Monday, October 11, 2010

Unhealthy choices

Alison has already weighed in on the Con-ordered cuts to surveys at Statistics Canada, and I'm sure plenty more observers will do the same. But it's worth pointing out one of the surveys in particular off the list as an indication of the Cons' desire to get actual evidence out of the public eye on a vital issue:
The ditched surveys are: the Industrial Pollutant Release Survey, and the Quarterly Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Survey, both pilot projects; the National Population Health Survey; the Survey of the Suppliers of Business Financing; and the Survey on Financing of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.
Now, keep in mind that health care has just reemerged as the most important issue among Canadian voters. So to the extent Harper had any interest in actually addressing the issue that matters most to Canadians, he should seemingly want to pay far closer attention to exactly the type of information being cut.

But then, the Cons have never shown any desire to do anything but let health care crumble under the weight of their neglect. And so they've made a deliberate choice to eliminate a key tool in assessing the effectiveness of health policies: a study that's particularly useful for its longitudinal scope, its ability to track identical indicators across the country, and its focus on broader population issues rather than the formal health-care system alone.

And all to save substantially less money than they've happily shredded in order to gut the census.

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