REVISED STATUTES, 1989
1 This Act may be cited as the Statistics Act. R.S., c. 441, s. 1.
2 In this Act,
(a) "Agency" means the Nova Scotia Statistics Agency established by this Act;
(b) "department" includes any department, board, commission or agency of the Province;
(c) "Director" means the Director of Statistics designated under this Act;
(d) "Minister" means the member of the Executive Council to whom the administration of this Act is assigned by the Governor in Council;
(e) "statistical agency of Canada" means Statistics Canada or its successor. R.S., c. 441, s. 2.
Nova Scotia Statistics Agency
3 (1) There is hereby established, within the public service of the Province, a statistical branch to be known as the Nova Scotia Statistics Agency.
Attachment to a department
(2) The Agency, for administrative purposes, shall be attached to and form a part of the department of the Government designated from time to time by the Governor in Council. R.S., c. 441, s. 3.
Functions and powers
4 (1) It shall be the function of the Agency and the Agency shall have power to plan, promote and develop integrated social and economic statistics relating to the Province and, in particular, to
(a) collect, compile, analyse [analyze], abstract and publish statistical information relating to the commercial, industrial, financial, social, economic and general activities and condition of the Province and persons in the Province;
(b) collaborate with or assist departments in the collection, compilation and publication of statistical information, including statistics derived from the activities of those departments; and
(c) promote the avoidance of duplication in the information collected by the departments.
(2) In addition to the functions of the Agency under subsection (1), the Governor in Council may authorize and empower the Agency to carry out any statistical project or program or provide any statistical service that the Governor in Council considers necessary. R.S., c. 441, s. 4.
Director of Statistics
5 (1) The Minister may designate a person in the public service, including a person appointed in accordance with the Civil Service Act, as the Director of Statistics.
Function and duties
(2) The Director shall be the chief executive officer and manager of the Agency and shall
(a) advise the Minister on matters relating to the Agency;
(b) advise departments on and assist with statistical matters, projects and programs; and
(c) under the direction of the Minister, supervise the administration of this Act and matters arising under the Act.
(3) Such clerical, technical, professional and other staff as may be required for the administration of this Act shall be appointed in accordance with this Act.
(4) The Minister may employ or engage persons or temporary assistants for the purpose of assisting with any matter, project or program undertaken by the Agency or under this Act and such persons or assistants shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be persons employed under this Act while employed or engaged.
(5) The Minister may, by order, prescribe such rules, instruction, schedules and forms as may be necessary for conducting the work and affairs of the Agency or the collecting, compiling and publishing of statistics and other information. R.S., c. 441, s. 5.
Oath of office
6 (1) The Director and every person employed for the purposes of this Act or employed or engaged in any matter, project or program to which this Act applies shall, before entering upon his duties, take and subscribe an oath or affirmation in the following form:
Administration of oath
(2) The oath or affirmation referred to in subsection (1) shall be taken before a barrister or commissioner of the Supreme Court, a notary public or a person authorized to administer an oath or affirmation within the Province and shall be recorded in the manner directed by the Minister. R.S., c. 441, s. 6.
7 (1) The Minister, the Agency or the Director shall not, in the performance of their functions or the execution of the powers conferred by this Act, discriminate between individuals or companies to the prejudice of any such individual or company.
(2) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, the Minister may authorize the use of sampling methods for the collection of statistics. R.S., c. 441, s. 7.
Right of access of Director
8 (1) A person having the custody or charge of any documents or records that are maintained in any department or in any municipal office, company, business or organization, from which information sought in respect of the objects of this Act can be obtained or that would aid in the completion or correction thereof, shall grant access to the documents or records for those purposes to the Director or a person authorized by the Director.
Signed letter is evidence of authority
(2) Any document purporting to be signed by the Minister or the Director that refers to any appointment or removal of, or setting forth any instructions to, any person employed in the administration of this Act is evidence of such appointment, removal or instructions, and that such letter was signed and addressed as it purports to be. R.S., c. 441, s. 8.
9 (1) Subject to this Section and except for the purposes of a prosecution under this Act,
(a) no person, other than a person employed or engaged under this Act and sworn under Section 6, shall be permitted to examine any identifiable individual return made for the purposes of this Act; and
(b) no person, who has been sworn under Section 6, shall disclose or knowingly cause to be disclosed by any means any information obtained under this Act in such manner that it is possible from any such disclosure to relate the particulars obtained from any individual return to any identifiable individual person, business or organization.
Authorization of communication of information
(2) The Minister may, by order, authorize
(a) the particulars of any information obtained in the course of administering this Act to be communicated to a statistical agency of Canada pursuant to an agreement under Section 11; and
(b) the particulars of any information collected jointly with a department or corporation pursuant to an agreement under Section 12 to be communicated to the department or corporation that was party to the collecting of the information.
Disclosure of information
(3) The Director may, by order, authorize the following information to be disclosed:
(a) information collected by persons, organizations or departments for their own purposes and communicated to the Agency, but such information when communicated to the Agency shall be subject to the same secrecy requirements to which it was subject when collected and may only be disclosed by the Agency in the manner and to the extent agreed upon by the collector thereof and the Director;
(b) information relating to a person or organization in respect of which disclosure is consented to in writing by the person or organization concerned;
(c) information relating to a business in respect of which disclosure is consented to in writing by the owner for the time being of the business;
(d) information available to the public under any statute or other law;
(e) information in the form of an index or list of
(ii) the products produced, manufactured, processed, transported, stored, purchased or sold, or the services provided, by individual establishments, firms or businesses in the course of their business, or
(iii) the names and addresses of individual establishments, firms or businesses that are within specific ranges of numbers of employees or persons engaged in or constituting the work force. R.S., c. 441, s. 9.
