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.
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.