July 2010

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3rd Session, 40th Parliament

A study of the long-form portion of the Census

Televised 9-10AM.


Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology


Meeting No. 29
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Room 253-D, Centre Block


Tony Clement, P.C., M.P., Minister of Industry


Panel I

Department of Industry

Richard Dicerni, Deputy Minister

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Panel II

As individuals

Ivan P. Fellegi
Former employee of Statistics Canada
Ancien employé de Statistique Canada

Munir Sheikh
Former employee of Statistics Canada
Ancien employé de Statistique Canada

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Panel III

Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

Martin Simard, Research Professor
Department of Human Resources
Départment des sciences humaines

York University

David Tanny, Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Départment de mathématiques et statistiques

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Panel IV

  • Carleton University Library Data Centre
  • Ernie Boyko, Adjunct Data Librarian
  • 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Panel V

  • National Citizens’ Coalition
  • Peter Coleman, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
  • Elisapee Sheutiapik, Board Member
  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • To be determined

Our Chief Statistician Resigned Yesterday. A first for Canada.

Below is his resignation letter which was quickly whisked off the Statistics Canada web site. Much like how Minister Clement removed the Census submission from the Digital Economy Consultation, and then of course there is the entire wiping out of baseline data.

Media advisory: 2011 Census

July 21, 2010

OTTAWA — There has been considerable discussion in the media regarding the 2011 Census of Population.

There has also been commentary on the advice that Statistics Canada and I gave the government on this subject.

I cannot reveal and comment on this advice because this information is protected under the law. However, the government can make this information public if it so wishes.

I have always honoured my oath and responsibilities as a public servant as well as those specific to the Statistics Act.

I want to take this opportunity to comment on a technical statistical issue which has become the subject of media discussion. This relates to the question of whether a voluntary survey can become a substitute for a mandatory census.

It can not.

Under the circumstances, I have tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister.

I want to thank him for giving me the opportunity of serving him as the Chief Statistician of Canada, heading an agency that is a symbol of pride for our country.

To you, the men and women of Statistics Canada – thank you for giving me your full support and your dedication in serving Canadians. Without your contribution, day in and day out, in producing data of the highest quality, Canada would not have this institution that is our pride.

I also want to thank Canadians. We do remember, every single day, that it is because of you providing us with your information, we can function as a statistical agency. I am attaching an earlier message that I sent to Canadians in this regard.

In closing, I wish the best to my successor. I promise not to comment on how he/she should do the job. I do sincerely hope that my successor’s professionalism will help run this great organization while defending its reputation.

Munir A. Sheikh

For more information, contact Media Relations at 613-951-4636

For details on the 2011 Census, see 2011 Census questionnaire.

Graphic By http://www.socialsignal.com/

Graphic By http://www.socialsignal.com/

Graphic By http://www.socialsignal.com/Talking point piece from David Akin

Jail Time and the CensusWorthwhile Canadian Initiative
The new talking point on the census: Tony Clement: Data is valuable to many. But personal questions you would like to force Cdns to answer on pain of jail is just plain wrong. Maxime Bernier: Why…

The new talking point on the census:

Tony Clement:

Data is valuable to many. But personal questions you would like to force Cdns to answer on pain of jail is just plain wrong.

Maxime Bernier:

Why in the world should peaceful and honest citizens be threatened with jail if they refuse to answer these questions?!

This argument omits three facts:

  1. The short-form census is still mandatory.
  2. The short-form census asks personal questions such as marital status.
  3. The maximum penalty for non-compliance with the short-form is… jail time.
If the problem is the threat of jail time, then remove the threat!
Media Roundup of Tuesday’s Finds:


Funny Stuff:

Via Twitter - Poster on Poll in Ottawa

Fantastic poster at Cartier and Somerset #census #cdnpoli

Graphic By http://www.socialsignal.com/
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 in the Simon A. Goldberg Conference Room from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m (Ottawa time).

The text below, sent by the Chief Statistician to all employees of Statistics Canada is a very interesting development.

La version française suit.

2011 Census: Meeting the challenge

On June 26, 2010, the questionnaire for the 2011 Census was published in the Canada Gazette as required by the Statistics Act. The census will consist of the same eight questions that appeared on the 2006 Census short-form questionnaire. The information previously collected by the mandatory long-form questionnaire will now be collected as part of the new voluntary National Household Survey.

Since the announcement, this new format has received widespread coverage in the news media.

I am aware that this situation has generated questions. Given this, I have decided to hold a town hall on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 in the Simon A. Goldberg Conference Room from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m (Ottawa time).

