Feb 062016

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS     (My replies are italicized)


(Reference  “Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion”, by Professor Randal Marlin)

RE your statement:    former Chief Statistician agrees with the premise of your second reason (Charter Right to Privacy). He states that while the mandatory collection of personal information is in violation of the charter right, however it is a ‘legitimate violation of the right’ (the idea that rights may be rescinded for a social good) because it is a recognized necessity as outlined in the statistics act.


Yes, the Government may rescind the rights of an individual.  However,

  1. The Statistics Act does not give the Government the authority to do that.  StatsCan cannot just declare that this is so.
  2. In order to override the Charter Right of an individual, the Government has to pass the “Oakes Test“.

If StatsCan wishes to take away Canadians’ Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information, it would have to make an application to the Court to do so, supplying the Court with the arguments to satisfy the Oakes Test.   It has not done that.   So the Charter Right stands.


Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 8 Privacy – Case Law: The Queen Vs Plant protects a “biographical core of personal information” from the state. Oakes Test to override.



. . .   I have a constitutional right not to be forced to hand over “a biographical core of personal information”.  Legislation that forces me to do so (the Statistics Act) is unconstitutional, unless it can pass the  Court test for an override:


The Court presents a two step test to justify a limitation (INSERT: of an individual’s Charter Rights and Freedoms) …

  • First, it must be “an objective related to concerns which are pressing and substantial in a free and democratic society“, and
  • second it must be shown “that the means chosen (INSERT: 3 months in jail and a fine of $500) are reasonable and demonstrably justified“.


The second part is described as a “proportionality test” which requires the invoking party (the Government) to show:

  • First, the measures adopted must be carefully designed to achieve the objective in question. They must not be arbitrary, unfair or based on irrational considerations. In short, they must be rationally connected to the objective.   (i.e. 3 months of jail and a fine of $500 must be shown to have a logical connection to the objective of the Census)
  • Second, the means, even if rationally connected to the objective in this first sense, should impair “as little as possible” the right or freedom in question.
  • Third, there must be a proportionality between the effects of the measures which are responsible for limiting the Charter right or freedom, and the objective which has been identified as of “sufficient importance”.

(example using two actual questions on the Census long form – –   it is of sufficient importance that the Government know  what language I spoke at home when I was 5 years old, and how many bedrooms are in my home – – it is important enough that they can impose 3 months in jail and a $500 fine (“the effects of the measures” responsible for limiting the Right to Privacy)  if I refuse to give up my Charter Right to Privacy of personal information.)

Note:  this is about the Census.  It is not about StatsCan “Surveys” because the Statistics Act says that surveys are not mandatory – – no matter what StatsCan might tell you.  See  Are StatsCan “surveys” mandatory?


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RE:   What are your primary reasons for opposing the mandatory census? 

–       Initially it was the out-sourcing of StatsCan work to Lockheed Martin Corp, the largest arms manufacturer and player in the American military-industrial-congressional complex (today, “-university” is added to the handle).  They flaunt Canadian and International Law, they corrupt democracy through the huge dollars they spend on lobbying.  They are a prime mover in what was once called the North American “Security and Prosperity Partnership” that takes decision-making out of the public arena, moving it to backroom deals between Government and Business officials. They are corrupt, very corrupt with ample documentation to prove it.  As time passes more is learned:  on top of their other sins they were the number one contract interrogator in the illegal outrages of torture committed at offshore American prisons like Guatanamo, Abu Ghraib, etc.

       My second reason for opposition is the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information which the Census long form, along with Lockheed Martin’s involvement at StatsCan, are in breach of.  I believe that Charter Rights are extremely important to the citizenry of a democracy, they exist for important reasons, and it is incumbent upon us to fight to get them back when they are infringed.

To Clarify: Initially the case of Lockheed Martin; but the second reason is your main reason. The long form census, through its agents (Statistics Canada and lockheed martin) is a violation of the charter right to privacy by  instituting a mandatory collection of personal information.

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Follow up; So in this case your second reason debates the fundamental existence of the mandatory census. In an open letter for the long form census, former Chief Statistician agrees with the premise of your second reason. He states that while the mandatory collection of personal information is in violation of the charter right, however it is a ‘legitimate violation of the right’ (the idea that rights may be rescinded for a social good) because it is a recognized necessity as outlined in the statistics act. Am I correct in stating that your second reason is ethically, morally and legally opposed to this line of thought?

The answer is “yes”, and you can add “rationally”.   Please see  2016-03-18  Does Lockheed Martin Corp have a role in the 2016 Census?  which points to the aspect of census collaboration between countries under Lockheed Martin’s “steerage”.   It is about International Surveillance driven by the American NSA.  

9/11 became a vehicle for fomenting fear of “terrorists”, a justification for taking away citizen rights.   

But the CAUSES of “terrorism” are not addressed.   American imperialism plays a pivotal role – – there is a long list of examples from which to choose.  See 2016-03-22 There are two sides to the story. Why do we hear only one? (Terrorists & Context: CIA – examples Mossadegh, Lumumba, Arbenz, Guevera, Allende . . .)   

Essentially, what Westerners know and don’t know is subject to the tools of propaganda.

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If the census were to be processed entirely by our government, would you oppose a mandatory census?

The considerations in arriving at a “yes” response:

       Do the questions create profiles of citizens?   Our Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information exists for a compelling reason.  You do not allow Governments to create detailed files on its people;  such files are the tools of police states.  I always recommend Edwin Black’s book “IBM and the Holocaust” if there is any doubt in a person’s mind.  Past or present it makes no difference, the practice is the same.  The historical record is clear.  Current events are clear.  It is the reason why we have the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information.  Detailed files on citizens are verboten in a democracy.  

I further believe that critical examination of the reasons trotted out in support of the alleged necessity for taking away the Charter Right are insubstantial.  You may want to take a look at:

2016-05-21 I lose myself. “A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.”

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Follow up; This is a very difficult question to answer, and yes, that is a shocking story with IBM and the holocaust I am quite familiar with it.

I know that there are standard practices in place to prevent access to citizen profiles. In certain census subdivisions (geographically and demographically similar areas) data is suppressed if there are too few residences there. However, what Statistics Canada implies is that the collection of data in these areas must take place first before it can be determined what data is suppressed.

The crux of the problem is this  …   

   The remainder of the Question, and the Reply now a separate postingPlease see  http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=16581    

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Do you think that the press presented your case fairly?

A few did, local journalists were more likely.  Others did not.  The most egregious example of failure was the New York Times.  They changed the coverage by the Times reporter in Ottawa to eliminate the name “Lockheed Martin”, stating that the small opposition in Canada to the Census was due to involvement of “an American technology contractor”.   Americans generally know who Lockheed Martin is. Canadians especially then, were more unlikely to know.  Portraying Lockheed Martin as a “technology contractor” is misleading journalism.

It was frustrating trying to get the main reason for the non-compliance, Lockheed Martin, into the news coverage partially because the “newsiness” of the story was the court case which strategically used the Charter Right to Privacy to defend against the charge of non-compliance.  It was also difficult to get Lockheed Martin’s name onto the Court record, for various reasons.

Follow Up;  It is interesting to see some varied reports, there is a lot to be said in not only omissions, but emphasis and phrasing as well. One consistent factor that I have seen is that these cases are reported too individualistically. Several I have come across have never included the rates of non-participation, statistics on persons charged with not completing the census, nor even linked to similar cases of persons charged with non-compliance despite the fact that these details would be relevant to the story.

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