Aug 312011
No, Statistics Canada “surveys” are not mandatory.    The law is clear, scroll down to  THE SHORT OF IT ON “SURVEYS”. 

ASIDE  (Most of you know this and can skip):

“StatsCan” is Statistics Canada.  In the U.S. that function of government is known as the Census Bureau.

The questions about StatsCan Surveys (and censuses) are made worse by the involvement at StatsCan of the American military-industrial-surveillance complex represented by Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Lockheed Martin does intelligence contract work for the NSA (National Security Agency) of the United States “Defence” Dept, more accurately a War Dept.  International surveillance is among Lockheed Martin’s specialties, along with “lobbying” (crossing palms with silver) and disdain for the Rule of Law.  Lockheed Martin played an important role in the decision by the U.S. to start the illegal Iraq War and profited mightily by that decision.  It (Lockheed Martin) is symbolic of everything that is not Canadian.

(More accurately we Canadians like to identify with a Myth of Canada.  Lockheed Martin is symbolic of everything that is not that Myth.)

Detailed files on citizens (the data base at StatsCan) is a goal of every imperialist, corporatist, police state – – past and present.   Canadians have the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information for good reason.   The Right is ours, only insofar as we are willing to be aware and to defend it.

But hey!   You don’t have to even think about American military and surveillance intrusions into Canada.   You need only know that Surveys are voluntary under Canadian Law, and that we do have an eloquently stated Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information. 

UPDATE:  Input from Steve enabled the construction of a Timeline.    2016-07-01   According to StatsCan Website:  Surveys are Mandatory, then Voluntary, then Mandatory.   


When a citizen advised StatsCan of legal action against them for harassment over a Survey,  StatsCan sent a letter to the citizen to say that Surveys are voluntary.  The letter had the effect of bringing a halt to the legal action.   In that time period, Steve read on the StatsCan website that “all surveys are voluntary”.  

But the page, perhaps as late as June 2nd (“Date modified”) was changed back to say that the specified surveys are mandatory   (which they are not under the law, the Statistics Act.)

The posting   StatsCan Website: Surveys are Mandatory, then Voluntary, then Mandatory  (July 2016) contains:

  • the information on the Statistics Act below, plus
  • minor arguments I had not bothered to address in the past.

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Before addressing SURVEYS,

Is the CENSUS mandatory?  . . .  yes, IF it does not infringe on citizens’ Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information  – –  see

And note:

The participation and questions of many concerned citizens over more than 15 years (since 2003) has generated comprehensive documentation to explain the Laws, the difference between censuses and surveys, the collaboration between countries, the security of data bases,  profiles on Lockheed Martin Corporation,  questions of ethics and the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy,  the use of census data bases in Nazi Europe and in the USA to round up “enemies”,  the role of forgetfulness and ignorance, the use of propaganda by the Government, attempts to explain how and why academics and others rationalize away important Charter Rights and abdicate the ethical, . . .   Questions and answers – – the experiences of many people  are found in “Comments” on different postings.  If you have questions feel free to use the “Comments” to ask them.


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StatsCan is saying that these words from the Statistics Act (Section 8, Voluntary Surveys)

where such information is requested (answers to questions on the survey) section 31 does not apply in respect of a refusal or neglect to furnish the information.


you have to fill in the survey and if you don’t you can be prosecuted, fined and sent to jail

(Section 31 is the sanctions, fine and jail, if you are guilty of non-compliance with a Census.  Censuses are once every 5 years; surveys are being done all the time.)

That is a ludicrous interpretation of the words. It is simply not what they say.

Section 8, “Voluntary Surveys”,  says:

where “such information” – – i.e. a survey – – is requested THE SANCTIONS DO NOT APPLY.

If the sanctions do not apply, surveys are voluntary. Which is ALSO what the HEADING of Section 8 is about.

StatsCan is out-to-lunch. Their interpretation is self-serving.

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Closely Related to the issue of the law on Surveys is the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information.  That Law is addressed separately, see:  2010-12-23 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.

Acceptance of StatsCan’s position is dangerous when Lockheed Martin Corp (American surveillance) is involved. The data base on Canadians at StatsCan is relentlessly growing. We have a Charter Right to Privacy of personal information. Anyone who believes that their personal information is secure in the StatsCan data base is extremely gullible or ill-informed.  Edward Snowden and Ladar Levison remove any doubt.  (More information on Lockheed Martin’s role and connections below.)


NEWSPEAK:   JoAnne wrote down the wording in the StatsCan brochure that says “it is the law.  It is mandatory. You have to supply the information”.  (Now moved to the comprehensive argument found in  2016-07-01  StatsCan Website: Surveys are Mandatory then Voluntary then Mandatory.

The StatsCan brochure is propaganda, for us and for its workers.  The Orwellian word for it is “newspeak”  (new speak).  People come to believe lies, if they are repeated frequently.

So we just keep repeating and spreading the truth.

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UPDATE SEPT 2015:   See also  Advocating for detailed files on citizens  (very troubling that any educated person in a democracy would advocate in support of comprehensive files on citizens; that is what they are doing).  So-called Uneducated people would know not to do it.)

UPDATE MARCH 2016:  2016-03-18   Does Lockheed Martin Corp have a role in the 2016 Census?   This is an important posting that spells out the Five Eyes (FVEY) – the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada plus Lockheed Martin collaboration on censuses.  Compatible data bases between nations enhances surveillance capability.

UPDATE JUNE 2016:  I happened on a Reddit exchange re harassment by StatsCan, from end of 2015.  A person tells that StatsCan did acknowledge that surveys are voluntary.   See  StatsCan Surveys: Has anyone successfully sued StatsCan for harassment?   from exchange on Reddit

I ended up contacting a lawyer and advised Stats Can that we were seeking legal action and Stats Can sent us a letter a couple of weeks later confirming that the Labour Force Survey is voluntary and have since stopped harassing us on the phone.  Which seems to have resolved the problem for us, at least.

UPDATE JUNE 2016:     2016-06-29   Democracy, the Rule of Law. Victory over StatsCan surveys?   Celebration of Canada Day, includes info from StatsCan website – –  seems that Canadians DID win the battle to make StatsCan observe the Rule of Law in its relationships with Citizens!  Wow!

UPDATE JULY 1:   BUT THEN StatsCan, cunning devils – –  legal action against them for harassment over surveys was halted by their letter saying that the survey was indeed voluntary (the Reddit Exchange).  They changed their website to say “all surveys are voluntary”,  waited a few months.   Then changed the website back to say that some specified surveys are mandatory,  see   2016-07-01  StatsCan Website: Surveys are Mandatory then Voluntary then Mandatory.    The posting includes the most recent, comprehensive argument:  under the Law, surveys are voluntary.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 19, 2018    “Re-spendable revenue”

I could not understand WHY StatsCan would alienate Canadians the way it has been doing – –  lying, harassing, always demanding MORE – MORE data, personal data.  

There is information in this posting – – not reflected in the title – –  that provides an “aha!” moment:  StatsCan is in the Business of selling data.  They made more than 100 million dollars in 2017.

Statistics Canada kept Trudeau cabinet, privacy commissioner in the dark about controversial bank data harvest plan, Global News

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ASIDE   July 2012:  I sent a complaint to the Federal Privacy Commissioner, StatsCan is using intimidation and a lie to force citizens to give up their charter right to privacy of personal information.  See  2012-07-13  StatsCan Surveys, Complaint to the Privacy Commissioner

Six years later,

2018-11-16   the BLIND SPOT in Privacy Commissioner’s investigation of StatsCan (getting personal data from the private sector)

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StatsCan “surveys” (in contrast to “censuses”)  are explained in:

  1. 2010-03-31 Edmontonian Susan Crowther threatened by StatsCan.  Statistics Act, what is a census and what is a survey?  What is the law? StatsCan is operating way outside the law.
  2.  Are StatsCan surveys mandatory?  Interpretation of the Law.  
  3. 2010-07-31 Harassed by StatsCan, Margaret Fehr, Saskatoon Star Phoenix


A brief digression – – –

If you are not aware that Lockheed Martin Corporation (American military) is involved in the Statistics Canada data base on Canadian citizens, and that data collection on individuals is relentlessly on-going, please click on  Lockheed Martin, War Economy (also info on Census, Trial).

This is particularly relevant given the leaks by

  • Edward Snowden and
  • Julian Assange through WikiLeaks,

about American NSA  “back door” access to data bases.  Lockheed Martin does work for the NSA, as documented elsewhere on this blog.

Why would we enable NSA and FBI surveillance of ourselves?   There is a non-ending stream of revelations of the extent of American military operations.  Example :

June 24, 2015,  France summons US ambassador over ‘unacceptable’ spying

To me, the resistance to Lockheed Martin is guerilla warfare.

The Government was wrong to contract out to an entity with the Intentions and track record of Lockheed Martin.  Surveillance is one of the service lines sold by Lockheed Martin;  they pride themselves on their superiority in this realm.  Their role in American torture is documented on this blog, number one “contract interrogator” at American offshore prisons.   The evidence of their production of land mines and cluster munitions, both illegal.  Their role in the decision-making around the illegal war by the Americans on Iraq in 2003, the tragic outcomes of which continue to spread and worsen in the Middle East.  They routinely bilk American tax-payers.  They undermine democracy with their huge lobbying campaigns,  . . .  How the Government ever expects to gain collaboration by Canadians with such repugnance is beyond me.

The original Census contracts with Lockheed Martin were in the $50 million range (the amount and the source is in other postings).  How much we have paid in total, just for its participation at StatsCan I do not know.  We pay them millions of dollars to look after the health records of the Canadian military, a terrible conflict-of-interest.  Lockheed Martin is worming its way into our universities  – Dalhousie, Royal Military College,  University of Saskatchewan,  a collaborative aviation (drone) program in Saskatchewan involving First Nations.   And they want to saddle Canadians with billions upon billions of dollars for their F-35 stealth bombers.

Lockheed Martin is the antithesis of what it is to be Canadian.  If they were one of us they would be locked up in jail and the key thrown away.  It is wrong to collaborate with them.  It is far worse than collaborating with the mafia when viewed through the lens of actual corruption, violence, death and destruction.

BUT!  Back to question-at-hand!

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RE  whether surveys are in fact mandatory?:  the world is not 100% certain because – – human beings are involved!  The Statistics Act says that SURVEYS are voluntary.  The data-collection done by StatsCan in between censuses, under the Act, is defined as a survey.  So surveys are in fact voluntary.

RE  whether there are legal penalties for not taking part?:  The Statistics Act says specifically that the penalties for not complying with a census DO NOT APPLY to surveys.  So there are no legal penalties for not taking part.  The threats that Statistics Canada tells you (you can be prosecuted, sent to jail and fined) are simply intimidation tactics to try and make you take part.  You have free choice to participate or not participate in the surveys and there are no penalties depending on your choice.

RE:  has anyone been actually penalized for refusing to give in to Statcan’s pressure?    Divide this answer into two parts:

1.  SURVEYS  Many people have been harassed and threatened.  I am not aware of anyone who has been penalized (taken to court) for refusing to participate in a survey.

Which makes sense because, in order to apply penalties of any kind, StatsCan has to go through the Justice Dept (a court case).   The Justice Dept Prosecutors would know that if someone stood up to them in Court over trying to force participation in a SURVEY, the case would be thrown out of Court.  The Statistics Act says specifically that participation in “surveys” is voluntary.

2.  CENSUS  The census (once every 5 years) is different.  Yes, a miniscule number of people have actually been penalized for not supplying information.   (“Search” button, upper right hand corner of this blog for details by name of the persons named below.)

2006 CENSUS:

The only FINE I know about:   Todd Stelmach from Ontario was fined $300.  The maximum fine possible is $500.

Darek Czernewcan (Ontario) was found guilty but given a suspended sentence;  the Judge was annoyed that Prosecution Services brought Darek to trial.

I (Saskatchewan) was found guilty but given a discharge.

2011 CENSUS:

Three women selected for prosecution.  Each one of the women objected to Lockheed Martin’s involvement at Statistics Canada:

  • Audrey Tobias, 89 years old, Toronto ON
  • Janet Churnin, 79 years  old, Toronto ON  and
  • (Karen) Eve Stegenga,  a self-employed yoga instructor, 37 years old, Powell River BC.

(under the Statistics Act, censuses are mandatory, surveys are not.  We are talking here about censuses.)

2011 Census, Statute of Limitations – a two-year time limit within which charges can be brought.  The ladies received their summons to court in 2011+ 2 = 2013.  The trials were wrapped up by summer 2014.  (The next Census is in May 2016 – –  every 5 years.)

In the eyes of StatsCan and the Federal Justice Dept, these three women are obviously a threat to other people in their communities.  Hence deserving of prosecution.

Different Judges took a different view than Federal Prosecution Services.   Strictly speaking the Law may have been broken (if the Charter Right did not apply, i.e. if the information requested was not personal).    The Judgements were:

  • (Karen) Eve Stegenga received a    conditional discharge   (July 17, 2014).  She did 25 hours of community service.  She does community service all the time, it’s not really a sanction.
  • Janet Churnin received a   conditional discharge   (December 2013).  50 hours of community service.  Same status as Eve – community service is part of her life.
  • Audrey Tobias was found   not guilty   by a creative Judge  (October 2013). 

It is good to see Federal Prosecution Services 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) , , , .

As reported elsewhere on this blog,  by 2011 non-compliance with the Census was 11%  (not the 2% reported by StatsCan).  The 11% figure is based on the testimony under oath by the head of the Census operations at the trial of Audrey Tobias.

Hopefully, after the Stegenga,  last case arising out of the 2011 Census, the Justice Dept “gets it”:  the collective conscience of Canadians is strong.  The Justice Dept and StatsCan are not going to obtain compliance by using the threat of prosecution.  (Acknowledge:  not all the non-compliance is because of Lockheed Martin’s involvement.)

Prosecution Services wanted a $250.00 fine in Eve’s case, plus community service and probation.

The intent was deterrence for other Canadians.  It seems to me to be a backward argument.  They will get higher rates of compliance, not through coercion but by getting rid of the cause of the conscientious objection:  Lockheed Martin.   (They might also try respect for the Rule of Law – – Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information, and Oakes Test has to be argued in Court and passed if the Govt wants to override the Charter Right.)

Anyhow, the Judges are not upholding the lordly status of StatsCan and Federal Prosecution Services.  Statscan’s batting average, based on court conviction with a fine is pretty abysmal (a fine in ONE case, Todd Stelmach.  Todd’s case, Kingston ON, received very good coverage by local media.  I interpreted the coverage as supportive of Todd, not of StatsCan and Lockheed Martin).

you’d think StatsCan and  Prosecution Services (Federal)  might get embarrassed and stop prosecuting Census non-compliance.


Elsewhere on this blog in discussions about the CENSUS, and what people might expect if they do not comply, I calculated the chances of any one person being prosecuted, based on information given by StatsCan Director of Censuses, Yves Beland,  under oath at the trial of Audrey Tobias:

1.6 million did not comply  out of 14.6 million households

(Aside:  non-compliance with the Census had grown to 11% by the 2011 Census;  StatsCan reported this (1.6 million out of 14.6 million)  as 2% non-compliance.)

After each Census,  it has been the practice of StatsCan and the Federal Justice Dept to select approximately 65 cases for prosecution.

The individual’s chance of being selected for prosecution is 65 out of 1.6 million non-compliers,  much less than a 1% chance  (a 0.004 % chance).

Regarding JAIL – – I have been told, but have no first-hand corroboration, that in years previous a farmer from near Prince Albert, SK was put in jail overnight for refusal to supply information.  Otherwise, I am not aware of anyone who might have been sentenced to, or gone to jail because of charges under the Statistics Act.

Do they (StatsCan and the Justice Department) THREATEN people with jail? …. absolutely, yes they do and repeatedly.   I can personally attest to that;  and the stories from many Canadians backup my experience.

Clearly “the law” is being used in this instance as a tool of coercion.

Give us your personal information  . . . or else!”  

Be damned the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information.

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.”

And be damned the Rule of Law.  No matter that it is fundamental to Democracy.

REPEAT:   In the case of SURVEYS

as far as I am aware, after working on the issue since 2003 (well over a decade) with a network of people and having been myself on Trial over the Census:

no one has been prosecuted for failure to provide information for a Survey,

which would be because the Law says that

the sanctions for census non-compliance do not apply in the case of Surveys.  Surveys are therefore voluntary

RE  whether i have to partake or not?

SURVEY:   The Statistics Act is clear,  you do not have to take part in a StatsCan survey.

CENSUS:  From my perspective the Charter of Rights & Freedom is clear: the Government cannot force citizens to supply information that is part of a “biographical core of personal information”.  (This applies to both censuses and to surveys.)

(Note:  I was prosecuted for non-compliance with the 2006 CENSUS.  My objection was actually to StatsCan/Public Works’ contracts with Lockheed Martin.  When I was charged under the Statistics Act, the best defence was the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information.   The “census long form” had 50+ questions, many of them very personal.  You just do not allow Governments to build detailed files on citizens, not if you know anything about the running of a police state.  And not if you understand WHY we have the Charter Right.)

But, as I say, we are dealing with human beings.  The Courts in Saskatchewan held that it is unreasonable to expect privacy if the demand for personal information comes from StatsCan.

October 2013:  The Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear an appeal of the decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.  The Sask Appeal Court upheld the decisions of the lower courts in Saskatchewan  (in relation to the 2006 census long form  I was found “guilty” but given a discharge.)

