Updating Canada’s Census : Better Data Means Better Decisions

We know that accurate, reliable data is key to making fair and inclusive public policy for everyone. It helps us keep vulnerable Canadians safe, and ensures that anyone who needs them has access to key services and supports.

Navdeep Bains
Jul 17 · 2 min read
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Stephen Harper’s voluntary household survey excluded key demographics. In many cases, Canada’s most vulnerable lives were the ones not captured by the survey, which led to serious gaps in our knowledge and understanding of how Canada was really doing.

That’s why one of our first orders of business in government was to bring the mandatory long form census back.

Now, as part of our commitment to collect the most accurate and representative data we can, the census has been updated to add questions that capture more of the experiences and diversity that shape our country.

The 2021 census will include new or improved questions on minority language rights, ethnic origin, Indigenous experiences, labour, journey to work, gender and Veterans.

The questionnaire now uses the more precise term “sex at birth” and includes a new question about gender to collect information on gender identity.

Statistics Canada has also included new questions to understand how many children are eligible to be educated in the minority official language in their province or territory.

Better data leads to better decisions. It’s been a point of pride for me in my time in government to have supported the critical work Statistics Canada does to help us make well informed decisions, with all Canadians in mind.

The full suite of updates to the census can be found here: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200717/dq200717e-eng.htm

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