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View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
Okay, fair enough; I think that's good. It's not really answering the question, so I'm just going to move on.
In the same report, the Native Women's Association also talked about identifying and assisting indigenous victims and survivors of human trafficking and exploitation and how that effort has been greatly hindered by a lack of disaggregated and cross-jurisdictional data.
We hear this again and again. In every report that we do, data continues to be the big challenge. I'm wondering if there's been any work done on that and if the importance of indigenous ownership of the data collected in relation to the indigenous experience has been recognized. I also wonder how the fact of cross-jurisdictional data can be addressed. This continues to be an issue.
I only have one minute left, so I would really appreciate it if whoever can answer that best would please step up. We don't have a lot of time.
Nathalie Levman
View Nathalie Levman Profile
Nathalie Levman
2021-06-01 13:04
I'm wondering if you would like to hear from Statistics Canada on these issues. There is data out there and a lot of it has been spearheaded by indigenous groups, but I think this is really a question for Statistics Canada. I note that they're not here.
Kathy AuCoin
View Kathy AuCoin Profile
Kathy AuCoin
2021-05-25 12:30
Madam Chair and members of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to present our most recent statistics on senior abuse in Canada.
Much of the information I'll be focusing on this afternoon is available in the publication “Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile”. A link to the report and a series of custom tabulations have been provided to the clerk for your reference.
It's important to note that the data from this report highlight those forms of abuse that meet the criminal threshold and that were reported to the police. As a result, it does not provide a complete picture of the overall prevalence of senior abuse as it does not capture emotional, psychological and financial abuse. Also note that Statistics Canada is working towards collecting disaggregated data, that is, by ethnicity, life stages and gender, which will give us a better understanding of which seniors are most at risk of abuse.
Also note that I'll be referring to the most recent police data, which is from 2019. The 2020 data will be released at the end of July. This information will be critical to our understanding of the impact of COVID restrictions on seniors and whether or not they were more at risk of being a victim.
In 2019, there were more than 14,000 senior victims of police-reported violence in Canada. By senior victims, I mean those individuals who are 65 years of age and older. Of these victims, 55% were men, while 45% were women. This translates into a rate of 227 seniors per 100,000.
Since 2014, there has been a steady increase in police-reported violence perpetrated against seniors. Specifically, we've noted a 29% increase in victimization rates between 2014 and 2019. Over the same time period, the rate of violence increased more for senior women than for senior men. We also noted that there were increases in violence against other age groups—that is, people between 0 and 17, or 18 to 64—but it was only an increase of 16%.
Based on the police data, the highest rates of senior victimization were noted in the three territories, as well as Manitoba and New Brunswick, while Nova Scotia reported the lowest.
According to the 2016 census, 7% of all seniors lived in shared dwellings such as senior resident nursing homes. From police-reported data, we were able to get a glimpse of the violence committed against seniors in these environments. In 2019, just over one in 10 senior victims of police-reported violence were residing in a nursing or retirement home at the time of the incident. Two-thirds of these victims were senior women. Most of these seniors who experienced violence experienced physical assault, while one in seven were sexually assaulted.
Within the nursing and retirement home environment, the perpetrators of this violence were most often seniors themselves. They were a casual acquaintance of the victim, a neighbour within the retirement home or.... We can't tell from the data whether these individuals were suffering from some sort of cognitive impairment or dementia, which could have explained the reason for the violence. Further to that, the police-reported data noted very few cases where the perpetrator of the violence was a staff member of the residence.
Another source of data for senior abuse is the general social survey on victimization, which measures three types of violence—sexual assault, robbery and physical assault—as well as five forms of non-violent crime. These data are critical to our understanding as they capture victimization whether it was reported to the police or not.
According to the 2019 GSS, one in 10 seniors self-reported being a victim of household or violent crime in the previous 12 months and 84,000 seniors were victims of a violent crime. Through the GSS, we are also able to capture experiences of emotional and financial abuse of older adults by a family member or caregiver. Recent results found that approximately 2% of seniors reported experiencing financial or emotional abuse over the past five years. Finally, the GSS also noted that 14% of seniors experienced fraud over the previous five years.
There are challenges in collecting data on elder and senior abuse. Specifically, to obtain robust data, there must be an agreed-upon definition of “senior”, an agreed-upon definition of “abuse” and a sound method on how to capture this information from those living in an institution.
Thank you to the chair and members for their attention this afternoon.
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
2021-05-05 16:26
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you, Ms. Ryan, for your testimony.
The primary purpose of CEPA is to “contribute to sustainable development through pollution prevention”. The United Nations sustainable development goal 8 is to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and full and productive employment and decent work for all.
In your testimony, you mentioned a target savings of 1.8 megatonnes per year of GHG, and also 42,000 jobs. You've also talked about the integrated management approach. How are you going to be measuring these against sustainable development goal 8 on job growth and on sustainability?
Dany Drouin
View Dany Drouin Profile
Dany Drouin
2021-05-05 16:27
The work to track the progress towards zero plastic waste, including the greenhouse gas emissions and the jobs, is under way.
We're working in particular with Statistics Canada. Currently we don't have these numbers tracked; we're developing the framework and looking at the data and data gap in co-operation with Statistics Canada.
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
2021-05-05 16:28
Thank you.
I'm imagining that municipalities or provincial governments might have to report this to Statistics Canada. When I was in business, I had to report to head office how many tonnes of plastics we were recycling as part of my annual report. There was a job in getting that data, but you're using Statistics Canada, correct?
Dany Drouin
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Dany Drouin
2021-05-05 16:28
Correct. It's through the materials flow studies that are published every second year, which you probably contributed to, as you pointed out.
Josée Bégin
View Josée Bégin Profile
Josée Bégin
2021-03-10 18:02
Madam Chair and committee members, thank you for the opportunity today to share some key observations about the Canadian labour market, and more particularly, the changing labour needs in Canada since the beginning of the pandemic.
The main source of information available at Statistics Canada to measure labour demand in detail is the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey. Since October, Statistics Canada has been releasing new monthly indicators on unmet labour demand to provide a timelier picture of employers' recruitment efforts. For example, in December, there were 478,000 vacant positions in Canada.
A more detailed analysis of quarterly job vacancies, including by occupation and subprovincial geography, will be released on March 23, 2021, on the Statistics Canada website. When we look at these data, we see that, last fall, the job vacancy rate—or the number of vacant jobs as a proportion of all vacant and occupied jobs—was about the same as before the pandemic. The vacancy rate was 3% in December, following 3.3% in November, and 3.5% in October, based on our seasonally unadjusted data.
Since October, above-average job vacancy rates have been observed both in sectors where employment has been less affected by COVID-19, such as health care and social assistance and professional, scientific and technical services, and in sectors that have been more affected, such as administrative and support services, and accommodation and food services.
The agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector, which employs a high number of temporary foreign workers, posted the highest job vacancy rate in October with 5.7%, but it fell by half the following month to 2.8%. In December, the job vacancy rate in this sector was 4.2%. The number of job vacancies in this sector can vary greatly depending on seasonal trends.
Provincially, British Columbia and Quebec have consistently had the highest job vacancy rates since October 2020. These provinces also had some of the highest vacancy rates prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. From October to December, job vacancy rates were among the lowest in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. Job vacancy rates in these provinces also tended to be among the lowest before the pandemic.
