Opposing ideas on municipal census

It’s interesting to compare the views and actions of neighbouring municipalities. Sometimes it makes you wonder if they are operating in parallel, unrelated worlds.

Here’s one example, having to do with the idea of conducting a municipal census. Lesser Slave River M.D. council – as reported elsewhere in this paper – decided last week to do its own census. Federal census figures aren’t reliable, the reasoning goes, so we do our own, do a better job, and the population numbers will help us get more money in grants, etc.

So far, so good. That view is shared pretty much across the board. Or used to be.

According to a report in the High Prairie South Peace News. Big Lakes council thinks a municipal census is a waste of time, and not worth the money it would cost. Why? According to the report, “the provincial government no longer uses municipal census counts for population estimates.”

In other words, per capita grant calculations are based only on the federal census figures, so there’s not much point in spending money doing our own census.

“Municipal census figures don’t really matter,” the article says Reeve Tyler Airth said.

Nothing of the kind was said in the M.D. of LSR discussion on the topic on March 14. Indeed, the opposite impression was strongly conveyed.

So the result of those two views is Big Lakes saves $29,000 (its census cost estimate) and LSR spends $25,000.

Somebody must be missing something.

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