Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Stood up, been counted

So we get a knock on our door about 9:15 last night, which kind of started us. You have to understand, we live in a secure apartment building. Not only do you need an electronic pass key to get access to the lobby, but that pass key will only take you to your floor. Which means that people just don't "drop by."

And considering how much I've cursed on neighbours for either A. Smoking dope and not being smart enough to turn on a kitchen fan or B. Blasting music loud enough that when talking long distance to our parents back in St. John's they tell us to turn down the music because they're having problems hearing us, we're not all the chatty with them.

So yeah, knocking on the door that late at night...it's a bit odd.

Turns out it was our friendly neighbourhood census taker, fresh up from down south somewhere. Seems they're having problems getting enough people in Iqaluit to do census taking, so they have to import them. And according to the guy, the only time they can get anyone home is between 6-10, so that's when they're doing most of their work.

That ought to make them popular.

Still, we did our part, although he must have thought we were retarded when trying to figure out how much we made last year (in fairness I had salary from The Express, EI and my new job) and then trying to work out how much we paid in federal tax.

The federal government are right bastards, by the way. There were one or two loaded questions there designed, I'm sure, to increase divorce rates. One of them was "how many hours a week do you spend doing unpaid housework activities such as cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc." And they asked each of us.

Now fortunately, I do my share because, you know, I'm not suicidal. But you can just imagine the rackets this might lead to in some households. "Sure I can tell you how much time each week he spends doing housework. Zero. The lazy bastard."

We did what he called "the big census" although I honestly recall in previous years they used to send out the mother of all census forms to something like one in 10 people, which would ask about religion, sexual preference and that sort of thing. The 2006 is the "smaller" census (the next big one is 2011), so maybe they eased back on the questions. Answering this only took about 15-20 minutes and we were chatting with him as we were going through it.

The most interesting thing was when I said I was looking forward to finding out, when the census was compiled, on how many people there are in Iqaluit. It has always seemed to me that the oft quoted number of 6,500 is a bit low. The guy said that Statscan's estimate for the community currently stands around 9,000. It'll be interesting to see how close they are.

By the way, that is phenomenal growth. A little more than a decade ago, Iqaluit had 3,500 people. Now it's approaching 10,000. It's a booming place. No wonder a decent house starts at $350,000.

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