What kind of a country do you want to live in?

Guest post by Lisa Dillon, Professor, Demography U of Montreal –

Do you want a country which maintains a reputable, effective statistics-gathering agency, which provides the reliable data necessary to understand how our society and economy are evolving over time, from the national to the community level? OR do you want decision-makers in government, charity groups and a variety of other institutions operating in a blind fog?

If the long-form census is replaced with a voluntary survey, not only will that survey (at the cost of $30 million) be biased against some of the very groups we need to study, incomparable to census data from the previous 150 years of census taking, from 1852 to 2006, but other surveys conducted by StatsCan as well as private groups will not have the data necessary to judge the representativeness of the surveys and create weights to adjust for problems of representativity.

To be well-informed, check out the actual 2006 long-form census