I would now like to provide a brief overview of the composition of temporary foreign workers and immigration.
Temporary foreign workers have played an increasingly important role in the Canadian labour market in recent years. Nearly 470,000 foreign nationals had a work permit that came into effect in 2019, up sharply from the 340,000 foreign nationals whose permits came into effect in 2017.
In 2017, there were approximately 550,000 foreign workers in Canada, representing 2.9% of the total number of people employed. Although this percentage was relatively low for the economy as a whole, it was particularly high in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, where it accounted for 15.5% of employment.
In contrast, the percentage of temporary foreign workers in other goods-producing sectors was generally low, representing 1% of employment in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, and 1.7% in manufacturing. In service-producing sectors, the highest proportion of temporary foreign workers was observed in accommodation and food services, where it was 7.2%.
Looking at immigration more broadly, immigration levels followed an upward trend from 2016 to 2019, with eight of every 10 people being added to the Canadian population being immigrants or non-permanent residents.
Josée Bégin
View Josée Bégin Profile
Josée Bégin
2021-03-10 18:07
In 2018 and 2019, the majority of employment growth was attributable to immigrants. However, immigration levels fell sharply in 2020 due to the pandemic and travel restrictions.
Our projections suggest that by 2030, Canada's population growth could come exclusively from immigration.
This concludes my presentation, Madam Chair.
Jean-Pierre Corbeil
View Jean-Pierre Corbeil Profile
Jean-Pierre Corbeil
2021-03-09 18:42
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to thank the committee members for inviting Statistics Canada to appear before them to provide input into their study on the measures the Government of Canada can take to protect and promote French in Canada.
My brief presentation will cover three key points. First, I will talk about different indicators and concepts that are used to track the evolution of French in Canada. Second, I will describe some of the issues and challenges specific to the state of French outside Quebec, as well as in Quebec. Lastly, I will conclude my presentation with a list of other topics requiring more in-depth analysis that needs to factor in the growing complexity of language dynamics and multilingualism in Canada, and particularly in Quebec.
First of all, what do we mean by the state of French in Canada? There are actually a number of indicators and concepts that are used to track its evolution. For example, there are traditional ones that look at the change in the size and proportion of the population with French as its mother tongue, the population with French as the main language used at home, and the population that knows French well enough to have a conversation.
And while statistics on the use of French in the private sphere are very useful and reveal multiple facets of linguistic diversity, language policies, charters and legislation focus on the public sphere. In this vein, it is very important and useful to collect and publish information on the language of work and on language practices in different areas of public life, such as language of instruction, day care centres, cultural activities, public signage, communications with and services offered to communities, to name a few.
Faced with this wide array of indicators, we want to know which one or ones will be considered most important or will best reflect what we call the state and evolution of French. The findings on the status of French could also differ based on whether only one indicator or several non mutually exclusive indicators were used.
Two indicators traditionally used to monitor the evolution of French outside Quebec—mother tongue and first official language spoken—reveal that the French-language population continues to grow in number, but decrease in proportion. The same observation was made for the population that reported being able to have a conversation in French.
Moreover, the population that speaks French predominantly at home is declining in number and proportion, while the population that uses it equally with English or as a secondary language is growing. Similarly, the population that predominantly uses French at work has dropped in number and proportion in favour of the population that uses French and English equally in the workplace.
Of course, it is perilous to speak only to a global analysis without taking into account the great diversity of situations and contexts, depending upon whether one resides in the Atlantic provinces, in Ontario or in the western provinces, in rural areas or in larger urban centres.
In addition, some less frequently used indicators testify to the fact that the picture is not all negative. For example, over the last 10 years for which data are available, the number of enrolments in a French-language minority school has grown by 17% to reach nearly 171,000 students. Likewise, the number of young people who registered in the French immersion program in Canada has increased by nearly 70% since the very first action plan for official languages began in 2003, reaching nearly 478,000 students during the year 2018-19.
However, several studies have documented the fact that the main issue in this area concerns the retention of second language skills and the opportunities to maintain them over time.
Two other considerable issues are hindering the growth of French in Canada outside Quebec. The large-scale study entitled “Language Projections for Canada, 2011 to 2036,” which Statistics Canada published in 2017, shows to what extent major changes in the number of French-language immigrants would be required to stabilize the demographic weight of the francophone population. What's more, incomplete transmission of French from one generation to the next, combined with a low fertility rate and weak status of French in many regions of the country are impeding the growth of the French-language population.
In Quebec, the presence and use of French, and how it has evolved, is complex and multifaceted. For example, census data on mother tongue or main language used at home are generally used to show how French in Quebec has changed. We know that immigration is the main driver of population growth and that the vast majority of these immigrants—more than 7 in 10, in fact—have neither English nor French as their mother tongue. In addition, of the roughly 180,000 new immigrants in the Montreal area at the last census, more than half spoke another language most often at home.
Finally, of the approximately 1.1 million immigrants who were living in Quebec in 2016, 55% reported speaking more than one language at home.
Are these statistics automatically indicative of the decline of French in favour of English in Quebec? Not necessarily, because the reality is much more complex.
For example, in the last census, of the roughly 230,000 workers in the greater Montreal area who spoke a language other than English or French most often at home, close to 46% used French most often at work and another 18% used it equally with English.
As well, between 2006 and 2016, the predominant use of English at work by workers whose mother tongue was English fell by 6 percentage points, and by 7 percentage points among workers in the “other” mother tongue category, in favour of the predominant use of French or equal use of French and English. In contrast, a decrease in the predominant use of French was observed among workers whose mother tongue was French, in favour of equal use of French and English.
According to the Office québécois de la langue française, there was an increase in bilingual greetings by clerks in Montreal stores between 2010 and 2017, but the option for service in French remained stable at 95%.
Finally, of the approximately 6,000 French-mother-tongue McGill University students who graduated between 2010 and 2015, more than 80% reported speaking French most often at home in the last census. These are just some examples of the complexity of language dynamics in Quebec.
Before I conclude, I'd like to say that in addition to the information on French as a mother tongue and as the main language used at home, it is important to delve deeper into a number of dynamics and dimensions on the evolution of the situation of French.
In Quebec, for example, which specific factors account for the increase in English–French bilingualism in the workplace? What is the role of industry sectors involved in commercial trade with the rest of the country or internationally?
A more in-depth analysis of these issues is absolutely necessary, especially considering the growing importance of exports of goods and services from Quebec's high-technology and knowledge industries. In addition, a better understanding is required of the obvious under-representation of populations with an immigrant background in provincial, regional and local public administrations, and in Crown corporations in the greater Montreal area, sectors where the use of French is rather widespread.
There also seems to be an urgent need to better understand the role of language and educational paths, on the one hand, and the language used in the public sphere in Quebec, on the other.
Furthermore, given the increasing complexity of language dynamics and a rise in multilingualism at home in the Montreal area, the traditional indicators of “mother tongue” and “language spoken most often at home,” including a focus on language transfers, need to be revisited and better integrated with other language practice indicators to develop a more complete portrait of the evolution of French in Quebec.
In Canada outside Quebec, some of the topics requiring more comprehensive analysis include the transmission of French to children; the retention of language proficiency among young people whose second language is French; a better understanding of the issues and obstacles that impede the growth, integration and inclusion of highly ethnoculturally diverse francophone immigrants; and a better understanding of the barriers and opportunities of French educational paths from preschool to university.
