Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 30 of 48
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.
View Bernard Généreux Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to our witnesses today. To say that we were eager to meet with them is putting it mildly.
My first question is this. Is Statistics Canada an arm's length agency, in other words, independent from the government and equipped with its own board of directors? If so, can the political powers that be ask you to include certain questions in the census?
Anil Arora
View Anil Arora Profile
Anil Arora
2020-03-12 15:41
We are referred to as a department; we are under the authority of a minister. We are independent to the extent that we have control over our methodology, meaning, the decisions we make are by default our own. Since 2017, however, Statistics Canada has had a process in place to ensure greater transparency around its decision-making.
Stéphane Dufour
View Stéphane Dufour Profile
Stéphane Dufour
2020-03-12 16:49
Since I'm in charge of operations, I can tell you that, according to our current procedures, we are going to have a lot of logistical problems if we don't start printing by the end of July 2020.
Sheila Risbud
View Sheila Risbud Profile
Sheila Risbud
2020-03-10 15:35
Mr. Chair, members of the committee, my name is Sheila Risbud and I am the president of the Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta, the ACFA.
Thank you for the invitation to testify before you today. Your work is tremendously important for the future of French in Alberta and elsewhere.
What is the ACFA? Founded in 1926, the ACFA defends the rights of Alberta's francophone community, advances its rights and enhances its vitality. The ACFA represents more than 250,000 French-speaking Albertans, a population that grew by over 50% between 1991 and 2016.
It is astonishing that I am speaking in French today, as there was no French-language school in Edmonton throughout nearly my entire education. My parents had no choice but to use French immersion programs managed by the anglophone majority. I am relieved that, thanks to section 23 of the charter, my three children are receiving an education in French and not immersion in Calgary.
At home, in Calgary, the French-language schools are overflowing. The problem is the same across Alberta. Why? The census considerably underestimates the number of children of rights holders under section 23 of the charter. That should change immediately. The failure to enumerate all the children of rights holders in Alberta harms the vitality and sustainability of French. How many French-language schools are we entitled to in Calgary? It is impossible to answer that, as most of the eligible children are not enumerated.
Let me be as clear as possible. It remains impossible to determine with any accuracy the request justifying education in French in Alberta. Why? Because Statistics Canada counts only one of the three categories of children eligible for education in French. That problem is not new. It has persisted since 1982, when section 23 of the charter came into force. Since 1982, Statistics Canada has carried out seven censuses. In reality, those have been seven missed opportunities.
The ACFA is proud to have produced and disseminated, with the Fédération des conseils scolaires francophones de l'Alberta, the very first major study on the necessary changes to the census. We are especially proud that the study helped your committee make this recommendation:
That the Government of Canada require Statistics Canada to include questions in the 2021 Census that would allow for the enumeration of all rights-holders under the broadest interpretation of paragraphs 23(1)(a) and (b) and subsection 23(2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
That said, the ACFA is surprised that Statistics Canada continues to hesistate to implement your committee's recommendation. Alberta's francophone community is struggling to accept the fact that the federal government has still not confirmed the addition of questions necessary for the enumeration of all children of rights holders to the short form census questionnaire. The brief you received before my presentation today clearly explains that the long form questionnaire does not make it possible to address this shortcoming. Only questions in the short form questionnaire will satisfy the Albertan francophonie.
The ACFA refuses to believe that the future of French outside Quebec may rest between the hands of Statistics Canada. The ACFA's expectations from the members of cabinet are high. In fact, under the Statistics Act, the government, and not Statistics Canada, is in charge of laying out the questions of the short form census.
The ACFA thanks Statistics Canada for collaborating by testing the questions the francophonie needs. I invite you to look at the brief our association submitted. On page 8, under tab 2, are provided the questions Statistics Canada tested in 2019. You will see that the conclusion is encouraging. The analysis work is finished. The required questions exist, and they work.
There you will see the questions Statistics Canada tested in 2019, and you will see that the conclusion is encouraging. The analysis work is finished. The required questions exist, and they work.
Everyone knows what the next and last stage is. The federal government must prescribe the questions to enumerate the children of all right holders in the census short form questionnaire and not only in the long form questionnaire.
The ACFA is counting on the members of this committee to intercede with the members of cabinet to ensure that the only right decision is made soon. At this stage of the file, only one political action will help guarantee the sustainability of our minority francophone communities.
Thank you for your attention.
