The recent Globe and Mail leaders’ debate focused on the economy. One important – albeit crudely constructed – question asked during the debate was: “Do you have a jobs plan for industry beyond taking things out of the ground”. The question presumed that natural resource extraction has been a big employment driver in Canada, which it hasn’t. That aside, the implicit question was whether the aspiring leaders had a plan for, or even wished to see, greater industrial diversification in Canada. None of the candidates provided a direct response to the question. However, one response in particular stood out for its reference to international trade.
Last month’s inaugural Job Vacancy and Wages Survey (JVWS) release by Statistics Canada – which the agency emphasises was undertaken on behalf of Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC) – raised more questions than it seemed to answer. When initially contacted for comment, Statscan indicated it would be releasing more data by the end of September. That data, along with additional feedback provided by the agency, points to problems with the survey. It’s worth mentioning that ESDC was the source of the now infamous Kijiji jobs report – because the JVWS bears a striking resemblance to it.
| Chart 1 Iraqi refugees in Syria
|Chart 2 Displaced persons in Syria
||Chart 3 Displaced persons in Iraq
Source(s): Population Statistics, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
If something seems missing from most Western media coverage of the current Syria refugee crisis, it would be the origin of said crisis. A significant share of Syria’s population were already refugees fleeing other Middle East (ME) crises prior to the outbreak of violence in 2011. And all those crises, along with the current one in Syria, bear a striking similarity: Many of the same Western countries now voicing concern over the humanitarian crisis spilling onto their shores were complicit in propagating and perpetuating the ME conflicts giving rise to the crisis.
Consider this the 2011 NHS: How much less we now know, illustrated *, FED edition.
… and how much less reliably we know it, owing to Statistics Canada’s remarkably lowered data quality standards.
If you’ve recently visited the Statscan web site, you’ve likely noticed the ‘Features’ widget on the front page. Atop the list of featured content is a link to the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS). With the federal election in full-swing, it’s tempting to compare the 2011 NHS data by Federal Electoral District (FED) in the hopes of gleaning some insight into whether/how socio-demographic/economic characteristics play a role in election results.