Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Case of the Missing Job Numbers

OMG. All hail Great Merciful Leader !!! It seems that Statistics Canada has been saved from a horrible fate.

After a long search, and a lot of heat, it has found the missing job numbers. 

The Canadian economy created 42,000 jobs in July – not 200 as mistakenly reported last week by Statistics Canada – as revised numbers beat market expectations.
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Montreal Simon: Is Stephen Harper Trying to Fiddle With the Disastrous Job Report?

I think it's safe to say that Statistics Canada's last job report was not well received in Stephen Harper's PMO.

Because when you can only create 200 jobs in the whole of Canada in July, it is the Con Gotterdammerung. And the end of the myth of Great Economist Leader.

So I'm not surprised to see that the PMO wants us to know that Statistics Canada will soon be changing that disastrous report. 
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Politics and its Discontents: Reveling In Ignorance

It is perhaps the supreme irony of our age; for the first time in history we have access to a world of information and data literally at our fingertips; it is an era when profound ignorance should be quickly receding into the status of historical artifact; yet we are led by a federal government that revels in and promotes profound ignorance. This is not the way the twenty-first century should be.

In today’s Star, Carol Goar begins her article with some damning facts about the Harper regime’s relentless campaign of disinformation:

For the past year, Canadians have laboured under (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Fraser got it wrong — StatsCan says little real difference in public-private absenteeism rates

Contrary to the much publicized Fraser Institute press releases accusing the public sector of abusing sick leave allowances, earlier today Statistics Canada issued a report suggesting there is in fact very little real difference in absenteeism rates between the public … Continue reading

The Canadian Progressive: $170 billion: Canadian money in foreign tax havens, an all-time high

By: Canadians for Tax Fairness May 10, 2013: Canadian money stashed in the top 12 global tax havens has topped $170 Billion, according to data on foreign direct investment released yesterday by Statistics Canada. This amounts to a quarter of all Canadian money going abroad. This figure is also equivalent [...]

The post href="http://www.canadianprogressiveworld.com/2013/05/13/170-billion-canadian-money-in-foreign-tax-havens-an-all-time-high/">$170 billion: Canadian money in foreign tax havens, an all-time high appeared first on href="http://www.canadianprogressiveworld.com">The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Diary: Looking back in perplexity: where did all of Alberta’s money go again?

First World money and Third World roads. If we’re so rich in Alberta, why do we seem so poor? A motorist negotiates one of Edmonton’s famed potholes. Actual Edmonton drivers may not have snappy uniforms like this fellow. Below: Author, professor and former Alberta Liberal politician Kevin Taft, the cover of Follow the Money.

There aren’t many surprises in Alberta – at least if you’ve been paying attention.

However, apparently paying attention is something you can’t expect either the government or the media to do.

Consider the news in the Edmonton Journal earlier this week that “Experts have warned of Continue reading

The Canadian Progressive: What Paulo Coelho and other global leaders tweeted about at World Economic Forum in Davos

by Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Jan. 31, 2013: Let’s agree in one point: we can have anything, but we CAN’T have everything #wef — Paulo Coelho (@paulocoelho) January 25, 2013 The tweet by Paulo Coelho, the world-renowned Brazilian author of The Alchemist, was one of the most popular of world leaders’ reflections during last week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, href='http://www.canadianprogressiveworld.com/2013/01/31/what-global-leaders-tweeted-about-at-world-economic-forum-in-davos/' class='excerpt-more'>READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: Canada’s richest 1% grabbed 10.6% of all income, rich-poor gap widened: StatsCan

by Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Jan. 28, 2013: Remember Occupy, Canada? A new Statistics Canada analysis of income trends among Canadian taxfilers from 1982 to 2010, released today, confirms three of the many concerns Occupy protesters expressed in late 2011. Concerns relating to income inequality, poverty, corporate greed, etc. First, members of the exclusive club of the top href='http://www.canadianprogressiveworld.com/2013/01/28/canadas-richest-1-grabbed-10-6-of-all-income-rich-poor-gap-widened-statscan/' class='excerpt-more'>READ MORE

Canadian Progressive World: Canada lost 30 400 jobs in July & apologists blame the global economy

This is the kind of news Stephen Harper and the Conservatives would wish you didn’t hear. That’s because it debunks the self-made myth that they’re competent economic managers. They want us to believe that Canada survived the recent global recession better than most countries because of them. And, they’re rapidly anti-evidence.  Anti-statistics.

Well, out is the truth backed by statistics: The Canadian economy just lost 30,400 jobs, according to Statistics Canada’s July jobs report.

