Clement to Farmers: Prepare to be Coerced
Farmers still face mandatory agricultural census
Canadian farmers will still be required to fill out a questionnaire about their farming methods, even though the federal government is scrapping the mandatory long-form personal census because it says it is too intrusive.
In conjunction with the regular census, Statistics Canada also surveys farmers across the country, asking detailed questions about crops and farming techniques.
For example, farmers are asked about the area of land fertilized with manure, whether that manure was spread on the soil, injected into it, or fell randomly from a cow. [ed note: speaking of random sampling...]
CBC News has learned that this survey of farms remains mandatory, although the national long-form household census is being replaced with a voluntary version in 2011.
UPDATE - Clement was on The House yesterday, and he defended the farm Census:
In the radio interview, Clement did not address the concern that the change will cost more money as the new voluntary survey will be sent to more households than before. But he did explain why the mandatory long-form agricultural census was not scrapped.
Clement says the agricultural census is used for valuable measures "that will help farmers," adding, "The argument obviously to farming associations and to farmers is, 'You fill out the form, it'll help the government help you in your farming activities.'"
He went on to say that the farm Census is the Minister of Agriculture's decision - so any farmers who feel coerced, can take up their grievances with Gerry Ritz.