MPP wants census restored

TheStar.com – Opinion/Letters – Re: $30 million on census a waste, critics say, Aug. 13
Published On Sun Aug 22 2010.   Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

The federal government’s decision to add two questions to the short-form census falls short of the vital information Ontario needs to develop and deliver effective programs to support Ontario’s newcomers. This is about people, understanding their needs, their challenges and their potential.

The short census does not tell us about our newcomers’ mother tongue (other than French or English), place of birth, ethnicity, education and income levels. Without reliable, accurate information, captured only by the long census, Ontario will be unable to develop and provide newcomers with the necessary services and programs that help them succeed in Ontario.

For example, the long-form census data has allowed Ontario to develop more than 200 bridge training programs that have helped over 45,000 newcomers get licensed and get jobs in their profession.

On behalf of all Ontarians, and particularly Ontario’s newcomers, I urge the federal government to reconsider its decision to end the mandatory long-form census. We need to count our newcomers so that they can count on us. Because when our newcomers succeed, Ontario succeeds.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

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