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

Collaborative effort removes salmon farms from BC coast

The first farms to be removed were those in closest to the Ahta and Viner Rivers.

North Island Concert Society: Marc Atkinson Trio coming to the Civic Centre

The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Port Hardy Civic Centre.

MP Blaney welcomes feedback on medical assistance in dying legislation

Over the next two weeks the Government of Canada is holding consultations… Continue reading

Picture perfect: Get the most from your wedding photography

Stop by the Comox Community Centre on Jan. 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.!

VIDEO: North Island Atom Eagles run over Victoria Racquet Club B2 Kings

“This team has come so far this year, from a tough time in tiering to where we are now”

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Kelowna’s “Baby Mary” finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

B.C. offers $5 million equipment loan program to help ailing forest contractors

Local politicians in Port McNeill and Campbell River says local economies are struggling

Vancouver Island distillery wins award for best Canadian rye whisky

Shelter Point cleans up at Canadian Whisky Awards

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Most Read