July 27, 2010
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Dear Prime Minister:
I am writing on behalf of the Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) to express our profound dismay at the decision of your government to discontinue Statistics Canada’s mandatory long-form census survey. The CCR is a coalition of private and public sector research and post-secondary education organizations representing some 50,000 researchers and 500,000 students in a wide variety of disciplines across Canada.
Information generated by the mandatory long-form provides a scientific basis for individuals, families, businesses, churches, unions, charities, communities, and governments to understand the workings and directions of Canadian society and to consider and implement personal, economic, and policy decisions. Moreover, Statistics Canada has long-standing and effective policies for protecting the privacy of individual respondents.
The discontinuance of the mandatory long-form will deny Canadians and their governments the ability to make the best possible planning and investment choices, whether they relate to neighbourhood or national issues, in both the public and private sectors. Given the nearly unanimous and unprecedented concerns of the research and policy communities, the Consortium urges you to restore the mandatory long-form census and to protect a critical and internationally recognized element for strong Canadian policy analysis.
Paul S. Vincett
Chair, Canadian Consortium for Research
c: The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry