Liberals must reverse Harper's cuts to StatsCan Data

OTTAWA – Today, NDP Science Critic Kennedy Stewart called on the Liberal government to conduct a comprehensive review of over 500 Statistic Canada surveys, data tables, and publications eliminated during the Harper War on Science.

"The new Minister must conduct a thorough review of what essential data we've lost and what surveys and publications should be reinstated," said MP Stewart (Burnaby South). "The Conservatives' war on science cost us critical information on the social and economic challenges facing Canada – which could greatly hinder the government's ability to provide services for Canadians."

In response to a written question submitted by MP Stewart, the government provided a list of all Statistic Canada surveys, tables, and publications that were discontinued from 2006 to 2015.

  • A total of 539 data products were terminated during this period: 7 Programs; 50 Surveys; 291 Tables; and 191 Publications
  • In most cases (63%) the government was unable to provide an explanation as to why the product was eliminated.
  • Only in a fraction of cases (18%) did the government indicate that the data was still being collected and reported elsewhere.
  • The cost-savings were known in less than a quarter of cases (23%).

"High-quality statistics are vital for evidence-based policy and smart decision-making," continued Dr. Stewart, an Associate Professor on leave from Simon Fraser University's School of Public Policy. "While some of this information is being reported elsewhere, over 80% is no longer available to the millions of Canadians who accessed and relied on this data each year. The Liberals must take immediate steps to repair the damage done by the Conservatives."

The full list of Statistic Canada data products that were cancelled can be accessed here.

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