A story Northern View will not report


#1

That would of course be the annual Moneysense Magazine rankings of best (and worst) places to live, which shows Prince Rupert slipping even further down the list to 195 out of 201 cities, from 193 out of 200 in 2013. Terrace, a place that invites comparisons, having also gone through some hard times due to industrial decline, ranked 110 this year, an improvement over 155 in 2013.

Rupert does not do well in the crime severity ranking, at 9th from the bottom, but fairs surprisingly well in the property tax rankings, which seems to run contrary to conventional wisdom around here.

Last year viewpaper publisher Todd Hamilton announced that 2013 would be the last time his publication would report the rankings, pronouncing that Moneysense’s criteria made no sense, and adding for good measure for those that might have missed the point that the rankings were ‘idiotic’, the Environics stats ‘subjective’ and typical of “latté-swilling eastern Canadian media”.

For those that would like to reach their own conclusions here is North Coast Review’s story with includes links to the full Moneysense table.
northcoastreview.blogspot.ca/201 … -down.html


#2

Thanks for the link, BTravenn.


#3

The property tax situation needs some close reading. The tax rate is high - Rupert is near the bottom of the rankings in that category - but that would reflect the relatively low cost of housing here.

As an annual cash cost, though, Rupert is 19 from the top with average taxes of $1,287 a year. Some might question what taxpayers get in terms of levels of service, and another concern may be that taxes are high relative to the size or quality of a house.

Rupert does even better in terms of property taxes as a percentage of average household income, at number 6 from the top. Taxes are relatively affordable at 1.84% of household income. But then the numbers are fairly close together: in the place with the highest taxes relative to income (somewhere forgettable in Ontario) annual property taxes take up not quite 3% of average income.

Housing is relatively cheap here. Rupert is 69 from the bottom in terms of cost. That may not be a bad place to be. About all that might be said about the cheapest places is that you can put a roof over your head but you will probably be unemployed and watching a lot of tv because there isn’t much else to do.

Rupert is also not bad in terms of number of years it takes to buy a house, which is calculated by dividing average cost by average income. In theory it takes 3.1 years of income to buy a house. Of course people spread the cost over longer periods, but then the number is intended to make comparisons, not assist household budgeting. It’s about 81 from the top, so better than average if one is thinking of buying a house.

Overall, in terms of owning a house and paying taxes on it, the conclusion that can be drawn from the report by those reviled latte swilling Easterners, whose data you are urged to ignore and that our local ‘newspaper of record’ refuses to report, is that Rupert is somewhere between not bad and pretty good.


#4

I’d be curious to hear from anyone–this isn’t specifically a reply to BTravenn–who thinks that these rankings are worth reporting but the Fraser Institute school rankings are garbage. Surely all the same caveats around socio-economic status that apply to the Fraser rankings would apply to these rankings as well, wouldn’t they? It’ll also be interesting to see if the Northern View thinks that the Fraser rankings, when they come out, are equally unreportable.


#5

The Northern View is a vehicle for advertising. What they cover and don’t cover is always seen through that lens.

The mistake some make is in thinking that the paper exists for some altruistic ideal.

That being said, who are the largest advertisers in The Northern View? Citywest? The city of Prince Rupert?


#6

The View is not the paper of record. Just being the only paper doesn’t make you that. By most definitions, a paper of record should have a large circulation (which the View has, albeit free!) and whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered “professional and typically authoritative,” which it so isn’t.

The Daily News most certainly was, even when quality dropped. Alas, Black Press took care of that.


#7

[quote=“drummerboy”]

The View is not the paper of record. Just being the only paper doesn’t make you that. By most definitions, a paper of record should have a large circulation (which the View has, albeit free!) and whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered “professional and typically authoritative,” which it so isn’t.

The Daily News most certainly was, even when quality dropped. Alas, Black Press took care of that.[/quote]

I recall Black Press referring to itself as the “newspaper of record”, but I take your point, which is why I sometimes refer to it as a ‘viewpaper’, more notable at times for the publisher’s strongly held opinions and vitriol. It publishes official notices and so on, but taking an editorial stance to the effect that a news item such as the Moneysense rankings will ‘never’ be reported again does not quite fit the criteria that you cite.

If Rupert shot up in the rankings, say as a result of future port or LNG developments, perhaps the news embargo would be lifted and last year’s pronouncement would be quietly forgotten, particularly if whoever was mayor considered that to be newsworthy and generally took credit for a turn around.


#8

The problems with ranking is that no matter what the situation somebody is going to come out on top and somebody is going to come out on the bottom. We might live in a city where every single one of us thinks it is the best place to live and we could still end up last.

So, I wonder if the range from top to bottom means the top city is almost perfect and the bottom one totally sucks or if it ranges from say “pretty darn good” to “not all that bad”. Vancouver may score higher than we do, but I can see a lot about Vancouver that I don’t like and a lot about Prince Rupert that I do. I grew up in Vancouver and I am certainly glad that I moved here.

