The new Liberal government is making good on a promise to resurrect the mandatory, long-form census killed off by the Conservatives, but is vague on the details of how it plans to persuade Canadians to fill it out.
The long-form component of the 2011 questionnaire was axed by Stephen Harper’s government, which called it intrusive to threaten people with fines and jail time for not answering personal questions — a nod to the party’s libertarian base.
The Conservatives replaced the long-form census with the National Household Survey. The response rate declined from 93.5 per cent in 2006 to 68.6 per cent in 2011.
The new Liberal government, however, is giving priority to evidence-based decision-making instead of ideology, said Navdeep Bains, the minister of innovation, science and economic development.
“Today, Canadians are reclaiming their right to accurate and more reliable information,” Bains told a news conference.
What a red herring.