I have lived in Canada my entire life and recently noticed a change that somewhat bothers me. Census was introduced back in 1666 where it counted the colony's 3,215 inhabitants and recorded their age, sex, marital status and occupation. Numerous other questions were added later on regarding livestock, crops, buildings, churches, grist mills and firearms.
In 2001, The Canadian Government was sending out questionnaires to around 11.8 million households and was completed by 80% of them. I was always part of the other 20% who did not bother filling up the forms, mostly due to lack of interest.
Fast forward to 2011, the year I agreed to participate in the survey for the very first time. Not that my interest, or lack thereof has changed in any ways, but simply because if I do NOT participate, I am officially breaking the law. I am not entirely certain that this is a new law because I could not find any online information about it, but it would appear that tossing the form into the recycling box is no longer an option.
Shortly after not responding to the original form sent in the mail, I received a reminder letter with the words ‘Complete it today—It’s the law’ written on the front of the envelope. Becoming a bit concerned, I held on to the form but just tossed it aside. Not too long afterwards, I received a second notice, not unlike the ones you might get in the mail if you do not pay a utility bill, and once again tossed it aside due to the fact that I am moving soon and would only be giving them wrong information about this specific address.
Well just a few days ago, last Sunday morning to be exact, a government official knocked on my door and when I answered, he immediately stared me down and said “You have not yet filled up your Census Form sir and must do so.”!
Not sure how the Government can benefit from knowing whether I am single or married or divorced, now they know.