Michael Adams, President of the Environics Institute, presented his remarks of the cancellation of the mandatory long-form census at the Caledon Institute of Social Policy 20th anniversary celebration.
Here's an excerpt of his remarks:
The short form, which I presume everyone in this room filled in, unless you wanted to test the government’s tough-on-crime agenda, asks about the number of residents in your home, their relationships to one another, their age and gender, whether they farm, and what languages they speak. Basic population data for the most part.
The long form (formerly mandatory, now the optional National Household Survey) asks a wider range of questions, touching on citizenship and immigration status, income, occupation, child care, housing, and so on.
Long form data has in the past been used by businesses, NGOs, religious groups—and, oh right! governments!—to make plans and evaluate the success of their activities.
You have certainly heard of the United Way’s ―poverty by postal code work. Enabled by long form data, of course.
You can view a complete copy of Mr Adams remarks available here.