Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut January 13, 2016 - 7:00 am

StatsCan takes long-form census to Nunavut next month

Local hires to survey every household in the territory for 2016 national census

THOMAS ROHNER
Statistics Canada surveyors, many of them local hires, will take the long-from census throughout Nunavut and other remote and rural regions of the country starting early February and will continue until late March. (FILE PHOTO)
Statistics Canada surveyors, many of them local hires, will take the long-from census throughout Nunavut and other remote and rural regions of the country starting early February and will continue until late March. (FILE PHOTO)

Attention Nunavummiut: Statistics Canada is coming to your home, and it might be your neighbour knocking on your door on their behalf.

The federal statistics bureau is set to launch an effort aimed at collecting household and demographic data for the 2016 census.

In Nunavut, the collection of that data will begin in early February and end in late March, Lorne Anderson, StatsCan’s director of western region and northern territories, told Nunatsiaq News Jan. 12.

And this year, unlike 2011, the year of the last census, the long-form census is mandatory, not voluntary.

“This time around, it’s back to the way it always was,” Anderson said.

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government eliminated the long-form census in 2010 and replaced it with the voluntary National Household Survey, which was used in 2011 for survey results released in 2012 and 2013.

Numerous social researchers complained that this made it next to impossible for Statistics Canada to gather reliable data from rural and remote regions, depriving governments of good information to support social and economic policies.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government reversed that decision — and the long-form census is back.

“We’re looking for quality of completeness,” Anderson said.

“Really, it brings us back to every census before 2012.”

And to collect census data from Nunavummiut, StatsCan is hiring locals.

“We like to hire as many locals as we can because they have knowledge of the area. They know more about what we don’t know,” Anderson said.

StatsCan is currently hiring door-to-door canvassers, or enumerators, and crew leaders, Anderson said.

The full-time temporary jobs last between six and eight weeks, with pay ranging from $19.91 per hour to $24.25 per hour, the director said.

“We’ll hire guides too, if we need to. In the more remote areas, we really do need on-the-ground help with where to go and where to find places,” Anderson said.

For the rest of Canada, data collection for the 2016 census will begin this spring, but that same collection has historically been done earlier in the territories in order to take advantage of ice travel.

In the rest of Canada, only one in four households will be targeted for the long-form census, Anderson explained, but in Nunavut every household will need to fill out the longer questionnaire.

“Our staff sit down with folks in the household and capture info for every resident in that dwelling,” a process that Anderson said takes about 45 minutes.

“The intention is to gather as much information as possible.”

That information — on things like number of residents, income levels and ethnicity make-up in each dwelling — is compiled by StatsCan and used for subsequent studies and policy formation.

For those interested in applying to work for StatsCan’s collection of information for the 2016 census, you can apply online by clicking here.

You can also call the statistics bureau for more information: 1-877-325-2016.

Employment will likely wrap up in the last week of March, but that depends somewhat on the weather, Anderson said.

“If we run into difficulties with weather, we’ll adjust accordingly.”

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