Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Dataset of Protest Events


I am wondering if anyone in our community may have come across data pertaining to protest events in Canada.

I am helping a student who is interested in the following 
I am wondering is there a database for perhaps the last 5 years (2014-2019) or event further back (2009-2019) that records most if not all protest events that occurred in Canada with over 1000 people.

I have searched Odesi, FRDR, statcan, Google datasets... any other ideas out there?


There are three sources I could find.  If these don’t pan out, then I think that in-depth research of news sources in English and French would be the way to go.

First, the 2019 federal report from Public Safety Canada, Evaluation of the Nation’s Capital Extraordinary Policing Costs Program, gives yearly totals of demonstrations and federal labour disputes – see Table 2 - Events in the Nation’s Capital 2015-16 to 2018-19. Note also, Table 1 - Events covered by NCEPCP.

Here is a glossier version of the same report:

I recommend contacting the Ottawa Police Service for further details on the statistics in this report on these demonstrations / incidents, including table 2 

Various statements indicate that OPS does have more information.

1.        “this program did not use a data management system”

2.        “OPS has internal challenges with respect to data collection as it must be compiled manually, and the proposed IT solution has been delayed due to budget reductions. … “These inconsistencies have led to challenges in analyzing trends in the number and type of events.”

3.        “Currently, OPS submits a total of 4 reports each year (to PS, Public Safety Canada). Bi-annually OPS submits a non-financial activity report and a cashflow statement. … As well, OPS provides a breakdown of events attached as an annex to the non-financial activity report.”

4.         “At this time, the OPS does not provide information to Public Safety regarding incidents that occur during (national capital) events.”

Interesting report in terms of policing involved.

“In 2018, the total number of OPS employees was 1,380 sworn officers to perform policing duties, and 581 civilian members to support their efforts. From this, the OPS staffs a full time demonstration unit, which is deployed as required to address smaller federally-focused demonstrations.

For larger events, such as Canada Day or Remembrance Day, OPS utilizes additional officers beyond the demonstration unit to deploy adequate personnel.

Assignment of personnel for all National Capital events is based on the size and nature of the event, potential escalation to violent action by protestors and counter protestors and risk to the general public.

129 officers performed extraordinary policing duties for Remembrance Day 2016

673 officers performed extraordinary policing duties for Canada Day 2018”

2.  The Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations tables cover: Offences against public order (Part II Criminal Code).  This is an aggregate figure, maybe the researcher might want to frame their research question more broadly (this offence includes unlawful assemblies and riots (three or more persons disturbing / provoking disturbing of the peace), treason, fraudulent and forged identity documents, aircraft safety …). 

3. The Canadian Police College Library or the Public Safety Canada Library and Information Centre (PS Library)

- They should have information on protests / policing around high stakes events (particularly “major international events” “Prime Minister-Led Summits of an International Nature”) as well as protests of multiple people or small (one person as in Fleming v. Ontario that went to the Supreme Court*)

- the 2004 book (Ipperwash inquiry) (p. 15) Willem De Lint and Jim Potts, Public order policing in Canada: an analysis of operations in recent high stakes events … examines six public order conflicts in chapter III. RECENT PROTEST EXPERIENCE IN CANADA. 

- Following the large-scale mobilized protests of the 1999 World Trade Organization Summit in Seattle and the 2000 annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington D.C., not to mention the rise in global terrorism in the wake of 9/11, security demands associated with hosting major international events (MIE) have increased substantially.

Strange there seems to be so little official data on protests – lots of policing money involved. I hope these libraries has some sources that might pull the information together. With the 2019 Supreme Court Fleming v. Ontario decision clearly coming down on the side of the protester and his Charter rights versus the possibility of breaching the peace (and therefore the police’s powers of arrest), hopefully more data will be coming.  Various studies indicate a need for better prediction, planning training and decision-making around protests (actual or potential), e.g., Policing the right to protest: G20 systematic review report

LFS Variable Crosswalk

I have a researcher working with the Labour Force Survey across a long period (pretty well the entirety of it), who was asking about changes in 2016 to the education and NAICS variables. Specifically:

I was wondering if there is a crosswalk between educ90 (education variable for 1976-2016) and educ (education variable for 2017-2019). I am also wondering if there is a crosswalk between NAICS_18 (industry variable for 1976-2016) and NAICS_21 (industry variable for 2017-2019). Any help on this would be very appreciated, thank you!

There is a Concordances between classifications page on the StatCan website - It includes concordances for Industry (NAICS) and instructional programs (Classification of Instructional Programs Canada vs Major Field of Study; at the bottom of the page).

