May 212016

Canadians continue to arrive on this blog with questions about the Census and StatsCan Surveys.

Thanks to the student Brad.  The Q&A with him is helpful to others.  My Reply follows his question:


The crux of the problem is this; we do have a centralized statistical agency and a large part of academia states that this system is more efficient and produces higher quality data. Without faith in the reliability of census material, the agency turned to administrative data (records of other governmental agencies) and used the macro-level data to verify if their surveys are correct.

In other words, without the census they found another way to create the same type of data, albeit one that was less successful.  With a centralized statistical system, there will always be this black box of ‘how is the data handled’.  We know that the agency has some practices to ensure that profiles are not created from the questions, the collection stage is the only one that is at risk for profiling.

Personally, I think that any subcontracting of any stage of data collection and dissemination is a violation of not only the charter, but also the mandate of the statistics act.  At one point, Statistics Canada had the budget and the mandate to ensure that it protected Canadians’ information and now it does not.

I favour the recommendation for an independent statistical agency, so that the government cannot force the agency to create profiles or hand over personal information. Nonetheless, there is a significant voice to those who state that it does not matter, no agency should have this power in the first place.

I will probably have to clarify a few things in this blurb, but my follow up question would be; was there at any point a historical Statistics Canada that would work?  Or do you prefer the proposition?

(Brad’s other good questions are at:   Replies to student research for Philosophy Class.  Census, Lockheed Martin & Charter Right.)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


The world changes and continues to change.  You cannot go backwards in time.  Among the reasons that the Census worked historically: 

  • technology was much less sophisticated than it is today.  The capabilities that exist today did not exist in the past.  The names of citizens were not directly on their record in the StatsCan data base, which they are today.   The appetite for comprehensive data on individual citizens was less developed.  

The threat posed by detailed files on citizens coupled with technological CAPACITY, coupled with the DRIVE to create the data files – – the convergence of these factors did not exist.   There wasn’t the same basis for citizen resistance, as exists today.  So the Census “worked”.

  • Canada was a more sovereign and democratic nation.  

A war and surveillance corporation from a foreign imperialist Government with documented disregard for the Rule of Law and protocol did not receive contracts for work at Statistics Canada (documented elsewhere on this blog).     I don’t think there is any doubt about the “steerage” role of Lockheed Martin in the “compatible” Census data bases in the “5 Eyes” countries  – –   see   2016-03-18   Does Lockheed Martin Corp have a role in the 2016 Census? 

  • A higher degree of sovereignty in a healthier democracy meant that the VALUES of its people had a greater chance of guiding the nation. 

The Census had a greater chance of working historically because the operations at Statistics Canada did not fly full in the face of values. 

It is well-known that Canadians in general do not see war (personified by Lockheed Martin and wars like the Iraq War) as a means for

  • economic growth
  • enrichment, or as
  • a way to help improve the lot of the world’s people. 
  • Or as a way to spend their tax dollars.  There are more intelligent and beneficial alternatives.  

We embrace sitting down at the table, the use of our full range of human capacities, as opposed to the use of stupid brute force.  I would like to think that in the latter half of the last century, had Canadians sent thousands of letters to its Government protesting against the Lockheed Martin contracts, that the Government would have responded to the values articulated.   There would have been no contracts.   

Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien understood – – he did not take Canada into the 2003 American/UK War on Iraq.  Those Canadian values were solidified before him, under former Prime Minister Lester Pearson.  They became part of our identity.   Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau worked at creating relationships and dialogue with other countries – Cuba is an obvious example. 

With sovereignty came the ability to set our own course.   We were not lap dogs to very destructive American foreign and economic policy.   Nor had the Corporatocracy supplanted democracy to the same degree.

RE:  Do I prefer the proposition for an “independent statistical agency”?   

No.  A hammer sees every nail as something to be hit.  Statisticians have been trained/conditioned to think along the same lines as their professors, superiors and colleagues, regardless of the organizational structure. 

Also,  the “President of the Americas” for Lockheed Martin spelt out to Maclean’s Magazine that they work through the agencies and bureaucracy of Government because they know they can’t get what they want through the democratic channels of Govt. (transparency and public debate).   Ref:   2006-09-13 Maclean’s Magazine interview, President of the Americas for Lockheed Martin Ron Covais, Meet NAFTA 2.0.    The corporatocracy is too heavily infiltrated into the Government for the proposition (an independent statistical agency) to work.

