July 2010

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Graphic By http://www.socialsignal.com/


Conservative Bloggers:

Graphic By http://www.socialsignal.com/ Here are a bunch more reads on the Census Cuts. I glean these from information people send me, twitter @ these tags #census #cdnpoli #statcan and from goodle alerts.

Previous posts on the Census:

  1. Census Hide & Seek and Language Watch Dogs
  2. Consultation (real) Results
  3. Conspiracy about the Census & the Consultation?
  4. Industry Canada says the census is not part of the Digital Economy
  5. More Media on Political Gerrymandering of the Census
  6. More on the Census Cuts
  7. 2011 Census severely slashed

It is done folks!

And now we know that it was a consultation gone bad. One where the second most popular item was voted off the island by the technocrats in charge – Media relations no doubt – the new source of Canada’s wisdom, truth and knowledge. It was also a consultation that was extended right when the Census submission was moving up the ranks, open data was in the lead and out of nowhere comes an HPC submission that rises to prominence on the day the consultation is extended.

We were never informed why the consultation was extended. I thought it was because it was broken for a weekend. I can’t confirm that because, well, we do not know who is in charge, I was told my Media Relations Official Michel Cimpaye that the ‘Sector’ is in charge. But alas, I think it was something more sinister, like, Clement did not like the Thorn in his side, the Census win, so he ordered the extension and then hid the Census submission. Or, maybe someone lobbied to extend so they could submit, maybe they listened to citizens (not). We may never know with this government.

Here are the real top 4:

463 votes – To Compete You Must Compute submitted by Susan Baldwin 2010-07-08 08:32:20 EDT, Susan Baldwin (Ex Officio) Executive Director of Compute Canada. Submitted on the same day the Consultation was extended. It rose very fast.

389 votes – Reinstate our Census Long Form aka Questionnaire 2B, Submitted by CCSD 2010-07-06 22:52:21ED, by Peggy Taillon Executive Director of the Canadian Council on Social Development and the Lead of the Canadian Social Data Strategy. Submitted 2 days before the consultation was extended, it rose higher than Open Access did and based on email logs it disappeared around Friday July 9th. It remained accessible via a direct link http://de-en.gc.ca/2010/07/06/reinstate-our-census-long-form-aka-questionnaire-2b/ but was removed (1) (2) (3) from the front page in the top 3 and from Theme: Canada’s Digital Content.

338 votes – Open Access to Canada’s Public Sector Information and Data, Submitted by Tracey Lauriault 2010-06-10 11:28:30 EDT, CivicAccess List and datalibre.ca. It was submitted in June and rose slowly up the ranks, beat by Census and then HPC.

197 votes – Improved access to publicly-funded data, Submitted by rakerman 2010 2010-06-03 22:49:09 EDT. Richard Akerman, his was the early submission, it was at the top for a long time and remained in the top 3.

Saturday July 17, from 11am-4pm

Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue

The tag/hashtag for the event is #cco10

You can register through EventBrite, or contact us at changecampottawa@gmail.com

ChangeCamp is a free participatory web-enabled face-to-face event, which addresses the demand for a renewed relationship among citizens and government. The mission of ChangeCamp is to innovate how Canadian governments engage with citizens in an age of mass participation on the Internet. The event aims to develop action plans, for initiatives to improve participation in municipal governance utilizing web-technologies.

Building on the success of ChangeCamp 2009, ChangeCamp 2010 is an event being organized by the Ottawa community to bring together citizens, technologists, designers, academics, policy makers, political players, change-makers and government employees to discuss participatory governance at the municipal level in a web-enabled world. The key theme of this event is:

Data liberation and open, transparent and participative government

Are you interested in exploring ways better your community through improved access to information managed by various governments in the National Capital Region? Imagine being able to combine budgetary, health and voting information from all three levels of government to better understand how your tax dollars are being spent. Recently the City of Ottawa adopted the principles of Open Government and approved a contest for the creation of mobile and web applications to make use of its data with $50 000 in prizes and incentives.

ChangeCamp is a solutions playground open to anyone, where admission and ideas are free. ChangeCamp Ottawa is a unique opportunity. It is taking place in one of the most technologically connected and politically charged environments in the country.

ChangeCamp Ottawa is looking for those interested in e-governance, communications and policy. Are you in?

