2016-03 StatsCan Surveys: Has anyone successfully sued StatsCan for harassment? from Reddit, legal action initiated. StatsCan sent letter “Surveys are voluntary”. Which stopped the legal action. Wait a few months, StatsCan changed back.
Please note that StatsCan “Surveys” are not the same as the Census. Surveys are being conducted all the time. The Census is once every 5 years.
Excerpt from Reddit posting (full text below):
I ended up contacting a lawyer and advised Stats Can that we were seeking legal action
Stats Can sent us a letter a couple of weeks later confirming that the Labour Force Survey is voluntary . . .
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UPDATE: 2016-07-01 StatsCan Website: Surveys are Mandatory, then Voluntary, then Mandatory. Timeline with Reddit info. The Law still says that Surveys are voluntary. This Update, with the Timeline also contains the full argument – – what does the law say? A couple of points have been added to the main arguments presented earlier. Hopefully it is water-tight.
The effect of the StatsCan letter (reported on Reddit), accompanied by a change to their website to say “all surveys are voluntary”, meant that the legal action was stopped.
But maybe as late as June 2nd, 2016 the website was changed back. See the above URL (StatsCan Website: Surveys are . . . )
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THE REDDIT POSTING: Oct 28, 2015
Has anyone successfully sued Stats Can for harassment?
Statistics Canada has been harassing us to fill out a survey, calling several times per day and refusing to stop even though we have requested them to stop calling several times now.
This is not a census, which people are legally required to complete (or face jail time or fines as a consequence). The agent on the phone is insisting the survey is mandatory, but it even states on the documentation itself that the survey is voluntary (and all we need to do to opt out is send them a letter explaining why we don’t want to take part, which is still a way of gaining information and is a waste of our time).
The harassment is escalating and beginning to aggravate my coworker, the person who is being harassed.
How do I stop Stats Canada from harassing my coworker in the most polite, succinct, legal way possible? Short of hiring a lawyer to sue them for harassment? (which my coworker is not above doing, but.. we’d prefer to avoid that, obv).
I’ve searched online for others in the same situation and while the harassment is completely illegal on the part of Stats Canada, most people seem to cave in to the harassment once it reaches a rate of 5 or more calls per day (5 calls per day! not even telemarketers are allowed to do that) or worse, actual visits from Stats Canada employees harassing them at their workplaces and residences.
Stats Can should be ashamed of themselves.
How do I stop the madness?
edit: I just spoke to a Stats Can agent and asked them to go over the Statistical Act with me and they were unable to prove that surveys are mandatory, including the Labour Force Survey.
According to Section 8 of the Statistical Act:
- 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.
Section 31 deals with sanctions and fines for refusing to participate or for furnishing false information regarding a mandatory CENSUS and as Section 8 states above, does not apply to voluntary surveys (unless you deliberately provide false information, I suppose, which I have no intent of doing).
EDIT UPDATE: 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, please see: 2016-07-01 StatsCan Website: Surveys are Mandatory then Voluntary then Mandatory again. Timeline with Reddit info. Includes full argument, surveys are voluntary under the Law.
. . . these (people – StatsCan) are now showing up at my door demanding i let them in and that i comply with their survey for a span of 5 yrs. i have the right to decide who i am willing to allow into my home, not even the police have the authority to enter without a warrant yet these people are threatening me with jail time if i don’t. Free and democratic society??? think again.
I pared your input down to focus on the important point you make, that no one else has pointed out (surprisingly). Not in all the years and in all the input of this subject.
I have been asked the question a few times – – “do I have to let the StatsCan worker into my home?”.
A friend had the StatsCan worker just assert that she was coming in. The worker seated herself in the living room, got out a laptop and started asking the questions and recording the answers. My friend was very uncomfortable. And became really dismayed when the worker insisted on seeing her Income Tax Return. Didn’t trust that Rita would give her accurate info.
There is a big problem – – people do not know what their rights are. They are not confident enough to insist on their Rights and especially when threatened with prosecution, jail and a fine, which StatsCan does not hesitate to do, even if BY LAW, surveys are voluntary,.
