2016-05-12 Census Lockheed Martin: What are other ‘refuseniks’ in Canada doing?
QUESTION: from kari da
I would like to hear about what other ‘refuseniks’ in Canada are doing, and get updates on organizing and legal challenges for the 2016 census.
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Don Rogers’ blog, Count Me Out, is strong on ‘refusenik’ strategy; I don’t try to duplicate it. But I will add:
There is a continuum of resistance. All the strategies contribute to the effort. Different people are comfortable with different actions, from:
- Start as many conversations about the Census as you can. Too many citizens still don’t have a clue about the involvement of Lockheed Martin in the Census operations. (Creation of AWARENESS.) Ref: 2016-03-18 Does Lockheed Martin Corp have a role in the 2016 Census?
- If you are contacted directly by a StatsCan worker, try to engage them in conversation. “Lockheed Martin Corporation is involved in the Canadian Census. Do you know who they are and what they do in the world?” (Everything from International Surveillance to Number One Contract Interrogator for the Offshore American prisons (Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, etc.) – – the authors of depravity (torture that is illegal under International Law). Manufacturers of Land Mines and Cluster Munitions that are illegal under Canadian and International Law. Authors of the dropping of bombs from drones (another form of terrorism). Instrumental in the decision by the Americans to start the Iraq War, a decision based on outright lies, the agonies of which spread and live on in the Middle East today. Lobbyists and corrupters of democratic governance. We are complicit if we sit by while our tax dollars enable these monsters. They are dependent upon access to the public purse. They are proficient at over-charging. They have been convicted many times of breach of arms export control laws. They sell weapons and it doesn’t matter to whom.
- I have found letters-to-the-editor that go back to 2006 and 2011 to still be very helpful today. They alert people to aspects of the Census of which they are unaware. But maybe more importantly, they help form a bond of solidarity. You help move thoughts that others have thought into the open. They can say somewhat anonymously to friends and colleagues, “Did you happen to read that letter-to-the-editor about the Census?”
- Moving into the question of how you as an individual handle the Census. There is no limit to the creativity of citizens. Have some fun with it! (Maybe it wasn’t a joke? . . . Thousands of Canadians have identified their religion as “Jedi Warrior”.) Many have apparently been named after cartoon characters. . . . Personally, I think it is important to get the message across that the involvement of Lockheed Martin Corp will not be tolerated. Some people have received an actual paper copy of the Census, which is easiest. A large “No Lockheed Martin” across the first page gets the message across. If you received the code to access the on-line copy, you might request a paper copy (I don’t know if the e-copy allows you to register your feedback to StatsCan).
- If you happen to receive the Long Form Census, you have the opportunity to stand in solidarity with others in defence of our Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information. In a democracy you simply do not allow the Government to build detailed files of personal information on individuals, which is what is happening through the Census Long Form, the National Household Survey and other Surveys that are on-going through StatsCan. Do not answer questions that you judge to be personal in nature.
- I was going to say, “Have no fear”. But somehow Kari, I don’t think you need that piece of advice!
- Resistance – – is a process that happens over a period of time. Do what you have to do. And be patient. In the past the Dept of Justice did not issue summons to court until near the end of the two years after which the Statute of Limitations kicks in. You may never hear from them, only a small number do (65 out of thousands).
RE Legal Challenges: People end up in Court if they are selected for prosecution because of non-compliance with the Census (the 65 / thousands). Citizens have not been the initiators. Our network has helped some people defend themselves. We remain alert to news of refuseniks and contact them if possible, to see if they want or need support. If StatsCan and the Justice Dept don’t change their process, as mentioned, there will be no word of people being prosecuted (summons to court) until at least a year-and-a-half from now.
Thanks, Sandra, for setting this up. I am particularly interested to know of anyone in Toronto who is thinking about refusing altogether, and preparing for the consequences.
I did some searches (google, on facebook and a phone call) to find a Toronto-based group of some kind. Came up empty-handed, except for this: it seems that an effective promotional campaign to hype participation in the census has been rolled out.
I can put out some inquiries, but do not have time immediately.
Hi I have refused to fill out the census and stats Canada has been by twice. They asked why I refused to fill it out and before I stopped myself I said “because the government has no business in my home” She wrote that down. I then ended the interview.
I guess I have now incriminated myself, the question is, how long does it take to charge you, and how do they get my name? Will I suddenly have the police at my door?
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, Russ.
By now you may have had the second round – – a Field Manager for StatsCan whose job it is to offer you a second chance!
RE: how long before the Summons to Court?
The practice of StatsCan working with the Federal Justice Dept has been to wait almost to the end of the 2-year Statute of Limitations period before issuing the Summons to Appear in a Provincial Court. So, 2018 late winter.
THE POLICE WILL NOT ARRIVE AT YOUR DOOR
In my experience the Summons was delivered by a fellow in a suit driving a half-ton truck who was hired. The Police did not deliver the Summons. It is often a “sheriff” who delivers summons.
You are right, it is people who have given explicit evidence to a Statscan worker “I did not fill in, I will not fill in …” who receive summons. HOWEVER,
YOUR CHANCES OF BEING SELECTED for prosecution are EXTREMELY LOW. Traditionally, StatsCan selects about 65 people from across Canada for prosecution over the Census.
The transcript for the Audrey Tobias trial records that, under oath, the StatsCan witness told the Court that more than a million households did not return their form (2011 Census), so at least 10 to 11% of Canadians did not comply. (The number does not include those who provided silly information or who interfered with the working of the form in other ways.) Anyhow, your chances are far less than 1%. (1 percent would be 1 out of a 100. 1 out of a million would be a 0.0001 of one percent chance of being selected.)
In my experience you really can jump off the StatsCan railroading at any time. They want you to comply with whatever it is that they want (census or survey). I was repeatedly offered, first by StatsCan and then again, repeatedly by the Justice Dept – – fill in the form and they will go away. They want to keep dissent muffled. They are accustomed to people caving in to their coercion (it is understandable that people cave in).
This is repetition for old-timers in our network: I received the census long form. My reasons for not complying began because of the out-sourcing to Lockheed Martin Corp. But I have read enough about the rise to power of the Nazis to know that we are getting into dangerous territory with detailed files on citizens, Not to mention other worrisome things that are happening. We are getting further and further away from democracy.
The Law says we have a Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information. They have not applied to the Courts to see if they can meet the criteria (the Oakes test) for an override of this Right of citizens. StatsCan nor the Justice Dept have the authority to take away the Right. There is a process prescribed by Law – – they have to follow the process. Only the Courts can give them the authority, IF they meet the test.
It is a bit like a game of poker. You are calling their bluff. (Or not, if they decide that they are omnipotent and screw the law.)
Please feel free to get back if you have further questions I might be able to answer.
P.S. As you may know, George Orwell’s small book, “Animal Farm”, is an excellent illustration of how democracy fails. “Memory” of the way things are supposed to function is lost. The people who understood, who knew, were cynics. They had a responsibility to stand up, to speak up, but they did not. They were the only ones who COULD HAVE changed the course, the slide into fascism (government by corporate interests).
Citizens do have to engage in their democracy if it is going to survive. And they have to do it with intelligence. A tool I have used successfully: educate the StatsCan worker. (I feel badly for them. They probably need the money, and I strongly suspect that they are on some sort of a quota and reward system – – not a salaried job.) The ones I talked with were surprised by, very interested in and appreciative of the information I gave them. (I invited them in, we sat at my computer while we discussed.) /S