In order to ensure I address those issues of most concern, I ask that you submit your questions via e-mail to Chief Statistician/Statisticien en chef before 12 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20 (Ottawa time).

Because of the limited capacity of the conference room, the meeting will be broadcast live on the ICN.   An e-mail with the link to the broadcast will be sent to all employees before the meeting. Simultaneous translation and sign interpretation will be provided.


Recensement de 2011 : relever le défi

Le 26 juin 2010, le questionnaire du Recensement de 2011 a été publié dans la Gazette du Canada, conformément à la Loi sur la statistique. Le recensement sera constitué des mêmes huit questions qui ont figuré dans le questionnaire abrégé du Recensement de 2006. Les données antérieurement recueillies au moyen du questionnaire détaillé seront recueillies sur une base volontaire dans le cadre de la nouvelle Enquête nationale auprès des ménages.

Depuis son annonce, ce nouveau format a reçu une couverture médiatique très importante.

Je suis conscient que la situation a soulevé des questions. Par conséquent, j’ai décidé de tenir une séance de discussion ouverte le mercredi 21 juillet 2010 au Centre de conférences Simon-A.-Goldberg de 14 h à 15 h (heure d’Ottawa).

Afin de bien cerner les enjeux les plus préoccupants, je vous demande de me faire parvenir vos questions à l’adresse Statisticien en chef/Chief Statistician d’ici le mardi 20 juillet à 12 h (heure d’Ottawa).

En raison de la capacité d’accueil limitée de la salle, la réunion sera diffusée sur intranet en temps réel.  Un courriel contenant le lien vers le RCI sera envoyé à tous les employés avant l’événement. La traduction simultanée et l’interprétation gestuelle seront offertes.

Graphic By http://www.socialsignal.com/

and for some Canuck fun:

Graphic By http://www.socialsignal.com/

This list is now being updated daily on the Census Watch Page.

List of Organizations Opposed to Changing the Long Form of the Census

This list was compiled by W. T. Stanbury (wstanbury@prodigy.net.mx) and Armine Yalnizyan, Canadian Centre for Policy Analysis [last update:July 20,2010 ]

Graphic By http://www.socialsignal.com/ As part of my PhD dissertation research I have been investigating the Census of Canada. I have a dbase of all the questions since 1871 being edited at the moment and needless to say copious notes. Here is a small extraction that is of relevance to the debates about the census at the moment.

The list is not exhaustive and not fully edited, but does provide insight as to why those questions are asked and why those who know the census are outraged.  It also remains uncertain how the changes will be able to address the legislative requirements.

