'These are not abstract considerations'

The Globe takes apart Tony Clement’s census claims.

Mr. Clement has stated that the long-form census questionnaire has generated many privacy complaints. Canada’s Privacy Commissioner has received just three complaints in the last two censuses. The House of Commons has no record of any petition tabled by an MP about these concerns. Nor has it come up in private members’ statements.

In addition, governments still do mandatory “intrusive” surveys. The Labour Force Survey is mandatory. The Canada Revenue Agency requires disclosure of all sources of income. And completion of the 2011 Census of Agriculture is also mandatory; failure to participate can lead to a fine or prison.