Municipal census is underway

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April 2, 2015 8:15 AM

Census season has arrived in Lloydminster.

Yesterday, the 2015 municipal census opened online. At that time, enumerators started going door-to-door, delivering envelopes containing personal identification numbers, which will have to be entered when filling out the survey. The city information gathered from the census is to help inform policy and planning decisions.

“Make your voice count,” legislative services co-ordinator Amy Smart. “We want to encourage people to participate in their community, become involved in their community. And part of that is providing us with the information that we require to plan healthy, growing communities.”

The census is not mandatory and there are no penalties for not filling it out. On April 15, however, enumerators will be back on the street, this time going to homes that had not yet filled out the form. They will be armed with tablet computers so they can complete the census from the stoop.

Smart says the city relies on census data to plan projects like residential zoning, roadways and school locations. Population data is also submitted to the Alberta government, which takes the findings into account and provides funding based on population. In 2013, Lloydminster received over $7 million, at approximately $250 per person. By comparison, the cost of the census that year was almost $50,000.

There are six questions on the census, which Smart estimates only take about 30 seconds to complete.

See “Census,” Page 14

The survey asks for the age, sex and number of people living at the residence. It also inquires into whether the residents own or rent, how long they’ve lived in Lloydminster and how they get to work.

“Even if not everybody fills it out ... something is better than nothing,” Smart said. “It is accurate because we do quality insurance tests. Our census co-ordinator is required by legislation to contact (a certain number) of residents to insure that the number collected or the information collected from them is accurate.”

The census is not for everybody. People who have resided in the city for fewer than six months, those with permanent living accommodations elsewhere and infants born after April 1 do not need to fill out the census. If residents to not receive their PIN by April 10, they are encouraged to contact the census co-ordinator at 780-871-8337.

All census information must be collected by June 12. Results of the 2015 Municipal Census will be available in the fall.

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