Canadians need accurate and reliable information—the cornerstone for democratic decision making. Through the Statistics Act, Parliament has mandated Statistics Canada, as the national statistical agency, to produce such information.
Statistics Canada is committed to making more information available about its accountability under the Statistics Act. For example, we conduct over 350 surveys and statistical programs on an ongoing basis to measure and report on the state of Canada’s economy and society.
Although some Statistics Canada surveys are voluntary in nature, your survey participation is essential to produce results that best represent you, your community, and your country. Aggregated data guides policy makers and researchers in making important decisions for you.
Statistics Canada also conducts mandatory surveys because of their impact on the economy and society. The more precise, detailed and timely the needs for data that impact decisions we make or are made for us, the greater the need for unbiased and accurate data. As a result, in some cases, we have to conduct a mandatory survey, which is approved by the Chief Statistician and is mandated by the Statistics Act.
For example, business and agricultural surveys collect important economic information that is used by businesses, unions, non-profit organizations and all levels of government to make informed decisions such as monitoring the growth of inflation, gathering information to provide more affordable housing to Canadians, and learning about infrastructure needs in communities across Canada (i.e., determining the need for more schools, daycare centres, public transportation, etc.).
Mandatory participation is also required for the Labour Force Survey, where data is used to produce the unemployment rate, other indicators such as the employment rate and the participation rate, as well as for evaluation and planning of employment programs in Canada. In addition, Statistics Canada conducts the mandatory surveys of the Census of Population and the Census of Agriculture.
To learn more about surveys, see Information for survey participants.