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.

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

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

Mclean Silverton rides a rail in Boitanio Park - one of seven new features installed by the city this past week. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Snow park in Boitanio open for riding

If any users find that the park requires attention, please contact city hall at 250-392-2311

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor (from left) Judy Gibbons and Rajneesh Khugsal, seen here in 2020, are all ready to help people file their taxes. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake volunteers ready to offer community income tax program

Co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor said he has already received inquiries

Women’s Contact Society community liaison Eileen Alberton with her dogs Luigi, left, and Sami enjoys a daily walk in Big Lake. (Photo submitted)
Women’s wellness focus of International Women’s Day events in Williams Lake

In its third year, the event will be offered virtually

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read