April 26, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (Hon. Sydney Fisher).

It is a little difficult to say just when the census will be completed. The report which I have generally is, that it is practically completed in the central portions of Canada now. It is true, in some of the cities all the returns from all the enumerators are not yet in the hands of the commissioner ; but, we have to-day 'something like eight times as many returns in as there were received during the whole month of April in the census of 1891. We had yesterday nearly 400 returns sent into the central office, whereas in 1891, during the whole month of April, there were 52 returns sent into the central office. My hon. friend can, therefore, see that the progress of the work has been very much greater than it was at that time. But, in justice to the officers who took the census in 1891, I must say that we have employed a larger number of enumerators-I think about two and a half times as many as were engaged then. We take as the unit for enumeration the polling subdivision, whereas, in 1891, as a general rule, two or three subdivisions were put together. While the work is pretty well completed in the thickly-populated parts of the country, there is a large area of unorganized country and back settlements, even in the older provinces, where the work is progressing very slowly, and it will probably be at least another month before the returns come in from those parts. Therefore, it will be some time before any definite statement can be compiled of the total results of the census generally ; and in speaking even of those results, I only refer to the actual numbers of the people. The tabulation of the numbers of the people is first undertaken, after which we go on with the working out of the return's on other lines. I venture to hope that the work will progress as rapidly as is possible, consistent with due economy and efficiency.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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