Annual Report
Privacy 2010-2011

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The Privacy Act protects the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a government institution and provides individuals with a right of access to that information.

As required under section 72, Statistics Canada has prepared an annual report on its administration of the Act during 2010-2011 and is tabling this report in each House of Parliament.

Administration of the Privacy Act

The Privacy Act, which concerns itself with personal information, stipulates that government institutions can collect personal information only if it relates to operating programs or activities of these institutions. In the case of Statistics Canada, the Statistics Act provides the authority to collect personal information for statistical purposes. The privacy legislation further demands that individuals from whom information is collected be informed of the purpose served by the collection and also protects collected information from disclosure.

The administration of the privacy legislation within Statistics Canada is the responsibility of the Information Management Division. The Director of this division is the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator for the department.

Mandate of Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada's mandate derives primarily from the Statistics Act. The Act requires that the Agency collects, compiles, analyses and publishes statistical information on the economic, social, and general conditions of the country and its citizens. The Act also requires that Statistics Canada coordinate the national statistical system, specifically to avoid duplication in the information collected by government. To this end, the Chief Statistician may enter into joint data-collection or -sharing agreements with provincial and territorial statistical agencies, as well as with federal, provincial and territorial government departments pursuant to provisions of the Act.

The Statistics Act specifically requires Statistics Canada to conduct a Census of Population and a Census of Agriculture every five years. The Act also gives the Agency substantial powers to request information for statistical purposes through surveys of Canadian businesses and households. By default, response to Statistics Canada's surveys is mandatory under the Act; refusal to participate is subject to legal penalties. The Act includes provisions to make participation in data collection voluntary: Statistics Canada has done so generally with household data collection other than the Census of Population and the Labour Force Survey the latter produces key economic data. The Census of Agriculture and all key surveys of businesses are mandatory.

Statistics Canada can also, by law, access all administrative records, including personal and business tax data, customs declarations, and birth and death records. Such records are critical sources of statistical information, which enable the Agency to reduce reporting burden on business and individual respondents. Statistics Canada is considered a leader among the world's statistical agencies in reducing reporting burden by using administrative data.

These mechanisms help Statistics Canada achieve its long-standing strategic outcome, which is to ensure Canadians have access to objective, high-quality, non-partisan statistics, statistical products, services and analyses on Canada's economy and society that fulfill legal requirements, are relevant to policy formulation and decision makers, and are responsive to emerging issues.

Delegation instrument

A detailed list of authorities under the Privacy Act has been formally delegated by the Minister Responsible for Statistics Canada (Appendix 1).

Implementation: Privacy

The Privacy Act has a substantial impact on the Agency but the impact cannot be measured only in terms of the number of requests processed. Although society seeks a broader range of detailed information, it is also demanding more accountability on the part of government about the collection of personal information and the purposes served by the information. The Agency has taken a number of initiatives to address the privacy challenges this dichotomy raises.

For a number of years, the Agency has had in place internal policies which reflect basic principles found in the Privacy Act. The Statistics Canada Policy on Informing Survey Respondents requires that all respondents are provided with information about the expected use of the statistics produced from the survey results, the authority under which the survey is taken, their obligation to respond, the confidentiality protection given to all information collected under the Statistics Act and any data-sharing arrangements pursuant to provisions of the Statistics Act. Another Statistics Canada policy, the Policy on Record Linkage, was developed to respond to concerns of both respondents and privacy advocates on the potential of computing technology to match an individual's information gathered from a variety of sources. These two policies not only support compliance with the letter and the spirit of the Privacy Act, but also demonstrate the Agency's commitment to the protection and appropriate use of the personal information under its control, while still meeting its mandate.

Privacy requests

In the current reporting period, the Agency received 49 requests; there was also one request outstanding from the previous reporting period for a total of 50 requests. Of this total, 47 requests were completed, leaving three which are being carried forward to the next reporting period.

