Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"In light of today's media coverage..."

This morning, Tony Clement gives an in depth Q & A in the Globe, where he talks about the relationship between StatsCan and the government, their role in the Census changes, and his relationship with chief statistician Munir Sheikh.

Clement ends the Q & A by assuring us that both him and Mr. Sheikh will release statements today in support of the changes:

Q: Ok. What is the point of the statement tomorrow? Why more statements?

A: I think Munir wants to assure Canadians that Statscan is going to do its job -- and [explain] the nature of what that job is -- and then I will want to assure Canadians that we have confidence in Statscan -- that it can do its job.



And now...

Head of StatsCan mulls future over census crisis

OTTAWA - The head of Statistics Canada says he's "reflecting" on his position at the agency, the latest twist in the crisis over the government's decision to scrub the mandatory long-form census.

Munir Sheikh issued a terse email to all agency employees today cancelling a planned staff meeting and saying he would comment soon — sparking speculation from insiders that he might resign.

[...]

"In light of today's media coverage, I am cancelling the scheduled Town Hall meeting," wrote Sheikh, a respected economist with service in both Liberal and Conservative governments.

"I am reflecting on my position and that of the agency and will get back to you soon."



UPDATE - The Head of StatsCan has resigned in protest, saying the voluntary Census will not work. But hey, Tony knows best...

6 Comments:

  • The head of statscan should have resigned as soon as this decision was made.

    After Clement's emasculating of the agency in the paper today and spouting off blatant lies in his op-ed yesterday, there's really no other option left.

    By Anonymous CW, at 3:19 PM  

  • The head of statscan should have resigned as soon as he decided to report to the media instead of the Minister he works under.

    By Blogger wilson, at 4:17 PM  

  • Wilson - he sent the letter to his employees. It's highly probably that one of them leaked it to the media.

    Munir has yet to speak to the media on this issue and Stats Can has frustratingly refused to comment on this story.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 4:50 PM  

  • Clement had StatsCan in his pocket on this one. They weren't saying a thing to contradict them.

    Then he went and pushed it too far, misrepresenting their position. And now he'll pay for it. I've never seen such a simple unimportant issue get so badly managed.

    By Anonymous Deb, at 6:41 PM  

  • Reads to me as:::
    ----------------------

    I want to do my job as a technical statistician.

    "I want to take this opportunity to comment on a technical statistical issue which has become the subject of media discussion. This relates to the question of whether a voluntary survey can become a substitute for a mandatory census."

    I can NOT. As result I must resign.

    By Blogger Socially Active, at 7:36 PM  

  • From Global National tonight on Clement's response to the resignation:

    "he acknowledges Sheikh's resignation "with regret" and that the agency's "preferred approach" would have been to keep the long-form census as it was.

    However, after the government's decision to replace the mandatory long-form census, Statistics Canada was asked to provide options for conducting a voluntary survey of households"


    This confirms what I suspected all along - this was a "my way or the highway" situation.

    You can't go around saying somebody supports the solution when they are told to come up with one, even though their professional opinion is in the opposite direction.

    People either walk or turtle under those conditions. Sheikh walked.

    How relibable will Stat Can data be now that we know the government is meddling in the process? Just another skewed poll?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:04 PM  

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