Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

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Core Responsibility

Statistical Information


Statistics Canada produces objective high-quality statistical information for the whole of Canada. The statistical information produced relates to the commercial, industrial, financial, social, economic, environmental and general activities and conditions of the people of Canada.

Planning highlights

The agency will continue to publish and disseminate its core set of statistics and will also work to support government priorities. These priorities include middle class growth; climate change; economic growth through innovation; the increase and the diversification of trade and foreign investment; better social and economic security for Canadians; and modern, sustainable and resilient infrastructure.

In 2018–19, Statistics Canada will implement the amended Statistics Act, which will strengthen the independence of Statistics Canada. In the upcoming years, we are planning to maintain capacity to continue delivery of the ongoing program of economic and social indicators. These data help Canadians better understand our country—its population, resources, economy, society and culture, and in turn make informed decisions. We will address the needs of governments, businesses and individuals for trusted data to inform and develop policies and programs that will help improve the well-being of Canadians. As well, lessons learned will be integrated into all planning activities.

Government priorities: Supporting the Innovation and Skills Plan

We support government-wide policy development by providing statistical information, which enables the tracking and measurement of program results. We will continue to collaborate with federal government departments, provincial and territorial governments, and other organizations to adapt our programs in response to evolving information needs and to remain relevant. For example, we are supporting Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan. This plan is an ambitious effort to make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation; to help create good, well-paying jobs; and to help strengthen and grow the middle class. We are developing new data sources to measure the socioeconomic impact of new technologies on businesses and the labour market. We are also working with key federal departments and stakeholders to assess the impact of innovation on inclusive growth, and we will work towards a broader data strategy. This will identify what we currently have that can inform the issue, what we are lacking and how best to fill the gaps.

Statistics Canada also began to lay the foundation of a modernization initiative, to meet the evolving information needs of this growing digital economy and society. We are modernizing each step of the statistical process, from initial data collection to final data use, while increasing quality and statistical rigour.

First, we are adopting more user-centric service delivery. This means consulting extensively with data users to learn more about their exact needs. That way, we can focus our resources on producing what users want and need today. We will increase access and usability of statistical information via web portals and statistics hubs that include interactive data visualization tools on themes such as the economy, the environment and employment.

Second, we will build statistical capacity for Canadians. We are enhancing our role as Canada's statistical agency to help Canadians understand and interpret statistics. In this digital era, information sources are proliferating. By sharing our knowledge and expertise with Canadians, we can empower them to identify and use high-quality data effectively.

Third, we will further collaborate and share with clients, stakeholders and partners. The free flow of information among partners can help spread best practices, expertise and training, as well as generate innovative ideas. We can find new data sources, harvest data from them and develop more efficient ways of producing statistics. And we can leverage the communication channels of partners to reach as many Canadians as possible.

Fourth, we are developing and using leading-edge methods. As we experiment with new methods, we will continue to protect the privacy of respondents and the confidentiality of data, an area where we have achieved international recognition.

Finally, our workforce will become modern and flexible. This year, we launched the modern and flexible workplace initiative. Through this initiative, employees have access to innovative tools to take advantage of the digital environment's many opportunities. We will build on this in 2018–19.

Overall, with this transformation, we are adopting new methods and developing new types of data to give Canadians access to the information they need about themselves and society.

Canadians, businesses and organizations will benefit from our modernization initiative by having timely access to detailed statistics they can use to make informed decisions. Researchers and academics will be able to access more microdata and linked records to conduct meaningful research on Canada's changing society and economy. Governments at all levels, businesses, associations and social organizations will be able to establish strong partnerships with Statistics Canada, develop a better understanding of existing data sources and bring greater value to Canadians. Together, we can ensure that we leverage the strengths of a world-leading statistical agency to become not only a data-rich society, but a data-driven one as well.

Throughout this transformation, statistical rigour and quality will be as important as ever. Our reputation was built on the values of integrity, transparency and confidentiality, values we continue to prize as we modernize.

Pathfinder projects: Advancing through experimentation

Statistics Canada has a long history of experimenting with new approaches to support improvements in statistical programs. We have identified four pathfinder projects to lead the modernization initiative, which are key areas where experimentation techniques are applied. We will work to ensure that a fixed percentage of program funds are devoted to experimenting with new approaches to existing problems, measuring the impact of programs and reporting on our efforts. The valuable lessons learned from these projects will help us further define and refine the modernization plan, and bring forward new techniques throughout other statistical programs, supporting innovation and culture change.

