The cancellation of the long form census has already degraded the nation's primary knowledge product:
OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cancellation of the long-form census has started to take a toll on Statistics Canada's data.
The agency released its final segment of the 2011 census last week, focusing on languages. However it included a big warning that cautions data-users about comparing key facts against censuses of the past. That's because the cancellation of the long-form census forced Statscan to move language questions on to the mandatory short-form.
Statscan's lead analyst says repositioning the questions likely prompted people to answer them differently, especially when it came to questions about mother tongue and languages used at home.
As a result, Jean-Pierre Corbeil says the census is probably not accurately capturing the mother tongue of large numbers of immigrants who came to Canada over the past few years.He also says it's likely overstating the number of people who have English as their mother tongue.
Note that the problem with the data noted here is not even among those most often flagged by critics of the government change. Therefore expect unforeseen problems to crop up along side of the foreseen ones.
In any case, not content, the Tories have decided to go after the NRC:
OTTAWA - Nearly 100 of Canada's top researchers and scientists are facing layoffs in what the NDP science and technology critic says is just the "tip of the iceberg" in what appears to be the Conservative government's plan to slash funding for basic research and focus instead on research that's industry-driven.
"There's a much larger game afoot but it's being rolled out in a really stealthy way," said Kennedy Stewart, the NDP critic for science and technology. "When we look back in a couple of years we'll see that it really is part of a larger plan and it will probably have an impact on our international standing."
Which is to say that the indices that measure international performance in basic research will all show Canada ranking lower. A plot to render the nation incapable of doing anything but hewing wood and hauling bitumen?