The Canadian census has for decades asked a question about religious affiliation, thus providing Canadian scholars with data our American cousins can only envy. Indeed, many of us have advocated recently that Statistics Canada ask another question, one about actual attendance at services, to give us world-class data on this crucial indicator of religious observance.
Alas, the current government is about to drop the so-called long form and instead make the question about religion, among others, strictly voluntary–thus providing data about as useless as one can imagine. “Among those who wanted to record their religious views, 25% said–ah, who cares?”
If you’re Canadian and want to make some helpful political noise about this retrograde step, here is the place to make it:
Hon. Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, C.D. Howe Building, 235 Queen Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5