According to our 2010 municipal census, there are 104,338 people living in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Taking into consideration our 2011 count of people living in project accommodations (work camps), our most up-to-date tally is 115,503.
Approximately 100 babies are born here every month, compared to about 250 in Edmonton, a city 10 times our size.
The point: Wood Buffalo is growing very, very rapidly.
When Maclean’s tabulated the crime rankings for 2011, the magazine used a figure from Statistics Canada’s Centre for Justice Statistics, which puts Wood Buffalo’s population at 61,115, or roughly half the number our census counted.
We can’t fault your magazine for using the federal government’s tally; to make your rankings scientifically rigorous, you had to use data from the same source for every municipality.
The issue we have is that your rankings don’t paint an accurate portrait of crime in the region. Indeed, since the rankings are based on crime rates, one of your editors confirmed that a higher population count would lower our position in your crime rankings significantly.
Statistics Canada performs a census just once every five years; between 2000 and 2010, Wood Buffalo performed eight. Moreover, the RCMP’s 2010 statistics for our region showed that crime was down, including decreases in violent crimes, property crimes, breaking and entering, and motor vehicle thefts.
Wood Buffalo is a safe, prosperous, and thriving community.
Brendan Procé handles communications for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo