StatCan surveys: Your participation is important

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 11-629-x

Issue number: 2015006

Release date: January 17, 2012
StatCan surveys: Your participation is important - Transcript

Description of visuals

You're sitting at home, or at the office.

It's quiet, it's calm, it's - perfect.

Suddenly - the doorbell rings, the phone sounds, or an email arrives out of the blue.

Could it be that package you've been waiting for?

A long lost romantic connection?

News of a big sweepstakes win?

No. It's Statistics Canada.

In fact, we're Statistics Canada, and we're going to spend the next few minutes helping you understand why this is good news.

Imagine being the person who has to decide these things:

  • Where to put that new school?
  • Whether that new road should be two lanes or four lanes?
  • How many police cars, ambulances, or park benches?
  • How interest rates, salaries, prices, and other key financial indicators will be calculated?

There are a few ways he (or she) could do it.

One is the "dartboard theory".

Then there's the time-consuming "travel to the top of a mountain in the Himalayas and ask a very wise old sage" method.

But a far brighter way to make decisions is to base them on, good numbers.

Numbers provided by statistical information gathered by us (Statistics Canada) from you (the citizens of Canada - individuals, families, businesses).

Now imagine the numbers that this expert decision-maker is working with as a piece of cheese. This piece of cheese is pretty solid, right?

But if there is statistical data missing from the big picture - for instance, a missing number of families in a neighbourhood, with no information about how many cars, kids, dogs, bags of groceries, work information, or other things from those families - that creates a hole.

Multiply that across a number of doors not answered, phones not picked up, or web surveys not completed, and our cheese turns into, well, Canada has absolutely nothing against this very familiar type of cheese, but, the data won't hold water. It's faulty. It's incomplete.

And so if decisions as large as government policy on family benefits, or job programs or as personally important to you as municipal services or health services are made with bad or incomplete numbers, that's a real problem.

So, we need your participation. Each and every time.

And by the way, things like the Canadian Census only happen every five years, so most folks don't hear from us very often.

And let's take a second to reassure you about one very important thing.

Everything you tell us is held in strict confidentiality and protected by law.

Your identity gets separated from your information, and is never attached to it again. All your yes's and no's and x's and tick marks go into the machine of data analysis and come out the other end as trends and groupings.

So here's the deal. We want a little of your time and a little of your information.

We need it so Canada can make good decisions about you, your family, your community, and your work life as well.

We respect and value the time you give us, and we won't waste it.

So next time, think about the influence and the impact you and your information can have!

We look forward to talking with you!

(The image fades into the Canada wordmark against a white background.)

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