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Mar 14,2007 - Tri City News

By Janis Warren The Tri-City News
Mar 14 2007

The population of the Tri-Cities rose a relatively sluggish 3.8% over the past five years — one of the lowest growth rates in the Lower Mainland, according to 2006 Census figures released yesterday (Tuesday).

The Statistics Canada numbers show the local head count went up 7,236 — from 189,989 residents in 2001 to 197,225 residents in 2006 — with Anmore’s population jumping the fastest. In that village, growth swelled 32.8%, with 441 more residents.

“Anmore has an option that may not be available elsewhere and that’s to live in a semi-rural area within striking distance of high density,” Mayor Hal Weinberg said. “I think that option is what a lot of people are looking for.”

With an expanded tax base come additional costs for staff and infrastructure, Weinberg said, noting Anmore’s official community plan calls for a maximum of 4,000 residents — twice as many as it has now.

Port Moody placed second on the growth chart, with an increase of 15.5%, or 3,696 more residents.

Next was Port Coquitlam, which saw a rise of 2.8%, or 1,430 more residents, while Coquitlam posted a 1.5% hike, with 1,675 more residents.

But in Belcarra, which is nearly built out compared with neighbouring Anmore, the village had a decrease of 0.9%, dropping from 682 to 676 residents over the five-year period.

Mayor Ralph Drew said he has a hard time believing the data and believes the slight drop won’t affect future funding requests from senior levels of government.

“It’s not a big thing,” he said.

The StatsCan report indicates Canada’s population increased 5.4%, to 31 million residents — the first time since 1991 the growth rate has gone up. The acceleration is due to higher levels of new Canadians over the past five years, the report states.

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