The 2006 census required about 20 per cent of Canadians to complete the long form which provides detailed household information used to decide everything from bus routes to new subdivisions to what support services are in local schools
"The long form gathers information that we feel is really necessary for a number of reasons. One, it helps to identify issues that people are living with," she said.
"And the other is that ... it provides a statistical record for us which is important to be able to have that information when we're applying for other funding and to run programs and to do some research."
Smith-MacDonald said she is worried that the poor and disadvantaged will statistically disappear if information on income is no longer rigorously collected in the census.