Masse tables bill to end political tampering by reckless governments

OTTAWA – In response to the Conservative government’s unilateral decision to scrap Canada’s long-form census, New Democrats tabled a bill today to prevent future government meddling with the world renowned work of Statistics Canada.

“In scrapping the long-form census, the government undermined the exceptional reputation of Statistics Canada,” said New Democrat Industry Critic Brian Masse (Windsor West). “Obviously we want that damage reversed, but we can’t stop there. We need to make sure this never happens again.”

Masse’s bill, An Act to Amend the Statistics Act (Chief Statistician), is a forward-thinking proposal that focuses on the selection, autonomy and mandate of Canada’s Chief Statistician. The bill would create an improved process for selecting the Chief Statistician and prohibits political appointments. It would also ensure the Chief Statistician has a clearer mandate for establishing the guidelines for data collection, analysis and processing.

“In Stephen Harper’s Ottawa, we’ve seen key government institutions undermined and many upstanding civil servants shown the door for simply doing their jobs,” said Masse. “Out of respect for these institutions and the valuable information they produce for Canadians, we need to create laws that protect them.”