StatsCan continues to tell people that they have to hand over all the information requested in a Survey, because “It is the Law.”.  They will be prosecuted if they don’t.  That is not true.

I believe we have to strenuously defend Charter Rights.  It is a low point, when, in the Province of Saskatchewan the Justices rationalized away the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information.  Refer also to (brief explanation):  The Oakes Test to over-ride Charter Rights.  How Prosecutors get around it.


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The “Comments” below are valuable additions to the discussion.

In addition to the Comments posted on this page,  there are more at Don’t know what to do about the census?  What’s happening to other people?  some actual questions and answers might be helpful.   The overflow is at:   2011-07-13.   Not everything is posted, there have been too many.

From Doug:   I think your lawyer is trying to say that the Minister may authorize the survey to be voluntary, and I believe Parliament’s intent was to state the Minister may authorize the survey itself, not that it be voluntary. I believe the Minister is authorizing the OBTAINING OF INFORMATION, not the VOLUNTARINESS of it.

From Angela:   Stats Can’s website describes the Labour Force Survey as “mandatory”, which does seem to be a contravention of the Act — unless they have the power to re-define “voluntary” surveys as mandatory, at their leisure. . .

From Patti:  I understand it as the labour survey is not a mandatory thing, even though they want to treat citizens as if it is.


REMINDER:   what is the actual law regarding  Are StatsCan “surveys” mandatory?

the law, as written in the Statistics Act and according to Charter Rights?

Note that (the experience of my trial) Charter Rights are extremely vulnerable:

The Oakes Test to over-ride Charter Rights.  How Prosecutors get around it.




  144 Responses to “Are StatsCan “surveys” mandatory?”

  1. Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 11:54 PM
    Subject: request for help

    Hi Sandra,

    . . . I have a situation I need some advice on. In Feb. of this year I answered a phone call on my phone and it was Stats Canada doing a survey. Before they could finish I said I wasn’t interested and hung up on them thinking this was telemarketing stuff. I usually don’t answer any 1 800 calls due to this. So for another few weeks they kept calling and I wouldn’t answer. Then one time my husband anwsered and they asked for me and we were part of the survey. Again, I said I am not interested believing I had a choice in the matter. Then we got a letter in the mail saying by law we must participate in this survey and answer the call. I did not keep the letter, still believing I would have a choice in this. That was 4 months ago and I have not been answering the phone for those numbers. As of yesterday however, they are calling every half hour or less. What would happen to us if we continue to not reply? It is bordering on harrassment. The survey asks where we work, how much overtime we work, did we have sick days, how much income we made.

    If you have any advice for us in a matter such as this, I would greatly appreciate it.


    • just call them and give them stupid answers over the telephone, big deal….
      (you are allowed to call them and give them answers over the phone)

      • Yes – stupid answers are a form of resistance.

        In addition to the points made in the posting, I’d add that DISCUSSION is essential to democracy. And emphasize that the American military (Lockheed Martin Corp) should have zero involvement at Statistics Canada.

        We have a Charter Right to uphold, to defend. If we don’t, it is gone. Orwell’s little book “The Animal Farm” does a nice job of illustrating the slippery path to fascist or corporatist government – – the “Forgetting” of rights and principles we once had. They are valuable. It is not smart to just throw them away.

  2. Hi Patti,

    If it’s easier to just have a chat over the telephone about this, please feel free to call.

    It makes me angry that StatsCan is doing what they are doing to you. It is harassment and it is outside the law, for two reasons:

    1. The Statistics Act says that “surveys” are voluntary. “By law” you do not have to participate in a survey.

    Click on: Are StatsCan “surveys” mandatory? And then scroll down past the headings to the body of the posting. There are 3 articles. You might want to read the first one related to Susan Crowther from Edmonton (click on the date). It is probably the easiest explanation.

    2. You are being coerced by the Govt to provide personal information to them. Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not allow the Govt to do this. You have a right to privacy of personal information.

    “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.”

    For more detailed information, click on Scroll down past the headers to the body of the page. Click on the Legal Argument. (near the top, under #1, Summary Arguments).

    My advice?

    It would be a service to all of us if you are able to stand your ground.

    They will not do anything because they don’t have a legal ground upon which to act. They are relying on intimidation to force you to answer questions that are personal. They are attempting to take away your Charter Right. The only way they can do that is if you don’t know what your Right is, or if you become afraid or bow to the unpleasantness of the harassment.

    StatsCan is the one who needs to be charged. But who has the time? If it gets any worse, if they persist, I would ask for the name of the supervisor and consider lodging a complaint.

    (BTW, my next (hopefully second last!) day in Court is Oct 19th.)


    • Awesome Sandra. And YES, I plan to stick a burr up their interior! I do not recognise any entity that has power to command or demand anything from me as I AM a free person, a legitimate and democratic source.

      I am going through this “illegal not to participate” BS as well. Only I am a warrior, I fought government for along time…losing money mostly in the process. But I will stand up for a principle that I hold close. That I AM FREE!! And not a slave to this stinking social system that is horrible as far as human rights scorecards are concerned anyway.
      PS I have never done their census either. I just tell them when they knock on the door That I am Metis and I dont recognise your government as my master. Just be brave and stand up, or forever lie down!

  3. Hey! I thrive on “out of the blue”, Angela! Thanks for getting in touch.

    Yesterday I received another email regarding the Labour Survey. Patti described StatsCan behaviour as bordering on “harassment”. You say “hounded by” (same thing).

    Re your question: did I ever receive an answer to question regarding interpretation of Section 8 of the Statistics Act?

    My Response is “No AND yes”. I look at it this way:

    If I, the citizen, working with other reasonable and intelligent citizens, cannot read and interpret the law, especially one as simple as the Statistics Act, then the law is not serving us.

    WHO is the law for? It is a vehicle for defining the relationships among ourselves and the government, so that we can live harmoniously. It is a dispute resolution mechanism (even if it is poorly designed, is being used by the Government and by Corporations as a tool for intimidation and coercion. It is in obvious need of overhaul. The Chief Justice of Canada has been imploring the legal profession for years to address the problems. They seem unable to deliver the goods to her (for the public).)

    Did I receive an answer to my question on Section 8 of the Stats Act? .. . Yes. We figured it out ourselves. Doug’s input was elucidating. And now you capture the essence way better than I have: “unless they have the power to re-define “voluntary” surveys as mandatory, at their leisure”.

    Many thanks from “all of us” for getting in touch and for your truly valuable contribution!

    Best wishes,


  4. Hi Sandra,

    I hope you don’t mind me contacting you out of the blue. . .

    I’m being hounded by Statistics Canada agents (Labour Force Survey), and came across your posting on the web. I’m wondering if you ever received an answer to your question below, regarding interpretation of Section 8 of the Statistics Act? Stats Can’s website describes the Labour Force Survey as “mandatory”, which does seem to be a contravention of the Act — unless they have the power to re-define “voluntary” surveys as mandatory, at their leisure. . .

    Any feedback would be most appreciated.

    Best Regards,



    SUBJECT: Section 8 of the Statistics Act. No sanctions in the case of surveys.
    SENT TO (Lawyer) Steve,

    I correctly or incorrectly interpreted Section 8 of the Statistics Act to say that sanctions do not apply in between censuses – believing that “the census” is the once-every-five-years undertaking. What happens in between is “surveys”.

    From the Statistics Act:

    Voluntary surveys
    Section 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 (INSERT: jail time and a fine) does not apply in respect of a refusal or neglect to furnish the information.”

    I think it turns on the definition of “census”. Section 19 is as close as I can find to a definition. I think one can infer from it that “census” in the Act means the census that happens once every five years.
    Population census

    19. (1) A census of population of Canada shall be taken by Statistics Canada in the month of June in the year 1971, and every fifth year thereafter in a month to be fixed by the Governor in Council.

    If this is correct, then Statistics Canada is seriously guilty of threats, coercion and intimidation

    From my conversation with Susan Crowther: she has been harassed and intimidated by StatsCan. She is ex-military and finds the whole thing scary. She was first contacted in January (2010). She declined to supply information. StatsCan has been relentless through February and March in attempts to obtain her personal information.

    Even if StatsCan does not follow through on its threats against Susan (jail and a fine), I believe that charges need to be laid against StatsCan. It is operating outside the law and using the threat of jail-time and fines to coerce people into disclosing personal information.


  5. Thanks so much for the feedback, Sandra — truly appreciated.
    (Excellent blogspot, by the way.)

    Arresting comment, and bang on. I’ve left a message with my MP telling him that I expect him to help change the legislation; he’s new to the game so my expectations are low, but as a Conservative, he may actually rise to the occasion, since his Party did introduce the voluntary long-form census.

    Best of luck with the court case and thank you for standing up for the (ever eroding) rights of Canadian citizens — rights which so many of us take for granted, at our own peril.


  6. Sent: Friday, September 02, 2011 10:58 PM
    To: Sandra Finley
    Subject: Re: Statistics Canada debacle (Angela – – same problem as you)

    Hi Sandra,

    Yes, I have read the email but am not quite clear on the interpretation from Lawyer Steve. I understand it as the labour survey is not a mandatory thing, even though they want to treat citizens as if it is.


  7. Hi Patti,

    You say “am not quite clear on the interpretation from Lawyer Steve”.

    You cause me to re-examine. Thanks!

    I tried high-lighting the differences in interpretation (appended). Then I stripped away all the other words. Leaving only this high-lighted text:

    (The Minister may, by order:)

    Steve: authorize the obtaining of information on a voluntary basis (It helps – – you can see how Steve might have arrived at his conclusion. He is saying that this paragraph of the Act says that in order for a survey to be voluntary, the Minister has to authorize it to be voluntary.)

    Doug: authorize the obtaining of information other than information for a census of population or agriculture,

    I still arrive at the conclusion that Steve was in a hurry and made a mistake.
    Doug’s interpretation and elaboration makes sense.

    The argument is reinforced by the TITLE of the paragraph: VOLUNTARY Surveys.

    I don’t understand why legislation would need the clause “on a voluntary basis” when it is specified “section 31 (jail time and a fine) does not apply in respect of a refusal or neglect to furnish the information.” To me it only serves to confuse.

    WHICHEVER WAY YOU COME AT IT, I think it comes down to the one thing:
    where such information is requested section 31 (jail time and a fine) does not apply in respect of a refusal or neglect to furnish the information.”

    Which means that Statistics Canada is acting outside the law, telling people that they have to supply the information and if they don’t they can be fined and/or go to jail.

    I am in complete agreement with your statement: “I understand it as the labour survey is not a mandatory thing, even though they want to treat citizens as if it is.”


    P.S. I think it is all irrelevant anyway because of the Charter Right to privacy of personal information. EXCEPT THAT: Statistics Canada needs to be taken to Court for intimidation, coercion and harassment.

    = = = = = = = == = = = =


    The Act says:

    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 (jail time and a fine) does not apply in respect of a refusal or neglect to furnish the information.”

    Doug’s elaboration:

    I think your lawyer is trying to say that the Minister may authorize the survey to be voluntary, and I believe Parliament’s intent was to state the Minister may authorize the survey itself, not that it be voluntary. I believe the Minister is authorizing the OBTAINING OF INFORMATION, not the VOLUNTARINESS of it.

  8. I have been being harrassed aggresively by Stats Canada regarding the labour survey.

    Your site has been a great tool to me.
    This morning I decided to fire off an e-mail to both Stephen Harper, and my member of parliament.
    I suggest that as many people as possible do something similar as to me this seems like some experiment of sorts by the Government to see what they can and can’t get away with.
    ATTN: Mr. Stephen Harper,

    I am forwarding an e-mail I have sent to my member of parliament Mr. Mike Sullivan (York South – Weston, Ontario) regarding the legality of the “mandatory” Canada Labour Force Survey. Sent 06/06/2012.

    As the Prime Minister, I would also like to know your opinion about this issue.

    Attn: Mr. Mike Sullivan,

    I am writing you in regards to the “Canada Labour Force Survey” and my concerns with the aggressiveness displayed by Stats Can, and also the actual legality of whether or not this survey is actually in fact mandatory.

    I have been harassed now by Stats Can since approximately early March under the guise of a mandatory labour survey.
    They have been buzzing my apartment, knocking on my door, sliding papers through my door, leaving papers outside my door, sending me mail, sticking notices onto my mail box, and even attempting to obtain information about me from my Superintendent.

    I have never experienced this survey before, and was actually shocked at the aggressiveness displayed, which was much more aggressive than the national census.
    The behavior displayed was like they have the absolute right to enter my home and interrogate me on my personal employment information, without even asking me.

    I have researched this and was appalled to discover that the legal language involved was incredibly sneaky.
    Anybody with access to the internet can easily do an internet search and discover that this survey is not in fact mandatory like Stats Can are claiming.
    How can Stats Can threaten me with penalties and criminal action, over a survey that is not mandatory in the first place?

    I was always under the impression that it is against my charter rights to involuntarily be forced to give personal information about myself to the Government.
    There is no option to remain anonymous with this survey, and quite frankly even with the census which IS mandatory, it is very easy for one to supply the proper census information while remaining anonymous.
    Also, there is very clear wording within the census that this data will not be used to identify individual citizens, and it is presented as more of a random gathering of information.

    At one point a letter was even mailed to me, which had the “Penalties and Fines” paragraph of the letter completely highlighted with a pink highlighter marker.

    At this point I decided to call the number and leave a message that included my phone number and address, and even my name.
    So that I could address my concerns with the actual legality of this. I made it clear that I did not think this survey is mandatory and that I would like to be sent or be shown some sort of backing document that clearly states this.
    I made it clear that I would be willing to take the matter to court if the harassment continued.

    They never even bothered to call me back, and the harassment continued approximately 2 weeks later.

    I understand the importance of such a survey, but I also understand I have a right to refuse this.

    I find it hard to believe that my own government of CANADA would stoop to the level where they cannot even bother to ask me: “Excuse me sir, would you like to take part in this work place survey it is important for Canada.”
    Instead they resort to immediate threats, harassment, and quite frankly lies.

    I think it is very, very clear that the census is what is mandatory, and not this labour survey.

    With an internet search it showed me that other Canadians are being harassed and are concerned about this as well.

    1. The Statistics Act says that “surveys” are voluntary. “By law” you do not have to participate in a survey.

    How can this contradiction exist so blatantly? Can the government suddenly re-write laws at their will? How can I be forced to take place in a mandatory survey, that is not in fact… mandatory?

    I am alarmed that if the government thinks they can blatantly do this, and that we as Canadians are just to stupid to look into it.. what other mandatory surveys are they going to invent?

    Do you have any suggestions about this? Does this alarm you as a member of parliament / Canadian citizen?

    Thank you.

    • I received the letter at my doorstep recently and after much research and stumbling upon this great site, i sent a very similar email to yours to my MP (Mississauga Ontario) Ms. Eve Adams and CCed the Prime Minister. I will update here as soon as/if i hear anything back from them. This is a clear step by the government to reduce and abolish our rights as citizens and while i could have just gone along with it, i would rather fight back like the rest of you and show our government that we know, like and protect our rights. Otherwise Canada will become similar to the very countries that many of us have left because of these exact issues and lack of rights.

  9. I would like to add that although I have not heard anything from Stephen Harper’s office yet, which is no surprise. I did receive a response within 1 day from the office of Mike Sullivan.
    They are addressing this issue with Stats Can on my behalf and will be getting back to me as soon as they hear back.

  10. Hmm. I received some of this as well and am frankly torn.
    A) I have had occasion to use reports from Stats Can before and found them incredibly helpful and useful. B) It is clear that voluntary samples do not yield statistically accurate results and are thus pretty much useless C) I agree with lawyer Steve above that it looks like sec 31( jailtime and fine) does not apply to surveys D) I am concerned about the list of other contractors to whom this information may be released – includes corporations and other entities not subject to the Charter prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure E) I am very curious about the randomness of random sampling E) Why why why is this mandatory versus voluntary line so wavy and grey – who does it serve and protect?
    Maybe the privacy commissioner has pointers?

    • Yes – it would be interesting to know what the Privacy Commissioner thinks. It’s a long road to the final word through the Courts. It will now be September before the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal hears the case.

  11. Stats Canada apologized to me via a letter, for using harassing tactics.
    However, they totally dodged any of my questions regarding the legality and continue to do so. They made it seem like my concern was only about being harassed and what is done with data after it was collected.
    In my opinion the concern I voiced was clear from the very start, that this is not a mandatory survey and they are violating my Charter rights.
    They are now sending “Data collection managers” to discuss what happens with the data.
    I informed them that unfortunately I have no interest in this survey, or speaking to a data collections manager.
    At first I had some faith in my member of parliament Mr. Mike Sullivan and his representatives seeing this for what it was.. Stats Can trampling on our rights.
    However in the end all they did was “Urge” me to just give in and do the survey because it is “Mandatory and you will be fined/penalized”
    Everybody is simply avoiding answering ANY of my questions regarding the legality and it is actually starting to piss me off.
    I informed them that I can no longer support the NDP because of this.
    At the end of the day if things keep going this way, we are no longer living in a Democratic society and it is somewhat scary that even the opposition just gives in to Stats Can.
    I told Mr. Mike Sullivan, that people have fought and died so that we have these rights. Why they are just allowing Stats Can to do this, I am not sure but I no longer feel what I once did about the country I was born in.

