Archived – Organizational Priorities

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Table 1a - Summary of progress against priorities
This table identifies and describes one of the Agency’s priorities, and indicates its type and its strategic outcomes and/or programs.
Priority: Deliver a comprehensive set of statistical programs in conformity to Statistics Canada’s quality assurance framework.
Priority: Type: Footnote 1 Strategic Outcome(s) and/or Program(s):
Deliver a comprehensive set of statistical programs in conformity to Statistics Canada’s quality assurance framework. Ongoing Canadians have access to timely, relevant and quality statistical information on Canada’s changing economy and society for informed debate, research and decision making on social and economic issues; Economic Statistics; Social Statistics; Census, Demography and Aboriginal Statistics.
Deliver ongoing program of economic indicators: Producing a comprehensive program of macroeconomic statistics to support fiscal and monetary policy is one of Statistics Canada’s fundamental responsibilities. Macroeconomic statistics also play a key role in determining federal equalization payments to the provinces, and in allocating Harmonized Sales Tax revenues between federal and participating provincial governments. In 2013/2014, Statistics Canada continued to deliver timely and accurate economic indicators. It conducted the monthly and annual economic surveys used to compile Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and produced other relevant economic indicators; it published statistics on the financial health of the economy, such as national wealth and household debt; it published economic indicators, such as retail sales, manufacturing shipments, balance of payments and GDP on monthly and quarterly bases, within two months of the reference period; it published the international merchandise trade monthly, within five weeks of the reference period; and published the Consumer Price Index (CPI), monthly, within three weeks of the reference period. In addition, the Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research continued to provide researchers with secure access to business data for studies that meet the needs of other government departments as well as the needs of accredited researchers.

Deliver ongoing program of social statistics: In 2013/2014, the Social Statistics program continued to deliver household surveys, such as the monthly Labour Force Survey, the Survey of Household Spending, the Canadian Community Health Survey, the General Social Survey, the Survey of Financial Security, and information based on administrative programs, such as the Longitudinal Immigration Database, which yield trends on employment, family income and expenditure, as well as establishment-based employment surveys. It also produced information and analytical outputs on key social issues, including immigration, ethnicity, social engagement, youth, families, gender, seniors, Aboriginal people, social well-being, education, crime, justice, health, births, and deaths. In addition, in 2013/2014, a new online publication, Insights on Canadian Society, was launched, which features analytical articles on policy-relevant social and economic issues. As well, the population estimates were rebased to the 2011 Census of Population counts, and the production of population estimates needed for household survey-weighting purposes was centralized. Researchers were provided with access to social microdata files through various mechanisms, such as the Data Liberation Initiative, the Research Data Centres (RDCs), or through Real Time Remote Access.

Support data needs for key policies and initiatives:In collaboration with stakeholders, Statistics Canada is developing information roadmaps to respond to emerging data needs in key areas of social policy, such as justice, aging, the labour market and household wealth. These roadmaps show what is needed to address areas where data are incomplete or fragmented, and where investments are needed to support future policy needs and initiatives. In 2013/2014, Statistics Canada released information on caregivers and caregiving from the 2012 General Social Survey. It released new data, from the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, on the education, employment, and health of Inuit, Métis and off-reserve First Nations populations. It released results of the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability, which focused on the conditions and challenges of Canadians with disabilities, and their labour market experiences. It also released Canadian results from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. The Agency also released the first wave of results from the Longitudinal International Study of Adults. It continued to develop a program to analyze offenders’ re-contact with the justice system; and began to update justice surveys to reflect recent changes to the Criminal Code of Canada. It continued its release of information related to education and outcomes of post-secondary students, through the release of the Post-Secondary Information System and the availability of data from the National Graduate Survey. Information related to the Economic Well-being of Canadians was also made available.

Release the results from the 2011 National Household Survey: The 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) produced social and economic information that communities, businesses and all levels of government use to plan services, such as child care, schooling, family services, housing, roads and public transportation, and skills training for employment. In 2013/2014, Statistics Canada completed data processing, including edit and imputation, certification and tabulation; the Agency continued data quality studies; released NHS results in May, June and September 2013; subsequently released additional tables and profiles later in the fiscal year; and finished evaluating lessons learned.

