StatsCan says it's ready to conduct census despite pandemic's resurgence
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Canada's national statistics agency says it's ready to conduct the 2021 census next month despite concerns about the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming months.
Census director general Geoff Bowlby told CBC News the fact that several provinces are tightening public health restrictions in response to rising COVID-19 case numbers won't change Statistics Canada's approach. "We planned for this reality. We planned right from the start to operate within the confines of a pandemic ... before vaccinations were widespread and before the pandemic has turned the corner," said Bowlby. "That's why we have the safe protocols in place — no visits inside the house, masks, limiting the number of visits at the door by making greater use of the internet, by making greater use of ... telephone calls." The agency says it has a plan in place for a "contactless" census to protect the health and safety of both census staff and those participating. All staff collecting census information in person are expected to follow the relevant public health guidance by observing physical distancing, staying outdoors and using personal protective equipment. Census Day is May 11 Starting May 3, Canadians will receive documents in the mail from Statistics Canada containing instructions on how to fill out the long-form and short-form questionnaires. The agency said it expects nine out of 10 households to complete the census online or by phone — the same percentage as in 2016. The remaining 10 per cent will be contacted by phone first to remind them to fill…