  12. As well, to anybody who is going to say “Just answer their questions and do the survey, you are just being difficult”
    Yes, I am being difficult because it is my right to do so.
    If we just keep giving in to these things, more and more things will start to become “mandatory” because they know they can get away with it.
    I wasn’t the one who started this. I was threatened immediately with the first letter I ever got from them about this survey. I do not appreciate being threatened, and coerced.
    Whoever planned this out, should resign or be fired. They are using our tax dollars to take our rights away and threaten us.

  13. Wow, I have been harassed by the same agent over and over again for two weeks. Even though I was away on vacation for one week- she kept leaving little yellow sticky’s on my door. Nothing like tipping the neighbourhood off that we were away. Why not put up a sign: “Rob this House!” My neighbour was also asked personal questions about us while we were away: where we were? when would we return? etc. It put me in such a snit, that I refused to call the telephone # on her little sticky’s. She returned each day and pounded on the door. I ignored her for the first two- then I had enough. I opened the door and she immediately told me that I was going to do the survey that instant since I had deceived her and not returned her telephone calls. I laughed, told her the survey was voluntary and shut the door. Then I called Stats Canada and told them I would never speak to that agent on the telephone, in person or otherwise. I also told them that,generally, I had no problem with the survey-as long as they could send me literature that confirmed that it was voluntary. The woman on the phone seemed confused (which I liked). I said that if she produced literature that confirmed that it was, in fact, a voluntary survey, I would consider taking it. She said “OK” and quickly hung up. To be continued…..

  14. to MJ: Great response! I will be interested to see if you ever receive that literature.
    I have had 2 agents harrass me over the summer. My next door neighbour in my condo building was randomly picked for one of their surveys, and the 1st agent knocked on my door asking personal questions about him, which I refused to answer. She also knocked on other doors with the same questions. A week later, she was back and walked past my door, and asked my other neighbour what our neighbour looked like, the best time to catch him at home, etc. Exactly one week later, I was “randomly” picked for the survey, and she started harrassing me with the yellow stickies. My first 2 concerns were “how did they get into my secured building” and “the personal questions they ask your neighbours about you”. I will never, ever call the number on the sticky or give personal info to a stranger at my door no matter what ID they may have on them. About 3 weeks later a car drove very very slowly down the alley (my 1st floor apartment facing the back) and the driver appeared to be looking into back windows. I was on my patio, and about 1 minute later, agent #2 popped out from behind some bushes next to the building on the other side of the alley, waving at me asking if I was apartment #___ and saying she was from StatsCan. I asked her if she was the one skulking down the alley in her car, and let her know that I found her behavior and agent #1’s behaviour creepy and disturbing, and that they were using the same tactics as my violent ex to stalk me. I asked her how were they getting into my building, and she said that the law says people must let them in. And what allows them to ask neighbours personal questions about people, but she had no answer to that. I wrote to StatsCan asking them to send me a copy of the sections of the Stats Act that allowed the agents to do both of those things. I received a letter saying “We rely on the cooperation of building managers and supervisors to give access to the agents”. So, the reality is that the agents use the same tactics as stalkers, and other criminals to gain access to you, and anyone who has been a victim of a crime, or stalking, or domestic violence or had their personal information stolen or misused would find their tactics creepy and disturbing. I have not answered and any of their questions, in fact, my government already knows how much I make, who I work for, etc. They have left me alone that last month or so, and maybe they have stopped, but who knows.

    • I really want this issue blown wide open and exposed. I feel these morons are hiding behind “government of Canada” badges and I don’t believe that the tactics they use with law abiding, upstanding citizens are what this country is about. I don’t beileve we send soldiers over seas to fight facists, communists or terrorists (or any of the other …ists) to promote a goverment using Gestapo tactics for silly little surveys. I’m not suggesting they are not useful to the pencil pushers, but I have a right to be “not interested”, just as I have a right to “not vote” and “not answer my door” if I don’t want to. In a nutshell, that’s democracy- get over it.They are behaving like they are Police, yet even the police are forced to follow a more reasonable protocol. My suggestion is the next time one of them shows up the door, pull out a video camera or cell phone and start taping them. Refuse to do the survey and see what they say. If they don’t want to be taped, they are more than welcome to leave. If they say something threatening, send it to your local news channel. Do not bother with your Federal MP. I sent an email to his office that went unreplied…figures….Ottawa doesn’t care uness there is an election to push down our throats.

  15. Same as above, an agent actually entered our home during a family gathering, on a Sunday evening, and began harassing my wife. I requested she leave our home immediately, or i would call 911. I believe we should all begin calling 911 when we have people on our doorsteps, asking personal questions, stalking and acting suspiciously, entering our condominium complexes without invitation, etc. The next time an agent comes onto my property uninvited, i will be calling 911.

  16. I too am being harassed, thankfully not to the extent of having people come to my door, perhaps because I live in the country. I made the mistake of finally answering the questions after a few attempts from Stats Can. the first month hoping that would be the end of it, then they tell me it goes on for 6 months. I also drew the line when it comes to my kids(one who is an adult and the other who is a minor) My adult daughter, albeit I do not wish for her to be harassed, can fend for herself. She is old enough and smart enough to decide on her own if she wishes to partake in this VOLUNTARY survey. My son on the other hand, who they tried cornering a couple times on the phone, I will not tolerate, and I called the supervisor at stats. Can. and ripped into him, this seemed to have helped where my son is concerned. Now I still get calls every month and I just hang up, then they re-call and I hang up again. this happens for about 4-5 nights then it is quiet for another month, then it all re-starts.

  17. I am going on 6 months. Finished one survey – now they’re calling me for others. Have complained to my local MPP. About ready to take a record of my unanswered phone calls to the RCMP… that or change my phone number (it really is that bad!)

    • Hello Katherine,
      Thanks for adding your experience.
      You may be interested in the posting 2012-10-31 Lockheed Martin Census: follow-up, complaint to Privacy Commissioner.
      As soon as updates are known I’ll post them for everyone.

  18. MPP complaint is a waste of time. Don’t bother. In today’s world, you have to catch them in the act with a digital recording or video. Post it on youtube and alert a media outlet. That will get the attention necessary to back them off. From my experience, it doesn’t take much for them to pull out the threatening and harassing language. I’d do it myself, but I have literally cut off all ties with them and put a “Beware of Dog” sign on my porch. I don’t hear from them anymore. Any time I would get a call or someone show up at my door, I would answer it, say “goodbye” and hang up or close the door. Problem solved.

  19. If you read section 3 of the statistics act the only data collection mandated is the census. Section 19 is pretty clear that is every 5 years.

    So if these surveys were not authorized as a voluntary survey under section 8 then they are not authorized at all since they aren’t a census according to s.19 since it is in between the 5 years.

  20. That is illegal, and out of context of their training manual. The manual specifically tells them not to act illegally in these types of ways. But they want that 30$ prize no matter what.
    Here is the manual, they are all the same from New Zealand, Australia, UK, Canada, Cayman Islands. Not sure which country invented it but you can be sure stats canada is just copying it and doing what they are told from some higher force. The manual link below, and you know they are gonna hate the public having a copy, here it is

    (Jun 2017: Link no longer valid),d.aWM

  21. Still waiting for my MP or her staff to get back to me regarding my complaints. In the meanwhile, does anybody have a definite answer to whether this in fact mandatory and are there legal penalties for not taking part? (i apologize if its been answered already). And has anyone been actually penalized for refusing to give in to Statcan’s pressure? All my research so far has come to a vague conclusion which leaves me confused even more as to whether i have to part take or not.

    • RE whether this in fact mandatory?:
      the world is not 100% certain because – – human beings are involved! The Statistics Act says that SURVEYS are voluntary. The data-collection done by StatsCan in between censuses, under the Act, is defined as a survey. So it is in fact voluntary.

      RE whether there are legal penalties for not taking part?:
      The Statistics Act says specifically that the penalties for not complying with a census DO NOT APPLY to surveys. So there are no legal penalties for not taking part. The threats that Statistics Canada tells you (you can be prosecuted, sent to jail and fined) are simply intimidation tactics to try and make you take part. You have free choice to participate or not participate in the surveys and there are no penalties depending on your choice.

      RE: has anyone been actually penalized for refusing to give in to Statcan’s pressure?:
      You have to divide this answer into two parts.
      1. SURVEYS I am not aware of anyone who has been penalized for refusing to participate in a survey. Many people have been harassed and threatened. (In order to apply penalties, StatsCan has to go through the Justice Dept (a court case). It seems to me that the Justice Dept knows that if someone stood up to them in Court over trying to force participation in a SURVEY, they would be thrown out of Court. The Statistics Act says specifically that participation is voluntary.)

      2. CENSUS The census (once every 5 years) is different. Yes, people have actually been penalized for not supplying information. One example: Regarding a FINE: Todd Stelmach from Ontario was fined $300 (related to 2006 census). The maximum fine possible is $500. Todd’s case is well documented in the media (also on this blog) and I communicated directly with Todd. Regarding JAIL – – I have been told, but have no first-hand corroboration, that in years previous a farmer from near Prince Albert was put in jail overnight for refusal to supply information. Otherwise, I am not aware of anyone that has actually gone to jail because of charges under the Statistics Act.

      RE whether i have to part take or not?
      SURVEY: The Statistics Act is clear, you do not have to take part in a StatsCan survey.
      CENSUS: From my perspective the Charter of Rights & Freedom is clear: the Government cannot force citizens to supply information that is part of a “biographical core of personal information”. (This applies to both the census and to surveys.) But, as I say, we are dealing with human beings! Whether the Courts will uphold the law is now the question. Within a few months we will know the decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.

      I hope this makes your decision to participate or not, more clear!

      Best wishes.

      • Hello and thank you very much for your thorough and specific response.
        I will not be participating in this survey and i really hope more people take the time and stand up to these intimidations in order to protect our rights. In my opinion, a nation that sits quiet no matter what their government does, is sooner or later doomed to lose all rights.
        Sandra, thank you for sendng your response to my email directly as well.
        I really appreciate the effort you’re putting into this.
        I still have not heard from my MP. Will update as soon as i hear anything.

    • Your MP will tell you they respect StatsCan and appreciate the work they do, as to not step on any toes. Your MP will “urge” you to do the survey as it is “mandatory”. Just like mine did.
      They will not in anyway shape or form address the question of it being “mandatory” they will totally dodge it, even if repeatedly asked, and then claim there is some form of miscommunication happening.
      You may get an apology from StatsCan for their workers harassing you, which will then actually lead to a StatsCan manager being sent to your door to discuss further.

  22. They will also throw in some lines about how StatsCan does wonderful things for our country especially in today’s struggling economy.

  23. Then ill tell them how? By wasting money on hiring an insane amount of harassing agents? Thats not my idea of fixing the unemployment issue lol If it wasnt such an intrusive and lengthy survey, i wouldnt mind doing it but 6 months of telling them where ive traveled to and what i ate is not my idea of privacy 😉

  24. Its absurd they make it mandatory, but the stats can website makes it pretty clear it is, and that a fine/jail or both are penalties.

    Refusal to grant access to records

    32. Every person

    (a) who, having the custody or charge of any documents or records that are maintained in any department or in any municipal office, corporation, business or organization, from which information sought in respect of the objects of this Act can be obtained or that would aid in the completion or correction of the information, refuses or neglects to grant access to the information to any person authorized for the purpose by the Chief Statistician, or

    (b) who otherwise in any way wilfully obstructs or seeks to obstruct any person employed in the execution of any duty under this Act

    is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both. 1970-71-72, c. 15, s. 30.

    In view of the importance of the results from the Labour Force Survey, your participation in the survey is mandatory under the Statistics Act.

    Statistics Canada must collect and compile statistics on various subjects. These subjects are identified in Section 22 of the Act. The Labour Force Survey is authorized by paragraph 22 (h) – Labour and Employment.
    Section 8 permits the minister responsible for Statistics Canada to order that participation in a survey be on a voluntary basis. No such order has been signed for the Labour Force Survey, therefore, participation is mandatory.
    Section 31 sets out penalties for providing false answers or for refusing to participate in a mandatory survey.

    • Hi Paul,

      The Statistics Act (and all legislation) is supposed to be vetted by the Justice Department for conformity with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Charter Rights are part of Constitutional Law – they cannot be over-ridden by various acts of the Government.

      Court decisions establish that Canadians have a Charter Right to privacy of personal information. The Government is not allowed to force Canadians to disclose a “biographical core of personal information”.

      It does not matter what the Statistics Act might say.

  25. Hi Sandra,

    Thanks for taking the time to stand up for us Canadians and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms !

    Why can they just not collect this information yearly with our T-4, and/or ask for volunteers. How much of our tax money is wasted on hiring all these people to work day and night hunting down people that may not even answer the question truthfully. They should makes this an optional program and offer people a $20 incentive to participate (or not) and get rid of the government paid door knockers!!

    Nothing like working midnight shift and having some government clown knocking on the door waking you up *&%$%# !!!! Maybe they want me to fall asleep at work so they can add me to the ranks of the unemployed survey.

    Why pay to run and organize the C.R.T.C “Do not call list “ when it is legal to pound on your door at dinner time to sell you a new water heater, weed removal, or government harassment.

    The Labour Force Survey is, “Required by law”. This sounds like Communism to me! Does anyone know what the penalty is for simply saying; no I am not answering any of your stupid questions?? Is this a criminal offence?? Are they going to waste yet more of our tax money to send the police over to take me to jail, and then pay me welfare after I lose my job.

    Do you know or have a list of the questions they want? Do I have to give them my name and place of work?

  26. I am sick of this harrasment as well. Been given the door notice drop . Am way out in the country.

    Maybe look into Europe’s history around 1922.
    This will give you an idea of where Canada is going. And just so you are aware. It isn’t going to make a difference who you vote in.
    The gears are turning.
    Better start reading up folks.

    I suggest you start here.

    • Point of interest,

      I do not know if this plays a role —

      Does this sound familiar folks —

      Here are a few ways to spot harassment.
      If someone is doing any of the following to you, you should speak to a law enforcement agency about ways to stop it:
      threatens you with their words or actions
      repeatedly calls you, writes letters to you or stalks you
      repeats behavior or words they know offends you
      repeatedly invades your privacy
      worries you to the point where it affects your well-being

      It is my opinion that the government of CANADA uses inside information to prey upon those that may be less likely to stand due to personnel financial duress.
      Throughout the history of the world since the beginning of time the predator will always seek out those they asses as the weakest.
      BULLIES – follow the same tactic.

      When you have access to information ( i.e. – tax form information) your prey is easily selected and then targeted en –mass.

  27. So a few updates.

    I wrote to my MP Ms. Eve Adams and asked whether this is mandatory. Her community office in Mississauga, ON had no idea about this survey and asked me to provide pictures of the letters dropped off at my parents house which i sometime visit and take care of the plants and mail while theyre not here.

    After about a month their office replied and said that this is in fact mandatory and i have to take part. In the meanwhile id been doing my research (even though as i mentioned im not an occupant here but since my parents are out of the country, i take care of their mail) and stumbled upon these websites which i suggest you take a look at (if you havnt already). Section 8 which clearly states that anything but the census is NOT mandatory and NOT punishable for not taking part in
    Also, here is the decision by a federal court in Nova Scotia (read section 7,8,9) where the judge clearly distinguishes between the census and a survey and repeats the fact that a survey is NOT mandatory.

    So while im doing my research, i receive another letter from Statcan with copy of the Statistics Act mentioning that it has been brought to their attention that i was not sure whether this is mandatory or not WHICH MEANS MY MP’s OFFICE HAS BEEN TELLING ON ME AND GIVING INFORMATION TO STATCAN ABOUT PEOPLE WHO ARE ASKING QUESTIONS AND WHOEVER ELSE QUESTIONS THE LEGALITY OF THIS!!!! THEY ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!!!! SO MUCH FOR MY MP!!!

    Funny enough, the Statistic act (my first link) in section 8 confirms that this is NOT mandatory and still they sent it to me( i guess they were hoping people dont actually read it). Since then, i have sent these two government links to my MP’s office, demanding an explanation on how they can tell me this is mandatory when the constitution, the Statistics Act AND the federal court ruling both say otherwise and of course they NEVER REPLIED TO ME AGAIN!

    I will not be participating in this survey because first of all, as i mentioned, im not the occupant of this house and it belongs to my parents but even if that was not the case, i would still practice my rights as a Canadian citizen and not give in to their intimidation.

    Please share your experience and lets show them that we are knowledgeable citizens and will defend our rights.

    (“Side note” removed – link no longer valid.)

  28. I wanted to thank this site for the information about our right to refuse the LFS. I was mailed a letter recently and as per the letter the phone call came soon after. I did have time to review the questions on line as I am willing to help if I didn’t feel it dug too deeply. Unfortunately some of the questions I wasn’t comfortable with so refused the lady that called. She said she would have to mark me as a refusal in a snarly tone. I said yes you will. Shortly after purolator arrived with my next letter. (hooray!) This was a harder sell on helping out along with a comfirmation it is the law and can’t be refused. I’d had enough at this point so emailed a letter to the statsCan author of the letter. (easy to find on line) I told him why I refused and also said I was recording all correspondance for future use. I directly linked and quoted from the Federal Court case above confirming it is voluntary and ask them to stop calling, visiting or mailing more letters as I felt it was harrassment and my lawyer would assist me. I asked for proof that the court decision was nullified so my lawyer could confirm. Oddly enough after emailing a few hours later the same lady that called arrived at my front door! I told her I emailed your boss and it is voluntary per the federal court so she left. (like they don’t know!)

