Canadian Library Association Urges Government to Reinstate Mandatory Census

OTTAWA, July 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is calling on the federal government to reverse its recent decision to make the long-form census voluntary.

"There is no evidence to support the government's rationale for this decision," said Keith Walker, President of the CLA. "What's more, the data collected from the mandatory long-form census is absolutely vital to the effective delivery of programs and services across Canada."

CLA members facilitate access to Census of Canada materials across the country and so are keenly aware of the vital importance of the data the census collects. Library professionals are very well-versed in how census data is used, and how this change will undermine that data.

"The government's claim that selection bias resulting from the census being made voluntary will be mitigated by a large sample is patently false," continued Mr. Walker. "No matter how large a sample size, moving from mandatory to voluntary participation for the collection of vital data will permanently and irreversibly undermine the quality of the information that is collected."

Moving forward with the proposed voluntary survey will undermine the integrity of the Census of Canada and the ability of policy makers to make informed decisions about the allocation of scarce government resources.

"It is the wrong thing to do and the government must reverse its decision," concluded Mr. Walker.

The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques (CLA) is Canada's largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, professional librarians, library workers and library trustees, and all those concerned with enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy.

SOURCE Canadian Library Association (CLA)

For further information: For further information: and for media interviews, please contact: Kelly Moore, Executive Director, CLA, 613 232 9625 x 306, kmoore@cla.ca

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Canadian Library Association (CLA)

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