La Ronge grows larger

By Ragnar Haagen
July 5, 2012 - 7:02am

When Statistics Canada conducted their latest census for 2011, they were only able to find 2,304 residents living in La Ronge, SK. That is a drop of more than 15 per cent, from 2006 data which showed a population of 2,725.

The numbers just didn’t add up according to La Ronge mayor Thomas Sierzycki and he launched an appeal of the results. That appeal came in the form of a municipal census which found almost 750 more people than the federal census.

Now the town has received confirmation that Stats Canada is going to revise their counts.

“Unfortunately it’s not as high as we wanted. Our number that we counted is 3,053. But they are revising from 2,304 to 2,743,” explained Sierzycki, who believes they decided to use a number somewhere in between as the new official population.

“That was part of their investigation and as part of our data they added 441 people, which is a substantial amount of people that they did not count initially. However we still feel we’re at 3053, and the good thing is that we’ll use our municipal numbers that we counted in order to try and attract business and make sure we have a good strong case for funding.”

Sierzycki says the appeal process was important for a few reasons, including the ability to prove their community has grown since the last census, if only by a few people. He also pointed out how they will be better prepared and equipped to make sure everyone gets counted in the region during the next census.

“We’re definitely going to be a more vital player, explained Sierzycki.

“We’ll definitely try to hit it hard and whoever is Mayor and council, the administration of the town will have to make sure it is the number one priority and perhaps even start the process earlier with advertising and getting the word out earlier about why this is important.”

To help with that task, Sierzycki says they’ve come up with a map system to identify when specific regions need to be counted, what time is appropriate, how many people live there and how many of those people are on shift work.

“All that data collected because of our municipal census and the way we constructed it can be used for the Federal one so it’s a lot easier for the workers that are conducting the federal one to have better numbers and more accurate numbers,” said Sierzycki.

“So at the end of the day we’re happy that at least there was a revised count and for the next census we’ll be better prepared and better equipped to make sure everyone gets counted in the La Ronge region.”

Sierzycki says Statistics Canada admitted there were some issues with the census results and he’s happy the numbers have been revised and they’ll now get the extra funding that they should have gotten.

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