Trial resumes for Toronto senior who refused to fill out 2011 census | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Trial resumes for Toronto senior who refused to fill out 2011 census

Janet Churnin (left) stands outside a Toronto courthouse with Audrey Tobias (right) on Wednesday, Dec.11, 2013. Both women refused to fill out the mandatory census in 2011 and were taken to trial. Tobias was found not guilty in October but a judgement in Churnin's case has been reserved until January. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Diana Mehta
December 11, 2013 - 1:00 AM

TORONTO - A 79-year-old Toronto woman is expected to be back on trial today over her refusal to fill out the mandatory census in 2011.

Janet Churnin is charged with violating the Statistics Act and faces a possible fine and three months in jail.

She says she didn't fill out the census due to serious concerns over a U.S. arms maker's involvement in processing data on Canada's population.

Statistics Canada has said the government contracted Lockheed Martin to provide software for its census operations in 2003, and used the custom-built systems for both the 2006 and 2011 census.

It says Lockheed Martin had no access to its data operation centre or its census response database.

But Churnin's lawyer has suggested Lockheed Martin could have built a "back door'' into its software, which could potentially put the Canadian data at risk.

Peter Rosenthal argues that Churnin's Charter rights were violated by being required to answer the short-form census.

In 2011, StatsCan received 13 million completed census forms, a 98 per cent response rate. Overall, it referred 54 people for prosecution for failing to complete the mandatory census form.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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