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Scrapping of mandatory long-form census an 'ideological decision'

Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle put forward a motion in the federal industry committee July 27 which calls for the “immediate reinstatement of the mandatory long-form portion of the 2011 census,” according to a press release put out by the MP's office
Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle put forward a motion in the federal industry committee July 27 which calls for the “immediate reinstatement of the mandatory long-form portion of the 2011 census,” according to a press release put out by the MP's office.

Gravelle's motion passed with a minor amendment.

There has been controversy recently about the federal government's plans to make filling out the long-form portion of the census optional.

Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement appeared before the industry committee this week, and defended the plan.

Munir Sheikh, who stepped down as the head of Statistics Canada because he disagreed with the government's plans, also appeared before the industry committee.

“Expert after expert made it perfectly clear that Minister Clement’s ideological decision, made without any consultation, and against the recommendation of Statistics Canada, would seriously hinder Canadians’ capacity to collect and analyse critical data on issues affecting countless communities in Canada,” Gravelle, who acts at the NDP's deputy industry critic, said in a press release.

“Tony Clement and this Conservative government have manufactured a crisis in the middle of the summer, trying to avoid any Parliamentary accountability.

“The NDP is prepared to continue hearings on this issue if the government refuses to provide necessary documentation demanded by committee members, or if it refuses to change its decision.”

Gravelle's motion reads as follows.

“That pursuant to Standing Order 108 and the committee’s study of the long-form portion of the Census, this Committee notes that, the long-form census is a vital tool for good policy-making and the decision to amend it was short-sighted and carried out without consultation. Therefore, the government should immediately reinstate the mandatory nature of the long-form census. And, that this committee tables this report upon resumption of Parliament.”