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June 13 Banff census will dictate funding

Census takers will go door-to-door in Banff beginning June 13 in an attempt to collect information about people living in town and to get an accurate population number.

Census takers will go door-to-door in Banff beginning June 13 in an attempt to collect information about people living in town and to get an accurate population number.

This is the fourth municipal census since the Town of Banff incorporated as a municipality in 1990 and comes hot on the heels of last month’s federal census.

Town officials say Alberta Municipal Affairs has said they will accept the municipal census results to calculate per capita funding instead of the federal census, which produced a lower count in 2007.

They say a municipal count also allows the Town to customize the local census to get information needed to plan for land use, housing, transportation, utilities and social programs.

Municipal clerk Cheryl Hyde said the municipal census will be conducted over several weeks, but the municipality is required to pick an official census date: in this case June 13.

“Where an individual resides on the census date determines whether or not that individual will be included in Banff’s official population,” she said.

“We try to hold the census as late as possible in an effort to get an accurate count of our summer population.”

The last federal census in 2007 was steeped in controversy, as federal counters put Banff’s population at about 2,000 less than the previous federal census.

It forced the Town to immediately conduct a census of its own. The municipal count put the total population at 8,721, including 7,437 permanent residents and 1,284 non-permanent residents.

The federal census released earlier that year put the town’s population at 6,700, a 6.1 per cent drop from five years earlier, when Statistics Canada counted 7,135 people.

The federal miscount reportedly could have cost the Town of Banff close to $600,000 in grant funding if they had not done a municipal recount at that time.

Hyde said grant funding is based on the municipal number.

“It’s important we get it right,” she said.

Banff has contracted Pivotal Research Inc. to do the 2011 census.


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