On Census Day, Canadian excitement for government forms remains high

[The mandatory long-form census was mailed out to households on May 2. YAHOO CANADA NEWS/Showwei Chu]

Today is the deadline for filling out the 2016 census, and Canadians aren’t any less excited than they were when the forms first began arriving in the mail at the beginning of the month.

The hashtag #CensusDay began trending on Twitter on Monday night as Canadians who hadn’t filled out the form right away got caught up. It’s the latest sign of the excitement at the return of the long-form census, which had been changed to a voluntary census under the previous Conservative government.

When 2016 census forms were sent out on May 2, Canadians began posting census selfies online when they’d completed the form. 

They openly celebrated their nerdy excitement about filling out a form for the government.

And they shared their jealousy towards those who lucked out and got the long-form census, which asks a lot more questions and takes a lot more time to fill out.

“Parenthetically, The Globe editorial board were not among the 25 per cent of Canadians chosen to complete the long questionnaire,” the Globe and Mail wrote in an

editorial

. “Count us among the disappointed.”

Many have pointed out that our excitement at filling out a government form may be uniquely Canadian.

But don’t let your census jitters keep you from the task at hand. Tuesday is the deadline for filling out the 2016 census, and it’s not voluntary. There are actually penalties for not doing it on time, including the possibility of a $500 fine and a short jail sentence. (Nobody in Canada has yet to be jailed for not filling out a census, however.)

Of course, if you’re as much of a census nerd as the rest of the country, having someone show up at your door to make you fill out your forms may not be a deterrent to waiting.

Statistics Canada is all in on the excitement, even suggesting Canadians throw a party when they finish up with their forms. At this point, such a thing might not be surprising.