What's All the Fuss About Canada's 2011 Long Form Census?


What's All the Fuss About Canada's 2011 Long Form Census?

Ever since the Conservative government announced late last month that they were scrapping the mandatory long census form for next year's census and replacing it with a voluntary national household survey, more and more ordinary Canadians representing various heritage, cultural and business groups have been expressing their concerns regarding the government's decision.

Here are some of the basic facts about the proposed changes to the 2011 Canadian Census:

- all Canadians will still receive a mandatory short census
- instead of the previous 1 in 5 households that were sent the mandatory long-form census, now only 1 in 3 households will be sent the form which will then be voluntary

While the proposed change theoretically means the long-form will reach more households, the fact remains that there is no guarantee that the response rate will be any better if the form is voluntary. There is fear among many organizations that the proposed change would mean less respondents answering the survey and providing less than accurate information.

To help readers sort through the issues and to follow the latest developments, here are some recommended links on the topic:

- Official Federal Government's Statement on the 2011 Census dated July 13, 2010

- Fraser's Institute Support for the Conservatives Plan

- Wikipedia entry "Canada 2011 Census"

- Gordon Watts' article "Federal Government Destroys Value of Future Census"

- Facebook group "Restore Canada's 2011 Long-Form Census"

This list is not comprehensive and does not indicate the Regina Public Library's official stance on the 2011 Canada Census. Merely this brief list is to help inform and educate our readers about the issue.


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