As a result, the jobless rate jumped from 7.2 percent in June to 7.3 percent in July. Now Canada has recorded consecutive job losses in Continue reading

Canadian Progressive World: The day Canada’s white supremacists saluted Stephen Harper

neo nazi symbol 300x180 The day Canada’s white supremacists saluted Stephen HarperSo far, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s ideology-inspired of project of social and political engineering expresses itself most eloquently as the Conservatives’ egregious assault on civil liberties, the metamorphosis of Canada into a petro-state, and militarization of both Canadian society and foreign policy. We’re yet to acknowledge how this project oppresses the “other” while empowering utopian idealists who believe that the eradication of minorities will cleanse their world of some perceived contamination.

In early June, Canada’s white supremacists saluted Harper.

The Conservative majority in the House of Commons had just passed Bill C-304 by 153 votes to 136. As usual, the Continue reading

Canadian Progressive World: Statistics Canada: Crime rate reached its lowest level in 40 years in 2011

Bill C10 Image21 300x218 Statistics Canada:  Crime rate reached its lowest level in 40 years in 2011The evidence on the crime rate in Canada is out! Statistics Canada reported yesterday that rate of crimes reported to Canadian police forces across the country reached its lowest level last year. The incidents of serious crimes also dropped. By six per cent. That’s for most offences, including attempted murders, sexual assaults, major assaults, robberies, motor vehicle thefts and break-ins.

In a grotesque twist to this important revelation, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews tried to claim credit for the decline. The stats suggests that the Harper Conservatives’ Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10) is working, according the National Post.

Continue reading

Impolitical: 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 Continue reading

Pop The Stack: Conservative Budget Shows Us What is Important to Them

A common response from many pundits on the recent Conservative budget seems to be: sensible, dull, uncontroversial. David Frum recently published his analysis and went a bit further asking whether or not this budget definitively proves that Canada is the “best-governed country in the advanced democratic world”.  He thinks it does. His question is especially interesting given that democracy is one of the areas that the conservatives would get a failing grade on most comparisons with other developed nations.

I find myself in the situation, common after reading Mr. Frum’s articles, of wanting to agree and disagree with him simultaneously. I agree (Read more…)

Pop The Stack: Conservative Budget Shows Us What is Important to Them

A common response from many pundits on the recent Conservative budget seems to be: sensible, dull, uncontroversial. David Frum recently published his analysis and went a bit further asking whether or not this budget definitively proves that Canada is the “best-governed country in the advanced democratic world”.  He thinks it does. His question is especially interesting given that democracy is one of the areas that the conservatives would get a failing grade on most comparisons with other developed nations.

I find myself in the situation, common after reading Mr. Frum’s articles, of wanting to agree and disagree with him simultaneously. I agree (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Science and the Conservative Party of Canada? Yeah Right…

This is a repost from askepticrtn.com it is important concisely written work that needs to be shared and amplified in the Canadian Blogosphere.

On February 01, Philip Cross, Chief Economic Adviser at Statistics Canada announced his leaving the agency. He follows the head of the agency, Munir Sheikh, who resigned last year over Government plans to redesign the Census. Mr. Cross is leaving for much the same reason.

At issue is replacing a compulsory census questionnaire with a voluntary questionnaire. In essence, this means replacing a random sample with Continue reading

David Climenhaga's Alberta Diary: Few oxen gored in Alberta Tories’ exquisitely political budget

Your intrepid blogger, with Alberta Finance Minister Ron Liepert. Below: New Democrat MLA Rachel Notley.

Oddly enough, there actually was a lesson that could be learned from the first budget of Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s government.

While the Budget Speech read yesterday by retiring Finance Minister Ron Liepert was self-evidently an election-year creation designed to offend no one who might wield influence, one ox was gored: post-secondary education.

While the media were reporting a 2.7-per-cent increase to post-secondary operating funds, they weren’t saying anything about the effects of inflation, huge population increases and big cuts to maintenance budgets that Continue reading

Politics and its Discontents: The Voice of Integrity: Munir Sheikh

Those not seduced by the siren call of simplicity promoted by the Harper government will be pleased to learn that Munir Sheikh, the former head of Statistics Canada who resigned his post rather than give his stamp of approval to the Tory elimination of the mandatory long-form census, is in the news, keeping the face of voice of integrity alive.

An article in The Star entitled Ex-chief statistician picks apart cancellation of long census, reveals that a 26-page essay written by Sheikh, his contribution to a volume on “intelligent government” published by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards, is very critical of the Harper government, saying that “the census decision has shaken Statistics Canada’s neutrality and independence, and put at risk the government’s own work in many areas.”

