Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to our witnesses for being here.
I think it's important to note that Shared Services Canada is exactly that: it's involved in the dissemination of information and the collection of information into one central site from other sites. I guess its very nature creates that vulnerability. We've seen that. All you have to do is do a little review of it. A cabinet order created Shared Services Canada. It wasn't run through Parliament. Historically it has had all kinds of budgetary issues related to it. In fact, as it was being formed, it was being cut for savings, so there are all kinds of issues with regard to it. I think it needs to be commended that if we're going to protect our census and Stats Canada, first and foremost is the independence and solidarity of the information gathered and the dissemination of its use for public purposes.
That said, I do want to drill down. One of the things that is important is the independence of the chief statistician. With regard to our current selection process versus what's being proposed, what have other countries moved towards? My concern is that we still seem to lack the ability to recruit the best, and we also have to make sure that their own independence is secured. I think in the current age of alternative facts being used for all kinds of different reasons, having a fact-based, independent chief statistician could be an economic advantage in many respects and a social responsibility. I'd like to hear from that vantage point, because I do believe it is probably going to be one of the most key appointments that we make for many, many years to come.