Making the long-form census voluntary instead of mandatory is not the first change to the way Statistics Canada collects data since the Conservatives took office. Several surveys have been discontinued.
The Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, Statscan’s major data collection on individuals with disabilities, was cut by the government department that paid for it, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
The Harper government has told advocacy groups a census-related survey that gathers statistics about disabilities will eventually be replaced by a database culled from tax information, welfare rolls and similar databanks – but there’s skepticism about whether that information will be as reliable. Continue reading →
DAN GARDNER, Ottawa Citizen: “To turn statistical methodology into a political controversy, a government has to really screw up. But to make statisticians shriek and flap their arms like wounded albatrosses, to cause policy wonks to turn purple with rage, to compel retired civil servants to dispense with a lifetime of discretion and denounce the government’s gobsmacking jackassery to reporters . . . Well, that’s something special.”
BRIAN LILLEY, Toronto Sun: “The Hill has been so fixated on this one issue that Stephen Harper could very well install himself as prime minister for life and most newsrooms wouldn’t notice. If ever there was an issue that divided Main Street, Canada from the chattering classes this is it.”
STEPHEN PATE, NJNNetwork.com: “So Harper will weaken StatsCan. Make the numbers less reliable and then he can point to that as an excuse for ignoring them.” Continue reading →
Statisticians, politicians, statisticians and community leaders say dropping long form census will distort Statistics for Canada
Prime Minister Harper, dismantling Canadian government one step at a time
The debate over the long form census is heating up in Canada. Yesterday the head of Statistics Canada threw oil on the fire by resigning.
“I want to take this opportunity to comment on a technical statistical issue which has become the subject of media discussion. This relates to the question of whether a voluntary survey can become a substitute for a mandatory census,” Munir Sheikh, the head of Statistics Canada, said in a release. “It cannot,” he said. “Under the circumstances, I have tendered my resignation to the prime minister.” CBC
Sheikh is not the first person to question the validity of dropping a mandatory census and allowing people to voluntarily fill out the detailed census form. Since Sheikh was appointed by Prime Minister Harper, he cannot be accused of Liberal or NDP political bias. He is simply putting his job on the line over the Harper government’s dismantling of Statistics Canada because it’s the wrong thing to do.
No one can accuse Prime Minister Harper of being anything by small government conservative. His stated goal is to dismantle big government in Canada. Statistics Canada and it’s reliable measurement of who we are, where we live and how well Canada is performing is a dose of reality Harper can’t stand. Continue reading →
The reporters take stories off the internet and just read them on camera like that’s all it takes.
Holland College journalism students could do their jobs.
This week the government announced the unemployment numbers on Tuesday and CBC National first reported how bad it is – 1.3 million unemployed – then dropped to the less dramatic story of 560,000 collecting unemployment benefits. Continue reading →
The Globe and Mail carries a Canadian Press story New vehicle sales dropped in November, Statscan reports “New motor vehicle sales fell 7 per cent in November to 129,044, the largest monthly decline since August, 2005.Statistics Canada attributes most of the decrease to lower sales of passenger cars. Prince Edward Island recorded a small increase in the number of new motor vehicles sold.”
In a recession or depression, cash is king.
PEI car sales have not dropped and that is lagging the rest of Canada and certainly North America in feeling the effects of the recession / depression. Our economy is, to a great extent, based on government spending and Federal largess. So much of PEI’s middle class incomes are related to government jobs both direct and indirect. Continue reading →