There were 18 requests for which information was disclosed in part. Of these, the application of section 26 was invoked in 15 cases in order to protect personal information about individuals other than the person making the request.

There were seven requests abandoned by the requestors and 14 requests that could not be processed because the requested records did not exist.

Privacy Requests
Disposition of requests completed Total
All disclosed 6
Disclosed in part 18
Nothing disclosed (exempt) 2
Unable to process 14
Abandoned 7
Total 47

Formal/informal interface

Statistics Canada responds to a large number of requests for personal information through its pension searches program without invoking the formal processes of the Privacy Act. This program was set up to provide members of the public with information from their own census records and the 1940 National Registration records to support applications for pensions, citizenship, passports and similar situations where other administrative records such as birth certificates are required, but no longer exist, or were never issued. During 2010-2011, the pension searches program received 1,417 such cases.

Statistics Canada also responded to a number of requests from trustees or estate administrators seeking personal information from census and/or 1940 National Registration records of deceased individuals, minors or dependent adults. Regulations with respect to privacy allow for the same rights or actions as are given to an individual to be exercised or performed on behalf of a minor or an incompetent person by someone duly authorized to administer the affairs or estate of that person. In the case of deceased persons, the administrator of the estate may exercise these rights but only for the purposes of estate administration. Statistics Canada processed 83 such requests during the current reporting period.

Complaints and investigations

There were two complaints from respondents lodged with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner during the current reporting period. The first complaint alleged that Statistics Canada had wrongfully released the personal information of the complainant; it was addressed informally. The second complaint was from a respondent who believed he was not informed of the voluntary nature of a survey in which he was asked to participate; it was abandoned by the applicant.

In addition, there were four outstanding complaints from the previous reporting period. The complaints were from two individuals who stated that Statistics Canada did not provide all the documents related to their requests within the required time period. Three of the complaints were abandoned by the applicants and, in the case of the fourth, it was resolved by Statistics Canada providing additional records to the person.

Types of disclosure under subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act

Privacy impact assessments

The Treasury Board Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) Directive requires all federal government departments undertaking new or substantially redesigned programs that involve the collection, use or disclosure of personal information to do a privacy impact assessment of the activity.

With regards to the collection, use and dissemination of statistical data, Statistics Canada has a PIA policy that specifies the roles and responsibilities of its statistical program areas and privacy specialists in the Information Management Division.

The Statistics Canada PIA Policy provides for a generic approach to the assessment of privacy risks associated with the collection, use and disclosure of personal information for statistical purposes. The Generic Privacy Impact Assessment for Statistics Canada Surveys covers the majority of the Agency's household and business surveys and describes in detail the manner in which the Agency meets each of the ten privacy principles. As well, this document includes a threat and risk assessment that focuses on the Agency's major data collection methodologies such as computer-assisted interviewing, self-enumeration and electronic data reporting. This document is posted on the Statistics Canada web site.

In cases where the generic PIA is deemed not applicable to a survey due to special or enhanced privacy risks, specific privacy impact assessments are produced. In the current reporting period a PIA for the Real Time Remote Access Application for Household Cross Sectional Surveys was completed and a copy was sent to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. The following is a brief description:

  • Real Time Remote Access Application for Household Cross Sectional Surveys
    Because Statistics Canada faces increasing demands from researchers for access to detailed microdata, it is looking at ways to meet these demands while balancing the legislative requirement to protect the confidentiality of respondent data. Statistics Canada has developed a Real Time Remote Access Application which is an on-line remote access facility allowing users to run, in real time, data analyses on confidential microdata or lightly masked microdata sets. A privacy impact assessment of the pilot version of this application was conducted to identify any privacy, confidentiality and security issues and to make recommendations for their resolution or mitigation. Because the development of the application will span many years, it may be necessary to conduct updates to this assessment with the introduction of additional changes to the application.

