An Act to amend the Statistics Act (S.C. 2017, c. 31)

Published date08 March 2018
SectionPart III - Acts of Parliament
Gazette Issue2 - [object Object]

S.C. 2017, c. 31

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

1 Section 2 of the Statistics Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

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.

  • 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.

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.

  • 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.

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.

  • 3 (1) Subsection 5(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

    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:

  • 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, , do solemnly swear (or affirm)...

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