Saturday, February 26, 2022

Canadian Census Data Discovery Partnership Announcement

 August 26, 2021

The Canadian Census Data Discovery Partnership is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a SSHRC grant (2021-2023) to drive a pan-Canadian research project that will improve research conditions and open access for Canada’s national historical data. The project will capitalize on past efforts in this area, completing a historical census inventory begun in 2020-2021, and it will envision how to design a bilingual census discovery portal that supports interoperable searching across Canada’s existing historical census information sources, whether that information is qualitative, quantitative, or spatial. Over the course of this two year research project, we will hold stakeholder consultations and deliver a proof-of-concept discovery portal. A further value of the project will be recommendations about leveraging our project findings to improve usability and long-term preservation of Canadian census data to ensure that researchers can seamlessly describe and analyze national historical data across censuses, places and communities.


The project has a bilingual website ( where you can learn more about the project ( and our team (

Real Time Remote Access (RTRA): The SAS Assistant

June 24, 2021

Information on a key component of RTRA the RTRA SAS Assistant.

The SAS Assistant will help users with little SAS experience to generate successful tables. You will be able to use buttons and dropdown menus to build your SAS code. Your code being created as you select the variables. When you are finished, you will download your code and submit it through your EFT account. Unsuccessful submissions should be greatly reduced, as everything built through the SAS Assistant will be compatible with the tabulation tool. The SAS Assistant was built using documentation for each individual survey cycle.


NOTE: The SAS Assistant does not contain all available RTRA datasets.  New files are being added.

 You will find documentation located on our RTRA GCCollab webpage.


Please direct any SAS Assistant related questions to the RTRA mailbox:

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

CCHS 2019-2020 PUMF

June 16, 2021


A researcher has inquired if there an estimated release date for a CCHS 2019-2020 PUMF? I know data collection was delayed in 2020 so recognize the file’s release would likely be later than typical, but it would be great to give an estimate to the researcher.

The researcher would also like to know the following in order to determine if the 2019-2020 PUMF will be useful to them (when it is released):


Our project will focus on the question “Thinking of the most recent time you felt this way, why didn’t you get care?- Transportation issue”. The variable code for the question is UCN_010J. Will this variable be included on the 2019-2020 PUMF, specifically with data for Ontario?


We can see from the questionnaires on Statcan’s website that the question was asked in both 2019 & 2020, but is it possible to confirm whether the variable will indeed be included on the PUMF for 2019-20? The 2017-18 PUMF only included data for certain provinces for this question, and we aren’t certain of the reason for that, or if it is safe to assume Ontario data will be included again.


The CCHS questions are organized into thematic groups called ‘modules’ which are included either in all provinces and territories on an annual basis (core content such as smoking, height weight, general health, etc.. ), in all areas for certain years (theme content such as food security, mental health care needs, suicidal thoughts, etc..), or else are included in certain provinces/territories based on a selection by the relevant ministry of health as part of the ‘optional content’ selection process.  This process gives the ministries of health (and whatever extended consultation they do) the option to select up to 8 minutes of content from a bank of existing modules based on their particular data needs. The UCN content has only been offered as optional content in the past several years (2015 to 2020) with the last year being included as theme content being in 2014.


For the 2019-2020 PUMF, we only include content in a particular province/territory if the data was collected in both years in that area. For the case of UCN, here is the selection by province (O designating that it was selected and asked). The UCN variables will be included with valid answers for those provinces on the PUMF. I’m not listing the territories, even though the content was asked in Nunavut in both years. This is because we are not yet sure we’ll be able to include the territories on the next PUMF. The pandemic halted our collection from March to August 2020 and we only collected a limited sample from September to December with a very low response rate in Iqaluit (and the other capitals) only. With the lack of coverage of the full territory, at best we may be able to include the territorial capitals on the PUMF, but at worst, due to disclosure risk, the 2019-2020 CCHS PUMF will cover provinces only.  Work on the PUMF will begin soon with an expected release of sometime mid-fall (though this may be subject to change – things are very busy with data production for pandemic related data right now).

