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Liberals to restore mandatory long-form census


The Liberal government is reinstating the mandatory long-form census.

“We need good, reliable data,” said Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains.

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclo said the vast majority of Canadians are happy to fill out the long form because they understand it is critical to the well-being of the country.

Restoring the long-form census was one of the planks in the Liberal Party’s platform during the recent federal election.

It had been scrapped by the then Conservative government in 2010.

“Without accurate and reliable data, Canada’s communities cannot plan ahead. Everything from transit planning to housing strategies to support for new Canadians becomes more difficult,” the platform reads. “We will immediately restore the mandatory long-form census, to give communities the information they need to best serve Canadians.”

Announcing restoration of the long-form census will come a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his new cabinet was sworn in.

New census packages must be ready to mail out by May 2.

The long-form census would have to be distributed to about 2.9 million households.

The Conservative government cancelled the mandatory long census form for the 2011 census, replacing it with a voluntary national household survey.

All Canadians were to still receive a mandatory short census form, with one in three households sent the new household survey as well. Before it was scrapped, one in five households were sent the mandatory long census form.

The cancellation was widely criticized by researchers, analysts and planners who rely on high quality, detailed data for their work.

CBC | Politics News