Enhance the Consumer Price Index program to better serve the needs of the household, business and public sectors: The CPI enhancement initiative entered its fourth year in 2013/2014. In this fourth year, inclusion of new, representative products and outlets to the CPI continued; a new geographical stratum was introduced in Quebec, coverage was expanded in the existing southern Ontario stratum; additional items were included in the index; samples were increased for major urban centres in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec; new quality adjustment methods were introduced; IT and operational changes were also continued, including the delivery of a beta version of the CPI estimation system, the introduction of pilot tests for paperless data collection; further automation of data processing and sample management processes, all of which support the production of the CPI. Producing a better CPI that more accurately measures price changes facing consumers is important, since the CPI impacts Canadians in many important ways. The CPI is the Bank of Canada’s target indicator used in establishing monetary policy. It is also used to adjust public- and private-sector arrangements such as pensions, collective agreements, rental contracts, and tax brackets. In addition, the CPI is used to deflate ‘nominal’ values related to consumer incomes and expenditures to produce ‘real’ measures. By eliminating changes related to price movements, the indicators measuring the economy or individual well-being can be better understood. The CPI is also used for many ancillary analytical purposes, investment decision-making and economic forecasting.

Release the results from the 2012 Survey of Financial Security: Statistics Canada has ongoing coverage of household income and expenditure data. Measuring families’ wealth by collecting information on net worth, or assets minus debts, takes place less often. Wealth has been identified as an important statistical data gap in effectively discussing issues related to pension and income replacement. Several countries have implemented an ongoing wealth survey as part of their regular program. Statistics Canada conducted a Survey of Financial Security in 1999, providing a comprehensive picture of Canadians’ net worth. Information was collected on the value of all major financial and non-financial assets, as well as debt held on mortgages, vehicles, credit cards, student loans and other forms of credit. A smaller version of the survey was collected in 2005. Significant changes in the economy, in investment options and strategies, as well as in the tax system have likely had an impact on households’ net worth. Statistics Canada has received strong representations from major policy departments, as well as its advisory committees, including the National Statistics Council, that an update to this data was urgently required. In 2012, to provide up-to-date information on the net worth of Canadian households, the Agency conducted a new iteration of the Survey of Financial Security. The data were released in February 2014.

Release the results from the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey: The Aboriginal Peoples Survey covers the education, employment, and health of Inuit, Métis and off-reserve, First Nations populations. In 2013/2014, Statistics Canada released the results from the 2012 edition of this survey. The results were subsequently presented to Aboriginal communities and organizations across Canada as part of Statistics Canada’s outreach activities to Aboriginal peoples.
Table 1b - Summary of progress against priorities
This table identifies and describes one of the Agency’s priorities, and indicates its type and its strategic outcomes and/or programs.
Priority: Planning for the 2016 Census of Population Program and the Census of Agriculture.
Priority: Type: Strategic Outcome(s) and/or Program(s):
Planning for the 2016 Census of Population Program and the Census of Agriculture. Ongoing Canadians have access to timely, relevant and quality statistical information on Canada’s changing economy and society for informed debate, research and decision making on social and economic issues; Economic Statistics; Social Statistics; Census, Demography and Aboriginal Statistics.
Continue evaluating the 2011 Censuses of Population and Agriculture programs: The results from the evaluation, along with the findings of the review of international methodological approaches that took place in 2012/2013, enabled Statistics Canada to frame specific options for the 2016 Census Programs. In 2013/2014, Statistics Canada developed an improved structure and transparent process to determine the content of the 2016 Census Programs; developed a corresponding methodology; and conducted content consultations with data users, evaluated the feedback, and conducted numerous qualitative tests in preparation for a larger test of the 2016 content and questionnaire formats to be conducted in May 2014.

Continue user consultation as part of the Census Metropolitan Area and Census Agglomeration Review to ensure census geographic concepts continue to be relevant: In 2013/2014, this took place as part of the evaluation/option development process described above.

