Posts Tagged ‘canada’

Learning to Browse the 1921 Census of Canada, for Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan

Monday, December 30th, 2013

First, a personal note, my family is looking for anecdotes, photos, or anything, really, regarding Loi Dat (“Happy”) Yip (來逹葉) who lived in the village of Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan for decades from the 1920s to 1970s. I suspect he was also known as “the only Chinese” guy in the town. If you have anything, please leave a comment or send me an email.

Earlier this year, the 1921 Census information for Canada was released to the public – it’s available from for free. I think signed a deal with the government for exclusive access in exchange for digitization and web publishing services.

I had easy success looking up some relatives who had lived in Vancouver at the time of this census. It was straight forward enough. However, I had to learn a little history in order to find the census records for a random tiny village in Saskatchewan.

I ran into this new to me “meridian” and “range” and “township” notation. This great CNR map from 1900 which lists most towns and the grid for the range and townships in Saskatchewan – I actually found this after finding my prize town; but using this  is much easier than the semi-educated guessing and testing that I had done. In researching this blog post, I’ve found this Wikipedia page that describes the Dominion Land Survey which created this grid. The first Meridian is just west of Winnipeg. This all might be common knowledge to those in the prairies, but it certainly was new to me.

What I actually did, was use this very rough map of SK. I was pretty sure Lucky Lake would fall into 3rd Meridian; I further guesstimated the range to be in the 8-12 range of the 3rd Meridian. Townships run from 1 to 64-72 in SK, from south to north, depending on the tree line. I tried a few random pages to figure out Lucky Lake’s range in the low 20’s area.

If you are from Lucky Lake, or are looking for the village of Lucky Lake in the census, you can view the first page here. Province: Saskatchewan. District: Kindersley. Sub-district: 01. Page 14 (towards the bottom), 15, and 16. Unfortunately, my ancestor, Mr. Yip, isn’t listed… I’m not too surprised, the timeline wasn’t quite right for his arrival. I have much higher hopes for the 1931 census. Again, if you happen to know anything about Great Grandpa Yip, please get in touch.

Fun side discovery: Have a look at page 27 of this scan of the original instructions to the 1921 Census Enumerators, here. There are a LOT of languages there that I’ve never heard of before!

Fourth of July Themed Bingo!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

First note, for Canadians: Happy Canada Day! Unfortunately, we have forgotten to create a custom word list for our own country’s birthday. It’s a bit too late to do it this year, but our Canadian Provinces and Capitals word list is a reasonable place to start.

For our American friends, the Fourth of July is just around the corner! It’s a great day for family to get together… and maybe play a little 4th of July themed bingo?

As always, basic use of is free. We have hundreds of people using the site every day that way. But we reserve a few features for people who upgrade for the excellent price of $10.

Happy Birthday!

A Word List about Vancouver, Canada

Monday, January 25th, 2010

For the next couple months, our hometown, the fabulous city of Vancouver, BC, Canada will be in the news a lot.

Teachers around the world will be looking for a good word list about Vancouver, so we made one. Visit for our template Vancouver, BC, Canada, word list which is great for bingo cards, and other educational activities. We’ve mixed in some geographic words, landmarks, transit names, historic neighbourhood names, and more. Feel free to customize it to fit your needs!

Basic access to is free. However, hundreds of people every year decide to upgrade for only $10 to get a whole bunch of extra features.

P.S. Hey, look at that, an entire blog post about Vancouver without using the “O” word. :)

Canadian Provinces and their Capitals Bingo template

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

It’s sad.

We’re a Canadian company, yet our first template word list for was the American State Names. It’s just a fact of life, we always knew that the vast majority of our customers would be from the USA.

Anyway, it’s taken us three or four years to finally put together a template word list to easily create a bingo game with Canadian Provinces and Territories, and their Capitals.

As ever, basic use of is free; however, you get more features if you upgrade for $10.

