Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bit of a problem for Deficit Jim

Remember this story from May, the rumours of job number leaks in advance of the official Statistics Canada reports? It appears that it's been an ongoing situation, not just a one-time thing in respect of the May 8th job numbers. The word seems to be that Canada leaks numbers like a sieve: "Data leaks suspected before Stats Can probe."
The Bank of Canada learned about suspected leaks of economic data weeks before unusual movements in currency markets triggered a security review by Statistics Canada, documents obtained by Bloomberg News show.

The 54 pages received through access-to-information laws show discussions from April 17 to May 28 among senior Bank of Canada staff, including Deputy Governors David Longworth and Pierre Duguay. The central bank received e-mail and phone messages suggesting that unemployment and inflation reports may have been leaked for months.

While Statistics Canada said it investigated its procedures twice during May without finding anything wrong, the documents show that investor concern existed before then and the bank was aware of it. The central bank received a tip on April 17 about possible leaks that may have distorted the $38.5-billion-a-day Canadian dollar market as far back as January.
Sounds like it's high time for the Finance Minister to request a much more rigorous investigation.