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NDP Leader Jack Layton speaks during a news conference in Ottawa on July 6, 2010.


The New Democrats are calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to work out a compromise on the census.

Jack Layton says the Conservative government's decision to scrap the mandatory long-form census has tarnished the reputation of Statistics Canada, a world-renowned agency.

Mr. Layton says he willing to sit down with Mr. Harper to work out a constructive solution that maintains the integrity of census data.

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A broad spectrum of critics have slammed the census decision, saying a proposed voluntary survey to replace the long-form census will produce unreliable, skewed information.

But Industry Minister Tony Clement, who's in charge of Statistics Canada, has indicated the government plans to stick to its decision with only modest compromises.

Mr. Layton noted that cities use census data to identify where to build seniors' homes, schools use it to organize youth programs and transit authorities use it to plan bus routes.

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