CCSD's response to the 2016 Census Strategy online questionnaire

At the beginning of June, Statistics Canada requested the participation of the Canadian Council on Social Development in its 2016 Census Strategy Project to better understand the highest priority census information needs and to effectively address how different approaches for population censuses can respond to user information requirements.

CCSD's participation involved completing an online questionnaire designed to collect specific details on key legislative, regulatory, policy, program, and other requirements for census and NHS data.  The attached PDF document contains the CCSD's responses entered for the questionnaire.  

Further commentary on the project is available in the email from Michel ( to Consortium Leads sent June 7, 2011 (text below) and was sent on June 15, 2011:

Dear Consortium Members,

Peggy and I have reviewed and discussed the Consultation Strategy On-Line survey.

Clearly, we are not happy with the approach or the anticipated outcome.

STC's consultation related to the 2016 Census Strategy allows for very limited and constrained feedback:

  • A Short timeline (2 weeks from receipt of the online survey to the deadline)
  • Responses to the online survey are designed for one user/respondent only
  • Questions in the online survey are designed as checklists, with little option for variation
  • Questions make reference to use of NHS, as if the NHS is already being used.

We have responsed to Parts 1 and 2 of the survey, with the very simple message being delivered that the 350+ organizations participating in the Community Data Consortium Program make full and extensive use of small area data and that there are simply no alternatives to surveys that collect a breadth of information from a large sample of Canadians, and that have done so historically.

The following comments were provided in the comments section:

Stock Response 1- (relating to questions that deal with how we USE the survey) Membership in the Community Data Consortium Program includes over 350 municipal governments, local authorities and other voluntary sector organizations located across Canada and committed to locally delivered public service.  These organizations are dependent on small area survey and administrative data made available through the Consortium Program to measure and monitor local trends and conditions.  Through its membership, the Program makes use of small area data needed for all the population groups, topics, geographies named above, among others.

Stock Response 2- (relating to alternatives to the NHS) Considering the breadth of information collected, the sample size, and the consistency of data collection over time, there are simply no alternatives in Canada to small area data surveys that (1) allow for the ability to cross-tabulate topics for different population groups, (2) deliver reliable results at smaller levels of geography such as municipalities or neighbourhoods, and, (3) permit comparisons across geographies and over time.

We’ll hit the “send” button on June 15.

Notwithstanding this online survey, we will continue to work closely with STC and other Data Partners to work towards strong, relevant and accessible community data in Canada.