Briefing

Citing cost and declining participation, Statistics Canada to look beyond surveys for data

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Alternative sources being considered include cellphone, credit and transactional data, as well as satellite imagery, to shore up the more than 350 surveys it conducts. (Financial Post)

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Talking point: The surveys, which collect data on everything from the number of homicides to the price of wool, have been key in taking the pulse of Canadian society and economy. Yet much like polling companies, StatCan has seen declining participation in the exercises, according to the country’s chief statistician, Anil Arora. The country’s privacy commissioner has criticized the agency’s collection of credit data without consent, and a plan to collect banking records.