Judgment expected today in case of 79-year-old who refused to fill out census


TORONTO – A 79-year-old Toronto woman is expected to learn today if she’s guilty of violating the Statistics Act for refusing to fill out the mandatory census in 2011.

Janet Churnin’s lawyer argued at her trial that the government didn’t do enough to address her concerns about U.S. arms-maker Lockheed Martin’s role in the data collection process.

The Crown countered that Canadians can’t refuse to comply with legitimate government obligations simply on the basis of moral disapproval or speculative security fears.

Churnin has said she thought there was a chance information on Canada’s population could be accessed by Lockheed Martin, or even the American government if it made the corporation turn over the information under the U.S. Patriot Act.

The head of census operations at Statistics Canada testified that Lockheed Martin had no access to the agency’s data operation centre or its census response database.

Churnin could face a $500 dollar fine and/or three months in jail if the judge rules against her today.

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Judgment expected today in case of 79-year-old who refused to fill out census

  1. I have no problem with a US firm knowing how many people there are in Canada. But the census asks a lot more than that, even the short form. I would prefer not to answer because information is dangerous in the hands of government. In this woman’s case, I wonder if she would be concerned if it was a company from a more socialist country that was involved?

  2. So in our joke of a country, we’re obligated to hand our personal information to Lockheed Martin, a foreign company that specializes in killing people. When we refuse to comply with this, we’re criminally charged. Instead of easing our concerns, the Crown will simply tell us we have no right to effectively exercise our moral disapproval or “speculative security fears,” which I assume means any kind of fear that hasn’t been branded with the official seal of approval.

    Idiotic and disgusting.

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