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Changes to the 2011 census restrictive, say critics

A senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has written a letter condemning the way that the next Canadian census will be taken.

Armine Yalnizyan authored the missive and posted it on the CCPA website today.

Addressed to federal Minister of Industry Tony Clement (who is also responsible for Statscan) and Munir Sheikh, Chief Statistician at Statistics Canada, the letter criticizes changes to the way that census will be taken in 2011.

Yalnizyan’s concerns centre on the transition from a mandatory long-form questionnaire to a short, voluntary survey that will possibly yield less information than the traditional census format.

Among other things, she claims that these changes will affect the quality of information that respondents will relay, and therefore impact the accuracy of information used in important policy decisions regarding a number of critical issues including housing, immigration and employment.

Yalnizyan wrote the letter after reading a Canwest report printed in The Ottawa Citizen that describes the deficit of information this will create for genealogists in the future.

CTV reports that Canadian and Toronto business economist associations also oppose the changes.

Read Yalnizyan's letter here.

Justin Langille reports for The Tyee.

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