Communiqué: The Canadian Statistics Advisory Council meets in Ottawa for the first time

August 09, 2019 – Ottawa, ON – Statistics Canada

In our complex society and economy Canadians need more timely, detailed, and high-quality data. A key objective of the recently appointed Canadian Statistics Advisory Council (CSAC) is to provide advice on the modernization of Canada’s national statistical system in this era where data are playing an important role in transforming society and our economy.

"Statistics Canada has to meet three key objectives: produce high quality data both for good public policy and the myriad of Canadian data users, reduce the burden on citizens to fill out surveys, and ensure that data about Canadians are collected and used in a transparent way, respecting the privacy and confidentiality of Canadians’ personal information. Understanding, meeting and balancing these objectives is crucial to modernizing our national statistical system."

Teresa Scassa, Chair, Canadian Statistics Advisory Council (CSAC)

Drawn from a wide range of experts and stakeholders, the Council had its inaugural meeting in Ottawa in late July. The members affirmed their commitment to provide the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Canada’s Chief Statistician with guidance on the role of Statistics Canada as government, businesses and our social institutions strive to become more "evidence-driven."

The growth of the digital economy is impacting how official statistics are collected around the world. To adapt to the changing economy, new sources and methods are being developed, tested and implemented in many countries. Statistics Canada has long been regarded as one of the foremost statistical agencies in the world and the agency has already started to modernize. The CSAC will now be called upon to provide advice regarding how StatCan can innovate and lead in the face of this digital and data-driven transformation.

"I look forward to working with this team of independent experts to help guide the process," said Dr. Scassa.

In its session, the Council received a thorough briefing on Statistics Canada's programs, its modernization efforts to date, and background on the government's recently released Digital Charter. The members agreed on a few priority focus areas, including helping Canadians understand why high-quality unbiased data are essential to Canada's social and economic wellbeing, and identifying ways that Statistics Canada can provide strong leadership in the continued development and implementation of a data strategy for Canada.

The Council agreed to produce its first Annual Report on its deliberations and findings by fall of 2020. Information about the members and the work of the CSAC is available to the public here.

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Statistics Act


Teresa Scassa, Chair
Canadian Statistics Advisory Council

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