But what about privacy? Well, StatsCan's data is pretty well secured, and, more tellingly, the privacy commissioner was not consulted on this issue. Of course, if she had been it would have seriously weakened the case for scrapping the mandatory long-form:
Wow. A whole two complaints about the 2006 census. Doesn't seem like much cause for abolishing it, does it? But surely this will at least save taxpayers' money, right? Oh, wait.
The Harper government is blaming privacy fears for a controversial decision to scrap a mandatory long-form census questionnaire – but the country’s privacy watchdog has heard almost nothing from Canadians on the topic.
In fact, according to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, only three complaints were laid about any aspect of the census in the last decade: two in 2006 and one in 2001.
“The number of complaints coming to us about the census has dropped in recent years,” Privacy Commissioner spokeswoman Anne-Marie Hayden said.
The last time Canadians registered beefs on the census that were measured in the double digits was in 1996 – 14 years ago. And back then, the Privacy Commissioner’s office only received 16 complaints. In 1991, the watchdog heard 33 complaints.
For those who are interested in a bit of slacktivism, there's a Facebook group and an online petition to keep the long form in place. I've signed (just like I signed a petition against the Canada-US Free Trade agreement in 1988...) and I suggest you do too.