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

New Release: PCCF+ v7C November 2019

We are pleased to inform you that the following product is now available.

Postal Code Conversion File (PCCF) Plus version 7C November 2019

EFT: /MAD_PCCF_FCCP_DAM/Root/2016/pccf-fccp-plus/PCCF7C

Monday, February 17, 2020

Non-Profit Data

I have the following question from a faculty member.  I'm not sure where to find these.  Any suggestions would be appreciated. NFP= not for profit organizations. I presume that this doesn't include educational organizations, municipalities, etc.

% of workforce employed in NFPs, government % of NFP funding, % of GDP contributed by NFPs, % of Canadians donating to NFPs.

Thanks in advance.  I think I see some info on Stats can, but I'm not sure.



We received the following information from our subject matter areas:

We were able to find the following table on the Statistics Canada website that shows employment for Canada by non-profit institutions.  

There is also a glossary of terms that provides more information about not for profit institutions as well as a publication.

The client can find most of the data he needs from the Satellite Account of Non-Profit Institutions and Volunteering (up to 2017).

  1. 1)      % of workforce employed in NFPs
    • You can find the number of people employed in non-profits from tables;
      • By sub-sector: 36-10-0617-01
      • By type of activity: 36-10-0615-01
      • These numbers should be compared to employment estimates from the National Accounts Labour Productivity program (available by province and for Canada): 36-10-0480-01
  2. Government % of NFP funding
    • You can find current transfers from government to non-profits in the income account: 36-10-0613-01
  3. % of GDP contributed by NFPs
    • You can find the GDP of the non-profit sector from tables;
      • By sub-sector: 36-10-0616-01
      • By type of activity: 36-10-0614-01
      •  This should be compared to basic prices GDP from the National Accounts.  This data is available by province and for Canada: 36-10-0221-01
      • Note: In order to get the GDP data from Market Prices to Basic Prices you will need to subtract “Taxes less subsidies on products and imports” from “GDP at market prices” in the table.
  4. % of Canadians donating to NFPs
    • Unfortunately, we don’t have data on the % of Canadian donating to Non-profits.  All we have is the amount of money actually being donated.  You can find this in the income account under “Current Transfers from Households: Donations”.  It is in table 36-10-0613-01

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

New files on Statistics Canada Nesstar

We are pleased to inform you that the following are now available on the Statistics Canada Nesstar WebView site.

  • Canadian Travel Survey (CTS) 1980 Person Data PUMF (English only)
  • Youth Smoking Survey (YSS) 2006-2007 PUMF (French only)
  • Survey on Ageing and Independence (SAI) 1991 PUMF (French only)
  • International Travel Survey (ITS) 2002 U.S. Resident Trips To Canada PUMF (English only)
  • Labour Market Activity Survey (LMAS) 1986 Person File PUMF (English only)
  • Labour Market Activity Survey (LMAS) 1987 Person File PUMF (English only)

Friday, February 7, 2020

Transgender and intersex people in Canada


I have a student looking for demographic information on transgender and intersex people in Canada.

Is there any survey/census/reliable estimate or other sources of information I can point them to?

There was a similar question asked here in 2015 and the answer was that there is no information collected by StatCan, but maybe something has changed since then.


There is no data available on the Intersex population in Canada from Statistics Canada.

However, the Survey on Safety in Public and Private Spaces did publish an estimate of 0.24% for Transgender Population in Canada in December 2019.

Here is the link to their analytical document:


This isn’t the same concept that your researcher is looking for, but it may be helpful to bring up all the same.  (i.e., it won’t stand in as a proxy…)

The latest CCHS has Variable SDC_035, where R’s have the opportunity to state whether they consider themselves to be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. 

From the questionnaire:

SDC_Q035   Do you consider yourself to be...?

INTERVIEWER: Read categories to respondent.
1 Heterosexual (sexual relations with people of the opposite sex)
2 Homosexual, that is lesbian or gay (sexual relations with people of your own sex)
3 Bisexual (sexual relations with people of both sexes)

I don’t think this would hit the mark for your researcher as the Q specifically talks about “sexual relations” as opposed to gender and sexual fluidities and identities.  That said, I think this may be the one of the few times (or only time?) in recent memory that StatCan has posed a question on sex/gender and then released into a PUMF, perhaps partly because the concept can be difficult articulate into a categorical variable without misrepresenting R’s opinions on this very personal identity question..

New Release: LFS January 2020

We are pleased to inform you that the following product is now available.

