OTTAWA (Reuters) - Statistics Canada is ending its practice of sharing jobs data with select government officials before the numbers are officially released after the April report was leaked last week, the agency said.
The data was supposed to have been published on the Statscan website at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) last Friday. Bloomberg Canada, citing someone familiar with the report, accurately reported the main numbers at about 8 a.m. ET.
Statistics Canada opened a probe into what Finance Minister Bill Morneau denounced as an unacceptable leak.
“Pre-release information is provided under strict conditions and through secure channels. There will be no pre-release of Labour Force Survey information until further notice,” the agency said in a statement late on Tuesday.
The data was shared the previous evening with the Bank of Canada and three ministries - finance, innovation and employment, and innovation - and the Privy Council Office, a group of bureaucrats who serves Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The advance notice is aimed at people “for whom advance access to this information is critical to their policies and programs”, Statscan said.
“All officials must sign a statement of their adherence to the confidentiality provisions prior to receiving the advanced release,” it added. “Statistics Canada continues its internal investigation and will take appropriate action going forward.”
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum