Mandatory census sought

Local officials claim they are being left in an information vacuum.

The Regional District of North Okanagan will demand the federal government resurrect the mandatory long-form census.

“We need to join other local governments in calling on the federal government to give us the information we need to do our job,” said director Jackie Pearase. “We can’t do any effective planning without information.”

The Conservative government in Ottawa scrapped the mandatory component of the long-form census, stating that some of the questions infringed on the privacy of citizens and residents should not be legally penalized for not filling out the document.

However, Pearase says that fewer people are now completing the census and that is negatively impacting the activities of RDNO’s regional growth management advisory committee.

“The census results are so small they’re useless. It doesn’t give the regional district anything to work with,” she said.

“How do we know if Lumby needs more seniors care if we don’t know how many seniors there are? How do we know how many young people need jobs if we don’t have the information?”

Director Mary-Jo O’Keefe was against the motion calling on Ottawa to bring back the mandatory census form.

“I am opposed to the mandatory aspect of the census,” said O’Keefe.

“I don’t think any government should force people to divulge things they think are too private.”


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