Nunatsiaq News
LETTERS: -none- January 23, 2004 - 1:00 pm

GN statistics bureau clarifies info-release issue

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

I would like to clarify an aspect of the article “Statscan flip-flops and releases Inuit survey results” (Jan. 16).

At no point was there ever any desire by any organization to “identify details about specific people” from the 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS). The Nunavut Bureau of Statistics would never support this, and Canada’s national Statistics Act forbids it.

What was at issue was whether APS data would be released on StatCan’s website on a community-by-community basis, or just for Nunavut as a whole. There’s a big difference between the two.

For example, the APS tells us that 34% of adult (15 years of age and over) Inuit in Nunavut used the Internet during the month prior to the survey. That is a very interesting statistic, and quite possibly of use to organizations lobbying for better Internet access for Nunavummiut.

But it is also important to look at the differences at the community level. In this example, we find that 49% of adult Inuit in Iqaluit used the Internet during the previous month, but only 9% of adult Inuit in Repulse Bay did so. Community-level data would clearly better inform policy analysis and lobbying on this issue.

We are grateful that Statistics Canada listened to our arguments, and released APS data on their website at the community level.

Jack Hicks
Director, Evaluation and Statistics
Government of Nunavut

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