Did I say media storm over the census?

SHEESH! I’ve never seen anything like this, have you?

My fave – Kelly McParland’s Full Comment, at the bottom. Hilarious and right on the money.

THURSDAY CLIPPINGS

“NEWS HOUR FINAL”
Global BC and Global Ontario
Broadcast Date: Thursday July 15 2010
The Harper government says it’s making changes to the census based on widespread privacy complaints but as Shirlee Engel tells us, very few complaints have actually been registered, and many more people are complaining about changes to the questions we’re being asked. The conservative government quietly decided to scrap the long form census and threat of jail time for not filling it out and give more Canadians a shorter voluntary survey. Over a dozen organizations have come out swinging. Urban planners, public health official, non-profits, social service providers, academics. Their outrage echoed in on-line petition, blogs, and Facebook groups. Today the Industry Minister responsible for Statscan opted out of anticipating questions.

“POWER AND POLITICS”
CBC News Network
Broadcast Date: Wednesday July 14 2010
Evan Solomon interviews Greg Weston about his real experience with the census cops and being threatened to be put in jail if he did not fill out the form.

“CBC NEWS NOW”
CBC Calgary
Broadcast Date: Wednesday July 14 2010
Clip Start: 2:10pm ET
Clip Length: 10 minutes
Paul Jacobson of Jacobson Consulting Inc. interviewed re: long form census form.

“THE CURRENT”
CBC Radio, July 14, 2010
The segment with a clip from Christopher Walken giving a census worker the run-around in a Saturday Night Live skit. The Canadian census isn’t the sort of thing you’d expect to stir intense passions. But that’s exactly what’s happening. Three weeks ago, the Federal Government cancelled the mandatory long-form census. That’s the more detailed census that was sent to 1 out of every 5 Canadian households … the one with 53 extra questions tracking information such as ethnicity, disabilities, religion, education and income. The government cited complaints that the long-form census was an invasion of privacy. So starting next year, Ottawa will send a more detailed census to 1 out of every 3 households. But filling it out will be voluntary, not mandatory. The two interviewees were Ivan Fellegi, former Chief Statistician @ StatsCan, and Dean del Mastro, the Conservative MP for Peterborough and a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2010/07/july-14-2010.html

“BEHIND THE NUMBERS:TAKING CENSUS:PRIVACY VERSUS THE PUBLIC GOOD”
CBC Politics and Power blog (CBC website) by David McKie, July 14, 2010
http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/07/behind-the-numbers-taking-census-privacy-versus-the-public-good.html

“PM FACING REVOLT OVER CENSUS CHANGE”
Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star (paper & online) , July 15, 2010
When governments want to sneak something by you, they slip the announcement in late Friday, hoping the media won’t notice. Or they print it in the Canada Gazette Saturday, especially during summer weekends. The Stephen Harper government did the latter on Saturday, June 26 (during the G20 meeting in Toronto), conveying its decision to change the national census.As if to rub salt in the wound, Tony Clement, the minister in charge of Statistics Canada, said: “I don’t accept that every time you make a change on every matter of government business, you have to shout it from every rooftop.” The quinquennial census (every five years) consists of a short form sent to 80 per cent of households and a longer one that the remaining fifth must answer. The first provides the population estimates Ottawa uses to allocate $60 billion in transfer payments to the provinces and territories.The second helps build a national portrait, down to the neighbourhood level. The only data of its kind, it’s widely used by businesses, governments, hospitals and such agencies as the United Way to provide products and services — from daycare, schools and public transit to retail outlets and seniors care.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/835993–siddiqui-pm-facing-revolt-over-census-change

“CANADIAN CENSUS: CHANGE FOR THE SAKE OF CHANGE”
Toronto.com (Online), July 15, 2010
Stand up and be counted – but only if you feel like it?
We ask because an increasing number of a broad range of organizations and individuals are casting a sceptical eye at proposed changes to next year’s Canadian census. These changes should be a cause of concern for Canadians – Torontonians especially. In a nutshell, here’s what’s being proposed by the federal government: instead of a mandatory long form, randomly given out to one in every five people across the country, a voluntary form will be sent out instead to more respondents (one in three). The much shorter survey, which goes out to all Canadians, remains compulsory. Critics have suggested making the long form voluntary will skew the statistical integrity of the data collected, among which are answers to specific questions dealing with education, employment and immigration, among other areas. Making the form voluntary, they argue, will reduce the compliance rate significantly and provide a less clear picture of who we are and what we need. Among those who have publicly raised objections include representatives of Toronto Public Health, the United Way of Greater Toronto, and Toronto Dominion Senior Economist Don Drummond. …
http://www.insidetoronto.com/opinion/editorial/article/847870–canadian-census-change-for-the-sake-of-change

