- This is 2016. I keep copy for my own purposes – – documentation of the b.s. from StatsCan and response.
- Since then, as documented in another posting, the Statistics Act DID undergo some changes.
Hi again Christine,
I had the conversation with the knowledgeable person about whether the Statistics Act has been changed, as was told to you by StatsCan.
The conclusion is that it remains the same; no changes have been made.
Also, from the Govt website:
(Note: remove the XX’s and spaces, and then do copy and paste of the URL. If I leave a Govt URL in a posting, you will not be able to access this posting. It will go to “Error. Page not found.“)
http:// XX laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/ XXeng/acts/s-19/fulltext.html
Statistics Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. S-19)
Act current to 2016-11-09 and last amended on 2005-12-12
For my own purposes I double-checked (yet again!) wording in the Act, using the above Govt copy of the Act. Notes are appended. But it basically just reinforces: nothing has changed.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Section 8 is titled Voluntary Surveys. It says that the Minister may authorize the obtaining of information OTHER THAN information for censuses – – see the highlighted text – – – BUT Section 31 (the penalties) do not apply if there is a refusal to supply the info:
8 The Minister may, by order, authorize the obtaining, for a particular purpose, of information, other than information for a census of population or agriculture, on a voluntary basis, but where such information is requested section 31 does not apply in respect of a refusal or neglect to furnish the information.
- 1980-81-82-83, c. 47, s. 41.
– – – – – – – – – – –
Then there is Section 22 which lists the information that StatsCan is authorized to collect in censuses and surveys – – it specifically says that Section 22 cannot affect the powers of StatsCan that may otherwise be authorized under the Act. Which is to say that Section 22 is not allowed to affect Section 8; and Section 8 effectively says that surveys are voluntary (Section 31 does not apply if people refuse):
- General statistics
- 22 Without limiting the duties of Statistics Canada under section 3 or affecting any of its powers or duties in respect of any specific statistics that may otherwise be authorized or required under this Act, the Chief Statistician shall, under the direction of the Minister, collect, compile, analyse, abstract and publish statistics in relation to all or any of the following matters in Canada: . . . . – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
And here is Section 31 that sets out the penalties for refusal to comply. Section 8 says specifically that Section 31 does not apply to surveys:
False or unlawful information
31 Every person who, without lawful excuse,
- (a) refuses or neglects to answer, or wilfully answers falsely, any question requisite for obtaining any information sought in respect of the objects of this Act or pertinent thereto that has been asked of him by any person employed or deemed to be employed under this Act, or
- (b) refuses or neglects to furnish any information or to fill in to the best of his knowledge and belief any schedule or form that the person has been required to fill in, and to return the same when and as required of him pursuant to this Act, or knowingly gives false or misleading information or practises any other deception thereunder
is, for every refusal or neglect, or false answer or deception, guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both.
- 1970-71-72, c. 15, s. 29.
So once again, the answer is the same. Surveys are not mandatory.
Sent: November 24, 2016
Subject: RE: Fruits & Vegetables Survey
No problem Sandra,
I’m leaving tomorrow to go on holidays for 2 weeks. I’d be interested to find out what the person will find. I’m also interested to hear what will happen, what affect, or what can be done, with stats Canada wanting more power.
Sent: Thursday, November 24, 2016
Subject: RE: Fruits & Vegetables Survey
Your input is very helpful Christine.
I will be seeing a person on Monday coming up (Nov 28) who will research and confirm whether what you have been told is true – – that the Statistics Act has been changed.
I am skeptical that Parliament has amended the Act without it attracting any public attention. But you never know, so it warrants being checked out by someone who knows the system very thoroughly and how to confirm whether there has actually been a change..
I will get back to you, but it won’t be until Wed or Thur next week.
And thanks to good old George Orwell for writing that little book “Animal Farm”! I would not see how it happens (your observation: then sometimes it’s too late) if I had not read it. His characters are the different creatures in the barnyard, a better way of telling the tale than using human characters.
Talk with you later,
On Thu, 24 Nov 2016, Christine wrote:
> It all gets so confusing. She kept telling me that the Labour Force Survey and agricultural surveys were made mandatory. After I told her that the Statistics Act says that surveys were voluntary and I’m not participating, she finally said that she was going to write me up. After hanging up the phone I looked up their site and read that they had made them mandatory, so it gets confusing. I’m beginning to understand the difference between the Statistics Act and Statistics Canada. Where does one check to see where government changes the acts?
> Thanks again for all your help. We really need to stand up for our rights. Unfortunately, not until we are faced with a situation do we address the problem, and then sometimes it’s too late.
> —–Original Message—–
> From: Sandra
> Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2016
> To: Christine
> Subject: Fruits & Vegetables Survey
> Hi Christine,
> You did not receive a Census of Agriculture.
> You received a Fruits & Vegetables Survey.>
> A Survey is not the same thing as a Census.>
> A Survey is a Survey and is not mandatory.>
> You have explained your position adequately.
> If they continue to contact you, it becomes harassment.>
> You are on secure ground.>
> Keep your cool; don’t get angry. Do as you wish. If you don’t have call display you can hang up when you know it’s them, or select a mantra: “Please do not call me again” “I do not wish to participate” and hang up. Or “I have an appointment with my lawyer to discuss bringing charges against StatsCan. Please do not call me again.” Do not stay on the line to hear their response. You have already done that. I trust you received my previous email: the Law is on your side.>
> Good luck with it!