Opinion

What makes Prince Rupert so bad?

Before everyone in Prince Rupert starts jumping up and down about the city's ranking in Moneysense Magazine...

Ah hell, start jumpin'.

It's idiotic, subjective and typical of latté-swilling eastern Canadian media.

We have to hand it to Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem. He could have done one of two things, start jumping up and down and berate the ranking or ignore it.

He ignored it.

We'll jump up and down.

Mussallem, in denying comment, said he wanted to read the criteria before saying anything.

Okay, Jack... and Prince Rupert. Here is the criteria that labelled Prince Rupert one of the worst places to live in Canada.

HOW MONEYSENSE RANKED PRINCE RUPERT

"While we can't gauge many of the elements that people enjoy in their cities, the nearness of family, the friendliness of neighbours or even great sunsets, we have measured what can be measured and compared what can be compared from towns and cities across our provinces and territories.

"A total of 103 points was up for grabs. Each category was allotted a number of points depending on the importance of the category. For example, employment statistics are worth 10 points while sales taxes are worth 1 point.

"Some categories are further broken into subcategories. For example, the crime category is determined by statistics in the subcategories of violent crime, crime severity and total crime.

"The top city in each category received the maximum number of points, and the rest of the cities received descending incremental points based on their ranking.

Categories and points

WALK/BIKE TO WORK: 6 points—This represents the percentage of people who walked or took their bike to work. Source: Environics Analytics.

TRANSIT: 5 points—Based on the percentage of the workforce utilizing public transit. Source: Environics Analytics

WEATHER: 10 points—(2 points for the ideal amount of precipitation, 3 points for the number of days with rain, 1 point for days with precipitation of any kind, three points for days above 0°C,  and 1 point fro days above 20°C). Ideal volume of precipitation is considered to be 700 mm per year. Source: Environment Canada.

POPULATION GROWTH: 8 points—Results are based on the average Canadian population growth rate from 2001-2012 of 4.56% plus 2%. Higher growth rates create problems as cities struggle to provide services to growing populations. Lower growth rates means less opportunities. Cities with negative growth received 0 points. Source: Environics Analytics and 2011 Statistics Canada figures.

UNEMPLOYMENT: 10 points—2012 estimates calculated by Environics Analytics.

HOUSING: 12 points— (6 for average house prices and 6 for time to buy a house) House price data provided by Environics Analytics. Housing data is based on the census estimate for every community at the end of 2011, correcting for changes within the community including age, occupations, and information from local real estate boards. Time to buy was derived from average home price divided by average estimated household income.

HOUSEHOLD INCOME: 5 points—Source: Environics Analytics.

DISCRETIONARY INCOME: 5 points—Source: Environics Analytics.

NEW CARS: 2 points—New cars on the road as of July 2012. New cars were deemed to be vehicles with model years 2010-2012. Ranking of new cars is based on the percent total vehicles. Source: R. L. Polk Canada, Inc.

INCOME TAXES: 3 points—Cities ranked (lower is better) according to the rate of combined federal and provincial (or territorial) income tax paid on a single person income of $50,000. Source: www.taxtips.ca.

SALES TAXES: 1 point—Cities ranked (lower is better) according to the rate of provincial or territorial sales tax.

PROPERTY TAX RATE: 2 points—Cities with a lower property tax rate were awarded the highest marks. Source: Environics Analytics.

PROPERTY TAX PAID AS A PERCENTAGE OF INCOME: 1 point—To determine how much of a burden the property tax was to the average homeowner we determine how much of the average household income goes toward paying property tax.

CRIME: 7 points—Violent crime rates (2 points), total crime rates per 100,000 people (2 points), the five-year change in the crime rate (1 point) and crime severity rates (2 point) for 2010. (Lower is better in all three cases.) Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

DOCTORS: 5 points—Number of general practice and specialist physicians per community (5 points) and converted to doctors per 1,000 people. Source: Canadian Medical Association

HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: 4 points—Percentage of people in each city who are employed in health occupations. Source: Environics Analytics.

NUMBER OF DOCTORS OFFICES PER 1,000: 1 point—The number of medical offices in a community divided by the population. Source: Environics Analytics.

AMENITIES: 6 points—Two points for a hospital, 1 point each for university and college. Cities in a CMA area received credit if a particular institution was located anywhere in the CMA. Half a point was given to cities with a movie theatre. Cities could also earn up to 1.5 points for being within close proximity to an airport serviced by one of Canada's national carriers: Air Canada or WestJet. Cities within 50 km of an airport received 1.5 points, communities within 100 km received 1 point and cities within 200km received half a point.

CULTURE: 5 points—A city could receive up to 5 points based on the percentage of people employed in arts, culture, recreation and sports. Source: Environics Analytics." Moneysense stated on their website.

We will let each of you make your own decision on the analysis criteria.

From our standpoint there are just so many ridiculous weights given to the different criteria that we're gonna pull a Jack Mussallem — ignore it.

This will be the last time The Prince Rupert Northern View ever discusses Moneysense Magazine's rankings ever again.

No matter how many times you jump up and down, it just doesn't make sense.

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