Hundreds of Yukoners go missing

The Yukon government is hitting the streets to locate 389 Yukoners who failed to file census forms in 2006.

The Yukon government is hitting the streets to locate 389 Yukoners who failed to file census forms in 2006.

The search is worth millions to the territory.

The problem is we have an undercount of population of the Yukon between what we see from our health-care files versus what the census of Canada is reporting, said Yukon bureau of statistics director Greg Finnegan.

Statistics Canada currently registers 30,372 Yukoners as of May 16, 2006.

The Yukon statistics bureau has 31,630 on record based on active health-care files.

Statistics Canada took a sample of 869 of the extra 1,258 and found 52 per cent of them, Finnegan said.

Using that number, Statistics Canada will conclude that 52 per cent of the total 1,258 exist.

Every person that the bureau counts adds cash to Yukon coffers.

In 2001, that amounted to approximately $17,000 per person per year  $85,000 per person over five years.

And there was a shortfall in that earlier census as well.

Assuming that the bureau located half of the 1,599 missing in 2001, Yukon would lose about $70 million in federal transfers.

That money could have gone towards health care or schools.

The Yukon bureau of statistics is hoping to add percentage points to the Yukon’s population growth, upon which federal funding formulas are now based.

Finnegan and his team are trying to track down those missed in Ottawa’s final census tally with a meager budget of $21,400.

Luckily, 87 per cent of those sought live in Whitehorse, he estimates.

Someone in the community knows them. An uncle, an aunt, an administrator, said Finnegan.

If they feel they have a duty to the Yukon territory they’ll call in themselves, he said,

The deadline for being counted is June 8th.

Call Karen at the Yukon bureau of statistics at 667-8029 or 667-5640, Toll-free 1-800-661-0408 ext 8029 or 5640.

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