To conclude, the data to be collected in the 2021 Census of Population this coming May and in the Survey on the Official Language Minority Population in 2022 will be combined with data from other administrative sources and from surveys to build a rich data ecosystem, which will help to enhance our understanding of the complex dynamics of the situation of French in the country.
Thank you for your attention. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Jean-Pierre Corbeil
View Jean-Pierre Corbeil Profile
Jean-Pierre Corbeil
2021-03-09 19:14
Thank you. Once again, that's a very good question.
Measuring language used in the public space is one of the great challenges. Needless to say, while work is a key sector, it's important to understand that one-third of the population is not in the workforce and therefore does not use French or English at work. However, there are other indicators.
The Office québécois de la langue française carried out investigations in 2010 and 2017, in which people were asked what language they used, generally speaking, outside of their home and their circle of friends. According to the results obtained, some people used English more often at home, though they used French at work. Others used more than one language at work, but spoke their other language at home. Of course the language used for service delivery is important. There is also the matter of languages used at performances or a variety of other activities. Indicators could be developed on the use of languages.
People who speak mostly French at home will usually speak French in public. The same goes for people who speak English most often at home.
Nevertheless, the major challenge is to be able to monitor trajectories if we are to acquire a better understanding of the presence of the French language, without falling into a reductionist approach in which those who do not speak French at home are not considered francophones. I think things can be analyzed in a much more subtle manner.
Josée Bégin
View Josée Bégin Profile
Josée Bégin
2021-02-23 15:37
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, members of the committee. Thank you for inviting Statistics Canada to speak today as part of the study on employment insurance.
Statistics Canada has many data sources, such as the Labour Force Survey, or LFS, and employment insurance, or EI, statistics, that are used to paint a more complete portrait of labour market-related events. Many of the indicators I will cite today are drawn from these sources. Each data source has its benefits and drawbacks, for example, in terms of coverage, sample size and how quickly data are published.
The pandemic has caused unprecedented job losses in Canada. Total employment fell by more than three million during the worst of the crisis in March and April. Within three months, the unemployment rate almost tripled, reaching 13.7% in May. Although the labour market has improved since then, most labour market indicators have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. Their recovery has been slowed by the public health measures in place.
In January 2021, the unemployment rate stood at 9.4%, compared with 5.7% in February 2020. The number of long-term unemployed workers, in other words, people who have been looking for work or on temporary layoff for 27 weeks or more, remained at a record high of 512,000.
New experimental data show that COVID-19 has significantly impacted groups designated as visible minorities. In January, the unemployment rate of Black Canadians was 5.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier, versus an increase of 3.7 percentage points for Canadians who did not identify as indigenous or did not belong to a group designated as a visible minority. This more precarious labour market situation for population groups designated as visible minorities is partly due to the higher concentration of these workers in some of the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 economic crisis, such as accommodation and food services.
Looking at age groups, youth employment in January 2021 was the furthest, -14%, from the pre-pandemic levels of February 2020, when compared with other demographic groups, particularly employment among young women, -17%.
Last December, 1.3 million Canadians were receiving regular EI benefits, almost triple the number from February 2020, which was 446,000.
The results of the LFS show that 1.8 million people were unemployed in December, including 1.5 million who were looking for work and 300,000 who had a connection to a job, either because they had been laid off temporarily or because they had arrangements to start a new job in the near future.
There is always a proportion of unemployed who are not eligible for EI benefits. Some unemployed people have not contributed to the program because they have not worked in the past 12 months or because their job was not insured. Others contributed to the program, but they do not meet the eligibility criteria.
In December, 13% of all regular EI beneficiaries were eligible as a result of temporary changes made to the eligibility rules in September 2020. This proportion was higher in Quebec and in the Atlantic provinces than in the other provinces.
The December LFS results revealed that the industries where employment remained furthest from pre-pandemic levels included accommodation and food services, information, culture and recreation, and what is known as other services, including personal services and laundry services. The challenges facing these industries are reflected in the profile of regular EI beneficiaries. For example, in December, more than one in four regular EI beneficiaries had last worked in one of these three sectors.
The uneven impact of COVID-19 across industries, combined with relaxation of the rules for accessing the EI program, has also driven the proportion of women who receive regular benefits upward, which rose from 37% in February to 48% in December.
My colleague Vincent and I would be happy to answer any of your questions.
This concludes my presentation, Mr. Chair. I hope this overview of the Canadian labour market will be useful to the committee.
Vincent Dale
View Vincent Dale Profile
Vincent Dale
2021-02-23 16:17
I probably can't give you a very precise answer to your question. I can tell you that we have a survey every year called the employment insurance coverage survey, which looks at the question of what proportion of people have had a spell of unemployment—
View Dave Epp Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you. I have lots I want to get to.
You talked about the need for more independent third party data so that we could make good decisions. You referenced StatsCan. What would be a mechanism to get that data? Are you talking about compelling disclosure? How do we find that balance?
Al Mussell
View Al Mussell Profile
Al Mussell
2021-02-02 15:50
Maybe what I can say about it is this, Dave. This information was collected previously. Back in 2013 or in around that period, there were quite a number of datasets being collected that were agricultural statistics. That data collection from Statistics Canada ended.
To be fair, I would want to leave it to Statistics Canada to ask them how they collected the data previously. One would hope that they continue to do that again.
Josée Bégin
View Josée Bégin Profile
Josée Bégin
2020-12-10 12:05
No, Madam Chair. We are starting with me. I will be presenting on our behalf.
Josée Bégin
View Josée Bégin Profile
Josée Bégin
2020-12-10 12:05
Madam Chair, committee members, I would like to thank you for the opportunity today to share with you some observations on women's unpaid work.
In the time I have, I would like to begin with a portrait of unpaid work in Canada, including caregiving. The second part of my presentation will focus on the situation of health care support workers.
According to the most recent data from the general social survey, women spend more time than men doing unpaid work. Every five years, the results of this survey provide insights into the time use of Canadians, including time spent on unpaid work, which shed light on how Canadians make use of their time and what contributes to their well-being and stress levels. The most recent data on time use are from 2015.
In this survey, unpaid work is defined as the time spent doing housework, performing routine tasks related to the physical care of children, and providing care to an adult family member or friend.
In 2015, women spent an average of 2.8 hours per day on housework—54 minutes more than men, who spent 1.9 hours per day.
Women were more likely than men to perform routine tasks related to the care of children: 76% of women versus 57% of men. In addition, women spent almost one hour more per day than men on these tasks.
The proportion of women who provided care to an adult family member or friend on any given day was three times higher than the proportion of men in 2015. It was 3% for women compared with 1% for men. Among those who provided this care, women spent an average of 42 minutes more than men.
While women tend to spend more time than men on unpaid activities, they are less likely to be in the labour force. And for those who are, they are more likely to have a part-time job. According to data from the labour force survey, 57% of women in Canada were employed in 2015, compared with 65% of men.
In addition, women who were employed generally spent on average 6.9 hours less per week at work than men, all jobs combined. This was 29.6 hours versus 36.5 hours.
The situation in November was similar: 56% of women were employed, compared with 65% of men. What is more, women worked 5.8 hours less per week than men, based on seasonally unadjusted data from the labour force survey.
It is important to recognize that the disproportionate unpaid work done by women for their families favours the higher labour force participation rate and longer working hours of men.
