Scientific and Technological Activities of Provincial Governments

Detailed information for 2008-2009

Status:

Inactive

Frequency:

Annual

Record number:

4210

These statistical estimates cover scientific and technological (S&T) activities of the provincial government sector, except for provincial research organizations (PRO) which are surveyed separately (see record number 4208).

Data release - August 16, 2010

Description

These statistical estimates cover scientific and technological (S&T) activities of the provincial government sector, except for provincial research organizations (PRO) which are surveyed separately (see record number 4208). The data are the aggregates of provincial government science surveys that are collected by the participating provinces and processed by Statistics Canada under contract. Québec conducts its own survey of research and development (R&D) activities and shares the data with Statistics Canada.

The main S&T activity is research and development. In addition, there are a number of activities closely related to R&D; these are termed related scientific activities (RSA). Although not provided by the provincial government of Quebec, spending on RSA are available for all other participating provinces.

This information is intended primarily to be used by S&T policy makers, both federal and provincial, largely as a basis for interprovincial and intersectoral comparisons. The surveys which generate these statistical estimates also provide input for the development of a national aggregate Research and Development (R&D) series, which are used to populate the Canadian components of international questionnaires for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Statistical activity

Science and technology (S&T) and the information society are changing the way we live, learn and work. The concepts are closely intertwined: science generates new understanding of the way the world works, technology applies it to develop innovative products and services, and the information society is one of the results of the innovations.

People are looking to Statistics Canada to measure and explain the social and economic impacts of these changes.

The purpose of this program is to develop useful indicators of S&T activity in Canada and to present them coherently.

Reference period: April 1st of the reference year

Collection period: May through November of the year after the reference period

Subjects

  • Research and development
  • Science and technology

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of provincial government departments, ministries and/or agencies of the participating provinces.

Sampling

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

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Data are collected from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

The data are derived from provincial government science surveys that are collected by participating provinces, and processed by Statistics Canada under contract with the provinces. The provincial government sector consists of all provincial government departments, ministries, selected provincial agencies and provincial research organizations (PRO). The PRO are surveyed separately (see record number 4208). Statistics Canada maintains aggregate information only.

For this reference period, surveys were conducted by New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The following ministries or departments sponsor the scientific surveys: New Brunswick Department of Finance, Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation; Manitoba Department of Science, Technology, Energy & Mines; Saskatchewan Advanced Education, Employment and Labour; and Alberta Advanced Education and Technology.

As well, the Institut de la Statistique du Québec conducts its own survey of research and development (R&D) activities and shares those data with Statistics Canada.

Error detection

Data are edited to ensure internal and historical logic and consistency.

Imputation

The 2008/2009 reference year data were not obtained from British Columbia. However, forecasted figures were used from their 2007/2008 survey. These figures are marked throughout the tables as "use with caution", they are not final expenditures. As such, caution should be exhibited when comparing these statistics for British Columbia among years.

Quality evaluation

Data are analysed for trends and validity. In-field interviews and consultation are carried out by Section staff personnel.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law 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. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Revisions are made as definitions and procedures are clarified by respondents.

Data accuracy

Science surveys, like other surveys, depend on the respondents' understanding of concepts, definitions and methods of calculation. Accounting records are rarely available in formats which use science-based classifications. Extensive efforts are undertaken each year to support provinces in communicating standard explanations of concepts, definitions and calculations to promote statistical coherence and provincial comparability. The same standards are applied to the data of each province as are applied to data of the federal government and all sectors, according to the principles of the OECD Frascati Manual that sets the international standard for the definition and measurement of S&T (R&D and RSA).

Recognizing that survey data are estimates, they still offer a good representation of science expenditures for the provinces. As in any ongoing statistical exercise, revisions will be necessary as definitions and procedures are clarified by respondents.

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