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Census support hits YouTube

OTTAWA - You've heard about Internet singalongs for famine or earthquake relief — now there's one in support of the Canadian long-form census.

OTTAWA - You've heard about Internet singalongs for famine or earthquake relief — now there's one in support of the Canadian long-form census.

A group of singers who usually jam in Toronto backyards with a karaoke machine have put together a video for YouTube.

John Campey and the so-called Data Hounds sing about the need to keep the long-form census intact, all to the tune of Gary Lewis and the Playboys' hit Count Me In.

Campey is executive director of Social Planning Toronto and says he and his friends fear the loss of valuable data with the federal government's decision to go from a mandatory long-form census to a voluntary survey.

"I sent out an email inviting people to an emergency singalong, and about a dozen people answered the call, and we filmed it on Friday night, and a friend edited it and posted it, and that's the story," said Campey.

Friends from all political parties participated in the video, he added.

The one Conservative in the group has his face digitally scrambled and stands behind a picture of Sarah Palin, the former U.S. vice-presidential candidate.

"That's our Tory," Campey said.

Stephen Harper's Conservative government cancelled the mandatory long-form census saying many Canadians found it intrusive and coercive.

A wide variety of groups have decried the move, including the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities.

Campey said he hopes more than just his mother will check out his first foray into YouTube.

"It's able to make a point hopefully in a fun way because this is an issue where there's so much actual information and facts, the argument can get a little bit dense at times," he said.

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