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End the underreporting of Jewish Canadians in the census

From 2011 to 2016, the number of Canadians who reported that they are Jewish dropped by more than half. This was not due to a demographic change but to the removal of “Jewish” as a specific example in the question on ethnic origin and to the question on household religion being asked only in alternate censuses (or once in ten years). In 2021, “Jewish” was included with more than 500 examples of ethnic origin and, while religious affiliation was asked in 2021, it is not scheduled to be on the 2026 census. 

A correct enumeration of Canada’s Jewish population is critical to the work of Jewish charities. Jewish Federations and Federation-funded social service agencies collectively spend tens of millions annually on charitable work throughout Canada to the benefit of hundreds of thousands of Canadians. This vital work requires access to accurate census data to provide a true picture of Jewish communities across Canada. 

Recommendation

Ensuring Statistics Canada includes the religion question in every census, to prevent continued underreporting of Jewish Canadians.

Question for Candidates

Will you advocate for Statistics Canada to ask about religion on every census?

Election Resources

CIJA has been working with Elections Canada to protect democratic participation for Jewish Canadians. As with past elections, in this election, citizens will have many ways and days to vote.