There is another thing that’s been bugging me: we have a right to privacy of personal information. That would be the reason that Revenue Canada is not allowed to hand out our income tax information. Which all ended with the 2016 Census: it is just declared that StatsCan isn’t asking us for our financial information any more. Instead, they are getting it directly from Revenue Canada. I would say that is another step down the path of building the files of detailed personal information on individual citizens.
The census (statistics) operations of a number of countries are harmonized under the “steerage” of Lockheed Martin Corp. You can see the implementation of the same components happening in one country and then another. I will find the source – – have forgotten which country – – as I understood, they were implementing a process wherein they obtain the detailed info they want from various “administrative” data bases the Government has in different departments.
If my memory serves correctly, Canada actually did that decades ago. The Privacy Commissioner found out about it. The data base was eventually ordered to be destroyed because it was illegal, an infringement on privacy. I need to find the source info and post it.
Anyway, Bill, many thanks for your input – – it seems obvious to make the comparison that even the Police can’t enter your home without your invitation or a warrant. Citizens are not under any obligation to allow or invite StatsCan workers into their homes.
As for the inforamtion regarding your income the Chief Statistician at Stats Can clearly states that the information regarding revenue is taken directly from Revenue Canada data bases. Is Bill C-51 responsible for that? It is clear that all government departments will share all information regarding all Canadian Citizens and this will follow suit with sharing with the Provinces. We are way past the BIG BROTHER stage; we are being monitored, surveyed, supervised just like pawns on a chess board.
I have been harassed on 5 separate occasions with people knocking on my apartment door and leaving a piece of paper on two occasioins. I have also been called by telephone on 3 occasions and have turned my phone off to stop the harassment.
Secton 23 (2) of the Statistics Act requires that Canadian Citizens:
Return of forms
(2) Subject to section 8, a person to whom a form is sent pursuant to subsection (1) shall answer the inquiries thereon and return the form and answers to Statistics Canada properly certified as accurate, not later than the time prescribed therefor by the Minister and indicated on the form or not later than such extended time as may be allowed in the discretion of the Minister.
False or unlawful information
31 Every person who, without lawful excuse,
(a) refuses or neglects to answer, or wilfully answers falsely, any question requisite for obtaining any information sought in respect of the objects of this Act or pertinent thereto that has been asked of him by any person employed or deemed to be employed under this Act, or
(b) refuses or neglects to furnish any information or to fill in to the best of his knowledge and belief any schedule or form that the person has been required to fill in, and to return the same when and as required of him pursuant to this Act, or knowingly gives false or misleading information or practises any other deception thereunder
is, for every refusal or neglect, or false answer or deception, guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both.
Canadians refusing to complete the form can be fined 500 dollars as per the the Act.
The latest knock on my apartment door was July 6 2016. A letter signed by Gary Dillon, Director, Central Regioin, Statistics Canada was left on my mailbox. So they are harassing me to complete the form. I would rather burn in hell than help the New World Order abuse me. I would participate in a class action suit against the government if there was one. We are all facing doom and gloom with the TPPA (trade agreements) also.
Sorry for the mistake: maximum 3 months jail or 500 dollars (Canadian) or both penalties.
Thanks Yeoshi. Your input made me realize I had not placed the link to the UPDATE on this posting. It is done now. You may want to look at it.
You do not specify, but most likely StatsCan is after you over the Census. It does not matter. Whether Census or Survey, we have a Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information. The full argument on that issue is at the UPDATE.
HOWEVER! I think you are talking about RESISTANCE. (I have been twice to the Museum of Non-Violent Resistance in Berlin, and once to Robben Island in South Africa where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years. There are a number of postings on this blog, for example related to Mahatma Ghandi.)
What you call the New World Order, I call the Corporatocracy. The RESISTANCE, the intention to move us onto a different path, to develop better ways, is in response to them. (Hey! Maybe we should be thankful to them?! Ha ha!)
Rulers cannot rule unless we agree to let them rule. There are simply way too many of us.