Register now: http://changecampottawa2010.eventbrite.com/

A Senate question on language issues has resulted in

Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser say[ing] he wants to see whether the government respected its legal obligations when it made the decision.

(Canadian Press)


Graham Fraser, commissaire aux langues officielles, a annoncé aujourd’hui qu’il allait procéder à une enquête sur la décision d’Industrie Canada d’éliminer le questionnaire complet du Recensement de 2011.

(Site Officiel du Commissariat)

Phew! Some are taking their offices seriously to ensure that Ministers follow law. The Census has many legislative obligations and one can’t just change it. Those laws are there for a reason, and even the Industry Minister can’t change that. Fortunately for us, there are many dedicated former Statistics Canada employees and Chief Statisticians who stand up for what is right. There are also numerous other organizations working on this issue:

The Canadian Economics Association, the Canada Census Committee, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the Statistical Society of Canada, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and multiple newspaper editorial boards are among those that have spoken out against the decision.

While others such as

representatives from business and finance, health and social services and other levels of government say the long form is vital to the country’s health and well-being

are forming coalitions to call on government to reverse the census decision. Even the cartographers, archivists and librarians are on the case with the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA) and have written a letter to Mr. Clement on this issue. Data pundits, experts, academics, associations, cities, and business people have spoken loud and clear – do not politically interfere with the Canadian Census.

And so, what does the minister do when his smartest citizens provide him with advice on what not to do? On his own public consultation, he removes the #2 most popular submission and relegates it to outcast status as his Media Relations personnel claims that:

changes to the Census are important, [but] they are not directly related to the development of a digital economy strategy for Canada

So there we have it. The nations smart people speak and the nation’s leaders play hide and seek with consultations, make up evidence to make decisions and forget to check and see if they might have broken any laws. This is the state of our democracy folks. Media relations people are the new spokespeople. Democracies are fragile indeed.


  • CIQSS Centre de données de recherche, Recensement 2011.
  • Canadian Press: Census discussion disappears from federal consultation site
  • Canadian Press: Languages watchdog launches census probe
  • Commissaire aux langues officielles: entreprend une enquête sur la décision du gouvernement du Canada d’éliminer le questionnaire complet du Recensement de 2011
  • Canadian News Wire: Media Advisory – Broad coalition calls on government to reverse census decision
  • Liberal Senate Forum: 2011 Census
  • Winnipeg Free Press: Official languages commissioner launches investigation into census change
  • CanWest: Former top StatsCan officials among those opposing census changes
  • ACMLA: Letter to Tony Clement concerning the 2011 decision to cancel the mandatory Long-Form Questionnaire
  • David Eaves: The Census weak link: What the Liberals, Bloc & NDP should do
  • Digital Economy Consultation: Reinstate our Census Long Form aka Questionnaire 2B
  • Here is the response I received just moments ago from Industry Canada:

    The Government of Canada is interested in the ideas and views of all Canadians.

    While the changes to the Census are important, they are not directly related to the development of a digital economy strategy for Canada.

    Hence, the post was moved to the off-topic section of the site. It is still available for reading and can be accessed by searching the consultation web site and at its original URL (http://de-en.gc.ca/2010/07/06/reinstate-our-census-long-form-aka-questionnaire-2b/).

    The site’s Terms of Use clearly state that all postings are expected to be on-topic and relevant, and off-topic ideas will be moved to an off-topic section.

    All the best

    Michel Cimpaye
    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    email: media-relations-medias@ic.gc.ca

    I responded with the following questions:

    Thank you.

    Can you please explain explicitly how this is off topic? I have read the consultation paper at least 3 times and based on what I have read it fits perfectly in Canada’s Digital Content theme.

    The Census and its digital data inform and direct the knowledge economy, the digital economy for which it is the purpose of this consultation.

    You indicated that there may have been duplication of content. Can you please point me to where such duplication exists? And if that is the case, could you not use the votes received on the Census submission and add them to the duplicate?

    Also, can you please advise who precisely made this decision? Who is responsible for this file and who is responsible for the decision you sent?

    When was the decision made using precisely which criteria?

    How were the 337 +/- Canadians who voted on this submission advised that they were voting on a submission that was removed?

    Is there a public announcements?

    Can you advise if the person who has submitted this has been advised?


    1984 comes to mind as does the movie Brazil!

    Here is the latest on Media pick-up on cuts to the Census. I am sure I have missed some, and may even have repeated one or two. Please do not hesitate to send more or to point out errors.

  • Global News: Federal report ignores census questionnaire privacy concerns
  • The Progressive Economics Forum: Stephen Harper’s New BFF and Rolling Thunder Census Review
  • Ottawa Citizen: No privacy concerns in census feedback report: Top bureaucrats call for Tories to rethink decision to scrap mandatory long questionnaire
  • Pundits Guide: How the Census is Used in Canadian Elections and Census
  • Liberal Senate Forum: 2011 Census
  • Ottawa Citizen: Change in census law could affect city planning: Federal government plans to make long form voluntary
  • Genealogy in Time: Canada Alters Format of Future Censuses
  • MaCleans: Libertarian if necessary, but not necessarily libertarian
  • Toronto Star: Tory census changes get static from statisticians
  • Canadian Press: Anti-census crusader unsatisfied with change
  • Association of Municipalities of Ontario: Ontario Municipalities Concerned About Recent Federal Census Decision
  • Metropolis British Columbia: An Open Letter from the Canadian Network of Metropolis Centers Canada should keep its Census mandatory and maintain its status as a public resource
  • Letter to the Editor Globe and Mail: Information blackout

    The long form of the census is the source of the most accurate information about the rate and depth of poverty in Canada. This is especially true of after-tax poverty measures, estimates for particular population groups and for small provinces and municipalities. This information is essential evidence for policy development. Is the government trying to hide information about poverty?

  • Toronto Star: Travers: Census change latest move in PM’s dumbing down of Canada
  • Media for Social Change: 2011 Census’ Theatre of Fears
  • Canada online: Base Canadian Government Policy on Facts
  • Canadian Economics Association Open Letter to Clement about the Census Cut
  • Troy Media: Why the census matters
  • CARL Opinion Survey: scroll down or go directly”>Statistics Canada – Census 2011 Changes : Opinion Survey to the survey here
  • Inside Toronto: Toronto council calls federal census decision ‘shortsighted’ Long form document provides critical information for city planning: councillor
  • MaCleans ‘You try to limit the amount of state coercion that you have’
  • BR Newsletter: 2011 Census Long Form – Don’t take my DA away!
  • Rural Ontario Institute: Changes to the 2011 Census Raise Concern
  • Globe and Mail: Ottawa should come to its census: Stop dogging Statscan
  • Montreal Gazette: Clement says census decision stands despite data concerns
  • Globe and Mail: Census revamp prompts debate over the right to reliable data Crowds of people walk in front of Union Station in Toronto. For The Globe and Mail Business community attacks change that makes long-form survey voluntary
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities: Letter to Tony Clement’s Office
  • Le Devoir: Les scientifiques crient à la catastrophe Ayant mis la hache dans le recensement obligatoire, le gouvernement est encore accusé de privilégier l’idéologie au détriment de la science
  • City of Calgary Economic Development Authority: WHY THE CENSUS MATTERS
  • Radio Canada: Émission Le Téléjournal sur RDI, Diffusé 2010/07/07 à 21 h 14 Les Changement aux methodes de recensement de la population canadienne suscitent des reactions negatives
  • CBC News: Census: Is it an invasion of privacy?
  • CBC: Don’t cut long census form: Liberals
  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: 2011*
  • Epoch Times: Critics Fume over Census Decision Mandatory long-form scrapped, replaced with voluntary questionnaire
  • MaCleans: ‘The death of smart government
  • The Black Hole: Federal Government Scrapping The Census Long-Form: What Will It Mean for Evidence-Based Policy?
  • Liberal Senate Forum: 2011 Census
  • Le Devoir: Des stats qui comptent
  • Globe and Mail: Census revamp prompts debate over the right to reliable data
  • Globe and Mail: Why you should care about the sudden demise of the mandatory long census form
  • CBC Podcast on As it Happens: Census
  • Liberals: Liberals will make long census mandatory unless Conservatives reverse decision to scrap it
  • MaCleans: Census squabble: weak arguments shouldn’t have even worse foundations
  • Toronto Star: Travers: Census change latest move in PM’s dumbing down of Canada
  • Maclean’s: Former StatsCan head slams census decision by Tories
  • Maclean’s: Alarm on cuts to detailed census questionnaire spreads to business groups
  • Canadian Council on Policy Alternatives: CCPA Senior Economist calls Statistics Canada’s census decision “senseless”
  • Montreal Gazette: Canadians must be able to count on Statistics Canada Information allows us to make informed decisions
  • MaCleans: When ministers of the crown tweet
  • The Vancouver Sun: Canada needs its citizens to stand up and be counted
  • The Toronto Star: Tory census changes get static from statisticians
  • Previous Posts with media links:

