It's not just governments that employ data from the census long form; the private sector uses it, and extensively too. If you want to open an Italian restaurant in Canadian City X, its the tract level data from the census long-form that will tell you where all the Italians are.
Thankfully, as you can see through the link above, private sector economists are getting huffed about the government's decision to kill the mandatory long-form for a lame voluntary substitute.
The gang from The Galloping Beaver have been on this story, and if you want to watch an economist get really PO-ed on the topic of selection bias and the Canadian Census, Stephen Gordon is your guy. It like a rant, only with statistics!