  1. Aboriginal Identity: Employment Equity Act; Indian Act; Multiculturalism Program; Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy, used by aboriginal governments, communities, and organizations, characteristics of on and off reserve populations
  2. Activity limitations: Data are used to develop and manage transportation, housing, communications, employment equity and other programs.
  3. Certificates, diplomas and degrees, field of specialization: Employment Equity Act, Immigration Act, Canada Student Loans Program,
  4. Citizenship: Citizenship Act, Canadian Multiculturalism Act, Immigration Act, voting and electoral planning.
  5. Common-law status: first asked in 1991, track changes in family structure and family relationships, and prevalence of cohabitation. De facto marital status is also assessed. Common-law data from 1986 and 1981 were derived from relationship to person questions. changes in family structure and family relationships, prevalence of cohabitation, first time in 1991, formerly it was derived, opposite sect included, Same acts as marital.
  6. Difficulties with daily activities: Started in 1991. Used for the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS). Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Employment Equity Act, Canada Health and Social Transfer.
  7. Ethnic origin: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Multicultural Program, diversity measure in Canada, and characteristics of ethnic groups, also required for the Multiculturalism Act and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  8. Full-time or part-time work: EI, Old Age Security Act, Canada Pension Plan.
  9. Household activities: included for the 1st time in 1996, to measure contributions made from unpaid work, to “give a picture of both the market and non-market component of Canadian Society” (Statistics Canada, 1997:69).
  10. Housing: assess current state of hosing stock, evaluate future needs, national Housing Act and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Act, mortgage loan insurance programs, new homeowners insurance programs, land management programs, housing assistance programs, etc. this was asked of 20% sample instead of a 80% sample.
  11. Income: social assistance, EI, Old Age Security Act, indicator of the economic well being of Canadians, only source of small area information on income, draw comparision between groups, sources of income, and to analyze income composition,
  12. Indian Band/First nation membership and Treaty/Registered Indian: Employment equity act, Indian Act, Aboriginal Business Canada Program, and Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy.
  13. Knowledge of English and French: Official Languages Act; Citizenship Act, Official Languages Support Program.
  14. Knowledge of non-official languages: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Citizenship Acts, Multiculturalism Program.
  15. Labour Market: can be used for EI, social assistance, education and training, Incorporation status, place of work, mode of transport to work, language at work
  16. Language of work: insight into the vitality of official languagues among official and non official minority language groups, use of language on the job, linguistic integration assessment, integration of allophones immigrants into the labour force
  17. Language: to administer Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Also need of language training, assess language skills, home language was added in 1971, to study linguistic assimilation in Canada and to evaluate language programs to help linguistic groups maintain their heritage and to assess which official languages are learned.
  18. Languages learned at home: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Citizenship Acts, Multiculturalism Program.
  19. Languages spoken at home: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Citizenship Acts, Multiculturalism Program.
  20. Marital Status: for producing family data, population estimates, prior to 1991 common-law couples responded as married, analysis between legal marriage and co-habitation. Canada Child Tax Benefit, Old Age Security Program, Canada Pension Plan and Same sex couples
  21. Mobility: Canada elections act, Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangement Act, Official Languages Support Program. Measure pop growth, migration in intercensal years, benchmark data to adjust intercensal estimates, migratory statistics, pop growth, mechanism used by the labour market to smooth out income and employment disparities, population estimates needed for the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements and Federal Post-Secondary Education and Health Contributions Act. I year mobilities was added here,
  22. Mode of transportation to work: first time, meet the needs of users such as transportation planners and engineers, boards and market analysis. To plan urban growth and transportation networks, environmental impact and energy consumption with transportation.
  23. Number or rooms / bedrooms: helps to evaluate overcrowding, dwelling size, housing condition and quality of life,
  24. Period of construction: life cycle of buildings, housing renovations, emergency repair programs, RRAP programs,
  25. Place of Birth of Parents: Citizenship Act, Immigration Act, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom (but this is a new question so…), second and third generation Canadians.
  26. Place of birth: Citizenship Act, Canadian Multiculturalism Act, Immigration Act, adaptation to Canadian culture.
  27. Place of work: used to assess commuting, and its impact on the lives of Canadians, to identify requirements for transportation, public service locations (e.g. schools), help urban transportation planners, traffic patter analysis,
  28. Population Groups – Employment Equity Act, Official Languages Act, Canadian Multiculturalism Act,
  29. Relationship to person 1: Canada Child Tax Benefit, Old Age Security Program, Canada Pension Plan.
  30. Religions: Cultural Integration Program, Cultural Enrichment Program, Multiculturalism Program
  31. Schooling: illiteracy, remedial programming, continuing education market, refreshing workers skills, (no legislation or program requirements with this one)
  32. Shelter cost: National Housing Act, Canada Pension Plan, Canada Health and Social Transfer.
  33. Unpaid Work: Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, Women’s Program and National Advisory Council on Aging
  34. Visible Minority – employment equity, status thereof,
  35. Year of Immigration: Programs – Language instruction for New Comers to Canada; Independent, Sponsored Immigration and Refugees; Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program,
  36. Yearly payment on shelter costs: estimate costs, developing and evaluating housing, welfare and public service programs

Graphic By http://www.socialsignal.com/ This is a list of only the major requirements, there are over 80 pieces of legislation and acts that require census data for the operationalization and implementation of the act’s related programs, services, etc.



Canada Mortgage and Housing

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Act

National Housing Act

Canada Revenue Agency

Income Tax Act

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Canadian Multiculturalism Act

Citizenship Act

Department of Justice

Youth Criminal Justice Act

Canadian Human Rights Act

Elections Canada

Canada Elections Act

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act

Finance Canada

Funding for Diagnostic and Medical Equipment Act

Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act

Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador Additional Fiscal
Equalization Offset Payments Act (2005)

Implementation Act 2007

Budget Implementation Act 2009

Federal-provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act

Bank Act

Atlantic Accord Implementation Act

Health Canada

Canada Health Act

Food and Drug Act

Resources and Skills Development Canada

Canada Pension Plan Act

Old Age Security Act

Canada Student Loans Act

Canada Student Financial Assistance Act

Employment Equity Act

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Act

Employment Insurance Act

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian Act

Industry Canada

Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act

Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council Act

Patrimoine Canadian Heritage

Official Languages Act

Canada Council for the Arts Act

Public Works and Government
Services Canada

Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act

Transport Canada

Railway Relocation and Crossing Act

Canada Transportation Act

Veterans Affairs

War Veterans Allowance Act

Graphic By http://www.socialsignal.com/

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Mandatory Census o' Canada

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