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

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

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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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