The Town of Bonnyville has just finished getting information for the last house in their municipal census, and they’ve found that a thousand more people live in the town than the last federal one in 2016 counted.
CAO Mark Power revealed that the “unofficial official” head count from the census was 6,420 people. That’s still a significant drop from the 6,921 a 2014 town census showed, but nowhere close to the 5,417 number reported by Stats Canada last year.
There’s more than posterity on the line with these numbers. Alberta Municipal Affairs will use this figure instead when determining funding and grant money, much of which is done on a per-capita basis. “There’s some programming in the federal government that would still use the federal census,” explained Mayor Gene Sobolewski when plans for the census were first being created.”But for Municipal Affairs and most of our funding, they would use whatever number we obtain from our own census.”
The town was immediately skeptical of Stats Canada’s numbers when the 2016 census was released. Action to undertake a municipal census began almost immediately.