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Canada finance minister denounces 'unacceptable' leak of jobs data

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Friday denounced theleak of highly anticipated employment data for April, which showed job losses caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns were lower than expected.

The data was supposed to be released on the Statscan website at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (1230 GMT). The Bloomberg financial agency accurately reported the main numbers at about 8 a.m..

“Leaks of this nature are unacceptable. We take this very seriously and the government will put the necessary processes in place to ensure this does not happen again,” Morneau spokesman Pierre-Olivier Herbert said in a statement.

He did not give more details. Data leaks of this magnitude are virtually unheard of in Canada.

“We will investigate the incident and take appropriate action going forward,” Statscan assistant chief statistician

Jacques Fauteux said in a statement.

In previous years, details of the jobs data were provided under embargo to a handful of government officials.

The office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not immediately respond to a question as to whether this was still the practice.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by David Gregorio and Marguerita Choy

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