Census figures show area population drop, surprise mayor

Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach have lost seven per cent of their combined population, according to new census figures at least one civic leader is calling into question.

Statistics Canada has released its 2016 census figures. Flin Flon lost 449 people between 2011 and 2016, for a total population of 5,185 people in the Manitoba-Saskatchewan portions of the city. This was an 8.0 per cent drop.

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Creighton’s population fell 96 people, from 1,498 to 1,402, a decline of 6.4 per cent. Denare Beach went down 41 residents, from 820 to 779, a five per cent drop.

“I find that very surprising. I really do,” said Creighton mayor Bruce Fidler. “I don’t see a reduction in Creighton myself. It kind of raises a bit of concern. Ninety-six people doesn’t seem like a large number, but in a community of 1,500, to drop down six per cent, it’s quite a bit.”

Combined, Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach lost 586 residents over the five-year period, for a total population of 7,366 people – a 7.4 per cent decline.

“I don’t know if it’s young people going away for school, people leaving for jobs,” Fidler said. “Is it a miscount? Are people not being counted? I know all the cities grew, people are moving to the cities. Maybe that’s where the change is from.”

Population decreases lead to funding changes for communities, including alterations in grants and funds from provincial and federal governments.

“Any grants that are done on a per-capita basis, that would affect funding,” said Fidler. We’ve got to look at those and see.”

Municipalities have the right to challenge census results, as Denare Beach did after the 2011 census. The revised results showed the village gained 35 residents between 2006 and 2011, rather than losing 116 people as Statistics Canada originally reported.

Fidler will discuss the possibility of challenging the Creighton numbers with his council.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to the rest of council about it, but we are going to have a chance right shortly, in the next week,” he said. “I’m going to put this on the table and see what everyone’s thoughts are about it. I want to have discussions with council about it and we’ll go from there.”

Statistics Canada may also revise population figures on its own. The agency initially reported Flin Flon’s 2011 population to be 5,592 people, but later listed the number as 5,634.

In the latest census, Flin Flon is not among Manitoba’s 10 largest communities, ranking 11th. The current population is Flin Flon’s lowest since at least 1951, when the area was first included in the national census.

 

Census at a glance

COMMUNITY 2011 2016 CHANGE
Flin Flon 5,634 5,185 -8.0%
Creighton 1,498 1,402 -6.4%
Denare Beach 820 779 -5.0%
Cranberry Portage 630 771 +22.4%
Snow Lake 723 899 +24.3%
Sherridon 80 108 +35%
Pelican Narrows* 2,709 2,499 -7.5%
Deschambault Lake 1,194 1,061 -11.1%
Sandy Bay (SK) 824 697 -15.4%
The Pas 5,513 5,369 -2.6%
Thompson 13,123 13,678 +4.2%
Pukatawagan** 1,826 1,724 -5.6%

* Reserve and village combined, local population estimates much higher

 

** Local population estimates much higher

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