Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I want to thank the committee for inviting us to appear here today.
The most fundamental role of Statistics Canada is to support the democratic process by providing Canadians with high-quality, current, and relevant information on the state of the nation. Comprehensive, objective, and high-quality statistical information provides a solid foundation for informed decisions by you, who are our elected officials, and by businesses, unions, and non-profit organizations, as well as individual Canadians. Statistics Canada produces information that helps Canadians better understand our country, population, resources, economy, society, and culture.
As the national statistical agency, we take pride in our work and take our professional responsibilities very seriously. It is our job to understand the information needs of the nation and to address these requirements in a scientific, neutral, efficient, and effective way. We are committed to protecting the confidentiality of all information entrusted to us and to ensuring that the information we produce is timely and relevant to Canadians.
Today we are faced with continuous and growing demands for more detailed and more timely information. This is true not only for the census program but also for our ongoing social, economic, and environment programs as well. We have a long-standing history and world-leading reputation in using innovative methodological approaches and instruments to address these growing information needs.
The demand for information to be collected on the census program is not a new phenomenon. My colleague will explain to you the rigorous consultation program that we undertake to ensure we remain relevant and respond to emerging priorities.
While the census is incredibly successful and provides a richness of information at the community level, it is not necessarily the right instrument or approach to deliver high-quality information for specific topics. Some questions that are specifically designed to capture detailed information from subpopulations, for example, are better asked on a survey or captured through existing administrative sources rather than from the whole of the population.
Our social statistics program can respond to information needs faster, and we can use our analytical capacity to model and link data sources to produce information at lower levels of geography.
Our comprehensive social statistics program also includes a robust cost recovery program. One example of our cost recovery program is the use of post-censal surveys, such as the aboriginal peoples survey that is currently in the field or the survey on the vitality of official-language minorities that was conducted following the 2006 census. The post-censal survey program exemplifies Statistics Canada's partnership with other federal departments or a consortium of departments that provide funding to the agency to address specific emerging priorities.
Before I describe the process by which we obtain approval for our questions that are asked on the census program, I would now like to turn it over to my colleague, Johanne Denis, to describe our comprehensive census content consultation process that we will embark on later this year and to speak on the subject of collecting the additional language data.