Towards Measuring Cannabis: This project was launched in anticipation of the planned legalization of cannabis in 2018. Through the project, we are aiming to prepare the statistical system to measure the social and economic impacts of legalization. While the social statistics system currently captures some information on cannabis use, updates will be required to more accurately measure health effects and the impact on the justice system. The statistical infrastructure, which measures the use and impacts of substances such as tobacco and alcohol, will also be adapted to capture the impacts of cannabis.

Currently, economic statistics are largely silent on the role of illegal drugs in the economy. When cannabis is legalized, the economic statistics program will need to track the production, sale, consumption and price of cannabis like it does any other legal product. In 2018-19, we will begin to take steps to reflect the consumption and production of this newly legal product in our key economic indicators (e.g., the gross domestic product and the Consumer Price Index), which are critical inputs for fiscal and monetary policy.

Canadian Housing Statistics Program: This project is being developed in response to the need for a single integrated, comprehensive source of information on housing, in part to assess the impact of foreign ownership on Canada's housing stock and prices. To plan for this project, we first consulted partners and stakeholders extensively to assess their exact information needs.

We are gathering social housing data through a survey, as well as using administrative data, such as land registry files, property assessment rolls and tax data. This information will be linked to Statistics Canada data, such as census data, to create a comprehensive database of property, building, financing and owner characteristics.

While this program will analyze various aspects of social housing, one initiative includes analysis of foreign ownership. In December 2017, we released data for the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Toronto and Vancouver, focusing mainly on non-resident ownership. In these two CMAs, foreign home ownership has been raised as a factor contributing to lack of affordable housing. In 2018 and 2019, we will expand coverage to other CMAs, the provinces and the territories, and include a larger array of housing variables, such as owner characteristics. Data will be available on our website, and we will also release microdata files in the research data centres across the country, ultimately making more anonymized microdata available publicly.

Transition to a Low-carbon Economy: This project addresses the need for information on the role of clean technology in Canada as the country transitions to a low-carbon economy. Statistics are needed to track the evolution of this sector and its social and economic impacts, including those on the energy sector and the environment. Data are also needed to shed light on urgent environmental issues and solutions. In 2018 and 2019, we will continue to expand the program to include new variables related to the clean technology sector and a low-carbon economy, such as health outcomes, urban densification and consumer spending.

The first phase of the project focused on measuring the size of the clean technology sector (gross domestic product, exports, imports, employment and wages). In December 2017, we released the Environmental and Clean Technology Products Economic Account, which, for the first time, provided estimates of the size of the clean technology sector.

Measuring Growth in International Visitors to Canada: The tourism sector is very important to the Canadian economy and for showcasing the country's strengths to the world. We are actively working on measuring the number of international visitors to Canada.

To produce these measures, we are enhancing data collection tools and strategies we already have at our disposal and working closely with partners such as the Canada Border Services Agency. These tools and strategies will be supplemented with administrative data and data from new sources, such as Destination Canada; at the same time, we will continue to protect privacy and the confidentiality of the data.

We are partnering with tourism organizations, departments and other stakeholders to produce tourism satellite accounts for each of the provinces and territories every three years. At the same time, we are developing new methodologies to use leading-edge technology and tools, such as artificial intelligence.

As with many programs that rely heavily on administrative data, this project is not without its challenges. Data users want quick access to tourism data, but our dissemination speed depends on how fast we can get administrative data from data suppliers.

In the later part of 2018, we plan to release new, enhanced data from the tourism satellite accounts and on domestic and international travel by Canadians. Richer, more timely and more detailed data will enable a better understanding of this important sector of Canada's economy—creating new business opportunities and making services more efficient.

Building on the success of the 2016 Census and preparing for the 2021 Census

To prepare for the 2021 Census, we are evaluating census content to ensure that it is relevant for evidence-based decision making at all levels of government and for data users across Canada. We conducted extensive strategic consultations with Canadians to support this evaluation and have drawn heavily on the lessons learned. Also, Statistics Canada continuously looks at ways to reduce costs and increase the efficiency and use of its data. Like other national statistical organizations globally, we are researching how we can better use existing and new sources of data, to enhance the census program and reduce burden on Canadians. The results of this research will support collection and processing operations for the census. It will also improve the responsiveness and relevance of many other statistical programs at Statistics Canada.

Key priorities for ongoing programs

We will continue to deliver an ongoing program of economic and social indicators. Namely, Statistics Canada produces a wide range of economic and environmental indicators that allow policy makers, businesspeople and ordinary Canadians to make informed, evidence-based decisions on almost every aspect of living in society, including their standard of living, their financial security, their investment decisions, and how well they are governed. Indicators such as the CPI, GDP and a suite of other key economic indicators are inputs to monetary and economic policy decisions that affect the lives of Canadians (interest rate changes, pension indexation, federal and provincial budget announcements, etc.). As well, these statistics allow Canadians to make better spending and investment decisions with more confidence, encourage longer-term investment in Canada's economy, sustainable economic growth and contribute to sustained job creation and greater productivity.