    It’s only been a few days but so far no calls, emails or letters. If anything changes I will come back and advise here.

    Don’t let them push you around, record phone and video tape house visits to show them you are serious and will stand up for your rights.


    PS I don’t support refusing for refusing’s sake. Legally you don’t have to participate but if you feel doing the survey will help and are comfortable giving that information please do.

  29. Oh, by the way the Privacy commission and every M.P. in Parliament disagrees with you Sandra as to the legality of the Labour Force Survey. The propaganda is simply…The law is the law…and it IS the matter whether it violates our Charter of Rights. Just call your M.P. if you don’t buy that.
    R. LeNeve

  30. I was just reading the titles on all the information listed on the websites concerning the illegal labour force survey. In each site the mention of the “survey” being illegal is stroked out. That is. no doubt, the government trying to conceal the public from learning that this survey is, indeed, a violation of the Charter of Rights and, therefore, illegal. Only government propaganda keeps this illegal document from Stats Canada operative.
    Richard LeNeve

  31. I’m happy I’ve found this site. Statistics Canada has been harassing me for years in regards to surveys and I’ve finally had enough. I’ve been selected for the Labor Force survey now and its the last straw. I’m a farmer and have been selected for so many surveys that are all “mandatory” allegedly by stats can. Some of the farming surveys are so involved I’ve had to get my personal accountant to do them for me. They also call during the most busy times of the year demanding that I complete the survey and its required by law.
    Subsequently I’ve just sent a letter to my lawyer to see what my rights are for sure and quoted the nova scotia court case stated by “ashkan”. If these surveys including farming surveys aren’t actually mandatory and I’ve been lied to I’ll never do another survey again.

  32. Very happy to have found this site. I’m currently dealing with the Labor Force Survey. They have not threatened me yet but I’m sure that will be soon. Has anyone started a class action against them?

    • I am not aware of any legal action to hold StatsCan accountable.

      There should be – – have said more than once that they need to be taken to Court for coercion, intimidation and harassment.

      Dealing with my own court case and supplying information for others is all I can handle (working on a number of different fronts, not just Lockheed Martin) – – it will have to be someone else who initiates a law suit. I will support the effort, for sure. Realistically I could not do a good job of it at this point in time.

      Perhaps you will consider Kya?!

      Best wishes.

      • Definitely a big thank you for the information you’ve provided! I didn’t receive one phone call yesterday from them so I can only assume I may be getting one of their threatening letters in the mail very soon, or perhaps even a fine. I do feel I’m second guessing myself already sometimes a bit scared in my not so strong moments but I know that the right thing to do is usually never the easiest. I will be taking this a day at a time as it goes. If it does persist I do plan on finding a good rights lawyer and more than likely trying my best to make this public ie news, papers, radio etc. I do not wish to be yet another citizen who complains but idly sits back watching my rights be slowly taken away from me. Thank you for the strength and tools I need to stay strong. And as freedomdighter says below me, it’s not about the fifteen/twenty minutes per month for six months that bothers me anymore. Telling me that sharing information about my life is mandatory just pushed all the wrong buttons. I will be posting more as this progresses.

  33. Fight the fight. your best weapon is research. I was bombarded by threats and calls and mails. i emailed them many times and i cited court cases and rulings that this is not a mandatory survey and they finally dropped their harassment. I wrote to the Harper’s office, I wrote to my MP. Also kept calling my MPs office in Otawa ans her community office in my city.I was not willing to give up. Its not about a few hours of your life and its not about hiding anything since most of us have nothing to hide in the first place, its about fighting for our right to privacy and not giving in to big government.

  34. Like all of you, I am dismayed that our federal government would allow StatsCan to operate in this manner. The never ending phone calls and letters. I have spoken to their supervisor to explain that I just don’t want to participate. That is my right .

    Statistics Canada is an absolute waste of taxpayers dollars. My letter has gone off to my MP.

    I never thought I would see the day that we would be treated like this.

  35. I successfully put the ‘mandatory’ Labour Force survey issue to rest yesterday!

    I informed the person that “although after reading the Statistics Act left, right, up and down, I could not find any amendment that legislated this particular survey as mandatory to comply with”..

    she interrupted and said “but it is legal, it became legal in 1949…”

    I interjected and said “yes it became legally or officially created in that year to perform the survey, not to enforce it”!

    She said “yes you are right, it is voluntary”.

    I smiled and said goodbye, she did the same as she walked away…

    case closed.

    Do the research, please! Remind yourself of your power as well. ‘Knowledge IS power’

  36. Hi Jim,

    I love it when matters are resolved, leaving both parties with a smile on their faces.

    Civility and humour are necessary ingredients for a harmonious Canada.

    Thank-you for your contribution. You set an example worthy of imitation.


    • Hi Sandra!
      So to understand completely as I am again being harassed… it is legal for them to perform the survey, but I don’t legally have to comply? Here we are in November of 2021, a global pandemic, and I am being told I must comply and complete another survey regarding my business… and labour! During a pandemic! Like I don’t have enough stress! In the past, I have told them that I would complete the survey if it was sent to me by mail as I am not interested in the stress of another on-line ‘experience’!
      They won’t provide me with a paper form.
      So glad I found your blog. I’m looking forward to hearing back from you.

  37. I appreciate your efforts to share this forum. Good work!

    The Canadian Government, through its Statistics Canada Branch, is Conducting Home Invasions and forced Interrogations under the guise of a “Survey”. This is likely the very same “Labour Force Survey” that your thread is about.

    One such criminal act was caught on CCTV Security video on February 20, 2014, in Toronto.

    Although 911 was immediately called, the Police have totally refused to consider the evidence or properly investigate these criminal acts. Same for the OIPRD. It is as if all Law Enforcement agencies across Canada have been directed “not to investigate Statistics Canada employee criminal actions”. This makes us all very vulnerable to severe abuses.

    A formal complaint was sent to the Prime Minister of Canada, who has yet to reply, and likely won’t.

    The Stats. Can. agent (“Heidi Nadasdi”) claimed that she was “authorized by the Prime Minister of Canada and the Minister responsible for Statistics Canada to go wherever and whenever she so pleases, and to interrogate anyone that she wants to.”

    Although she sounds insane, and likely is, this was probably her Stats. Can. training.

    This marks the beginnings of the Gestapo like army on Canadian Soil, invading Canadians privacy.

    Is anyone interested in getting organized to object to this illegal (criminal) campaign against Canadians on Canada soil?

  38. Our area lady came to the door and was talking about how my children will have to answer questions too. They are 13 and under. This really does sound like home invasion. Can they subject children who are not legally adults to questioning? This is a stats Canada rep that came to my door. I’m glad I was visibly sick when I answered or I may not have time to look into this.

    • Hi Jenn,

      The Statistics Act specifies that forms “be filled in and signed within a stated time by the occupant of the house, or in his absence by some other member of the family”.

      In the case of a family, the “occupant” is understood to be one of the heads of the family. Children would not be deemed to be the “occupant”. Nor is there provision in the Act for “interrogation” (of anyone, let alone children). The Statistics Act provides for forms that an occupant is asked to fill out. (You will be talking about a StatsCan “survey” because this is not a census year.)


      • Well concusering this happened 2 days ago and the next census is 2016. I don’t think it’s concerning a census.

  39. Sorry, so my question is does anyone know if questioning children is included in any of the surveys? If so, at what age? Is this normal it is there something fishy going on here?

    • Hi Jenn,

      Questioning of children is not included in the surveys.

      I would say that an over-zealous or poorly-trained worker for StatsCan came to your door. Someone who is insecure and needs to throw their weight around. Someone who thinks it is okay to pretend that they have authority that they do not have.

      That would be my guess.

      No matter – – call their bluff. Request the name of their supervisor and a telephone number. That should help get things straightened out, not only for yourself, but for others, too.


  40. I am now being harassed to participate in the Survey of Household Spending.

    I live in an apartment building in Toronto. A few weeks ago, I received a written notice that I had been “randomly” selected to participate in Stats Canada Survey of Household Spending. Since I had been ill sine Oct. 2013, in emergency rooms 4 times, hospitalized 3 times, and facing gallbladder surgery in June, and since the Stats Can website, in two locations, said this survey is “voluntary”, I thought nothing more of it and certainly didn’t feel up to dealing with it; I was still trying to sort through taxes and family matters before surgery. But about 2 or 3 weeks later, I got a call from a Stats Cda rep at the front door of our building. I poliotely buzzed her in, met her downstairs, saw her ID, gave her my name and phone number, and explained my illness battle, upcoming surgery, and that this was not a feasible time for me to participate. I didn’t think to say “And by the way, this is a voluntary survey.”. I assumed that would be the end of it. I believe she said something like “Mabe I’ll give you call later to see if we can meet in July, after you’re feeling better.” I repeated that this was not going to be a good time for me. I figured that was the end of it.

    Since then the same Stats Canada rep has called through our building’s intercom at least 6 to 8 times, maybe more….leaving messages on the phone intercom.. And she has left at least 7 or 8 messages caling my phone directly……all polite, (she sounds like a senior) but all asking me to call to set a date for a survey. She even said maybe we can do some of it by phone, but that’s only allowed if you’re physically unable to meet.” (Whatever that means). I did not return any of her calls before surgery, or since (it was just a few days ago)..

    This evening I went downstairs to the mailbox and had a letter from a Manager at Stats Canada, addressed directly to me this time (not occupant, since they now have my name). The letter noted that I had been contacted by a rep and the rep got no response (she did get a response initially, and ignored it)…..and explaining the importance of participating in the survey, and providing the manager’s name and number, asking me to call as soon as I receive it.

    I find it astonishing that a woman, herself a senior, as am I, would continue to try to get me to participate AFTER I explained my battle with illness and upcoming surgery.

    Of even more concern is that some old research on Stats Canada says that if they cannot make contact with you, they can talk with your neighbours.

    It’s also interesting that after all these years, I’ve suddenly been “randomly” selected immediately after I file for, and was approved for, early retirement CPP, necessitated through illness.


  41. Thanks for sending in your experience, Steve.

    Eespecially when the survey is voluntary, they really alienate people through their lack of caring and respect for the circumstances of the individual that they’ve targetted to fill in the form.

    You met them halfway, were courteous, explained your situation. They did not respect your input, didn’t seem to even hear it.

    It seems to me that humanity – the connection to our fellow Canadians – has been replaced by the utilitarian priority of meeting goals, which probably affects how much money they are paid.

    My suggestion? . . . I don’t have one today, Steve. The story makes me kind of sad. I don’t know how people experience the joy that comes from giving to others, if they are so insensitive. The survey is voluntary – they could have hoped that you have a good recovery from the operation, and contributed to your recovery by removing the stress they are creating through relentless calls to you.

    I hope things go well for you. Your first and pressing priority is to get better. You do that by getting lots of rest and taking good care of yourself. A low stress environment. And humour, laughter, is a great healer. … actually I do have a suggestion! . . . I wonder if StatsCan would shape up if they received a call saying that you won’t be replying because you are in a coma, or worse? At least you could have some laughs!

    • Thanks for your pronpt reply and encouraging words re: harrassment over Survey of Household Spending..

      First, below ere are the Stats Canada website links showing – directly and indirectly – this survey as “Voluntary”:
      1. ) “Survey Participation: Voluntary”
      2. Under “Do I have to Participate in These Surveys?”
      (Quote) “.For other surveys, participation is voluntary.”

      A few questions:
      1. I noticed that your response to me re: the Survey of Household Spending harrassment wasn’t as aggressive or emphatic as some of your responses regarding the Labour Markey Survey. Do you have any reason to think that the voluntary nature of the Survey of Household Spending is any less voluntary?

      Q. (All the blogs seem to be focused on the Labour Markey Survey or Census harrasment; I haven’t seen any others about the SHHS. Are you aware of anyone else who has been hounded over this specific survey?
      Q. Can you or “Lawyer Steve” tell me if you think I am legally obligated to respond to a letter from Stats Canada that is, addressed specifically to me, personally, signed by the Central Regional Director, requesting that I call a specific Stats Canada rep at a specific number? (It is not the name and number of the local interviewer who’s contacted me so often.I think her last ring at the building intercom was July 6, while I was asleep; haven’t checked to see if message was left).
      Q.Is this a common followup approach for non-respondents to Surveys? (i.e., request to contact a specific person by phone? With a fairly large intial non-response raten this survey, how on earth can they hand that volume of calls?
      Q.. If this were you, what would be your next step, if any, regarding this letter from the Regional Director?. I (even when well) and find it hard to be assertive new or intimidating situations, but I can try.
      Q. Are you, or “Lawyer Steve”, aware of any recent amendments that have attempted to upgrade the status of the SHHS from “voluntary” to “mandatory”?
      Q. Are you aware of any investigations into just how truly “random” the random samples are?
      QAny feedback from folks who have seen actual interviewer survey guides (online)and found that interviewers went far outside those bounds?

      I can’t see any up front rationale for this level of persistence and related expense for a survey that is clearly noted on Stats Canada website as “Participation: Voluntary.” If they are following up this way with all the other non-respondents besides me, then they must be spending far more on Stats Cda staff to answer calls requested by the Director, andf repeated visits by interviewers, than is warranted by the possible additional statistics they may gain.

      So what’s the objective?


  42. Participation is not mandatory. It is your right to privacy and you do not HAVE to legally participate. You should contact your MP’s office and Stat Can office (although this one might prove useless).
    Do not give in to their harassment.
    I am astonished as to how can a government agency forgo legalities and use such wording as ‘legally mandatory’ to scare people into taking this survey.
    This issue has been raised before and the ruling was thet the only survey that is in fact mandatory is the census. In whichi i part take with no problem.

  43. Hi Steve,

    In answer to your questions:

    Q. Do you have any reason to think that the voluntary nature of the Survey of Household Spending is any less voluntary (than the Labour Market Survey)?

    No! “Voluntary” is one of those words that are absolute. It can only be 100% voluntary, not “almost” voluntary, or 25% voluntary, or “partly” voluntary.

    Also, the Statistics Act does not distinguish between different kinds of surveys. They are the same – – just “surveys”; the laws that apply to them are the same.

    Q. Are you aware of anyone else who has been hounded over this specific survey (Household Spending)?

    I talked with one person about the Household Spending Survey. Some time ago. I remember because the person is a close friend. She was frustrated by the questions, not so much by the behaviour (“hounding”) of StatsCan. She had already determined that she was just going to pluck numbers out of the air and enter them on the form.

    Anecdotally, especially in relation to the Census of Agriculture, that is not unusual (just write down any old number). People see many of the questions as:

    – silly when applied to their own circumstances, or
    – intrusive, or
    – “none of your damned business”, or
    – demanding of an inordinate amount of time for looking up and figuring out answers, especially when they are busy people. “Like StatsCan thinks I have nothing better to do with my time.”

    You can understand why the Census of Agriculture draws ire. People who are out on fields some distance from “help” have to become fairly independent. If something breaks down during seeding or harvest, they have traditionally had to figure out how to fix it.

    Independent-minded people often react negatively to someone dictating what they must or must not do. Their communities are more egalitarian. They don’t typically give someone else power over themselves. Especially not a bureaucrat from Ottawa. The obvious exception is Catholic priests! (but that power is much reduced, today.)

    Q. (Am I) legally obligated to respond to a letter from Stats Canada that is addressed specifically to me, signed by the Central Regional Director … ?

    LEGAL obligation – – no, you are not legally obligated to respond to the letter. The survey is voluntary, you have been gracious in repeatedly communicating the strain that your health currently imposes on you. They have chosen to ignore your input. That is their problem, not yours.

    Today there is a lot of research on the effects of social conditioning on behaviour. StatsCan is relying on the social conditioning you have received over your lifetime that tells you to respond. It is nothing more than social conditioning.

    Ideally, and if the goal is to evolve healthy and strong communities (built by healthy and strong citizens) the educational system and the social conditioning will focus on tools and attitudes that EMPOWER people.

    It is a large cost to the society when the conditioning is aimed at DISEMPOWERMENT. You have only to look at the experience of First Nations people to understand that dynamic.

    Both the Montessori and Waldorf School systems, as designed by their European originators, and in the shadow of Nazi/fascist regimes, understood the importance of an empowered citizenry for the safe-guarding of democracy.

    We need to be free of fear. Act responsibly, do the right thing for the right reasons. Not out of fear of what someone who acts as though they have authority over you, might do.

    You have past the test!

    Q. Is this a common follow-up approach for non-respondents to Surveys? (request to phone them? … how on earth can they handle that volume of calls?)

    StatsCan supervisors won’t actually call that many people. You happen to be one. There’s a reason: you engaged with them, they have your contact info (as you identified).

    If troubled by the survey, most people will find a way to evade, or under pressure they will capitulate and grudgingly go along.

    Re gaining compliance: There is a VERY easy way to get most people to comply with most things you want them to do, salespeople jump in with it all the time.

    It was the tool used in the 45-minute phone call I had from the head of Census operations during the 2006 census. But it doesn’t work once people see through it.

    Do you know what it is? . . . offer REASSURANCES. Simple as that. The marketers know the psychology. We want to feel secure. So the manipulator will Give Reassurances. … That shirt looks just great on you! Your information is secure with us! … Infants, in their vulnerability, need Mothers to give them security. We respond to reassurances, often without even thinking about it.

