Statistics Canada blames computer error for mistake in census language data
Statistics Canada says it is correcting recently released census data about the number of English speakers in some smaller Quebec communities.
The national statistics office is blaming an error in a computer program for the fact that 61,000 people were misclassified in the latest tranche of census information.
Earlier this month, Statistics Canada reported that census data showed that the share of the population that can speak both of Canada's official languages hit an all-time high in 2016, with a modest shift upward in a rate that has barely budged over the last 15 years.
The bilingualism rate in Canada reached 18 per cent in the 2016 census and two-thirds of the growth in the bilingual population was attributed to Quebec, even though the reported rate of bilingualism increased in most provinces and territories.
But experts quickly began questioning the findings of increases in English speakers in some small communities in Quebec far afield from major urban centres like Montreal.
Statistics Canada says in a statement that it plans to update its findings next week, and regrets any inconvenience the mistake has caused.