Moreover, Statistics Canada provides a richness of data and analysis on a broad range of social domains to support and inform evidence-based decision-making for the public and private sectors. In addition, Statistics Canada is responding to emerging new social topics with various data strategies, such as the current opioids crisis, the social, justice and health impacts of the legalization of cannabis, medical assistance in dying, gender diversity, social housing, measurement of poverty and quality of work, and pathways through the post-secondary education system. Statistics Canada is committed to strengthening or renewing partnerships with Indigenous organizations, and communities, and in collaboration with other governments to build better data around Indigenous people, that are accessible to all.

Over the coming years, we will also bring leadership and expertise to the international table to maximize our international impact and further develop our domestic statistical system. We will provide targeted sustainable technical assistance and encourage global statistical comparability and innovation. We will also demonstrate leadership in areas where Canada has a comparative advantage. This leadership will involve supporting international communities of statistical practice and enhancing knowledge sharing in key areas through bilateral and multilateral engagement in working groups, committees and task forces where our expertise is recognized. We will also provide timely information to international bodies and multilateral organizations.

Data lead for the Sustainable Development Goals

Statistics Canada, with its expertise in data collection and analytics, is playing a key role to support the Government of Canada's Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), which is the primary vehicle for sustainable development planning and reporting. We are contributing data that help monitor and track several themes from the FSDS—for example, we are releasing survey and macroeconomic data on Canada's clean technology sector, improving data on renewable energy sources, releasing data on environmental farm management practices, and more. The strategy's domestic efforts complement Canada's commitment to the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With our expertise in data collection and analytics, we are leading the reporting on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for Canada to ensure that the information reported is accurate and of high quality. This will include launching a Government of Canada Sustainable Development Goal data portal to report on the indicators for the 17 goals.

Gender-based analysis plus

The Government of Canada has committed to using GBA+ to consider and measure the differential impacts of programs, policies and other initiatives from a gender, diversity and inclusion perspective. Statistics Canada's primary role in GBA+ is to provide data and analyses disaggregated by sex and other identity factors on a broad range of social and economic subjects, and to exercise leadership in supporting the commitment of departments to GBA+.

Statistics Canada will create a new Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics, a Centre that will act as GBA+ data hub to support future, evidence-based policy development and decision-making. We will increase awareness of our data holdings and help other departments find data disaggregated by various identity factors, and we will continue supporting the Canada School of Public Service and Status of Women Canada develop GBA+ training modules. Other initiatives are underway to simplify the search for data on our website and make the information more accessible.

In addition, we will provide methodological and analytical support in defining and measuring gender-based data to ensure an inclusive approach with a gender-diverse population. Recognizing gender diversity in the Canadian population, we will communicate new statistical guidelines and methods for collecting information on gender identity.

We will analyze data with the aim of supporting more thorough evidence-based decision making and responsiveness to gender-based issues. This will help lead to a system-wide recognition of gender-based contexts, which will ensure that these contexts are considered in policy initiatives.

Statistics Canada's 100th anniversary

Statistics Canada will mark its centennial in 2018. We have developed a one-year plan to look back on a century of scientific and statistical achievements while simultaneously looking forward as we innovate and embrace our modernization agenda for a data-driven economy and society. We are planning activities across the country to celebrate our centennial, including a commemorative e-publication, engagement with schools and community organizations to look back at 100 years of excellence while fostering increased use of national statistics, Chief-Statistician-led round table discussions with businesses and social organizations to discuss the way forward, outreach and activities across the country to raise awareness about statistical holdings, as well as special events and contests. More details on Statistics Canada's 100th anniversary can be found on the Statistics Canada website.

