Duceppe suggests withholding passport of census recalcitrants - Macleans.ca

Duceppe suggests withholding passport of census recalcitrants

Jail time, fines could be replaced with less-severe penalties, says Bloc leader


Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe hopes to convince Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reconsider his plan to do away with the mandatory long-form census form. Duceppe suggests Ottawa should look at keeping the form and replacing jail time with lesser penalties. The government could withhold services—a passport or Employment Insurance—until people submit a completed census form. “There are rights—and there are also responsibilities—for citizens,” Duceppe said. “We can tell people, ‘Well, if you refuse, certain government services won’t be provided to you for as long as you refuse.'” This compromise appears unlikely as, despite a number of criticisms about scrapping the mandatory long-form census, the prime minister has given no indication that he will change his mind.


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Duceppe suggests withholding passport of census recalcitrants

  1. I like the idea, but you know people will complain about this as well: people don't really want to be free, they just don't want responsibilities.

    • no, they just don't like big brother.

    • why should we have to fill out a questionaire that is then handed over to big business like a detailed marketing survey ..without a doubt it should be voluntary only

  2. I recommend a "punishment" that is rehabilitative rather than punitive. Make the punishment for not completing and/or falsifying a mandatory survey a two week stint of community service in a capacity determined by local authorities. This would remind people of their responsibility to participate in forwarding the common good.

    • "mandatory survey" of course should be replaced with a single word, "census."

  3. OMG, trust a separatist to take this seriously!

  4. I think this is rather a good idea, frankly.

  5. All right, Gilles! Settle down! The missing answer is "Jedi," are you happy now? So gimme back my bloody passport!

    • Isn't this the same guy who wants to leave Canada but still keep his Canadian Passport?

      That's cheek, as my old granny would say.

  6. Oh, I'll fill out yer little census alright Gilles.

  7. Big thumbs up from me for some scheme along these lines. It's a win-win for all concerned.

  8. Get lost traitor. Duceppe is a supporter of big-government socialism snooping into and controlling every aspect of people's lives, he should move to Cuba, Canadians don't want government to have that kind of power over us.

  9. Somebody called in to a radio program today suggesting rather than punishment to give an incentive to filling out the form. Something little like $100 tax writeoff.

    • And then bump everyone's taxes by $100 the same year to offset the cost?

      • Silly Sean. Just tack it onto the running tab. It's what all the cool governments are doing.

  10. Interesting idea. Unfortunately, M. Duceppe is trying to reason with an unreasonable person. It's just a waste of his time.

    If Quebec separates and Harper gets a majority, I would seriously consider moving to Quebec.

    • can't wait for you to do that.

    • Why wait, why not go now?

  11. Frankly, I'm amazed at how many people think this is a good idea. It's a horrible idea. We don't even take away a murderer's right to vote (and we shouldn't) yet Mr. Duceppe thinks we should use the power of the state to punish people for thought crimes. What are you going to do to people who don't need passports or EI? Deny them the services of the health care system when they're struck by a car? Are we also going to run over them if they don't meet with an accident?

    This is absurd!

    • Welcome to Stalinanada…

    • The essence of the idea is that citizenship ought to involve some obligations and responsibilities alongside rights and entitlements. The beauty of tying certain federal services to census participation is that is doesn't force anybody to do anything. But, it does force selective libertarians to put some rubber to the road and decide if they really want to go live as hermits on mountains. You're right that not everyone needs passports or EI – I'd add a heck of a lot more to the list, as census data is utilized in many aspects of government policy and service delivery.

      Also: it's not a thought crime to refuse census participation – you're still free to think, talk and write about what a bad thing it is, in your estimation. As for "Are we also going to run over them"; the whole point of such a scheme is to remove threats of prison, fine, or presumably corporal punishment, from the table.

      • The essence of the idea is that citizenship ought to involve some obligations and responsibilities alongside rights and entitlements.

