Introduction

User consultation is the first step in the framework developed by Statistics Canada to determine 2016 Census Program content. Planning began in 2011 with the 2016 Census Strategy Project.Footnote1 During the course of this project, Statistics Canada reviewed methodological options, formulated a detailed content determination framework and gathered information on data uses and requirements from a limited number of data users.

A more exhaustive 2016 Census Program content consultation was conducted from September to November 2012.

The objectives of the consultation were to:

  • confirm information needs and identify new data requirements
  • establish data priorities
  • understand how the Census Program data are used.

More than 400 organizations (293) and individuals (119) participated in the 2016 Census Strategy Project and the 2016 Census Program content consultation. This report presents various resultsFootnote2 from both consultative processes.

Table 1
2016 Census Program content consultation participating organizations, by province or territory

Table 1 2016 Census Program content consultation participating organizations, by province or territory
Province or territory Federal government Provincial/territorial government Local government Other sectors Total
Source: Statistics Canada, Census Operations Division, 2016 Census Program content consultation.
Newfoundland and Labrador 0 1 2 1 4
Nova Scotia 0 0 4 2 6
Prince Edward Island 1 1 1 1 4
New Brunswick 1 2 2 2 7
Quebec 7 17 16 24 64
Ontario 28 11 23 66 128
Manitoba 0 3 3 3 9
Saskatchewan 0 1 6 0 7
Alberta 1 4 10 9 24
British Columbia 0 9 14 10 33
Yukon 0 5 0 1 6
Nunavut 0 1 0 0 1
Northwest Territories 0 0 0 0 0
Total 38 55 81 119 293

Table 2
Distribution of participants (individuals) who did not specify a province/territory, by sector

Distribution of participants (individuals) who did not specify a province/territory, by sector
Participants with no province/territory specified Anonymous General public
Source: Statistics Canada, Census Operations Division, 2016 Census Program content consultation.
Federal government 18 0
Provincial/territorial government 17 0
Local government 28 0
Other 47 9
Total 110 9

Communications strategy

In early September 2012, an email announcing the 2016 Census Program content consultation was sent to more than 3,000 stakeholders from various sectors. It presented consultation objectives and included a link to the online Discussion points questionnaire. Moreover, senior representatives from various federal, provincial/territorial, local government and non-government organizationsFootnote3 received an invitation to complete an online Data Uses and Requirements questionnaire on behalf of their organization.

Statistics Canada organized information sessions on the consultation process and included details about the 2016 Census Program content consultation on the Consulting Canadians website.Footnote4 The 2016 Census Program Content Consultation Guide was also posted in the census web module of Statistics Canada's website.

2016 Census Program content consultation

During the 2016 Census Program content consultation (September to November 2012), Statistics Canada adopted two strategies to solicit views and opinions on the 2016 Census Program content and collect information on data uses:

  1. Discussion points: Promoted widely, the 2016 Census Program Content Consultation Guide contained seven questions about the importance of Census Program topics,Footnote5 possible new data requirements and modifications to the 2011 content (see Appendix D). Two geography-specific questions were also included: one on levels of geography used and another on geometric convergence.Footnote6 Feedback was collected primarily via an online questionnaire.
  2. Data uses and requirements: Building on the 2016 Census Strategy Project,Footnote7 Statistics Canada invited a broader sample of data users and stakeholders to report on priority Census Program data uses via the online version of the Data Uses and Requirements questionnaire (see Appendix E). Organizational representatives from federal, provincial and territorial governments and other participating non-government organizations could also provide details on new data uses not reported during the information gathering exercise held in 2011.

    Respondents were invited to elaborate on the characteristics of each key use reported (e.g., Employment Equity Act) and to specify the requirements needed to support it. More specifically, the respondents were asked to provide information on related activities (e.g., policy development), applicable Census Program topics, levels of geographical detail, groups of interest, as well as the need for comparability across geographies, continuity over time and possible alternative data holdings.

Consultation participants

More than 500 submissions from data users and stakeholders from various sectors, including federal, provincial and territorial governments, municipalities and regions, non-profit organizations, umbrella organizations or national associations representing the non-profit or business sectors, Aboriginal organizations, organizations representing official language minority communities, organizations representing or providing services to Canadians with disabilities and the immigrant community, as well as business, academia and the general public were received during the 2016 consultations, yielding 2,351 uses.Footnote8,Footnote9

Table 3
Number of submissionsFootnote10 and reported data uses by sector

Table 3 Number of submissions and reported data uses by sector
Sector Number of submissions received Number of reported uses
Source: Statistics Canada, Census Operations Division, 2016 Census Program content consultation.
Total 521 2,351
Federal governmentFootnote11 103 482
Provincial/territorial government 83 801
Local government 131 597
Other (includes not elsewhere specified) 204 471
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