Get ready to fill out a longer census form.
Over the next week or so, more than 15-million Canadian homes will receive census questionnaires, a quarter of which will be the long-form survey.
The longer census was tossed out by the previous federal government, bringing in a voluntary form, but the Liberals brought back the mandatory questionnaire as one of their first acts in government.
Manitoba’s Chief Statistician Wilf Falk says the info gathered is important to show us who we are as a community.
“Whether that is a city like Winnipeg, a cultural group, a religious group, a socio-economic group, we need to know who we are, and I also believe very strongly that leadership of various forms should know who they are representing.”
Falk also explains that the census is key for money reasons.
“Governments move billions of dollars based on population counts. For example, a community like Winnipeg gets its share of federal gas tax revenue the province of Manitoba pays per capita to grant. Therefore, if people don’t participate, their community is getting shortchanged.”
When it comes to who gets the pleasure of filling out the longer survey, Falk says it’s a bit like playing eenie, meenie, miney, mo.
“They randomly assign a starting point and then they basically count one, two, three, four and the fourth household gets the long-form questionnaire.”
Census day is May 10, but Stats Canada wants you to fill out the form as soon as you get it. The long-form is 36 pages while the shorter version is just ten questions, though they are both mandatory.
If you choose not to fill it out, you could go to jail for three months or fined up to $500.