Data Liberation Initiative (DLI)

What is the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI)?

The Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) is a subscription service that provide students, faculty and staff access to numerous  Statistics Canada datasets. Specifically, it is a plan providing unlimited access to Statistics Canada Public Use Microdata files (PUMFs), databases and geographic files to students and faculty at UPEI. Some datasets may require librarian-mediated access through the  DLI Electronic File Transfer (EFT) site. 

DLI Data Access Points

Rich Data Services (RDS)

The purpose of this document is to outline the features of the Rich Data Services (RDS) platform. When a new or updated Public Use Microdata File (PUMF) is available, it will then be released in RDS. This will allow clients to use custom search filters as well as be able to manipulate and download data as required.

CANSIM - Canadian Socio-Economic Information (via CHASS)

The Canadian Socio-Economic Information Management System (CANSIM) is Statistics Canada's key socioeconomic database. Updated daily, CANSIM provides fast and easy access to a large range of the latest statistics available in Canada. CANSIM comprises over 40 million time series and thousands of tables.


The Postal CodeOM Conversion File Plus (PCCF+) is a SAS© control program and set of associated datasets derived from the Postal CodeOM Conversion File (PCCF), a Postal CodeOM population weight file, the Geographic Attribute File, Health Region boundary files, and other supplementary data. PCCF+ automatically assigns a range of Statistics Canada’s standard geographic areas and other geographic identifiers based on Postal CodesOM. The PCCF+ differs from the PCCF in that it uses population-weighted random allocation for Postal CodesOM that link to more than one geographic area. Contact Kim Mears for access to these files.

Master Files "data files" are available to authorized users only through the Research Data Centres. Access to this data requires an application and fees may apply. 

UPEI is also a member of the Statistics Canada Atlantic Research Data Centre located in Halifax. Individual UPEI researchers can submit a proposal to the Centre to access data not otherwise available through the DLI or Statistics Canada for use in their research. To view the datasets available at the ARDC visit

UPEI DLI Contacts

Kim Mears
telephone: (902) 566-0453

Alternate Contact: Melissa Belvadi

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Public Use Microdata Files (PUMFs)?

Also called a public use microdata file. A master file that has been modified to minimize the possibility of disclosing a respondent's identity.

PUMFs consist of sets of records containing information on individuals or households (microdata). They are non-aggregated data that are carefully modified, then reviewed to ensure that no individual or business is directly or indirectly identified. PUMFs are also microdata files that require specialized statistical software such as SAS, SPSS or STATA in order to read, manipulate and analyze the dataset. The software is used to combine the microdata and metadata to create a file for analysis.

What is the difference between the data on the Statistics Canada website and data available through DLI? 

  Statistics Canada Website Data Liberation Initiative Research Data Centre
Access General public Students, faculty members and staff of UPEI Restricted access
Conditions Statistics Canada Open Licence Statistics Canada Open Licence Deemed Statistics Canada employee status
  • Non-confidential data products
  • Resources on the web
  • Non-confidential data tables and microdata
  • IP-based or passwrod protected portals
Confidential microdata files and administrative datasets
Timeframe Immediate (but must email for PUMFs) Immediate (PUMFs) or 1–2 days (other data) A secure research data centre

Main Contact: Kim Mears

Alternate Contact: Melissa Belvadi

Main Contact: Kim Mears

Alternate Contact: Melissa Belvadi

Table adapted from Three Levels of Access to StatCan Data by Dalhousie University

What is the DLI EFT site?

The DLI EFT site is a repository used to disseminate the DLI collection. Users of the EFT are limited to an institution's DLI contact or alternate. 

Where can I find resources for how to use and access DLI products?

The DLI Training Repository contains workshop presentations from DLI training and from conferences. The DLI unit is responsible for uploading presentations and materials to the repository after each training session. These materials are available for anyone to view and download.

What surveys are included in the DLI collection?

A list of surveys included in the collection is available at

When are new Public Use Microdata Files released?

Visit the Data Available page at for anticipated release dates. It generally takes 18 months to 2 years after the initial release of the data for a Public Use Microdata File (PUMF) to be released.

How do I cite Statistics Canada data products?

Statistics Canada provides a guide on How to Cite Statistics Canada Products.

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