Labour Force Survey (LFS) - January 2020

This public use microdata file contains non-aggregated data for a wide variety of variables collected from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The LFS collects monthly information on the labour market activities of Canada's working age population. This product is for users who prefer to do their own analysis by focusing on specific subgroups in the population or by cross-classifying variables that are not in our catalogued products. The Labour Force Survey estimates are based on a sample, and are therefore subject to sampling variability. Estimates for smaller geographic areas, industries, occupations or cross tabulations will have more variability. For an explanation of sampling variability of estimates, and how to use standard errors to assess this variability, consult the Data Quality section in the Guide to the Labour Force Survey.

EFT: /MAD_PUMF_FMGD_DAM/Root/3701_LFS_EPA/1976-2020/data/

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Problem with Postal Code Conversion File+ 7B


A researcher here is working with PCCF+ 7B and has encountered a problem, and wondered if someone at StatCan could assist?

Text below forwarded from the researcher:

The main problem I am facing is the DB-level GAF linking, but I also found two other issues that could be affecting the linking as a whole.

I am working on a project where we are trying to use postal codes reported in a survey to identify rural/urban status (planning to use the CSize variable). There was an option to provide full postal code, or to provide only the first three digits if the respondent would prefer. The records with full postal code seem to be linking properly, but any record with only FSA appears in the problem file with most of the variables set to missing. When I went through the code closely I noticed that when the records are linked to the Geographic Attribute File (GAF) it requires records to have a dissemination block. The comment in the code above this merge says “Merge back with Geographic Attribute File to get the remainder of the codes - Start at the Dissemination Block level, then move up to the DA, CSD, etc...”, but then the files are only linked at the DB level and any record without DB is not merged. From what I understand, dissemination block cannot be assigned to records linked on less than 4 characters so our records with only FSA do not get merged to the GAF and therefore have all the GAF variables set to missing later in the cleaning up stage of the files. When I looked at the datasets right before this merge, all the records are assigned a CMA from the linking based on FSA but this variable gets dropped before merging to the GAF. I know that the GAF is a DB level file but from my understanding there are variables at higher levels, such as CMA (and therefore CSize), that could be assigned for records without DB. Would it be valid to use the CMA variable assigned in the earlier linking to merge to the GAF for variables at the CMA level?

I also found that in the wc6dups file, the SAC id variable is only one digit instead of three. The input dataset only has one digit where SAC should be, and there is a comment beside this dataset in the input file SAS code saying “Check the input file”. This doesn’t actually make a difference in the files right now because this variable is overwritten by the GAF SAC variable, but I’m not sure if it will have an impact if the files are merged using SAC/CMA. Another thing I noticed is that DMT is used frequently through the code to assign missing values to records with specific DMTs, but DMT is set to 9 after the 6 character linking, and doesn’t exist in any of the datasets used later in the linking, so any records not linked using 6 characters has a DMT=9. I’m not sure the impact that this has on the validity of the linking, but I don’t think this is what was intended.


In developing more recent versions of the PCCF+, we have removed most of the geographic links at the 3-digit FSA level, because we consider these to be largely inaccurate in most cases – this is why your client has most of these as missing. This happens during the cleaning phase. In general, we do not recommend off-label uses of the PCCF+, such as pulling out preliminary datasets to be used in geocoding.

In regards to specific questions:

but I’m not sure if it will have an impact if the files are merged using SAC/CMA.

They are not merged  using these variables.

Another thing I noticed is that DMT is used frequently through the code to assign missing values to records with specific DMTs, but DMT is set to 9 after the 6 character linking, and doesn’t exist in any of the datasets used later in the linking, so any records not linked using 6 characters has a DMT=9. I’m not sure the impact that this has on the validity of the linking, but I don’t think this is what was intended.

We cannot assign DMT to partial postal codes – they only exist for full postal codes. We perform different geocoding processes using DMT as an indicator of positional accuracy.

Monday, February 3, 2020



I'm working with a student who wishes to use the microdata of Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS). The application process to get access to the data at RDC however, is a bit too long given their situation (his thesis is due to in less than 2 months); if they could use PUMFs for this survey that would be ideal, but I didn't find it on Nesstar.  Did I miss anything and is there any other way for him to get his hands on the PSIS microdata?


You may find the following table created by my colleagues helpful. It outlines which surveys have public use files, if there is a confidential file in the RDCs and if the file is available through the real time remote access (RTRA) program.

As you can see, there isn’t a PUMF for the PSIS. Likely your students best option would be a custom tabulation, but those are cost recoverable. 

New files on Statistics Canada Nesstar

We are pleased to inform you that the following are now available on the Statistics Canada Nesstar WebView site.

  • Youth Smoking Survey (YSS) 2004-2005 PUMF
  • Youth Smoking Survey (YSS) 2006 PUMF (English only)