    Q.. If this were you, what would be your next step regarding this letter from the Regional Director? I (even when well) find it hard to be assertive in new or intimidating situations, but I can try.

    Hey Steve! That is a wonderful statement, “but I can try”. I am not ordinarily assertive, either. And in new situations it makes sense not to be.

    What I have found is, like everything, the more you practice, the better you become. But in our society we don’t have a lot of opportunity to practice the skills required by citizens in a democracy.

    My Mother tells of “Elocution” classes that were part of her High School Curriculum (rural Saskatchewan). Most people today don’t know what the word means.

    It is through ignorance, or deliberately, that the educational system has evolved away from its essential role in equipping us to participate as citizens in a democracy. You learn assertiveness through debate, and at a younger age by telling your class-mates about things in your life.

    The “children should be seen and not heard” mantra is a curse on empowerment and on democracy.

    Q. Are you aware of any recent amendments that have attempted to upgrade the status of the SHHS from “voluntary” to “mandatory”?

    No. And not too long ago I checked for amendments to the Statistics Act. There were none.

    Q. Are you aware of any investigations into just how truly “random” the random samples are?
    Any feedback from folks who have seen actual interviewer survey guides (online) and found that interviewers went far outside those bounds?

    I am not aware of any such investigations or research.

    Q. So what’s the objective? (Participation is Voluntary. But they appear to be spending a lot of resources on compliance.)

    This comes to mind, Steve. I back up the statements I make. But I might be off-the-mark:

    (I don’t think many people understand this part.) It is desirable for the “globalization” goal. They want to be able to compare the Statistics generated by one country to those of another. They want information on people, everyone (Edward Snowden leaks and the case of Ladar Levison confirm this). They want high levels of compliance.

    Anil Arora (StatsCan) told the Court during my trial that the western nations meet regularly about the data collection. They compare notes and what works. They standardize amongst nations.

    Lockheed Martin has contracts with Statistics/Census Bureaux in more than just Canada.

    Lockheed Martin operates in the military and surveillance realms. Surveillance is data collection on citizens. Canada has signed on for “integration” and “harmonization” with the U.S. in military matters. The terrible recent Trade Deals extend that philosophy beyond military and surveillance into the economic arena.

    Canadian citizens have allowed the Government to relinquish our sovereignty. There is no doubt about that if you look at the Trade deals. Corporations have control. Unless we stand up and speak up, as people are now doing.

    As far as I understand, the objective is a corporatist state, which is the same as fascism.

    You can figure it out:
    The Corporations want ownership and control of resources. But that goal is thwarted by democracy. There are two opposing segments saying “This belongs to us”. It’s a recipe for confrontation, violence.

    Corporate understands that they need to be able to control citizens if they want control of the resources. Their response is to develop the tools of a police state. They use fear and intimidation, “Fill in this form. Give us your personal information. If you don’t, we will … (blah, blah, blah)”.

    I hope it goes well for you Steve,


  44. Thanks. Quick question for now. You mention some time ago yuor friend complained about aspects of the Survey of Household Spending. You mentioned her entering information ont eh form.

    Are you aware that this survey -at least now – and as far back as at least 2012 (the last revision) – requires the Stats Cda interviewer to conduct this survey IN YOUR HOME, using their hand-held computer to generate the questions? They says that maybe you can answer a few of the questions by phone, byt the rest “have” to be done in your home (unless possibly there’s some huge extinuating circumstance that would make that impossible).


    • Yes Steve, I have heard from others about StatsCan employees insisting that they come in and sit down to conduct the survey. The first time I heard it was from a friend, Daphne, in Saskatoon. It was outrageous – – not only did the woman insist on coming in. Daphne was asked what their household income was. The StatsCan employee advised Daphne that she had to see their Income Tax Return to verify the amount. At which point Daphne’s husband was called up from the basement. He’s a fellow who lacks confidence. If I recall correctly, he grudgingly got out his income tax file.

  45. Holy Crap — is this still going???
    I finally got rid of the Labor Force Survey some time ago and haven’t stopped by here in quite some time.
    Been scrolling over old info when I seen this file and thought I would check in.
    Now I see there are new tricks being played on my fellow citizens.
    I suppose since I am answering or replying here my phone will start ringing off the hook by the government goons.

    The very last time the alleged legal surveyor called me I was ready with the following information to the unpleasant Lady who was probably dressed in Jack-Boots leathers and sporting a riding crop .
    First I asked if she had a pen and paper handy, she said yes, I gave her a phone number and told her that my advise for her was to call that number and lay a legal complaint about me not wanting to participate in the Labor Force Survey because if she called me again I would call the same number ( which was the number to my local RCMP Det.) and lay a complaint of harassment on her. Then to make sure she knew I was serious I quoted her home phone number and her house address to her.
    No — I did not tell her how I knew that information nor will I tell you.

    But I will tell you this — I have not heard from her nor the RCMP and all calls, and I do mean all calls stopped for almost a year. Even the nasty you have won a cruise crap and all them. My last post here I think is number 26 in the left hand column.

    Which kinda makes you wonder — who is really making these calls and what is the info really being used for.

    (A voice over the telephone is the same as a f–t in a windstorm).
    Be careful out there kids — and don’t take any crap off of the House Apes.

    • Hi Bill,

      Did you see my posting from yesterday “Huge victory. Lockheed Martin (U.S. weapons, surveillance, war) is OUT of the Canadian Census!”? You can find it by going to top of this page, under “Corporatocracy or Democracy?”. Cheers! Sandra

  46. I first visited the Museum of Non-violent Resistance (Berlin, Germany) in 1999 at a time when NATO was bombing Kosovo.

    This poem was penned by an unknown East German.

    It spoke to me then and always will:

    “The red-painted tyranny was not

    The worst about our tyrants

    The worst thereby were we ourselves

    All our cowardice and servility

    And that we also were the evil ourselves

    Just that is the chance and our luck

    You see: It works! We also take back

    The everlasting human right ourselves

    Now we breathe again, we cry and we laugh

    the stale sadness out of the breast

    man, we are stronger than rats and dragons

    – and had forgotten it and always knew.”

    See also: Our greatest fear is of our own power

  47. Hello all…I had a Stats Can interviewer come to my house yesterday. I was not at home but she asked for me by name. She left a yellow Notice of Visit slip with my kids with a phone number to call her back to arrange a more convenient time for a conversation.

    Is it normal for Stats Can to have your name when they come to your door? Is this a legit thing – should I call the number or ignore this?

  48. A number of months ago my 90 yr old mother who has health issues was contacted about the Labour Survey & told it was mandatory. She told them she was 90 yrs old & couldn’t help them with questions about labour. Every time they phoned her they told her the same thing & said they’d be calling every month for 6 months. I phoned Stats Can & told them she had health issues & they were upsetting her & if they called her again I’d charge them with harassment. They said they HAD to talk to someone so I told them to call me, which they did – asked the same questions every time: Was she working? Did she still live at that address & did she live alone?

    Now I’ve been “randomly selected” for the same Labour Survey – coincidence? I received the initial letter saying it was “mandatory” & the first phone call. I read Stats Can Act Section 7 & 8 to the Stats Can fellow who called, but he still insisted it was mandatory. I read him the portion of item #9 and #78 in the Federal Court Ruling (Jan 25/11; docket T-1375-10 & T-1494-10) which state that census are mandatory and surveys are voluntary & said Stats Can has to abide by a Federal Court ruling. He still insisted it was mandatory & was getting loud & rude, so I hung up. He immediately called back & again was loud, so I again hung up. He called back a 3rd time & my husband picked up the phone. The fellow told him that I would be getting a letter from Ottawa because I wouldn’t participate.

    Just wondering – when I get the letter, do I respond to it & say I’m not participating, or do I ignore it?

    Also – has Stats Can ever successfully fined or jailed anyone for not participating in a survey?

    • I am sorry to hear of your experience with StatsCan, Karen. What ever has happened to the “peace, order and good government” (respect accorded to each other) that Canadians have been accustomed to?

      In reply to your questions, wait until a letter is actually received. Then, regardless of what it might say, keep in mind that you are under no threat because the Law is clear: participation in a survey is voluntary. StatsCan must operate within the Law.

      It would be most helpful to our shared democracy, if you receive a letter, to respond with a polite request for more information. Tell them what you told us above – – or, (words to effect): you have reviewed the Statistics Act, it says that Surveys are voluntary (Section 8). Would they please provide you with the Section of the Act that takes away your Right to Privacy of personal information, and that simultaneously makes Surveys mandatory? That should be sufficient to stop the harassment.

      In at least one case, StatsCan replied with a concocted argument. I won’t go into the details just now. Their argument was very easily refuted. That put an end to their harassment.

      The Law is simply on our side, not theirs. We lose the protection of the Law, if we do not fight to make them abide by it.

      It is also an option to ignore a letter, as you suggest. I do not like to make this recommendation because it more easily allows StatsCan to continue in its unaccountability. Through the years I have pointed out to the Government, once to the Privy Council, that they ARE undermining the rule of law, a critical component of democracy. (There is the Survey example, and others.)

      As I see it, the Government is at fault. If they use the THREAT of legal action to coerce citizens when the Law says that participation is voluntary, then I would say that your only responsibility is to stand up for Canadian democracy. We should not be collaborators or complicit with coercion and lies.

      It is your choice: ignore them or require them to justify their actions, which they cannot do.

      Re Your Question: has Stats Can ever successfully fined or jailed anyone for not participating in a survey?

      I have confidence that the answer is “NO”. Many people have been in a similar situation to yours. They have held the line and not been charged.

      In order to be fined or jailed the person has to be prosecuted. Which means a Summons to Court, which means that StatsCan has to send the case to the Federal Prosecution Services.

      Prosecution Services would not agree to prosecute because they would be thrown out of Court. They do not have a Law under which to prosecute. The Law says that Censuses (next one coming in May 2016) are mandatory. It says that Surveys (in between Censuses) are voluntary.

      Please get in touch if you have any questions.

      Good luck with it! Please let us all know if you do receive the letter..



  49. I received the letter from Stats Can yesterday – more or less a ‘form letter’ the ‘highlights’ being:
    “Please permit us a few moments of your time to emphasize the importance of your participation.”
    “In order to ensure data accuracy, Statistics Canada needs the participation of all households …”
    “The Statistics Act requires that you participate in this survey, and by the same law, the information you provide will be kept confidential and used only for statistical purposes.”
    “Within the next few days, an interviewer will call you again and we hope that you will take a few moments to participate…”
    The letter is signed by Paul Wares, Data Collection Manager, Western Region and Northern Territories.

    There is no indication anywhere in the letter as to where in the Statistics Act it states that you ‘are required’ to participate, which is what I requested when I spoke to Rochelle, a Supervisor at Stats Can on July 27. She said she could send me a letter that would indicate ‘the exact place’ in the Act where it says that participation is mandatory.

    At this point StatsCan has not honoured my request, nor will I honour their request.

  50. Hi,

    I checked with one of the lawyers in regards to this survey, he too interprets it the same way as statscan, are we sure law is on our side?

    btw i was also selected for this survey.. 🙁 kinda irritating


    • Hi Tino,

      RE your question, “are we sure law is on our side?”.

      I think we each have to arrive at our own conclusion. For me personally, it is clearly the case that yes, the law on Surveys is on our side:

      I have the ability to read and interpret the English language. I have the expectation that the Laws of Canada are written so as not to obfuscate their meaning.

      I have considered the input of other people and assessed it against the actual wording of the Law. As explained elsewhere, I do not see how you can make a case that the Statistics Act says that surveys are mandatory. And there is no case law to uphold a view that Surveys are mandatory.

      Surveys are voluntary if sanctions for not filling them out do not apply.

      I think citizens need to walk with their eyes wide open, without fear. In the end, we are the only ones who can or will defend
      – our values
      – the kind of society in which we wish our grandchildren to live
      – and the safeguards that have been put in place through the struggles of those who came before us.

      To me, the greatest threats to the treasures we have inherited are our own insecurities and fear. We have been thoroughly conditioned by our society to kowtow to others. We are disempowered to the point where we don’t trust our ability to interpret words and information, to distinguish between right and wrong, to stand up and say our piece. There is HUGE pressure to conform. Post-secondary education is not about the development of critical and independent thought.

      Choose as you will about Surveys. There is nothing to be fearful of, as I see it.

  51. I don’t agree with your lawyer & wonder where in the Act he’s finding it says that the Labour Force Survey (or any survey) is mandatory – I can’t find it in the Act.

    Regarding my request for the EXACT place in the Act where it says the LF Survey is mandatory I rec’d a letter from Stats Can on Aug 13th – basically a form letter stating “The Statistics Act requires that you participate in this survey”, but no indication of EXACTLY where in the Act it says its mandatory.

    I’ve received 3 calls from Stats Can since then & one of the Stats Can employees told me it doesn’t say it’s mandatory in the Act, so now I have conflicting information from within Stats Can! I have repeatedly asked for a letter indicating EXACTLY where in the Act it says the Labour Force Survey is mandatory; until I receive that letter I will not be participating. If it is mandatory as they say, why don’t they send me a letter stating EXACTLY where in the Act it says it’s mandatory & (from my searching) why have they never prosecuted someone who fails to answer the Survey?

    Stats Can likes to send people to their website where it says the LF Survey is mandatory. They can put anything they want on their website; they’re governed by the Statistics Act, as am I. What they put on their website is NOT the law. I’ve spoken to supervisors at Stats Can & they said they didn’t know where in the Act it says Surveys are mandatory.

    You might want to also check a Federal Court Ruling (Jan 25, 2011) in which Justice Zinn states “The fundamental distinction between the census and a survey is that the former is intended to count everyone and it is mandatory that persons in Canada complete it accurately, whereas surveys are voluntary and typically are only sent to a portion of the Canadian public.” You can find the full document at

  52. I’m having trouble with statistics canada repeatedly coming to my door! Somewhere online I read I had to answer these questions so my husband and I decided we would just answer the next time she came to the door!
    My husband answered the last time and said yes he will answer and (she had nothing with her may I add, no papers, no computer) &she then demanded we all have to answer(all my kids too) I’m so angry with the whole thing! Something seems incredibly wrong with the whole thing! Please offer me some advice!! Thank You in advance!!

    • Hi Sarah,

      Something’s not right. A StatsCan worker would have papers with them. I would not waste my time and peace of mind with whatever this is.


  53. Bonjour!

    Une seule question!!!!!

    Où es la version française?????

    Paul Thibodeau.

    • Pourriez vous communiqué en françai svp?

      • Hi Paul,

        I am so sorry – – I do the blog and the supporting research, emails, etc. all on a volunteer basis.

        Unfortunately, I am not bilingual.

        In the past I have tried to include people from Quebec, because I think it is important – – the issues are not for one linguistic group only!! We are all in this together.

        If you have any ideas for how to make the information accessible to French-speaking people, please let me know.

        Good to hear from you!


  54. I’ve now received my 5th month call from Stats Can & have repeatedly requested a letter asking exactly where in the Statistics Act is says that the Labour Force Survey is mandatory; to date I’m still waiting. One Stats Can employee told me they don’t send out letters like that. I said I think there’s only one reason why they wouldn’t send out a letter like that – because it isn’t true. I’ve been told by almost every Stats Can employee that they will call monthly for 6 months, so I guess I have 1 month to go before they quit calling – a nice Christmas present!

    I’ve also repeatedly asked the Stats Can person if they are aware of a Federal Court Ruling that clearly says “surveys are voluntary” & asked them if they agree that they’re bound by a Federal Court Ruling – all of them have agreed they are bound by a Federal Court Ruling. I’ve read the Federal Court Ruling (Jan 25, 2011) to them in which Justice Zinn states “The fundamental distinction between the census and a survey is that the former is intended to count everyone and it is mandatory that persons in Canada complete it accurately, whereas surveys are voluntary and typically are only sent to a portion of the Canadian public.” Even after agreeing with me that they’re bound by this Court Ruling, they still insist that the Labour Force Survey is mandatory! Unbelievable! You can find the full Court document at

  55. Thanks very much Karen.
    The Court decision is important and helpful.
    I need to take time to read it more carefully.

  56. Another call from Stats Can – a Supervisor this time. That’s now a total of 20 calls since July 19th – that’s one call almost every 5 days.

    She insisted the Labour Force Survey was mandatory; I replied I was still waiting for my letter indicating where in the Statistics Act it says it’s mandatory. She quoted Section 22 of the Act & said that labour and employment was in that list. I said that’s a list of what surveys they do, but it doesn’t indicate anywhere that any of these are mandatory.

    Then she quoted Section 2 of the Act and insisted the the wording “The Minister may, by order, authorize the obtaining …”. I said that gives the Minister authorization to collect information, but nowhere in the wording does it say that the LFS is mandatory. I pointed out to her that the heading of Section is “Voluntary Surveys”.

    She went into great detail why they needed this info & I said that I’d read the Act and don’t see where it says the LFS is mandatory. Her response was that the Act doesn’t “specifically say” the LFS is mandatory. Hooray – I think we finally agree!

    But wait … she still says it’s mandatory. Huh!

    I ask her if she’s aware of a Federal Court Ruling that contradicts that; she isn’t aware. So I read her the wording from the ruling that says “surveys are voluntary”. Her response is that the LFS is mandatory. I said the Federal Court Ruling makes no distinction – it says “surveys are voluntary”.

