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This is just further evidence of this minority governments campaign of miss-information, ignorance and disdain for democracy. When will Canadians wake up to the transparency of this government, who clearly want to fashion Canada after the US, with it's divisive politics that polarize the left and the right, engineering of information that is purposely miss-leading and ignorant, and dismissing any descent as radical and is therefore to be feared. That's not the Canada I was raised in!
Although it is heartening to see that honour and integrity still exist within the Public Service. Munir Sheikh, now former head of Census Canada, is a man with these qualities, he obviously is not just working for a pay check and he believes his work to be vital. So much so that when he sees how it is being undermined, by the changing of the census form to a shortened voluntary one, he resigns. He is saying that this is unacceptable and that he cannot work for a Government that limits the understanding of our society, he is making a bold statement and is giving up his career to do so. In his resignation, posted Wednesday on Stats Canada's web site, he indicates that the resignation is due to the voluntary census form and that it will not work! Thus M.P. Tony Clements claim, that Stats Canada recommended the changes, is a lie. Mr. Sheikh is someone who deserves our respect as he truly embodies the name Public Servant. Hopefully he is a catalyst for others who see how wrong this is but who may not have the courage to speak out against this decision and other dismantling of our democracy. One can only imagine what this Conservative Government would be like if they ever had a majority!
Many are speaking out against this, public and private institutions, citizens and community organizations. They, along with Mr. Sheikh, believe the change will skew results and lead to bad information. And who better to be a judge of what will and will not work than Mr. Sheikh, he was a career Public Servant since 1976 and this was his job! To add insult to injury, the Government frames this decision as if it was a pressing concern for Canadians. I heard one opposition M.P. address this so called "ground swell" of support from Canadians, he basically said "it's not as if neighbours are meeting at the local Tim Horton's saying, geez Census time is coming again, I don't want to do it, it's so invasive to my privacy, but I also don't want them coming to get me!". This Government is relentless in it's spin, misinformation and lies! Yes it's a mandatory Census form, yes it's long and time consuming...,.that's the cost to being a citizen! It provides real life details, details that are true and can actually be used by the citizens to hold the Government to account. But maybe that's it right there, It holds the Government to account!
The change to the form is especially detrimental to minorities, people who don't have the same power as others to make their needs and concerns heard. Our democracy is based on majority rule, but with certain guarantees for minorities, precisely for the reason I just mentioned. The mandatory long form has very pertinent questions that deal with income level, health, access to services, living arrangements etc...,.all of which help inform government policy. I myself am part of a minority as I have a disability, muscular dystrophy, I don't hold as much power as a majority person and this form is one way that people, like myself, can have their situation documented and thus bring about policy's that help improve certain aspects of our lives or better way's to implement services.