It might be tricky to meet the May 10 deadline for the census if you didn’t get your census letter in the mail yet.
Apparently some people living in newer Regina neighbourhoods like Harbour Landing did not receive the census letter with the code as of Monday morning.
Jennifer Rathwell was one of several people News Talk Radio spoke to who did not receive their census form right away. She was actually looking forward to filling out the census and started asking around to see if her friends in other parts of the city received their letter.
“I kept going to the mailbox all last week and mine wasn’t there,” she explained in an interview on Monday morning. “I sure hope I don’t get into trouble. I am assuming there’s some kind of good explanation or technical glitch.”
She noted that she was starting to get concerned because her sister reminded her of the May 10 deadline.
“I did check the website and in amongst the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), there isn’t really anything that says what to do if you haven’t received a form.”
News Talk Radio contacted a few other people living in newer neighbourhoods who said they also did not get a census letter.
Bonnie Holte is the assistant director for the prairie census with Statistics Canada. She explained the census was actually mailed out in waves, so some people may not receive their letter until later this week.
“I guess if people haven’t received it yet, they should be receiving the letter any day now,” she said in a phone interview.
If you don’t receive a census letter by the end of the week, you can call the census help line at 1-855-700-2016 to ask for it to be sent out again.
You need to have the specific code in order to fill out the census online or by phone.
This means that the May 10 deadline listed on the letter is not a real deadline. Holte said they understand that there are various circumstances that will lead to a delay in completing the questionnaire.
“We do encourage them to complete it within 10 days of having received the census letter, or as soon as possible after that,” Holte said.
If for any reason, Statistics Canada does not have a mailing address for your house, perhaps because it was recently built, then they do have a system to deliver it door-to-door.
“We actually send someone into the neighbourhood, they list the address, and then they leave a questionnaire at the door,” Holte said.
Statistics Canada will be sending reminders out by the end of May and again in June if you haven’t completed the census questionnaire.
Laying charges for failure to complete the census is the last resort in a long process. According to an emailed response from Statistics Canada media relations, the vast majority of Canadians returned the 2011 census, but there are a small number of individuals who refused. Refusals are handled by the Prosecution Service of Canada.