Eric Hortop is a steward and bargaining team member who works to make a positive change in our public service.
After graduating with a Master’s degree in mathematics, Eric took a job with Statistics Canada where he strives to improve public data and research for people in Canada. As a member of the PIPSC RE Group bargaining team, he has been fighting for scientific integrity, gender-inclusive language and other human rights issues that affect him and his colleagues every day. He continues to push this work forward in consultations with the employer.
“There are a lot of great things about being a PIPSC member and working nationally on these projects,” he says. “As a curious person, you get to find out how everything works and fits together in the government, human resources and group executives.”
Eric says he believes PIPSC can change the agenda, and that members can push to successfully put scientific integrity top of mind for Canadians.
“Seeing the Office of the Chief Science Advisor get set up after PIPSC pushed for it was a very proud moment,” he says. “It shows just how much PIPSC can accomplish.”
There is a craft to statistics that many Canadians don’t get to see behind the scenes, but for Eric, this is the most important work to him – providing quality research for our most crucial conversations. Accurate data allows our government to make important decisions about top-of-mind public issues.
“We’re here to make sure the privacy and security of Canadians are protected,” he says. “If you imagine a giant data table with health information about Canadians, no one wants to be that one person who is singled out because of a sensitive health condition. We make sure that Canadians have trusted information while keeping their privacy protected.”
As the saying goes – if it’s important, measure it! Statistics Canada’s mandate is to protect and improve the data so that everyone from researchers to business owners can use it to plan for success. Whether you’re a CEO or an undergrad student, you’re getting the same data.
Specifically, Eric works on statistical infrastructure projects that demonstrate how different programs and spending can impact general health, the environment and education over time. Our public service needs people like Eric who work hard to provide unbiased, quality data that informs our most important decision-making.
“More than ever, Canadians need a neutral source of data, gathered well and consistently and done by a trusted agency to give people the tools they need to understand issues and take part in public conversations,” he says.
Although Eric loves being a part of these complex projects guarding Canadian data quality, he is most proud of his work with new members in the union. Within PIPSC, stewards like Eric ensure a safe and positive work environment so that members across the country have the tools they need to build a stronger, more equitable Canada.
“I enjoy teaching and mentoring to share hard-won knowledge to new recruits, partners and other researchers,” he says. “It gives us a look at how Canadians can thrive and live better.”