19, 2017
    Global Affairs Canada is consulting Canadians on their priorities for, and concerns about, the planned renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In CCPA’s submission to this process, Scott Sinclair, Stuart Trew and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood point out how NAFTA has failed to live up to its promise with respect to job and productivity […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Ontario, Quebec call census decision a “mistake”

Cabinet ministers from the governments of Ontario and Quebec have sent a letter to Minister Tony Clement, calling the census decision a “mistake” and asking that the federal government “reverse this course of action as soon as possible”.

The provinces, together, represent 62% of the labour market and spend billions of dollars every year on training and education. The Ministers responsible for those public expenditures point out that the Harper government’s decision on the census will make it impossible to reliably know how the labour market is changing, and if the taxpayers dollars being spent on training and education is being targeted appropriately.

They stress the role of data in making governments capable of delivery responsive programs that benefit individuals and all of society. “Reliable data is essential in evaluating programs and shaping policy to ensure we have the best possible post-secondary and training systems and, ultimately, that all individuals have the chance to succeed in the knowledge-based economy.”

They could have pointed out that the objective of effective public spending is all the more pressing now, with governments struggling to balance budgets, and in the coming years, as governments plan for the biggest wave of retirements that the nation has seen.

They also could have pointed out that the census decision will make it more difficult to reliably track the progress of recovery or recession in future, as the monthly Labour Force Survey – which provides a monthly indicator of the health of the labour market, where jobs are disappearing and being created, as well as what kinds of jobs — relies on information from the long-form mandatory questionnaire to make sure it accurately reflects long term trends int he labour market, community by community across Canada.

The letter provides a study in contrasts: on the one hand, the provincial Ministers are trying to do the job they were given which, as elected politicians, they applied for and won; on the other hand, the federal Minister and the Harper team are doing everything they can to duck the responsibilities of governing that they don’t feel like doing, like providing mandated services under statute. That is what the court challenge by the Federation des Communautes Francophones et acadienne, just heard this week, is all about.

Perhaps the voluntary vs. mandatory issue is more about the rules the Harper government wants for itself than the freedoms it says it is “protecting” for citizens.

The English version of the letter appears below.
traiiningletterpage12

traiiningletterpage21

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Comments

Comment from Brenton
Time: September 30, 2010, 12:33 am

And where is Gordon Campbell on this? Glad-handing at the UBCM. Will he mention this issue in his speech to delegates on Friday morning? Don’t hold your breath.

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