The following year, Statistical Canada will ask 250,000 Canadian households for some personal issues that have never been set up before – and the answer to them is fairly compulsory.
The agency carries out what is called a "pilot" list next May and June of the questionnaires and test procedures on the road for the next census list, set for 2021.
After more than a year of consultation with data users, Statistics Canada has decided to add detailed personal questions – and must be sure that they are accountable in an appropriate manner to ensure that the test is valid.
That's why Canadian chief statistician Anil Arora called for a little exploited power in the Statistics Act to declare that the next year's pilot list is a "mandatory request for information".
Anyone who refuses to fill out the compulsory census questionnaire or "knowingly gives false or wrong information or practices any other fraud" can be fined up to $ 500. (At the end of 2017, Parliament eliminated the former sentence: up to three months in prison.)
Arora justified his decision to make the pilot census mandatory in a notification since September that he sent to Minister of Industry Navdeep Bains. "Voluntary tests in 2019," he told the minister, "he could bring inaccurate or unclear findings for many proposed changes to the content of the questionnaire."
CBC Nevs received a notice in accordance with the Law on Access to Information.
Statistics Canada emphasized academics and other users of census data from September 2017 to February 2018 on new issues to be added in 2021. The report on findings was published in the autumn of the following year.
Agency spokesman Peter Frejn refused to offer new questions to CBC Nevs, calling them "work in progress".
But notifications to Arora Bains suggest that they deal with sex and sex, among other things.
"Many changes in content proposed for 2021 refer to smaller groups of people (transgender, non-binary, same-sex couples, language owners, ethnic groups, residents with working or student visas, autochthonous population, etc.)," he wrote.
Freyne said that new issues will also be addressed to veterans, general health, religion, digital technology skills, and small changes will be posed to questions raised in previous years of the census.
According to the Statistics Act, the federal government must approve the final set of questions for the 2021 census, but questions for the pilot 2019 should only be approved by the agency itself.
Statistics Canada has previously conducted similar pre-census tests, but a much wider range of personal issues is predicted for 2019.
The agency has recently sparked controversy when it came to news that it plans to collect bank and credit information from banks for about 500,000 Canadians – part of another pilot project scheduled for 2019.
Arora later suspended the project while exploring the Canadian privacy commissioner, a process that the office says will last for months. The pilot in the financial data pilot was not directly researching Canadians, unlike the population census.
Spokesman for the privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrien, said the office was alerted to the pilot census in 2019.
"We had some very preliminary interviews with Statistical Canada about the 2019 census test and they are committed to returning more information," Corei Larockue said in an e-mail.
Replies are collected in accordance with the Law on Statistics and are strictly confidential.– spokesman statistics Canada Peter Frejn
Last year, Arora approved three more compulsory surveys – two of which attracted companies to provide data on the production of mineral resources, and the second in connection with world supply chains.
On January 25, 2018, the agency announced its standards on definitions and use in half and a half, which will inform about its incoming census issues.
"Gender refers to the sex that is felt internally … and / or the gender that a person publicly expresses … in his everyday life, including at work, when buying or joining other services, in his or her residential environment or in a wider society," says standard for half a person.
"Sex and gender are related to two different concepts: one should be warned when comparing numbers for sex with those for the gender, for example, female sex is not the same as female sex."
The last census in 2016 did not give Canadians the ability to answer a sexual question in a non-trivial manner: the only acceptable answers were "male" and "female".
Freyne said that the pilot census from 2019 will use electronic and paper formats, and some households will receive personal visits. The results will be "strictly confidential," he added.
CBC Nevs announced earlier this year that Canada's statistics have lost hundreds of sensitive files during the 2016 census. Reports of incidents obtained through the Access to Information Act described 20 cases of violation of information and breach of privacy by Canada's Statistics.
The Conservative government of Stephen Harper in 2010 annulled the Population Census in Canada, scheduled for 2011, due to which some households were asked to provide more detailed information than in a standard census questionnaire.
"We do not believe it is appropriate to force Canadians to discover extensive private and personal information," said Tony Clement, the then Minister of Industry, at the time justifying that move.
"We do not believe that Canadians should be forced under threats of fines, prisons, or both to find answers to questions such as: How many sick days were you last year? Have you been paid for those? What were your total payments for did you have your own apartments last year? Do you have broken floor tiles that need repair in your bathroom? "
The Liberal government has reversed its decision and renewed the long-list for 2016.
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