Chestermere welcomes new families as census results show growth

    The results are in from the city census and Chestermere grew by 3.1 per cent this year and is now home to 20,331 people.
    “We are pleased to welcome new people to our community,” said Chestermere’s Mayor Patricia Matthews in a press release.
    “We have always known that Chestermere is an oasis and it’s good to see other people discovering it too,” she said.
    There was a 99.8 per cent completion rate for this year’s census.
    While crossing the 20,000 population mark doesn’t come with any specific benefits the increase in population does help the city with both economic development and grant applications.
    “It’s really just a significant milestone for the city,” said City of Chestermere Legislative Coordinator Jillian Borsuk.
    “We’re really excited, city departments really all of them can benefit from that stat,” she said.
    With Chestermere’s growth, Jean-Marc Lacasse the city’s Economic Development Manager, expects to be able to attract more diverse industries to Chestermere.
    “20,000 residents is a significant threshold for many companies,” he said.
    “In addition to improving our ability to attract industry with better access to labour and clientele, having more residents also contributes to improving the viability of existing businesses,” said Lacasse.

    Mayor Matthews agrees that a benefit of seeing more people move into the community‎ is that Chestermere will become more attractive to employers who are looking for a stable workforce.
    “More employment centres mean that there is less demands on existing residents to pay for future amenities,” said Matthews.
    “Chestermere is a sustainable community right now and could continue with our current non-residential to residential split but every new business we see means we can look at more public amenities, or better ones, with less residential tax impact,” she said.
    The city will also be able to apply for more and larger grants with the increase in population.
    Grants effected by the change in population include the Small Communities Fund, Municipal Sustainability Initiative.
    The Policing grant, FCSS grant, and Parent Link grant criteria are also tied to a municipality’s population.
    While the city is still working through the analysis of the numbers from the census they do know that the 20 and under demographic has increased.
    “The population 20 and under has grown quite a bit,” said Borsuk, “we are seeing more younger people in our city.”
    In addition to tracking population growth, the census also asked where people worked and what language they spoke.
    From the people who responded, the top three places people from Chestermere work are; Calgary with 7585 commuting, 1303 work in Chestermere and 1225 listed other.
    After English, the top languages spoken in households in the city are Punjabi, Vietnamese and French with 447, 258 and 230 responses respectively.
    This information helps city departments plan based on the needs of residents.
    “For example, our community services department in organizing programs for kids, even for adults, indicating what services are needed for languages that are spoken,” said Borsuk.
    The results of the census will be posted to the city’s website at www.chestermere.ca.