Census workers in the community in early May

If someone comes to your door identifying themselves as a census worker, chances are they are legit, but it is always better to use caution.

If someone comes to your door identifying themselves as a census worker, chances are they are legit, but it is always better to use caution when it comes to talking to strangers and this RCMP advice.

Census workers will be going through the county and town between May 2-9, distributing census packets to residents.

The census provides important demographic information that allows governments, from federal to municipal, to make decisions about services and funding. Residents will receive one of two types of census packages — a short-form or long-form census.

The previous federal Conservative government put an end to the long-form census’ mandatory nature, but that feature has been restored by the new Liberal government.

Earlier entire towns “vanished” in terms of data due to low participation in the long from census, which could have had drastic results for funding and services.

The Stettler RCMP have been in contact with the individuals who will be distributing census packages in the first half of May, advising them to have proper identification displayed or on their person to provide to residents while conducting their business.

Residents are able to ask to see this identification before providing any information.

At the same time, the RCMP encourage residents to be aware of potential scammers who may take advantage of census workers being in the community.

“(We) remind people not to disclose personal/banking information unless of course it’s during the process of paying for the service being solicited,” Sgt. Phil Penny, detachment commander for the Stettler RCMP, said. “It’s perfectly fine to ask a solicitor for identification as a step to confirm their identification and, lastly, exercise caution should you invite a solicitor into your home.”