  • More on Census Cuts
  • Ok! Something is afoul, and I am not sure it can be solely explained by technological glitches!

    The Reinstate our Census Long Form aka Questionnaire 2B, at 310 votes, can only be seen at this link, but should be the #1 ranked submission on the:

    Canada’s Digital Content Page

    and should be the number two ranked overall on the Consultation home page

    but does not appear on either! What is up with that!

    I have screen captures from that night and this morning.

    Contact Industry Canada here:

    So far I have contacted: David Louden 613-947-5972, I have spoken to Francine Quevillon at Brian Spurling’s Office, Kim Montpellier at Helen McDonald’s Office, and numerous people at the Client services of the IC site, Genevieve Sigouin 613-952-5480, IC IT Communications, Telephone: IC IT general Web Info 613-954-5031 email: info@ic.gc.ca; attention Phil Boulay

    Communications and Marketing Branch Director General
    Brian Spurling
    Telephone: 613-947-2597
    Fax: 613-947-3390
    Email: brian.spurling@ic.gc.ca

    Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications Assistant Deputy Minister
    Helen McDonald
    Telephone: 613-998-0368
    Fax: 613-952-1203
    Email: helen.mcdonald@ic.gc.ca

    I have also emailed the following people at media relations:
    nicole.barsalou@ic.gc.ca, media-relations-medias@ic.gc.ca, julie.iannetta@ic.gc.ca

    Overall! Industry Canada does not seem to have a point person on this file, or, at least, no one seems to know who that is.

    Please vote!

    Open Access to Canada’s Public Sector Information and Data


    Reinstate our Census Long Form aka Questionnaire 2B

    I am on holiday now and will update DataLibre with a ton of the new media material on the Census next week.


    Vote on the Digital Strategy Submission: Reinstate the Census Long Form

    Letter Writing: Canadian Institute of Planners

    Petition: Keep the Canadian Census Long Form Petition

    Facebook Page: Keep the Canadian Census Long Form

    Opinion: Survey

    Media links:

    MaCleans: Former StatsCan head slams census decision by Tories

    Macleans: Alarm on cuts to detailed census questionnaire spreads to business groups

    Canadian Council on Policy Alternatives: CCPA Senior Economist calls Statistics Canada’s census decision “senseless”

    Montreal Gazette: Canadians must be able to count on Statistics Canada Information allows us to make informed decisions

    The Montreal Gazette: Ottawa may revamp restrictive new census rules

    The Progressive Economist Forum: Statistics Canada’s Senseless Census Decision

    The Montreal Gazette: Census overhaul rethought Historians, genealogists raised outcry

    Winnipeg Free Press: Don’t count on long census data: Tories scrub mandatory form

    The Winnipeg Free Press: Alarm on cuts to detailed census questionnaire spreads to business groups

    Toronto Star: Tories eliminate compulsory long census form

    Stephen Gordon: An incredibly stupid decision on the 2011 census and Why making the 2011 census long form voluntary is a bad idea.

    CBC As It Happens (July 5, 2010)

    CBC Metro Morning: Long Form Optional?
    Matt Galloway spoke with Eric Miller, about replacing the census long form with a voluntary version. He is the director of the Cities Centre at the University of Toronto.

    Social Policy in Ontario: Wrong move on census

    Family History for Beginners: Family History for Beginners

    Martin Prosperity Institute Blog – Harper’s Elimination of Census Long Form Hurts All Canadians

    Phantom Observer: On Next Year’s Census – And Its Implications For The Harper Agenda

    The Galloping Beaver: Census Lobotomy and Censlessness

    Montreal Gazette: Canadians must be able to count on Statistics Canada: Information allows us to make informed decisions

    Previous Post: 2011 Census severely slashed

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