APTN National News
A number of Aboriginal organizations have lost an attempt to force the government to re-introduce the manditory long form census.
The Native Council of Nova Scotia, the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council and Native Council of Prince Edward Island challenged the federal government’s decision to make this year’s census voluntary.
Last year, federal Industry Minister Tony Clement kicked up a storm of controversy when he removed any possible penalties for failing to fill out the long form census. A number of groups argued forcing people to fill it out gives them valuable information for programming.
Canada’s chief statistician resigned because of Clement’s move.
The three groups from Atlantic Canada argued the changes to the census broke the government’s constitutional and legal obligations to Aboriginal peoples and infringed their right not to be discriminated against.
But Justice Russel Zinn dismissed that argument ruling that the councils failed to prove a voluntary long form survey violates their rights.
This is the second time a federal court judge has ruled the census isn’t required. In October, the Federation des Communautes Francophones et Acadienne du Canada also failed in a bid to force the government back to a mandatory census.