Dear Mr. Harper, Please support my Bill C-562.

Ted Hsu
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Office of the Prime Minister of CanadaDear Mr. Harper,

You can’t manage what you can’t measure,”

You said those words, and I could not agree more.

In May 2014, you committed Canada to spend $3.5 billion over five years, starting in 2015, to improve the health of mothers and children in less-developed countries. A crucial pillar of Canada’s strategy is to, in your words,“work with governments to improve health systems generally and especially the gathering and management of vital statistics.”

A background document issued by your office said,

“A critical next step will be supporting country partners’ efforts to collect timely and relevant data for planning and decision making. To accomplish this, Canada will work with partners like the World Bank, UNICEF and the World Health Organization to advance a global effort in support of country partners’ efforts to strengthen their civil registration and vital statistics systems. These systems provide the foundation for all aspects of our development efforts and will amplify other investments for women and children by improving the delivery of health services, providing national documentation to help secure and safeguard an individual’s rights, and allowing for participation in the democratic process and the economy.”

Indeed I agree with you. Here is a great of example of how collecting data makes for better decisions by government, better delivery of services, safeguarding of rights, facilitating participation in democracy, and economic growth.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure,”

You said those words as you announced Canada’s commitment to the people of less-developed countries around the world.

I ask you today to support my private member’s Bill C-562 which amends the Statistics Act to protect the political independence of the Chief Statistician from the government of the day, and to restore the long form census (without the threat of jail terms for those who choose not to respond), all with the goal of safeguarding the integrity and quality of fundamental information about the people of Canada whom we aspire to serve. Is it not what we seek when we pray at the beginning of each day in the House of Commons, “Grant us wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to preserve the blessings of this country for the benefit of all and to make good laws and wise decisions.”?

You can’t manage what you can’t measure,”

Mr. Harper, you say that you and your party are the best managers of Canada’s economy. You or whoever the government of the day is, need reliable information about Canada. Let us ensure that no government in the future is without that data. Let us ensure that no government in the future may influence that data collection for its own political imperatives.

Please support my private member’s Bill C-562.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Ted Hsu, MP

Kingston and the Islands