John Ralston Saul correctly argues (in my opinion) that our rational faculty is the most fragile of our faculties.  We routinely rationalize our actions,  we can rationalize almost anything.  It is subject to corruption.  And yet we exalt the rational, to the exclusion of our other faculties.  

QUESTION:  How do I understand this situation in which academics, statisticians and media can loudly proclaim the absolute necessity of a mandatory long form census, detailed data files on citizens,  in spite of the historical record, and the extinction of a Charter Right that protects citizens against the abuses?  

  • FORGETFULNESS  –  failure to use the human faculty of MEMORY.

REF (new):  2016-05-24 This is why the war corporations (Lockheed Martin) will be gone from Canada.  Democracy is as fallible as human beings. But we make progress. Interview of George Takei, Japanese-American interned at age 5.

  • COMPARTMENTALIZATION   – removing the ETHICAL consideration from our actions.  (Using tax-payer dollars to enrich people who promoted an illegal war, the consequences of which fester and ooze in the Middle East years later, who were the Number One Contract “Interrogator” in the illegal, truly depraved and unproductive Torture carried out in American offshore prisons, …


  • CONDITIONING – an educational system that fails to EMPOWER, that has little comprehension of our INTUITIVE faculty, that does not reward critical thinking.


  • LACK OF COMMON SENSE   – some inhabitants of the Ivory Tower don’t know what the man in the street knows.  The building of detailed files of personal information on citizens by the Government is the signature of a police state.   Intuitively we know that parts of our lives, or the lives of fellow citizens, are private.
  • MARGINALIZATION OF IMAGINATION  – little ability to envision other ways and means, ones that reinforce, instead of undermine, our Values and the Rights of Citizens.


  • STIFLING OF CREATIVE CAPABILITY – academics in general are the staunch defenders of the status quo, constrained by boxes.  Simultaneously, creativity is essential for CHANGE.


  • FAILURE IN LEADERSHIP  – leadership should help guide us out of a model that makes the world a worse place.   We can’t get to a better place by giving our tax money (investing in) the machinery of the war corporations, forces of destruction.


  • A ONE-DIMENSIONAL LINEAR POINT-OF-VIEW –  in a world that is multi-dimensional.


  • INABILITY TO INTEGRATE THE HUMAN QUALITIES WE POSSESS –  you end up with a fractured humanity.   Our rational faculty with a false sense of superiority, obliterating what is ethical, intuitive, the experience in family histories;  at odds with common sense, and with little creative capacity.   It is a recipe for fallibility;  the same recipe that has been used in the past (and present) with disastrous consequences.

REF (new):   2016-05-24 This is why the war corporations (Lockheed Martin) will be gone from Canada. Democracy is as fallible as human beings. But we make progress. Interview of George Takei, Japanese-American interned at age 5.

  • TOO MANY DISEMPOWERED, DIRECTIONLESS, OR IRRESPONSIBLE AND PROPAGANDIZED CITIZENS  – a few factors at play.   But basically, we know it is wrong to be complicit; we fail to take a stand which is our responsibility as citizens.  


In my view,  the answer to the StatsCan debacle lies in the raising of consciousness coupled with ferocious defence of our values and Charter Rights.   Please see

2016-05-21  I lose myself.  “A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.”

. . .   These qualities (memory, intuition, common sense, imagination . . ) exist whether we recognize them or not.  What remains in our power is how conscious we are willing to be of our humanness.  By conscious, I mean how much we wish to exercise our qualities and to do so one in concert with the other.  To be conscious of them is to be more confident in our use of them.           – –   John Ralston Saul


  3 Responses to “2016-05-20 Was there at any point an historical Statistics Canada that would work today? (Lockheed Martin, Privacy of Personal Info)”

  1. From: David
    Sent: May 25, 2016 6:26 PM

    Yeah me too – I am extremely puzzled at how strong the advocacy FOR long form census is from so called ‘progressives” – esp in these years when technological invasion of privacy and related matters is so much in the news … some kind of disconnect going on…but academics are notorious for that!

  2. From: Kristian
    Sent: May 25, 2016 4:23 PM

    Keep on keeping on Sandra. Hell, we don’t even make our own touques. When we had the Olympics in Canada I wanted to buy some and send them to my relatives in France. At Zellers, which you know was part of the Hudson Bay Company, I found the mitts, shirts and touques with the Canadian Maple leaf showing our flag colours. All made in China. I was too ashamed to buy them.
    Have a great day lady. Kris

    • Thanks Kris – –

      a lady in Saskatoon wrote a great song that the “Eclipse” Choir sang: “Keep on, Keepin’ On”.

      We will!

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