Reflecting this disproportionate share of unpaid work, women were also more likely than men to feel time pressures. In 2015, 49% of women aged 25 to 54 in Canada reported that, at the end of their day, they had often not accomplished what they had set out to do, compared with 43% of men. In addition, 69% of women said they felt stressed when they didn’t have enough time, versus 60% of men. Finally, 46% of women reported feeling constantly under stress trying to accomplish more than they can handle, as opposed to 40% of men.
In April, Statistics Canada conducted a voluntary data collection survey on mental health during the pandemic. The results show that the women who took part in the survey were more likely than men to say that their life had been moderately or severely stressful. More precisely, 30.5% of part of women surveyed said that their life had been moderately or severely stressful during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 24% for men.
It's possible that some women reported higher anxiety than men because the quarantine heightened the unequal sharing by women and men of unpaid family work, by which we mean caring for children and household work. The closing of daycare centres, schools and businesses like restaurants and dry cleaners may have led women to do additional unpaid household tasks that would normally have been sent out to paid services, or for which they could formerly rely on help from parents or friends.
Furthermore, according to the findings of the Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 3: Resuming Economic and Social Activities During COVID-19, employment and the workplace, both of which have been considerably affected by the pandemic, have an impact on how couples share parenting tasks.
More specifically, when men were unemployed or working at home, it appeared to encourage sharing more of the parenting tasks, because men in such situations were more likely to say that parenting tasks had been shared equally, compared to men who had a job and were working away from home. However, when the opposite was the case, with the women out of work or working at home, they were more likely to say that they were mainly responsible for parenting tasks and less likely to say that these were shared equally.
I would also like to mention the circumstances of paid work for women, and more specifically support workers in the health field. These workers contributed enormously in recent months in the combat against COVID-19, and the vast majority of them are women.
The COVID-19 pandemic put the spotlight on the key role performed by these workers. In addition to the risk of contamination to which they are exposed, the media described the poor working conditions in which they sometimes had to work, and the shortage of workers in this sector of the economy.
According to the seasonally adjusted data in the Labour Force Survey, there were 300,000 health support workers in November, defined in the survey as nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates. This number was relatively stable compared to the same period last year.
In several respects, however, their working conditions were much worse than for most workers.
In November, their average hourly wage was approximately $22, about $8 less than the national average. These employees also worked for approximately three fewer hours per week than average and were slightly more likely to be working in temporary jobs and to have more than one job. More specifically, in November, health support workers worked 29 hours, compared to 32 hours for other employees, and 15% of them were in temporary jobs, compared to 11% for other employees. Furthermore, 6% of health support workers had more than one job, compared to 4% for other employees.
The Labour Force Survey data show that for many immigrants, these professions are a way to enter the labour market. Indeed, four of ten health support workers in November were immigrants, compared to one of four for other jobs. These data also show that these employees are clearly…
Tina Chui
View Tina Chui Profile
Tina Chui
2020-12-10 12:19
Madam Chair, thank you for the opportunity to speak.
I agree. Qualitative work is very important. Madam Spinks, from the Vanier Institute of the Family, talked about the dynamic of unpaid work, which is a relationship. It's personal. Therefore, it is very hard to measure or quantify that in a large-scale survey.
At Statistics Canada, whenever we develop a survey, we start with qualitative research. We will still have the survey aspect, asking in the form of questions, but in terms of developing the questions, we use qualitative methods, focus groups and whatnot, to make sure that what we intend to measure is understood by our respondents.
Vincent Dale
View Vincent Dale Profile
Vincent Dale
2020-12-10 12:44
Sure. Thank you for the question.
The labour force survey is conducted every month using a combination of face-to-face and telephone interviews. We have seen a decrease in the response rate over the COVID period, largely because we have suspended face-to-face or personal visit interviews. That has resulted in a drop in the response rate.
The good news is that the quality of the survey remains very high. The LFS is a very accurate reflection of the labour market, but we are taking a series of measures to restore those response rates to where they were pre-COVID.
Jeff Latimer
View Jeff Latimer Profile
Jeff Latimer
2020-12-04 14:39
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I appreciate the opportunity for public servants to appear before such a committee.
At Statistics Canada, we have been tracking the direct and indirect consequences of this pandemic on Canadians. One thing we've observed in the recent period is an unprecedented reduction in the self-reported mental health of Canadians, but this reduction is not felt evenly across the country.
My colleague, Mr. Ron Gravel, will present to this committee a series of statistics related to the varying impacts of the pandemic on particular population groups. I'd like to ask Mr. Gravel to finish the presentation.
Thank you.
Ron Gravel
View Ron Gravel Profile
Ron Gravel
2020-12-04 14:39
Thank you.
Referring to the impact, it can be experienced in many different ways, including feelings of depression, grief, fear, panic and anxiety, which can be normal responses to situations where day-to-day routines are significantly disrupted.
It's important to note that today's presentation focuses on data collected in the first few months of the pandemic, that is, the first wave. The overall presentation provides a profile of how the impact on mental health has varied across a number of demographic and social groups. These include youth, immigrants, groups designated as visible minorities, gender-diverse populations, indigenous people and Canadians with disabilities.
I'm referring now to slide 2 of my deck. Since there are many graphs with details in this deck, I will first start with a summary of the key messages and then draw attention to select findings in each of the slides.
The first message—
Ron Gravel
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Ron Gravel
2020-12-04 14:42
Thank you.
Our first message is that the pandemic has negatively impacted the mental health of most Canadians. When we look at life satisfaction as an overall measure of positive mental health, we see that it has declined to the lowest since 2003. Whereas before the pandemic almost three-quarters of Canadians rated their life satisfaction as high, only 43% indicated such a level during the pandemic.
Finally, fewer Canadians are reporting being in very good or excellent mental health, with young Canadians showing the largest declines. The top graph in slide 3 illustrates that youth have experienced the largest declines in life satisfaction since the start of the pandemic. Focusing on the bottom graph, there are some suggestions of emerging inequalities for immigrants. Whereas levels of satisfaction were generally similar among immigrants and Canadian-born before the pandemic, it was lower for immigrants in June 2020.
Slide 4 looks at self-rated mental health, which is a powerful indicator of overall mental health status. As previously noted, a consistent finding across studies is that the impact on mental health has affected more youth.
The graph on slide 5 shows that the proportion of Canadians reported an increase in their cannabis, alcohol or tobacco use during the pandemic compared with before the pandemic began. This is an interesting fact, because it shows that, compared with other age groups, youth report increasing their use of cannabis the most. About 12% of them reported increasing their cannabis use during the pandemic. As well, the greatest increase in substance use was reported among those aged 35 to 54, with an increase in alcohol use.
Turning to slide 6, since the pandemic we see from crowdsourcing results that gender-diverse individuals were substantially more likely than female or male participants to report fair or poor mental health. Gender-diverse Canadians also were twice as likely as females and three times as likely as males to report some symptoms consistent with moderate and severe anxiety.
Looking at slide 7, past studies suggest that, generally speaking, immigrants arrive in Canada with better self-perceived mental health than Canadians, but this perception declines after a period of time in Canada. Results from our crowd-source survey suggest the opposite pattern during the pandemic—that is, 28% of recent immigrants who participated in the crowd-source survey reported fair or poor self-rated mental health, compared with 20% of established immigrant participants and 24% of Canadian-born participants. Recent immigrant participants were also more likely to report symptoms of anxiety than other Canadians.