Planned results

Planned results
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2014–15 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results
Statistical information is of high quality Number of post-release corrections due to accuracy 0 March 31, 2019 1 3 2
Number of international forums of which Statistics Canada is a member 175 March 31, 2019 140Footnote 1 147Footnote 1 165
Percentage of international standards with which Statistics Canada conforms 90% March 31, 2019 83%Footnote 1 83%Footnote 1 85%
Statistical information is available and accessed Number of visits to Statistics Canada website 24,000,000 March 31, 2019 23,171,046 22,175,480 27,501,818Footnote 2
Percentage of website visitors that found what they were looking for 77% March 31, 2019 75% 81%Footnote 3 77%Footnote 3
Number of interactions on social media 600,000 March 31, 2019 Not availableFootnote 4 552,352 2,318,835Footnote 2
Number of statistical products available on the website 34,000 March 31, 2019 27,424 29,569 31,312
Number of Statistics Canada data tables available on the Open Data Portal 6,400 March 31, 2019 5,396 5,995 6,200
Statistical information is relevant Number of media citations on Statistics Canada data 56,000 March 31, 2019 19,876 26,070 63,510Footnote 5
Number of journal citations 20,500 March 31, 2019 18,034 19,723 20,032
Percentage of users satisfied with statistical information Target established by December 2018 March 31, 2019 Not availableFootnote 6 Not availableFootnote 6 Not availableFootnote 6
Footnote 1

This information was not tracked in a formal manner until 2016–17; results for 2014–15 and 2015–16 are estimates.

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Footnote 2

Results peaked in 2016–17 because of Census Program activities. The target for 2018–19 is based on a natural increase from the 2015–16 results and the 2017–18 targets (which do not appear in this table).

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Footnote 3

Results peaked in 2015–16 and 2016–17 because of Census program activities. The target for 2018–19 is based on a natural increase from the 2017–18 target of 75% (which does not appear in this table).

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Footnote 4

Actual results are not available for this specific fiscal year because we were not tracking this information or calculating these results at the time.

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Footnote 5

In 2016–17, Statistics Canada used new media tracking tools to provide a more complete and comprehensive assessment of media citations. They provided results two times greater than in the past. In addition to the change in tools, the 2016–17 actual results (63,510) show a significant increase because of Census Program activities. The target for 2018–19 (56,000) is based on a natural increase from the 2015–16 result, considering the new tracking tools.

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Footnote 6

Target and previous year results are not available, as 2018–19 will be the baseline year for this performance indicator. Information on user satisfaction of specific programs can be found in Evaluation Reports. The latest two evaluations (Evaluation of the Health Statistics Program and Evaluation of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics Program) both found high levels of satisfaction with the programs.

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Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018–19 Main Estimates 2018–19 Planned spending 2019–20 Planned spending 2020–21 Planned spending
489,924,625 489,924,625 472,146,343 471,994,208
Note: Main Estimates, Planned spending and Full-time equivalents figures do not include Budget 2018 announcements. More information will be provided in the 2018–19 Supplementary Estimates and Departmental Results Report, as applicable. Namely, resources do not reflect anticipated funding for the 2021 Census Program, which is expected to be approved in 2018–19, with the first year of funding being 2018–19.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents
4,666 4,603 4,531
Note: Main Estimates, Planned spending and Full-time equivalents figures do not include Budget 2018 announcements. More information will be provided in the 2018–19 Supplementary Estimates and Departmental Results Report, as applicable. Namely, resources do not reflect anticipated funding for the 2021 Census Program, which is expected to be approved in 2018–19, with the first year of funding being 2018–19.

Overall, Statistics Canada is expecting to maintain its capacity in future years for the delivery of ongoing statistical programs, with no significant shifts in resources. The decrease in planned resources from 2018–19 to future years reported above relates largely to the cyclical nature of the Census Program, as funding for the 2016 Census of Population and 2016 Census of Agriculture winds down. Funding for the 2021 Census of Population and the 2021 Census of Agriculture has not yet been approved but is expected to be approved in 2018–19, with the first year of funding being 2018–19.

In addition, one-time funding received to resolve an out-of-court settlement with Statistical Survey Operations regarding pay equity ends in 2018–19, as the vast majority of payments will be completed by the end of the 2018–19 fiscal year.

Items from Budget 2017, the Housing Statistics Framework and Measuring Growth in International Visitors to Canada are also included in planned spending for all three years.

Financial, human resources and performance information for Statistics Canada's Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal Services


Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018–19 Main Estimates 2018–19 Planned spending 2019–20 Planned spending 2020–21 Planned spending
66,104,652 66,104,652 66,366,041 65,874,074
Note: Main Estimates, Planned spending and Full-time equivalents figures do not include Budget 2018 announcements. More information will be provided in the 2018–19 Supplementary Estimates and Departmental Results Report, as applicable.
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents
594 595 590
Note: Main Estimates, Planned spending and Full-time equivalents figures do not include Budget 2018 announcements. More information will be provided in the 2018–19 Supplementary Estimates and Departmental Results Report, as applicable.

Planning highlights

The agency will continue to ensure that its Internal Services are efficient and user-centric, so that the largest possible share of available resources can be dedicated to delivering statistical services to Canadians. As well, lessons learned will be integrated into all planning activities.

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