Visible minorities

Visible minority data, derived from the population group question, provides information on Canada's various visible minority groups. It was noted during consultation that these data reveal the cultural composition and evolving membership of communities.

Examples of reported data usesFootnote1


The Census Program population group question is used primarily to identify visible minority populations in support of the Employment Equity Act. As with the activities of daily living topic, various organizations refer to these data to fulfil mandates related to the representativeness and integration of visible minorities in the workplace in the federal public sector and federally regulated industries in response to this legislation. As is the case for other Census Program topics, these data are also used to meet reporting requirements as part of legal obligations to United Nations human rights treaties.

Other federal legislative uses supported by this Census Program topic include the Employment Insurance Act, the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, the Old Age Security Act and Canada Pension Plan. As well, the Public Service Commission relies on these data to meet its responsibilities under the Public Service Employment Act. They are also used for planning and research, among other activities, in relation to the National Housing Act.

Examples of provincial laws and regulations citing visible minorities data during consultation include Saskatchewan's Employment Program Regulations, Quebec's Loi sur le ministère de l'Immigration et des communautés culturelles (L.R.Q., chapitre M-16.1) and Loi sur le ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale et sur la Commission des partenaires du marché du travail (2001, c. 44, a. 28; 2007) and New Brunswick's Vital Statistics Act Regulation 87-30.

Resource allocation and service delivery

As reported in the consultation feedback, population group data are used federally to allocate resources and/or deliver services related to multiculturalism policy and multiple health-related community programs, as well as locally for the provision of social housing and by the City of Toronto in support of their employment equity policy.

Planning, development, monitoring, evaluation and performance reports

Population group results crossed by other Census Program topics provide information on the clustering of visible minorities which has policy and program implications. Several federal departments and agencies use these data for evaluation and/or performance reporting including by Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat for employment equity, and by Status of Women Canada in regards to the United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

Census Program population group results inform government labour market initiatives, and policy and program development, among other activities. These data are important for Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) immigration, integration, multiculturalism and citizenship policies. CIC program areas refer to them to compare the outcomes between different generations and ethnocultural groups. They are used by ESDC to track program use trends in relation to Employment Insurance Part II and Labour Market Development Agreements, by Industry Canada for the Community Access Program, by the Public Health Agency of Canada for their Chronic Disease Indicators Framework, as well as for intermittent reporting on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. A reflection of Canada's youth population is one of the outcomes of Canadian Heritage's Exchanges Canada Program with these data being used to establish participation targets according to demographic and geographic representativeness.

At the provincial and territorial level, these data inform strategies aimed at promoting workforce integration and are used as a performance measure when reporting on public service employment in relation to employment equity. As is the case with other levels of government, these data are referred to for planning, policy development and program monitoring, among other uses. For instance, Alberta's Living Literacy: A Literacy Framework for Alberta's Next Generation Economy and Building Vibrant Learning Communities and Employment Ontario Policy Framework rely on Census Program population group results.

Data on visible minorities combined with other Census Program topics are also used by local governments for policy and program purposes, including monitoring, for educational support and subsidies, economic development, the creation of a diversity and inclusion strategy, and for community collaborative planning.

Research and other uses

Participants from a number of organizations reported using these and other Census Program data for research. They are inputs in population projections developed by government to inform housing needs, for example. They are used federally to compare labour market outcomes, locally to produce cultural diversity profiles as well as social, demographic and economic trends, to follow population growth, respond to data requests and inquiries, for website dissemination and internal uses such as presentations to Council, and by academia in the development of curriculum as well as for research and development.

Health and community organizations analyse these data to identify priority neighbourhoods when planning programs and services such as child care and for outreach. They are consulted by business to understand future market trends. Additional examples provided by private industry include market segmentation, population projections, support for business decisions, impact analysis of population health and retail site location research.

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