This spring will see Cold Lake conduct an online municipal census to attempt to gather the most up-to-date population data from the city.
Mayor of Cold Lake Craig Copeland says the community is growing and changing very quickly
“We’re seeing new development happening, new businesses are coming to town, the federal government has taken the next step in selecting a new fighter jet, so we expect that will bring many new people and jobs to the community in the next few years. After a couple of slow years, the economic situation is improving. We’re seeing increased interest in investment, and many of these potential investors require data about population statistics and growth trends, so having access to up-to-date information is vital.”
Sometime in early May, Cold Lake households will receive a census letter containing a unique access code, or PIN. The code can be used to log on to a secure census website to complete the survey. The entire census will be done without paper copies available.
This year’s census will ask questions in three categories:
- Residents: how many people live in the household and the ages and genders of each person.
- Employment: in which industry each person works and the location of their employment.
- Doctor availability: if the residents have a family doctor in Cold Lake, how long they’ve had to wait after booking an appointment with their doctor, and whether they’ve been forced to travel outside the community to see a doctor.
“A shortage of doctors in Cold Lake is something that was first identified as an issue in the early 2000s,” said Copeland. “The City of Cold Lake and Hearts for Healthcare have been working hard to find new ways to recruit doctors to Cold Lake and keep them here. Despite our best efforts and an ever-growing population, there hasn’t been a significant increase in the number of available doctors in over 15 years. The number of physicians we’ve been able to bring to Cold Lake has been offset by those who have retired or moved away.”
The information received by the City Council through the census will help the city to understand the current state of medical care in Cold Lake. In order to advocate for Cold Lake residents as strongly as possible, the City needs to define the true number of available physicians in the community and the number of residents who are currently without a family physician.
For the citizens without access to a device or who need further assistance, the city will be available at the drop-in sessions. Residents must bring their unique access code to one of the following sessions to complete their census survey:
- Wednesday, May 4
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Cold Lake Public Library South Branch
- Friday, May 6
2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Cold Lake Public Library North Branch
- Thursday, May 12
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Cold Lake Seniors’ Society
- Thursday, May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16
3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Cold Lake Farmers’ Market (Energy Centre)
Residents can win one of two gift cards valued at $250 each if residents complete their census by May 15.
Starting on May 16 enumerators will be reminding people to fill out their census survey and offering help if needed. All enumerators will carry a City-issued identification card.
The results will be shared with the public later this summer.