Develop a collection methodology that uses the Internet as the primary mode of collection: In 2013/2014, Statistics Canada continued to refine and prepare the collection methodology and processes for the 2016 Census Programs. The objective for 2016 is to have 65% of households completing their Census of Population questionnaire online.

Investigate how administrative sources could improve the quality and effectiveness of the 2016 Census of Population Program or could reduce respondent burden: In 2013/2014, Statistics Canada conducted research to explore the potential of expanding the use of administrative data Footnote 2 in the Census Programs with the goal of reducing both burden and costs.

Investigate how administrative sources and technologies, such as remote sensing, could improve the quality and efficiency of the agriculture statistics program, including the Census of Agriculture: During 2013/2014, feasibility studies and consultations continued to be conducted with federal, provincial and industry stakeholders to identify additional administrative data sources that might be suitable for use in the Census of Agriculture or the Agriculture Statistics Program. Investigations also assessed the feasibility of changing or raising survey exclusion thresholds to eliminate survey reporting burden on smaller farms. Further work is required to investigate and analyze alternative data sources that have been identified and that hold promise for incorporation into the Agriculture Statistics Program. High levels of interdepartmental co-operation and support across jurisdictions will be necessary to obtain these microdata sets, to assess the collection methodology and data quality associated with them, to develop integration plans to fully use these data sources, and to start making changes to the program, where feasible. Further analysis of remote-sensing technologies and administrative data sources (including further incorporation of taxation data), with a view to replacing survey questions or entire surveys over the longer term, is also required. Remote sensing is the science and art of obtaining information about an object, area, or phenomenon through the analysis of data acquired by a device that is not in contact with the object, area, or phenomenon under investigation (such as satellite imagery).
Table 1c - Summary of progress against priorities
This table identifies and describes one of the Agency’s priorities, and indicates its type and its strategic outcomes and/or programs.
Priority: Make highest-priority investments necessary to ensure both the continuity and the quality of the existing statistical program.
Priority: Type: Strategic Outcome(s) and/or Program(s):
Make highest-priority investments necessary to ensure both the continuity and the quality of the existing statistical program.

Continue to identify and implement Corporate Business Architecture Footnote 3 initiatives to increase operational efficiency, and to improve operational robustness and responsiveness.
Ongoing Canadians have access to timely, relevant and quality statistical information on Canada’s changing economy and society for informed debate, research, and decision making on social and economic issues; Economic Statistics; Social Statistics; Census, Demography, and Aboriginal Statistics.
Continuously improve the multi-year investment plan to ensure the efficiency, continuity and quality of all statistical and support programs: It is an ongoing priority for Statistics Canada to operate at the highest level of efficiency to sustain the Agency’s programs and to foster innovation. The Corporate Business Architecture (CBA) is at the heart of the planning process, continuously identifying cross-cutting projects that will make Statistics Canada’s operations more robust, responsive and efficient. In 2013/2014, work continued to improve planning to ensure that cost estimates were realistic, deliverables clear, and schedules achievable. This included a major review of the 10-year investment plan to permit clear identification of business owners of horizontal initiatives to ensure inclusion of all of the investments needed to mitigate operational and strategic risks. The integration of human resources and financial planning was also enhanced through a new corporate strategy for updating the information in the Salary Information Management System (SIMS) and linking it with corporate staffing plans.

Continue to fund the needed investments for program continuity and quality: The core strategy for ensuring the continuity and quality of its programs is an evergreen, 10-year investment plan that identifies all required investments, along with their timing, duration, and estimated cost by fiscal year. Making these investments is a high planning priority, second only to transformational investments in business architecture that enhance efficiency. A rigorous multi-year planning framework ensures the allocation of resources to these vital investments with optimal efficiency. In 2013/2014, Statistics Canada continued to fund these investments as outlined in the 10-year plan.