So BC is harmonizing PST and GST in 2010

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Yipee!  The Provincial Government and the Federal Government of Canada have worked out a deal to harmonize the PST and GST.

I’ve hated the PST ever since Perceptus Solutions Inc. has had collect and remit PST  (Wow, Perceptus is more than 5 years old!).  For the uninitiated, PST is intimidating to understand, and bothersome to put into practice.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about how much companies will save by harmonizing the PST.  It is absolutely not true that companies will save 7% of their expenses.  It is a topic for another day, but I list some things that Perceptus does and does not do with PST below, and it’ll make it clear that we do not magically gain 7% net profit.  However, many companies will save a lot.  But, more importantly, there’s less paperwork to handle, fewer regulations to puzzle over, and fewer phone calls to the Province to try and figure out what is exempt or not exempt.  This means that BC based businesses can spend more time creating, building, and improving themselves to do things better, cheaper, and faster – things which will help all BC residents in hard to measure ways in the hazy future.

For those who have never  dealt with PST  behind the scenes, I can tell you from both personal experience, that the experiences of some of our customers, that PST has always been a royal pain compared to the GST.

GST in practice: We get charged GST. We charge GST.  We remit the net amount to Ottawa.

  • Perceptus is charged GST on almost all of  our inputs, the ADSL that resell under the banner, our computer gear, office supplies, cellphones, automobile expenses, etc.
  • Similarly, we  charge GST on everything we sell to Canadian companies and individuals.  However, our business customers don’t really care, because they also claim GST inputs to net out their GST payments.
  • We send to the federal government the difference between what we collected and what we paid in GST.  It’s easy to calculate, and we’re indifferent to whether GST goes up or down, it just doesn’t significantly affect our bottom line – we just collect on behalf of the government.

PST on the other hand: We sometimes get charged by suppliers. We sometimes don’t get charged.  We sometimes charge our customers. We sometimes don’t charge.  Often, both scenarious are on a single invoice!  We remit to Victoria whatever we happened to charge.  “Huh?” is right.

  • Perceptus is charged PST on some of the things we need to run the business.
    • ADSL that we resell: Excluded.  We are a reseller; however, we had to send documentation of such.  But, any lines we use for our own purposes, we have to calculate separately and self-assess PST.
    • Most gear, and supplies: Charged.  Paper, computers, coffee, cellphones, etc.  The more we use, the higher our PST expenses, and the higher our costs.  That all get’s figured into the prices we quote to our customers.
    • Some, but not all service providers would be charged PST too.  We don’t use many outside services, so I won’t elaborate too much.
  • Perceptus charges our customers on some things but not others.
    • ADSL, under our banner, we do charge our customers PST.
    • Website subscriptions and our packaged software are charged PST.
  • Perceptus does not have to charge for other items
    • If we write a custom report, setup a network, design a webpage or other “custom” work, it’s a service, and there’s no PST.
    • Further, if we were to write a custom tool to work with one of our packaged items, e.g. an enhanced feature for Bean Counting, our inventory counting system, we would not have to charge PST on the custom work, but we would have to charge PST on the “packaged” software.
    • If for some reason we were to wholesale a product, we wouldn’t need to charge PST, but we’d need to track our reseller’s PST info.

The list goes on.  It’s maddening.

Yes, harmonizing the PST will initially cause the price of some items to go up for consumers.  Yes, some industries will be negatively affected, such as restaurants.  Yes, I think the provincial government is doing a bit of a tax grab here – I believe other provinces reduced the total harmonized tax by at least a percent when they moved to the HST.  But overall, HST is not a bad thing – granted, we’re  fortunate to be on the side that generally benefits from the HST.   I suspect that the province will try and tip tax revenues back towards businesses from consumers a bit by adjusting personal and corporate income taxes – or at least they should, because the consumers are clearly taking a hit on the HST.

At Perceptus, I’m  just glad to have less regulation to wrap my  head around.  And as a taxpayer, I’m glad that the provincial government has less paperwork to process.