[Technical difficulty—Editor] is one where it shows what was presented in the previous slide, and it reports essentially [Technical difficulty—Editor]. Overall—
Ron Gravel
View Ron Gravel Profile
Ron Gravel
2020-12-04 14:46
Overall, immigrants reported more concern about their health and social consequences of the pandemic than did Canadian-born individuals. These concerns are about issues such as their own health, household members' health, risk of civil disorder, violence in the home, family stress from confinement, and maintaining social ties.
On slide nine, turning to the health of Canadians designated as visible minorities, we see signs of poorer mental health compared to those identifying as white Canadians. Almost 28% of those designated as visible minorities reported fair or poor self-rated mental health compared to 23%. Reporting of moderate or severe symptoms of anxiety was also higher for visible minority Canadians than for those identifying as white Canadians.
On slide 10, crowd-sourced data also indicates more impacts of the pandemic on first nations people, Métis, and Inuit. The slide reflects mental health disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous people, with higher percentages of indigenous participants reporting worsening mental health, high stress and symptoms of anxiety. When asked how their mental health has changed since physical distancing began, 60% of indigenous participants indicated that it has become somewhat worse or much worse. A higher percentage of indigenous women also reported worsening of their mental health.
Slide 11 shows some of the factors that influence the mental health disparities, observed on the previous slide, between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians.
I'll skip now to slide 12. On that slide, the final group that we will profile today are Canadians living with long-term conditions and disabilities. Using crowd-sourced data, we see that over half of the participants with long-term conditions or a disability reported having worse mental health than they had before the start of the pandemic. During the June-July collection, more than half reported that their mental health was fair or poor.
On the last slide, slide 13, the data presents a relatively consistent picture of how the pandemic has had negative impacts on the mental health of Canadians as a whole and has had greater impacts across a range of already vulnerable groups in Canada.
Statistics Canada is committed to working with partners to increase the information available on the impact of the pandemic on mental health. To showcase some of how we're moving forward, I've listed here a few examples of initiatives: the two independent waves covered by the Survey on COVID-19 and Mental Health, the survey of mental health and stressful events, as well as our active participation in Health Canada's expert round table on mental health data needs and related challenges.
Thank you very much.
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
I now call this meeting to order. Good morning, everyone.
Welcome to meeting number six of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.
Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, pursuant to the House order of September 23, 2020. The proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website. Be aware that the website will show the person speaking rather than the entirety of the committee.
To ensure an orderly meeting, I'd like to outline a few rules, as usual. Members and witnesses may speak in the official language of their choice. Interpretation services are available for this meeting, and you have the choice at the bottom of your screen of “Floor”, “English” or “French”.
For members participating in person, please proceed as you usually would when the full committee is meeting in person in the committee room, keeping in mind the directives from the Board of Internal Economy regarding masking and health protocols.
Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. If you are on video conference, please click on your microphone to unmute yourself. For those in the room, the microphone will be controlled as usual by the proceedings and verification officer. This is a reminder that all comments must be addressed through the chair. When you're not speaking, please mute your microphone.
With regard to the speaking list, the clerk and I will be doing our best to maintain the speaking order.
Pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), the committee is meeting today to continue its study on the main estimates 2020-21.
As is my normal practice, I will hold up a yellow card when you have 30 seconds left in your intervention and a red card when your time is up. Please respect the time limits, as we want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to have their turn.
I'd like to welcome our witnesses for the first panel. We have the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. I will introduce our other guests at the end of this first panel and the beginning of the next so that we do not delay any further.
With that, I will turn the floor over to Minister Bains. You have the floor for five minutes.
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much.
With that we will have to end our questioning, because we have to move into the votes for the main estimates. I'd like to thank our witnesses again for their time today, and their testimony. If any follow-up is required.... I know there was some documentation requested of the deputy minister. Could you please make sure that it gets to the clerk so that he can circulate it to the committee members?
With that, before us we have the various votes under the main estimates. I believe there is some agreement here, but I would like to ask the committee if there is consent to carry all the votes on division and report the same back to the House.
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Chair: That is perfect. Thank you.
ATLANTIC CANADA OPPORTUNITIES AGENCY
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$68,395,032
Vote 5—Grants and contributions..........$223,992,801
(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)
CANADIAN NORTHERN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$17,365,446
Vote 5—Grants and contributions..........$45,339,219
(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)
CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$195,845,837
Vote 5—Capital expenditures..........$51,745,453
Vote 10—Grants and contributions..........$67,965,000
(Votes 1, 5 and 10 agreed to on division)
CANADIAN TOURISM COMMISSION
Vote 1—Payments to the Commission..........$95,665,913
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
COPYRIGHT BOARD
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$3,834,507
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$459,957,408
Vote 5—Capital expenditures..........$7,433,000
Vote 10—Grants and contributions..........$2,389,191,705
Vote L15—Payments pursuant to subsection 14(2) of the Department of Industry Act..........$300,000
Vote L20—Loans pursuant to paragraph 14(1)(a) of the Department of Industry Act..........$500,000
(Votes 1, 5, 10, L15 and L20 agreed to on division)
DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$42,274,210
Vote 5—Grants and contributions..........$228,161,383
(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY OF CANADA FOR THE REGIONS OF QUEBEC
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$40,468,977
Vote 5—Grants and contributions..........$255,628,788
(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)
FEDERAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR SOUTHERN ONTARIO
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$30,390,354
Vote 5—Grants and contributions..........$218,183,579
(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF CANADA
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$454,716,057
Vote 5—Capital expenditures..........$56,400,030
Vote 10—Grants and contributions..........$461,135,770
(Votes 1, 5 and 10 agreed to on division)
NATURAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH COUNCIL
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$54,411,479
Vote 5—Grants..........$1,304,972,077
(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)
SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCIL
Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$34,825,266
Vote 5—Grants..........$938,395,419
(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)
STANDARDS COUNCIL OF CANADA
Vote 1—Payments to the Council..........$18,321,000
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
STATISTICS CANADA
Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$539,369,331
(Vote 1 agreed to on division)
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
Good morning, everyone.
I now call this meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number five of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.
Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, pursuant to the House order of September 23, 2020. The proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website. Please be aware that the webcast will always show the person speaking rather than the entirety of the committee.
To ensure an orderly meeting, I'd like to outline a few rules.
Members and witnesses may speak in the official language of their choice. Interpretation services are available for this meeting. You have the choice, at the bottom of your screen, of floor, English or French.
For members participating in person, proceed as you usually would when the whole committee is meeting in person in a committee room. Keep in mind the directives from the Board of Internal Economy regarding masking and health protocols.
Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. If you are on video conference, please click on the microphone icon to unmute yourself. For those in the room, your microphone will be controlled as normal by the proceedings and verification officer. I remind you that all comments by members and witnesses should be addressed through the chair. When you're not speaking, please mute your microphone.
With regard to the speakers list, the committee clerk and I will do our best to maintain the order of speaking for all members, whether they are participating virtually or in person.
Pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), the committee is meeting today to commence its study on the main estimates 2020-21.
As is my normal practice, I will hold up a yellow card when you have 30 seconds remaining in your intervention, and I will hold up a red card when the time for your intervention is over.
I'd now like to welcome our witnesses.
