"The census is a vital part of data for the Northwest Territories"
- Census change baffles critics, experts
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, July 29, 2010
INUVIK - The Harper government's decision to make response to Census Canada
long-form questionnaires voluntary could interfere with how programs and
services in the Northwest Territories are developed and delivered.
"The census is a vital part of data for the Northwest Territories," said
Vishni Peeris, territorial statistician. "Any changes to the availability of
that information is going to be have quite an effect on the territories."
There appears to be significant public opposition to the change that
prompted government-appointed chief statistician Munir Sheikh to resign last
week. Eighty-one per cent of 12,000 respondents to an online poll in The
Globe and Mail oppose the change.
Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington, called the move "really strange" and
added, "it will have a big impact on predictability for government and
business that want to determine where the needs of people are moving and how
they can better respond.
"In the Northwest Territories, with our mix and the need to understand that,
it's essential to get the information to really understand how things are
going here in 33 communities over four million square kilometres."
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