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Accountability & Democratic Renewal

In their own words: Conservatives vs. media pundits on census data

Posted on July 16, 2010

(Quotes are included in their original language)

“I don’t accept the fact that every time you make a change on every matter of government business, you have to shout it from every rooftop.” (Industry Minister Tony Clement, CanWest News, July 8, 2010)

“Dumbing down a Canada that increasingly must compete on its wits is dangerous. It means the country’s course will be shaped more by assumption and emotion than by proof and reason.” (James Travers, Toronto Star, July 8, 2010)

“It is astounding the minister in charge of Canada’s digital economy, the minister who should understand the role of information in a 21st-century economy, is the minister who authorized killing the creation of this data. In doing so, he will deprive Canadians and their businesses of information that would make them, and thus our economy, more efficient, productive and profitable.” (David Eaves, Globe and Mail, July 6, 2010)

“If this material never becomes public again, a vast amount of information about Canada, its people, its history and the way we live will be lost forever to future generations. A wall of silence is not the legacy we should be leaving to them. This senseless ruling should be scrapped without further ado.” (Calgary Herald Editorial, July 1, 2010)

« Une perte de représentativité problématique, car le recensement est un étalon fort utilisé. Il sert notamment à calibrer de nombreux programmes gouvernementaux. Si les minorités visibles, les petites communautés ou les moins nantis sont sous-représentés dans les statistiques officielles, ils ne recevront pas toute l’aide à laquelle ils auraient droit. » (Ariane Krol, La Presse, 8 juillet, 2010)

“Bowing to the paranoia in its bedrock Conservative constituency – itself an echo of anti-government rumblings by American Republicans who are stonewalling the current U.S. census – the federal government is betraying Canadian tradition.” (Toronto Star Editorial, July 3, 2010)

“The Conservatives say the changes will reduce the intrusion into our privacy. But misuse of census data is simply not a problem. The government’s approach means it will fail to collect information that could help it provide better service and make smarter choices.” (Victoria Times Colonist, July 3, 2010)

“This decision to reduce Canadians’ access to information appears to be part of a wider trend towards secrecy and obfuscation that characterizes this government, and is a decision of the same order (though in a different field) as that concerning the secrecy around information on Afghan detainees.” (Richard Shearmur, Montreal Gazette, July 4, 2010)

« Il y a eu une controverse il y a deux ou trois ans lorsque l’étude de l’évolution des revenus a démontré que l’écart s’était creusé entre riches et pauvres […] La presse de droite avait hurlé à mort en accusant Statistique Canada de marxisme. Il y a une tension entre le gouvernement et Statistique Canada, qui montre des réalités qu’on ne veut pas voir.» (Jean-Guy Prévost, Le Devoir, 8 juillet, 2010)