Letter to Minister Clement re. Census Long Form

Letter to Minister Clement re. Census Long Form
July 16, 2010

The Honourable Tony Clement, PC, MP
Minister of Industry
235 Queen Street – 11th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H5

Re. 2011 Census

Dear Minister Clement:

On behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress I would like to express our disapproval of the
proposed changes to the 2011 Census which were published in the Canada Gazette.

As you know, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress is an umbrella group representing over forty organizations and represents the Ukrainian Canadian community before the people and Government of Canada, promotes linkages with Ukraine and identifies and addresses the needs of the Ukrainian community in Canada to ensure its continued existence and development for the enhancement of Canada’s socio-cultural fabric.

There are well over 1.2 million Canadians of Ukrainian background living in Canada and we believe, as do many other groups that the decision by the government of Canada to eliminate the long version of next year’s Census will have detrimental impacts on Canada’s ability to make proper, fact based decisions in developing and implementing programming.

The census long form allows us to create fact based, long-term planning for the development of programs and services in Canada generally and for the Ukrainian community in particular. The fact that we know that there are 1.2 million Canadians of Ukrainian origin is due to census data. Our ability to implement bilingual school programs, conduct fundraising, deliver programs and services that support the needs of our community are all critical to proper planning and this data must be fact based.

Of particular concern, the removal of census long form data will hurt immigrants. As noted in today’s Globe and Mail, “Canada’s economic and social success is intimately linked to the economic and social success of new arrivals. Alarmingly, the average experience of immigrants in the Canadian labour market is deteriorating. Long-form data brought this problem to light; other long-form information on education, language and country of origin can help us address it”

It is critical in a country like Canada to have fact-based decision making. The Census long form is a key basis upon which governments and community groups can design and build programs. We ask the government of Canada to reconsider this decision and re-instate the Census long form for the 2011 Census.

Yours very truly,
Paul M. Grod National President

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