According to the Treasury Board Directive, the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in the context of new or redesigned administrative programs and services for example, human resources and marketing may require that a privacy impact assessment be conducted. In the current reporting period, three such PIAs were completed and sent to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner: the Finance Service Request Management (FIN-SRM) Application, the Learning Management System and the Update of the Client Relationship Management System Privacy Impact Assessment. The following is a brief description of each:

  • Finance Service Request Management (FIN-SRM) Application
    The Finance Service Request Management (FIN-SRM) application serves as a mechanism for Statistics Canada employees to submit requests related to financial operations, planning and systems. In order to streamline the work flow and improve service to clients, modifications were made to the Agency's Helpdesk Expert Automation Tool Service Request Management application.

    Learning Management System
    The introduction of a new Learning Management System provides Statistics Canada with a better and more efficient way of managing its training program. This system provides Statistics Canada employees with an online self-serve portal that better supports their learning requirements by giving them access to an electronic catalogue, the ability to register for a course, to create and review personal learning plans and to have a complete record of their learning activities. The system also allows supervisors to approve the courses and learning plans of employees under their supervision as well as permitting better management of their employees' training.

    Update of the Client Relationship Management System Privacy Impact Assessment
    Since 2007, the Client Relationship Management System has supported service to Statistics Canada clients in streamlining fulfillment of product purchases and responding to enquiries; in 2010, its use was expanded to be a repository of communications between Statistics Canada and respondents to its business and household surveys. An updated privacy impact assessment was undertaken to determine if there were any new privacy, confidentiality and security issues, and to make recommendations for their resolution or mitigation.

Summaries of completed privacy impact assessments.

Data matching (Record linkage)

As outlined in Statistics Canada's Policy on Record Linkage, linkages of different records pertaining to the same individual are carried out only for statistical purposes and only when the results of the linkage will yield a potential public benefit which clearly outweighs the invasion of the privacy of individuals. One of the primary objectives of these linkages, therefore, is to provide statistical information to support various research studies.

All record linkage proposals must satisfy a prescribed review process as outlined in the policy. It should be noted as well that, in many cases, files produced from the linkages are stored in a way that does not allow the retrieval of an individual record by name or other personal identifier. The public dissemination of any information resulting from record linkages, like all other statistical information, is only at an aggregate level which protects the confidentiality of the information of individuals.

During the current reporting period, there were six approved record linkages that involved personal information. A summary of these record linkages is found in Appendix 2.

Institution-specific policies, guidelines and procedures

Statistics Canada did not implement any new or revised policies, guidelines or procedures during the reporting period.

Training Initiatives for Privacy

Information Management Division provides formal instruction to Agency staff on the Privacy Act. In 2010-2011, five sessions were presented as part of the Agency's Middle Managers training program, the Business and Economic Statistics training program and the EX training program. An estimated 85 persons attended these sessions.

Statistical Report

The following includes the statistical reports on privacy for the current reporting period, as well as the methodology used for calculating costs.

Report on the Privacy Act

Institution: Statistics Canada

Reporting period: 2010/04/01-2011/03/31

Part 1 - Requests under the Privacy Act

Part 1 - Requests under the Privacy Act
Requests Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 49
Outstanding from previous period 1
Total 50
Closed during reporting period 47
Carried forward 3

Part 2 - Disposition of requests completed

Part 2 - Disposition of requests completed
Disposition of requests Completed
All disclosed 6
Disclosed in part 18
Nothing disclosed (excluded) 0
Nothing disclosed (exempt) 2
Transferred 14
Unable to process 7
Abandoned by applicant 0
Total 47

Part 3 - Exemptions Invoked

Part 3 - Exemptions Invoked
Section Number of requests
18(2) 0
19(1)(a) 0
19(1)(b) 0
19(1)(c) 0
19(1)(d) 0
20 0
21 0
22(1)(a) 0
22(1)(b) 1
22(1)(c) 0
22(2) 0
23(a) 0
23(b) 0
24 0
25 0
26 16
27 2
28 0