I like eccentric’s question about whether reporting on one controversial ranking while ignoring the other is appropriate for a newspaper and I also like BTravenn’s question about whether the newspaper will report the rankings should Rupert shoot up in the future. In fact had Money Sense done this 20 years ago when we were a much different town with a pulp mill and a thriving fishing industry where would Rupert have ranked.

Personally, I am not sure how valuable the rankings are, but if they are going to be used for anything, they should be used as a basis for correcting something that is perceived as a problem. Unfortunately we can’t control the weather so we are stuck near the bottom regardless of how we may feel about our mild but rainy climate compared to the extreme heat and cold of the interior.

But what about other areas. I had difficulty scrolling around the scores so I really haven’t looked at the numbers closely but in what areas did we do poorly. And then, we can ask ourselves what we can do - if anything - to correct that situation. Apparently we did poorly in one of the crime categories. Can we fix that? How?

Do we really have a whole lot of control over the unemployment situation? What can we do to correct that or do we just have to wait until industries move here?

If we score poorly on doctor/patient ratio, what can we do? How can we get doctors to move here when they are faced with a report that says Rupert is one of the worst places to live?

Money Sense knows that the rankings will sell copy which is the whole point of the exercise. We can choose to ignore it which is perfectly fine or we can also use it to take a look at areas of concern and see what can be done. I would suggest the latter without feeling the need to beat ourselves up over it because I think we are at least “not all that bad” if not “pretty darn good”.


#9

[quote=“BTravenn”]

[quote=“drummerboy”]

The View is not the paper of record. Just being the only paper doesn’t make you that. By most definitions, a paper of record should have a large circulation (which the View has, albeit free!) and whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered “professional and typically authoritative,” which it so isn’t.

The Daily News most certainly was, even when quality dropped. Alas, Black Press took care of that.[/quote]

I recall Black Press referring to itself as the “newspaper of record”, but I take your point, which is why I sometimes refer to it as a ‘viewpaper’, more notable at times for the publisher’s strongly held opinions and vitriol. It publishes official notices and so on, but taking an editorial stance to the effect that a news item such as the Moneysense rankings will ‘never’ be reported again does not quite fit the criteria that you cite.

If Rupert shot up in the rankings, say as a result of future port or LNG developments, perhaps the news embargo would be lifted and last year’s pronouncement would be quietly forgotten, particularly if whoever was mayor considered that to be newsworthy and generally took credit for a turn around.[/quote]

The View is, indeed, appropriately named, as its bias shines through in almost every story. The Moneysense rankings, whether it is legitimate or nonsense, IS a news story and, by passing on it and other stories that Hamilton has personal issues with, they fail to meet the standards of paper of record.
We still haven’t heard who did the ferry report and how it was done. For all we know, Jack had Bob Long phone two or three businesses and put the words “ferry report” on it. Now, I have no reason to doubt it was done properly and thoroughly, and is worth consideration, but, come on, it’s basic reporting. I know that if the city produced a report condemning the port authority, the View would have thoroughly dissected it.


#10

[quote=“drummerboy”]

[quote=“BTravenn”]

I recall Black Press referring to itself as the “newspaper of record”, but I take your point, which is why I sometimes refer to it as a ‘viewpaper’, more notable at times for the publisher’s strongly held opinions and vitriol. It publishes official notices and so on, but taking an editorial stance to the effect that a news item such as the Moneysense rankings will ‘never’ be reported again does not quite fit the criteria that you cite.

If Rupert shot up in the rankings, say as a result of future port or LNG developments, perhaps the news embargo would be lifted and last year’s pronouncement would be quietly forgotten, particularly if whoever was mayor considered that to be newsworthy and generally took credit for a turn around.

The View is, indeed, appropriately named, as its bias shines through in almost every story. The Moneysense rankings, whether it is legitimate or nonsense, IS a news story and, by passing on it and other stories that Hamilton has personal issues with, they fail to meet the standards of paper of record.
We still haven’t heard who did the ferry report and how it was done. For all we know, Jack had Bob Long phone two or three businesses and put the words “ferry report” on it. Now, I have no reason to doubt it was done properly and thoroughly, and is worth consideration, but, come on, it’s basic reporting. I know that if the city produced a report condemning the port authority, the View would have thoroughly dissected it.[/quote]

The ferry report was conducted by Bruce Wishart, who it would seem was asked by the city to prepare it. Council provided no background, or discussion on it when it was announced by the Mayor. They also did not explain how it was commissioned or if there was compensation provided for it, how much it cost the city to prepare.

northcoastreview.blogspot.ca/201 … ff-to.html


#11

[quote=“CharlesMHays”]
The ferry report was conducted by Bruce Wishart, who it would seem was asked by the city to prepare it. Council provided no background, or discussion on it when it was announced by the Mayor. They also did not explain how it was commissioned or if there was compensation provided for it, how much it cost the city to prepare.

northcoastreview.blogspot.ca/201 … ff-to.html[/quote]

I wouldn’t doubt if it’s old work and Bruce just updated it/polished it up a bit.


#12