Eighty-nine-year-old Audrey Tobias faces trial on Thursday for being defiant against the government. The Canadian peace activist is on trial for refusing to fill out the census form issued by the government.
Canadians are prohibited from skipping out on the census, according to the Statistics Act. If Ms Tobias is convicted, she may have to face a 90-day trial and/or a fine of $500.
Ms Tobias said that she would not mind being jailed if that was the price to be paid for protesting against the use of U.S. technology for examination, sorting and analysis of census information. In addition, she expressed her refusal to pay any fine or penalty, since Ms Tobias believes it would be the same as admitting she was guilty.
Statistics Canada bought the software from Lockheed Martin a decade back, and it has been using the same for statistical purpose since then. The software was used both in 2006 and in 2011 for the national census programme.
Ms Tobias, however, is not the first person in the country who refused to fill out census forms for the same reason. A woman from Saskatchewan refused to cooperate during the 2006 census for similar reasons. She was found guilty in 2011.
In the same year, Ms Tobias refused to fill out the census form, too. This time around, she seems to be determined enough to take her protest further, as she does not seem perturbed by the idea of being jailed for the offense. However, she said that she would "probably" fill out the form if another company was the provider of the census software.
She said that the Canadian government shows its inclination by using military software for the national census programme. She said that the country should be more inclined toward companies which promote peace and harmony, not toward a company like Lockheed Martin which she believes promotes war.
The contractor Lockheed Martin Canada is a subsidiary of the Maryland-based company specialising in global security and aerospace industry.
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