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Groups launch court case over federal census changes

The mandatory, long-form census may be gone, but groups are in Federal Court on Wednesday to make sure parts of it aren’t forgotten.

The Canadian Council on Social Development wants the short-form census to include questions about ethnicity and cultural heritage, aboriginal status and disability.

Those questions do not appear on the shorter census form, and the council is arguing that exclusion means the government does not have the information it needs to serve all Canadians.

The Conservative government scrapped the mandatory, long-form census, claiming it was an unjustifiable imposition on privacy.

The government argues that it has struck a balance between the need for data and concerns expressed by some Canadians that the census process was too invasive and unnecessarily coercive.

The council is joined in its challenge by a dozen social, community and legal organizations.