First, a confession of sorts. I did go to the Census 2016 website and because I had a short version, I was done is 10 minutes or less. Still, had I been selected for the long version, I have taken the time to fill it out. And it's not really like there's a choice. If you don't comply by May 10th, you could be fined $500, imprisoned for three months or both. This sounds draconian but governments at all levels need to know what their community profile is like.
A CBC article quoted here shows how important the data collected are. "The census collects demographic information on every person living in Canada. That information is then used by governments, businesses, associations, community organizations and others to make important decisions at the municipal, provincial and the federal levels. Results from the census are also used to help inform payment allocation at all levels of government."
The good news is that the first day the government website was up, Canadians, in their eagerness to complete the census, crashed the site. In 2006, the Conservative Government under Stephen Harper had made participation the long form census voluntary although the short form was still mandatory. Instead of 93.5 per cent of people filling the long form, only 77% did. This left government and other agencies struggling without sufficient information.
So, although I had the short form, quick and easy, to those who are completing the long form and some who have even more complicated surveys such as those sent to farmers- Kudos. Decisions without the proper information aren't going to be good. The new information, released 18 months from May 10, should guide the way forward.
I've been writing on and off for years and this is where my more serious pieces will be.