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Science for Peace Opposes Cancellation of the Long-Form Census

July 23, 2010

Science for Peace is a Canadian non-governmental organization whose membership includes
natural scientists, engineers, social scientists, scholars in the humanities and people from the wider community. We join with a number of academic, civil society and professional organizations in questioning the replacement of the long-form census with a voluntary short form. Opponents of this policy clearly do not just represent small interest groups or narrow political loyalties. Our criticism comes from two directions.

First, the cancellation represents an attack on evidence-based research. At worst, it leads to governing on the basis of hearsay, misinformation, and rumour, with all the disastrous consequences so well documented by evidence-based research. It is rather a truism that governing during such complex and challenging times demands accurate information: Canada, and indeed all countries and territories, now face the triple crises of economic and ecological collapse and increasing militarization, so this latest assault on knowledge by Prime Minister Harper is even more serious and concerning.

Secondly, such unilateral decision-making by the Harper government is undemocratic. The policy was formulated without consultation and there is as yet no indication of any openness to grappling with the range and depth of much substantive criticism. In fact, we continue to read evasive statements that obscure the entire decision-making process In conclusion, the anachronistic direction of the Canadian government in so many arenas presents a danger to people here and abroad. This particular census policy even runs counter to the practices of all the other G8 countries. We urge you, Mr. Clement and Prime Minister Harper, to reverse this decision.

For more information contact:
Judith Deutsch
Science for Peace
Phone: 416-929-8180

Chandler Davis
Science for Peace
Phone: 416-535-6670

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