For the first time since 2005, residents won't submit their census information for the City this year.
City Council voted to cancel the yearly data-gathering exercise this year due to changes at the provincial level. In the Provincial Government's 2019 budget it was announced that municipal census data will no longer be used to calculate annual provincial and federal grant funding.
"We understand the province will be basing their calculations for 2020 on the data we collected in our municipal census in 2019," says Mayor, Chris Spearman. "Moving forward, we will complete the census for 2021 but then reevaluate the process once we've compared the data from the federal census in 2021 and talk with stakeholders for their feedback."
The province will transition to using a system which will be based on a provincially-designed methodology used in other provinces and in collaboration with Statistics Canada.
While grant funding is not the sole reason the municipal census is conducted, it is a driving factor in completing the $154,000.00 process annually.
"The census allows us to collect important historical data about the people who live in our city and where they live," says City Clerk, Bonnie Hilford. "However as we look for efficiencies and cost-savings across the organization, it does provide a chance to post-pone and review our own process moving forward."
The City has conducted a census almost every year since 1954. For the last five years, the data has obtained average annual provincial and federal grant funding in the amount of just over $423,000.00.
Meagan Williams, Communications Consultant
City of Lethbridge