Part 4 - Exclusions cited

Part 4 - Exclusions cited
Section Number of requests
69(1)(a) 0
69(1)(b) 0
70(1)(a) 0
70(1)(b) 0
70(1)(c) 0
70(1)(d) 0
70(1)(e) 0
70(1)(f) 0

Part 5 - Completion time

Part 5 - Completion time
Time Number
30 days or under 39
31 to 60 days 6
61 to 120 days 0
121 days or over 2

Part 6 - Extensions

Part 6 - Extensions
Extensions 30 days or under 31 days or aver
Searching 5 0
Consultation 2 0
Third party 0 0
Total 7 0

Part 7 - Translations

Part 7 - Translations
Translations Requested
English to French 0
French to English 0
Total 0

Part 8 - Method of access

Part 8 - Method of access
Method Number accessed
Copies given 23
Examination 0
Copies and examination 1

Part 9 - Corrections and notation

Part 9 - Corrections and notation
Corrections and notation Amount
Corrections requested 0
Corrections made 0
Notation attached 0

Part 10 - Costs

Part 10 - Costs
Financial (all reasons) Amount
Salary $130,120
Administration (0 and M) $56,955
Total $187,075

Person year utilization (all reasons)
Person year (decimal format) — 1.76

Methodology for calculating costs


Costs Person-years $
Salary costs    
(a) Subject-matter divisions 0.11 6,450
(b) Access to information and privacy office 1.65 123,670
Sub-total 1. 76 130,120
Administration costs    
(a) Subject-matter divisions 0 0
(b) Access to information and privacy office* 0 56,955
Sub-total 0 56,955
Total 1.76 187,075

Appendix 1

Access to Information and Privacy Act Delegation Order

The Minister Responsible for Statistics Canada, pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, hereby designates the persons holding the positions set out in the schedule hereto, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers and functions of the Minister as the head of a government institution, under the section of the Acts set out in the schedule opposite each position. This Designation Order supersedes all previous Designation Orders.


Position Access to Information Act and Regulations Privacy Act and Regulations
Assistant Chief Statistician, Management Services Full authority as allowed by TBS Regulations Full authority as allowed by TBS Regulations
Coordinator, Access to Information and Privacy Rights; Director and Assistant Director, Data Access and Control Services Full authority as allowed by TBS Regulations Full authority as allowed by TBS Regulations
Chief, Data Access and Control Services Sections: 7(a), 7(b), 8(1), 9, 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), 11(5), 11(6), 12(2)(b), 12(3)(b), 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 22.1, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27(1), 27(4), 28(1)(b), 28(2), 28(4), 33, 35(2)(b), 71(1)
Sections: 6(1), 7(2), 7(3), 8, 8.1
Sections: 8(2)(j), 8(2)(m), 8(4), 8(5), 9(1), 9(4), 10, 14, 15, 17(2)(b), 17(3)(b),18(2), 19(1), 19(2), 20, 21, 22, 23, 24,25, 26, 27, 28
Sections: 9, 11(2), 11(4), 13(1), 14
Senior Access to Information and Privacy Project Manager Sections: 7(a), 8(1), 9, 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), 11(5), 11(6), 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27(1), 27(4), 28(1)(b), 28(2), 28(4), 71(1)
Sections: 6(1), 7(2), 7(3), 8, 8.1
Sections: 8(2)(j), 8(2)(m), 10, 14, 15, 18(2), 19(1), 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
Sections: 9, 11(2)
Access to Information and
Privacy Project Officer
Sections 8(1) and 9 for all records Section 15 for all records

Dated, at the City of Ottawa
this 20 day of August, 2009
The Honourable Tony Clement
Minister responsible for Statistics Canada

Appendix 2

Record Linkages

Approved record linkages containing personal information

The following is a summary of the record linkages containing personal information that were approved during the reporting period of 2010-2011.

