Crazy Ideas: Overton’s Window and the Political Imagination

A small argument about whether the government should be raising taxes broke out at a recent dinner party, quite possibly in response to something I said. Some argued that tax increases were just a terrible idea given that Canadians were already suffering tax fatigue and many were struggling from paycheck to paycheck, not to mention … Continue reading

Statistics Canada: Letter to the Prime Minister

langevin_block

This letter signed by Mel Cappe, David Dodge, Ivan Fellegi and me was sent earlier today to the Prime Minister and leaders of the other parties represented in Parliament. September 9, 2010 The Right Honourable Stephen Harper Prime Minister of Canada Langevin Block 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A3 Dear Prime Minister, Over the course of … Continue reading

Oh no! Not the Census Again!

Not-again-picard_2

In his testimony before the Industry Committee today, Ivan Fellegi, the former and universally respected head of Statistics Canada, expressed pleasant surprise at how strongly people in almost every sector of Canadian society have come out in support of the census and the importance of the information produced through the mandatory long form.  For many, … Continue reading

A Professional Public Servant Resigns

Munir Sheikh - Canadian Press Picture

Former Chief Statistician Munir Sheikh’s resignation was a brave and admirable act.  The Mark News has just published my thoughts on the subject.

“Give Me Back My Compulsory Long Form Census Questionnaire.”

Census taker 1930

Although we are in the later innings of this controversy, I still want to add my thoughts on Canada’s very own census flap. With no fanfare the government announced that it would bring to an end the compulsory census long form and substitute instead a voluntary version. I doubt that the Government imagined for a … Continue reading

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