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Statistics Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. S-19)

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Act current to 2021-11-17 and last amended on 2017-12-12. Previous Versions

Statistics Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. S-19

An Act respecting statistics of Canada

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Statistics Act.

  • 1970-71-72, c. 15, s. 1

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,

Chief Statistician

Chief Statistician means the Chief Statistician of Canada appointed under subsection 4(1); (statisticien en chef)

department

department or departments of government means any department, board, bureau or other division of the Government of Canada or of the government of a province or any agency of either; (ministère)

identifying information

identifying information means any information that makes it possible to identify an individual person, business or organization; (renseignement identificateur)

Minister

Minister means such member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as is designated by the Governor in Council as the Minister for the purposes of this Act; (ministre)

respondent

respondent means a person in respect of whom or in respect of whose activities any report or information is sought or provided pursuant to this Act. (intéressé)

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-19, s. 2
  • 2017, c. 31, s. 1

Statistics Canada

Marginal note:Statistics bureau

 There shall continue to be a statistics bureau under the Minister, to be known as Statistics Canada, the duties of which are

  • (a) to collect, compile, analyse, abstract and publish statistical information relating to the commercial, industrial, financial, social, economic and general activities and condition of the people;

  • (b) to collaborate with departments of government in the collection, compilation and publication of statistical information, including statistics derived from the activities of those departments;

  • (c) to take the census of population of Canada and the census of agriculture of Canada as provided in this Act;

  • (d) to promote the avoidance of duplication in the information collected by departments of government; and

  • (e) generally, to promote and develop integrated social and economic statistics pertaining to the whole of Canada and to each of the provinces thereof and to coordinate plans for the integration of those statistics.

  • 1970-71-72, c. 15, s. 3

Marginal note:Chief Statistician

  •  (1) The Governor in Council shall appoint the Chief Statistician of Canada to be the deputy head of Statistics Canada.

  • Marginal note:Tenure

    (2) The Chief Statistician holds office for a term of not more than five years during good behaviour, but may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Reappointment

    (3) The Chief Statistician is eligible to be reappointed for an additional term of not more than five years.

  • Marginal note:Interim appointment

    (4) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Chief Statistician, or if that office is vacant, the Governor in Council may appoint any qualified person to hold that office in the interim for a term not exceeding six months, and that person shall, while holding office, be paid the salary or other remuneration and expenses that may be fixed by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Duties

    (5) The Chief Statistician shall, in addition to any other duties imposed on him or her under any other provision of this Act,

    • (a) decide, based strictly on professional statistical standards that he or she considers appropriate, the methods and procedures for carrying out statistical programs regarding

      • (i) the collection, compilation, analysis, abstraction and publication of statistical information that is produced or is to be produced by Statistics Canada,

      • (ii) the content of statistical releases and publications issued by Statistics Canada, and

      • (iii) the timing and methods of dissemination of statistics compiled by Statistics Canada;

    • (b) advise on matters pertaining to statistical programs of the departments and agencies of the Government of Canada, and confer with those departments and agencies to that end; and

    • (c) control the operations and staff of Statistics Canada.

  • Marginal note:Report to Minister

    (6) In each fiscal year the Chief Statistician shall make a report to the Minister on the activities of Statistics Canada in the preceding fiscal year, and that report shall be included as a separate part of the Minister’s annual report to Parliament.

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-19, s. 4
  • 2017, c. 31, s. 2

Marginal note:Directives on methods, procedures and operations

  •  (1) Directives on any methods, procedures and operations may only be issued to the Chief Statistician by the Governor in Council, by order, on the recommendation of the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Tabling

    (2) Within 15 days after the day on which an order is made, the Minister shall cause a copy of the order to be tabled in each House of Parliament.

  • Marginal note:House not sitting

    (3) If the House is not sitting, in order to comply with subsection (2), the order shall be sent to the Clerk of the House within 15 days after the day on which the order is made.

  • 2017, c. 31, s. 2

Marginal note:Directives on statistical programs

  •  (1) The Minister may issue directives to the Chief Statistician on the statistical programs that aim to collect, compile, analyse, abstract and publish statistics on all or any of the matters referred to in section 22.

