Statistics Canada ‘compromised,’ chief quits

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada chief Wayne Smith has resigned, saying the independence of his agency is compromised by new information-technology arrangements.

It marks the second time in just over six years that a chief statistician has quit over a point of principle.

In an email to the National Statistical Council, Smith says Shared Services Canada now holds an effective veto over many of the statistical agency’s operations.

Smith says he can’t support federal initiatives to centralize IT services that effectively undermine the independence of Statistics Canada, which the federal government has committed to protect.

“All of you are aware of my view that this loss of independence and control is not only an apprehension, but an effective reality today, as Statistics Canada is increasingly hobbled in the delivery of its programs through disruptive, ineffective, slow and unaffordable supply of physical informatics services by Shared Services Canada,” says the email, obtained by …
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