Canadian Perspectives Survey Series (CPSS)

Detailed information for 2020/2021





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The Canadian Perspectives Survey Series (CPSS), Statistics Canada's new data collection project, is aimed at understanding social issues more rapidly, while reducing the cost of collecting data.

Data release - April 8, 2020 (First in a series of releases for this reference period.)


In order to implement this survey rapidly, it will be conducted online only, among those who volunteered to participate in the Canadian Perspectives Survey Series (CPSS). Each survey in the series will take place approximately every month, with collection lasting approximately a week. Each respondent will participate in several short online surveys over the period of about a year. The CPSS is designed to produce data at a national level (excluding the territories).

Initially, the CPSS focused on topics related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadians. Other topics will also be added to the series to meet the emerging data needs of a variety of users.

Information collected may be used by government organizations at all levels, as well as other types of organizations, to inform the delivery of services and support to Canadians, during and after the pandemic and to inform policy on a wide variety of other social and economic issues.

Data sources and methodology

Target population

Canadians living in the ten provinces

Instrument design

Statistics Canada's Questionnaire Design Resource Centre (QDRC) provided input and feedback for selected modules of the survey questionnaires, while questions for the remaining modules came from other Statistics Canada surveys. Question wording adheres as closely as possible to questions established by the Harmonized Content Committee at Statistics Canada.

The questionnaires follow standard practices and wording used in a computer-assisted interviewing environment, such as the automatic control of flows that depend upon answers to earlier questions and the use of edits to check for logical inconsistencies and capture errors. The computer applications for data collection were tested extensively.


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

Each survey in the series is administered to a sub-sample of Labour Force Survey (LFS) respondents. The LFS sample is drawn from an area frame and is based on a stratified, multi-stage design that uses probability sampling.

The LFS uses a rotating panel sample design. In the provinces, selected dwellings remain in the LFS sample for six consecutive months. Each month about one-sixth of the LFS sampled dwellings are in their first month of the survey, one-sixth are in their second month of the survey, and so on. These six independent samples are called rotation groups.

Four rotation groups from the LFS were used to obtain the sample. From these households, one person was selected at random to complete several survey questionnaires for the Canadian Perspective Survey Series (CPSS). The initial sample for each survey in the series is approximately 7,000 people.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

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

Error detection

Electronic files containing the daily transmissions of completed respondent survey records were combined to create the "raw" survey file. Before further processing, verification was performed to identify and eliminate potential duplicate records and to drop non-response and out-of-scope records.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.


The estimation of population characteristics from a sample survey is based on the premise that each person in the sample represents a certain number of other persons in addition to themselves. This number is referred to as the survey weight. The weighting of the sample for the CPSS has multiple stages to reflect the stages of sampling, participation and response to obtain the final set of respondents.

Variance estimation is based on a resampling method called the bootstrap.

The Generalized Estimation System was used to generate the survey weights and bootstrap weights.

Quality evaluation

While quality assurance mechanisms are applied at all stages of the statistical process, the validation and review of data by statisticians is the final verification of quality prior to release. Validation measures that were implemented include:

a) verification of estimates through cross-tabulations
b) consultation with stakeholders internal to Statistics Canada

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.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Data accuracy

Survey errors come from a variety of different sources. One dimension of survey error is sampling error. Sampling error is defined as the error that arises because an estimate is based on a sample rather than the entire population. Sampling error can be expressed through a confidence interval or coefficient of variation.

Response rates
The target response rate for each survey in the series is approximately 60%. Accounting for the CPSS Sign-up rate of participation at 23%, the target cumulative response rate is about 14%.

Non-sampling error
Measurement errors (sometimes referred to as response errors) occur when the response provided differs from the real value; such errors may be attributable to the respondent, the questionnaire, the collection method or the respondent's record-keeping system. Such errors may be random or they may result in a systematic bias if they are not random.

Processing errors are the errors associated with activities conducted once survey responses have been received. They include all data handling activities after collection and prior to estimation. Like all other errors, they can be random in nature, and inflate the variance of the survey's estimates, or they can be systematic, and introduce bias. It is difficult to obtain direct measures of processing errors and their impact on data quality especially since they are mixed in with other types of errors (nonresponse, measurement and coverage).

Non-response bias
Information available from the LFS was used to adjust the survey weights and mitigate potential nonresponse bias. However, the CPSS has lower cumulative response rates than most Statistics Canada surveys and therefore may have an increased risk of nonresponse bias.

Coverage error
Coverage errors arise when there are differences between the target population and the observed population. As the CPSS is completed online, those without email addresses or internet connections are not covered. Those aged 65+ are the most affected.


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