The online questionnaire sent to 15,000 Canadians by Statistics Canada has received just under one out of every 10 responses. StatsCan’s update on the response rate on Saturday reported that 15,120 Canadians had completed the census online by Friday, 17 March.
The final online survey will go live on Saturday at midnight for all individuals who registered for it. The survey will be up-and-running until late May, when it will be replaced by the paper returns. This year’s census offers the same questions in both forms.
Based on the data collected so far, StatsCan and the Minister of Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer Michael Runia will have a better understanding of the extent of non-compliance by Indigenous and Aboriginal peoples, refugees and asylum seekers, and to a lesser extent, other populations. There was one small, preliminary sampling error discovered, StatsCan said.
On Thursday, the Liberal government introduced a bill that was aimed at making it easier for Canadians to prove they live in their designated place of residence, particularly those who do not have a fixed address. Under the proposed law, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would have the power to ask for and provide the names and addresses of foreign addresses on tax returns, and to ask for it in return for any requests for a rental property, housing assistance or transportation subsidies. Many believe this measure may have discouraged those citizens who, for example, have travelled between the U.S. and Canada.