Statistics Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Data collection

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Data collection begins in May

Conducting the Census of Agriculture jointly with the Census of Population in mid-May helps streamline collection procedures and saves millions of dollars. In 2006, most Census of Population forms and some Census of Agriculture forms will be delivered to households and farm operations by Canada Post. In rural areas enumerators will deliver Census of Population questionnaires to households and a Census of Agriculture questionnaire will also be left if someone in the household operates an agricultural operation.

To determine whether or not the household has an agriculture operator, enumerators are instructed to ask all respondents, "Is anyone in this household a farm operator?" This question helps identify those who should also complete a Census of Agriculture questionnaire. The question is especially useful in cases where a farm operator lives away from the actual farm operation. A similar question appears on the Census of Population questionnaire to identify other farm operators who received their questionnaire by Canada Post or may not have been contacted in person. When contact is not made, the enumerator will also leave a Census of Agriculture questionnaire whenever agricultural activity is evident at the dwelling.

All Census of Agriculture respondents, except those living in remote and northern areas, are asked to mail back their completed questionnaires in the pre-addressed, postage-paid envelopes provided. In remote or northern areas of the country, enumerators visit the agricultural operations and complete the form by interviewing the farm operator.

The Census Help Line

The Census Help Line (1-877-594-2006) is a toll-free telephone service that respondents can call during the collection period to obtain assistance in completing the questionnaire.

Census follow-up

The questionnaires are either completed by Internet or mailed back to Statistics Canada's Data Processing Centre where the data are processed. (For more information please see Data processing.) Once the data have been collected, Statistics Canada employees edit, or check, them for completeness. Any questionnaire that has missing or incomplete data will be followed up by telephone. When questionnaires have not been returned within a certain period of time, a non-response follow-up is required.

The Census of Agriculture and the Internet

In 2006 the option of completing the Census of Population or Census of Agriculture questionnaires over the Internet is being offered to anyone wishing to take advantage of it. Instructions for accessing the website address and the Internet forms are included on the paper questionnaires delivered to respondents. Once the appropriate questionnaire is selected, the respondent enters an access code provided in the instructions onto the electronic questionnaire. This authenticates users and confirms that a questionnaire has been received from that household. A single portal, or entry point, is used for both the agriculture and population questionnaires. The Internet version also includes navigational aids, drop-down menus, and online edits.

Internet security — completing your questionnaire online

Statistics Canada takes the protection of confidential information provided online very seriously. A secure login process and strong encryption are key elements in helping to prevent anyone from accessing or tampering with your census information when you complete and send it online.

To protect the security of your personal information when you are using the Internet, Statistics Canada has incorporated the following safeguards:

  • Strong bi-directional encryption technologies to ensure end-to-end security of data passing between your PC and our web server.
  • Encryption methods based on Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and on a public-key infrastructure (PKI) that offer one of the highest levels of encryption for online transactions available today. It allows you to return to the long census form multiple times over several days while safely retaining and protecting your personal information.
  • Processing and storing census data on an internal isolated network that cannot be connected to any outside link or accessed by any person or organization outside Statistics Canada.
  • Powerful firewalls, intrusion detection and stringent access control procedures to limit access to back-end systems and databases. Census employees who have proper authorization can access census data but only from secure Statistics Canada sites.