Wrong im­pres­sion of Bay Roberts

Town tops list rank­ing Cana­dian places to leave, but pic­ture shows Car­bon­ear

The Compass - - NEWS - BYAN­DREW ROBIN­SON arobin­son@thetele­gram.com Twit­ter: @Te­le­An­drew

A story pub­lished on­line ear­lier this month may claim that Bay Roberts is the No. 1 place in Canada people should leave, but the pic­ture ini­tially at­tached to it left a dif­fer­ent im­pres­sion.

Pub­lished ear­lier this month on CitiesJournal.com, the story “Top 15 Cities and Towns To Move Away From In Canada” iden­ti­fies Bay Roberts as the worst of­fender. How­ever, the pic­ture dis­played above the town’s name showed a hill­top view of Car­bon­ear.

The pic­ture has since been changed to a shot of the Bay Roberts’ flag. It likely hap­pened be­tween March 19 and early af­ter­noon on March 20.

“They’re not very well re­searched,” said Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood. “When you (say) you’ve got a pic­ture of Bay Roberts and you’ve got a pic­ture of an­other town there, you can see the people writ­ing these ar­ti­cles don’t know a whole lot about the par­tic­u­lar things they’re writ­ing about.”

The com­mu­ni­ties cho­sen are among those that reg­u­larly ap­pear at the bot­tom of MoneySense mag­a­zine’s an­nual Best Places To Live list. Nine of the 15 listed by CitiesJournal.com have been among the Bot­tom 10 ranked by MoneySense in re­cent years.

MoneySense ranked Bay Roberts last in 2010 and sec­ond-last the fol­low­ing year. It was 15th from the bot­tom in 2014, rank­ing 187th out of 201 places listed (St. John’s placed the high­est, at 37, among mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in New­found­land and Labrador).

“To tell you the truth, it seems like it’s com­ing out of the MoneySense ar­ti­cles,” Wood said when con­tacted by TC Me­dia about the CitiesJournal.com piece.

The 15 com­mu­ni­ties are listed in such a way that a reader must click a link to see the next com­mu­nity. That for­mat is typ­i­cally used as a means to in­crease pageviews for a web­site.

Be­sides ques­tion­ing how much thought went into the list’s cre­ation, Wood also ques­tioned the pres­ence of some ad­ver­tis­ers on the web­site.

“One that stood out for me was all the ads for Ma­rine At­lantic,” said Wood. “Here (the story) is telling people to move away, and here it is Ma­rine At­lantic — who is sup­posed to be ser­vic­ing New­found­land and Labrador — is ad­ver­tis­ing on their pages and giv­ing them ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue.”

The CitiesJournal.com piece cites low house­hold in­comes, lack of in­dus­try and a high un­em­ploy­ment rate as the rea­sons Bay Roberts ranks at the top of its list.

While the list sug­gests it’s best to move away from Bay Roberts, the town has ex­pe­ri­enced a pop­u­la­tion in­crease in con­sec­u­tive Cana­dian Cen­sus re­sults. Its pop­u­la­tion went from 5,237 in 2001 to 5,414 in 2006 and 5,818 in 2011.

“We’ve had over 400 new houses built and build­ing per­mits is­sued in Bay Roberts over the last five or six years,” Wood said. “You’re not build­ing these houses with false in­comes.”

Wood noted re­sults com­piled by MoneySense do not take into con­sid­er­a­tion the na­ture of sea­sonal work trends or the tran­sient na­ture of em­ploy­ment for many in the com­mu­nity.

This list may rank Bay Roberts as the top place people in Canada should move away from, but the pic­ture at­tached to the CitiesJournal.com post cleary shows Car­bon­ear, an­other com­mu­nity lo­cated in the Con­cep­tion Bay North re­gion. This pic­ture has since been changed to a pic­ture of the Bay Roberts flag.

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