Statistics Canada report says agency not at fault in leak of April 2020 job-loss data

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OTTAWA — A final investigation report on how last April's jobs report leaked out early says Statistics Canada wasn't the source, confirming early suspicions from agency officials that the unauthorized release came from elsewhere.

The report, dated June 5 but being made public today, doesn't say how the details on the historic job losses in April made it into a media report before the agency officially released it.

But it says that 10 interviews, a review of 210 emails and 116 telephone logs showed no agency personnel were involved, nor was technical error to blame for how high-level findings made their way into a Bloomberg News report before the release on May 8.

Just over 40 minutes before Statistics Canada officially released the April jobs numbers, Bloomberg News cited a “person familiar with the matter” saying the country lost about two million jobs in that month.

Before the day was out, staff at the statistics agency were ordered to preserve documents, the chief statistician called for an end to sharing pre-release data with select federal departments, and an investigation plan was laid out.

The details are in dozens of pages of internal emails and reports obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press