To the Editor,
We had a recent shock here in Port Alberni, quite unlike the one that occurred 50 years ago when the great tsunami entered our inlet, destroying many homes and businesses, yet sparing all lives.
The shock this time didn’t originate off the coast of Alaska; instead, a different sort of jolt came from an article in MoneySense magazine.
The article used statistics — housing prices, income levels, unemployment ranks, inaccurate population numbers, etc. — to rank us as 201st for liveability in a list of 201 cities. The statistics included communities outside of Port Alberni, some as far as three hours away, hence the population inaccuracies.
Since the article was published, many members of our community have been hit with countless e-mails, phone calls and conversations wondering how anyone could conjure up such nonsense.
The report is inaccurate. Yes, some of the statistics are valid; for example, we do have some of the most affordable housing in western Canada. And yes, our average property taxes are less than $1,250 per year, yet we have a new $60-million high school that ranks as one of the best, not only in B.C., but in Canada.
We have a modern, full-facility hospital, along with several care homes and a well-respected hospice. We have live music and theatre, and numerous sporting facilities.
Port Alberni, through an incredible volunteer base, has hosted the B.C. Summer Games, B.C. Winter Games, B.C. Special Olympics and B.C. Senior Games. Not long ago, we invited the world by hosting the U17 hockey challenge. We host many tournaments and other events
We invite the writer from MoneySense, or anyone else, to come see what we offer.
They can meet long-time residents who love this valley and who have never left, or those who have left, but have returned to their paradise.
We welcome the opportunity to share Port Alberni.
To those of us who live here, Port Alberni is at the top of the list for the culture, lifestyle, affordability, environment and opportunities.
Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce