On December 12, 2017, the Act to amend the Statistics Act received Royal Assent, providing the authority for the Government of Canada to establish the Canadian Statistics Advisory Council.
The establishment of the Canadian Statistics Advisory Council is one of many initiatives that will support Statistics Canada's modernization to provide Canadians with high-quality, timely data and insights in an increasingly digital society. The Council will reinforce the independence and relevance of the national statistical system, and will focus on the overall quality of Canada's statistical system.
The Council's mandate is to advise the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and the Chief Statistician of Canada in a transparent manner on any question that either of them has referred to the Council on the overall quality of the national statistical system. This could include the relevance, accuracy, accessibility and timeliness of its data.
Its mandate also includes the public release of an annual report on the state of the national statistical system. In doing so, the Council will assist Statistics Canada with achieving its primary goal of ensuring Canadians and governments continue to have access to a trusted source of statistics and data to meet their information needs while preserving privacy and confidentiality of the data.
Statistics Canada is pleased to welcome the eminent members who have agreed to serve on the Council, and looks forward to their and the Chair's advice on statistical matters. We also look forward to their annual report on the quality of Canada's statistical system and their recommendations to ensure this system remains independent, relevant, strong and responsive to the needs of Canadians.
These appointments were made under the Government of Canada's new approach to Governor in Council appointments. This approach supports open, transparent and merit-based selection processes that strive for gender parity and reflect Canada's diversity.
Council members were chosen for their expertise in various fields related to the national statistical system, including data privacy, data user perspectives, digital technology and general knowledge on statistical agencies.
The individual members are below, and demonstrate the range of perspectives necessary to help ensure that Statistics Canada remains one of the world's top statistical agencies.
Chairperson, Dr. Howard Ramos
Chairperson, Dr. Howard Ramos
Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Western University
Dr. Howard Ramos is the Chair of the Department of Sociology at Western University and Professor. He investigates issues of social justice and social change and has published five books and over 50 articles and chapters on social movements, human rights, Indigenous issues, environmental advocacy, urban change, economic and tourism development, technology, ethnicity, race, immigration, and equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education. Dr. Ramos has worked with a wide range of advocacy and community organizations and is committed to knowledge translation and evidence-based policy.
Head of TheHesterView Inc.
Annette Hester heads TheHesterView Inc. and focuses on new approaches to working with data. She collaborates with leading experts in their field to deliver excellence in data structuring and in data visualization.
Ms. Hester was a faculty member of the University of Calgary Haskayne Global Energy EMBA, served as a senior advisor to the Deputy Minister of the Government of Alberta and was part of the policy team for the leadership campaign of Alberta's Premier, Alison Redford, Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. Ms. Hester has extensive experience as a consultant for leading oil, gas, and energy companies in North and Latin America, and to governmental agencies in several countries of the Americas, primarily Brazil and Canada.
Ms. Hester has a master's degree in economics and has written for a variety of multilateral institutions, academic publications and think tanks.
Dr. Céline Le Bourdais
Dr. Céline Le Bourdais
Professor, McGill University
Dr. Céline Le Bourdais is Distinguished James McGill Professor of Sociology at McGill University. Her research has examined the demographic changes that families have experienced in Quebec and Canada. More recently, she has analyzed the meaning of cohabitation through the lens of conjugal instability and of couples' money management practices, the increase in multiple-partner fertility, and the impact of conjugal separation on individuals' economic conditions.
Dr. Le Bourdais was the founding Academic Director of the Quebec Interuniversity Centre for Social Statistics (CIQSS), which provides researchers with access to Statistics Canada micro-detailed data, she is Vice-Chair of the Board of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN), to which QICSS belongs. She was also a member of the National Statistics Council. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Céline holds a PhD in sociology from Brown University and a master's degree in demography from Université de Montréal.
President and CEO, APEC
David Chaundy was appointed President and CEO of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) in November 2018 after many years of overseeing research at APEC. Mr. Chaundy has directed research projects on a wide variety of topics, including international trade and global value chains, international investment, immigration and labour market issues, interprovincial regulatory trade barriers, and policies to promote clean growth and the expansion of clean technology firms in Atlantic Canada.
Mr. Chaundy is a member of the Canadian Statistics Advisory Council and the National Stakeholder Advisory Panel for the Labour Market Information Council. He is Vice-President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics, a Director and Past President of the Atlantic Association of Applied Economists and a Director of the Atlantic Canada Economics Association. He holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Cambridge and a M.Sc. in economics from the University of York (England).
Gail Mc Donald
Gail Mc Donald
Gail Mc Donald, Snipe Clan, is a Mohawk from Akwesasne whose territory is located in Quebec, Ontario and New York State. She has held senior level positions serving her home community of Akwesasne and with regional and national organizations such as the Chiefs of Ontario and the Assembly of First Nations. Ms. Mc Donald was instrumental in developing and managing the First Nations Information Governance Center, played a key role in the development and advocacy for the First Nations principals of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession of data and has guided the development and implementation of several important First Nations national surveys, most notably the First Nations Regional Health Survey.
Ms. Mc Donald is currently working for her Tribe to develop a Heritage Complex to house a new library, museum, archive and visitor welcome center. She holds Associates of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees along with graduate courses in business administration and several certifications. Gail brings many years of experience in the fields of health, social development, First Nations data governance, research, survey and data collection processes, strategic organizational development, facilities development and project management.
Managing Partner, StratExLead
Gurmeet Ahluwalia is managing partner at StratExLead. One of the focuses of his career has been to guide organizations in different industries and geographies along their transformation journey. His key skillset and expertise include transformation, leading major programs, financial and strategic business case creation and benefit review, using data for decision-making, operational improvement, and general management. He is a co-founder and founding chair of The Seva Foodbank.
He has worked with and for organizations in various areas, including banking, asset management, management consulting, technology, consumer products, oil and gas, not-for profits, and government. Major projects have taken him across the world, including extensive time in the US, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, the UK, Poland, and Bermuda. He is also joining the Georgian Growth Network, as a member of the Expert Panel.
President and CEO, Environics Analytics
President and CEO of Environics Analytics (EA), Jan Kestle is a leader in the marketing information industry. Over the years, she's helped hundreds of customers—in areas ranging from finance and retail to the not-for-profit sector—turn data and analytics into insight, strategy and engagement. Prior to founding EA in 2003, Ms. Kestle was president of Compusearch, a pioneer private sector distributor of Statistics Canada data.
Ms. Kestle's past experience includes being the statistical focal point for Ontario at the Ontario Statistical Centre and a member of the Federal-Provincial Statistics Council. She was a member of the National Statistics Council and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Marketing Association, the Dean's Advisory Council of the Ted Rogers School of Management, the Canadian Council of Innovators and the Advisory Board of Ryerson University School of Geography. A frequent conference speaker, she is the recipient of a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mathematics from the University of Western Ontario.
Dr. Michael C. Wolfson
Dr. Michael C. Wolfson
Dr. Michael C. Wolfson is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa with current research projects funded by Genome Canada and the US National Cancer Institute. From 2010–2017, he was a full professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Population Health. Previously, he spent 35 years in the federal public service, with the last 10 years until his retirement as an Assistant Chief Statistician.