Mag­a­zine ranks Bay Roberts among worst places to live — again

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY STEVE BARTLETT

Mon­ey­sense mag­a­zine no longer thinks Bay Roberts is Canada’s worst place to live. The Con­cep­tion Bay North town is now listed as sec­ond worst.

It has fin­ished 179th out of 180 in the on­line mag­a­zine’s an­nual rank­ing, Canada’s Best Places to Live 2011. Dis­cre­tionary in­come is the main rea­son why.

“For Bay Roberts, the av­er­age house­hold in­come is low at $71,000 and so is dis­cre­tionary in­come at 23 per cent,” the e-zine states in the “ Worst places to live and why” por­tion of its ar­ti­cle at www.mon­ey­sense.ca.

Mon­ey­sense uses dis­cre­tionary in­come to mea­sure pros­per­ity.

Bay Roberts also came in at 179th in 2010, when 179 places were ranked. Neg­a­tive eco­nomic and pop­u­la­tion fig­ures fac­tored in that re­sult, as did out­dated in­for­ma­tion on the town’s web­site.

This year, New Glas­gow holds the du­bi­ous dis­tinc­tion of fin­ish­ing last at 180th. Poor job prospects was the big fac­tor in the Nova Scotia town’s rank­ing.

Bay Roberts Mayor Glen Lit­tle­john wasn’t thrilled, say­ing Mon­ey­sense is rat­ing the re­gion, not his town.

“It’s not Bay Roberts. That’s our big­gest beef with this. We’re not talk­ing about Bay Roberts. We’re talk­ing about an area that in­cludes the Town of Bay Roberts. I still be­lieve it’s mis­lead­ing. ... And they use data from the area, not just Bay Roberts.”

Lit­tle­john elab­o­rates, stress­ing Mon­ey­sense’s rank­ing is of places with more than 10,000 peo­ple, when the pop­u­la­tion of Bay Roberts is 5,500.

The mayor says he knew the ar­ti­cle was com­ing, be­cause he was in­ter­viewed for it. He ex­pressed his beefs to the in­ter­viewer.

In Mon­ey­sense, Lit­tle­john is at­trib­uted as say­ing last year’s fin­ish brought the com­mu­nity to­gether and helped it at­tract a Kraft 10 in 10 cel­e­bra­tion, which in­cluded a TSN Sport­scen­tre visit.

“I re­ally be­lieve that,” he said. “It re­ally helped us when we had the op­por­tu­nity to host the 10 in 10 and be one of the rep­re­sen­ta­tives. I re­ally think they came out and sup­ported us be­cause of the neg­a­tiv­ity that the ar­ti­cle cre­ated.”

The mag­a­zine also points out Bay Roberts has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a pe­riod of growth in both res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial real es­tate. It notes a new busi­ness park is un­der con­struc­tion, “ which should re­lieve res­i­den­tal tax­pay­ers of some of the town’s rev­enue re­quire­ments.”

What­ever Mon­ey­sense thinks of his town, Lit­tle­john begs to dif­fer.

“ I love our com­mu­nity. I love ev­ery­thing about it. I think we’ve made great strides. If peo­ple look at our growth and the num­ber of peo­ple who have come to the com­mu­nity in the past num­ber of years to build and make Bay Roberts their home, you’d have to say Bay Roberts is a pretty good place to live.”

Ot­tawa-Gatineau was ranked as the coun­try’s best place to re­side for the sec­ond year in a row. St. John’s had the best New­found­land and Labrador re­sult, com­ing in at 52nd. Grand Falls-Wind­sor was 126th. Cor­ner Brook placed 150th.

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