CAPDU is the Canadian Association of Public Data Users. Membership in CAPDU is open to users, distributors, and producers of data within Canada. CAPDU originally launched this site out of concern over the decision to eliminate the Census Long Form, and we are continuing to monitor cuts at Statistics Canada and other threats to public data in Canada.

In 2010 Statistics Canada announced that the Long Form would not be a part of the 2011 census. It w and would replaced by a voluntary survey, which cannot be counted on to produce reliable information. In fact, the Census is how we gauge sample reliability for other surveys, so this change will cause problems for the use of other national surveys as well.


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  1. The Canadian Historical Association has written the minister and issued a press release opposing the elimination of the mandatory long form on the grounds that it will handicap future generations from understanding their past and comparing this time with earlier and later periods.

    The letter to Minister Clement is at http://www.cha-shc.ca/en/39/items/26

    The press release is as follows:

    Association Calls Upon Minister to Reinstate Long Form Questionnaire for 2011 Census of Canada
    OTTAWA, Ontario. (July 5, 2010) — The Canadian Historical Association is adding its voice to the growing groundswell of opposition to the federal government’s recent decision to scrap the long form of the Canadian census questionnaire.
    In a letter to Industry Minister Tony Clement, CHA President Mary Lynn Stewart asserted that, if implemented, this decision “will significantly diminish the ability of Canadians to understand our country, and it will also impair the capacity of future historians to write the history of Canada.”
    Dr. Stewart outlined three areas of concern for the professional historical community. First, the census decision was apparently made without consultation with the population data research community, both university-based and genealogical researchers. Before proceeding, the knowledge of these experts must be enlisted and the CHA is urging the Minister to consult these research groups before implementing this decision.
    Second, the CHA asserts that eliminating the comprehensiveness of the census questionnaire will greatly reduce its usefulness as a historical source in the future. The optional character of the National Household Survey will result in uneven and unreliable measures of the collected data, impairing the capacity of historians to write the country’s history in the 22nd century.
    Third, in scrapping the collection of comprehensive data, the government appears to be abandoning major social constituencies such as women who have used the aggregate data captured in the long census to identify anomalies and inequalities in Canadian society. The CHA asserts that this information is essential for all governments seeking to develop sound public policies for Canada in the future.
    Terming the long census form “an essential tool of data collection for understanding our country,” the Canadian Historical Association requests its immediate reinstatement as part of the essential data collection for the 2011 decennial census. Failing its immediate reinstatement, the CHA is requesting a meeting with the Minister to present its concerns in detail.
    About the Canadian Historical Association:
    The Canadian Historical Association is Canada’s leading organization of professional historians.

    Contact: Dr. John Lutz
    Tel: 250-721-7392
    E-mail: jlutz@uvic.ca
    CHA web site: http://www.cha-shc.ca/

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