Statistics Canada have announced that they are planning to hire 32,000 new employees in preparation for the 2021 Census. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the census will be conducted contact-free where possible, with respondents being encouraged to complete the survey online, on paper or by phone.
Canada's national statistical agency is hiring tens of thousands of employees as it prepares for the challenge of conducting a physically-distanced census during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release published this week, Statistics Canada said it's overhauling its canvassing practices and looking to bring on 32,000 field staff to survey the Canadian population this spring.
StatsCan said it is striving for a "contact-free" census, with agency staff collecting the necessary information without coming into face-to-face contact with the public.
The census collects demographic information on every person living in Canada. The data is then used by governments, businesses, associations, community organizations and others to make evidence-based decisions at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.
This year will mark the first time the agency has ever conducted a census in the middle of a public health emergency.
"More than ever, these data are necessary," said Geoff Bowlby, director general of the 2021 census. "If you look at the current pandemic, the census data have been instrumental in determining how we should respond to the pandemic."
As examples, Bowlby cited public health authorities using census data to learn which neighbourhoods are most vulnerable to COVID-19, and the federal government using population data to calculate the equitable distribution of vaccine doses.