From the official government lines distributed over the weekend.
The Ignatieff Liberals promise to force all Canadians to answer personal and intrusive questions about their private lives under threat of jail, fine, or both.
Though the threat of imprisonment is included in the Statistics Act of 1970, no one has ever apparently been sent to prison for refusing to answer the census. The threat of a fine appears in both the Statistics Act and the Census Act of 1870. Until 1951, the census was conducted every 10 years, afterwards every five years.
The following prime ministers then—assuming the threat of a fine was not momentarily suspended between 1870 and 1970—would seem to have forced Canadians to answer personal and intrusive questions about their private lives under threat of jail or fine: John A. Macdonald (thrice), Wilfrid Laurier (twice), Arthur Meighen, RB Bennett, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Louis St. Laurent (twice), John Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson, Pierre Trudeau (thrice), Brian Mulroney (twice), Jean Chretien (twice) and Stephen Harper.