Canadian Forces Cancer and Mortality Study, 1972 to 2009

Purpose: To measure cancer and mortality risks of current and former Canadian Forces (CF) members related to their occupational exposures. This information will assist the Department of National Defence (DND) and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) to develop and enhance:

  • DND health promotion and health protection policies and programs for serving personnel;
  • decision-making processes used to assess eligibility for access to VAC service programs and benefits; and
  • services to care for veterans and their families after members leave military service.

The Canadian Forces (CF) is tasked with protecting Canada and its citizens from threats to security. CF members may be involved in combat, peace-keeping and observer missions, post-conflict peace building and humanitarian assistance. The very nature of these operations can pose unusual and uncommon exposures with known and unknown risks to CF personnel. Adverse outcomes, including death, may be immediate or delayed. In order to identify risks, DND and VAC must be able to conduct on-going analysis and interpretation of health information for CF personnel during and after their military service period.

DND and VAC do not have access to complete information on mortality and cancer outcomes of serving and retired CF personnel. Statistics Canada will undertake the Canadian Forces Cancer and Mortality Study to address these health information gaps.

Description: DND will provide Statistics Canada with a list of approximately 312,500 personnel who enrolled on or after January 1, 1972 and have served or are still serving with the Canadian Forces at any point in the period from January 1, 1972 to December 311 2009.

The records of this CF cohort will be linked to the following files maintained by Statistics Canada: the 1984 to 2010 Tax Summary Files, the 1972 to 2007 Canadian Mortality Database (CMDB), and to the 1969 to 2009 Canadian Cancer Database. Linkage to the Tax Summary Files will assist in the record linkage, the manual resolution of doubtful links, and to verify the total number in the cohort who are found alive at the end of the study period and not lost to follow up: these files contain no income data.

A random Statistics Canada-generated unique identifier will be attached to each record in the CF cohort, as well as to each record in the output file generated by the mortality linkage, and the output file generated from the cancer linkage. In addition, Statistics Canada will attach the unique identifier to each record in a DND cohort work history file and a VAC client administrative database file. This will enable linkage of the output files with the DND and VAC files by Statistics Canada, DND or VAC.

Output: Only aggregate tabular statistics that conform to the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act will be released outside of Statistics Canada. Statistics Canada will publish a report on specific mortality trends and a description of the linkage process.

DND and/or VAC will be provided with a copy of the mortality and cancer analysis files, without names or other direct personal identifiers, with the consent of the provincial and territorial vital statistics and cancer registrars, and subject to the discretion of the Chief Statistician. The files, which will be linkable to DND's work history file and to VAC's client administrative database file, are to be used for statistical and research purposes only, under the terms of an agreement each department will sign with Statistics Canada.

The linked analysis files and linkage key files will be retained by Statistics Canada for at least 15 years, that is, until December 2025, or until they are no longer required, at which point they will be destroyed. DND and/or VAC will retain the linked analysis files indefinitely.

Origins of International Child and Spousal Support Cases Enrolled in Canadian Maintenance Enforcement Programs, 2005-2006 to 2009-2010

Purpose: To enable federal government policy analysts and provincial and territorial Maintenance Enforcement Programs to better understand the origins of child and spousal support cases involving international jurisdictions. This will allow them to prepare their responses to possible impacts on their workload of the adoption of the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. The Hague Convention was developed to overcome many of the obstacles to recovering support owed, where members of a family are located in different countries. Implementation of the Hague Convention by the provinces and territories may increase the number of international inter-jurisdictional support cases, and this information request will help address this question.

Description: Records from the Survey of Maintenance Enforcement Programs over a period from 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 pertaining to the same maintenance enforcement case will be linked. The linked case records will permit analysis of the origins of cases involving international child support agencies.

Output: Only aggregate tabular statistics that conform to the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act will be released outside of Statistics Canada. The linked analysis file will be retained until September 2011 to support on-going analysis; once the file is no longer required, it will be destroyed.