Monitor the Agency’s most significant projects using the Departmental Project Management Framework (DPMF) and related tools: In 2012/2013, the DPMF was implemented across the Agency for all projects with total costs of $150,000 or more, and focused on key investments in Corporate Business Architecture that enhance efficiency. In 2013/2014, the Agency began to monitor 16 additional significant projects using DPMF tools. Overall, the health of 56 projects was monitored monthly through executive project dashboards. The Agency also made available a corporate changes, issues and risk management system, and gave additional operational project management and status reporting training to managers and executives.

Further align the program-evaluation process with Treasury Board policies and directives: In line with the government’s commitment to demonstrate results for taxpayers’ dollars, Statistics Canada has implemented the Policy on Evaluation, and strengthened the Agency’s performance-measurement strategies. The neutral evaluation function at Statistics Canada now reports directly to the Chief Statistician. For 2013/2014 and beyond, improving the evaluation function required attracting skilled professional evaluators and delivering the rolling five-year evaluation plan. In 2013/2014, Statistics Canada successfully recruited skilled evaluators, professionalized the evaluation function, and delivered the 2013/2014 to 2017/2018 departmental evaluation plan. In addition, Statistics Canada conducted its first neutral assessment of the Evaluation and Professional Practice Division. The results demonstrated that Statistics Canada is adhering to Treasury Board policies and directives related to program evaluation. In terms of coverage, Treasury Board expects that departments will conduct evaluations covering 100% of direct program spending over the course of a 5-year cycle. During 2013/2014, three program evaluations were conducted: Macro Accounts (System of National Accounts); Labour, Education, Income and Tourism Statistics; and Demographic, Aboriginal and other Social Statistics. Together, the three programs evaluated amounted to 21% of direct program spending.

Continue to strengthen the corporate information management framework: Information management (IM) is integral to the strategic outcome of the national statistical office—to provide Canadians with access to a trusted source of information. Statistics Canada’s IM Action Plan addresses the highest priority IM challenges that the Agency faces as it pursues the corporate objectives of relevance, trust, access and stewardship. Initiatives are aligned with the priority components of the Enterprise Government of Canada IM Framework: Government of Canada (GC) Information Management (IM) Strategy. IM continues to be a key principle of the Agency’s CBA initiative. The integration of good IM practices into business processes is a key part of several strategic projects. The goal is to facilitate the identification and management of information resources of business value. In 2013/2014, Statistics Canada continued to monitor the implementation of the Directive on the Management of Statistical Microdata Files and the Directive on the Management of Aggregate Statistics. Work continued to prepare for the implementation of GCDOCS to replace the software used by the Document Management Centre. Business processes were analyzed to identify information resources of business value for statistical processes and their information management requirements including preservation and disposition schedules. A strategy on statistical standards was approved and the action plan received corporate funding for implementation. The data service centre initiative began. Once completed, this single corporate approach to registering files will facilitate access to all of the Agency’s key statistical holdings by authorized users.
Table 1d - Summary of progress against priorities
This table identifies and describes one of the Agency’s priorities, and indicates its type and its strategic outcomes and/or programs.
Priority: Develop a state-of-the-art, user-centric dissemination model that aligns with the principles of the Government of Canada Open Government initiative.
Priority: Type: Strategic Outcome(s) and/or Program(s):
Develop a state-of-the-art, user-centric dissemination model that aligns with the principles of the Government of Canada Open Government initiative. New Canadians have access to timely, relevant and quality statistical information on Canada’s changing economy and society for informed debate, research and decision making on social and economic issues; Economic Statistics; Social Statistics; Census, Demography and Aboriginal Statistics.
Initiate the development of the new dissemination model: Over the last number of years, Statistics Canada has played a leading role in statistical data dissemination, both nationally and internationally. The goal of the new dissemination model is to modernize Statistics Canada’s methods and framework for the coherent dissemination of data to the public, including on the website, with the focus on aggregated statistics. This four-year project, launched in 2012/2013, includes developing a single output data repository to drive dynamically generated data tables Footnote 4; simplifying the product line to ensure consistency in product availability, presentation and functionality across the different subject-matter areas; reviewing the organization of the website and navigation strategy to ensure that Statistics Canada data are easy to find; and reviewing the output formats being offered, including the implementation of a web data service. In 2013/2014, the Agency initiated development of proposed systems, and began iterative usability testing of the proposed prototypes.

