Consultation with census data users, clients, stakeholders and other interested parties closed in November 2012. Qualitative content testing, which involved soliciting feedback regarding the questionnaire and tests responses to its questions, was scheduled for the fall of 2013, with more extensive testing occurring in May 2014. Statistics Canada was scheduled to submit its census content recommendations for review by the Parliament of Canada in December 2014 for subsequent final approval by the Cabinet of Canada.
On November 5, 2015, during the first Liberal caucus meeting after forming a majority government, the party announced that it would reinstate the mandatory long-form census, starting in 2016. By early January 2016, Statistics Canada had announced a need for 35,000 people to complete this survey to commence in May.
Portions of Canada's three territories and remote areas within Alberta, Labrador, Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan were subject to early enumeration between February 1, 2016, and March 31, 2016. Enumeration of the balance of Canada began on May 2, 2016, with the unveiling of the online census questionnaire, eight days prior to the official census day of May 10, 2016. Because of a wildfire in early May in northeast Alberta, Statistics Canada suspended enumeration efforts in the Fort McMurray area with alternate means to collect data from its evacuated residents to be determined at a later date. Shortly after re-entry, residents were encouraged to complete their census form online or over the phone; however door-to-door enumeration remained suspended.