Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, April 15


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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





Stand up and be counted, it’s census time again

Starting next Monday, Canadians from coast to coast will be getting a letter in the mail from Stats Canada inviting them to take part in the 2016 Census.

That’s right, it’s Census time again.

The letters will contain a 16-digit Secure Access Code which the recipient will use to log onto www.census.gc.ca and fill out their Census questionnaire.

Every household and apartment dwelling in Canada will receive a letter.

Approximately one quarter of the households will be required to complete a 61-question, long form questionnaire, while everyone else will have to fill out the abbreviated 7-question version. You can preview the questions that will be asked by visiting the Census website.

I say “have to” and “required” be-cause the 2016 Census is mandatory. Failure to fill out a census questionnaire could result in a minimum $500 fine, or three months imprisonment, or both. Although I couldn’t find any examples of someone being thrown in jail for refusing to fill out their census form, there is definitely a risk of a hefty fine.

The truth is, it’s important to stand up and be counted.
Data compiled through the census is used by institutions such as school boards, hospitals, municipalities, social service agencies and federal and provincial ministries in planning for education, health care and social services.

The important thing to remember is that for most people the process is fairly simple. In fact, the short form census should only take about five minutes to complete. The long form census will take a little longer.

And if you have a problem understanding any of the questions, you can always call the Census Help Line at 1-855-700-2016. But don’t call until May 2.

The help line will be open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Satur-day and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

You can use the Help Line for assistance in completing your questionnaire; getting answers for questions about the census; if someone in your household wants to complete a separate questionnaire, like a roommate or a border; or if you need the questions in another language.

And if your worried about your information ending up in the wrong hands don’t be, Stats Canada takes confidentiality very seriously. They employ industry standard encryption protocols, firewalls and encryption layers to protect your data.

Census Canada employees must also take an Oath of Secrecy and are subject to fines and possible imprisonment for disclosing confidential information.

Completing the Census is a civic responsibility that provides important information that will be used in planning and providing services in your community. So, stand up and be counted.

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at fsherwin@magma.ca)

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