ST.JOHN’S, N.L. (GNB) – During the Council of the Federation meetings in Newfoundland and Labrador, the premiers discussed concerns with the quality of information provided by the voluntary National Household Survey as a result of the federal government’s decision to replace the mandatory long-form census.

“The long-form census was extremely useful in fostering evidence-based decision-making,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “The change to the voluntary survey has negatively affected the economy and services in New Brunswick.”

Areas identified by the premiers where information is lacking include measures:

  • of economic performance;
  • to address poverty;
  • that target barriers for persons with disabilities; and
  • that identify needs for community programs and services including housing, school enrolment and specialized programs for vulnerable groups.

The long-form census was cancelled by the federal government in 2010 in favour of a voluntary household survey.

“The voluntary survey does not adequately represent all segments of our population and that makes it an unreliable tool in making decisions on important issues like literacy, labour market shortages, skills training and housing needs,” said Gallant.

Gallant joined the other premiers to call on the federal government to work with provinces and territories to ensure that governments have the reliable, accurate and comprehensive data they need to make good policy and program decisions to help meet the needs of all Canadians.