    I tell her that I’ve been told by some Stats Can employees that SOME surveys (Labour Force & Household) are mandatory & all other surveys are voluntary – I can’t find that in the Act either. I also told her that one Stats Can employee told me the LFS is NOT mandatory, so someone at Stats Can is not being truthful.

    She tells me that their website says it’s mandatory. I told her it didn’t matter what was on their website; I could have a website & put whatever I wanted on it, but that didn’t make it true; it was the Statistics Act that was the law. She said the website says it’s “mandatory pursuant to the Statistics Act”. So I again asked where in the Act it says that it’s mandatory. She was unable to answer that question.

    It was obvious at that point there was no use in continuing the conversation so I told her that they were welcome to take me to Court & I would bring my file with me in which I’ve recorded the date, time, name of the Stats Can employee who called & what was said. I told her that I’m sure the Judge would be interested to know that on July 27th I spoke to a Stats Can Supervisor & requested a letter indicating exactly where in the Act it says the LFS is mandatory & that Supervisor said they would send it. In every phone call since I’ve asked for that letter, yet this simple request has not been honoured. I said I would not answer any questions until I received that letter.

    Why can such a simple request not be honoured? Especially after I was promised by a Stats Can Supervisor that such a letter would be sent.

    One Stats Can employee told me they “didn’t send out letters like that”. Interesting! Why?

    Why do some Stats Can employees tell me one thing; then a different one tells me something different? Who’s right & who’s not?

    All I want is THE LETTER!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience Karen.

      With regard to your exchanges with StatsCan, I admire your commitment to patience and perseverance! It’s a contribution to civil dialogue in this country. But more importantly,

      (Not that you need me to point out) It is critical in a democracy that citizens insist on the rule of law. You are doing that admirably. Refusing to be intimidated and coerced – – one person has the power to help create the culture in which we all must function, in the end.

  57. Here is the stats canada survey methods document from their website. Search the”refusal” to see what they can and will do. It seems that that the best strategy is not to engage and wait the survey period out. Search for the survey periods in their online survey listing to see when it is going to be over.

  58. Hi Sandra and all contributors:

    I received a StatCan request to complete a “Job Vacancy and Wage Survey”. Of course it says it is mandatory. I was wondering if this survey for business owners also falls within the Federal Court Ruling that Surveys are voluntary?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.


    • Hi Alice,

      June 2017: I APOLOGIZE to Alice and others. I do not know where my head was at when I wrote this response. Our Statutes get interpreted through CASE LAW. Above – – Karen supplied the link more than once, AND specifically what the Judge said. “Surveys are voluntary”.

      First, a correction to your statement: “… the Federal Court Ruling that Surveys are voluntary.”

      There are no Court Rulings about Surveys. (WRONG, SANDRA! HOW COULD YOU HAVE SAID THIS?)! There is only what The Law says in the Statistics Act.

      No one has gone to the Courts for a Ruling (interpretation of the Law) on whether Surveys are voluntary or mandatory. Consequently, there are no Court Rulings. There is what is written in The Law: “Section 31 (fine and jail) does not apply in respect of a refusal or neglect to furnish the information”.

      As I see it, The Law is clear and so, there is no need for anyone to go to Court for an interpretation.

      The way the process works:

      If StatsCan wants a Court Ruling on whether Surveys are mandatory, it has to go to the Prosecutors in the Federal Dept of Justice and ask them to prosecute someone who did not fill in a Survey.

      Prosecution Services would look at two things to see if they could prosecute and win in Court:
      1. The evidence provided to them by StatsCan that the person offended The Law.
      2. Under what Law would they prosecute the offender?

      They would look to the Statistics Act to see if they could make an argument capable of convincing a Judge that The Law says that people are obliged to fill in StatsCan Surveys.

      They would see that Section 8 on Surveys would be used by the Citizen to say “The Law says that a fine and jail time do not apply if the refusal is to fill in a Survey. I am not guilty of any crime.”

      The Prosecutors would lose the case because The Law effectively says that Surveys are voluntary. So they do not prosecute people over Surveys and there are therefore no Court Rulings on Surveys – – there is only what The Law says, no need for more.

      Re Your Question: “…if this survey for business owners also falls within ..” the same Laws as applies to households?

      As far as I am aware, the only Legislation that governs the conduct of Statistics Canada is the Statistics Act. It is the only Legislation that addresses surveys as far as I am aware. Surveys are Surveys, whether directed at households or businesses. The answer to your question would therefore be Yes, the rules are the same.

      • Thanks for the inf. It definitely helps me to decide to complete the survey or not if the questions become too personal.

  59. Regarding the 2016 Census

    The Stats Canada website info says there is now an option to complete the census online.

    I have several questions about the Census:
    1. Are they planning to mail the census forms to those who don’t choose to complete it online?
    2. How does one know when to choose the online option?
    3. If they are planning to mail out the census, why are they hiring 30,000 community workers, whose job description includes talking with the public? That sounds as though they will be going door to door
    – either to deliver the census?, or to followup on them? If so, what kind of followup. Job descripions link at
    4. Why does the 2016 form request not only your name and address, but also your phone number and
    email address? I don’t recall phone number and email address being required in the last 2 census..
    5. I thought the primary purpose of the census is to provide the government with basic statistics needed in order to budget, plan, provide services, etc. If so, why is so much direct contact info being requested and why are there so many urban and rural community workers being hired to contact people?

  60. Hello.I was wondering about the LFS.It says that information is gathered at random? A letter was sent to me,informing me a surveyor would be coming by my house.It was addressed to home owner/occupant. When I never replied to the letter or person at my door,the next letter received about a month later,was addressed to me,by my full name.It seems to me,Stats Canada is targeting me.They have not called me,only because my number is private/cell.Where do they get the information on individuals? Do they cross reference info with other government bodies? If you are able to answer or help me understand this a little better,that would be greatly appreciated.Until then,I will never participate in any LFS! Thank you & have a nice day.

    • Hi Jay,

      I will answer your questions as best I can.

      Once your address is pulled out of the hat (random selection), if you don’t respond, the procedures for producing statistics require that StatsCan keep trying to obtain input from you. If they don’t, the statistical argument is that they introduce a “bias” into the data.

      Just making up an example: what if the people who are hard to get a response from tend to be shift-workers? If they do not get input from people who are difficult to connect with, in this made-up scenario they would be creating a bias in the survey results. Shift-workers would be under-represented.

      I think that is why, once your address is pulled out of the hat, they keep trying to obtain input from you. Statistical procedures do not allow them to just forget about you and go on to the next randomly-selected address. They are not actually targeting you; they are required to be persistent. I do not know how many attempts they are required to make.

      RE your question: Where do they get the information (your name)? Do they cross reference info with other government bodies? . . . If you have lived in your home for some years, they might have your name from the last Census.

      Govt is not supposed to share information on individuals between departments. I remember decades ago: the Privacy Commissioner ordered the destruction of a data base that had been created by amalgamating the files on individuals across all Govt departments. It was a grand file that the Govt loved, but it was illegal to do. (I always wondered whether it was actually destroyed.)

      If I was StatsCan, I would google your address. In many cases they would be able to find the name of the occupant that way.

      Input from other people suggests that they sometimes ask neighbours for that information.

      Best wishes,

  61. Thank you for the informative response.I am still under the impression,Stats Canada has accessed some information,from another government source.I have lived at my current address for approximately eight months.I moved from Alberta to a small Saskatchewan town.My house has a street address,but all mail is to a PO box #.Not the street address.The first’ piece of mail(I mentioned earlier/last comment), was addressed to home owner/occupant.It had my actual STREET address on it.Being a small town post office,they just put it in my PO box.Then the surveyor came to my house about a week later and left contact info on the door.I never responded to either.About a month later,the next piece of mail came with my name and addressed to the proper PO box #. A neighbor doesn’t have that info.I do not believe it was through Google,as I have had no success finding info on myself with that medium.It was at that point I was wondering where Stats Canada is able to obtain such personal information on me.My first two thoughts were CRA and SGI…I did read(I believe a post above),that once I DO fill out/participate in LFS,Stats Canada has the info on me,and is able to cross reference with other government departments,such as CRA.I’m not a conspiracy theorist,but I am a proud Canadian,who cherishes our Charter of Rights and Freedoms!!!

  62. From what I can see, Jay had experienced 3 contacts, and hadn’t responded to the first 2, then not to the third. But after only the first 2, I can’t imagine that it would be legal for Stats Canada to have asked anything of a neighbour. Surely they are required to make many more efforts than than before they snoop around one’s neigbours?!

    Almost 2 years ago,I made the mistake of anwering my phone intercom, and because she sounded elderly, allowing a Stats Canada rep to enter the building lobby. She asked my name and I foolishly provided it and my phone number. She wanted to come in immediately to have me compelte a Survey of Household Spending. I explained that I had been quite sick and was going to have surgery soon and didn’t have all the info she would need at my fingertips. She ignored my illness and pending surgery and must have left 15 more phone messages and stopped by another 6 or 7 times, to none of which I responded. Then I received a formal letter from Stats Canada, addressed to me at my home address and unit #, encouraging me to respond to the survey, which I didn’t…..I had medical issues for weeks.
    That was the last I heard from them. That’s why I won’t be surprised if I am one of those who has a personal visit from Stats Canada in April/May, asking me to complete the long form of the census rather than the short one, which is apparently still going to be used for a percent of the population.

    I would really like to know why they pay people to deliver surveys and census forms in person and to try to get people to complete them then and there, instead of mailing them out, then following up in person with those who don’t respond. it’s the door-to-door visits on first contact that I don’t understand and am suspicious of. It’s incredibly invasive and aggressive.

  63. Well I am now part of this group! I have been harassed for about 1 month now, up to 5 calls per day to complete the labor force survey. I refuse to complete it for the numerous reasons mentioned in comments above and I too have now been threatened with jail time or fines. I REFUSE to complete it. I guess I’ll have to see where this goes from here. Thank you for having this site available.



  64. Hi Tracey,

    Sorry for delay in reply to you. I’ve been tied up in other matters.

    You are most welcome to the assembled information!

    Please get back if you have questions.


  65. Hello,

    I have been harassed too, they’ve been calling me since March. I have two jobs, working 7 days a week with 4 kids. No time for this survey. But anyway, I got fed up one day so I just did the survey anyway around 8pm, I thought it would only take few minutes, but we finished at exactly 9:10pm. Now she wanted to interview the rest of the households but I said will do it some other time. This was on May 10, 2016 by the way. So anyway, I have answered the Census after doing the interview, my question was, every single thing she ask me was the same question from the Census. I don’t understand why can’t they just use the same information from the census instead of harassing us. I can’t remember what is the survey for but the other one that is harassing me was for the Labour or Job Creation Survey. And on the very end of the survey they ask what is the best way to contact me. I said I don’t want to be contacted any more, I don’t want to be part of this survey. If they can remove our name from the lists. She said its mandatory. But on the CENSUS, they ask the same question, but giving you the option if you want to participate in a survey or not. This is confusing. So now, they keep calling me to interview the rest. They keep calling my daughter too, and keeps getting annoyed because they are looking for me, to the point that I told my daughter to add their phone number from the Reject lists. Anyway, I have tried to read all the responses and comments and it really helps. Now I know its not mandatory. But I have answered the CENSUS which is I believe is mandatory. Tempting to change our home number too. Good luck to you all.

    • Hi Faye,

      I have wondered whether StatsCan would start wanting information from more than “the head of the household”.

      Your experience is “they keep calling me to interview the rest”. Thanks for taking the time to write, to help keep everyone updated.

      With two jobs and four kids you have many more demands on you than most people, more than some people could handle. I sincerely hope that StatsCan will leave you alone now – – you have filled out the Census which is mandatory, as you point out. And earlier you provided the same information, but through a survey. You should feel satisfied, and they should feel more than satisfied by the time you have taken, the effort you have made.

      Best wishes – – I admire your strength and courage.


  66. Survey participation:mandatory under the Statistics Act
    In view of the importance of the results from the Labour Force Survey, your participation in the survey is mandatory under the Statistics Act.

    Statistics Canada must collect and compile statistics on various subjects. These subjects are identified in Section 22 of the Act. The Labour Force Survey is authorized by paragraph 22 (h) – Labour and Employment.
    Section 8 permits the minister responsible for Statistics Canada to order that participation in a survey be on a voluntary basis. No such order has been signed for the Labour Force Survey, therefore, participation is mandatory.
    Section 31 sets out penalties for providing false answers or for refusing to participate in a mandatory survey.
    In order to ensure data accuracy, Statistics Canada counts on the cooperation and goodwill of Canadians – coast to coast – included in the survey sample.

    • Hi again Faye,

      I believe the above is a statement from StatsCan that you copied and submitted for others to see. Thanks.

      StatsCan is wrong about some things.

      The IMPORTANCE of the results of a survey do not make it mandatory. Only the Law can make it mandatory. StatsCan itself cannot make a survey mandatory.

      And, EVEN IF a survey was mandatory, it would not be, if it demanded personal information. We have a Charger Right to Privacy of Personal information. That is a pillar of any democracy. Democratic Governments are not allowed to build detailed files on its citizens. Police states do that.

      If StatsCan wants the Labor Force Survey to be mandatory (if it wants to be able to threaten people with a $500 fine and up to 3 months in jail), it has to go through the Courts. It has to meet the criteria set out in the Oakes Test. The Government is not allowed to take away the Charter Rights of a citizen, unless it can meet the conditions set out in the Oakes Test. There has to be a Court ruling. There is no such ruling, as far as I am aware. StatsCan/the Justice Dept are bound by the law.

      I have explained elsewhere on this blog that yes, StatsCan is authorized by the Statistics Act to carry out certain functions. But it has to carry out its functions in accordance with the Law and subject to Charter Rights.

      Section 31 of the Statistics Act says that surveys are voluntary (i.e. not subject to penalties if you don’t participate) – – as explained under “The Short of It” (top of this posting).

      Good luck with it all!


  67. you do not have to answer any questions from a third party operating in a foreign country, that means callers from the USA hired by statscan to avoid charter of rights laws in canada. Furthermore they do not have the right to walk on your property or call you, unless you invited them or gave them your number and asked them to call you. You do not have to answer any questions from anyone you do not know or that does not know you. Period. There is no higher being than oneself. Do not let them initimdate you to believe they have some authority over you, these threats are exactly what you are trying to stop to protect your rights and privacy. Your personal authority is the highest in the land, protect it. The database they acquire is shared internationally and that means all of your personal information, it is not protected at all in any way, it is shared. How do we know this? Because the form and the questions are exactly the same per item in the same order from all of the countries involved. The user/training manual that can be found online also tells the caller how to coerce you and answer all opposing questions, for example, they are told to say , “your information is private and will be shared with nobody”. however it is a fact that it is shared commonly among at least 5 countries, and as well as those residing in the caribbean islands such as Cayman Islands etc, anything related to american or british dictatorships is shared. That is a fact and your personal information is not protected in any way, it is shared and searched and not private or protected. The callers are paid to gain the information from say 35 citizens and their contract says they will not be paid any money unless complete information is gained from each person on the list. The payment is normally 35$ per victim and they must complete all 100 surveys or be paid nothing, this is why they harass you so much, and how dare they already know your address name and phone number ! How did a bunch of americans calling from Michigan get that information on canadian citizens if your personal details are supposed to be private ?That is the truth as per what has been ascertained through research and copies of their survey training manual documents. Is the information necessary? No, because it is not reported factually if it does not suit the political agenda. A simple example is how the employment data is routinely lied about to support political agendas. Do you really think the inflation rate in canada is 2.1 % every single year since 1962? Food is 30% inflation ever single year. 5$ for a loaf of bread now, in 2004 it was, 0.69$. Watch and understand.

  68. Hi,
    I am a farmer and just received, from statscan, agriculture division, a fall survey of fruits and vegetables, 2016. Is this mandatory?

    • Hi Christine,

      If the word that is used on the form is “Survey”, it is not mandatory.

      That’s easy!

      (You are probably aware of the Agricultural Census – – most Canadians don’t know that farmers receive two censuses. AND their share of surveys.)


      • Thanks Sandra!

        I’m truly grateful that I found this site. The topic and comments have really helped me in understanding the Statistics Act. I can now not hide nor fear their phone calls.

        • I am having a good laugh (picturing you hiding), thanks Christine!!

          I am happy the material we’ve collected has been helpful.

          • Hi Sandra,

            Stats Can finaly contacted me today about the Fall Survey of Fruits and Vegetables, 2016. They informed me that it was mandatory and this is from their site.
            Do I have to participate?

            Participation in the Census of Population and the Census of Agriculture is mandatory pursuant to the Statistics Act. All Canadian households must complete a Census of Population questionnaire. All farm operators are required to complete a Census of Agriculture questionnaire.

            If Statistics Canada contacts you for the Labour Force Survey, a business survey or an agricultural survey, you are also obligated to participate pursuant to the Statistics Act.

            For other Statistics Canada surveys, participation is voluntary.

            So does this mean that it is a mandatory survey, as the person from stats can kept telling me, even though I kept telling her that surveys are voluntary?

        • Sorry to keep this up, but I need to be clear on this matter.

          Why are businesses and agricultural operations required by law to respond?

