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Friday, September 17, 2021

Census Day is May 11, make sure you’re counted in

It’s hard to believe but five years have flown by and it is census time once again.

Though right now it seems like the only thing that’s happened in the last five years is the COVID-19 global pandemic, but in reality, plenty has occurred since the last census in 2016, including population growth in different centres.

Census Day is May 11 and some Canadians have already received their census in the mail. Those who haven’t will soon, but with the pandemic in mind, Census Canada says completing the online census is a great option that is secure and will keep everyone healthy.

It’s worth reminding everyone why it’s crucial that you complete your census and be counted.

Every person in Manitoba who completes the census process brings more than $9,000 in federal transfer payments into our province.

That’s big money and it’s money that goes towards improving the community in countless ways, from funding things like public transportation, the hospital and schools to improving roads, infrastructure and recreational facilities.

So if you think skipping the census doesn’t have an impact on your life and your community, think again. If just 10 Selkirk residents fail to complete the census, that’s almost $100,000 that won’t come back to Manitoba.

Selkirk CAO Duane Nicol says if you don’t complete the census it means less money coming from the federal government to the provincial government and ultimately to Selkirk.

“There’s a direct financial benefit to the City of Selkirk and its citizens when you complete your census,” Nicol said.

“The city uses the information gathered through the census to inform the decisions it makes in planning municipal services and the programs it offers over the next five years.”

Nicol said this has an impact on direct transfers to the City as well.

“Funding programs like the Federal Gas Tax program which transfers almost $600,000 per year to the City from the federal government is allocated on a per capita basis. We use these dollars for infrastructure repairs and replacement. So just if citizens want better roads, sidewalks and parks, all then need to do is take 10 minutes and fill out their census.”

Completing the census hits numerous points on the strategic plan, beginning with the fact that an accurate count of people living in Selkirk allows for better planning.

The census not only tells the city how many people live here, but also breaks it down into age groups, which enables the city to make more informed decisions when doing long-term strategic planning. 

Vanessa Figus, marketing and communications coordinator for the City of Selkirk, says completing the census also helps the city achieve the goals of its strategic plan by engaging the entire community in shaping our future.

“This is exactly what the census is – everyone in our community counts and impacts Selkirk’s future,” Figus said.

Completing the census and providing the city with accurate information about Selkirk’s population also allows the city to take firmer control of its economic destiny. Figus said accurate census data allows the city to better plan for sustainable economic development. It will also improve city practices and services in areas like health care and police and fire protection.

The census includes every person living in Canada, as well as Canadians who are abroad, either on a military base, attached to a diplomatic mission, or at sea or in port aboard Canadian-registered merchant vessels. People in Canada – including those holding a temporary resident permit, study permit or work permit, and their dependents – are also part of the census.

You are encouraged to complete the online questionnaire, but a paper questionnaire can be requested.  Tuesday, May 11 is Census Day 2021, and all forms, paper or online, must be completed and returned by that day. If you do not have access to online services and fear that you will not receive your paper copy on time, please contact us through CitizenSupport at 204-785-4900 so we can assist you.

There is a short-form questionnaire that contains 10 questions and a long-form questionnaire that has an additional 50 questions.

The short-form census obtains basic information about the residents of Canada, such as age, gender, marital status, relationship to others in the house and language. The long-form questionnaire is sent randomly to every fourth household. It collects detailed social and economic information about our communities. By law, your responses will be kept confidential.

For more on Census, visit www.myselkirk.ca/census

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