In the essay, Sheikh warns statisticians working at the federal agency to “guard against political intervention” until better solutions are found.

Sheikh also raises concerns over poor data on aboriginal populations, especially housing on reserves, and about the government making key decisions on pension reform without having reliable information on wealth in Canadian households.

He also issue this stinging observation: “No country can be among the league of civilized societies without intelligent policy development. And, intelligent policy development is not possible without good data”

For those interested, a link to the essay is also found in the Star article.

Things Are Good: Happiest Commuters Walk or Cycle to Work

Many cyclists can go on for hours about how great riding a bicycle everyday is (I know I can), and it has been proven that walking can make you happier too. It comes as no surprise then that walking or bicycling as your preferred commuting solution makes you happier.

What is surprising is that this conclusion of happy commuting comes from Statistics Canada!

Two-thirds of cyclists said they were very satisfied with their commute. Only 6 per cent were dissatisfied, according to a Statistics Canada survey of more than 6,000 people across the country.

It’s a striking difference from their car and transit-riding brethren. Only 32 per cent of drivers and 25 per cent of public transit users were very satisfied with their trip to work.

Read the rest of the article.

Politics and its Discontents: Stephen Harper: Pay No Attention To The Stats Can Man Behind The Curtain

The other day I wrote about the fact that statistic show serious crime in Canada to be at a 40-year-low. Despite this, of course, the Harper Government is marching headlong in its pursuit of measures to combat crime, including, of course, the building of super prisons that we neither need nor can afford.

In today’s Globe, Jeffrey Simpson, in an incisive column entitled Tories judge evidence of falling rates inadmissible, explains why such statistics have no impact on our Conservative overloads. If you get a few moments, check it out.

Scott's DiaTribes: Somewhere, Stephen Harper is smiling at this.

Statistics Canada released a survey today on the reasons given by those Canadians as to why they did not vote in the May 2 federal election:

..The most common response for not having voted was that they were “not interested in voting” (28%), which also includes feeling their vote would not have made a difference in the election results. An additional 23% indicated they were “too busy”, which includes having family obligations or having a schedule conflict at work or school.

With regards to the 23% who were “too busy” to vote, they either didn’t see the notices from Elections Canada on where one could do advance voting, or else they’re using the “too busy” as an excuse and should really be lumped into the first category of not being interested (the more likely scenario, in my opinion). I’m not sure I can criticize Elections Canada for lack of advance polling advertising, because those were everywhere.

Regardless, Stephen Harper loves to see things like this – particularly the disillusioned voters who didn’t feel their vote would make any difference (which wasn’t just the youth vote, by the way. It seems to be spread across age demographics). His goal is to motivate his own ideological supporters to come to the polls to vote.. which is why I suspect he doesn’t care if Parliament is turned into a screeching madhouse, or if people are turned off by his attack/smear ads on other politicians. The goal is to depress turnout of the less ideological and to win a plurality of the rest of the voters with a united Right and a divided Center-Left. It appears last election, that aim succeeded.

The question will be what the rest of the parties do to try and decrease those “not interested/it won’t make a difference” potential voters and get them motivated to vote for their parties.

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Bill Longstaff: On trashing the long form census—Stats Can on my tail

Shortly before the Canada Post lockout, Statistics Canada mailed me a copy of the 2011 National Household Survey, formerly known as the long form census, to dutifully fill out. I promptly trashed it.

But Stats Can was not finished with me. Yesterday, with Canada Post back in business, I opened my mailbox looking forward to some overdue magazines, but to my considerable disappointment all I found was a brown envelope from Stats Can reminding me to fill out its form. And as if that wasn’t enough, later in the afternoon I received a phone call with yet another request that I fulfill this pointless exercise.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a strong believer in the long form census. It is, or was, an important resource for a host of individuals and organizations—business, labour, religious, educational, charitable, etc.—and of course for government itself. I would be delighted to assist in the gathering of information that will result in a better understanding of and better policy-making for my country.

But the information provided by a census is only valid if it is gathered in a controlled manner and that means filling out the form must be mandatory. That, unfortunately, is no longer the case. Filling out the form is now voluntary which renders the information gathered useless or worse. I have no intention of wasting my time filling out a 40-page form to provide information that may present an inaccurate, even deceptive, portrait of Canadians.

I will wait until the government regains its senses, listens to the advice offered from almost every corner of Canadian society and returns to the mandatory long form. Then, if I’m still around, I will do my duty as a citizen and fill out the form with enthusiasm.