“PRIVACY CZAR NOT CONSULTED ON PLAN TO SCRAP COMPULSORY CENSUS”
Steven Chase, The Globe and Mail (paper & online), July 14, 2010 updated on July 15, 2010
The Harper government is blaming privacy fears for a controversial decision to scrap a mandatory long-form census questionnaire – but the country’s privacy watchdog has heard almost nothing from Canadians on the topic. In fact, according to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, only three complaints were laid about any aspect of the census in the last decade: two in 2006 and one in 2001. Opposition parties are marshalling efforts to recall a Commons committee this summer that could probe the decision, one they warn will erode the comprehensive profile that the census normally draws of Canada. The Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc Québécois want Industry Minister Tony Clement called on the carpet to justify the move.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/privacy-commissioner-not-consulted-on-plan-to-scrap-compulsory-census/article1640288/

“FEW COMPLAINTS ABOUT CENSUS: PRIVACY COMMISSIONER”
Laura Payton, Toronto Sun (paper & online) , July 14, 2010
Canada’s privacy commissioner has had only three complaints about the census in almost 15 years, despite the government’s claims of coast-to-coast anger over the long form census being invasive. There were 49 complaints over the 1991 and 1996 censuses, before Statistics Canada cut some questions and changed the way the census was collected, said a spokeswoman for the privacy commissioner. There have been three since then. Industry Minister Tony Clement has said all MPs get complaints over the long form census, which goes out to 20% of Canadians every five years. The government is making the long form census voluntary, getting rid of the chance of fines and jail time for not filling it out.
http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/07/14/14712616.html

“LIBERALS WANT TO RECALL COMMITTEE TO STUDY CENSUS”
Shannon Proudfoot, Postmedia News, The Province (online) , July 15, 2010
The Liberals want to reconvene a Parliamentary committee this summer, demanding Industry Minister Tony Clement justify the government’s decision to scrap the long-form census for 2011. Industry critic Marc Garneau said in a news conference Wednesday that he will ask for the Industry, Science and Technology Committee to meet and insist Clement provide evidence of the privacy concerns the government says prompted what Garneau called a “secretive, manipulative move.”
http://www.theprovince.com/news/Liberals+want+recall+committee+study+census/3280557/story.html

“LIBERALS WANT TONY CLEMENT CALLED ON CARPET IN CENSUS FEUD”
Steven Chase, Globe and Mail (online), July 14, 2010
The Opposition Liberals and New Democrats want a parliamentary committee reconvened this summer to probe the Harper government’s decision to stop requiring that one-fifth of households fill out a lengthy census questionnaire. They want to Industry Minister Tony Clement called on the carpet to explain himself, saying the move will erode the ability of social scientists and policy makers to build an accurate picture of Canada.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/liberals-want-tony-clement-called-on-carpet-in-census-feud/article1639741/

“BACKLASH TO CENSUS HEATS UP”
Bruce Campion-Smith, Toronto Star (print), , July 15, 2010
Ottawa’s move to axe long form ‘truly a stupid decision,’ critics say.
Paper copy available in Communications Department

“LIBERALS DEMAND MEETING ON LONG-FORM CENSUS”
CBC.ca (online) , July 14, 2010
The Liberals want to reconvene a House of Commons committee in Ottawa to call Industry Minister Tony Clement to testify about scrapping the mandatory long-form census.
http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/07/14/liberals-census.html

“IS ‘INTRUSIVE’ IGNATIEFF ON HIS WAY OUT?”
Steven Chase, Globe and Mail (online) , July 15, 2010
The Tories, feeling the heat for their decision to dump the mandatory long-form census questionnaire normally sent to 20 per cent of Canadian households, …
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/is-intrusive-ignatieff-on-his-way-out/article1640870/

“MP DEMANDS MEETING ON CENSUS”
Toronto Metro News p. 11 (Paper) , July 15, 2010
Liberal MP Marc Garneau is calling for Commons committee to hold a special meeting in order to question industry Minister Tony Clement about the decision to eliminate the compulsory long census form in 2011.
Paper copy available in Communications Department

