Please see below the text of the letter I sent today to Prime Minister-designate, Justin Trudeau, regarding the reinstatement of the long-form census. This is an issue that APLA has been following since 2010, when then-president Sarah Gladwell protested by letter the Harper government’s decision, taken in haste and behind closed doors, to eliminate the mandatory survey. As you know, the reinstatement of the long-form census was part of the Liberal Party platform during the election campaign, and my letter merely reinforces the message that the incoming government must keep its promise, and that it must act now.
I would urge all APLA members to write to their local Members of Parliament with regard to this issue. The new government will be bombarded in its early days with requests from all quarters; however, there is a time-sensitive aspect to this particular issue that requires immediate action. New MPs may not be aware of that, or may need to be reminded.
This is positive advocacy, unlike many letter-writing campaigns! We are signalling to our new elected officials that we whole-heartedly support their desire to repair the damage that was done when the long-form census was eliminated five years ago.
Dear Mr. Trudeau,
The Atlantic Provinces Library Association counts close to 400 personal and institutional members drawn from public, academic, school, and special libraries scattered throughout the region. On behalf of APLA, I want to congratulate you on your stunning victory of October 19th, and to wish you well as you prepare to lead our new government. Further, I am writing to urge you to act immediately on your election promise to restore the mandatory long-form census.
With the next Census of Population set to begin May 2, 2016, Statistics Canada will have barely six months to change course, once they have been given the order to proceed. However, we cannot afford to go another five years without access to the vital demographic data required to make progressive evidence-based policy decisions affecting the social, economic and cultural well-being of Canadians.
Please ensure that the necessary steps are taken to reinstate the long-form census. By doing so, you will be sending a clear signal that a new day has dawned in this country, and that you mean to keep your promises and govern for the good of all Canadians.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Suzanne van den Hoogen
APLA Vice President/President-Elect