Quick thoughts on the census mini climbdown.
1) Will it be enough to deflect the court challenge? Does the FCFA need just the three new questions to feel comfortable it can serve its members? Dunno.
2) Sure looks like the Tories are admitting a) a voluntary long form won't collect accurate enough information to satisfy the needs of the Canadian Francophone community and, by extension, everyone else; and b) their original changes were illegal.
3) Sure, remove the jail provision for the short-form and etc., while keeping them mandatory with punishment for non-compliance via fines or some such thing presumably. At least I'm assuming that's what the change amounts to and they're not saying they'll make the short-form voluntary. But then, why not make this change across the board? Remove the jail provision for the long-form, but keep it mandatory. Hey presto! Compromise!
4) The only thing this move accomplishes for sure is to keep the issue on the front pages for a bunch more news cycles. From government perspective, that's bone-headed.
Anyway, that's all I can think of now. More later, for sure.
I understand the thinking that went into this decision, but I'm still shocked they actually made it. A court case would have kept the issue on the front page for a couple days, but ultimately the government would have won, or the result would have been a compromise like the one just announced, and few people would care at that point.
But with this Tony says:
1)Okay, maybe the questions aren't intrusive
2)The intrusiveness is remedied by removing the threat of jail, already floated by the opposition as a possible compromise
3)Groups do need this and can't get it anywhere else
There's no upside here that I can think of.
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