Launching the community profile
On March 8, civic-minded residents of Russell Township, politicians and staff heard the introduction from Erle Lamothe, a senior development analyst at MDB Insight, about the upcoming Russell Township community profile which MDB has been hired to prepare. Vetter photo
EMBRUN – On the evening of Thurs., March 8, about 20 civic-minded residents of Russell Township joined some of the Township’s politicians and staff to hear a brief presentation by Erle Lamothe, a senior development analyst at MDB Insight, about the upcoming Russell Township community profile which MDB has been hired to prepare.
Like many local municipalities Russell Township is undergoing an exercise to determine what assets the community has now and what residents would like to see changed, improved or started. Lamothe spoke to the audience saying there are three facets to the process.
The first step was the meeting on March 8, where residents were informed and asked to provide feedback. The second step is data collection, which includes basic information about the township, including federal statistics which Lamothe listed. It is also the most crucial step, wherein residents have the opportunity to influence later Township decisions. The third step is production of the community profile report.
Some of the information provided by MDB about Russell included its rapid population growth of 19 per cent between 2006 and 2016 (13,883 to 16,520) of which 58 per cent are bilingual. Considering the Township is officially bilingual, that means 42 per cent are unilingual in either French or English. (Author’s note: The 2011 census put the general area’s unilingual Francophone population at about 17 per cent and Anglophone at about 35 per cent, which jibes with the MDB figures.) The median household income was about $105,000, which is higher than most of the province. The median age was 39, as compared to 41 for Ontario. About 56 per cent have post-secondary education, and the total labour force is considered to be 12,995. If that number seems high, that’s because it is. Anyone between the ages of 15 and 65 who is physically capable of working is counted as “labour force.”
The business climate is largely supportive of small businesses. There are 915 businesses in the township, of which 61 per cent have four employees or fewer.
In order to participate in the community profile, residents will soon be able to provide input online at Russell.ca. Currently the community profile page is under construction. Or you can contact a municipal councillor.