The Canadian Union of Public Employees is urging the federal government to reconsider its decision to cancel the long-form census questionnaire.
In a letter to Industry Minister Tony Clement, CUPE National President Paul Moist said the change would compromise invaluable information used by all levels of government, and would impair governments’ ability to conduct essential planning and resource allocation to Canadian communities.
“CUPE represents members working in the public sector and understands well the essential nature of gathering this information to best serve Canadian communities from local neighbourhoods to the national level,” said Moist. “The huge sample size coupled with the mandatory requirement makes the census an essential and high-quality tool for researchers and decision makers.”
Moist expressed concern that scrapping the long-form census would further marginalize vulnerable groups.
“A voluntary survey will be unreliable and not representative of the population mix. Only those who feel like responding will do so,” said Moist.
“The people least likely to respond are the most vulnerable groups such as the disadvantaged, aboriginal people, immigrants and racialized members of our society. This will make these groups undercounted and will reduce the ability of governments and community services to respond to their needs.”
The government has defended its position on census reform by declaring the long-form “intrusive”. However, the form takes an average of only 20 minutes to fill out, and the government has received only three complaints in the last ten years about the long-form.
“This detailed, accurate census information is crucial to supporting our communities,” wrote Moist. “We need it so our communities are better equipped to respond to societal changes through services and programs.”
Keep the Canadian Census Long Form
CUPE members are encouraged to sign the online petition to tell the Canadian government to reverse its decision to eliminate the mandatory long form Canada census questionnaire. Please also share the petition with your friends and coworkers through Facebook, Twitter and email.