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Creighton council gets census appeal results back, not satisfied

The town formally appealed its 2022 census results to Statistics Canada last year.
The Creighton town office.

CREIGHTON — An appeal of census results from the Town of Creighton has led to the town’s official population being increased - but not by as much as town council hoped.

The town formally appealed its 2022 census results to Statistics Canada last year, saying the number of people listed as Creighton residents was an undercount.

According to the new, revised numbers, the population of Creighton has changed from the 1,203 people it was estimated to be when first released last year to 1,254. The new number shows an increase in people, but still shows a number far lower than the 1,429 people counted in the 2016 census and the 1,498 people found in the 2011 census.

A letter from Statistics Canada sent to the Town of Creighton on Jan. 10 was shown and discussed during the Jan. 11 meeting of town council, meeting disapproval from local leaders who do not believe the numbers match up with the Town’s actual residential data.

“The investigation confirmed that, while all private and collective dwellings were correctly counted in the census subdivision of Creighton, the population count was incorrect,” reads the letter to council from Statistics Canada.

“The count of total private dwellings shows an increase of 10 dwellings since 2016, though the number of occupied dwellings has declined. The investigation examined the data for the number of dwellings coded as unoccupied and identified eight dwellings that were incorrectly coded as unoccupied. Those eight dwellings are estimated to be occupied by 18 persons, who will now be added to the population count of Creighton.”

Another 33 people were added to the list through estimations of the non-response rate from the census.

“The investigation found that the number of persons estimated for occupied dwellings was slightly underestimated, by 33 persons. Therefore, an additional 33 persons will be added to the population count for Creighton,” reads the report.

Creighton Mayor Bruce Fidler disagreed with the census findings, saying if possible he would like to appeal the appeal the Town filed late last year.

“I’m disappointed in the response and I still disagree with the numbers they have given us, even though they have been adjusted a little bit,” he said.

“I’m going to look further into it to see if there’s any further steps we can take to have it taken again, properly.”

Fidler said the new, lower count would likely mean less grant money for utilities, programs, operations and other community needs coming from federal or provincial sources - that money is often given out on a per capita basis, meaning that lower population counts would bring in less money.

“It’s on any grants or monies we receive that go by per capita, for operations and other programs - those are affected by those numbers. It could add up to quite a substantial amount of money,” said Fidler.

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