Monday, August 9, 2010

OK, Mr. Harper, let's play this game

Harper has come out today saying that "I know some people think the appropriate way to deal with [the mandatory long-form census] is through prosecuting those individuals with fines and jail terms," he said. "This government will not do that."

Essentially, he's saying that its not appropriate to jail someone for not filling out the mandatory long-form census, despite the fact that no one has ever been jailed for refusing to fill out the long-form census, and almost every group and individual with valid concerns on the issue opposes it.

Fine, Mr. Harper, but let me ask you this: why must you scrap the entire program, instead of the jail term? Why not, as several people have asked, work with Statistics Canada to create a non-criminal punishment to enforce the mandatory census? Like a fine?

Or, why not scrap the farmer's census, which includes the threat of jail? Why have the double standard?

Oh, Mr. Harper, why do you play these games?


  1. Nobody even knew about the "jail term", until of course Warren Kinsella talked about being persecuted on his blog. Harper is trying to make an issue out of the 'jail term', while at the same time -- closing prison farms in order to build mega jails where he can put all sorts of marginal type people, who haven't done much wrong.

  2. Very good points, fancyfeet.

  3. I think that if a nation is going to implement a census, there needs to be:

    1) Lots of notice given, including written.
    2) Repeated badgering by officials for a few weeks to take census.
    3) Fines for non-compliance.

    I think jailing someone for not complying with a census is stupid, but I also think if you're keeping it in place for dozens of other census', you're a hypocrite. Why wouldn't you consolidate all census' for convenience?

  4. The reason they are keeping the farm census is because they need good information so they can keep money flowing to farmers. Farmers are part of the Conservative coalition and any breakdown of the farm subsidy system would anger a key block of Conservative voters. Gerry Ritz, of all people, convinced Harper that pissing off farmers would be stupid. That's why they are keeping the agricultural census.

  5. Greg,

    So instead of bringing on the wrath of the statistical, business, and social groups that all oppose this move, they want to consolidate their farmer base? Talk about polarization.


    That's a fair compromise, but such the situation is not here in Canada.