Clement urges Canadians complete census

Long-form census optional, but still necessary, says industry minister

Industry Minister Tony Clement, who sent the country into a heated debate over statistics last summer when he made the mandatory long-form census voluntary, is now is urging Canadians to voluntarily complete the new National Household Survey. Clement touts the fact Canadians will no longer face jail time for not answering “personal and intrusive” questions. At the same time, the industry minister praised the decision of a Saskatoon judge to let Sandra Finley go without jail time for her refusal to complete the census, on the grounds that StatsCan had purchased software from Lockheed Martin. Census-takers are expecting that, at best, only 65 to 70 percent of Canadians will complete the questionnaire, prompting the Industry Minister to remind Canadians that “completing the census is important for data purposes.” At 35 pages, the National Household Survey is still a fairly long and extensive questionnaire that asks Canadians about their religion, ethnicity and financial information.

The Globe and Mail

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.