Oh Canada! Look before you leap

Canada is in a fix with its 2016 mid-decade Census on the horizon. It made a major change to its census operations with the 2011 Census, choosing to make The National Household Survey (long-form) voluntary. This was done on the behest of the Conservative government, not the advice of the statisticians in StatsCan [See here, here and here for links to this issue].

Final Report on 2016 Census Options: Proposed Content Determination Framework and Methodology Options
[Executive Summary] [Full report]

Stick with old-school census, says StatsCan
Jennifer Ditchburn | iPolitics
August 30,2012
Reaction from the press is pretty damning, showing that Canada still doesn’t know the full impact of the decision to go with a voluntary census. Here’s a comment on whether or not there is response bias in the National Household Survey:

“Are we totally off, slightly off, right on? That would be difficult to determine,” said Marc Hamel, manager of the census program at Statistics Canada.

Harper government’s assault on reason, scientists, ‘Orwellian’ and ‘alarming,’ warns pollster
Alice Funke | The Hill Times
September 10, 2012

This article is really belongs in a collection of “Death of Evidence” articles. But, it so nicely aligns with the above article as the first ‘assault on reason’ occurred when the government cancelled the mandatory long-form census.

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