Once we decide we don’t like to be governed by a system that is concentrating all the wealth in the hands of the already-wealthy, that we are absorbing the costs while they offshore their money to avoid kicking in their fair share, – – – the list goes on and on – – – governments that govern on behalf of corporate interests, failure to problem-solve because it might affect “returns on investment”, the huge amounts of money taken from the public purse to benefit these corporations who are corrupt and without scruples, actions that undermine democracy, destroy the environment . . . Once we decide “no more”, once we no longer agree to be ruled by “them”, the game is over, if only because of our numbers (many many millions) compared with their few in comparison.
I believe we’ve made a lot of progress in giving the usurpers the boot. Yes – – they’re going to fight back because they don’t like to lose their power and control. But you can already see the crumbling:
There is more than one way to skin a cat. Click on “The Battles” in the upper left corner to generate a list of recent postings that include:
1. Many of the UKers who voted to exit the European Union did so because they objected to . . they didn’t have a word for it. The symptoms they gave were those of a Corporatocracy (or NWO). The UKers had an opportunity to give the boot to unaccountable, undemocratic governance and they used it.
2. In the wake of the recent UK Iraq War Report, Tony Blair AND the people with whom he launched an illegal War (Bush, Cheney & Co.) will be again shaking in their boots. They are drawing ever closer to being prosecuted. Roots Action has already launched a petition calling for the prosecution of Blair. Roots is American-based; they see that if we can together push hard so that Blair DOES get prosecuted, then Bush, Cheney and the others will not be far behind. It is worth it for all of us to sign the petition and to get our friends and relatives to do the same. The link to the RootsAction Petition is on http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=16915 A non-violent, Rule of Law way to take down some of the leadership of the NWO Corporatocracy.
3. Lockheed Martin Corp plays a central leadership role in the Corporatocracy. And the lead role in Surveillance and war. As I read it, you don’t agree to let them play their leadership role, and I don’t, and hundreds of thousands of others don’t either.
We have Occupy, Idle No More, Black Lives Matter, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Glen Greenwald, as I say hundreds of thousands, maybe millions . . . all skinning the cat in their own way. Alongside us, in our way.
My harrassement has gotten even worse. They have been harrassing my landlord to let them into my building and now my landlord is harrassing me. This has got to stop there is no way that they can legally contact my landlord for access to my building! And where does my land lord get off sending me an email telling me to do it?
I’m 76 years old and refusing to answer the Labor Survey questions which I believe are invasive. Stats Canada began calling me in May and, to date, I’ve received over 300 calls from them, some threatening fines or jail. On December 20, 2016 (7 months after they began), I received 8 calls starting at 9 A.M. and ending at 7:30 P.M., all of which I didn’t answer. I can’t understand how a government agency is legally allowed to harass us like this and why they are so desperate for an old lady to answer the questions on a labor survey. I have told them countless times I won’t do the survey but they won’t stop calling. Does anyone know how I can get them to stop???
Just finished the six month survey and now they call back with a follow up. The calls come between 5:30pm-7:30pm when our three little ones (including an infant) are going down. I’ve told them repeatedly not to call during this time but that has no effect.
I wrote them a letter telling them that I will comply but not on the telephone anymore. If they want me to answer any questions it has to be through the mail. I told them that given their wanton disregard for the well being of my family that I will refuse every telephone call going forward.
I also told them that my offer to respond by mail and refuse to answer their telephone calls constitutes a “lawful excuse” under s.31 of the Statistics Act in my view.
If these people were telemarketers they would have been prosecuted under the Consumer Protection Act.
Just had a lady in my house today who wanted to open her laptop for questions! I had visitors and told her no I would call her back. After reading all these posts I wonder is it voluntary or mandatory like she tells me? I am never home I travel a lot, I don’t know how or when I could comply to her requests!! Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
I did not appreciate her coming into my house and invading my privacy so that pissed me off!
Hi Sask Mom!
Please go to this posting:
ARE STATSCAN “SURVEYS” MANDATORY?
Because of the continuous data collection on individuals being done through StatsCan Surveys, this is the most-used page on my blog. People do a web search – – “Are StatsCan surveys mandatory”, “Do I have to fill in a StatsCan survey?”, “I am being harassed by StatsCan”, and so on. The posting itself will answer your questions, OR, the many questions and answers in the “Comments” section will. If you still have questions, please get back to me.