The Government of Canada has announced that two questions related to language will be added to the mandatory short-form questionnaire for the 2011 Census. This move will enable government to fulfil legal obligations under the Official Languages Act.
On June 26, 2010, it was announced that the mandatory long-form questionnaire for the 2011 Census would be replaced by a voluntary National Household Survey.
A number of health groups have raised concerns about the decision to eliminate the mandatory long-form questionnaire, including the Canadian Medical Association, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, the Association of Public Health Epidemiologists in Ontario, the Canadian Public Health Association, Toronto Public Health, Alberta Health Services, the Association of Ontario Health Centres and the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
CMHA Ontario recommends that the government reconsider its decision to replace the long-form questionnaire for 2011 Census. For CMHA Ontario’s full response on the issue, see “Letter to the Minister of Industry on Replacement of Mandatory Long-form Questionnaire for the 2011 Census,” July 13, 2010, at www.ontario.cmha.ca/submissions.
For the announcement concerning the language questions, see “Statement by the Minister of Industry, Tony Clement, Regarding Changes to the 2011 Census of Population,” August 11, 2010, at www.ic.gc.ca. For an overview and updates from Statistics Canada, see “2011 Census Questionnaire,” atwww.statcan.gc.ca.
See also the editorial “Ideology Trumps Evidence with New Voluntary Survey,” Canadian Medical Association Journal, July 15, 2010, atwww.cmaj.ca.