“KEEP THE LONG FORM CENSUS, GROUPS URGE”
Toronto Metro News, p. 13 (Paper) , July 14, 2010
A coalition of social and financial organizations is urging the federal government to reverse its decision to scrap the long census form.
Paper copy available in Communications Department

LIBERAL MARC GARNEAU CALLS CENSUS CHANGES A ‘SECRET, MANIPULATIVE’ MOVE
Shannon Proudfoot, Postmedia News: Times Colonist (online) , July 14, 2010
The Liberals are looking to reconvene a Parliamentary committee this summer and demanding Industry Minister Tony Clement explain and justify the government’s decision to scrap the long-form census for 2011. Industry critic Marc Garneau said in a news conference Wednesday that he will ask for the Industry, Science and Technology Committee to meet this summer and insist Clement provide evidence of the privacy concerns the government says prompted what Garneau called a “secretive, manipulative move.” “This is a government that on a daily basis from 2006 talked about transparency and accountability, and is completely hypocritical about the need to be transparent and to be open with Canadians,” Garneau said. “This kind of announcement in the quiet of summer is very typical for them.”
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Liberal%20Marc%20Garneau%20calls%20census%20changes%20secret%20manipulative%20move/3276945/story.html

“PART OF OUR CIVIC DUTY”
Edmonton Journal (online and print) , July 15, 2010
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Part+civic+duty/3280317/story.html

“RECENSEMENT:LES RAISONS D’OTTAWA TAILLEES EN PIECES”
Helen Buzzetti, Le Devoir (online and print), July 15, 2010
http://www.ledevoir.com/documents/pdf/une.pdf

“A LIST OF GROUPS OPPOSED TO THE AXING OF THE COMPULSORY LONG CENSUS FORM”
Canadian Press article, Winnipeg Free Press (online), July 14, 2010
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/a-list-of-groups-opposed-to-the-axing-of-the-compulsory-long-census-form-98456144.html

“A LIST OF GROUPS OPPOSED TO THE AXING OF THE COMPULSORY LONG CENSUS FORM”
Canadian Press article, CFTK News (online)
http://www.cftktv.com/news/14/1171492

“A LIST OF GROUPS OPPOSED TO THE AXING OF THE COMPULSORY LONG CENSUS FORM”
Canadian Press article, KBS (online)
http://www.kbsradio.ca/news/14/1171492

“A LIST OF GROUPS OPPOSED TO THE AXING OF THE COMPULSORY LONG CENSUS FORM”
Sympatico.ca (online)
http://news.sympatico.ctv.ca/canada/a_list_of_groups_opposed_to_the_axing_of_the_compulsory_long_census_form/56c07dd4

“A LIST OF GROUPS OPPOSED TO THE AXING OF THE COMPULSORY LONG CENSUS FORM”
Canadian Press article, Kelownadailycourier.ca (online)
http://www.pentictonherald.ca/includes/datafiles/CP_print.php?id=280004&title=A%20list%20of%20groups%20opposed%20to%20the%20axing%20of%20the%20compulsory%20long%20census%20form

“A LIST OF GROUPS OPPOSED TO THE AXING OF THE COMPULSORY LONG CENSUS FORM”
Canadian Press article, The Spec.com (online)
http://www.thespec.com/printArticle/807797

WEDNESDAY CLIPPiNGS

“FILLING OUT CENSUS ‘NO BIG DEAL’ GROUPS SAY”
Dominique Jarry-Shore (Canadian Press), Globe and Mail (online), July 13, 2010
Filling out the longer census form is “no big deal” and the benefits for Canadians far outweigh any inconvenience, a coalition of social, financial and academic organizations said Tuesday. Members from a wide range of sectors are urging the federal government to reverse its decision to scrap the long census form. The coalition said the government must keep the census long form, arguing the lack of data will be disastrous for social policy and planning, as well as health and community programs. “I have in the past been solicited to fill out the long form,” said the president of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Mel Cappe. He admitted the census form was intrusive and took some extra time, but said that statistically Canadians will only be asked to fill out the form once every 25 years. “That’s not that big a deal,” Mr. Cappe said. The mandatory long census form is being replaced with a voluntary survey next year, something the coalition said will provide virtually useless data.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/filling-out-census-no-big-deal-groups-say/article1638680/

