Paperwork is, generally speaking, not something many of us look forward to.
But Canadians just couldn’t contain their excitement when they received a census letter in the mail this week, with many posting it to Twitter.
And while Canadians aren’t exactly known for their rule-breaking, this enthusiasm to perform their civic duty was so overzealous it created some technical difficulties of its own.
Not only did it lead to a nationwide trending hashtag, #Census2016, it also brought the Census website down for 45 minutes this morning.
The letters provided 16-digit access codes which Canadians must complete online on Census Day (May 10) – overjoyed by their mail, many simply couldn’t wait.
Statistics Canada confessed on Twitter: “Thanks Canadians for responding in such high numbers. The site was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm, but we are back!”
Thanks Canadians for responding in such high numbers. The site was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm, but we are back! https://t.co/SnxAmqTRSr
— Statistics Canada (@StatCan_eng) May 3, 2016
@ArielTroster I wouldn’t normally be excited to see “It’s the law” written on something but this is a lovely case of census exceptionalism
— non, mais (@adamisaiagraham) May 2, 2016
( (> Driven
<) )> Decision making
— Katie Toth (@kat_toth) May 3, 2016
While many were geeking out and welcoming the return of this “evidence-based policy making tool,” some were crestfallen to discover that they were not one of the ‘lucky’ Canadians who received a 36-page long-form – instead only having a measly 10 questions to answer.
*cough, losers, cough*
After Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government were sworn in last November, the Prime Minister said, “We committed to a government that functions based on evidence and facts and long-form censuses are an important part of making sure we’re serving constituents in our communities.”
However, the journalist did also ask him as he exited, “People won’t go to jail though… right?”
Well, let’s just say it’s a good thing that Canadians are excited about filling out their censuses – because anyone failing to do so could face a $500 charge, three months behind bars, or both.
So excited or not, we suggest you fill out the Census by next week.