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Why does the census matter?

The history of the census in Canada dates back to 1666 in the colony of New France.  In 1765, just after the conquest of Quebec by the British in the Seven Years War, the census data including religious affiliation first appeared as assessing the delicate balance between Catholics and Protestants became a pressing concern.  Since the first post-Confederation census in 1871, religious affiliation has been recorded once every ten years and will again be a part of the now optional long form questionnaire given to approximately 32% of households in the 2011 Census.

Census figures collected are used for a wide variety of purposes including government legislation, and to justify the following policies, which are detailed by the Canadian Secular Alliance

In addition, if the number of people who appear to be religious is inflated, policies regarding service delivery, equality work and many other areas will be affected.  Local authorities use census data when making decisions about resource allocation and the types of organisation which they want to deliver services.

See the problems with the question.

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