Today we have the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. We also have the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development. From the Department of Industry, we have Simon Kennedy, deputy minister; Paul Thompson, associate deputy minister; and Douglas McConnachie, assistant deputy minister and CFO.
Each witness will present for up to five minutes, followed by rounds of questions. We want to be able to get two rounds in for the first hour with the ministers, so I will be very rigid on the clock.
With that, I will turn to Minister Ng. You have the floor for five minutes.
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
Sure.
I can move on to something, then, that perhaps is more in your line.
The minister, just a short time ago, spoke about all the money that Stats Canada has and the engagement. When I take a look at the main estimates here, I see StatsCan up by 27.1%, $114 million extra. I also see, in the same document, Atlantic Canada down by $42 million. I see Quebec down $24 million. I see Western Economic Diversification down $31 million.
It seems there has been a reallocation of funding, so I am just wondering if you can explain what the rationale would be to increase dramatically the StatsCan numbers while we see the different opportunity organizations losing funding.
Simon Kennedy
View Simon Kennedy Profile
Simon Kennedy
2020-11-19 12:43
Madam Chair, I am going to turn to my chief financial officer. Typically, these numbers are not reflecting year-over-year reductions. It's typically the timing of when we receive money through the main estimates or the supplementary estimates. It's a technical issue.
I'll turn to Mr. McConnachie, if that's okay, to just explain the details.
Douglas McConnachie
View Douglas McConnachie Profile
Douglas McConnachie
2020-11-19 12:43
Thank you very much for the question, and thank you, Mr. Kennedy.
That's exactly the case. The main estimates don't reflect any of the funding that was appropriated to the regional development agencies, in particular, through the supplementary estimates (A) and (B). There were significant allocations that were made to the regional relief and recovery fund. As well, the RDAs were tasked to deliver a number of programs that are within the mandates of Minister Ng and Minister Monsef, notably the women entrepreneurship strategy and some other pieces.
Given the fact that there is quite a bit of complexity to the figures, I'd be happy to submit, through the clerk, a detailed accounting for how the authorities, to date, have significantly increased for all of the RDAs since the main estimates, if that would please the committee.
View Kristina Michaud Profile
BQ (QC)
All right.
Statistics Canada has announced that it will begin collecting racial data on victims of crime and those accused of crime. It seems that it will not include data on use-of-force incidents in police services; you mentioned that.
Do you believe Statistics Canada should go further in collecting this kind of data? Why do you feel it's important?
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
View Akwasi Owusu-Bempah Profile
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
2020-07-23 15:57
On the race data specifically, yes, I do. It has been collecting some from police agencies that provide that data to them. Others have a policy not to provide the data.
Again, going to your intersectionality point, the more data we can collect, the better. I understand that's not always practical in the context of the work that the police are doing, but again, although I've advocated for the collection of race-based data for the better part of a decade and a half, if we don't do it properly it could be quite dangerous.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you.
I think your example of the reward system within policing in terms of recognizing the number of arrests versus various other ways of resolving incidents does reflect on that too, because it forces police officers down a particular path that they perhaps don't even realize they're being directed towards. I think some of these examples are quite useful.
Also, I'm very conscious, and this is one of the reasons I was so keen to have this whole study go forward, that we are at a point.... You say you've been working for a decade and a half on some of these issues, in particular data and whatnot. As a result of well-known current events, we are at a point where there is a chance to seize the opportunity to try to implement some systemic solutions to what we are recognizing as systemic problems. It's encouraging that 85% of Canadians see it as a systemic problem, particularly in policing.
It's a version of the questions Mr. Vidal asked. Are there specific systemic solutions that are practical to see happening? You talk about national statistics, and you had fairly granular expectations in terms of what was expected. Is there a practical way of instituting that at a national level? What mechanism would there be? Would there be a Stats Canada role, or should there be some other national standard or national law that would compel this?
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
View Akwasi Owusu-Bempah Profile
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
2020-07-23 16:02
Yes, this should most definitely be standardized using standardized racial descriptors. The Province of Ontario recently, as part of the Anti-Racism Act, put forth data [Technical difficulty—Editor] standards, which I think provide a good model. What would need to happen is simply a box on the UCR, the uniform crime reports, for example, that would capture race, so the racial categories that would be utilized—there are about a dozen in Ontario—would make their way onto the forms and into the databases that police use and collect.
I should note that although this is not done in a systematic fashion at the moment, we know from all the attention to police carding that the police have been collecting racial information across this country on the people they come into contact with. What we don't have is that being done in any kind of uniform fashion, and what we don't have is that being done throughout the different types of work the police do, and it's not reported to Statistics Canada.
From my perspective, that would take a bit of computer programming to ensure that the databases were proper, as well as the changing of fields in those databases and the forms used. It's a relatively simple thing to do. I say “relatively” purposely.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Is that a province-by-province issue, Professor Owusu-Bempah, or is it something that can be done nationally?
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
View Akwasi Owusu-Bempah Profile
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
2020-07-23 16:03
It can be done nationally in the uniform crime reporting system. It's a system of reporting information on criminal incidents to Statistics Canada that 99% of police agencies currently use. The whole purpose of that is that all police agencies across the country are sending this uniform data to Statistics Canada. It's simply a matter of updating that information to capture race.
What is different is some of the other forms of information the police capture. When we talk about carding or street checks, although similar forms are used, this is information that is collected about individuals the police come into contact with not necessarily when there has been an incident, but they want to collect information about an individual. There's less uniformity in that sense. Many people would argue that this [Technical difficulty—Editor] should be eradicated, and that's what we see in Ontario—not the eradication of street checks or carding, but their heavy regulation—so the numbers have come down substantially.
Jeff Latimer
View Jeff Latimer Profile
Jeff Latimer
2020-07-07 13:24
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to appear before your committee as a representative of Statistics Canada. As a public servant, I am always grateful for these opportunities. I'm here with my colleagues Karen Mihorean and Marc Lachance. They will answer questions within their areas of expertise if required.
It's clear to us that the pandemic has raised significant concerns about the disproportionate impacts across Canada based upon socio-economic differences. Not all groups have been equally affected, and we have observed such impacts within our data, particularly among seniors living in long-term care facilities, health care workers, racialized communities, indigenous communities and those living in low-income households.
Before presenting a few key examples, it's important to highlight the data collection accountabilities related to COVID-19.
As you probably know, the provincial and territorial public health authorities are responsible for collecting and reporting within their jurisdictions on COVID-19 cases. The Public Health Agency of Canada is responsible for receiving this data from the provinces and territories and reporting at the national level. While Statistics Canada does not collect COVID-19 data directly, we do provide expertise and advice on gaps in existing data and on potential strategies to address such gaps, as well as data collection and data exchange standards.
I'd like to make one last point related to data collection before I provide examples. There are generally two methods: survey data, from a sample the population, and administrative data, typically from a census of all cases. COVID-19 data is collected through administrative data, which often has a number of limitations. In Canada, it is clear these data limitations are creating significant challenges.
Jeff Latimer
View Jeff Latimer Profile
Jeff Latimer
2020-07-07 13:26
First, there is a lack of common data standards and data exchange standards across the country, along with inefficient data processing and data quality concerns. Second, the lack of granularity in the data that is collected related to COVID-19 makes it difficult to answer key policy questions. For example, there is no data collected on such demographic characteristics as race, ethnicity or income, and no data on an individual's underlying health status. In addition, detailed geospatial data is not available to better understand the spread of COVID-19. Finally, and I think most importantly, the data submitted to the federal government does not include identifiers that could facilitate safe and appropriate record linkage with existing Statistics Canada datasets that could potentially fill these gaps.
