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

Just Posted

Liam’s Lowdown: it’s the little things that get you

At first, the name of my column was going to be Liam’s Lament

Despite brief shut downs Revelstoke’s Downie Timber weathering the storm

The forestry industry is taking a hit across the province

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 21

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 21

Two musical acts playing The Last Drop on Aug. 24

See John Michael Lind and She Hangs Brightly

VIDEO: B.C. Mountie killed by drunk driver honoured by memorial playground

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Renter of torched Okanagan home a British Army veteran, new Canadian

Owen Wilson was just beginning to settle into life in Canada when the blaze occurred

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Most Read