OTTAWA — A pair of duelling bills are putting the debate over the census and the work of Statistics Canada back on the floor of the House of Commons.
A Conservative and a Liberal MP each have a private member’s bill that addresses the census going through the legislative process.
Liberal MP Ted Hsu’s bill, which would bring back the long-form census and bolster the independence of the chief statistician, is scheduled for a second-reading vote this week.
Many groups including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, municipalities and religious groups have backed the return of the long-form census.
Conservative MP Joe Preston’s legislation would remove the threat of jail time as a penalty in all surveys conducted by Statistics Canada, including the mandatory, short-form census.
Preston’s bill would allow fines to be imposed on those who refuse to complete the forms.