“LONG CENSUS ‘NO BIG DEAL,’ GROUPS SAYS IN CRITICIZING TO SCRAP IT”
Canadian Press article, Toronto Star (online)
The privacy concerns Ottawa is citing as justification for scrapping the mandatory long-form census are overblown, a diverse range of groups said Tuesday in calling for the government to reverse its controversial decision. Financial, social and academic groups added their voices Tuesday to the growing chorus urging the government to keep the longer census, but Ottawa showed no sign of heeding their call. The government “will not be revisiting the issue of the old long form,” Industry Minister Tony Clement said in an unequivocal statement issued Tuesday afternoon. Clement said the government had received complaints in the past from Canadians who felt the questions on the longer census form were an invasion on their privacy.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/835275–long-census-no-big-deal-groups-say-in-criticizing-decision-to-scrap-it

“LONG-FORM CENSUS CRITICAL, GROUP SAYS”
National Post (online and print), July 14, 2010
A coalition of influential organizations and individuals called on the Conservatives yesterday to reverse their decision to axe the long-form census, warning the move will hobble governments, cities and private businesses, waste money and leave Canada struggling to compete. “The information derived from the census long-form questionnaire is the backbone of an information society that needs and wants to know about itself,” Armine Yalnizyan, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said at a news conference in Toronto. If reliable local demographic information isn’t available, businesses and organizations will simply be guessing about where to allocate resources, Ms. Yalnizyan said.
http://www.nationalpost.com/Long+form+census+critical+group+says/3273891/story.html

“PEOPLE MOST VULNERABLE WILL SUFFER BY CENSUS CHANGE, COALITION GROUP SAYS. INFORMATION CRITICAL TO ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS PUBLIC HEALTH, UNITED WAY”
Dave Nickle, InsideToronto (online and print in the Beach Riverdale Mirror), July 13, 2010
Economists, public health professionals and leaders in business and the charitable sector joined together Tuesday, July 13, to urge the federal government to reverse a decision to end the long-form census. The decision, delivered by federal Industry Minister Tony Clement, will mean the 2011 census will no longer include a mandatory “long form,” which asks detailed questions about households and goes out to 20 per cent of the population. The removal of the long-form has been cited as a way to give Canadians a break from having to spend time revealing personal information such as ethnicity, income and disability. But at the news conference at the United Way of Greater Toronto Headquarters, a broad and hastily convened coalition said the government is making a mistake. “The long form is a critical tool that helps business, communities and governments decide where you need your money,” said Armine Yalnizyan, senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Initiatives. “Without this information, we are all punching in the dark. Without this information, we cannot properly allocate our resources. The people who will pay most dearly are those who are already most vulnerable: the poor, aboriginal communities, recent immigrants and racial minorities.”
http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/cityhall/article/847038–people-most-vulnerable-will-suffer-by-census-change-coalition-group-says

“COALITION URGES CONSERVATIVES TO REVERSE CENSUS STAND”
Shannon Proudfoot (Postmedia News), Edmonton Journal (online), July 13, 2010
A coalition of influential organizations and individuals called on the Conservatives Tuesday to reverse their decision to axe the long-form census, warning the move will hobble governments, cities and private businesses, waste money and leave Canada struggling to compete. “The information derived from the census long-form questionnaire is the backbone of an information society that needs and wants to know about itself,” Armine Yalnizyan, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said at a news conference in Toronto. She was joined at the event by representatives from the Canadian Association of Business Economists, the Canadian Institute of Planners, United Way Toronto, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and others who decried the government’s decision.
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Coalition+urges+Conservatives+reverse+census+stand/3273475/story.html

“COALITION URGES TORIES TO REVERSE CENSUS STAND”
Shannon Proudfoot (Postmedia News), The Montreal Gazette (online and print), July 14, 2010
A coalition of influential organizations and individuals called on the Conservatives yesterday to reverse a decision to axe the long-form census, warning the move will hobble governments, cities and private businesses, waste money and leave Canada struggling to compete. “The information derived from the census long-form questionnaire is the backbone of an information society that needs and wants to know about itself,” Armine Yalnizyan, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said at a news conference in Toronto. She was joined at the event by representatives from the Canadian Association of Business Economists, the Canadian Institute of Planners, United Way Toronto, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and others who decried the government’s decision.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Coalition+urges+Tories+reverse+census+stand/3274395/story.html

