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Connecting Stats, Stories and People

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Released: 2018-11-27

This month, the blog tells the story of Dr. Sylvia Ostry.

Over a long and celebrated career, Dr. Ostry left an indelible mark on the Canadian civil service.

Not only was Dr. Ostry Canada's first and only female Chief Statistician, she was also Canada's first female deputy minister.

After teaching and doing research at McGill University, the Université de Montréal and the University of Oxford, Dr. Ostry joined Statistics Canada, serving as Assistant Director for Research and later as Director in the Labour Division, from 1964 to 1969.

She held the position of Chair of the Economic Council of Canada for three years, before returning to the agency in 1972 to serve as Chief Statistician.

In 2002, to celebrate Dr. Ostry's 75th birthday, The Sterling Public Servant was produced by former Assistant Chief Statistician Jacob Ryten. This was a festschrift, a collection of papers from eminent contributors, on subjects related to her career and the importance of her academic and governmental contributions to Canada.

Four decades after her tenure as chief statistician, Dr. Ostry's impact on Statistics Canada lives on through her influence on agency programs and human resources management practices.

To learn more about Statistics Canada's program of activities to mark its centennial, visit: One Hundred Years and Counting.

  Note to readers

Published monthly, Connecting Stats, Stories and People features a series of articles that tell the stories of leaders and change-makers who have impacted the world of statistics.


The November 2018 edition of Connecting Stats, Stories and People, "Sylvia Ostry: a woman of firsts," is now available.

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