Statistics Canada is changing its long-form census survey from a mandatory to a voluntary one. Apparently Minister Tony Clement made the decision. It has angered a number of stakeholders that rely on this data.
The long form was sent out to 20% of the population and they were required to fill it out. Now it will be sent to 30% of the population and it will be voluntary. The Minister doesn’t like coercion, he says, and now that it is going to 30%, maybe even more will fill it out.
I use this data a lot. It is critically important to understanding the broader trends in the Canadian economy. I have also filled out the long form and it is not that big a deal.
Governments force people to do all kinds of things. Filling out a 20 minute survey doesn’t sound that oppressive to me.
I hope this change was well thought out.