From: PoiliP@parl.gc.ca [mailto:PoiliP@parl.gc.ca]
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2010 11:48 AM
Subject: RE: Your correspondence – Census
Thank you for your comments on changes to information gathering through the census.
Recently, in a move to protect Canadians’ privacy and limit the intrusiveness of government, our Conservative government announced that filling out the long-form version of the Census will now be voluntary. The long-form of the Census asks intrusive questions like how many bedrooms you have in your house; if you drive by yourself to work or with others; or if the plumbing or wiring in your house needs to be fixed.
The government made the decision to conduct the mandatory census as the short form only. The content of the short form is unchanged from the previous census. The government also decided that the long-form be conducted as a separate voluntary survey.
StatisticsCanadawill conduct and release this survey applying the same rigorous methods and standards used for all of its surveys. I would note that this survey is intended to reach even more households than the long-form census would have reached, in order to help ensure data quality.
I would encourage Canadians to participate in this survey as vigorously as they have in the past for the long-form census.
Beyond the provision of basic information, the government does not believe it is appropriate to demand detailed information from its citizens. We believe the new National Household Survey will enable us to obtain the quality data Canadians need, without mandating the provision of personal information by citizens.
The government will not be revisiting this issue.
Minister Clement has acknowledged, with regret, the resignation of Munir Sheikh, the Chief Statistician ofCanada. Our approach is about finding a better balance between collecting necessary data and protecting the privacy rights of Canadians. It is unfortunate that Mr. Sheikh did not share these objectives.
Until a permanent successor to Mr. Sheikh is chosen, Wayne Smith, Assistant Chief Statistician, Business and Trade Statistics, will act on an interim basis.
We are confident that Statistics Canada’s employees will continue the hard work and dedication that has made Statistics Canada one of the best national statistical organizations in the world.
According to the Ignatieff Liberals (senior spokesperson Joyce Murray, MP) freeing Canadians from the threat of fines and imprisonment for not filling out a government form is a slide towards “tyranny”.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Michael Ignatieff likes to brag that he is a former professor of human rights. Yet now he and his party actually believe that our human rights are infringed making it VOLUNTARY for citizens to tell the government how many toilets they own, what time they leave for work in the morning, and other personal information.
Unlike the Ignatieff Liberals, we don’t want to threaten Canadians with fines and jail time if they won’t reveal unnecessary personal information.
Unlike the Ignatieff Liberals, we believe there must be a balance between collecting useful information and protecting Canadians’ privacy.
And, unlike the Ignatieff Liberals, we understand what “tyranny” means and we are proud thatCanadastands up to tyranny worldwide.
To label a voluntary census as “tyranny” is an insult to victims of tyranny around the world.
The Ignatieff Liberals’ latest outrageous claim proves, yet again, that they aren’t in it for Canadians. They are just in it for themselves.
Pierre Poilievre, M.P. Nepean-Carleton
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs