Duceppe suggests withholding passport of census recalcitrants

Jail time, fines could be replaced with less-severe penalties, says Bloc leader

Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe hopes to convince Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reconsider his plan to do away with the mandatory long-form census form. Duceppe suggests Ottawa should look at keeping the form and replacing jail time with lesser penalties. The government could withhold services—a passport or Employment Insurance—until people submit a completed census form. “There are rights—and there are also responsibilities—for citizens,” Duceppe said. “We can tell people, ‘Well, if you refuse, certain government services won’t be provided to you for as long as you refuse.'” This compromise appears unlikely as, despite a number of criticisms about scrapping the mandatory long-form census, the prime minister has given no indication that he will change his mind.


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