CALGARY – A Calgary woman is fairly certain that the Canadian census she just took online was interested in far more than gathering her vital statistics.
“It started out normally, you know, verifying my address and all that,” says 34-year-old accountant Jennifer Gossard. “Then it asked me if I had a boyfriend, which was weird, this kinda thing usually just asks for marital status. As soon as I said no, the questions got more and more personal.”
Gossard was pleased at first that the census was asking her questions about the media content she likes, because she assumed it was the government’s way of determining how much new funding should be given to the arts in Canada. She began to get nervous when the census started responding to her responses.
“It kept saying ‘cool’ to all of my answers,” Gossard says. “Then it asked me to list the bands I like, and when I listed some Canadian bands like Metric and Arcade Fire, a little box popped up that said ‘yeah, those bands are so rad.’ Which is true, they are very rad, but I really don’t think the census should be making value judgments like that about my answers. Then it said Drake sucks, which is weird, because I didn’t even mention Drake.”
“I got really uncomfortable when it stopped waiting for my responses to the questions and just started giving its own. It asked me what kind of movies I like, and I hadn’t even finished writing out my answer about how I like indie Canadian horror when the census started going on about how awesome The Godfather is. That led to it talking about The Sopranos, which led to it talking about Breaking Bad – mostly about how it thought Skyler White was a bitch – and have I seen the new Justice League cut yet?”
“When the census asked for my measurements, I started frantically clicking the ‘previous’ button until I got back to the screen where I could change my answer to the boyfriend question. After that, the census thankfully only asked me a couple more questions, about if the relationship was serious and how much my boyfriend can bench.”
At press time, Gossard had just received her Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency, which pondered what a pretty gal like her was doing in a tax bracket like this.