Moosomin Census numbers don’t add up

January 27, 2023, 11:26 am
Kevin Weedmark

Moosomin's census numbers don't add up.

As Moosomin Mayor Larry Tomlinson was speaking at the Chamber of Commerce meeting last week about the town’s fight to correct the 2021 Census numbers, one woman said neither she nor anyone on the block was counted in the census.

“Neither was I,” said the mayor. Case closed. Definitely people were missed.

Stats Canada admits that and is changing the numbers, adding 4.3 per cent to Moosomin’s official count.

That’s a start, but the official count is still low. And the more you look at the census numbers for Moosomin, the stranger they look.

The Census counts 280 Filipinos in the town of Moosomin under visible minorities, but it says only 160 people in Moosomin have a Filipino ethnic or cultural origin. Under visible minorities, the census lists 335 people as being part of a visible minority, but other than the 280 Filipinos, it lists zero under every other possible category. It says there are zero Koreans in Moosomin, zero South Asians, zero Southeast Asians, zero Central Americans. Anyone who has ever been to Moosomin can tell you that all of those are wrong.

According to the census there are only 20 people in Moosomin who speak Spanish, but I would swear our Honduran, Mexican and Cuban population is higher than that. But of the 20, Stats Can says ten are men and five are women.

The initial census numbers before the revision show 750 children in the community, precisely half of whom are boys and precisely half of whom are girls, 375 each. Strange that it would be exactly half, that looks like a formula has been applied, not an actual count, but I will concede that it’s possible although extremely statistically unlikely.

There is not a single grade at McNaughton High School today with the same number of boys as girls, and staff there say they can’t remember there ever, ever being the exact same number of boys and girls in a single grade. At MacLeod Elementary School, of the 13 classrooms, one has the exact same number of boys and girls.

According to the census, 620 of those children are in two-parent families. Again, precisely half, 310, are boys and precisely half, 310 are girls. The statistical chances of that being accurate are astronomically low.

According to the census 125 children are in single-parent families. The number of boys and girls is identical, at 65 each, but add the two and you get 130, not the 125 total reported, and add the 125 to the 620 and you are a little short of the total of 750 children counted.

According to the census there were zero people 100 or over in Moosomin in May of 2021. I know that to be false. Looking at the Sask Health covered population numbers for June of 2021, I see one male at the age of 100. I know that to be true, and I know who that was. It shows one female at 101 and one female at 104. In a small town we all know those to be accurate because we know those people. Once again, Stats Can is simply wrong.

Those individuals who I can identify from the Saskatchewan Health numbers are among the 3,236 people that Saskatchewan Health covered who had a Moosomin address in 2021, a figure that had risen to 3,303 by June of 2022.

According to the census, there are 25 people in Moosomin whose first language is French, 10 of whom are men and 20 of whom are women.

If those numbers seem impossible, the census has another mind-bending factoid: there are zero people in Moosomin whose first language is a First Nations language, and five of the zero are men.

In one section, the census says only 150 people in Moosomin work in natural resource extraction (mining and oil) and agriculture, and all fields related to those industries.

But in the next section it says 130 work directly in mining and oil, and 75 work directly in agriculture, so 205 people work right in the mines, the oilfield or on farms, but only 150 work in those industries and everything related to them. Wow. This is the Twilight Zone of censuses.

According to the original census numbers for Moosomin there are 60 Baptists in Moosomin, only 10 of whom are male and 45 of whom are female. Pastor Jonathan Shierman laughed when I told him there are 10 male Baptists in Moosomin—he gets many more than that at his Men’s Bible Study, let alone at church on Sunday.

Now what I want to see is what attributes Statistics Canada applies to the 117 people it is guessing live in the 74 households it admits it missed. What religion, language and income will it apply to them to make the numbers add up? Perhaps it will add some to the Anabaptist (Hutterite or Mennonite) column. According to the census there are 10 of them in Moosomin, but zero of them are male and zero of them are female.

Statistics Canada used to know how to conduct a census, as government agencies have done very accurately for hundreds of years.

Censuses used to be accurate. I can look up the 1911 Census of Ireland and see one of my grandmothers listed, Rebecca Crumley, nine and a half years old, able to read and write at that point, a member of the Church of Ireland, and listed with her eight siblings and parents. At age nine and a half her occupation was listed as ‘scholar’ along with the other school-age children.

I can see in the census which house they lived in, in Moross, Rossnakill, County Donegal. I can see that they had quite a few outbuildings on their farm, with a stable, a barn, a ‘cow house’ and a separate ‘calf house,’ a piggery, a ‘fowl house,’ a ‘potato house,’ granaries, and sheds.

And I can look at the 1901 Irish census and see the family at that point, and know that it is all correct, and I can see the family in the 1916 and 1921 Canadian censuses once they came to this country.

Somehow they were able to count people accurately in 1901 in rural Ireland, and in 2023 Statistics Canada appears to not have that ability at all.

I can see a glimpse of reality in those Irish census numbers from more than a century ago.

And, as much as Saskatchewan Health says its count of active health cards is not a census and cannot be used as such, I see reality in those numbers.

I know that 100 year old man they reported. We took a picture at his 100th birthday and his 101st. I know those other Centenarians in Moosomin who I can see in the detailed population tables from Saskatchewan Health.

But Stats Can says there is no one in that age group in Moosomin.

I do not see Moosomin’s reality reflected in StatsCan’s numbers, just an impossible mishmash of numbers that just don't add up.