Assented to 2017-12-12
An Act to amend the Statistics Act
This enactment amends the Statistics Act to strengthen the independence of Statistics Canada, including by providing for the appointment of the Chief Statistician to hold office during good behaviour and by assigning to the Chief Statistician the powers related to methods, procedures and operations of Statistics Canada. It also establishes a transparent process to issue directives to the Chief Statistician concerning those methods, procedures and operations or the statistical programs. In addition, it establishes the Canadian Statistics Advisory Council, no longer requires the consent of respondents to transfer their Census information to Library and Archives Canada and repeals imprisonment as a penalty for any offence committed by a respondent. Finally, it amends certain provisions by modernizing the language of the Act to better reflect current methods of collecting statistical information.
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
R.S., c. S-19Statistics Act
Amendments to the Act
- identifying information
identifying information means any information that makes it possible to identify an individual person, business or organization; (renseignement identificateur)
2 Section 4 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Marginal note:Chief Statistician
4 (1) The Governor in Council shall appoint the Chief Statistician of Canada to be the deputy head of Statistics Canada.
(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.
(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.
(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.
Marginal note:Directives on methods, procedures and operations
4.1 (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.
(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.
Marginal note:Directives on statistical programs
4.2 (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.
Marginal note:Temporary employees
5 (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.
(2) Subsection 5(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:
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.
4 Subsections 6(2) to 6(4) of the Act are replaced by the following:
(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, , 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.
(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.
5 Sections 7 to 9 of the Act are replaced by the following:
Marginal note:Rules, instructions and requests for information
7 (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:Mandatory or voluntary requests for information
8 (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.
(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.
Canadian Statistics Advisory Council
8.1 (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.
(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.
Marginal note:No discrimination
9 (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.
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