Roderick Ryner thinks about how he lost track of his poor, his unemployed, his sick and disabled and the people struggling with their schooling in the northern Ontario district of Cochrane.

“I was shocked that this would happen,” Ryner says.

He’s the regional coordinator for the Cochrane District Social Planning Council, covering an economically struggling and volatile area just slightly smaller than Michigan and touching the lives of more than 80,000 people in communities carved out of the boreal forest reaching up to Hudson’s Bay.

He’s referring to data he no longers has from the long-form census that Ottawa discontinued in 2010, shortly before the 2011 census was taken — data he uses to advise municipal, provincial and federal governments and community leaders and six Cree bands about what services they need to provide to the district’s inhabitants.