  • Marginal note:Publication of directives

    (2) The Chief Statistician may require that any directive issued to him or her under subsection (1) be made in writing and made public before the Chief Statistician acts on it.

  • 2017, c. 31, s. 2

Marginal note:Temporary employees

  •  (1) The Chief Statistician may employ, in the manner authorized by law, any commissioners, enumerators, agents or other persons that are necessary to collect for Statistics Canada the statistics and information that the Minister considers useful and in the public interest relating to the commercial, industrial, financial, social, economic and other activities that the Minister may determine. The duties of the commissioners, enumerators, agents or other persons shall be those duties prescribed by the Chief Statistician.

  • Marginal note:Public servants

    (2) The Minister may, for such periods as the Minister may determine, use the services of any employee of the federal public administration in the exercise or performance of any duty, power or function of Statistics Canada or an officer of Statistics Canada under this Act or any other Act, and any person whose services are so used shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be a person employed under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Contracted services

    (3) Any persons retained under contract to perform special services for the Chief Statistician under this Act and the employees and agents of those persons are, for the purposes of this Act, deemed to be persons employed under this Act while performing those services.

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-19, s. 5
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E)
  • 2017, c. 31, s. 3

Marginal note:Oath of office

  •  (1) The Chief Statistician and every person employed or deemed to be employed pursuant to this Act shall, before entering on his duties, take and subscribe the following oath or solemn affirmation:

    I, blank line, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully and honestly fulfil my duties as an employee of Statistics Canada in conformity with the requirements of the Statistics Act, and of all rules and instructions thereunder and that I will not without due authority in that behalf disclose or make known any matter or thing that comes to my knowledge by reason of my employment.

  • Marginal note:Attestation

    (2) The oath or solemn affirmation set out in subsection (1) shall be taken before the person, and returned and recorded in the manner, that the Chief Statistician may direct.

  • Marginal note:Incorporated contractors

    (3) If a person retained under contract to perform special services for the Chief Statistician under this Act is a corporation, its chief executive officer and any of its other officers, employees and agents that are used to perform the special services shall, before fulfilling any of the duties required under the contract, take and subscribe the following oath or solemn affirmation:

    I, blank line, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully and honestly fulfil my duties as an employee of (name of the corporation) in respect of my employment in carrying out (identify here contract with Chief Statistician) in conformity with the requirements of the Statistics Act, and of all rules and instructions under that Act and that I will not without due authority disclose or make known any matter or thing that comes to my knowledge by reason of this employment.

  • Marginal note:Attestation

    (4) The oath or solemn affirmation set out in subsection (3) shall be taken before the person, and returned and recorded in the manner, that the Chief Statistician may direct.

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-19, s. 6
  • 2017, c. 31, s. 4

Marginal note:Rules, instructions and requests for information

  •  (1) The Chief Statistician may prescribe the rules, instructions and, subject to subsection 21(1), requests for information that he or she considers necessary for conducting the work and business of Statistics Canada, the collecting, compiling and publishing of statistics and other information and the taking of any census authorized by this Act.

  • Marginal note:Clarification

    (2) For greater certainty, any rule, instruction or request for information prescribed under subsection (1) is not a regulation for the purposes of the Statutory Instruments Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-19, s. 7
  • 2017, c. 31, s. 5

Marginal note:Mandatory or voluntary requests for information

  •  (1) The Chief Statistician shall determine whether a request for information is mandatory or voluntary, with the exception of the census of population and census of agriculture, both of which are mandatory.

  • Marginal note:Publication

    (2) The Chief Statistician shall publish any mandatory request for information before the request is made.

  • Marginal note:Notification of Minister

    (3) The Chief Statistician shall notify the Minister of any new mandatory request for information at least 30 days before the day on which it is published.

  • Marginal note:Voluntary requests for information — paragraph 31(a) does not apply

    (4) Paragraph 31(a) does not apply to a person to whom a voluntary request for information is made.

