Fraser Institute supports scrapping long-form census

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support for as little as $5 per month!

Virtually alone in the growing outrage over the federal government's decision to scrap the long-form mandatory census, the Fraser Institute threw its support behind the government's decision with its chief economist Niels Veldhuis arguing that "voluntary surveys will yield enough accurate information about the country and critics saying otherwise are members of 'vested interest groups."

The Fraser Institute's support for this policy stands in direct opposition to a virtual unanimous consensus among business groups, academics, policy analysts and statisticians who recognize that the demise of the mandatory long-form will so fundamentally skewer and distort statistical data to render it effectively useless.

With such venerable voices as former Chief StatsCan statistician Ivan Fellegi remarking that the proposed changes will "seriously bias" data and Don Drummond, former chief economist for TD Bank and a member of the National Statistics Council, stating that these changes will leave Canada in a statistical "fog" for years to come, one might wonder how the Fraser Institute can possible defend the evisceration of social statistics that it also depends upon for its research.

That is until you realize that the Fraser Institute has been painfully allergic to evidence-based research since its inception. What does accurate data matter when you can simply manipulate it to suit your desired ends? Whether it's flawed content analysis, grossly inflated tax numbers, disregard for socio-economic indicators, misrepresenting the HST, rigged hospital and school "report cards," or bogus "Tax Freedom" days, the Fraser has always been "fact-averse." The Fraser institute has never cared about the validity of social statistics before, so why should it start now?

With a voluntary long-form almost guaranteed to bias in favour of the affluent, the Fraser can end evidence of poverty, discrimination, and all the other social ills it has been trying to disappear from Canadians' view in one fell swoop. For the factually challenged Fraser, it's win-win.

Simon Enoch is Director of the Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from Ryerson University.

No corporate owner. No government money. No endowment. No cost to visit and use Please become a member of the community that makes rabble happen and become a member today (

Further Reading

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.