          Canadians need accurate and reliable information—the cornerstone for democratic decision making. Through the Statistics Act, Parliament has mandated Statistics Canada, as the national statistical agency, to produce such information.

          Business and agricultural surveys collect important economic information that is used by businesses, unions, non-profit organizations and all levels of government to make informed decisions in many areas.

          Because most business and agricultural surveys feed directly or indirectly into legally mandated programs, mandatory participation is required to ensure an adequate response rate as well as reliable results.

          This is taken from their site on Frequently asked questions. This also states that participation is mandatory.

          How does one argue with this?

          • Hey Christine,

            RE. your first message:
            Surveys are not mandatory, contrary to what you have been told by StatsCan.

            RE. your second message:

            No need for apologies; dialogue is essential to healthy governance!

            So how do you argue with the logic put forward by Statscan?

            The simple answer: recognize the problems in what they say. Their argument is unsound. Let me elaborate:

            StatsCan offers one perspective or rationale. We have been taught to hold “rational” in high regard. You can Observe that very thing in your question; you feel as though you have to respond strictly to their logic. And there is nothing wrong with that.

            HOWEVER – – as John Ralston Saul points out, better decisions are made when a more wholistic approach is taken, one that involves more than the use of our rational faculty when it is severed from input from our other faculties. (Ralston Saul describes the “rational” as the “most fragile” of all our faculties; unfortunately we have been acculturated to believe the opposite, that it is the penultimate.)

            The number one and glaring omission in this particular situation with StatsCan is Memory. A second consideration, which most people recognize, is the failure of the rational argument when one or both parties lack awareness.of important information.

            The StatsCan argument can succeed ONLY IF you, Christine, have:

            – no Memory of how democratic government works, or
            – if you were never taught. And did not Learn how it works, or
            – if you were never taught the simple basics of philosophy, which teach people how to recognize unsound logic, through which to protect themselves against manipulation and propaganda.
            – and StatsCan’s argument is more likely to succeed to the extent that you have become disempowered which reduces your confidence in your self.

            Every citizen in the Canadian democracy should possess the MEMORY of how Government works in a democracy. The StatsCan argument fails on this point alone:

            The relationships in a democracy are subject to the Laws of the land. The Statistics Act defines the parameters within which StatsCan has to work. It has no authority outside what is laid out in the Law or through the case law that is associated with that Law.

            The Statistics Act says that surveys are voluntary (the sanctions for non-compliance do not apply in the case of surveys). StatsCan does not have the authority to proclaim its own Laws.

            If they want to change the Law under which they operate, they have to go through Parliament (public debate). And in that process, changes to the Law have to be consistent with the charter Rights of the individual citizen.

            Under the Law you, Christine, HAVE A CHOICE. You are free and empowered to decide whether to participate in the survey or not.

            Nor do you have to justify your decision to anyone, let alone StatsCan. If you decide not to participate, your non-participation can take any form you choose from silence to the other end of the spectrum.

            You do not have to know why they want all this information on food production. Under the Law that is actually an irrelevant factor, even if a citizen might want to take it into account when making their decision.

            The appetite for data in today’s world is insatiable. Technology takes us far beyond what was possible in the past.

            If your workplace (StatsCan) deals in nothing but data on citizens and the economy, the way the human brain works, you will see only the necessity for MORE and MORE. You will easily justify why it is that you must have “more”.

            History (Memory) has compelling lessons as to why, in a democracy, the Government is not allowed to build detailed files on its own citizens (or those of another nation).

            Citizens should be with eyes open and clear-headed when they make their decisions about allowing the Government to operate Outside The Laws of the Land.

            I hope this is helpful. Christine. ANd not too late to be of assistance – – sorry for the few dayas’ delay.


  69. I am being hasseled now. Agent came by on a Sunday afternoon and buzzed my apt. I asked him why he is here on a Sunday? Not even telemarketers are allowed to call on a Sunday.

    His answer? “We have to sir. We don’t have your number.” Buzzer time ended, and I did not answer it again.

    He has come back every day, and left notices on the front door of the building, and on my front door. I ignore them. Leave them stuck to the doors.

    Today he has phoned me. He somehow got my unlisted number. I suspect my landlord of providing it.

    I have now disconnected the phone, as I really only use my cell, which they will not get.

    I plan to ignore any attempts at contacting me. I will leave all notices he posts where he posts them. I will not answer the phone, or my door, or my buzzer. Everyone I know knows to call my cell to contact me.

    I find this outrageous to have to live in state of seige, with my government, who is supposed to serve me, with the use of my money, harassing me, and treating me like a criminal. It is outrageous, and there is no way I will stand for it.

    This is very ugly. Why they are using commissioned agents, being paid with my money, to harass me is beyond my ken.

    NO WAY SatsCan. Adios.

  70. Just to add, this is the Labour Force Survey. Every notice he leaves, he circles the “mandatory by law” phrase on the card.

    I would rather pay the $500 fine, than have to be harangued every two months for a year. If this continues, I will seek legal counsel. Not a chance that I will roll over to intimidation.

  71. I’d like to add this link (from April 2015) where Wayne Smith, Chief Statistician, addresses the foolishness of jail time for not complying, and details when and how prosecution is determined:

    Note these quotes:

    “Today, virtually all business surveys, including agricultural surveys, are still collected on a mandatory basis. Household surveys are generally conducted on a voluntary basis and there are two current exceptions. One is the census itself and the other is the labour force survey. While business surveys and the labour force survey are mandatory, and while refusal to participate could result in prosecution, and therefore, penalties, Statistics Canada in my 34 years at the agency has never referred either a business data nor a labour force survey refusal case to the Public Prosecution Service.”

    “The only instance in which Statistics Canada refers cases to the Public Prosecution Service for possible prosecution, therefore bringing individuals into the scope of the penalty sections of the act, is for refusal to participate in the census of population itself. The decision of whether to prosecute is ultimately taken by the Public Prosecution Service.

    A long-standing practice of seeking prosecution for census refusal is in recognition of the constitutional importance of the census and its foundational role in the national statistical system. In the last six census cycles, between 18 and 74 refusals have been prosecuted per cycle. The very small number of cases reflects the difficulty of establishing an unambiguous case of refusal. For successful prosecution an individual’s name must be determined. They must have refused multiple times. They must be the same person in the household refusing on each occasion. The field staff involved must be able to definitively physically identify the person who refused. The field staff involved must also be able to testify years after the event and the person concerned must have received and failed to respond to a registered letter sent by me advising them of their responsibilities and the risk of prosecution.”

    I am not participating in this Labour Force survey. I may have if they did not start by threatening me, or banging on my door on a Sunday afternoon. But I am definitely not complying because of intimidation.

  72. Interesting – thanks Joe.

    An aside: you may know that Wayne Smith resigned not long ago. Can’t find it on my blog – – I guess I didn’t get it posted. As I understood, he resigned in protest of one large centralized Govt data base. He’s been at StatsCan for 35 years (what you sent is from Apr 2015). I didn’t look to see how old he is, so don’t know how close to retirement he was. Never mind.

    The new Chief Statistician, Anil Arora, was the head of the Census Operations at the time of my trial and came to Saskatoon to be the main witness for the Prosecution. The announcement I saw did not mention that he is a former employee of StatsCan. He is described as coming from Health Canada.

    At trial, he gave his testimony and I then cross-examined him even tho I don’t know anything about cross-examining. Between the two I collected information that I found disturbing and have used.
    He kind of disappeared then, in 2008. Was moved from StatsCan. This is his 4th move since then. (

    He is of the new breed of bureaucrats. Previously, StatsCan was led by people with quite amazing backgrounds in statistics and analysis. Anil Arora has a Bachelor of Science. I am not a believer that a person has to be “credentialed” to be very good at their jobs. On the other hand, I am not a believer that persons whose talent lies in justifying whatever it is that needs to be justified, are the best administrators to carry out the public interest (as opposed to the corporate) with integrity. Health Canada where he originally went is known for its kindly service and support – – but the beneficiaries are not intended to be us.

    I have to go. Did not leave time to comment on Smith’s statements! You probably already know them – same points have been made elsewhere.

    Best wishes!

  73. Does the word “gullible” mean anything? I take it that if one reads it on the internet, it HAS to be true…

    In the fall of 2016, the Chief Statistician resigned because he had been promised a major equipment upgrade (which was sorely needed) and it didn’t happen. Nothing to do with the information gathered, nothing to do with what happens after the information is gathered, nothing to do with leaks or breaches. He resigned because he felt he could not do his job properly without the equipment upgrade. Computer upgrades are done everywhere on a regular basis but the equipment he was responsible for was way overdue.

    • Thanks Jim. I appreciate the input.

      NOTE: the internet is not the fault, unless you object to people being able to give “informed consent” (a basic tenet of democracy).

      It is not informed consent if you participate under threat of prosecution, without access to information, should you have questions and want answers.

      You CAN “consent” if you know, in the case of StatsCan’s demands for personal information:
      – what the law is
      – about the role of census data bases (detailed files on citizens) in Nazi and fascist (tyrannical) states
      – about Lockheed Martin’s participation at StatsCan, its contractor relationship with the NSA, its “surveillance” specialty, and the fact that backdoor access is created if they have no legal right to access the data base.
      – StatsCan’s Rule clearly contravenes our Charter Right to Privacy of Personal information.

      It is not the fault of the Internet that information is put into the hands of citizens.

      The preceding information is “on the internet”. You write: “Does the word “gullible” mean anything? I take it that if one reads it on the internet, it HAS to be true.”

      No, it doesn’t have to be true. You have added credible information and I thank you for that.

      If you click on “About the Network” on the header at the top of this page, you will find a description of how this network works, and has been working for more than 15 years. /Sandra

  74. Hello… I have come into contact with a StatsCan rep wanting my households participation for the Labour Force Survey… from what I read they are saying it’s mandatory under the Statistics Act but, is it really and truly Mandatory? Can I just avoid the rep by not ever answering the door?

    • (I sent a reply directly to Jennifer.)

      • Thank you so much for the reply! And thank you so much for having this board!

        • Many people have contributed in various ways over 15 years, as you can imagine Jennifer! I can say on behalf of us all: great that you found the information and that it is useful.

          Our Educational Institutions have a sacred duty to equip citizens to understand, function competently, and uphold our system of governance. Canada is a country of indigenous people and immigrants. Many immigrants came here to escape tyranny. StatsCan’s behavior has become that of a tyrant; they operate outside the Law, flagrantly.

          Civics classes teach the duties and rights of citizens. I don’t know what they’re teaching these days – – but if it was effective, Government officials themselves would know where the line in the sand is drawn. They are not allowed to step over it — quite the opposite — it is their duty to help uphold the rule of law.

          In my Mother’s day, in high school, a requirement of the curriculum: the study of elocution. It’s a word that is almost obsolete now. But it is critical that citizens in a democracy be able to stand up and say what they think, without being intimidated. It is a skill, like any other, that flourishes with instruction and practice. If it is dropped from the curriculum, what happens? . . . Government officials have flagrant disregard for the rules by which democracy is played. They become bullies and tyrants.

          I would say that citizens are stepping up to the plate and filling the void vacated by our educational institutions. By sharing information and helping each other, we are both students and teachers.

          These are challenging but exciting times. If we are successful, our children and grand-children MIGHT receive from us, the gifts that bring health and a measure of fairness (justice).

          I am just now reading Ronald Wright’s novel, “The Gold Eaters”. It is an ironic title. And a topic of confusion in a number of non-European (not “white”) cultures, for centuries.

          Some cultures value the things they eat and drink because they starve to death, or get sick, and die without water. Pretty simple. It is highly irrational to value “riches” above that which is required to keep you alive – – oh yes! UNLESS you construct an “afterlife” in which you have a physical body that can benefit from the riches. Or unless you sign up to ride a space ship that will transport you to another planet when we’re finished trashing this one. You will need “riches” to get there. It’ll be about 3rd best at most. Earth, Heaven, a space station!

          Sorry! I digress — but it’s connected in this way: the would-be conquerors (tyrants and bullies — like the ones in StatsCan) whether in colonial days, or today, do what they do because they have been conditioned to believe in a man-made construction that is badly flawed, our economic system.

          We despoil and kill (literally) in order that we may have “gold”. If gold is THAT valuable, it must be because we eat it – – it sustains us.

          What do North American indigenous people say? — When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.

          The tyrants at StatsCan MIGHT have an epiphany as they contemplate preparation for their own death (as far as I know, the space station doesn’t offer immortality). Their quest has been for riches, but how in the devil are they going to fit those riches in their coffin? And rest assured, their children are going to curse them for their failure to defend democracy. They have only utilitarian arguments to offer. “Utility” will never justify our blossoming tyranny.

  75. Hi Sandra,
    I’m glad I found this post!
    I’m wondering what your response was to Jennifer, as I’m also wondering the same thing. I’ve been hounded by stats Canada employees (some of them quite aggressive) to participate in the labour force survey. This has been going on for about 2 months. First it was the constant phone calls. At times 3 or 4 calls in a row, early mornings, late evenings, various times. Now they’ve been leaving the yellow notes on my door and questioning my neighbours. Is it better to keep ignoring as long as I can? Will they eventually stop or do I have to flat out refuse? Their aggressive and relentless pursuit is causing a lot of stress. I simply do not wish to participate as is my charter right, I believe… Would love some advise on how to get off their radar. Don’t understand how this can be legal in Canada?!

    • Good to hear from you, Shari.

      Regarding: reply to Jennifer. Please see APPENDED, below.

      Their aggressive and relentless pursuit is causing a lot of stress. … Would love some advice on how to get off their radar.

      My observations:

      – You express no animosity toward the individual StatsCan workers. Good. They are not the problem. And it will only heighten your stress if you see them as the cause of your situation.

      – There will be a ceiling on the number of attempts they make to enlist you, and within a specified period of time.

      What you describe is THE SAME as described by others. With that information, you can construct their instruction manual: first, contact by phone. If that doesn’t work, go to the home address, knock on the door. (In-person is more persuasive – – they escalate the pressure.)

      If that doesn’t work, leave the stick-ums. I presume the messages told you “It’s the law”, “You have to fill in the forms or you will be in trouble with THE LAW!”

      Next in the instruction manual: start working the neighbours, get information from them, what’s the best time to catch this person or family at home?

      – So yes, I would say that what you suggest will work (Is it better to keep ignoring . . .? Will they eventually stop . . . ?)

      Yes, they will eventually stop. I strongly suspect there is a ceiling time limit within which the worker is required to go through the various steps in the manual. The worker has an incentive and will satisfy the requirement if they want to get paid. That will be the end of it for you.

      I assume that is what happens – – of all the people who have sought advice over the years regarding surveys, not one has ever come back with word that “patience”, “waiting them out”, avoiding them, did not work.

      – There is another thing that I guarantee will reduce your stress. Have a conversation with your neighbours. (I gather that you’ve already had at least some contact with them about this. Good!) You will feel connected, and may find support for your actions. They will likely appreciate knowing what is going on.

      While I was deciding how to handle the StatsCan workers during the last census, my neighbours were pressured by StatsCan to provide information about me.

      I spoke with them individually, “I am sorry to create this situation. You are being pressured to supply information about me to a Government worker. I don’t agree that they should be conducting their affairs this way.

      If they came to me, asking for information about You, I would tell the worker that they should ask You. I feel uncomfortable giving out personal information about other people – – unless, of course, I think they are involved in criminal activity.

      I have been concerned about the detailed files on citizens at StatsCan, through all these surveys – -they conduct lots of them, under different names. The information all goes into one data base, under your name.

      Many people are not aware that Lockheed Martin Corporation from the American military-industrial complex has been involved with StatsCan since at least 2003. A specialty of theirs is international surveillance.

      (StatsCan may wish they had not, but they posted on-line expense claims in 2009 and 2010 for the Assistant Chief Statistician, Peter Morrison. You can find them at the bottom of posting

      Lockheed Martin plays a “steering” role in the data collection on citizens among the five FVEY countries.

      If you understand how the data bases at StatsCan and in other countries (where they are called census bureaux) have traditionally been used, you will understand what folly it is to abandon our Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information. Citizens in democracies simply do not allow their Government to build detailed files of personal information on them.)

      Getting back to your neighbours!:

      So, I’m sorry for the awkward position you might be in when StatsCan asks questions to you, about me, but I researched it. I am on solid ground legally. I don’t wish to participate in the Labour Force Survey; the Law is clear – – it’s a choice I am free to make.

      Regarding your statement: Don’t understand how this can be legal in Canada?!

      Citizens are coming to understand that democracy is fragile. Sometimes we have to stand up for the Law and for our rights. If we aren’t willing to do that, history shows that democracy unravels. The landing place ain’t pretty or comfortable.

      But also: a Canadian hired a lawyer to bring legal action against StatsCan for harassment, such as you are experiencing.

      Two weeks later StatsCan sent a letter to the citizen, saying that surveys are voluntary.

      That story is at (the same link as above about the expense claims):

      I hope the preceding is helpful, Shari.

      Do what you are comfortable doing. Stay calm. If you should be confronted by a worker, you don’t have to engage in conversation if that would be stressful. The “broken record” approach might work for you: use one line and keep repeating it, no matter what the worker says to you. You have expressed, and it’s true, “I have a Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information. I do not wish to participate in the Survey.”

      Please get in touch if you have further questions.

