Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hotel room trashed by... census-taker?

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OTTAWA -- Who knew census-takers could behave like rock stars?

Broken furniture. Stained carpets. Marker-smeared bed sheets and linens. Damaged wallpaper.

It may sound like something out of an old Led Zeppelin biography, but newly released documents show one enumerator's wild romp left Statistics Canada with a hefty bill for a trashed hotel room.

The government first reported the payment last fall in its annual Public Accounts documents. But now there's new photographic proof census-takers know how to party.

Eight of them rolled into Brantford, Ont., in July 2011 and checked into the Hampton Inn and Suites. They were enumerators from the East Coast, conscripted to help with census work on the Six Nations reserve.

Much of what happened over the next 11 days is unclear. Statistics Canada blacked out key details in documents released to The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. What is clear is the trail of destruction left behind was a pricey one. A broken luggage bench cost $800. It cost another $195 for a broken luggage rack, $695 for a broken chair and $495 for other damaged furniture.

Throw in steam cleaning for the carpets and taxes and the total bill for the damages came to nearly $6,000.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 20, 2013 A8

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