Categories: Our View

Good to great

St. Albert remains one of the best places to live in the country.

According to MoneySense, it’s actually the seventh best, though it is the best place to live in Alberta by a country mile. The next best in Alberta, Canmore, comes in at 29th overall in Canada. This year’s rankings also included 417 cities, almost twice as many as the 2016 rankings. You can find the full list at http://www.moneysense.ca/canadas-best-places-to-live-2017/

Despite the slight drop overall, there is a lot to be proud of. The magazine noted we have stable housing prices in a time of “economic malaise,” and the average house net worth is the seventh highest in the country. Access to health care and public transit were also highlighted as strengths of our city. We’re the envy of many cities in the country and every other city and town in the province.

However, just a few years ago St. Albert was No.1 in the country. That was in 2014 when the price of oil averaged above $85 a barrel. The average price per barrel has been below $50 for the last two months. St. Albert is also at a disadvantage in the weather category. There are some things that are beyond our control.

“It’s nice to be able to maintain such a high ranking in a hard economic time for Alberta,” said Mayor Nolan Crouse. “It shows we are continuing to reinforce the right things in the community.”

All things considered, placing seventh was a pretty good outcome. Sometimes you just have to play the hand you’re dealt and the provincial economy has been struggling for a couple of years. But that doesn’t mean we can’t strive to return to the top spot.

As most of us know, it’s really the people of St. Albert that make this city great. We can’t singlehandedly change the provincial economy, but we can all strive to spend more money at local businesses, which in turn helps our local economy. We can support local arts and culture events. We can support our local sports teams. We can donate to local charities and volunteer our time. Many of us already do these things, but it’s important to note that every little bit helps.

As we approach another municipal election, we must keep the pursuit of excellence in mind. What candidates will help make this city the best in the country? It’s a tall task, but not one that’s out of reach. We’ve been to the top before, what will it take to get there again?

Regardless of any ranking in a magazine, St. Albert is a great place to live and it’s the people that make it great. Those who are lucky enough to live here know it. But it’s never a bad thing for other people to know it too.

St. Albert Gazette: The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.