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Census time

Better late than never

Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (May 25/01) - If there's a stranger knocking at your door this week, it might be an enumerator working on behalf of Statistics Canada.

The enumerators are visiting Deh Cho communities this week to gather information for the 2001 census. They will be armed with forms containing questions about your identity, employment and income, among other things. Not only are the data valuable to the territorial government, each completed census form also represents cash. Ottawa transfers $12,500 to the GNWT for every person living in the territory.

While most of the NWT and the rest of Canada were enumerated on May 15, the Deh Cho is behind schedule. Daryl Zink, census area manager for the Northwest Territories, said no hotel rooms were available in Fort Simpson last week, causing a delay.

"We're a little bit slower than the rest of Canada. I don't recognize the May 15 Census Day," he laughed. "But we are coming."

He said the door-to-door canvassing should be completed by June 4.

Translators and additional enumerators with canvassing experience were also being sought, said Zink.

Statistics Canada expects to spend $655,000 to enumerate the entire NWT this year. Simply mailing out the census currently isn't an option, Zink added.

"Up here it's kind of hard to do it in some of the communities with no street addresses. It's counting every person in every dwelling, so you can't do it by post office box."