The Research Data Centres program (RDC) is part of an initiative by Statistics Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and university consortia to help strengthen Canada's social research capacity and to support the policy research community. RDCs provide researchers with access, in a secure university setting, to microdata from population and household surveys. The centres are staffed by Statistics Canada employees. They are operated under the provisions of the Statistics Act in accordance with all the confidentiality rules and are accessible only to researchers with approved projects who have been sworn in under the Statistics Act as 'deemed employees'.
RDCs are located throughout the country, so researchers do not need to travel to Ottawa to access Statistics Canada microdata.
Statistics Canada data may also be accessed through its Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) Program for Canadian post secondary institutions. At the University of Windsor DLI data is available through the Academic Data Centre. A checklist developed by the Toronto Regional Statistics Canada RDC helps decide which service to use: RDC or DLI.