Saturday, September 4, 2010

Long form census be gone already

My religion, my ethnicity, my income and household expenses and what’s inside my house, along with most of the other 53 questions asked in 2006’s 40-page compulsory census form is nobody’s business but my own and the nosy-parker census takers should just butt out of my private affairs.

I am supposed to have a guaranteed freedom of religion. This guarantee should cover my right not to disclose the nature of my choice. Why should this right be abrogated by the census takers? What’s the point? Many may want to know who my God is, but nobody needs to know the nature of my religious beliefs.

My government can operate just fine without knowing most of what’s in the so-called long form census as it relates to me, but big-government advocates can’t. Busy-body social engineers and advocacy groups (read pressure groups) should do their own surveys of those who give a damn about their causes and leave the rest of us alone.

Private polling is routinely done in Canada with sufficient statistical accuracy for leading businesses, newspapers and television networks to use them on a regular basis. There are cost-effective ways of getting answers to the 53 questions on the long form without invading my privacy or threatening me with fines and prison terms.

As I’ve written before, I notice that the moaning and hand-wringing over this issue seems mostly to be coming from organizations, public and private, which use our personal information for their own (useful or otherwise) ends. I hear and read little from individuals bemoaning the loss of an opportunity to hand over quite intrusive private information about themselves.

Most every Western democracy is seeking alternatives to their traditional census methodology. So why shouldn’t Canada do the same? And let me say that I’m not at all comforted by the “guarantee” that my personal data will be kept confidential. Our over-paid, inept civil service is the last organization I want to trust with anything. They’re forced upon me, but I don’t have to trust them.

The ethnicity of my ancestors? Who cares? Nobody should. I’m Canadian, that’s all that is really important.

I look to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government to help protect my privacy.


© 2010 Russell G. Campbell
All rights reserved.


  1. I would love to see how iggy would answer the question re, does anyone in your household have a mental illness. Has anyone in your family every suffered from a mental illness.

  2. The 'mandatory' long form census was GONE in May, and can not be brought back to life.....
    So why did Shreikh take so long to quit?

    Canadian Press
    Sept 3/10

    OTTAWA—A civil servant in charge of the census says it’s already too late to bring back the mandatory, long-form questionnaire for 2011.

    Marc Hamel says it’s no longer logistically possible to distribute the mandatory long census in the same format as previous national surveys.

    Statistics Canada employees stopped preparation work on the 2011 long survey in May, a month before the census changes were made public.

    Hamel wrote that Statistics Canada staff were given new marching orders in May to meet the government’s demands.

  3. I agree 100% ... get out of my life! I answer lots of surveys and should I receive the voluntary long form, I will make the decision to complete it or not.

  4. Russ, many Blogging Tories have spoken against the long form. Yours is one of the best. You're right, the complaints have come from organizations and not individuals.

    I don't understand the mentality that wants to intrude in my private life and I don't want to. But whether we like it or not, we have to push back against these busy bodies.