City chides census move

The federal Conservatives’ recent decision to cut the 35-year-oldmandatory long-form census isn’t going over well with those who workwith the City of Calgary.

The federal Conservatives’ recent decision to cut the 35-year-old mandatory long-form census isn’t going over well with those who work with the City of Calgary.

Information on areas such as education levels, ethnicity, income and employment can be drilled down to the neighbourhood level using the long census data.

Derek Cook, Calgary's research and social planner, said eliminating the mandatory nature of the census would make it unlikely there will be any useable data on neighbourhoods.

“If we don't have that data at the neighbourhood level, we're crippled,” said Cook, who has worked at the city for 11 years.

Cook and others have said because certain groups of Canadians are unlikely to fill out the form, the numbers will carry a bias it will be difficult to adjust for.

“How do we assess the need for affordable housing if we have no reliable low-income data to base our affordable housing plans on?” asks Cook.

Industry Minister Tony Clement has said the decision to eliminate the mandatory long form was because Canadians have complained about the coercive and intrusive nature of the process.

 
 
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