Killing the Long Form Census

What happens when Ideology and Stupidity converge.


Munir Sheikh recently spoke to the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. From Sunny Freeman's piece on HuffPost:

Munir Sheikh, who quit his job as the chief statistician of StatCan in 2010, said Friday that the current National Household Survey (NHS) will lead to bad planning — on everything from where to put more bus shelters to the types of social programs that best serve Canadians.

Sheikh left StatCan over the fallout from the government's decision to scrap the mandatory long-form census in favour of the voluntary NHS.

Sheikh also talked about:

his reasoning for stepping down as chief statistician in 2010. He said he did not quit simply because the census was axed but because then-Industry Minister Tony Clement lied and said Sheikh supported the NHS. In reality, Sheikh said, he had advised against it, saying the quality of data would suffer too greatly.

After hearing Clement repeatedly tell reporters that the NHS had Sheikh's support, the statistician said he decided "enough is enough" and that he could no longer work with the Conservative government.

"If I stayed I would be known in this country as incompetent or worse," he said.

"And I couldn't live with that."