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Federal Court Throws Out Francophone Challenges To Census Changes

A francophone group has lost its legal challenge of the government’s decision to scrap the mandatory long-form census.

The Federal Court says it won’t grant a judicial review of the decision and says the way the census is administered doesn’t violate the Official Languages Act.

The Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities had asked the court to formally review the Harper government’s decision to dump the mandatory long form in favour of a voluntary survey.

Judge Richard Boivin has dismissed the application.

This follows a ruling by Graham Fraser, the commissioner of official languages, who said he had no power to reverse the government’s decision.

Many minority groups, social scientists, provincial and municipal governments, churches and charities oppose the end to the mandatory long census.

They say the data produced by the survey is vital to provide an accurate picture of the country, including the state of minority communities.

The government says it scrapped the long form because it was too intrusive and coercive.