It was Gordon Perry’s new book Quesnel the Beautiful that really inspired me to write and share my letter to the editor of MoneySense Magazine in response to their annual Canada’s Best Places to Live report where, out of 200 Canadian cities, Quesnel ranked as the 18th worst!
One Mount Pleasant Road, 11th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2Y5
I’m sorry… I made a mistake naming of your magazine, just like you made a mistake naming my hometown of Quesnel BC as the 18th worst place in Canada to live.
I have carefully and open-mindedly studied your report. Several times in fact, because your methodology appears to lack method and therefore credibility.
Like, do you really believe your own statistic that 2.61 per cent of folks in Whitehorse (your second coldest city) bike to work compared to only .68 per cent (four times less) in Abbotsford (your warmest city?)
And why are there no statistics on how many churches we have per capita?
Or service clubs, volunteer groups, seniors’ clubs or youth centres?
We’re one of the smallest cities in Canada to have our own state-of-the-art hospice and we built much of it from charity auctions, pub nights and bake sales!
Why not ask how we look after our handicapped and homeless and how accessible everything is, in spite of long, icy winters and limited resources?
I’ll bet you don’t know (or even care) that Quesnel is home to one of Canada’s largest volunteer fire departments.
Why don’t you rate a place on its community spirit of volunteerism and giving, rather than on how many ride to work on a bike or work in “Arts and Rec.”?
And to rate us on how many new cars we own? Hell, we’re up early, driving our trucks to work in forest and mining towns like Quesnel, extracting and processing resources which generate the
wealth for your yuppie masses.
Folks who drive older vehicles are not only more frugal, they are less materialistic and show they can recycle… another benchmark conspicuously absent from your database. And what about the ethnic diversity of a place… doesn’t that count for something?
And how about some points for positive environmental action?
And that thousands of visitors aboard the world-renowned Rocky Mountaineer luxury train overnight each year in our Gold Pan City should surely be testament to our warm, professional hospitality.
You really need to enroll in Crime Stats 101.
Have you ever stopped to think why so many small towns like Quesnel have such high crime stats? Think about this; Quesnel’s city population is 10,007, while more than 25,000 people share the Quesnel postal code and call Quesnel home. In other words, most live out of town, so our crime stats are really a reflection of the behavior of two and a half times our City population. That’s not fair. See how your irresponsible misguided methodology can so quickly and wrongly
tarnish a town’s good name?
If you were to ever visit Quesnel, you’d certainly want to include our highly-rated museum in your report, as well as our famed Riverfront Trail system – enjoyed by hundreds of residents and visitors everyday, even at 30 below. (Maybe that is where all those missing bike riders are!) And the photo you copied and pasted from Wikipedia to represent our beautiful city… such a poor quality afterhours shot of our lonely airport terminal. Another obvious example of the hurry up and get this report out the door so I can get to Starbucks attitude of a big city critic more than 4,000 km away!
So, you think I’m wrong with all of this? Take a look at the hundreds of comments on your own website where the vast majority agrees with me. You really need to get out more!
In all fairness, I should happily acknowledge that since your last report, we’ve graduated from the fifth worst place to live in Canada. Only 182 more points to beat out Calgary for top spot – that should be easy. We’re a proud, productive and persistent lot – we’ll do it!
PS: I am enclosing a copy of local author/photographer Gordon Perry’s new book Quesnel the Beautiful, so you can see you’re way off base and Quesnel is indeed not the 18th worst place in Canada to live.
Come see for yourself… I’ll show you around and buy lunch. Pack lots, you’ll want to stay