If you look at the ranks of Statistics Canada senior managers, a surprising number are 'lifers'. That is, they have spent the last 20, 25 or 30 years working at the agency. Many retire without working outside the confines of Tunney's Pasture—a former farm field, a short trip from Parliament Hill, where Statistics Canada has been housed since the 1950s.
Back in the 1990s, Statistics Canada was named top statistical agency in the world by The Economist magazine. It was a pretty cool honour back then: today, StatCan’s expertise is increasingly being shared around the world—an indication the agency still has its groove.
Kids go through a phase where they love to classify. Quartz rocks get piled with quartz rocks. Amethysts go in another pile. Limestone and shale go elsewhere. Then, they tally how many rocks are in each pile.
Statistics Canada does somewhat the same exercise on a much grander scale. As data arrive from surveys or census or administrative sources (bits gathered by other departments or agencies), the data are sorted into piles. Sub-piles and special tabulations follow.
But who decides what data go into which pile? Enter Standards Division.
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