General information

What are Statistics Canada’s objectives?

Statistics Canada is responsible for collecting a wide variety of data from Canadian businesses and households. This includes conducting the Census of Population, regular monthly surveys, and special one-time surveys. Approximately 350 surveys are conducted every year on virtually all aspects of Canadian life. The data collected are important to all Canadians as they play a critical part for all levels of government and Canadian businesses in their planning and decision-making.

Statistics Canada prides itself on maintaining the highest degree of professionalism and collecting the most accurate data possible from all our surveys. It is of the utmost importance to maintain the confidentiality of individuals and businesses that provide us with information. These basic principles are critical to Statistics Canada and have made us one of the top statistical agencies in the world.

The Statistics Act authorizes Statistics Canada to collect information from households and businesses in Canada.

What is Statistics Canada’s electronic collection service?

The electronic collection service gives respondents access to Statistics Canada’s web collection portal, where they can complete an electronic questionnaire via a secure Internet connection.

Is this a legitimate online survey?

You can verify the legitimacy of a Statistics Canada online survey by:

Am I required to participate in the survey?

Statistics Canada conducts both mandatory and voluntary surveys.

Whether a survey is mandatory or voluntary depends on the particular survey, and more specifically, whether a Parliamentary order stipulates the survey as being voluntary. Simply put, surveys are mandatory unless an order is issued indicating that they are to be voluntary.

Many of the household surveys that Statistics Canada conducts are voluntary and we rely on the willing co-operation of the selected respondents to participate.

Why should I respond to Statistics Canada’s surveys?

Statistics Canada’s mandate is stipulated in the Statistics Act, which gives it the authority to collect information and outlines its obligation to protect the confidentiality of this information.

Since we provide objective information to Canadians about the evolution of our society and economy, Statistics Canada’s activities are fundamentally important to ensuring an open, democratic society. Every day, thousands of individuals consult Statistics Canada for reliable information about our country.

Governments, businesses, associations, educational institutions and many other users rely on data when making decisions that are essential to Canada’s development and future.

Statistics Canada does not contact everyone in Canada for every survey. This would be too time-consuming and costly. Instead, we use statistical methods to create a representative sample for each survey.

To ensure the most comprehensive results, it is very important that the individuals selected respond to the survey questions. Participants in a sample survey are selected at random to prevent bias. Once respondents have been selected, they cannot be replaced by anyone else because the sample would no longer be random and the statistical procedures for calculating estimates could not be applied. Without your co-operation, Statistics Canada could not produce reliable and accurate data.

All responses are equally important. For example, to produce objective and accurate information about Internet use in Canada, responses from people who do not use the Internet are just as important as the responses from people who do.

I have participated in a Statistics Canada survey already. Why did you select me for another one?

This can happen because survey participants are selected at random. In some instances, some participants in one survey may be contacted again for another related survey. This practice cuts down on the time and expense it would take to conduct a new sample survey each time.

Who can I contact for more information?

For more information, please contact us.