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October 4, 2013

89 Year Old Woman May Go to Jail for Refusing to Fill out Census Form

89 Year Old Woman May Go to Jail for Refusing to Fill out Census Form
As part of her personal protest against Lockheed Martin, an 89 year old woman has been taken to court for refusing to fill out the Canadian 2011 census form.

Audrey Tobias has no issue with the collecting of census information, instead her issue is with Statistics Canada's use of the American manufacturer Lockheed Martin's software to crunch the numbers.

In 2006 Lockheed Martin's role caused concerns in Canada that personal and private information from the Census might have to be released to the United States under their Patriot Act. Then the Canadian government decided they would use the software for the 2011 census forms.

That is when Tobias decided she could not, in good conscious, support the filling out of the form because Lockheed Martin is a foreign based arms manufacturer. She has been charged with violating the Statistics Act and a judge will deliver his verdict on October 9th. She faces possible imprisonment and a fine which she says she will not pay. She could also be ordered to perform  Community Service but she has stated firmly that she will not do so because to pay a fine or perform Community Service means that she believes she is guilty of wrong-doing.

How do you feel about her refusal? As a genealogist I want her to fill out her form but I do not agree with the Government forcing her to do so. I also think it is a waste of everyone's time and money taking her to court over her refusal when there are far more serious matters in the world today.


TK said...

I would call her a conscientious objector. Don't know how Canada deals with COs, but it seems like that's what she is.

Bill Robinson said...

I support her 1000%.
I am an ex-pat Viet Nam CO, and a nearly full-time amateur genealogist.
With all the media attention to her act, her family should have no trouble finding her in the future. I hope she provides all the census data through other methods, although social media and such, may already have put this online.
Frankly, if anyone should be sent to court, it is the government members that cut off the long-form census (I won't mention any names).