Manitoba

Days late, some Manitobans still waiting for census

Winnipeg resident Alexis Ross says she and her neighbours are not being counted in this year's census. The deadline to complete the Statistics Canada questionnaire was May 10, but Ross says she still hasn’t received a short- or long-form census.

Statistics Canada director says May 10 census day not a hard deadline

Some Winnipeg residents tell CBC they have yet to receive the 2016 census even though the deadline to fill out the questionnaire was May 10. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Winnipeg resident Alexis Ross says she and her neighbours are not being counted in this year's census.

The deadline to complete Statistics Canada's 2016 questionnaire was May 10, but Ross says she still hasn't received a short or long-form census in the mail.

Ross said she and nearly 80 other residents at a Portage Avenue condo complex are still waiting for their census cards. 

"This is a big deal and a lot of us feel that this not only our duty to fill out this census, but it's our right as Canadians," said Ross.

Ross sent a complaint letter to her MP, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, and said Ouellette promised his office will look into the matter.

"We pay taxes and we were enumerated for the last federal election, so we are a known entity," said Ross.

Glen Turner, who lives on a farm 20 kilometres outside of Grandview, Man., also hasn't received his census yet. He said everyone he's talked to in the area is still waiting.

"I'm concerned," he said. "They talk about all the threats if you don't. When you go online and read, they talk about what will happen. They'll come knocking on your door and ask you why you never filled a census out. I can't fill out what I don't get."

Turner said he called and was told the census papers wouldn't be delivered by mail to his area but would be dropped off by staff going door-to-door.

"If they're going to go door-to-door in the rural areas, that takes a lot of time. Why wasn't this done a week before the census was going to be conducted? It's very unorganized," he said. "It's a joke, really."

May 10 'not really a hard deadline'

Statistics Canada says it's unusual for an entire city building to be missed but people should not sweat it.

Lorne Anderson, director for Statistics Canada, said the May 10 deadline is "not really a hard deadline."

The government agency may have missed some people because of "address changes and such," said Anderson.

"We've got several weeks, six or seven weeks ahead of us where we're going to follow up with every dwelling that has not responded, we will send them a reminder note in the mail with their access code again. And if they still haven't responded a week or two later we have enumerators who are manning the phone lines and going door to door," said Anderson.

Anderson said anyone, including Ross, who has yet to receive a census form can call the Statistics Canada help line at 1-855-700-2016.

The line is open until 8 p.m.

with files from Susan Magas

now