Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Destabilizing Statistics Canada

This news is really something, another head shaking moment. This comes from a government led by a trained Economist™:
Nearly half of the roughly 5,000 people working at Statistics Canada are being warned that their jobs are at risk, suggesting deep cuts are in store for one of the country’s most trusted sources of information.

The notices to staff that their employment could be affected by cuts are the second major blow to the organization in recent years, after the Conservative government’s 2010 decision to replace the mandatory long-form census with a voluntary one. Canada’s chief statistician resigned in protest over the change.

Everyone from the Bank of Canada to academics, economists, marketers, urban planners and public policy researchers use Statistics Canada surveys.
No wonder they didn't want such news up front in the budget roll-out. It's a drip, drip, drip of attrition and this one is a shocker.

They got away with axing the long form census and so they are proceeding merrily along in gutting a key information and data pillar for Canadian society. What recklessness. Totally inconsistent with their supposed reputation as economic managers.

So what do you do when you have a government bent on destruction of such valuable things government is doing? Go sideways, go around them. Rebuild the Stats Can capacities from elsewhere. Whether it's doable and whether resources exist to fund it, those are the questions. Until you can fix the damage that is being done in the form of a future government's commitments, in this Web 2.0 era of networking and rarefied computer expertise, it's an idea.