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Results: 1 - 15 of 54
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?
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Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
View Akwasi Owusu-Bempah Profile
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
2020-07-23 15:57
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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.
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View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
View Jack Harris Profile
2020-07-23 16:00
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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?
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Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
View Akwasi Owusu-Bempah Profile
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
2020-07-23 16:02
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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.
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View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
View Jack Harris Profile
2020-07-23 16:03
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Is that a province-by-province issue, Professor Owusu-Bempah, or is it something that can be done nationally?
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Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
View Akwasi Owusu-Bempah Profile
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
2020-07-23 16:03
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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.
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Jeff Latimer
View Jeff Latimer Profile
Jeff Latimer
2020-07-07 13:24
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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.
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Jeff Latimer
View Jeff Latimer Profile
Jeff Latimer
2020-07-07 13:26
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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.
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Marc Lachance
View Marc Lachance Profile
Marc Lachance
2020-07-07 13:54
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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—
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Karen Mihorean
View Karen Mihorean Profile
Karen Mihorean
2020-07-07 14:03
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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?
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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.
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View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Will the minister commit to making the results of this investigation public?
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