New Census numbers mean $25,000 a year more for Moosomin

January 30, 2023, 8:27 am
Kevin Weedmark


New Census numbers for Moosomin mean at least $25,000 more for Moosomin each year in provincial Revenue Sharing, or $100,000 before the next census.

The provincial revenue sharing formula for 2022-23 includes $212.90 per capita based on the 2021 census populations.

That works out to $24,885.90 more that Moosomin would have received for the current year based on the now official census population of Moosomin, which is 117 people higher than the previous count.

Statistics Canada initially reported that Moosomin had a population of 2,675 in the 2021 census. The World-Spectator investigated and found that the number of households reported in the census were lower than the number of utility bills going out to households

At the next Moosomin Town Council meeting after the World-Spectator’s article, Mayor Larry Tomlinson suggested the town ask Statistics Canada to review the census numbers for Moosomin.

The town followed up with evidence that Statistics Canada’s numbers are wrong.

Statistics Canada responded recently with a revised census number that is 4.3 per cent higher for Moosomin than the initial 2021 number.

“Statistics Canada has undertaken a detailed investigation and has confirmed that the population and private dwelling counts were incorrect,” Lise Rivais of Statistics Canada wrote.

The count of total private dwellings has been increased from 1,207 to 1,281 and the official census population has been increased from 2,657 to 2,774.

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Government Relations told the World-Spectator it will increase Moosomin’s revenue sharing grant in line with the higher population numbers.

“The results of formal Statistics Canada census reviews will be used for future year’s Municipal Revenue Sharing calculations (2023-24 and on),” the ministry told the World-Spectator.

The department said it would not revisit the 2022-23 grant despite the fact that is was based on what Statistics Canada now says are incorrect figures.

“The Town of Moosomin’s 2022-23 Municipal Revenue Sharing grant will remain unchanged, since it was calculated on the official census count for the town at the time the grant was made,” the ministry said. “That funding would remain the same whether the amended census number increased or decreased to avoid potentially clawing back provincial funding.”

The 2023-24 Municipal Revenue Sharing estimates will be announced as part of the provincial budget in March.

The ministry told the World-Spectator it is asking municipalities to request a formal review of their census numbers if they feel there is an issue.

“The Government of Saskatchewan Municipal Revenue Sharing website reminds municipalities to request a formal review of their census numbers, if they believe an error occurred, and that the results of any formal reviews will be used for future years’ Municipal Revenue Sharing calculations,” the ministry said.

Esterhazy numbers to be reviewed
While the review of Moosomin’s numbers has been completed and the census number revised, Statistics Canada will be reviewing Esterhazy’s census number as well.

“Statistics Canada will first review our internal database, but may subsequently request additional documentation to help substantiate the error in the form of administrative records (e.g assessment records, utility records, customer addresses, building permits, election lists or recent census counts),” Darrick Cheuk of Statistics Canada wrote to the town of Esterhazy.