Councillor gets gold star motion at UBCM

Lynsey Kitching
 
Tumbler Ridge is like many other communities in the North in the sense people come up here to work, but aren’t necessary considered residents. Called the ‘Shadow Population,’ transient workers are not counted in the federal census where they work, say here in Tumbler, but rather they are counted as residents in their hometown.
 
 This causes problems for the town. The Medical Clinic, for instance, gets funded for a population of 2,700, Tumbler Ridge’s official population, according to the 2011 Census. At the same time, they see usage more in line with a population double that.
 
Councillor Aleen Torraville took it upon herself to bring this issue to light and try to induce change. She says, “It’s an issue we face with transient workers. They live in crew housing, apartments or camps, use services and towns such as Tumbler Ridge, Chetwynd or Dawson Creek don’t get funding because they’re not counted in the census.”
 
The motion was first brought forth at the North Central Local Government Association area convention held at 100 Mile House in May. It was then forwarded on to UBCM. Torraville says, “This is by no means the end. The Federal Government needs to re-evaluate how they collect data because the current system is out of date.”
 
Here is the Motion:
 
Transient Worker Data Collection
 
WHEREAS transient workers utilize health and recreation services in our communities which has a substantial impact on our resources;
 
AND WHEREAS transient worker data collection is not captured in Statistics Canada Census as part of population growth:
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM lobby the federal government and recommend data collection that will accurately capture the number of transient workers and seasonal residents that work in one community but reside in another to accurately determine funding levels by provincial and federal governments.