That said, we have been actively collecting new survey data and analyzing our existing data to shed some light on the potential indirect impacts of COVID-19. During this time of social distancing, for example, 64% of youth are reporting substantial declines in their mental health status, compared with only 35% of seniors. The unemployment rate for students in May of this year was 40%, which is triple the rate reported last year in the same month. A similar pattern was evident among non-student youth as well. More than 70% of seniors in Canada over the age of 80 report at least one pre-existing chronic condition related to severe symptoms of COVID-19, which is more than double the rate among adults under 60.
If we look at the immigrant population, we see that employment losses during COVID-19 have been more than double compared with the Canadian-born population. We also know that before COVID-19, black Canadians were already experiencing unemployment rates twice that of the general population. The wage gap between these groups has been widening in recent years. Among black youth, almost twice as many report experiencing food insecurity as compared with other young Canadians. Visible minority populations, such as Chinese and Korean Canadians, have reported increases in race-based negative incidents over the last few months. One in ten women have reported being concerned about violence in their home during the pandemic.
If we examine the socio-demographic characteristics of long-term care workers, who are currently facing some of the most difficult challenges, we see that they are more likely to be immigrants, they are less likely to work full time, and they are more likely to earn less than the average Canadian. Indigenous men are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed. They earn, on average, 23% less than their non-indigenous counterparts. In almost all indicators, including health status and life expectancy, the indigenous population lags well behind Canadian averages.
The pandemic has shone a glaring light on many of these pre-existing social inequities that Statistics Canada has been tracking for decades. In order to respond to the need for more data, we have launched a number of rapid data collection vehicles, such as web panels and crowdsourcing surveys. The topics have included the impacts of COVID-19 on labour, food insecurity, mental health, perceptions of safety, trust in others and parenting concerns. Statistics Canada finished collection just yesterday, using our crowdsourcing surveys, to better understand the impact on persons with long-term disabilities. This data will be available in early August. It will include information on visible minority status as well as such other demographic markers as gender, immigrant status and indigenous identity. More data on mental health issues will also be made available in the coming weeks. It will provide breakdowns by gender diversity, immigrant status and ethnocultural groups.
In partnership with the provinces and territories, we have also significantly increased the timeliness of death data in Canada so that a clear picture of excess deaths during the pandemic can be estimated. We will be releasing this data publicly next month.
We are also partnering with the Canadian Institute for Health Information to examine in greater detail the issues among health care workers and long-term care facilities.
Finally, we are working with the Public Health Agency of Canada to make detailed preliminary data on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases available to Canadians and researchers.
I'd like to thank you very much for your time. My colleagues and I are available to answer any questions you may have.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Marc Lachance
View Marc Lachance Profile
Marc Lachance
2020-07-07 13:54
Good afternoon.
This is a very good question. Similar to our colleague from CIHI, Statistics Canada produces national standards. As you mentioned, the census is one of the major data collection activities in which we apply those standards. As a national statistical organization, Statistics Canada makes all those standards available. We develop them with communities and with experts. We also test them with the respondents to ensure that they understand those standards. As a result, we have standards that we can make available to other organizations. They're all available publicly. As mentioned, they are all trusted and used.
We are also working closely with our—
Karen Mihorean
View Karen Mihorean Profile
Karen Mihorean
2020-07-07 14:03
Yes, thank you.
What we've found is that not just youth have experienced a significant impact on their mental health. We've been able to compare the data from our crowdsourcing and our web panel surveys to the Canadian community health survey, looking at overall rates and general perceptions of mental health in what people were reporting in 2018-19 and then how it compares now. It's not just in youth that we are seeing a decline; we're also seeing it among the indigenous population and in immigrants. These are also populations that have been particularly hit with job loss, for example, and the ability to remain financially stable. We are seeing rather significant declines in self-perceived mental health among those three groups especially.
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Last week, on Friday, Statistics Canada was to release labour force survey data at 8:30 a.m. eastern time, one of the most important and market-moving indicators of the month, but someone in the government leaked that information ahead of time, almost 45 minutes ahead of time, and exclusively to Bloomberg terminal users on Wall Street and on Bay Street, who pay thousands of dollars a month for those terminals.
Moving markets, the Canadian dollar moved eight basis points in that short period of time and billions were made or lost on the market. Section 34 of the Statistics Act makes it a criminal offence for someone to leak information that might influence stock, bond or currency markets.
Has the government notified the RCMP about what appears to be a criminal breach of the Statistics Act?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, I'd like to thank the honourable member for his question.
I, too, share the same concerns that he's highlighted with regard to this leak. This is completely unacceptable. That is why we're going to make sure that a proper and thorough examination is done, and going forward we want to make sure that no such breach or leak occurs.
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, Statistics Canada said that staffers and ministers' offices, including the Prime Minister's office, the finance minister's office, the employment minister's office and the industry minister's office, would have received this secret information no earlier than 2 p.m. the previous day.
Statistics Canada has also indicated that it has begun an internal investigation. Will the minister commit to fully co-operating with this investigation?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'd like to remind the honourable colleague that our government has supported Statistics Canada. We're the ones who reintroduced the mandatory long-form census. We're the ones who funded more money for Statistics Canada. The member opposite knows that we'll be fully co-operative in any such investigation into any leak.
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, the member opposite knows full well that there are proper processes and protocols in place when it comes to such sensitive matters, and we will ensure that those processes and protocols—
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, I hope there is no double standard for ministers' offices and the public service, because it was only about 13 years ago that a public servant was criminally charged and convicted for using top secret information in the markets.
I hope that in this investigation, and in the release of the information concerning this investigation, ministers' staffers aren't held to a different standard than the public service has been held to.
This leak speaks to the integrity of the government. Intelligence at the Five Eyes.... Our four allies have been telling us for years that one of the top two or three threats that democracies are facing is declining public confidence in our key institutions. Democracies have been blindsided by misinformation, disinformation and cyber-attacks, and now we are being blindsided by the misuse of information by this very government.
That doesn't even.... The government's own national statistics-gathering agency doesn't trust this cabinet or this government, and that's why they announced several days ago that they would suspend the pre-release of information to the cabinet.
What is the government going to do to restore public confidence in our institutions?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, our government has remained steadfast in its support for Statistics Canada. I'd like to remind my honourable colleague that we are the government that brought forward legislation to strengthen the independence of Statistics Canada. We're the government that brought forward measures to make sure they have additional monies for conducting the proper mandatory long-form census as well.
When it comes to the leak that the member opposite is talking about, we're not going to prejudge the outcome. We have been very clear that the proper processes and protocols that are in place will be followed.
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, I hope the government will call the RCMP and notify them about what appears to be a criminal breach of the Statistics Act, because it was a previous Liberal minister who himself was subject to a lot of misinformation and was a target of improper allegations about his office's use of information that leaked about the income trust changes that the previous Liberal government had brought in. The RCMP began an investigation and, in the course of the investigation, they charged a public servant who was ultimately convicted of breaching that secret information.
