Tony Clement will tell you how many bedrooms he has

It’s not that the Industry Minister himself considers the long-form census to be intrusive, it’s that other people do.

Clement, who is in England on ministerial business, acknowledged he doesn’t consider long-form questions — such as how many bedrooms one’s house has — as intrusive. “I don’t, but I’ve heard from Canadians who do,” he said. “I’ve heard from Canadians who are concerned about other questions, like whether someone in the household has a mental or physical incapacity, they’re concerned about questions about the characteristics of their commute to work.”

The embattled minister also said he would fill out the long-form census if he were to receive it, but has to be “respectful” of those Canadians who are concerned about the “very private nature of those questions and give them a chance to opt out if they so choose.”