Note: italicized bold text is a link to more information.
Submitted by Sandra Finley to Minister Navdeep Bains
November 5, 2015
MANDATORY CENSUS LONG FORM
You have taken on a Minefield. You should know the lay of the land.
- In 2003-2004, related to upcoming 2006 Census, thousands of Canadians protested to the Government over the contracting-out of Statistics Canada work to Lockheed Martin Corporation (American military).
- For the 2006 and 2011 Censuses, protest over Lockheed Martin’s involvement took the form of non-compliance.
- People were prosecuted. Refer to Court Cases of Todd Stelmach, Darek Czernewcan, Sandra Finley; Audrey Tobias, Janet Churnin, Eve Stegenga.
- 2010 – The Census Long Form became the National Household Survey. Under the Statistics Act, the sanctions that apply to Censuses do not apply to Surveys. In spite of the Law, StatsCan threatens people with prosecution if they do not fill in the Surveys.
- According to the actual numbers provided by Yves Beland, StatsCan Director of Census Operations, at the Audrey Tobias trial, the non-compliance rate for the 2011 Census is 11%, not the 2% figure they supply to the media. (StatsCan insists that 13 million out of 14.6 million is 98% compliance. It is 89% compliance. Do the math.)
- Canadians do not like being threatened, intimidated, coerced and lied to, by their Government or its agencies.
1. THE LAW ON CENSUSES AND THE PROCESS:
1.1 Harper did not change the law on the Census long form. Under the Statistics Act, the Census is mandatory. Section 8 sets out the sanctions for non-compliance (Prosecution with potential maximum 3 months in jail AND/OR a fine of maximum $500.)
1.2 StatsCan submits the Census questions to the Cabinet for approval through an Order-in-Council which, of course, gets published in the Canada Gazette. So Cabinet approves, or sends the questions back to StatsCan for revision. These are the questions Canadians are required to answer through the once-every-five-years Census. Short form, long form, it’s all “the Census” under the Law.
By changing the “census long form” to a “survey”, the Conservatives made it definitely voluntary. Surveys are, by definition in the Statistics Act, voluntary. HOWEVER, that is not what StatsCan workers tell Canadian citizens. They use the old line re the census: “It’s the law. You will be prosecuted….”
The ability to continuously add to the files on individual citizens in the StatsCan data base is enhanced by doing data collection through surveys instead of censuses. Censuses are limited to once every 5 years.
2. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STATSCAN CENSUSES AND SURVEYS:
2.1 Data collection on citizens through Surveys is on-going, every week, almost every day: The National Household Survey (the Census Long Form under another name, but expanded), Surveys on Household Spending, Labour Force, Nutrition, etc. Citizens are threatened with prosecution if they don’t provide the information.
2.2 StatsCan does not just leave the forms for citizens to fill in and return. Increasingly, they insist on coming in and asking the questions. They write down the answers. There are cases where, when asked for household income, the StatsCan worker insists on seeing the householders’ income tax form for verification because they do not trust the word of the citizen.
3. MINEFIELD #1: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCKHEED MARTIN, SURVEILLANCE, THE NSA, AND LEAKS BY EDWARD SNOWDEN – GLENN GREENWALD DUO.
If we know who Lockheed Martin is, what they do in the world, that they are involved in the data base at StatsCan, and a bit of history (the role of census data bases in Nazi Europe for example) – – –
You cannot un-do the damage of the decision to contract out to Lockheed Martin (sub-contractor IBM), the result of Government that would not listen to citizens.
- Lockheed produces weapons that are illegal (land mines, cluster munitions, drones that drop bombs indiscriminately on people)
- They are as corrupt as hell. And they corrupt others.
- They played a significant role in the decision by the Americans to drop bombs on Iraq, based on lies. That was an illegal war of aggression. Jean Chretien kept Canada out of that war.
- Lockheed Martin was the Number One “Contract Interrogator” in the U.S. torture at off-shore prisons like Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo Bay. Torture is very illegal.
- The Americans are saddled with more than $18 trillion public debt. A significant part of that is thanks to Lockheed Martin Corp. – – the wars and the profiteers of war.
If that is not enough to cause non-compliance with the Census and Surveys:
A specialty of Lockheed Martin, as spelt out on its website, is surveillance. It has contracts with the NSA. The leaks through Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald make clear that illegal and covert back-door entry to data bases is achieved, if access cannot be achieved through the front door.
You think that the American NSA, CIA, FBI, military does not have access to the data on Canadians? Add this. You don’t have to imagine, it’s right there in publications like the Ottawa Citizen and Maclean’s Magazine:
- 2008-11-01 Ottawa Citizen, “American officials are pressuring the Federal Government to supply them with information on Canadians .. Canadian officials have said .. will meet the new standard .. by 2011 .. but there’ll be tremendous pressure (from the U.S.) to get there faster.”
American officials are pressuring the federal government to supply them with more information on Canadians, says an influential analyst on Canada-U.S. relations.
“Not only about (routine) individuals, but also about people that you may be looking at for reasons, but there’s no indictment and there’s no charge,” Christopher Sands of the Hudson Institute told a security intelligence conference in Ottawa yesterday.
Lockheed Martin is perfectly positioned. And here’s what Lockheed Martin President has to say:
We’ve decided not to recommend any things that would require legislative changes because we won’t get anywhere .. The guidance from the ministers was “Tell us what we need to do and we’ll make it happen”, recalls Covais who chairs the U.S. section of the Council.. the future of North America.. not in a sweeping trade agreement on which elections will turn, but by the accretion of hundreds of incremental changes implemented by executive agencies, bureaucrats, and regulators ..
