The City will conduct an online municipal census this spring to obtain the most up-to-date population data for Cold Lake.
“The community is growing and changing quickly,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We’re seeing new development happening, new businesses are coming to town, the federal government has taken the next step in selecting a new fighter jet, so we expect that will bring many new people and jobs to the community in the next few years. After a couple of slow years, the economic situation is improving. We see increased investment interest, and many of these potential investors require data about population statistics and growth trends, so having access to up-to-date information is vital.”
The municipal census will be conducted online. All Cold Lake households will receive a census letter containing a unique access code or PIN in early May. The code will be used to log on to a secure census website to complete the survey.
This year’s census will ask questions in three categories:
- Residents: how many people live in the household and the ages and genders of each person.
- Employment: in which industry each person works and the location of their employment.
- Doctor availability: if the residents have a family doctor in Cold Lake, how long they’ve had to wait after booking an appointment with their doctor, and whether they’ve been forced to travel outside the community to see a doctor.
“A shortage of doctors in Cold Lake is something that was first identified as an issue in the early 2000s,” said Copeland. “The City of Cold Lake and Hearts for Healthcare have been working hard to find new ways to recruit doctors to Cold Lake and keep them here. Despite our best efforts and an ever-growing population, there hasn’t been a significant increase in available doctors in over 15 years. The number of physicians we’ve been able to bring to Cold Lake has been offset by those who have retired or moved away.”
A well-staffed hospital and medical clinics are crucial to the quality of life Cold Lake residents enjoy. While the City cannot hire doctors directly, City Council and administration have an important advocacy role. To advocate for Cold Lake residents as strongly as possible, the City needs to define the number of available physicians in the community and the number of residents without a family physician. These carefully-crafted questions will give City Council the information it needs to fully understand the current state of medical care in Cold Lake.
The census opens on May 2 and will be conducted electronically; no paper copies are available. It can be completed using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Those who do not have access to a device, or require further assistance, may wish to attend one of several drop-in sessions. Residents must bring their unique access code to one of the following sessions to complete their census survey:
|Wednesday, May 4||10 a.m. – 12 p.m.||Cold Lake Public Library South Branch|
|Friday, May 6||2 p.m. – 5 p.m.||Cold Lake Public Library North Branch|
|Thursday, May 12||11 a.m. – 1 p.m.||Cold Lake Seniors’ Society|
|Thursdays, May 5, 12, 19, 26 & June 2, 9, 16||3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.||Cold Lake Farmers’ Market (Energy Centre)|
Residents who complete their online census by May 15 will automatically be entered into a draw to win one of two gift cards valued at $250 each. Starting May 16, census enumerators will be going door to door to encourage residents who have not yet completed their census survey to do so and offer assistance if needed. Census enumerators will carry a City-issued identification card.
Census results will be compiled and made public later in the summer. Results will be posted on the City’s website and social media platforms.
A link to the secure census site (after the census officially opens on May 2), answers to frequently asked questions, a list of important dates, and historical census data can be found on the City’s website www.coldlake.com/census.