Government of Canada establishes Canadian Statistics Advisory Council

News release

Council members to advise Minister and Chief Statistician

June 25, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario

We live in a world that is increasingly data-driven. Now more than ever, Canadians require the high-quality, timely and relevant statistics produced by Statistics Canada to support evidence-based decision-making.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the creation of a new Canadian Statistics Advisory Council. This council will provide the Minister and the Chief Statistician of Canada with impartial and independent advice on matters concerning the overall quality of Canada’s national statistical system, in line with the principles entrenched in Canada’s Digital Charter. This will help ensure that Statistics Canada remains one of the world’s top statistical agencies.

The council will be chaired by Dr. Teresa Scassa, Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy at the University of Ottawa, and includes the following members:

  • Gurmeet Ahluwalia, Managing Partner, StratExLead
  • David Chaundy, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council
  • Annette Hester, Principal of TheHesterview
  • Jan Kestle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Environics Analytics
  • Céline Le Bourdais, Distinguished James McGill Professor of Sociology at McGill University
  • Gail Mc Donald, Akwesasne Heritage Complex Project Developer with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
  • Dr. Howard Ramos, Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Michael C. Wolfson, health consultant and former Canada Research Chair in Population Health Modeling, Institute of Population Health and School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Members will use their expertise and broad perspectives to advise on a variety of matters, including to identify emerging areas of opportunity and to address issues and challenges. The council will produce an annual report on the state of the national statistical system.

These appointments were made under the Government of Canada's new approach to Governor in Council appointments. This approach supports open, transparent and merit-based selection processes that strive for gender parity and reflect Canada's diversity, to support ministers in making appointment recommendations for positions within their portfolio by providing them with information and referrals.


“Making decisions in today’s economy requires the best evidence and data. The Canadian Statistics Advisory Council will play an important role in ensuring the independence of Statistics Canada and the continued relevance and effectiveness of the statistical system.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

“I look forward to working with the Canadian Statistics Advisory Council to further advance the relevance of our world-class national statistical agency, and maintain the trust that Canadians have given us for over a century.”
Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada

Quick facts

  • Council members were chosen for their expertise in various fields related to the national statistical system, including data privacy, data user perspectives, digital technology and general knowledge on statistical agencies.

  • The Chief Statistician will serve as an ex-officio member on the Council.

  • The establishment of the Canadian Statistics Advisory Council is one of many initiatives that will support Statistics Canada’s modernization to provide Canadians with high-quality, timely data and insights in an increasingly digital society.

  • The Canadian Statistics Advisory Council aligns with Canada’s new Digital Charter, which states that the Government will ensure the ethical use of data to create value, promote openness and improve the lives of people.


Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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