2011 Census of Agriculture to 2011 National Household Survey linkage

Purpose: Linkage of the 2011 Census of Agriculture to the 2011 National Household Survey will provide a great depth of socio-economic information on farm operators, their families and their households, without increasing respondent burden.

Description: The Census of Agriculture was linked to the Census of Population for the Census years 1971, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006, to produce a database of socio-economic characteristics of farm operators and their families and households. The Censuses of Agriculture were linked to both the short-form and the long-form of the Censuses of Population.

The information previously collected by the long-form census questionnaire will be collected as part of the new voluntary 2011 National Household Survey, to be conducted shortly after the May 2011 Census of Population. Linkage of the 2011 Census of Agriculture and the 2011 National Household Survey will produce a database of socioeconomic information on farm operators and their families.

Output: Only aggregate statistical estimates that conform to the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act will be released outside of Statistics Canada. Outputs will include research or technical papers on the linkage. The 2011 Census of Agriculture to 2011 National Household Survey linked analysis database will be used to produce estimates for dissemination as part of the product line from the 2011 Census of Agriculture.

The linked analysis database will be retained indefinitely. For the 2011 linkage, the linking key files will be retained until at least May 2018, or until no longer required, at which time they will be destroyed. All files will be password protected and kept on a server in a secure area. Access to the linking keys and linked analysis database is restricted to Statistics Canada employees whose work activities require such access.

Creation of a Client File and Separate Key Registry: Amendment to Linkage for Purposes of the Longitudinal Health and Administrative Data Initiative

Purpose: The Longitudinal Health and Administrative Data (LHAD) Initiative is a partnership among provincial and territorial ministries of health and Statistics Canada, as well as the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the Canadian Council of Cancer Registries and the Vital Statistics Council for Canada. The Initiative provides a collaborative framework for health research in Canada to help address important information gaps on the health of Canadians and their health-care utilisation and long-term health outcomes, through analysis of combined administrative and population health survey data. Linkage of these datasets will allow pan-Canadian and comparative analyses across provinces and territories, and advance understanding of relationships among risk factors, socio-economic characteristics, health status measures and health care utilization.

A Client File and separate Key Registry will be created to reduce privacy risks and to improve the efficiency and quality of the linkages.

Description: The Client File will be created by linking the information on individuals within provincial and territorial health insurance client registries, supplied to Statistics Canada under LHAD Initiative agreements. The Client File will be linked over time, starting from 1992 onwards and updated annually, for each province and territory. No linkages across jurisdictions will be done to create an unduplicated national registry.

The Client File will store the following personal information: name, address, gender, date of birth, health insurance number and a Statistics Canada-generated sequential identification number for each individual identified through the annual Client File linkage process.

Linkage of the Client File to administrative and survey databases held by Statistics Canada will be performed in a dedicated health record linkage data environment (the "LHAD environment"). Each individual within these databases will have a Statistics Canada-generated sequential identification number assigned. To ensure a high level of data security and privacy, the associations of Statistics Canada-generated identification numbers from the Client File and the administrative and survey databases will be stored in a separate Key Registry, thus avoiding the need to store survey data with personal identifiers. As such, the identification numbers will have no meaning outside of the LHAD environment, and will not be kept on the original databases held by Statistics Canada. For analytical studies, the number will be used, in combination with Record Identifiers, to link an individual's records within and among the databases in the LHAD environment. All such analytical studies will require prior linkage approval from Statistics Canada's Policy Committee. Only Statistics Canada employees whose work duties require it will have access to the Key Registry.

The Key Registry will contain linkage keys to permit linkage for approved studies to the following datasets:

  • Clinical administrative databases (inpatient and outpatient hospital records, 1992 onward);
  • Prescription drug databases (1992 onward);
  • Birth and death databases;
  • Canadian Cancer Registry;
  • Canadian Community Health Survey (all cycles);
  • National Population Health Survey;
  • Canadian Health Measures Survey (all cycles);
  • Sample portion of Census of Population (1991 onward);
  • National Household Survey (2011 onward);
  • Longitudinal Immigration Database;
  • Summary Tax File;
  • T1 Family File.

