Hon. Jack H. Horner (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce):
I have had numerous discussions with the chief
statistician. I do not accept the allegation which the C.D. Howe Institute made about Statistics Canada. Statistics Canada has a difficult problem in assessing promptly what is happening in Canada and to the Canadian economy. If they were to delay releasing their statistics they could, of course, probably be more accurate. In releasing them as quickly, as they do, with respect to each month, as soon as that month is ended, there is, of course, a greater tendency to error. But if one takes into consideration the monthly statements, the quarterly statements and the yearly figures, we see that from time to time they go back and make an adjustment in the figures for a given month with regard to exports, imports, or whatever they are keeping track of.
Large numbers of people, and certainly members of the opposition, always pay a great deal of attention to the monthly release of the CPI figures. This is what I was referring to when I said many people believed Statistics Canada figures as if they were the bible. I do not accept the inference of the C.D. Howe Institute that Statistics Canada is doing a sloppy or a misleading job.
Topic: ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic: STATISTICS CANADA