      Best of luck with it all,



      From: Sandra Finley
      Sent: May 29, 2017 8:53 PM
      Subject: re Labour Force Survey

      Hi Jennifer,

      I received your question:

      Hello… I have come into contact with a StatsCan rep wanting my households participation for the Labour Force Survey… from what I read they are saying it’s mandatory under the Statistics Act but, is it really and truly Mandatory? Can I just avoid the rep by not ever answering the door?

      The short answer: StatsCan should not be telling anyone that the Labour Force Survey is Mandatory when it isn’t.

      Large numbers of people who make a choice not to participate in it, find a way to avoid it, similar to what you are thinking of doing. You are completely within your rights under the Law, to avoid the rep. There is nothing you have to explain, if you choose not to participate.

      There is more explanation below, should you want or need it.

      Best wishes, and good luck with it!


      = = = = == = = = =

      The Statistics Act is about as clear as it gets: The sanctions if you don’t fill in the census form DO NOT apply in the case of Surveys.
      There are no punishments if you don’t fill in a Survey. It is your choice. And it’s a free choice.

      StatsCan does not have the authority to just dictate what the Law is. They have to abide by the Law. People in a democracy, especially the Govt, have a responsibility to UPHOLD the rule of Law. That’s the way things are run in a democracy.

      The Labour Force Survey is NOT “really and truly Mandatory”. It is voluntary.

      No one that I know of has ever been charged because they did not fill in a Survey.

      And I just cannot imagine that it would ever happen; the lawyers in the Justice Dept have to sign off if charges are brought. They KNOW what the Law in the Statistics Act says. AND they know that we have a Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information (Constitutional Law), another factor. (Even if the Statistics Act said that surveys are mandatory, if personal information is requested, the Charter Right is a higher law that overrides the Laws created by “statutes” (written laws passed by the House of Commons and Senate).

      StatsCan’s behavior is the behavior of a tyrant. Democracy fails if citizens do not stand up to tyrants.

  76. Thank you for such an informative and detailed reply, Sandra. ALL of my neighbours agree that this is ridiculous and have offered to start videotaping the agent each time she trespasses on my property. (My neighbour saw her going through my mail!!!) Thanks again for the info.

    • In my experience, people are good. They amaze and delight me with their stories and talents, if I have the time to get to know them even a little.

      It has been my pleasure to get to know you a little bit – – you sought information, you started conversations in order to understand and address your situation better. You maintained civility, you are strong or you would not be taking a stand. You are supported which means that you have gotten to know your neighbours, which lots of people don’t “bother (?)” to do.

      Thanks – – the sun is shining in my world. I wanted to support you, but as I write I am very aware that you have supported me. Which makes everything possible.

  77. Hi Sandra,I too have statscan on my tail. Very pushy people to do a survey. Is there anything I can do or say to them to leave me alone? It sounds so crazy the way to conduct a survey. Hope you can help.

  78. Every 5 years I get stuck with the Long Form and every year I dodge them as long as possible. I managed to dodge them completely one year but the last time they got me by actually walking into my backyard while having a BBQ. I was furious. I told her I would only do the short form, right there and then and if she didn’t like it she might as well take me to court. She relented and was clearly not very happy.

    I was recently selected for the Labor Force survey. Harassing me by phone so I installed an app that blocks their number and prevents them from leaving a voicemail. Just hangs up on them. Then they started calling from blocked numbers so I blacklisted those as well. I check the call logs and they’ve called as late as 8pm and sometimes on Sundays. They are seriously persistent but I am a determined foe. I’ve been successfully dodging the LF survey for about three months now. They are only going to catch me if they physically show up and they’ll have to catch me outside because I never open the door to strangers anyhow. I’ve turned dodging government drones into a sport.

  79. Also, after reading most of these exchanges, I am relieved to see that the surveys aren’t mandatory. When they eventually corner me on this Labor Force survey I will be sure to educate them with the plethora of detailed information I found here. I want them to spend as many resources as they can before I drop that one on them so they can feel extra stupid. In the meantime I will use them to hone my skills for the inevitable long form census season.

    I’m not sure if this was mentioned: They determine who gets the long form by address. If you are unfortunate enough to be selected, you will continue to be selected until a) you move, or b) someone else builds a new home on your street which changes the address layout and someone else may end up being the lucky soul.

    This is a great site. Glad I found it.

    • You bring creativity to your sport, Michael!

      Thank-you for the information regarding “by address” and what that means. You are correct, it has not been mentioned before. I thought there could not be another stone to turn over!

      Welcome to our nebulous group. Perhaps you will stay a while.


  80. Hi, I would like to thank everyone who has shared their experiences with Statistics Canada on this forum.

    We were selected to participate in the Labour Force Survey many years ago. I believe this occurred at the passport office. The letter arrived in the mail stating that participation was mandatory. Shortly after an interviewer came to the door with a lap top.

    We did the survey believing that it would be straight forward and not a horrendous invasion of privacy. We were asked specific questions about salary and sources of income and education. After this we were badgered on the telephone for months with consecutive surveys and eventually even had our gas meter taken away. After the 6 months of interrogation was over another interviewer came to the door and wanted us to do the Labour Force Survey again. By this time I had contacted a lawyer and explained that we would not be participating in the survey again.

    We did not hear from the Labour Force Survey again until 2018 when coincidentally we renewed our passports. The letter arrived in the mail indicating that an interviewer would be contacting us. The phone rang continually with “invitations” to take part in the survey until we physically disconnected it. This was when I sought out your forum.

    Eventually the inevitable interviewer came to the door and asked when I was available to do the survey. I told her that I wasn’t going to do the survey. She held up a brown envelope with my address on it and said “Its mandatory.” I said “No it isn’t.”

    Eight days later I found another copy of the original letter in the door with the interviewers business card and the word “Mandatory” hi lighted.

    Another eight days later I received a letter by mail that said “Under the Statistics Act you are legally obligated to participate in the LFS. . .” And that an interviewer would be contacting me in a few days. About a week later another copy of this letter arrived. No interviewer showed up.

    We did not participate in the LFS because we have a right to guard our personal information and not be bullied into releasing it under false pretenses. There is no arguing with Section 9 of the January 25, 2011 Federal Court Document which clearly states that surveys are voluntary. We refuse to voluntarily cooperate with an agency that uses our tax dollars to fund a campaign of harassment.

    We are not in jail, we have not been fined, we have not heard from Statistics Canada. Thanks for your help.

    • Dear C.J.,

      On behalf of everyone who has contributed to the information on StatsCan operations, thank-you for your careful documentation of what happened in your case.

      Your experience serves as confirmation to others that we do have power when we are informed and work with each other. It feels good!

      It’s also good to know that our work has been useful to you.

      Thanks again for participating.

      Best wishes,

  81. Hi All

    I recently turned down the LFS and the poor lady looked shocked and said she would be back again in a month or so hoping I would change my mind. Friday I received a Purolator package with the dreaded letter inside. The letter was addressed to “household occupant” which I found odd. I can’t believe that they would waste my hard earned tax dollars to send a letter by purolator. I’m planning on not answering the door next time. seems to be the best strategy. I will keep this site informed of the ongoings.

  82. so I was on the porch saturday when she showed up again. I was havin a beer with my friend LOL. anyways I had to hold back a bit but still she was aggressive. I told her no i decided not to participate. She asked if I had got the letter and I said yes. I said to her that if the chamber of commerce asked me for the information I might say yes but said the worst people I could give it to was the government. she told me she really wasnt from the government but like a little side arm of the government and there was nothing to worry about. Statscan is like a separate little company she said. I said are your wages paid by my tax dollars? she said yes. so I said u are the government. she said thanks for your time and left. I didnt get to criticize her on sending the letter by purolator but that would have caused me to go all conservative on her. Ill keep the site informed. MK

    • Thanks for your post, Mike. Much appreciated.

      I don’t think you will receive automated notice that I replied; I need to tell you.
      (Maybe I am using you as a sounding board! I am quite frustrated this morning by the coverage I’ve heard about the SNC Lavalin matter. I see it as related to the situation at StatsCan – – of which I have a long view back to 2003.)

      My reply to you is this:

      – – – – – – – –

      I think Canadians are fighting against the same thing, in more than one arena.

      At StatsCan it has the name Lockheed Martin (war and surveillance industry – – the collection of more and more data on citizens, a characteristic of fascist police states).

      At Health Canada it has more than one name, most people know Bayer-Monsanto but there are more (chemical-gmo-biotechnology industry – kill the bees, insects, songbirds industry).

      At Justice Canada it has more than one name; currently prominent is SNC Lavalin. The manufacture of the false idea that “Deferred Prosecution Agreements” are somehow acceptable – – rational – – in a democracy. What they do is to hide corruption from public scrutiny. It serves the public interest for citizens to know who the shysters are – – they can protect themselves. It serves the interests of the shysters to be sheltered from public scrutiny. DPA’s serve them nicely.

      Today’s SNC Lavalin whistleblower named Export Development Canada (EDC) as another arena in which the war industry is supported. Canadian tax-payers have paid more than $4 billion to SNC Lavalin over many years. There’s lots of evidence of corruption – – the examples just have to be consolidated into one package to understand it. “Mega projects”, government decisions that don’t make sense, suddenly make sense.

      In Environment and Climate it has more than one name – Cameco (trying to sell Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (re-branded as “clean” and “new” “fission” reactors)(the nuclear/uranium industry which is also part of the war industry). In Environment and Climate, there’s also of course the Koch Brothers and other players from the oil and gas industry operating as “lobbyists”.

      A common factor – – regardless of the industry – – is the employment of money and access that former Politicians provide to the inner workings and levers of Government.

      The problem is that these relationships all involve a lot of corruption, by which I mean: the money which is supposed to be for looking after the health and welfare of our land and all that it holds, human, and non-human plus that which we are dependent upon for our very lives – – that money is being re-directed AWAY from the public good into private wealth and greed that takes everyone down with it, in the end.

      The good thing is that eyes are being opened. It’s not just the political parties; there is corruption in the bureaucracies and universities, too. When the ACCEPTED “wisdom” is “the nature of politics” is unethical behavior, we become the serfs.

      The truth of the matter: when Governments start to do what Business is supposed to do, and simultaneously Business does what Governments are supposed to do, there are high levels of corruption. The unscrupulous feast.

      Jody Wilson-Raybould is a gift to us. Politics not only CAN be done ethically, it HAS to be done ethically. “Loyalty” is an age-old tool (excuse) for absolving people of responsibility for their actions.

      Our responsibility is to stand up in loud support of the truth-tellers. Our survival depends on it. That seems to be pretty clear and easy to understand.

      StatsCan drew our attention to the fact that the American Military Industrial Complex (now NORTH American) has moved into Canada. Canada is an equal partner with the U.S., pulling filthy propaganda tricks against Argentina (with its rich, coveted oil reserves).

      We are signed up to spend $105 billion on warships, $60 billion of which will go to Lockheed Martin.

      Incredible stupidity that sets me to laughing every time I think of it! If the status quo persists, insect species will be extinct in 20 to 30 years. We are dead. Oh, but we will have bought warships for $105 billion!

      Are they out of their minds? We will keep paying the costs of servicing the debt. The Banksters will be rich; but don’t you have to be kind of stupid if you don’t understand that if the bees go, you go, too. I suppose they think they’ll take a spaceship to another galaxy. They better hurry up, they haven’t long to get set up wherever they’re going.

      Doesn’t make any sense to me that we would not unite with others around the planet to stop the behaviors and poisoning that is killing off and maiming all life forms. Just keep investing in war.

      We don’t seem to have the ingenuity to create healthy industry. All we know is brawn.

      Good on you Mike for your non-compliance with the attempts to move us closer and closer to a fascist surveillance state (Lockheed Martin at StatsCan and in our Military that is integrated with the American).

      The Corporatocracy does not rule, unless we allow it. It means we have to stand strong for Ethical and Rational Behavior, in different arenas. If we each make a contribution where it suits us, we can stop the destruction. Maybe “stupid” doesn’t have to define us.

      Thanks for being my venting board.

      Best wishes,

  83. This is what it says on StatCan FAQ page:
    Participation in the Census of Population and the Census of Agriculture is mandatory pursuant to the Statistics Act. All Canadian households must complete a Census of Population questionnaire. All farm operators are required to complete a Census of Agriculture questionnaire.

    If Statistics Canada contacts you for the Labour Force Survey, a business survey or an agricultural survey, you are also obligated to participate pursuant to the Statistics Act.

    For other Statistics Canada surveys, participation is voluntary.
    But the Labour Force Survey is not specifically detailed in the Statistics Act. And I return to the Statistics Act that says surveys are voluntary, and only the census is mandatory.

    Just got the letter addressed to the “householder” and quite frankly I find it a complete intrusion of privacy, and a waste of my time. I will not have a stranger in my house asking all these questions. But I’m perturbed by the wording on the StatCan site and want to be sure of my ground on refusal.

  84. The law appears to have been updated from

    “Voluntary surveys

    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
    Date modified: 2020-02-26”


    “Mandatory or voluntary requests for information

    8 (1) The Chief Statistician shall determine whether a request for information is mandatory or voluntary, with the exception of the census of population and census of agriculture, both of which are mandatory.”

    Making whatever survey they choose, mandatory.

    • Dear Pasta,

      Thank-you for bringing up the very important point – – the Chief Statistician now has the power to determine what will and will not be mandatory data from citizens.

      I was rather horrified when I first read that.

      To me it is an extremely serious matter when that much power is vested in one person in the Government.
      Western democracies are in decline. The surveillance industry in Canada, and the amount of money the industry spends on lobbying are a threat. Government accumulation of data on citizens in the FVEY countries is coordinated by Lockheed Martin Corporation. The head guys at StatsCan meet and work under that umbrella. I don’t know where people’s heads are at. Canada’s Chief Statistician is a human being, with all the weaknesses that human beings have. To say “The Chief Statistician shall determine whether a request for information is mandatory or voluntary, . . “ is authoritarian.

      We are left with the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information. In my experience, the Courts nor the Government will uphold that Right. It is not taught in schools. Citizens have to initiate conversations with each other, self-educate. We need to be able to recognize what is personal and be willing to defend against encroachment by Government.

      The next Census is in May 2021. Planning and early implementation steps by the Government are well advanced.


  85. So what does this mean? If stats can says on their LFSurvey letter that it is mandatory, it now is? I just got my demand to do the survey given to me and I said I would not do the survey (based on everything written in this forum…..) now I don’t have a leg to stand on, given the charter will not be upheld either? What do I do?

    • Hi Beth,
      Sorry for delay in reply. Will you please give me an update on your situation? What has happened?

  86. I’m not sure if the forum is still active since the last post was awhile ago; but, if anyone is still active I’d appreciate some advise. I too was contacted for the Labour force survey and at after many phone call with and out of shear pressure I started doing these surveys online. Well it’s been 5 monthly surveys in and frankly, I getting tired of it and I need some advise on the best way to end this.

    Thank You

  87. I have been harrassed by Statistics Canada to answer their surveys for years. This started long before the pandemic. I think it started back in 2017. I was told it was mandatory and refusal could lead to fines and jail. The Labor survey was quarterly.

    In 2022 I began refusing to take the survey. The second time that I refused, I had been put on hold and a supervisor came on the line. After explaining to her that this survey has done nothing to assist my business in obtaining staff for my cleaning services and nothing was changing for the betterment of employers across Canada…I was becoming very depressed. I explained that the stress and pressures due to the pandemic had cost me 50% of my sales, I was depressed and suicidal. She told me that I didn’t have to do the survey.

    Since that time Statistics Canada appears to have stepped up their game to pressure me into completing the surveys. When they would call the person would tell me that due to the pandemic there was a greater need for this information. Twice the emails that provided the link was bad. I couldn’t reach the questions and got error message. So I had to call them to answer the survey. After this, I began to become very difficult. At one point I told the Statistic Canada staff that they could go ahead, come and get me…I’d love free room and board. I am nearing retirement age. She laughed. I have blocked their email address and I have also blocked their phone numbers. The emails don’t get through, but they do manage to immediately get my answering machine. Sometimes they leave a message. Firmly telling me to call and recite some file number etc. I just delete the call.

    I was sincerely happy to find this blog. Although the last few items on it are discouraging and indicate that I can be forced to continue this survey. In my opinion, if enough Canadians are refusing to fill out these surveys, there is no way that the Canadian government can afford to prosecute and jail them all.

  88. I too received a letter stating that my household was selected for Mandatory Labour Force Survey (LFS).

    The Statistics Act was changed in 2017, removed imprisonment sentence, leaving “a fine of not more than $500”.

    (from S-19.pdf)
    No imprisonment
    32.1 Despite subsection 787(1) of the Criminal Code, no
    imprisonment may be imposed as punishment for a conviction
    under section 31 or 32.
    2017, c. 31, s. 17.

    How do these questions improve the labour force statistics data?

    (from 3701_q1_v6-eng.pdf, not a full list)
    RM_Q03 — How many bedrooms are there in your dwelling?
    IMM_Q01 — In what country was … born?

    My decision is to stand the ground for the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information, and pay the fine if it comes.

    • Hello, Protect Personal Info,

      I and this network of people appreciate your input. The pointed questions you ask – – – I recognize them! The very same ones were on a form I received and didn’t fill out.

      You may have read elsewhere on this blog that StatsCan sells info it collects. Data such as “how many bedrooms?” is used by businesses to do targeted marketing of their products. Personal information is used for more insidious purposes too, of course.

      Thanks for speaking up.

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