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Census officials settle for incomplete long questionnaires

Census officials are settling for incomplete long questionnaires in the final push of the 2011 collection period.

The new voluntary National Household Survey was the controversial replacement for the old long-form census.

A senior official at Statistics Canada says the agency is accepting forms with missing answers and won’t go back to get them filled in.

In the past, when the questionnaire was mandatory, enumerators would call a household or make a return visit to get the long form filled out properly.

Census director general Marc Hamel says its too early to tell what the response rate will ultimately be for the new survey.

Critics have warned that certain segments of the population won’t fill out a voluntary survey, skewing the data and making some of it unusable.