Statistics Canada Says It Won't Delay Data More Than 20 Seconds

Statistics Canada is promising not to delay data releases for longer than 20 seconds as it experiments with new media lockup procedures.

The Ottawa-based agency has temporarily changed its release protocol to make sure data appears first on its website, before allowing news organizations to publish the same figures from a lockup. That led to a delay of almost one minute in the release of quarterly gross domestic product data on March 1, because Statistics Canada’s website crashed during the release of the data.

The agency said it will restore lock-up communications no later than 20 seconds after 8:30 a.m., regardless of whether the data has appeared first on its website. In the nine lockups since Feb. 4, when Statistics Canada announced the change, it’s taken an average of 3.1 seconds after the official 8:30 a.m. release for the data to appear on the website. That excludes the GDP report, when the website crashed.

“The alternate procedure ensures that communication channels in the media lockup are opened at a predictable time for every session,” Gabrielle Beaudoin, a spokeswoman for Statistics Canada, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg.

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