Arnold supports long-form census

MP says the census can provide a benefit to communities for planning

North Okanagan-Shuswap’s MP sees merit to the long-form census.

Canadians have received 2016 census forms, including the mandatory long-form document.

“One in five will receive the long-form. The information provided helps communities and organizations with their planning process,” said Mel Arnold, the region’s Conservative MP.

The former Conservative government had shifted the long-form census from mandatory to voluntary, but the current Liberal government has reversed that decision, meaning that anyone who receives the long-form must fill it out.

One of the concerns within the former Conservative government was some of the questions infringed on privacy, while others didn’t believe it should be mandatory to fill out the form.

“People are concerned about privacy but it’s covered by privacy legislation so it shouldn’t be a problem,” said Arnold.

“We’ve heard that community and health organizations use the information and if it’s good for the community, so be it.”

The current federal government says accurate data is needed to plan services such as child care, schooling, family services, housing, public transportation and skills training for employment.

“I am proud of our government’s decision to reinstate the mandatory long-form census, ensuring that Canada’s national statistical system remains strong,” said Navdeep Bains, innovation minister, in a release.

“We are committed to evidence-based decision making and to making available the data needed by organizations and by governments to make informed decisions.”