10 (1) Except for the purposes of a prosecution under this Act, any return, made to the Agency or the Director pursuant to this Act, and any copy of the return in the possession of the respondent, is privileged and shall not be used as evidence in any proceedings whatever, and no person sworn under Section 6 shall by an order of any court, tribunal or other body be required in any proceedings whatever to give oral testimony or to produce any return, document or record with respect to any information obtained in the course of administering this Act.
Application of Section
(2) This Section applies in respect of any information that the Agency is prohibited by this Act from disclosing or that may only be disclosed pursuant to an authorization under subsection (2) or (3) of Section 9. R.S., c. 441, s. 10.
Agreement with statistical agency of Canada
11 (1) The Minister may make and enter an agreement with a statistical agency of Canada for the exchange with, or transmission to, the statistical agency of Canada of
(a) replies to any specific statistical inquiries;
(b) replies to any specific classes of information collected under this Act or an Act of the Parliament of Canada; and
(c) any tabulations and analyses based on replies referred to in clause (a) or (b).
Approval of agreement
(2) An agreement made under this Section shall be approved by the Governor in Council and may be made in the name of Her Majesty, the Government of Nova Scotia or the Minister.
Restriction on application of agreement
(3) Except in respect of information described in subsection (3) of Section 9, no agreement entered into under this Section applies to any reply made to or information collected by the Agency before the date that the agreement was entered into or is to have effect, whichever is the later date.
Duty to advise respondent of agreement
(4) Where any information, in respect of which an agreement under this Section applies, is collected by the Agency, the Agency shall when collecting information advise the respondent of any agreement under this Section with the statistical agency of Canada and to which the information secured from the respondent may be communicated under that agreement. R.S., c. 441, s. 11.
Other agreements for exchange of information
12 (1) The Minister may make and enter an agreement with a department, a city, town or municipality, a corporation or an organization for the exchange of information collected jointly with any one of them and for subsequent tabulation or publication based on such information.
(2) An agreement under subsection (1) shall provide that
(a) the respondent shall be informed that the information is being collected jointly on behalf of the Agency and the department or corporation, as the case may be, by a notice to that effect; and
(b) the agreement shall not apply in respect of any respondent who gives notice in writing to the Director that he objects to sharing of information between the Agency and the department or corporation, as the case may be.
Included in information exchanged
(3) An exchange of information pursuant to an agreement under this Section may, subject to subsection (2), include replies to original inquiries and supplementary information provided by a respondent to the Agency and the department or corporation jointly collecting this information. R.S., c. 441, s. 12.
Offence respecting performance of duty
13 Every person who, after taking the oath or affirmation, set out in subsection (1) of Section 6,
(a) deserts from his duty, or wilfully makes any false declaration, statement or return in the performance of his duties;
(b) in the pretended performance of his duties, obtains or seeks to obtain information that he is not duly authorized to obtain; or
(c) violates clause (b) of subsection (1) of Section 9,
is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding one thousand dollars. R.S., c. 441, s. 13.
Offence by person responding to questions
14 Every person who, without lawful excuse,
(a) refuses or neglects to answer, or wilfully answers falsely, any question requisite for obtaining any information sought in respect of the objects of this Act or pertinent thereto, that has been asked of him by any person employed or engaged under this Act; or
(b) refuses or neglects to furnish any information or to fill in to the best of his knowledge and belief any schedule or form that he has been required to fill in, and to return the same when and as required of him pursuant to this Act, or knowingly gives false or misleading information or practises any other deception thereunder,
is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding five hundred dollars. R.S., c. 441, s. 14.
Offence to refuse access or to obstruct
15 Every person who
(a) having the custody or charge of any document or records that are maintained in any department or in any municipal office, company, business or organization, from which information sought in respect of the objects of this Act can be obtained or that would aid in the completion or correction thereof, refuses or neglects to grant access thereto to any person authorized for the purpose by the Director; or
(b) otherwise in any way wilfully obstructs or seeks to obstruct any person employed in the execution of any duty under this Act,
is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding two hundred dollars. R.S., c. 441, s. 15.
Offence respecting disclosure
16 Every person who, after taking the oath or affirmation set out in subsection (1) of Section 6,
(a) wilfully discloses or divulges, directly or indirectly to any person not entitled under this Act to receive the same, any information obtained by him in the course of his employment that might exert an influence upon or affect the market value of any stocks, bonds or other security or any product or article; or
(b) uses any such information for the purpose of speculating in any stocks, bonds or other security or any product or article,
is guity [guilty] of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding five thousand dollars. R.S., c. 441, s. 16.
Offence of impersonation
17 Every person who
(a) personates the Director or an employee of the Agency for the purpose of obtaining information from any person; or
(b) represents himself to be making an inquiry under the authority of this Act when he is not an officer, employee, agent or assistant of the Agency,
is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding one thousand dollars. R.S., c. 441, s. 17.