Marie-Pierre Lavoie
View Marie-Pierre Lavoie Profile
Marie-Pierre Lavoie
2020-03-10 15:41
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Honourable members, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. I sincerely thank you for the opportunity to speak to you on behalf of the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, the CSFCB.
Your committee is all too familiar with the shortcomings of the census and the issues its data causes to the CSFCB and to the francophone and Acadian school boards in minority settings.
The sociodemographic reality of minority language communities is simple and well-known: as a result of immigration and exogamy, fewer and fewer children eligible to attend French-language schools have French as their only first language learned.
On the other hand, more and more of them learn French at school rather than at home. So the number and proportion of parents who meet the criteria of paragraph 23(1)(a) of the charter are falling significantly, while the number and proportion of parents who meet the criteria of paragraph 23(1)(b) and subsection 23(2) are rising very rapidly. These categories are not enumerated by the census.
Effectively, the CSFBC and the province cannot adequately plan the required investments because they do not have access to reliable and relevant data on the number of potential students in French-language schools. It is not enough to know how many eligible students live in each municipality; we must also know where students live in every catchment area.
That is why your committee recommended the following in 2017:
That the Government of Canada require Statistics Canada to include questions in the 2021 Census that would allow for the enumeration of all rights-holders under the broadest interpretation of paragraphs 23(1)(a) and (b) and subsection 23(2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
However, despite your recommendation, Statistics Canada has systematically avoided guaranteeing that the questions will be asked in the short form census.
It is indisputable that the short form census of Canadians is the only way to enumerate all the children with at least one parent with rights under section 23 of the charter. Therefore, the CSFBC is using its invitation to testify to ask the committee to plead with the federal government to require that the questions intended to enumerate the children with at least one parent with rights under section 23 of the charter be added to the short form census questionnaire.
This question is very important for the CSFBC, which has directly suffered the consequences of the undercounting of right holders through the census. In fact, the CSFBC spent weeks—and I do mean weeks—during its trial before the Supreme Court of British Columbia trying to estimate the number of right holders under paragraph 23(1)(b) and subsection 23(2) of the charter because Statistics Canada had never done it. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful.
Despite all the efforts of expert witnesses and the invested resources, the trial judge concluded that it was impossible to estimate the number of children who were not counted. The judge relied only on Statistics Canada data, which is substantially incomplete. Therefore, the Supreme Court of British Columbia concluded on several occasions that the number does not justify certain buildings or building expansions.
I want to be very clear. The “where numbers warrant” criterion set out in section 23 of the charter depends on the enumeration of all children of right holders. That is what the Supreme Court of Canada has been telling us since the Mahe case, in 1990. That case will be 30 years old at the end of next week.
Therefore, the implementation of section 23 requires the enumeration of the children of each local community to then determine what is “justified” in a given community. To do that, we must determine the number of children residing within a very specific geographic area and not simply estimate their number and guess their geographic location.
Here is an example. You could now refer to tab 5 of our brief. I am talking about the Pemberton example. The 2016 Census enumerated 46 children of right holders under paragraph 23(1)(a) of the charter. So we are talking about 46 children in 2016. However, in 2016, 59 children with at least one parent with rights under section 23 of the charter were enrolled in our school.
Owing to the incomplete data of the census, the judge concluded that the community was entitled to one school that could accommodate only 55 students. Today, 79 students are attending the elementary school La Vallée de Pemberton. We have no more space in Pemberton. If you look at tab 4, you will see a photo of our school. As you can see, it consists of two portable classrooms. Imagine 79 students in two portable classrooms.
To avoid the Pemberton issue and a number of others, the francophone and Acadian school boards and provincial and territorial governments need to know the absolute number of the children of rights holders under section 23 of the charter for each of the existing and proposed school catchment areas. That is how they—and the courts, as needed, as we have seen—determine what a community is entitled to under section 23. To do so, new census questions must be put to 100% of households using the short form questionnaire.
Although Statistics Canada is the government entity charged with developing and administrating the census, it is the cabinet—the Governor in Council—that is ultimately responsible for determining the content of the census. Therefore, the CSFBC expects the federal government to act accordingly.
We are very appreciative of the hard work your committee is doing with respect to the rights of the Franco-Columbian community. This study and the resulting recommendations will help ensure the flourishing of current and future students of our schools, but also of Francophone minority communities in Canada.
Thank you very much for listening to me.
Results: 1 - 30 of 48 | Page: 1 of 2

1
2
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data