Long-form census [OCUL]

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Ontario Council of University Libraries has made available information on the impact of the cancellation of the mandatory long-form census and the current process in Parliament to reinstate it for 2016.

n July 2010, OCUL joined many concerned organizations and individuals in Canada in objecting to the government of Canada’s decision to cancel the mandatory long-form questionnaire as part of the 2011 Census of Population.

OCUL represents 21 Ontario university libraries with more than 450,000 students and faculty across the province. In addition, we provide support to researchers from municipalities, provincial and territorial governments, NGO’s, social and cultural associations, as well as private sector marketing and business firms and organizations.

The OCUL Data Community is a community of data professionals with expertise and interests in the use of all forms of data, including the Canadian census. The information presented here has been prepared to identify the impact of the cancellation of the mandatory long-form census and ensure that researchers have a full understanding of the current situation.

These links provide:

background information on the mandatory long-form census cancellation and its impact on research and public policy [click here]

the current process in Parliament to reinstate the mandatory long-form census for 2016 [click here]

Cuts to Statistics Canada are Harming Canadians

The CLA recently released a statement in response cuts at Statistics Canada. The below text is an abstract – please click here for the full statement.

“… Recent programme cuts and policy changes at Statistics Canada have made it more difficult than ever for Canadians to track changes to critical issues that affect their communities, such as unemployment rates or the education of our children. The replacement of the mandatory long-form census with the National Household Survey, at a significantly greater cost, and the cancellation of many social surveys has made it increasingly challenging, if not impossible, for municipalities, hospitals, schools, and government agencies to administer social programmes and to track their success. In some cases, municipalities are financing their own surveys to gather the critical data they once had access to through StatCan (see full article for reference). StatCan cuts and changes are continuing to impede effective planning for all agencies, making future programming a costly gamble. Additionally, with all levels of government focused on social and economic innovation, it is imperative that municipalities have the ability to look back on trends in order to plan for the future with reliable data…”

The Lyon Declaration

The Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development was launched at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Lyon, France, 15-22 August 2014. The Declaration focuses on the UN’s post-2015 development agenda, currently being developed, and includes important statements on the access to and the preservation of government information, including the recognition on behalf of signatories that:

Information intermediaries such as libraries, archives, civil society organisations (CSOs), community leaders and the media have the skills and resources to help governments, institutions and individuals communicate, organize, structure and understand data that is critical to development. They can do this by:

Preserving and ensuring ongoing access to cultural heritage, government records and information by the public, through the stewardship of national libraries and archives and other public heritage institutions.

The full text of the Declaration is available here. Please share widely.


Contribute to the Open Government Ideas Dialogue

An “Ideas Dialogue” has been development as part of the Government of Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 2.0 Consultation:

What is the Idea Dialogue? It is a way to take the next step in phase2_data_portal_eng_300x250_0building Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 2.0. We’d like you to share your ideas on ways the Government of Canada could focus its efforts toward increased openness and transparency. You could also help build on someone else’s idea by adding your comments on the idea details discussion pages.

Canada’s first Action Plan on Open Government helped us make significant strides in providing easier access to the data and information Canadians want.

This could be a great opportunity for the government information community to make concrete suggestions for improving access to government information and data in Canada. Please, contribute your recommendations to this consultation, spread the word, and upvote the ideas you support!

Un dialogue en matière d’idées relatives à l’élaboration du Plan d’action du Canada pour un gouvernement ouvert 2.0 a été développé:

phase2_data_portal_fra_300x250_0En quoi consiste le dialogue en matière d’idées? Il s’agit d’un moyen de passer à l’étape suivante dans l’élaboration du Plan d’action du Canada pour un gouvernement ouvert 2.0. Nous aimerions connaître vos idées sur la façon dont le gouvernement du Canada pourrait orienter ses efforts en vue d’accroître son ouverture et sa transparence. Vous pourriez également enrichir l’idée d’une autre personne en ajoutant vos commentaires aux pages de discussion relatives aux détails de l’idée en question.

Le premier Plan d’action du Canada pour un gouvernement ouvert nous a aidé à réaliser d’importants progrès qui ont permis de faciliter l’accès des Canadiens à l’information.


Open Government Partnership – IRM Canada Report 2012-2013

“In January and February of 2014, the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) will produce 35 Progress Reports for public comment.  These 35 countries joined OGP in April 2012, and the IRM progress reports cover the first full year of action plan implementation.”

The IRM Canada Progress Report 2012-2013 provides valuable and interesting insight into the commitments and progress made as part of Canada’s Open Government Partnership action plan. Some highlights include the proposal for a Virtual Library, the Open Government Directive and Open Government License, GCWeb commitments for a consolidated online presence, the opening of GoC records, the state of the portal, and a lot more.

Please take the time to review this important document, available here:

CBEC Closing

Closing of operations at the Canadian Book Exchange Centre

The Government of Canada has introduced a new expenditure management system as part of an ongoing commitment to sound management of government spending. The new system is focused on managing results and on the ongoing assessment of all direct program spending, or strategic review, to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and value for money.

Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) strategic review concluded that the Canadian Book Exchange Centre (CBEC) program was not appropriately aligned with the priorities of Canadians and with core federal responsibilities.

LAC has come to the conclusion that it can no longer financially support the operations of CBEC. Consequently, effective immediately, CBEC will no longer accept publications from the private sector or from government and international organizations for redistribution among libraries. CBEC will shut its doors permanently effective June 30, 2008.

LAC recognizes that many libraries appreciated the services provided by CBEC. However, a review of the Centre’s activities showed a very high discard rate since many of the materials received were either in poor condition or did not fit the donation guidelines. It also confirmed that the amount of materials received and distributed has been steadily declining in recent years. Given the context, it was difficult to justify maintaining CBEC’s operation. LAC’s decision also reflects the trend in libraries towards online materials, including e-publications and periodicals that are becoming increasingly available.

To ensure the best possible use of the materials in inventory, libraries will continue to have access to the existing collection until June 30, 2008. Details will be announced shortly.

LAC continues to support and contribute to resource sharing activities both at a national and international level. Furthermore, the savings and realignment opportunities that LAC has identified through the strategic reviews will be reinvested in higher-priority programs related to core federal government business.

LAC will work with the federal library community over the coming months to put mechanisms in place which will facilitate the disposal of their surplus publications. A letter will be sent to the senior officials responsible for information management in federal departments and agencies.

For information, please contact:

Alison Bullock
Acting Director, Resource Sharing and Rights Management Programs and Services Library and Archives Canada

UN Common Database Free!

This is what I love to hear (and I’m sure you’ll agree): The United Nations Common Database is now free! From the site:

As of 1 May 2007, use of the Common Database will be FREE OF CHARGE. No subscription will be necessary after that date, and all users can access the full range of data, metadata and various search tools without restriction.

A new system, UN data, will be launched in Summer 2007 and will provide improved access and searchability for UNSD databases.