Counting and Contemporary Governance: Introduction to the Special Issue

Michael Haan


In many ways, the Census of Canada barely touches the lives of Canadians. It happens once every five years, requires only a few minutes to complete, and then nothing is heard from Statistics Canada, the agency responsible for administering the quincennial headcount, for nearly a year. As results begin to trickle out, only the smallest segments of society consult the information, and it is not always clear what they do with their newfound knowledge. So inconspicuous is the census that many Canadians would not even notice if Statistics Canada cancelled it altogether.

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