Develop, test and implement the new Government of Canada Open Data Portal infrastructure and user interface: The Government of Canada produces vast amounts of data to support delivery in areas such as health, environment, agriculture and natural resources. The Open Data Portal was developed to create a central location for making government data freely available in machine-readable formats. Statistics Canada was asked to host, develop, and maintain the next generation of the Government of Canada’s Open Data Portal that was successfully launched on June 18, 2013. The launch of this site enabled Canada to meet its international commitments under the G8 Open Data Charter. Statistics Canada continues to support and enhance the portal infrastructure and user interface. This extension to Statistics Canada’s portfolio ties into the Agency’s goals and objectives of providing greater access to statistical data for the Canadian public.
Table 1e - Summary of progress against priorities
This table identifies and describes one of the Agency’s priorities, and indicates its type and its strategic outcomes and/or programs.
Priority: Increase the use of administrative data to reduce response burden, improve data quality, and expand data series made available to users.
Priority: Type: Strategic Outcome(s) and/or Program(s):
Increase the use of administrative data to reduce response burden, improve data quality, and expand data series made available to users. Ongoing Canadians have access to timely, relevant and quality statistical information on Canada’s changing economy and society for informed debate, research and decision making on social and economic issues; Economic Statistics; Social Statistics; Census, Demography and Aboriginal Statistics.
Develop a corporate approach for the governance, acquisition, use and disposition of administrative data: Statistics Canada has a long history of using administrative data for economic and social statistics, as well as for census and demographic programs. These data can provide high-quality input, while minimizing the burden on respondents. Statistics Canada recognizes the need to manage and reduce wherever possible the burden on small and medium-sized businesses and on individual Canadians. Further, administrative and secondary data sources yield the potential to develop new information series on new and emerging issues at a reduced cost and without increasing global response burden when compared to traditional statistical surveys. To enhance its use of administrative or secondary data, Statistics Canada will review its practices and use to ensure a consistent, coherent corporate approach to the acquisition, management, use, and disposition of such data. In 2013/2014, the Agency conducted an international review of governance and related frameworks for using administrative and secondary data sources. A review of current internal practices was undertaken to identify existing processes for acquiring, using and managing administrative data. Work started on developing an evaluation framework for administrative data that will more rapidly assess their fitness for use. Recommendations were made to optimize processing of administrative data.

Statistics Canada continues to
  • seek opportunities with other federal departments to obtain administrative data as a means of reducing response burden and expanding information holdings.
  • leverage the network of provincial/territorial statistical agencies and resources to develop additional national information products, based on federal/provincial/territorial administrative data. For example, in 2013/2014, Statistics Canada began a collaborative proof-of-concept pilot project to produce a new nationally comparable data series, using income support/social assistance administrative data. This work will continue in 2014/2015.
  • collaborate with international organizations to share best practices and pool research findings to facilitate enhanced use of administrative data.
  • explore potential for official statistical purposes of transactional data held by private enterprises.

Notes

Footnote 1

Type is defined as follows: previously committed to—committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the report; ongoing—committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report; and new—newly committed to in the reporting year of the RPP or DPR.

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Footnote 2

Administrative data are records collected for the purpose of carrying out various non-statistical programs. For example, administrative records are maintained to regulate the flow of goods and people across borders, to respond to the legal requirements of registering particular events such as births and deaths, and to administer benefits, such as pensions or obligations, such as taxation (for individuals or for businesses).

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Footnote 3

Statistics Canada’s Corporate Business Architecture initiative, launched in 2009, is pursuing the triple objective of increasing the efficiency, robustness, and responsiveness of the Agency’s organizational structure, business processes and business systems.

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Footnote 4

The existing Statistics Canada website presents several different types of data tables which are generated by various systems and databases. One of the objectives of the new dissemination model is to streamline this approach so that all aggregate standard data are stored in a single data repository. This will facilitate a more consistent presentation of dynamic data tables.

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