Mandatory long-form census is back

Most households will answer short version of 10 questions, not 36-page long form

Census envelopes began arriving in the mail this week.

Millions of census packages are arriving in the mail and one in four households will be required to complete the once-again-mandatory long-form survey.

Canadians are urged to complete the census online, using an access code they’ll get in the mailed envelope, but they can also fill out a paper version.

Statistics Canada’s aim is to once again capture reliable, high quality data to the same level as the 2006 census, the last time the long-form census was delivered.

It’s being pitched as important to helping guide decisions on services like schools, roads, health care, policing, transit and social services.

RELATED: Census 2016: Stand up and be counted

Besides the reintroduction of the compulsory 36-page long form – the former Conservative government made it voluntary for 2011 and the Liberals have restored it in the name of evidence-based decision making  – there are some other differences in the questions being asked.

This year’s census won’t ask you about your income – Statistics Canada will get that from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Nor is religion a question, as it’s only asked once every 10 years.

The census now uses “sex” instead of “gender” and respondents are to answer male or female.

“Transgender, transsexual, and intersex Canadians should indicate the sex (male or female) with which they most associate themselves,” it says. If they can’t make that choice they can leave sex blank and explain in the comments at the bottom of the form.

Census Day is officially May 10, but Canadians are encouraged to answer the questions as soon as they receive the forms.

And they’ve been doing so in droves.

The volume of people logging into the census website was so high on Monday, Statistics Canada said its servers were temporarily overwhelmed.

While some Canadians took to social media to denounce the mandatory long form as invasive, many others are enthusiastic, posting census selfies.

Refusing to complete the census is against the law. Those who fail to provide information or give false answers can face fines of up to $500, up to three months in jail, or both.

 

STATISTICS CANADA VIDEO

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Black History Month: Documentary sheds light on black pioneers’ role in Victoria

Secret Victoria: Rush to Freedom looks at how a mass migration shaped the capital

Sidney plans to strengthen EV charging requirements

Proposed update expected for spring 2020

Saanich teen serious lawn bowler

Chambers will compete in an international tournament in Australia

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Most Read