Output: No information from the Client File will be released outside of Statistics Canada. The Client File and Key Registry will be used exclusively to support linkage activities within the LHAD environment. Statistics Canada will retain the Client File and Key Registry files until it is determined that there is no further need for them.

Research projects will be approved on a study-by-study basis. These may be carried out as part of an annual research agenda established by the provincial and territorial ministries of health, through the LHAD Initiative, or may be projects initiated by Statistics Canada or its clients. A summary of each approved study will be posted on the Statistics Canada web site.

LHAD has been registered with the Treasury Board of Canada as an institution-specific Personal Information Bank, Health Research {STC PPU 076).

Gross Flows of Workers Into and Out of Industries in Newfoundland and Labrador, 2000 to 2008

Purpose: To estimate the supply of workers in the Newfoundland and Labrador labour market, particularly the replacement demand, that is, the workers needed to replace those who are no longer employed in the province. The focus will be on three groups: stayers (workers employed in the same industry for one or more years), leavers (workers who leave the labour market or industry) and entrants (workers entering the labour market, including those returning to the workforce).

Description: The annual T1 Family File (T1 FF) records of tax-filers who lived in Newfoundland and Labrador for at least one year from 2000 to 2008 will be selected for this research study. The T1 FF records will be linked over this period using Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) to produce a longitudinal analysis file. All direct identifiers, including the SINs, will be removed from the analysis file following completion of the linkage. The linkage and analysis will be conducted by Statistics Canada staff on the agency's premises.

Output: Only aggregate statistics and analysis conforming to the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act will be released outside of Statistics Canada. Research findings will be used by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to enhance their labour market policies. To support on-going analysis, the linked analysis file will be retained at Statistics Canada until April 30, 2013, at which time it will be destroyed.

Pension Coverage Study: Linkage of Pension Plans in Canada to Personal Income Tax Files

Purpose: An aging population has placed the Canadian retirement income system under intense scrutiny. Employer pensions can be key to the economic security of retired Canadians, and have important impacts on the functioning of the Canadian economy and the stability of the financial system. Pension reform has emerged as a topic of heightened interest on the public policy agenda, both in Canada and elsewhere in the world. Key questions in the recent pension reform debate focus on pension coverage and the potential erosion of the Canadian defined-benefit pension system in favour of defined-contribution arrangements. Statistics on pension plan terms and conditions are critical to• shed light on the debate, as is an understanding of pension coverage of the Canadian population.

This linkage project combines information on pension plan characteristics with individual members' socio-economic information, which will enable research that is currently not possible. Among the key policy questions that can be addressed with the linked database is: Do members of registered pension plans have the same socio-economic characteristics as non-members?

In addition to addressing this and other key research questions, the linkage will improve the quality of the Canadian employer pension statistics and enhance coherence between data sources.

Description: The Pension Plans in Canada database and the T1 Family File will be linked via the T4 (Statement of Remuneration Paid) file, which contains both the pension 000019 plan registration number and employees' Social Insurance Numbers (SIN). Records from both pension plan members and non-members will be retained on the linked fife. The linkage will commence with data from the 2008 tax year and be repeated annually on an indefinite basis.

Random study identification numbers will be attached to each record in the pension coverage analysis file, to replace the pension plan registration numbers and SIN. These identifiers will be stored on a separate linking key file, to enhance privacy protection. This will facilitate annual updates to the pension coverage analysis file, enabling the file to be used for both cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis.

Output: The linked pension coverage analysis file will be used to research pension coverage in the Canadian population and to evaluate and improve the quality of data on pension plans. Only aggregate statistics and analysis conforming to the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act will be released outside of Statistics Canada. The linked pension coverage analysis file and linking key file will be retained indefinitely by Statistics Canada, until no longer required, at which time they will be destroyed.

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