New Dataverse and Research Data Repositories Training Modules

June 21, 2021

Portage has published several new online modules to help researchers and other stakeholders navigate the world of research data repositories.

Dataverse 101: Module 1 is the first of a planned series of modules on the Dataverse repository platform. This module helps users learn about the purpose, importance, and benefits of sharing research data, and gives an overview of the Dataverse platform and its key features. It also discusses the benefits of using Dataverse repositories, and presents scenarios in which users might deposit their data in a Dataverse repository. Finally, the module outlines some situations in which a Dataverse repository might not be a suitable option, and gives an opportunity for users to test their knowledge.

The Research Data Repositories 101 series of modules will help users learn about the role that research data repositories play in good research data management (RDM), and in meeting the requirements of the Tri-Agency RDM Policy. These modules will help researchers learn about different types of research data repositories, policies and practices that affect these repositories, and what they should consider when choosing a repository in which to deposit their data. There are seven modules in this series:

These resources were developed through the hard work of Portage’s Dataverse North Working Group on Training, and the Data Repositories 101 Working Group of Portage’s National Training Expert Group. The modules are graciously hosted by Scholars Portal. If you have any questions, please contact Portage Training Coordinator Jennifer Abel at

Survey of Household Spending

April 28, 2021


I have a researcher who would like consumer spending data for the CT level. I have suggested the Survey of Household Spending (SHS), but neither the tables on the StatCan website site nor the PUMFs have a geography level below province. Would this data be available at the CT or CMA levels. Would this be a custom tabulation? Is it available in the RDCs at the CT or CMA levels?


I believe the SHS would be the best survey because it covers most household spending patterns. Is there another survey that would have this type of data? He is looking for as current as possible.


I would also like to confirm that the SHS replaced the Survey of Family Expenditures (FAMEX).


Our SHS analyst has indicated that certain CMAs are available through cost recovery or through the RDCs; however, CT geo wouldn’t be an option within SHS dataset. The complete list of CMAs available by custom request (cost recovery) would be: St. John's, Charlottetown-Summerside, Halifax, Saint John, Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria. The SHS is the best survey at StatCan covering most household spending patterns, and the SHS is the successor to FAMEX.


While 2019 SHS data is available for custom requests; within the RDCs the most current dataset is 2017. As the 2019 SHS PUMF is still under development, the 2017 data is also the most current PUMF dataset available within the DLI.

Immigration of Catholic Priests in Canada

April 6, 2021


I am looking for the statistics and numbers on the immigration of religious workers in Canada since the 1990s, and more specifically Catholic priests. I would like to find the following information:

·         Number of priests that immigrated to Canada as "religious workers" each year since 1990

·         Where these priests were from

·         Which province these priests migrated to or at least which parish sent a letter to hire them

If the type of religious worker (ex: priest/rabbi/Iman) is not tracked, and only the number of religious workers as a whole is tracked, I would still like the stats on the number of religious workers that immigrated to Canada from 1990 and what province they went to.

 I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction for this data?


I found from IRCC a bit of the legal aspect about this -

Religious work – International Mobility Program


There are two separate provisions in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) relating to religious work:


  • paragraph R186(l) provides a work permit exemption for religious leaders
  • paragraph R205(d) provides a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) exemption (code C50)


So I looked on the Open Data Portal for data on the International Mobility Program and found the following


Temporary Residents: Work Permit Holders – Ad Hoc IRCC (Specialized Datasets)

Temporary residents who are in Canada on a work permit in the observed calendar year. Datasets include Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP) work permit holders by year in which permit(s) became effective. Please note that the datasets will not be updated.


Specialized Research Datasets: Temporary Resident – Ad Hoc IRCC (Specialized Datasets)


But I can’t validate that the data contains the specific work permit of interest because when I click on the Access button, nothing happens on either dataset. Perhaps IRCC would have the data and could make it available upon request?

Data Literacy Modules from UK Data Service

March 16, 2021

The UK Data Service has made available introductory level interactive modules that are designed for users who want to get to grips with key aspects of survey, longitudinal and aggregate data. I skimmed through several of them are they are great. Even demonstrate how to get started with preparing survey data for analysis.