The federal government is disregarding our Canadian history and dismantling its ability to gather information about the present. The end result will be less evidence to evaluate past and current decisions and to guide future policy choices.
Statistics Canada will simply stop doing many surveys and Canadians who rely on reliable data will suffer.
Up to $54M less research being created
As the federal government’s view of the past narrows, their vision looking forward is becoming increasingly blurry. Almost 2,400 staff members at Statistics Canada received notice that their jobs are being affected. Budget 2012 laid down a $34 million cut.
Making matters worse, budget cuts will reduce ability for other departments to pay for Statscan’s services. This further cuts the agency’s capacity to collect, generate and analyze data that is critical for government policy-making and private sector decision-making. Estimates put this loss in the range of a further $20 million.
Accurate, independent and non-partisan information is essential to ensuring that policies and decision-making can best keep Canadians safe and protect our future prosperity.
Cuts come close on the heals of slashing the long-form census
These budget cuts at Statistics Canada build on the government’s recent decision to end the long-form census.
That decision was met with almost unanimous opposition since it dangerously compromised the value and accuracy of the agency’s data and seriously undermined Statscan’s international credibility. Chief Statistician Munir Sheikh and chief economic analyst Philip Cross resigned in protest.
The federal government is limiting its own ability to compile accurate historical evidence while at the same time compromising its ability to generate evidence in the present. On both counts, Canadians will pay the price.