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-19, s. 8
  • 2017, c. 31, s. 5

Canadian Statistics Advisory Council

Marginal note:Establishment

  •  (1) An advisory council, to be known as the Canadian Statistics Advisory Council, is established

    • (a) to advise the Minister and Chief Statistician 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, including the relevance, accuracy, accessibility and timeliness of its data; and

    • (b) to make public an annual report on the state of the national statistical system.

  • Marginal note:Membership

    (2) The Council is composed of, in addition to the Chief Statistician, not more than 10 other members appointed by the Governor in Council to hold office during pleasure, including one Chairperson.

  • Marginal note:Ex officio

    (3) The Chief Statistician is an ex officio member of the Council.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of Chairperson

    (4) The Chairperson is appointed to a term of not more than five years and may be reappointed for an additional term of three years.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of other members

    (5) The other members are appointed to a term of three years and may be reappointed for an additional term of three years.

  • Marginal note:Remuneration and expenses

    (6) The members appointed under subsection (2) shall be paid the remuneration that is fixed by the Governor in Council and are entitled to be paid any reasonable travel and living expenses that are incurred while absent from their ordinary place of residence in the course of performing their duties under this Act.

  • 2017, c. 31, s. 5

Statistics

Marginal note:No discrimination

  •  (1) The Governor in Council, the Minister and the Chief Statistician shall not, in the execution of the powers conferred by this Act, discriminate between individuals or companies to the prejudice of those individuals or companies.

  • Marginal note:Use of sampling methods

    (2) Despite any other provision of this Act, the Chief Statistician may authorize the use of sampling methods for the collection of statistics.

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-19, s. 9
  • 2017, c. 31, s. 5

Marginal note:Arrangements with provincial governments

  •  (1) The Minister may enter into any arrangement with the government of a province providing for any matter necessary or convenient for the purpose of carrying out or giving effect to this Act, and in particular for all or any of the following matters:

    • (a) the execution by provincial officers of any power or duty conferred or imposed on any officer pursuant to this Act;

    • (b) the collection by any provincial department or provincial officer of any statistical or other information required for the purpose of this Act; and

    • (c) the supplying of statistical information by any provincial department or provincial officer to the Chief Statistician.

  • Marginal note:Provincial officers

    (2) All provincial officers executing any power or duty conferred or imposed on any officer pursuant to this Act, in pursuance of any arrangement entered into under this section, shall, for the purposes of the execution of that power or duty, be deemed to be employed under this Act.

  • 1970-71-72, c. 15, s. 9

Marginal note:Agreements with provincial governments

  •  (1) The Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council and subject to this section, enter into an agreement with the government of a province for the exchange with, or transmission to, a statistical agency of the province of

    • (a) replies to any specific statistical inquiries;

    • (b) replies to any specific classes of information collected under this Act; and

    • (c) any tabulations and analyses based on replies referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

  • Marginal note:Type of statistical agency

    (2) An agreement with a province for the purposes of this section shall apply only in respect of a statistical agency of the province

    • (a) that has statutory authority to collect the information that is intended to be exchanged or transmitted pursuant to the agreement from a respondent who is subject to statutory penalties for refusing or neglecting to furnish information to the agency or for falsifying information furnished by him to the agency;

    • (b) that is prohibited by law from disclosing any information of a kind that Statistics Canada, its officers and employees would be prohibited from disclosing under section 17, if the information were furnished to Statistics Canada; and

    • (c) whose officers and employees are subject to statutory penalties for the disclosing of any information of the kind described in paragraph (b), subject to exceptions authorized by law that are substantially the same as those provided under section 17.

  • Marginal note:Non-application of agreement

    (3) Except in respect of information described in subsection 17(2), no agreement entered into under this section applies to any reply made to or information collected by Statistics Canada or an agency of the government of a province before the date that the agreement was entered into or is to have effect, whichever is the later date.

  • Marginal note:Informing respondent

    (4) Where any information in respect of which an agreement under this section applies is collected by Statistics Canada from a respondent, Statistics Canada shall, when collecting information, advise the respondent of the names of any statistical agencies in respect of which the Minister has an agreement under this section and to which the information received from the respondent may be communicated under that agreement.

  • 1970-71-72, c. 15, s. 10
 
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