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Special Guests

Censuses Are Gay


So I received, in the mail, my 2nd reminder census form. Obviously, I had already received my original census form and its subsequent 1st reminder. My first response, upon sifting through my daily mail and coming across this 2nd reminder saw me smile, crookedly albeit, to myself and think, ‘Wow, the envelope actually says 2nd reminder on it,’...’cause after I had dismissed the original, and then the 1st reminder, I started wondering just how many friendly ‘reminders’ they’d send me, now that it’s illegal to not fill them out in Ontario.

I should have held out a bit longer, I know, just to receive that potential 3rd reminder, but when I found the fourth phone message on my answering machine in the same number of days, I said fuck it, and filled out the online census form that night.

The phone messages were slightly more threatening than our government’s slow post friendly reminders. As I recall, the words, ‘refusal’, and ‘action’ and ‘officers’ were prominent. And so I caved, yes, I caved. My reeling thoughts about the day I had had at work, and the shift I was looking forward to the next day, not to mention the family troubles, immediate and distant, ongoing, seemed to fade into the background of priority as I looked up to the sky and closed my eyes and sighed.

Fine. I’ll fucking fill it out, I thought. Thank you, Canada. Thank you for keeping me honest! I’ll keep on working my ass off so I don’t qualify for any of your rebates...I’ll keep on shopping at the shops and patronising the economy with my piddly take-home pay, (which grows significantly smaller the more hours I work—go figure, but that’s another story) alongside those who sat in their living rooms watching Maury on their rent a centre big screens all month, and who just received double my work pay for doing so. And when ‘free’ government money comes in, for this, that or the other, like the HST ‘Transitional’ rebate that I can’t have because I guess a two income family who works 100+ hours a week doesn’t spend enough of that money on items including HST to adequately justify getting a weak chunk back once in a while... I’ll be at home worrying about how I’m going to pay for my kids’ end of the year school trip and still make the bills go away, with my own dollars (you know, ‘cause I don’t qualify for Baby Bonus anymore for the same said reasons), while a good portion of my fellow Canadians are looking through the wish list catalogue of Wal-Mart goodies that they can purchase on cheque day and midnight moving from one rented shithole to the next in order to avoid paying for living once again.

Okay! I’ll fill it out! (That’s me, written form with two thumbs fucking up and sporting an enthusiastically phony, ear to ear grin). And after so much grief and urging to do so, this census thing must ask pretty important questions, so maybe it’s a good thing after all? Nope. A dozen or so questions later, half of which are so redundant an ape couldn’t misunderstand, and I’m left feeling a bit dazed. All this crazy George Orwell-esque follow up by the Canadian government on my non-compliance and I’m left thinking, hmm, did I miss something?

Did they really just waste three questions, worded differently, yet asking the same thing, as though someone would lie on the first one, but after two more badgering them to be honest, would come clean? I guess they did. Good job, Canada, you think your citizens are idiots. I feel so much better about doing what you ask now.

Did they really just ask me a dozen or so questions, most of which provide information that any given annual tax return would clearly contain? Yup. So if I am one to fill out the census, then I am probably one to file my taxes, and thus, my government already has most of this information already.

Wow, what a splendid show of useful tactics to obtain what is already had. What an insulting, oppressive event the filling out of the Ontario census actually is. What a good, solid waste of paper. What a good, solid waste of government employees’ time and energies. What a wonderful idea, for whoever decided upon it, to make this nonsense a legal obligation.

Wait, all these reasons were mine for NOT filling it out in the first place. How did that happen? No, something’s not right here...

- Fiona Weaver



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