An asterisk

It seems Statistics Canada’s previously reported support for the move to a voluntary census was not entirely unwavering.

In July, then-chief statistician Munir Sheikh ordered the creation of a new, voluntary survey on behalf of Industry Minister Tony Clement. The order, obtained by the federation for the court case, describes the resulting impact on the data collected by Statistics Canada. “It is recognized that the quality of the data collected by the voluntary (survey) will be lower than that of a mandatory survey,” the order reads.

It lists 39 federal institutions that use census data and goes on to warn that some information will simply be lost. Some survey data, “will not be useable for a range of objectives for which the census information would be needed,” wrote Rosemary Bender, the assistant chief statistician.

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