Should Canada go back to the mandatory long-form census?

Thomas Bink
Should Canada go back to the mandatory long-form census?
The voluntary National Household Survey is being called a poll with a margin of error, which could lead to bad planning and poor policy.This week on Pulse of Canada, we ask Canadians if we should go back to the mandatory long-form census

The latest batch of statistics from the National Household Survey were released today, showing among other things that more women have a post-secondary education than men, that three-quarters of us commute to work and that more Canadians work in retail than any other sector.

But critics — including Canada's chief statistician — say that the survey doesn't go far enough. Because it's a voluntary survey, it includes huge gaps in statistics that could lead to bad planning and poor policy.

The federal government dumped the mandatory long-form census in favour of the voluntary survey in 2011. At the time, the Globe and Mail lamented "The country needs more rather than less significant and reliable information about [aboriginal peoples'] lives and circumstances."

So, what do you think? Do we need to get more information about Canadians by bringing back the long-form census, or does the voluntary National Household Survey suffice?

Have your say in the comments area below.