4. MINEFIELD #2: THE CHARTER RIGHT TO PRIVACY OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Your name is on your record in the StatsCan data base. Questions asked are such as: “What is the NAME of your employer?”. There is a collection of questions on ethnicity: Example: “What language did you speak at home when you were 5 years old?” Sexual orientation is asked. How many bedrooms in your home? …
“In fostering the underlying values of dignity, integrity and autonomy, it is fitting that s. 8 of the Charter should seek to protect a biographical core of personal information which individuals in a free and democratic society would wish to maintain and control from dissemination to the state.”
The role of mechanized census data in Nazi Europe. It’s Why we have a Charter Right to privacy of personal information. Read Edwin Black’s, IBM and the Holocaust, the Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation.
Jennifer Stoddard, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner:
Meanwhile, governments and businesses have a seemingly insatiable appetite for personal information. Governments appear to believe – mistakenly, I would argue – that the key to national security and public safety is collecting mountains of personal data. Privacy often receives short shrift as new anti-terrorism and law enforcement initiatives are rolled out.”
StatsCan bundles and sells the information generating millions of dollars in revenues. You can understand that, but we don’t live in a world of all goodness. We live in a world, in this case, of Lockheed Martins.
2014-06-04 Government orders federal departments to keep tabs on all demonstrations across country (You will recall that Environmentalists and others are likely extremists or terrorists, funded by foreigners.)
You may say, all is fine – – we got rid of Harper. The fact that Harper happened is a warning to Canadians to fiercely defend their Charter Rights. (Not that the Rights aren’t vulnerable, but at least they exist and can be protected.)
2013-10-09 Inside Canada’s top-secret billion-dollar spy palace, CBC News See the original, the URL is still good: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-canada-s-top-secret-billion-dollar-spy-palace-1.1930322?cmp=rss/
5. WHAT DO THE COURTS THINK?
Trials for non-compliance, 2011 Census: Two discharges and one not guilty.
- (Karen) Eve Stegenga received a conditional discharge (July 17, 2014). She is to do 25 hours of community service.
- Janet Churnin received a conditional discharge (December 2013). 50 hours of community service.
- Audrey Tobias was found not guilty (October 2013).
By 2011 non-compliance was 11% (not the 2% reported by StatsCan).
Hopefully, after the Stegenga case, the Justice Dept “gets it”: the collective conscience of Canadians is strong. They are not going to obtain compliance by using the threat of prosecution.
It is good to see the Justice Department putting tax money to good use. The cost of any one of these trials is very high – preparation, consultations, judges, prosecutors, court workers, facility costs, opportunity costs (the money could have been put to better use).
The Justice Dept is not getting meaningful convictions for all that. Not when the Judges understand the background.
6. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STATSCAN AND CITIZENS
Disrespect. 2011, Citizens filled out and returned their Census form, StatsCan records showed they didn’t, Workers come aggressively after them, making false accusations and threats of prosecution. Citizens filled in a second form. Don’t think they didn’t harbour resentment.
“ The self-serving admonition on the outside of the envelope that “It’s the law” is a poorly masked threat and I doubt anyone takes kindly to threats.” Understatement.
In the beginning (2003), if you said “Lockheed Martin”, most people said “Who?”. After 12 years, media coverage of trials, people googling after StatsCan harassment over surveys, Lockheed’s F-35 contracts, objections to Lockheed Martin’s intrusions into our universities, Lockheed Martin’s drone programme, disclosures surrounding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, people no longer say “Who?”.
Of course, there are implications for StatsCan. Pretending there isn’t will be counter-productive.
7. MINEFIELD # 3: DATA BASES ARE NOT SECURE.
- There is the problem of American back-door access. Reassurances that the data base is secure fly in the face of reason.
- But regardless of that, major data bases are routinely hacked into, as you will know.
The spin from StatsCan is: “Rest assured. Your personal data is secure with us.” The problem with spin? Over years of pervasive use more citizens recognize it as propaganda – – it undermines people’s willingness to believe, to have faith. “Your personal data is secure with us” will be met with “Yeah. Sure.”.
8. THE MEDIA
Snail-mailed to Maclean’s Magazine following their support for mandatory long form census.
I think it makes the case – – I don’t need to duplicate here.
The solution is not as simple as rolling out a “It’s the law.” mandatory, long form census.
Citizens recognize reassurances for what they are, when they are informed. They recognize Communications Consultants (spin doctors) as propagandists, when they are informed. They understand the need to protect Charter Rights when they become participating citizens.
You are in a minefield.
Better solutions will be found if there is acknowledgement instead of denial, and a participatory approach to addressing the problems.
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Sept 20: Advocating for detailed files on citizens (Response to Maclean’s Magazine)
Nov 5. Mandatory long form census, to Minister Navdeep Bains (Innovation, Science & Development) Minister Responsible for the Census
Nov 6. To Prime Minister J Trudeau, Census Long Form & Charter Right to Privacy
Nov 9. Request to defend Charter Right (Privacy of Personal Information) – to Ministers Justice, Democratic Institutions & Privacy Commissioner Includes reply and response.
Jan 9. 2016-01-09 To Parliamentary Secretary for Justice, Sean Casey, re Mandatory Census Long Form and Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information
2015. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms: 1. Letter of Mandate to Attorney General & 2. Quotes from Trudeau’s book, “Common Ground”