“COALITION URGES CONSERVATIVES TO REVERSE CENSUS STAND”
Shannon Proudfoot (Postmedia News), Canada.com (online), July 14, 2010
A coalition of influential organizations and individuals called on the Conservatives Tuesday to reverse their decision to axe the long-form census, warning the move will hobble governments, cities and private businesses, waste money and leave Canada struggling to compete. “The information derived from the census long-form questionnaire is the backbone of an information society that needs and wants to know about itself,” Armine Yalnizyan, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said at a news conference in Toronto. She was joined at the event by representatives from the Canadian Association of Business Economists, the Canadian Institute of Planners, United Way Toronto, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and others who decried the government’s decision.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Coalition+urges+Tories+reverse+census+stand/3275231/story.html

“COALITION URGES CONSERVATIVES TO REVERSE CENSUS STAND”
Shannon Proudfoot (Postmedia News), Canada.com (online), July 13, 2010
A coalition of influential organizations and individuals called on the Conservatives Tuesday to reverse their decision to axe the long-form census, warning the move will hobble governments, cities and private businesses, waste money and leave Canada struggling to compete. “The information derived from the census long-form questionnaire is the backbone of an information society that needs and wants to know about itself,” Armine Yalnizyan, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said at a news conference in Toronto. She was joined at the event by representatives from the Canadian Association of Business Economists, the Canadian Institute of Planners, United Way Toronto, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and others who decried the government’s decision.
http://www.canada.com/news/Coalition%20urges%20Conservatives%20reverse%20census%20stand/3273475/story.html

“CENSUS LONG FORM GONE FOR GOOD: CLEMENT”
Dominique Jarry-Shore (Canadian Press), The Metro Ottawa (online), July 13, 2010
The privacy concerns Ottawa is citing as justification for scrapping the mandatory long-form census are overblown, a diverse range of groups said Tuesday in calling for the government to reverse its controversial decision. Financial, social and academic groups added their voices Tuesday to the growing chorus urging the government to keep the longer census, but Ottawa showed no sign of heeding their call. The government “will not be revisiting the issue of the old long form,” Industry Minister Tony Clement said in an unequivocal statement issued Tuesday afternoon. Clement said the government had received complaints in the past from Canadians who felt the questions on the longer census form were an invasion on their privacy.
http://www.metronews.ca/ottawa/canada/article/577787–census-privacy-concerns-dismissed-as-overblown

“THEY DON’T NEED NO CENSUS IN MUSKOKA”
Kelly McParland, National Post (online), July 13, 2010
Tony Clement must have thought he was looking at an easy summer, what with the G8 being over with, and such a resounding success too. He’d managed to snag millions of dollars in government cash for his riding. He’d made that swell video promoting some firm in his riding that was looking for business in China (no other Canadian companies, just the one.) And he signed off on some unimportant change to the census — something about long forms, dead boring stuff, not anything people would ever notice. All he had to do was put his feet up and wait until fall, when the onerous life of an MP starts again. So what happens? Turns out there’s a bunch of people out there who actually take this census business seriously, and they’ve all got their shorts in a knot.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/07/13/kelly-mcparland-they-dont-need-no-census-in-muskoka/

FACEBOOK GROUP: KEEP THE CANADA CENSUS LONG FORM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Keep-the-Canada-Census-Long-Form/141550925859979?v=wall

2 comments

  • Kelsey Kirkland

    Awesome! Criticism across the board – a clear indication it is only one close-knit group behind this decision to scrap long form census.

    Tony Clement is now claiming that this proposal came from Statscan and that this government ought to trust them. Talk about subconcious thoughts creeping in the rhetoric – The Conservatives have fear of trusting the Statscan for some reason. Paranoia!

    What do they think that Canadians are sitting at home burning Incense and Sage? That they haven’t taken note of the poor performance of conservatives – in Economy and foreign Policy. Bereft of strong plan consequently always juggling finances. You Suck@Everything!

  • Mr. Harper NEVER does anything for no reason.

    He knows that the next census will paint horrific picture of economic devastation across our country.

    Leaders with low job numbers get booted out.

    ( Witness Obama’s challenges for the very same thing in the US with the mid term elections.)

    So Mr. Harper will do everything in his power to get rid of the proper census, since his job depends on it.

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