I hope the minister holds his office and the offices of his cabinet colleagues to the same standard, calls in the RCMP and makes them aware of what appears to be a criminal breach of the Statistics Act.
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
I appreciate that very much.
Again, I want to take this opportunity to say that leaks of this nature are completely unacceptable. We've been very clear that we are going to take the appropriate steps. Statistics Canada is taking the appropriate steps.
I want to remind the member opposite that we're not going to prejudge any outcome at this stage. Again, it is our government that has been consistently supporting Statistics Canada in its work through the previous years.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Chair, last week markets were shocked when leaks regarding the state of our economy came to light before the market even opened. This caused worry to investors at home and abroad about the integrity of our markets and the nature of the leak, which is, in itself, unprecedented.
Section 34 of the Statistics Act indicates the following:
Every person who, after taking the oath set out in subsection 6(1), is guity of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to impreisonment for a term not exceeing five years or both:
(a) wilfully discloses or divulges directly or indirectly to any person not entitled under this Act to receive the same any information obtained by him in the course of his employment that might exert an influence on or affect the market value of any stocks, bonds or other security or any product or article, or
(b) uses any information described in paragraph (a) for the purpose of speculating in any stocks, bonds or other security or any product or article
My question for the minister is this: Does the government consider this case to be subject to paragraph 34(a) or 34(b) and a criminal offence, yes or no?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, my hon. colleague is absolutely right that the current situation with regard to the COVID crisis is deeply problematic, and we want to make sure that any information we share with the Canadian public with regard to economic measures or labour market numbers follows the appropriate process. The breach that occurred is completely unacceptable. Our government has denounced this breach. That breach was not the way to deal with such sensitive information.
The member has alluded to several paragraphs within the Statistics Act. I can assure him that we are looking into this matter and that Statistics Canada is looking into this issue as well. Going forward, we will ensure that such a breach does not occur again, because it's important that we continue to have the confidence of Canadians during this current health care crisis.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
Okay, I will take that as a yes.
So this matter should be investigated, yes or no?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
As I have indicated very clearly, what has happened is completely unacceptable. This breach should not have occurred. This matter is being looked into, and we want to assure Canadians going forward that—
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, there are appropriate protocols in place to look into such breaches. Those protocols will be followed, and the appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such breaches do not occur going forward.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
The minister indicated that this will be investigated, but during the investigation into the SNC-Lavalin scandal, the Liberal staff refused to co-operate. Will the minister commit today that all Liberal staff will co-operate with this investigation?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Again, we've been clear that it's important that any such breach be taken seriously. What has happened is unacceptable, and we will ensure that the appropriate steps are taken to make sure that such breaches do not occur going forward.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
There's no doubt about the general terms, but I need to make sure that the government will commit that its staff will co-operate. Yes or no?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
The process is very clear. The protocols are very clear. The law is very clear, and we will make sure that the process is followed and the law is upheld.
Anil Arora
View Anil Arora Profile
Anil Arora
2020-03-12 15:32
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to begin by thanking the committee members for inviting Statistics Canada to appear before you today to provide an update on its efforts regarding the enumeration of rights holders under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
As you mentioned, Mr. Chair, with me today are my colleagues Lynn Barr-Telford and Stéphane Dufour, who will assist me in answering your questions. The fact that I am here with assistant chief statisticians attests to how important we consider the issue to be and gives them an opportunity to hear from you directly. Ms. Barr-Telford and Mr. Dufour are responsible for census content and operations, respectively.
Statistics Canada is committed to providing high-quality up-to-date data and analysis to policy-makers. To that end, we have formed strong relationships with our partners, developed world-class expertise, established robust methodologies, pursued constant innovation and explored new ways to meet the data needs of Canadians.
We use sample surveys, administrative and new emerging data sources, and the census, conducted once every five years, to build, maintain and further strengthen our data infrastructure in Canada. This infrastructure reflects a support of our values, our laws and societal needs with good facts and evidence. This evidence and need for unbiased data—not influenced by factors other than statistical rigour and independence—was made explicit through changes to the Statistics Act in 2017, subsequent to the return of the mandatory long-form census in 2016.
Canadians, 88% in fact, say they trust Statistics Canada. The 2016 census achieved the highest-ever response rate, which lends further support for a strong and credible statistical system in Canada.
Meeting the data needs of our bilingual society, where English and French have had official language status for the past 50 years, is something we take very seriously at Statistics Canada. We are unaware of any other statistical agency in the world that has acquired expertise equivalent to ours or built such an extensive wealth of knowledge around a society with two official languages as dynamic as the one we have here in Canada.
We are also committed to meeting the specific needs of language rights holders, a commitment I care deeply about. I'd like to take a few moments to show you that by sharing some of the tangible measures we have taken at Statistics Canada in the past few years.
First, we secured stable funding for a language statistics program at the department, as provided for in the 2019 budget. Through a leading-edge centre of expertise for statistical production and analysis for Canada's official languages, we can support related government initiatives. Our efforts support the official languages action plan and give official language communities, as well as all Canadians, access to high-quality information.
In 2017, we assembled Canada's leading experts through a formal advisory committee on language statistics to help guide our commitment to further strengthen our capacity to serve Canadians with the best information possible, the measure of right holders being an important focus.
Given the specific requirements that define minority language rights holders both within and outside Quebec, we developed, through robust qualitative testing, a module of comprehensible questions in both languages to ensure that we could obtain a highly reliable count of right holders.
To ensure that the questions designed through qualitative testing would work to yield high quality and reliable results, we conducted a large-scale quantitative test with 135,000 households in 2019.
Over the past many years, Statistics Canada has also strengthened its ability to obtain and maintain administrative data on school enrollments from other jurisdictions, including enrollments in minority language schools across this country.
In addition, together with the Department of Canadian Heritage, we built the capacity to produce geographic databases that make it possible to overlay the location of rights holders' children and the exact location of every minority language education facility in Canada. This will enable Statistics Canada to determine the distance between where rights holders live and where the education facility is located geographically.
We are also working with the Department of Canadian Heritage, as well as other federal partners, to develop a new post-census survey on official language minorities in Canada. The survey should provide relevant contextual information on rights holders' intentions when it comes to sending their children to a minority language education facility. The survey should also highlight the challenges official language minority communities face, including access to education in their official language.
The census is a signature data collection vehicle that dates back to 1666 in Canada, and one that obviously has evolved since in content and methodology. It serves our nation's needs for high-quality data at low levels of geography for very small populations. It provides a statistical basis upon which numerous legal, statutory and policy programs are assessed, and subsequent decisions are made to increase their effectiveness, including the Employment Equity Act, the Official Languages Act, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, the Employment Insurance Act and Canada Pensions Plan, just to name a few.
However, the census is a specific snapshot in time and, on its own, cannot provide all the information rights holders are seeking. It is therefore important to build an ecosystem of data that will shed light on this important issue. To that end, Statistics Canada is exploring various data sources that will help paint an accurate picture of rights holders. This includes provincial and territorial data on annual school enrolment and a follow-up survey of rights holders to produce estimates of the number of parents who intend to send their children to a minority language education facility.
Indeed, existing questions on mother tongue and language spoken at home on the census, along with annual administrative data on school enrolments and the possible addition of a module of five questions on rights holders and a post-censal survey, would immensely strengthen the information on this vital aspect of our bilingual society.
We are eager to continue working with our partners to enrich this important ecosystem of data.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
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