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Squamish population growth largest in B.C. by percentage

Policing costs set to leap in 2012

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The population further increases the ratio of residents to full-time firefighters in Squamish.

Kirkham said he and others at municipal hall in Squamish anticipated the kind increase revealed by the census numbers.

"There's a lot of excitement and focus on it at the moment because it just came out in the census, but really it wasn't a surprise to us in Squamish," the mayor said. "We knew it was in the neighbourhood of where we were at."

Kirkham said the numbers demonstrate that it was a good justification for the planning being done by the DOS and the recent changes to the Official Community Plan. He added that he is looking forward to continued growth of the population over the next few years.

"I'm convinced that the new people are young athletic family people that are coming to town," he said. "Sixty per cent of our population is under the age of 40 and people are coming here because this is such a great place to raise a family, to recreate and so that's exactly what is happening."

Kirkham pointed to his own family for a prime example of what he believes is a typical newcomer to Squamish. His niece recently moved to Squamish from Vancouver with her husband.

"She works in Vancouver, he just loves rock climbing and they've decided to move to Squamish," said Kirkham.

His niece recently opened a store and he said she is pregnant with their first child.

"That to me is a pretty good picture of what is happening in Squamish," he said.

New council member Ted Prior said last week that he is interested in knowing if calls to real estate offices in Squamish go up following the release of the census numbers. News outlets focused on Squamish in covering the release of census information because the data showed Squamish was the fastest growing community in B.C. in the census period.

The 14.6 per cent increase in population for Squamish between 2006 and 2011 prompted Squamish resident John Jervis, a real estate professional, to express a frustration of his. He suggested percentages muddy the perception.

"For clarity, in five years Squamish grew by 2,200; Chilliwack grew by 9,800," Jervis wrote in an Internet discussion post.

"Time to wear our expensive big boy pants," Coun. Bryan Raiser wrote in response to the note posted by Jervis after the increase in Squamish's population was announced.

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