New Brunswick Conservative Government wants return of long-form census

Ted Hsu
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Lately I’ve been hearing lots of responses to the termination of the long-form census. Even though the decision to eliminate the mandatory long-form census took place in 2011, stories have been coming out fairly regularly. This makes sense: it takes time to fully understand the implications of changes of this nature. Three years in, everybody is starting to understand how changing the way we collect data about ourselves impacts our daily lives.


census pic


Getting rid of the census doesn’t just affect our ability to move forward and plan for tomorrow, it also makes it harder to assess programs we’ve already started.  Recently, New Brunswick Premier David Alward explained that the elimination of the long-form census was making it difficult to evaluate the province’s five-year poverty reduction plan.


The New Brunswick government and the New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation weren’t able to measure changes in smaller communities accurately, and they have had to seek data out from other sources, especially about literacy and obesity rates, minimum wage, and public transportation. We need this information and it was irresponsible for the government to make it harder for municipalities, provinces, and all Canadians to find it.


This is why I put forward my private member’s bill, Bill C-562, which amends the Statistics Act to restore the long-form census, and expands the authority and political independence of the Chief Statistician, so that we can have the data required to develop the evidence-based policies our country needs.