Structure and administration


Relationship to Governments

No mandatory reporting is prescribed for the Council in the existing federal-provincial agreement regarding vital statistics. Nor is there any formal funding commitment to the operation of the Council other than federal funds to hold the annual meeting.

Accountability to own federal/provincial/territorial governments

Council members report to their respective Ministers.

The Council members from Statistics Canada report ultimately to the Chief Statistician, who in turn reports to the minister responsible, the Minister of Industry, Canada.

Committee Structure

Executive Committee

  • A formal standing Executive Committee was created by resolution of Council at the 1992 annual meeting in Regina.
  • The mandate of the Executive Committee is:
    • to have regular conference calls to discuss follow up decisions arising from annual conference;
    • to plan and organize the annual meeting;
    • to seek input of members where decisions are required between Council meetings; and
    • to formulate subcommittees on behalf of Council based on issues presented to the Executive Committee.


The number and nature of subcommittees of the Council varies over time, depending on the issues and tasks before the Council. Subcommittees are established usually via two processes:

  • motion by Council, usually at the annual meeting, to establish a subcommittee to deal with a particular issue/project;
  • or by a decision of the Executive Committee.

Officers can be nominated or volunteer themselves to participate in a subcommittee. Subcommittee members serve on a volunteer basis (without remuneration) with the majority acceptance of Council membership by motion.

Generally, subcommittee members serve a two year term or serve for the duration of the project. Subcommittees range in lifespan from a few months to five years.


Annual Meeting

Council meets annually at a three day meeting in selected locations, with every second meeting occurring in Ottawa. The annual meeting is the primary forum for discussion of issues, information exchange, and decision-making by the Council.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee protocol for communications includes:

  • monthly meetings of Executive Committee by teleconference;
  • quarterly meetings of entire Council by teleconference; and
  • minutes of monthly Executive and quarterly Council teleconferences prepared by Secretariat and distributed to all Council members within one to two weeks of calls.

Other resources

The Council has and/or plans to develop a variety of resource material that communicates what the Council is and does to members, senior government officials and others interested in the business of vital statistics:

  • Strategic Business Plan, 2010/2013; and
  • minutes of all annual meetings back to 1945 kept at Statistics Canada.

Rules and Regulations (approved by Council June 1, 1945)

  • This organization shall be known as the Vital Statistics Council for Canada.
  • The Council shall meet at least once during the calendar year, and all meetings shall be at the call of the Chairperson, providing that upon request of the majority of the members of the Council, the Chairperson shall call a special meeting of the Council. Between Council meetings the Secretary shall submit to the Council members in writing any matters requiring consideration and approval. Such matters shall be decided upon by majority opinion. Note: Every second Council meeting is held in Ottawa.
  • A quorum shall consist of eight members of the Council.
  • Each member of the Council, including the officers, shall have the privilege of voting.
  • In the event that any provincial or territorial member of the Council is unable to attend any meeting for any reason, he may designate a substitute by notifying the Chairperson in writing and such substitute shall have full voting powers.
  • The Secretary is appointed by Statistics Canada.
  • The rules and regulations of the Council may be amended upon notice of motion given at a previous meeting of the Council and shall become effective by two-thirds vote of Council.
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