Woe, Canada: A Bad, Bad Decision

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
Telephone: 613-995-9001
Fax: 613-992-0302
Email: minister.industry@ic.gc.ca

0 Responses to “Woe, Canada: A Bad, Bad Decision”

  1. Andy R

    Compulsory questions about religious attendance? Any room in that thinking for privacy and less intrusive government.

    Dropping the long form might be a disaster for social engineers but it is a great move to get the government out of the private lives of its citizens.

    • Henry Cullihall

      I agree totally. I don’t want Harper’s Clowns to know about me. Zondervan people seeking info about pew-sitters must know most “true believers,” never go inside of these toxic holes..


  2. Nic Cy

    Privacy invasion, government intrusion, the PM learning about “me”- all via the national census? I had no idea! This is alarming! (I’m acquainted with Steve- Why wouldn’t he just ask me instead of trolling through the census file with my name on it.)
    Fortunately, unlike Stats Can, the polling firms, market researchers, database managers, phishers, etc, who will consequently have a boost in business, all respect my personal privacy & safeguard my information.
    My increased peace-of-mind and secured privacy is certainly worth the cost of demographers, and thus myself, knowing less about the community and country I may or may not be part of.

  3. TIC

    I wonder if knowing what religion is concentrated where would influence where a person chooses to live.

    This would be great information for church plants. If a Christian with a Hindu background wanted to plant a church in a Hindu neighbourhood, he or she could find the greatest concentration of Hindus and go forth and sow!

  4. RougueMonk

    I have to admit, and I know Dr. Stackhouse might not like this **blush**, but the one time I got the long form, I answered it truthfully (as required by law), but not all that straightforward. I doubt much of my information was that ‘helpful’.


  5. Andy R

    One last poke at this.

    Anything in scripture regarding a census?
    Pro or con?

    • John Stackhouse

      No, not a Canadian census.

      And if you think an ancient Israelite census is the same as a contemporary Canadian one, we’ll be glad to have you attend our courses on Biblical interpretation here at welcoming Regent College!


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