New boss, new directionCanada
The Globe and Mail
The head of Statistics Canada is a veteran economist who has been making good on his vow to steer the federal agency in a new direction.
In 2008, Munir Sheikh left his role as deputy minister of labour to become the first new chief statistician of Statistics Canada in 22 years after top number cruncher Ivan Fellegi left the job.
With his new appointment, Mr. Sheikh vowed to reinvent Statscan and steer its focus to emerging issues such as inflation, globalization and climate change. To achieve that, he’d seek more information about trade and investment and try to better quantify how well Canada is doing in the areas of health care and the environment, he told The Globe and Mail in an interview when he took the top job.
He also asked for a total re-examination of Statscan’s operations that would try to measure the relevance of information it gathers.
Mr. Sheikh has spent much of his 38-year career in a number of senior federal government posts climbing the bureaucratic career ladder. Prior to becoming deputy minister of labour, he was in the Privy Council Office as deputy secretary to the cabinet on the expenditure review where he helped craft the 2005 budget.
He’s been associate deputy minister at Health Canada and Finance Canada, and was assistant deputy minister in tax policy at Finance Canada, where he oversaw the government’s $100-billion tax reduction policy in the economic statement and budget update in 2000.
His academic life has focused squarely on economics. He has a doctorate on the subject from the University of Western Ontario and a masters from McMaster University. He taught at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.
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