A recent article
by MoneySense magazine has named Terrace the 10th worst Canadian city to live in, and Prince Rupert the 7th worst. The article by Toronto-based writer/editor Bryan Borzykowski is derived from a report
by MoneySense on the best places to live in Canada.
The report uses various statistics like house prices, employment, crime, climate and amenities to come up with national rankings, and its results are based on “indisputable data”, according to Borzykowski, who calls the cities in the bottom 10 “perennial losers”. The data manager for MoneySense, Phil Froats, joins in the name-calling, describing the cities at the bottom as a “sad sack lot”.
However, some research into the report’s data and methodology reveals its results are more than open for debate. For example, out of the top 50 cities on the list, an incredible 20 are found in Ontario, while only 4 are from BC. How can this be possible?
Well, take the report’s climate data. If your community gets rainy or cloudy days, it gets penalized. But in the summertime, cities that have high humidity and insufferably muggy weather don’t get penalized. Clearly, this will bias the report in favour of central Canada and penalize coastal regions.
Also, the report’s only “coldness” measure is how many days a city has below zero temperatures. There is no measure for how many days a city is below -20, or -30, or colder. So, according to the report, a city that has a temperature of -5 degrees for 100 days of the year, and a city that has a temperature of -30 degrees for 100 days of the year, are equally cold. Okay—doesn’t make any sense to me, other than it’s another clear example of a measure that produces a bias against moderate coastal regions.
Natural scenery and beauty? Not measured for the report. Good thing for some of those Ontario towns that rank so highly.
According to the report’s methodology, the UNBC university campus in Terrace doesn’t count. For some reason, only cities with the headquarters of a university get points. More Ontario favouritism?
All-in-all, the report has some clear flaws, pro-Ontario bias, and its results can best be described as “suspect”. Yes, we have some employment and economic challenges in our region, but we also have incredible spirit and potential.
Like to share your thoughts with Mr. Borzykowski? His email address is publicly listed at his website