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Time to Reinstate Federal Collection of Marriage and Divorce Stats


January 29, 2019

OTTAWA, ON – Thirty-one signatories have put their names on a letter to two federal ministers asking Statistics Canada to resume the federal collection of marriage and divorce rate statistics – something the agency stopped doing in 2008. In the letter to Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Justice Minister David Lametti, the signatories note that July 2011 is the last time Statistics Canada published marriage and divorce rates, despite having collected critical data on marriage rates since 1921 and divorce rates since 1972.

“The collection of marriage and divorce rates is critical to ensuring the accurate study and understanding of domestic social policy, from education to elder care, in our nation,” the signatories say in the letter sent out by think tank Cardus. “By tracking marriage and divorce statistics, we better understand our culture and communities with regard to issues of public concern and academic research, such as social isolation, poverty reduction, demographics, and the presence or lack of support networks, among others.”

The 31 signatories to the letter bear no affiliation with one another, but share an interest in seeing “policy in Canada continuously undergirded by good data.”

“The federal finance minister said it himself in 2016 – good policy is impossible without good data,” says Andrea Mrozek, the Cardus program director leading the effort to reinstate federal collection of marriage and divorce statistics. “So, I’m hopeful that the ministers responsible will see the wisdom of a request that comes from academics, researchers, the media, religious leaders, and the political realm.”

The letter to Ministers Bains and Lametti is available online.

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Daniel Proussalidis
Cardus – Director of Communications
613-241-4500 x508