Information for participants

The following information will enable you to better know us, and to understand the importance of our surveys and the obligations of our employees. Behind the statistics and figures, there are individuals and businesses that make their situations known and give their points of view. The participation of each individual and each business ensures a greater knowledge of the Québec of today for a better understanding of the Québec of tomorrow.

Institut de la statistique du Québec

The Institut de la statistique du Québec, also called Statistique Québec, is a government agency that produces and publishes objective and reliable statistics on various aspects of Québec society.

Its surveys on individuals make it possible:

  • to know the health status of the population in general or of selected target groups such as youth and seniors; and
  • to identify Québec’s social issues such as childcare needs, nutrition, family violence, or drug and alcohol use.

Its surveys on businesses make it possible:

  • to know the situation of the economy in the biofood, finance, tourism, culture, scientific and technological sectors for the whole of Québec and often by region; and
  • to see where Québec stands with regard to other provinces and other countries. You may also find that those statistics are useful for the development of your business.

Our commitments toward you

Our survey participants are at the heart of our mission. Therefore, we undertake:

  • to protect the confidentiality of the information you provide;
  • to give you all the information to enable enlightened participation;
  • to find means of making it easier to respond to our surveys; and
  • to make sure that you will be treated with respect, courtesy and professionalism by Statistique Québec staff.

By adopting the Politique d'information au participant d'une enquête (in French only), Statistique Québec confirms its commitments with respect to its participants.

What you are entitled to know

When our representatives contact you, they must identify themselves clearly and inform you that the survey is being conducted by Statistique Québec.

They must also:

  • clearly specify the purpose of the survey;
  • tell you whether your participation in the survey is voluntary or mandatory; and
  • provide you with contact information in case you need assistance.

In the case of a telephone interview, they must:

  • specify the duration of the interview;
  • tell you whether your participation in the survey is voluntary or mandatory; and
  • notify you of the possibility of the interview being monitored by a supervisor for quality control purposes.

Am I really talking to a Statistique Québec representative?

There are several ways of ensuring that you are indeed talking to a Statistique Québec representative:

  • check the list of Current surveys;
  • call Statistique Québec at 418-691-2404 or toll free at 1-800-561-0213 if you are from outside the Québec area; and
  • if an interviewer knocks at your door, ask to see his or her identification card confirming that he or she is a Statistique Québec representative.

The confidentiality of your information is guaranteed

The obligation of Statistique Québec and its staff to protect your information is set out in the Act respecting the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

You may, in confidence, provide Statistique Québec with your information since its Act guarantees that:

  • the information provided during the survey will be kept confidential;
  • only employees duly authorized by Statistique Québec will have access to your information; and
  • your information will be used only for the production of statistics.

At the time of the publication of the survey results, only tables of aggregated data are released, thus guaranteeing the anonymity of the participants.


Data confidentiality agreement

All Statistique Québec employees, regardless of their employment status (permanent or casual), are required under the Act respecting the Institut de la statistique du Québec to keep confidential all information to which they have access in the course of their employment. Upon commencing at Statistique Québec, employees sign a confidentiality agreement.

Security safeguards

Only a small number of Statistique Québec employees will have access to the information you provide. Access is limited, according to the needs of the survey, to the individuals directly involved in the collection, processing and analysis of that information.

The safeguards taken by Statistique Québec to restrict access to such information include strict entry-control to its premises and rigorous authentication procedures to connect to the computer network.

Voluntary or mandatory participation in a survey

Participation in a Statistique Québec survey may be voluntary or mandatory. The Act respecting the Institut de la statistique du Québec allows the director general to make participation mandatory if the reliability of the statistics produced depends on it.

Participation in surveys on individuals is usually voluntary. Although participants are not legally obliged to participate, the collaboration of the greatest number of individuals possible is required to establish the most accurate and representative portrait possible of the population studied.

Participation in some business surveys can be mandatory. In such case, under the Act respecting the Institut de la statistique du Québec, participants are required to provide their information within the time allotted. Knowledgeable staff will be available to assist them.

When Statistique Québec contacts you, you will always be told whether your participation is voluntary or mandatory.

Data sharing agreements

Statistique Québec may conclude agreements with government agencies to allow data sharing. You will be informed, at the time your data is collected, of the existence of such an agreement and of your right to object to your data being shared with another agency.

Rest assured that your contact information (your name and address) will never be disclosed without your consent. Only the answers to the questions in the questionnaire will be.

Telephone monitoring

Statistique Québec monitors telephone interviews to ensure the quality of the information collected. This is a common practice in government statistical agencies. Interviews, however, are not recorded under any circumstances.

Like all Statistique Québec personnel, the supervisor who listens to your telephone interview has signed a confidentiality agreement promising not to disclose any information heard during the conversation.

Selection of participants

Depending on the needs, our surveys can be:

  • census surveys, meaning that all the individuals or businesses within the population targeted by the survey will be called on to provide their information. Statistique Québec uses census surveys if the population studied includes a limited number of individuals and businesses or if it is composed of very dissimilar individuals or businesses.
  • sample surveys, meaning that only a part of the target population will be randomly selected to participate. The sample is set up so that it is representative of all the individuals and businesses composing the population covered by the survey.

Making your task easier

We are mindful of the effort required to provide your answers. We can make it easier for you in several ways. For example, Statistique Québec:

  • offers the support of a competent staff that can inform and help participants;
  • has various collection methods (mail, telephone, face-to-face and electronic) allowing participants to choose the methods that suit them best;
  • adapts its collection periods based on the availability of participants (day, evening, and weekends); and
  • may, in certain cases, make arrangements with participants on how or when to transmit their information.

The National "Do Not Call List"

The National Do Not Call List (DNCL), launched on September 30, 2008, allows individuals (not organizations) to sign up to have their name taken off telemarketers’ calling lists.

The DNCL does not apply to Statistique Québec. Without the cooperation of individuals and organizations, the production of reliable statistics on the various aspects of Québec society would not be possible.