In order to apply minimum cooperation, it is important to understand how the Census will be conducted. The following information is our best prediction based on the experience of the 2006 Census.
There were two major new procedures beginning in the 2006 Census. Both new procedures involved development by Lockheed Martin.
- Census returns can be filed online using the internet. Statistics Canada will be encouraging this. They hope to get 20 percent of the census returns via the internet. We hope they don't.
- Census returns submitted on paper will have the data optically read and scanned into the computer database, instead of manually keyed in.
Here's the squence of events we expect in 2021.
The 2021 Census will be preceeded by a mammoth publicity and PR saturation campaign to extol the wonders of the Census. Community groups will be encouraged to talk up the Census. Municipal councils will be urged to pass motions of support. Even our schools will be targetted.
We can expect a greatly ramped-up campaign to have individuals complete the census online. Households will receive a letter with a unique onlilne filing access code. Paper census forms will not be sent to all households. A telephone number will be provided to call if you insist on the paper census forms. This extra step is obviously designed to discourage the filing of paper returns.
We strongly, repeat strongly, recommend against filing online. We recommend you opt for filling in the paper questionnaire, adding, of course, several minimum cooperation embellishments, and mailing it in.
In rural areas, Census reps are knocking on doors, personally delivering the census form, and wanting to complete the form on the spot, then and there. You are perfectly entitled to take the forms and state that you will mail them in yourself, as your schedule permits. Make sure the rep gives you the postage-paid mail-in envelope
We strongly recommend that you resist the pressure to file online, and instead file a paper census return, filled in to minimum cooperation specifications. When you call to request a census form do NOT, repeat NOT, give your name, just your household address. If StatsCan insists that their computer requires a name, just say StatsCan can mail the form to Henry Householder at your address.
Bar-coded Census form is to be mailed back on Census Day in a special envelope with a see-through window to display the bar-code.
A few weeks after Census Day, a pleasant reminder (probably by a personal visit) to file your Census form (the Census repesentative may want to help complete the form for you on the spot at your home, or over the phone--but you have every right to opt for doing it yourself when convenient, and mailing it in--don't be pressured.
Repeat reminders for you to file your Census return; turning to nagging, turning to pressure, and finally turning to hair-raising threats of fines, jail, and eternal damnation.
Special software developed by weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin will track returns filed, by immediately reading bar-codes of arriving census returns, even before the envelopes are opened and processed. .
Returns filed on paper are electronically scanned by the Lockheed Martin scanning system. Returns unreadable in whole or part by the scanner (e.g. torn edges, inconsistent, misplaced, or faint lettering, upside-down answers, coffee spills, tears, stickers on the forms, stray markings, crumpled sheet etc.), must be separated for traditional human processing, which is slower and displeasing to Statistics Canada.