        Yeah, I know about this banal idea of a charter of responsibilities that some folks have been touting. Needless to say, I am not impressed by it. We already have well established responsibilities – obey the law & pay your taxes – and those are quite enough, thank you very much. Lots of right-minded folks feel that they have additional responsibilities to the country, to the world, and to each other and they act on those feelings of responsibility to a greater or lesser extent. And I'm all in favour of that too. But what I'm really in favour of… what I really value about a free society… is the freedom to say "fu*k all that," and blow raspberries at all those earnest, helmet-clad, hypocrites who want to save society from the likes of me.

        "The beauty of tying certain federal services to census participation is that is doesn't force anybody to do anything." And the ugliness of it is the creation of two classes of citizen; the good ones who get all the benefits and a pat on the head to go with them, and the bad ones who get second-rate benefits (if they get any at all) and the open scorn of their betters. It doesn't surprise me that it's the brainchild of a separatist to suggest second-class citizens, but it does surprise me to see the idea embraced so enthusiastically by the public at large.

        • "… is the freedom to say "fu*k all that," and blow raspberries…"

          Welcome to living in a society. I recall trying the old "I didn't ask to be born!" line on my parents, sometime in my early teens. I still had to take out the garbage.

          You mentioned obeying the law as part of the nominal level of citizenship you recognize. The census is part of obeying the law, so I'm surprised you have any problems with that.

          • Sorry Sean, you are far too young to play the condescending ploy on me. I do fulfill my legal obligations (and some moral obligations as well) so it's ineffective to pretend confusion on that point. It's clear in my original comment but I'll state it again, I'm saying "fu#k all that" to the busybodies who want to impose additional responsibilites on me.

            I'm not railing against the injustice of the world, I am simply asserting my own right to reject the worldview illustrated by Mr. Duceppe and endorsed by yourself.

            "You mentioned obeying the law as part of the nominal level of citizenship you recognize. The census is part of obeying the law, so I'm surprised you have any problems with that."

            I have a problem with Mr. Duceppe's proposed solution for those who don't comply. I have no problem with the short-form census and I've already written reams about my issues with the long-form census. No need to go over it all again. The topic of this thread is Mr. Duceppe's horrible ideas about compelling obedience from the public.

          • An afterthought…

            I wonder if we'd call those compliant census-filers the pure laine Canadian citizens?

          • Wasn't trying to be condescending, promise! (But I'll take being called far too young any day of the week – haven't felt that way since I passed forty a few years ago….)

          • Newsflash: filling out the census is one of your legal obligations. Please see S-19 of the Statistics Act.

          • You should read other people's comments right to the end. As I just said I have no problem with the short form census. And the long form census? The same topic we've been discussing for over a month now? It's no longer a legal requirement. Maybe you hadn't heard, but the government has made it a voluntary survey.

            Not to newsflash ya or anything.

  12. i like gilles saying (and i paraphrase), "everyone makes mistakes, just admit you're wrong"

    sure, gilles. how about this – you admit separation is wrong and socialism is wrong, and stevie will let you keep the census.

    fair trade?

  13. Sure, just so long as we also confiscate the passport of everyone convicted of an actual crime.

    And separatists. I say we confiscate Canadian passports from everyone who is reneging on their duties as a citizen by putting their province before their country.

    Put those conditions in Gilles, and I'm all for it.

  14. as long as you pay your taxes and don't break laws you should not have to answer to the government or it's agencies

    • agree. there is too much government interference and you never know when these stat will be sold to boiler room operations!

    • Filling out the census is a law.

  15. just after university i had an entry level job at stats canada expediting surveys and i know that they also make other surveys mandatory such as agricultural and truck driving type ones .. apparently people can be fined …and although they don't threaten people with jail i guess if you don't pay your fines that is a possibility

  16. Gilles Duceppe can introduce his asinine ideas of blackmail to his province when it becomes independent!