MoneySense magazine’s ranking of city is nonsense, Alberni mayor says

Port Alberni's poor standing in MoneySense magazine's annual Canadian cities rankings makes no sense because the authors have never been here, Mayor Ken McRae said.

Port Alberni is ranked 172 out of 180 in MoneySense magazine’s annual rankings of Canadian cities and the standing is nonsense, Port Alberni Mayor Ken McRae said.

The ranking is slightly above the 175 where the Valley ranked last year.

The magazine ranks the cities based on points system spread among 24 criterion including housing, income, new cars, access to heath care and weather.

Port Alberni ranks relatively high in the affordable housing (76) and walk/bike to work (66) categories.

But it ranks low on the household income (144), number of new cars on the road (179) and crime severity (163).

It also ranked low (128) in the weather ranking because of the rain.

Elsewhere on Vancouver Island, Campbell River ranked below Port Alberni (175) and Victoria ranked above it (2).

The MoneySense ranking is nonsense, Port Alberni mayor Ken McRae said.

“I’ve invited them here before to experience what our town is about and they never came,” he said.

“They don’t know what they’re talking about so I don’t bother with them now.”

The criterion which towns are judged on is too narrow and doesn’t take into account the building boom Port Alberni is in the midst of.

“We’ve got Pacific Coast University going up, the new B.C. Hyrdo building, the new high school and the Athletic Hall,” McRae said.

“They don’t see these things because they weren’t here.”

There’s more to the rain and crime rankings as well.

“So we live in a rain forest — some people would love our clean water and hydro electricity,” McRae said.

“And the RCMP’s crime reduction strategy is responsible for a 30 per cent drop in crime, so they didn’t do their research.”

The Valley has taken worse lumps than a magazine’s poor ranking.

“We’ve been though recessions and industry downsizing and we came out of it pretty good compared to other mill towns,” McRae said.

“Their ranking makes no sense — that’s fair to say.”