Section 9: Supplementary Documents

Appendix 1 – Statistics Canada Personal Information Banks related to Statistical Operations

Information about Programs and Information Holdings (formerly Info Source : Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information) provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It provides individuals and employees of the government (current and former) with relevant information to access personal information about themselves held by government institutions subject to the Privacy Act and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act.

This appendix contains the main categories of personal information that Statistics Canada collects from respondents or obtains from other organizations. The full list and descriptions of Statistics Canada's Classes of Records and Personal Information Banks (PIBs) are available in Statistics Canada's Information about Programs and Information Holdings chapter, which is updated and published annually.

Categories of personal information

Surveys and censuses:

  • Aboriginal peoples
  • Age, sex and gender
  • Children and youth
  • Culture and leisure
  • Education, training and learning
  • Ethnicity
  • Energy use and expenses
  • Families and households
  • Health
  • Income and pensions
  • Languages
  • Labour and employment
  • Military/Armed Forces
  • Seniors
  • Spending and wealth
  • Travel and tourism
  • Victimization

Survey information is also collected on unincorporated businesses which may be considered personal information.

The complete list of Statistics Canada surveys is available on the Statistics Canada website under Definitions, data sources and methods.

Administrative data:

  • Cannabis
  • Credit and financial records
  • Education
  • Employment and employment insurance
  • Health records
  • Energy use and expenses
  • Housing
  • Immigration, citizenship, refugees
  • Income tax and benefits
  • Income support
  • Indian register
  • Licences and permits
  • Justice statistics
  • Pension plans
  • Personal insurance
  • Population and demography
  • Government personnel and payroll
  • Salary information
  • Social assistance
  • Social insurance register
  • Telephone use and expenses
  • Travel and tourism
  • Vehicle registrations

Administrative data is also obtained on incorporated businesses which may be considered personal information.

Appendix 2 – Minimum content to be included in a Supplement to the Generic Privacy Impact Assessment



Program manager:

Reference to Personal Information Bank:

New institutional PIB – Title, PRN, PSU (or "Under development")
Revised institutional PIB – Title, PRN, PSU
Revised standard PIB – Title, PRN, PSU

Description of statistical activity or procedures and systems:

Reason for supplement:

Mitigation factors:

Appendix 3 – Data Collection at Statistics Canada

The purpose of this appendix is to provide an overview of the different methods that Statistics Canada uses to collect information for its statistical programs. Each of these is addressed within the Threat and Risk Assessment in Section 6.

Traditionally, Statistics Canada has collected the majority of its information directly from the individual persons, businesses, institutions and organizations, who report for themselves.Footnote 1 This continues to be a significant approach to collecting information. The various modes of direct data collection are described briefly below.

An alternative approach to collecting personal information directly is to use administrative records produced by another organization for their own uses. This approach is usually a lower cost alternative to direct collection, represents no additional response burden, and is used whenever possible if the data quality of the administrative records is sufficiently high for Statistics Canada's use in its statistical programs. Even when quality may not be as high as desired, administrative data may be used. The decision on when to use administrative information requires a comparison of the data quality, respondent burden and costs of direct collection and the use of administrative information. Traditionally, Statistics Canada has collected administrative records from governments. However, the Agency now collects administrative records from businesses, such as pricing information on products and services.

Another option is used rarely, but may gain importance in the future. In certain cases, the information is available already on the organization's web site and Statistics Canada may obtain it directly. It is highly unlikely that such sources would contain personal information.

Overview of the direct survey collection process

The choice of the data collection methodology for social surveys considers a number of factors, such as survey budget, the number of persons/respondents included in the survey, the target population, the complexity of the survey subject matter, the number of survey questions and length of interview, telephone number and/or email address coverage in the geographic areas to be included, and, the timeframe within which the survey must be completed. For business surveys the data collection processes are influenced, among other factors, by the periodicity of the survey, the complexity of the business enterprise and the type of data collected. Some surveys may employ more than one data collection methodology.

For direct data collection of survey information, all of the collection methodologies follow a three-step process that includes:

  1. Preparation of the survey sample file and delivery of a questionnaire to the respondent: The sample file contains information about the persons or businesses to be included in the particular survey, such as contact information. In many cases, this contact information will not include respondent names; rather, it will be a set of civic addresses and may include telephone numbers or email addresses, if available. The information in this file is considered confidential (i.e, Protected B) under the Statistics Act. For many household surveys, the first step is collect a roster of all individuals living in a selected household along with some basic demographic information. From this, one household is randomly selected to receive the questionnaire. The information is used to deliver a survey questionnaire to the respondent through various means (telephone or face-to-face interview, mail-out of a paper questionnaire, or electronic delivery via the Internet).
  2. Data collection: Survey questionnaires are completed by the respondent (self-completed) or by a Statistics Canada Interviewer. In both cases, data are collected either electronically, through computer-assisted interviewing/e-questionnaire, or on paper depending on the collection methodology selected for the survey.
  3. Transmission of completed information: Completed questionnaires in paper or electronic format are transmitted to Statistics Canada for further processing.

Regardless of the collection methodology employed, once data are collected they are transferred to, or captured on, Statistics Canada's closed, private computer network, which is logically isolated from publicly-accessible means of communications, thus ensuring the protection of data collected under the authority of the Statistics Act. Processing of Statistics Act data outside of this network is prohibited.

For any statistical program, direct collection will include one or more of the following:

  • Mail-out / Mail-back (self-enumeration)
  • Paper and Pencil Interviewing (PAPI)
  • Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI)
  • Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) - Decentralized
  • Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) - Centralized
  • e-Questionnaire Service (web-based)
  • Collection of Human Biometrics and Biological Specimens
  • Collection of Information through the use of Monitoring Devices
  • Obtain records for a specific business (eg., financial statements) in addition to or in place of information provided on a questionnaire
  • Use of the E-file transfer service by a business to transmit its information in addition to or in place of information provided on a questionnaire

Wave collection: Statistics Canada recognizes that different respondents may have different preferences with respect to replying to requests for information. The wave approach to collection offers multiple opportunities and multiple modes for respondents. For example, a survey may first send a letter with a Secure Access Code (SAC) that a respondent may use to respond electronically using the e-Questionnaire service. Those that do not respond may then be called for a CATI interview, sent a paper questionnaire or be visited for a personal interview.

Mail-out / Mail-back (self-enumeration): Statistics Canada mails a questionnaire to each respondent in the survey. The questionnaire may:

  • be completely blank, and the respondent is asked to enter certain identifying information;
  • contain basic information, such as name or address;
  • contain detailed information about the respondent, such as information collected at a previous collection;

The respondent is asked to complete the questionnaire. Once completed, the respondent is asked to mail it back to Statistics Canada using the pre-addressed envelope included with the questionnaire.

Paper and Pencil Interviewing (PAPI): A Statistics Canada interviewer makes an appointment to visit the respondent's home. At that time, the interviewer asks the questions on the survey questionnaire and records the respondent's responses. PAPI interviewing may also be conducted by telephone, and the responses recorded on a paper questionnaire.

Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI): This method of collection is identical to PAPI, except that the questionnaire is electronic rather than on paper. The interviewer uses a computer that is owned by Statistics Canada and dedicated to data collection. The responses are entered into the computer.

Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) - Decentralized: This method of collection is identical to CAPI, except that the collection takes place by telephone rather than in person. The interviewer calls the respondent from his/her home.

Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) - Centralized: This method of collection is identical to decentralized CATI, except that the interviewer calls from a Statistics Canada office, rather than from home.

e-Questionnaire Service: Statistics Canada either mails a letter or sends an email to each respondent to inform them that they have been selected to take part in a Statistics Canada survey. The letter / email includes a Secure Access Code (SAC). The respondent uses the SAC to access the electronic questionnaire on Statistics Canada's web site. The respondent records the information directly. When completed, the information is stored in Statistics Canada's secure IT network.

Collection of Human Biometrics and Biological Specimens: For a small number of select surveys, Statistics Canada collects biometrics, such as height, weight and waist measurement, or biological specimens, such as blood and urine. The biological specimens must be sent to special laboratories for analysis so that the information may be used for statistical analysis. In most cases, Statistics Canada sends a report back to the respondent to inform on the results.

Collection of Information through the use of Monitoring Devices: As part of some surveys, respondents are asked to use monitoring devices that record specific information. Examples of monitoring devices that have been used are:

  • a monitor that a respondent wears to record level of activity;
  • a monitor to place in the home to record air quality;
  • sample of water quality (although not strictly speaking a monitoring device);
  • a monitor to place in the automobile to record driving information.

The monitor contains only an identification number that Statistics Canada can use to link to the individual and the information recorded by the device. No other personal information is recorded.

After the completion of the monitoring activity period, the device is sent to a designated facility to extract the information from the device and to delete the recorded information from the device. The designated facility forwards the information recorded on the device along with the device identification number to Statistics Canada.

Obtain records for a specific business (eg., financial statements) from that business in addition to or in place of information provided on a questionnaire: Rather than complete a questionnaire, Statistics Canada may ask respondents to send documents that they have already prepared. This is a means to reduce response burden. Statistics Canada would extract the information it needs from these documents.

Use of the E-file transfer service by a business to transmit its information in addition to or in place of information provided on a questionnaire: The E-file transfer service is primarily designed for the secure transmission of large files. In some cases, businesses may use it to transmit their electronic information.

E-file Transfer Service

This service was developed to permit secure electronic transmission of administrative files from other organizations to Statistics Canada. In addition to the uses described above, it provides for the secure transmission of large files from Statistics Canada to another organization, for such purposes as data sharing and data disclosure, when legally permitted.

Collection and Use of Phone Numbers and Email Addresses

Statistics Canada may contact respondents for collection by phone or email. It collects phone numbers and email addresses from respondents directly, from publicly-available sources as well as from a variety of administrative sources to which it has access. It is necessary to use all email addresses and phone numbers, including unlisted landline and cell phone numbers, to ensure that its surveys are representative of the population.

Statistics Canada treats all such phone and email contact information as confidential, and does not share it with any other organization, even within the Government of Canada. The confidentiality of Canadians’ phone and email contact information is assured by the Statistics Act. Statistics Canada destroys its information on phone numbers and email addresses when they are no longer useful, so it does not retain information for phone numbers or email addresses that no longer exist, or that are no longer linked to a specific individual or to a specific residential address.

As it is not a telemarketing agency, Statistics Canada is not subject to the requirements of the Do Not Call list.

Appendix 4 – Corporations Returns Act

There is one statistical program administered by Statistics Canada that falls outside the scope of the Statistics Act. The Corporations Returns Act program is mandated by this separate Act.

Program Description

The purpose of the Corporations Returns Act (CRA) is to collect financial and ownership information on corporations conducting business in Canada and to use this information to evaluate the extent and effect of non-resident control of the Canadian corporate economy. The Corporations Returns Act requires that an annual report be submitted to Parliament summarizing the extent to which foreign control is prevalent in Canada.

According to the Act, corporations or a group of corporations under common control conducting business in Canada whose assets for the reporting period exceed 600 million dollars or whose gross revenue, from business conducted in Canada, exceeds 200 million dollars are required to provide financial and ownership information to Statistics Canada. Corporations, under these limits, but having long-term debt or equity owing directly or indirectly to non-residents in excess of a book value of 1 million dollars must report ownership information only. The Act stipulates anyone who fails to complete and file a return is guilty of an offence and may be subject to legal proceedings.

The CRA data is a primary source of information about the foreign control of enterprises and mergers and acquisitions. This information can be found in The Corporations Returns Act – Foreign Control in Canada, Statistics Canada catalogue no. 61-220, report to Parliament. In addition, the CRA data provides the ownership information required for the Inter-Corporate Ownership (ICO) (quarterly) Statistics Canada catalogue no. 61-517, a product providing detailed information on corporate structures at the micro data level.

This program requires the name and address of the principal shareholders of the corporations and the number of shares held by each of them.

The ownership information provided by businesses (on Schedule I) is not confidential. According to the Corporations Returns Act, C-43, Article 16, "that information shall be made available by the Minister of Industry for inspection by any person, on application at any reasonable time and on payment of such fee, not exceeding one dollar in respect of any one corporation, as may be prescribed".

However, any other financial information to which the Corporations Returns Act ownership information is linked is confidential in unaggregated form. For this reason, the financial data contained in the Corporations Returns Act - Foreign Control in Canada, Report to Parliament, is tabulated in aggregate form to protect the confidentiality of businesses.

Personal Information held by the Program

Due to the nature of the information collected, the Program has limited personal information. The program has the following personal information for each director, officer and/or shareholder of every reporting corporation:

  • Surname
  • First name
  • City
  • Province/Territory
  • Country
  • Title or position held
  • Citizenship

This personal information is included in Schedule I – Ownership return and in accordance with the Corporations Returns Act, C-43, Article 16, "that information shall be made available by the Minister of Industry for inspection by any person, on application at any reasonable time and on payment of such fee, not exceeding one dollar in respect of any one corporation, as may be prescribed".

Appendix 5 – Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM version 5.0, December 2013)

Levels 1 and 2 of the Generic Statistical Business Process Model


Footnote 1

In some surveys, proxy reporting is accepted whereby the proxy provides information for another individual. The proxy must be knowledgeable enough to report accurate information and must have the consent (often implicit) of the individual to whom the information belongs.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

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