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A year and a half after the chief statistician resigned, Statistics Canada’s chief economic analyst resigns.

Mr. Cross has plenty of praise for Statscan – it is managing pending budget cuts “efficiently yet humanely” and error rates have gone down in recent years. But “a lot of good can be offset if you get one big thing wrong – and the big thing in this instance is census and NHS [national household survey],” he said.

Survey response rates are his chief concern – the 69.3-per-cent response rate from the household survey is based on distribution to a third of households, meaning it’s actually based on answers from a fifth of the population. And it’s still unclear, he said, which segments of the population are missing from the sample. “The focus on response rates ignores questions about the quality and distribution of the responses, but discussion of the latter issues is limited by management’s insistence on being ‘on-message’ all the time about [2011] census and NHS being a success.”

Former chief statistician Ivan Fellegi describes Mr. Cross as a “top-notch economic analyst.” The Globe also has a transcript of its interview with the current chief statistician, Wayne Smith.


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  1. “…but discussion of the latter issues is limited by management’s insistence on being ‘on-message’ all the time about [2011] census and NHS being a success…”

    Sounds about right. Everything in this government is run through the propoganda censors and their lawyers.

    Transparent by sweet behind!

    Or wait, maybe he meant transparent in a different manner? As in, our reticence will be hamfisted and totally transparent? LOL

  2. If the census is worth doing, it is worth doing right and making it mandatory so the data integrity is there.  If privacy concerns trump the need for the data, then cancel it and save the money.

    The Conservatives did neither.  Instead they are spending millions to create a garbage data set.  What occured was not a compromise, it was the worst of both worlds.  This resignation is one more voice saying that with conviction.

  3. Cross is just a left wing nut that puts “integrity” before the good of the country.

    Don’t worry folks. There are plenty of people the Conservatives can appoint that will put their personal views on the back burner and do what they are told. The important thing is the unification of the message, not the integrity or accuracy of the results.

  4. Another step toward the benighting of the nation during King Stephen’s reign.

  5. Ever since the Chief Statistician left StatsCan I have had my doubts whenever I hear or see data realeased by “Statscan”.  I believe that it is now an organization that does as it is told.  Like unemployment figures!  Hadn’t heard that the Chief Economic Analyst had resigned.  Not something that the government would like people to know.  What a shame.  StatsCan was highly regarded around the world….and so was Canada.

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