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National Household Survey will help secure community funding

People who receive forms are encouraged to fill them out
Many residents in Surrey and Delta have already completed their 2011 Census forms. One in three households will also receive a longer

Better transit, road networks, social programs and general funding can all get a significant boost if people participate in the largest voluntary poll ever conducted by the federal government.

The National Household Survey, which replaced the previous long-form Census, has been delivered to one in three homes across the country by the federal government.

The survey differs from the Canada Census in that it delves much deeper into the details of people living here.

The information gives the government a much better idea of which services are needed where.

Surrey council has been lobbying for at-grade rail and better transit for some time.

"The city has said this information will be very valuable in showing the growth," said Peter Liang, Census communications manager for Statistics Canada. "With accurate results they will be able to put forward a stronger case."

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts urges people to fill in the forms for a few reasons.

"I think it's important for us to get an indication as to what the population looks like and some in-depth questions that need to be answered," Watts said, adding it helps the city lobby for services and ensures Surrey gets the appropriate per-capita funding from senior levels of government.

"When we're underestimated, we lose out," she said.

Both Liang and Watts are encouraging those who have received the forms to fill them out.

The deadline for completing the forms is fast approaching. Recipients of the forms who have not filled them out will likely receive a reminder to complete them.