The New Tall Tale of Tony Clement

“Yeah, there are groups that are upset. … Hey, listen, they had a good deal going,” Mr. Clement said Thursday following a meeting with fellow MPs in Ottawa.

“They got good, quality data and the government of Canada was the heavy. We were the ones who were coercing Canadians on behalf of these private businesses, or other social institutions, or other governments and provinces, for this data. We were the ones threatening Canadians with jail times or with large fines.”

– Minister Clement yesterday

Yes, Clement’s story about the census has changed again (here are the previous stories).

So which “groups” are we talking about. Yes, you’re mind may go to the hundreds of charities and non-profits, religious organizations, businesses that have spoken out. That is certainly who Minister Clement wants you to think about.

But, as I’ve said repeatedly, the biggest user of census data is not these groups (although Canadians will miss their services too).

The biggest user is… Government. And the group that will suffer the most will be Government (and by proxy, Canadians, who can expect a less effective government as a result).

So, think of the biggest user is groups like Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (the kind of people you want to be effective when your country is still shedding jobs from a recession), Environment Canada, Health Canada, etc…

And of course, the biggest second users of this data are the Provinces.

The third? The cities!

Also note that in each of these cases the Federal Government charges for this data so no one is getting a free ride financially. This is in contrast to many other governments, like the United States federal government, which makes its census data available for free.

So let’s be clear, this isn’t about the minister taking on every religious organization in the country, most of the non-profits and many, many businesses. It’s about blinding government.

16 thoughts on “The New Tall Tale of Tony Clement

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  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention The New Tall Tale of Tony Clement | eaves.ca -- Topsy.com

  4. Scott Tribe

    Plus of course the fact is that Statscan charges these groups for that data; they don't get it for free… so why they're trying to say everyone “freeloads” means they either don't know what StatsCan does, or they're trying to mislead the public.. or they're referring to something else. One person I read yesterday suggests it isn't the “free ride” in the financial sense, but in the sense that the federal government has to enforce the Statistics Act in order to get these stats for them. In otherwards, how dare everyone make them go against their libertarian instincts to force people to give them stats, so they can charge other people to use them. Silly sounding argument, but not much I've heard from the government on this issue makes sense.. so who knows.

    Reply
  5. Aaron McGowan

    I cannot wait till all this unfolds and the current Government looks back and see what I, yourself and others believe to be a very big mistake they have made.David, any thoughts and or opinions on this will all unfold in the coming months and years?

    Reply
  6. nonac

    I read an excellent piece that posits this whole thing is not only extremely well-thought out from a conservative movement perspective, but that it could be one of the most strategic things this govt has ever done to support its ideology. the basic premise is conservatives are highly suspicious of the data collected, because it shows a certain liberal bias that can be used to support left-leaning policies, programs, and yes, government institutions. exactly the type of institutions or departments such as HRSDC, Health Canada, Environment Canada etc. by reducing the quality and amount of this data, particularly in this modern age of metrics and scientific logic, it strikes at the heart of the liberal world view. so it is a highly calculated move and this whole issue about the coercive nature of the census is but convenient excuse to bring about the change; it deflects concern from what is the true intent.

    Reply
  7. Fred from BC

    If any of you really think this is an issue that Canadians care about, I urge you to contact your MP and demand that this government be brought down ASAP. Please. I'm serious here…let's have an election on this issue as quickly as possible, okay?

    Reply
  8. Jim Mintz

    Fred as someone who has taught marketing to politicos in the National Capital for 25 years , remember that politicians who want to get elected have to worry about 2 key audiences, 1. the general public/voters who as you say probably don't care about the census issue at least the majority of them and 2. opinion makers and influencers who do care very much about the census issue. If I were counseling the Cons. I would be worried about 2. This issue if not addressed by the PMO will come back to haunt them .

    Reply
  9. brentonwalters

    With the Conservatives barely ahead of the Liberals (within the margin of error on the last poll I read), that might not be such a bad idea for the Liberals. It would certainly hurt the Conservatives in Ontario and Quebec, but might return a minority Conservative government. Gotta love regionalism…

    Reply
  10. Pingback: More evidence that StatsCan disagreed with Clement (aka Helping @kady out) | eaves.ca

  11. Fred from BC

    brentonwalters in reply to Fred from BC

    With the Conservatives barely ahead of the Liberals (within the margin of error on the last poll I read), that might not be such a bad idea for the Liberals.

    ————————————

    Only if you don’t understand why the poll numbers are at the levels they are at. I do…I’ve been paying attention for the last 4 years and have noticed the clear trend in those numbers. Call an election (or even threaten one) and watch what happens.

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    Never mind that the Conservatives aren’t very many people’s second choice, but hey, you’ve been paying attention to polls for a whole four years while I just discovered this amazing collection of numbers yesterday! Four years… how does one accumulate such comprehensive experience? Don’t tell me you’ve also been reading newspapers for that long too.

    Reply
  13. Fred from BC

    “Never mind that the Conservatives aren’t very many people’s second choice, but hey, you’ve been paying attention to polls for a whole four years while I just discovered this amazing collection of numbers yesterday!”

    That would explain why you didn’t notice the trend. You’d have to see the numbers change *and* be aware of what was happening (or not happening) at the same time politically.

    “Four years… how does one accumulate such comprehensive experience? Don’t tell me you’ve also been reading newspapers for that long too.”

    Probably for longer than you’ve been alive, judging by the inanity of your comments thus far…

    Reply
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