On last week’s show (July 9th) we reported that the Conservative government had scrapped the long census. We argued that this was a bad move for social programming, something the Conservative government has continuously sabotaged, because there would no longer be reliable information about migration, income, ethnicity, religion, education, work, housing and disability that community groups and the government uses to inform their programming. Since then, economists concerned about the economy, faith groups, and the medical community have all criticized the decision to axe the long form census and all the valuable information that comes with it. Industry Minister Tony Clement says that despite the complaints, there is no chance that the census will be reinstated. His reasoning? It’s an invasion of privacy. But the Privacy Commissioner says they were never consulted, and complaints about the census have actually gone down over the years, not that there were many to begin with:
Over the last 20 years, there have been 50 complaints about the census, and not all of them about the long census form.
While it is tempting to think that this is yet another example then of decisions steeped in ideology rather than reason, the motivation behind this move is a little more sinister. Along with delivering another blow to progressive social programming after huge funding cuts, this also provides a way of using up the oppositions energy, and distracting Canadians from the many other disturbing moves the Conservatives continue to make. It also makes it clear that the government puts power before citizens with its failure to consult other parties (despite the fact that the Conservatives only represents a minority of Canadians) and disinterest in receiving criticism.
Add this to your list of reason to vote anything but Conservative come the next elections.