Monthly Coal Supply and Disposition Survey (MCOL)

Detailed information for July 2017





Record number:


The purpose of this survey is to obtain information on the supply of, and/or demand for, energy in Canada.

Data release - September 26, 2017


The purpose of this survey is to obtain information on the supply of, and/or demand for, energy in Canada. This information serves as an important indicator of Canadian economic performance, and is used by all levels of government in establishing informed policies in the energy area. The private sector also uses this information in the corporate decision-making process.

Statistical activity

The survey is administered as part of the Integrated Business Statistics Program (IBSP). The IBSP program has been designed to integrate approximately 200 separate business surveys into a single master survey program. The IBSP aims at collecting industry and product detail at the provincial level while minimizing overlap between different survey questionnaires. The redesigned business survey questionnaires have a consistent look, structure and content.

The integrated approach makes reporting easier for firms operating in different industries because they can provide similar information for each branch operation. This way they avoid having to respond to questionnaires that differ for each industry in terms of format, wording and even concepts. The combined results produce more coherent and accurate statistics on the economy.

Reference period: Month

Collection period: During the month following the reference month.


  • Coal
  • Energy
  • Energy consumption and disposition

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population is comprised of all establishments in Canada engaged in Coal Mining classified to NAICS 21211 under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS 2012). The observed population are those establishments in the target population for which business information is available on Statistics Canada's Business Register.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

The sampling unit is the enterprise as defined on the Statistics Canada Business Register.

The sample size for reference period January 2017 is 19 establishments or 7 enterprises.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

The data are collected through an electronic questionnaire. Follow-ups are conducted by phone, fax or e-mail as needed.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Error detection is an integral part of both collection and data processing activities. Edits are applied to data records during collection to identify reporting and capture errors. These edits identify potential errors based on month-over-month or year-over-year changes in key variables, totals, and ratios that exceed tolerance thresholds, as well as identify problems in the consistency of collected data (e.g. a total variable does not equal the sum of its parts). During data processing, other edits are used to automatically detect errors or inconsistencies that remain in the data following collection. These edits include value edits, linear equality edits, linear inequality edits, and equivalency edits (e.g. Value1 = Value2). When errors are found, they can be corrected using the failed edit follow up process during collection or via imputation. Extreme values are also flagged as outliers, using automated methods based on the distribution of the collected information. Following their detection, these values are reviewed in order to assess their reliability. Manual review of other units may lead to additional outliers identified. These outliers are excluded from use in the calculation of ratios and trends used for imputation, and during donor imputation. In general, every effort is made to minimize the non-sampling errors of omission, duplication, misclassification, reporting and processing.


When non-response occurs, when respondents do not completely answer the questionnaire, or when reported data are considered incorrect during the error detection steps, imputation is used to fill in the missing information and modify the incorrect information. Many methods of imputation may be used to complete a questionnaire, including manual changes made by an analyst. The automated, statistical techniques used to impute the missing data include: deterministic imputation, replacement using historical data (with a trend calculated, when appropriate), replacement using auxiliary information available from other sources, replacement based on known data relationships for the sample unit, and replacement using data from a similar unit in the sample (known as donor imputation). Usually, key variables are imputed first and are used as anchors in subsequent steps to impute other, related variables.


All units in the observed population are being surveyed. Estimation of totals is done by simple aggregation of the values of all estimation units that are found in the domain of estimation. Estimates are computed for several domains of interest such as industrial groups and provinces/territories, based on the most recent classification information available for the estimation unit and the survey reference period. It should be noted that this classification information may differ from the original sampling classification since records may have changed in size, industry or location. Changes in classification are reflected immediately in the estimates.

Quality evaluation

The quality of the data on disposition is evaluated by comparing it with data from the Quarterly Industrial Consumption of Energy Survey and the Coal Mines Annual Survey.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent, or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Statistics Canada will use the information from this survey for statistical purposes.

Confidentiality analysis includes the detection of possible direct disclosure, which occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of a few respondents or when the cell is dominated by a few companies.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

There is no seasonal adjustment. Data from previous years may be revised based on updated information.

Data accuracy

The response rate for this survey is nearly 100%. Because this survey is a census with a high response rate, under-coverage is minimal, and minimal bias resulting from non-response is introduced.

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