Edmonton woman spurns StatsCan survey
An Edmonton woman says she's prepared to fight Statistics Canada for the right not to answer a survey.
The federal statistical agency first called Sue Crowther three months ago as part of its labour-force survey, which is used to tabulate the unemployment rate.
Crowther answered those questions — about how much she makes and where she works — but when agents called back a month later for a follow-up, she rebuffed them.
"It would have been far easier for me to have just answered the darn question, but it's the issue that I do not have the right to not answer," she said.
The agency keeps calling and the law says Crowther must respond. According to the federal Statistics Act, anyone who doesn't answer a major Statistics Canada survey faces up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
"That is simply due to the importance of those current statistics to all levels of government," Statistics Canada spokesperson Sherry Wallace said.
So far no one who has refused the labour-force survey has ever been prosecuted, according to Statistics Canada.
Crowther said that she hopes she's not the first but is prepared to go to court to make her point.
"I am very proud to be a Canadian — let me rephrase that, I have been very proud to be a Canadian, only to discover that what made me the proudest is an illusion. We do not have the rights and freedoms that we think we have."