Should people in Courtenay be dismayed about living in only the 93rd-best city in Canada or glad about being rated above 87 others?
We’re more likely to be OK with being 93rd (up from 100th last year) of 180 cities with at least 10,000 residents than Campbell River (175th) or Port Alberni (172nd).
Considering Courtenay is rated behind 85th-place Cold Lake, Alta., and 76th-place Greater Sudbury, maybe we should shrug off the annual report by MoneySense magazine.
A report like this is only as good as its methodology. The magazine factored in factors such as weather, air quality and the percentage of people who walk or bike to work with the more traditional MoneySense criteria of unemployment, housing costs, household income, discretionary income and population growth.
Factor in other things like taxes, health professionals, crime, transit, culture and amenities, and out comes the list.
With no disagreement that all these considerations contribute to quality of life, the survey does not weigh unquantifiable factors like awe-inspiring vistas of mountains and oceans, clean water, locally grown food and numerous hiking opportunities not far from any local town.
What we’re really getting at here is that various values mean different things to different people.
The opportunity to work for a living and to feed our families is crucial us. While an awesome place to visit and even to inhabit, the Comox Valley is not a Mecca for high-paying jobs. We have trouble attracting and keeping young singles and families.
The economy of any place is crucial to its health and desirability, making the largest Costco on Vancouver and a coal mine overlooking Baynes Sound seen attractive.
The coal mine, especially, has such potential downside, though, that makes anybody without a jobs-at-all-costs mentality ambivalent or outright opposed.
We need jobs, and good-paying ones, but not any jobs at any cost.