As for census data users - a wide range of federal, provincial and territorial governments departments, municipalities, non-profit organizations, community groups, academia, private industry (which includes licensed distributors and the media) - their needs were conveyed to Stats Canada during a scheduled consultative process. There's a report here.
“Harper does not like StatsCan, that’s what we kept hearing,” according to a longtime employee of the agency. “In particular, he does not like the analytical work we’ve done for years.” The Prime Minister thinks of it as fodder for critics.
Sure enough, it’s the analytical work that he has been decimating. Gone, truncated or privatized are surveys that kept track of pensions and benefits at our places of work; the proportion of our incomes going to housing, vacation, medical expenses to see how well or badly we all were doing; the level of inequality among Canadians; the economic integration of immigrants; and how people with physical and mental disabilities were coping.
“When these surveys were being cut back, the concerned federal departments were told not to comment on how that might muck up their work,” said the source. “They were told to shut up. The message had come from the top.”