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2021 Census to include Veteran identifier

brihard

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BLUF: There is no solid data on how many vets we have and where. The 2021 Census will include a question for each Canadian, "Have you ever served in the Canadian military?" This will help to better allocated program funding and resources,a nd to understand where veterans are physically distributed.

From an email recently received:
Minister of Veterans Affairs said:
"Dear Stakeholders and Advisory Groups members,

I am pleased to let you know that  the questions which will make up the 2021 Census are now public and will include a Veteran identifier question – the first since 1971. As Minister of Veterans Affairs, I was surprised to learn that there is  no formal listing of Canadian military Veterans. This creates a significant information gap that hampers the ability to fully understand and respond to the needs of Canadian Veterans and their families. That is why Veterans Affairs Canada has been working closely with Statistics Canada and advocating for the inclusion of a Veteran identifier question on the national survey.

We recently learned that these efforts had paid off - the 2021 national census will ask, “Have you ever served in the Canadian military?”. The addition of this question will provide the first truly accurate data on Canada’s Veteran population in 50 years. The data gathered from this survey will inform programs, supports and services for Canadian Veterans and their families for years to come. This is truly a victory that ensures those who serve our country no longer remain hidden from official statistics and gives us the opportunity to put the best supports in place that they so richly deserve.

For the latest 2021 Census information and developments, I invite you to visit the Statistics Canada website The road to the 2021 Census.

Sincerely,

Lawrence MacAulay

Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence"

So yeah, this is a definite win. Not the sort of thing that is always big and obvious in its impact- but data drives policy, policy drives accountability.
 

dapaterson

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There needs to be a very clear definitional framework, lest "I went to cadets for three weeks when I was fourteen" and "Long time member of the legion, thought about joining the CAF but never got around to it" become data points...
 

brihard

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dapaterson said:
There needs to be a very clear definitional framework, lest "I went to cadets for three weeks when I was fourteen" and "Long time member of the legion, thought about joining the CAF but never got around to it" become data points...

They do directly state the question to be asked: "Did you ever serve in the Canadian military?" I'd be more concerned with reservists and rangers not including themselves than with walts or former cadets falsely including themselves. And of course, like with anything on the census, data quality will never quite be 100%.

All said any done, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks of people frigging around in enough numbers to matter.
 

BeyondTheNow

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I’m curious what the end-game is for acquiring a more accurate number of—currently serving, yes=important and much more easily attainable in tracking round numbers. But IMO, retired/released is of higher interest because they’re more difficult to keep track of for obvious reasons—Anyway, why now?

I’d like to think, in my fantasy world, that perhaps they’re somehow going to be using the numbers to revamp VAC and/or facilitate more programs.

(I didn’t read the article yet, just the comments.😬)
 

brihard

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BeyondTheNow said:
I’m curious what the end-game is for acquiring a more accurate number of—currently serving, yes=important and much more easily attainable in tracking round numbers. But IMO, retired/released is of higher interest because they’re more difficult to keep track of for obvious reasons—Anyway, why now?

I’d like to think, in my fantasy world, that perhaps they’re somehow going to be using the numbers to revamp VAC and/or facilitate more programs.

(I didn’t read the article yet, just the comments.😬)

Basically because a few people have been quietly pushing hard for this in stakeholder consultations for a few years. Similar to the suicide statistics data, having hard numbers makes it easier to quantify issues and to properly line up resources. E.g., if numbers come back and show a larger than expected presence of veterans in rural and remote areas, that would potentially push tele-health funding and technology. Veteran identifiers could be aggregated with language, age, and family status data to get a more specific sense of what sorts of different programs or services might be needed (e.g., more older, single vets? Maybe they need to anticipate an uptick in VIP services. Or greater service for official language minorities). Where provision of services and staffing is regionalized, they might be better equipped to know where to assign more staff (or at least to cut more slowly). Lots to be done with solid demographic info.
 

Haggis

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Brihard said:
Veteran identifiers could be aggregated with language, age, and family status data to get a more specific sense of
...

... the political risk and cost of continuing to ignore veterans in Canada.
 

brihard

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Haggis said:
...

... the political risk and cost of continuing to ignore veterans in Canada.

Or, realistically, the lack thereof. I struggle to imagine that there are more than a couple ridings with enough veterans to at all matter electorally.
 

Haggis

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That's pretty much what I was alluding to.  It sucks being a middle aged white male veteran and a lawful gun owner.
 

PPCLI Guy

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Haggis said:
That's pretty much what I was alluding to.  It sucks being a middle aged white male veteran and a lawful gun owner.

You. 

Baby Killer. 

Member of the Patriarchy.  Give me your guns.  And your nice house too.  And your pension.   

And is that a Weber BBQ?  I want that too.  And your truck too, but only if I can put a "Save the Whales" sticker on the bumper.  If you have a Prius, I don't want it because....

you are a baby killer. 

Logical circle complete
 

Colin Parkinson

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dapaterson said:
There needs to be a very clear definitional framework, lest "I went to cadets for three weeks when I was fourteen" and "Long time member of the legion, thought about joining the CAF but never got around to it" become data points...

Well then the data would be on par with the "crime firearm" data set.
 

reveng

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PPCLI Guy said:
You. 

Baby Killer. 

Member of the Patriarchy.  Give me your guns.  And your nice house too.  And your pension.   

And is that a Weber BBQ?  I want that too.  And your truck too, but only if I can put a "Save the Whales" sticker on the bumper.  If you have a Prius, I don't want it because....

you are a baby killer. 

Logical circle complete

Now please fill out this census so we can identify you and your fellow undesirables more efficiently.
 

OldSolduer

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PPCLI Guy said:
You. 

Baby Killer. 

Member of the Patriarchy.  Give me your guns.  And your nice house too.  And your pension.   

And is that a Weber BBQ?  I want that too.  And your truck too, but only if I can put a "Save the Whales" sticker on the bumper.  If you have a Prius, I don't want it because....

you are a baby killer. 

Logical circle complete

Um its not just a truck its a Ram truck and you ain't getting it  ;)
 
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