By Breanne Massey

Pioneer Staff

Statistics Canada will be collecting information about single parents, families, seniors and children during May of 2016 to help the government plan for services such as child care, schooling, family services and skills for employment.

Statistics Canada is implementing the Government of Canadas decision to restore the long-form census to meet the ever-growing information needs of Canadians and to establish high quality data at the local level, said Kwong Wong, the Vancouver-based assistant director at Statistics Canadas Census for BC-Yukon. Our goal for the 2016 Census program is to restore the quality of data for special populations at all levels of geography thats including the coverage of small municipalities to the level of the 2006 Census. This will provide communities with information that they need to make decisions on services such as schools, roads, health care, policing, transit and social services.

The long-form census will be mandatory this year and the questionnaire will be similar to the 2011 National Household Survey.

In 2011, we had the voluntary NHS, which replaced the long-form census, so now in 2016, we are restoring the long-form census, said Mr. Wong. Most of the information collected on the long-form census is about social-economic status. There is no other source (of information) for social services to understand whats happening in their neighbourhoods, to understand poverty, to plan for education, to plan for health care and long term health care, but this is information that the long-form census will provide and this is the best quality data available.

Mr. Wong indicated there are 78 enumerator job opportunities available to applicants who are interested in pursuing month-long employment for $16.31 per hour plus authorized expenses to help complete the census questionnaires in the East Kootenay Regional District.

To be eligible, one must be 18 years or older, he said, noting that applicants are being encouraged to apply for employment now.

A Canadian citizen, be in possession of a valid work permit or have permanent resident status but having knowledge about your community is important. Be prepared to work long days, evenings, weekends and holidays.

Applicants can apply online for positions in Sparwood, Elkford, Kimberley, Skookumchuck, Fairmont, Fernie, Golden, Radium Hot Springs, Invermere, Windermere and Fairmont.

In addition, there will also be employment opportunities offered to First Nation communities such as St. Marys, Akisqnuk and the Shuswap Indian Band.

We will be enumerating reserves by completing the census questionnaire in person, said Mr. Wong, noting census questionnaires on Canadian reserves will begin in mid-April while the remaining population will see the Census letter or package in May.

All households and dwellings on reserves will be enumerated using the long-form census. This is even more reason for us to recruit and hire people living on reserves.

To apply for employment, visit www.census.gc.ca/jobs.