Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett introduced a private member’s bill on Thursday calling on the federal government to reinstate the mandatory long-form census. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett introduced a private member’s bill Thursday calling on the government to reinstate the mandatory long-form census and enshrine it in the Statistics Act.
The bill would also remove the penalties of imprisonment for people who did not fill it out.
Numerous statisticians, municipalities and policy, language and religious groups have condemned the federal government’s decision to scrap the mandatory census, saying it provides them with invaluable information used to form policy.
In introducing her bill, Bennett accused the government of acting unilaterally, and of scrapping the census without first consulting “the people who need the data.”
“We believe that it’s enough already for this government to finally understand the ‘I make the rules’ Stephen Harper needs to be replaced by ‘Canadians make the rules with the help of their elected representatives,'” Bennett said.
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“We are calling on this prime minister to finally listen to the will of Parliament, abide by the rule of law, and honour this bill when it is passed.”
Harper and the Conservatives have shown little sign of backing down from their June decision, insisting the mandatory census demands too much private information from Canadian citizens.
Bennett’s bill comes less than a day after the House of Commons adopted a Liberal motion that also called for the return of the mandatory long-form census. That motion, which passed 152-141 late Wednesday night, is a largely symbolic move the Conservatives are expected to ignore.
MP launches bill to restore censusIn Canada on September 30, 2010 at 14:19