Nasty Trend?

James Hopkin, aptn National News

A federal court in Halifax has rejected a coaltion of aboriginal groups assertion that changes to the mandatory long form census is unconstitutional.

But the group maintains that getting rid of the mandatory census will hurt Aboriginal people across the country.

The Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council was part of the coalition to force the federal government to reverse it’s decision.

But a judge ruled that scrapping the census doesn’t infringe on First Nations rights.

The group is worried that the government is doing away with information so it doesn’t have to address social and
economic problems as they come up.

Many feel First Nations groups feel the federal government is starting a trend.

Late last year it announced that it was no longer funding the groundbreaking Sisters in Spirit Initiative. It’s the group that brought to light the staggering number of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Ottawa banned the organization from using public dollars to conduct it’s research.

Some say if the government gets rid of the statistics, it gets rid of the problem. Derek Simon is a lawyer for the coalition.

“if you don’t have accurate data regarding Aboriginal peoples to base that on, it’s going to impact the Aboriginal population in a negative way.”

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