Wrong impression of Bay Roberts

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

A story published online earlier this month may claim the Trinity-Conception community of Bay Roberts is the Number 1 place in Canada people should leave, but the picture attached to it leaves a different impression.

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.

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 shows a hilltop view of Carbonear.

“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 The Telegram 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.


Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: MoneySense magazine, Marine Atlantic

Geographic location: Bay Roberts, Carbonear, Canada Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Don II
    March 20, 2014 - 09:28

    Instead of nit picking about the wrong photo in the publication, the Mayor of Bay Roberts needs to find out why these publications are continuously slamming the town of Bay Roberts. The Town must correct those negative perceptions with affirmative action, progressive policy and attitude change. This type of negative publicity will create a permanent negative perception, which, if left unchecked by real policy change, will drive investment and business development away from Bay Roberts! The building of 400 houses in Bay Roberts provided short term construction jobs and increased property, water and sewer tax for the Town, but no long term industrial jobs in Bay Roberts are created by the building of those houses. The 400 houses are mostly built by people who commute to St. John's and area and who prefer not to pay the higher house and land prices and property taxes in the St. John's area. It appears that even that advantage is being eroded as property, water and sewer taxes being charged in Bay Roberts will eventually rise to levels approaching those in St. John's/Mount Pearl. This is a very serious matter that is undermining Bay Roberts as a good place to live and do business. The matter of the wrong photo is of no consequence and diverts attention away from the real issues which need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

    • Citizen
      March 20, 2014 - 19:30

      The last time that an article like this one surfaced the response of the town was to bombard everyone with a dose of "toutons and tunes" , which did absolutely nothing to solve the problems. As Don II sates the answer is to attract meaningful employment opportunities to the town that will improve the overall situation - something that this council is either unable or unwilling to do. New home construction is a poor indicator to rely on when judging the economic state of any jurisdiction - the most recent global recession was sparked by an artificially inflated housing market in the US. When that bubble burst everyone bit the bullet.