NEW GLASGOW – New Glasgow and the surrounding area have received bad press recently due to the latest MoneySense magazine ranking.
But Internet searches for that story may have put the spotlight on another article from Immigroup, an immigration law firm that combines government information with internally produced articles. Last year, they ranked New Glasgow the worst place to move to in Canada.
The list notes that New Glasgow is a “small, quaint city just a few hours from Halifax” that “tops polls of the worst places to live in Canada.”
“How could those 10,000 people stand it? They must have all been born there,” the author states.
It’s given some locals a chance to say enough is enough with the negative ratings and that New Glasgow is a fine place to live and move to.
“The Town of New Glasgow is a town that is facing similar challenges to many communities throughout Nova Scotia and Canada,” said New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan. “Our entire region has taken a blow recently with job losses at Michelin but it is still important to acknowledge the many successful businesses that are here, the strong educational, health care, cultural and recreational facilities as well as the diversification in our economy and strong community character while we work to address our challenges.
Pictou County Chamber of Commerce executive director Jack Kyte echoed MacMillan’s statements.
“It’s absolutely stupid and to say people must have been born here to want to live here is offensive,” he said. “There’s nothing cited and nothing to back up their claims.”
While the author of the article no longer writes for Immigroup, the site’s content manager Riley Haas said this was an opinion piece.
“This list was compiled by the author and reflects his views on the worst places for immigrants to move to,” he said.
Haas said the article, which has no indication that it is an opinion or editorial piece, was published a year ago, has recently seen a spike in traffic.
“Because it’s getting all these views and the fact it’s a year old, we’re probably going to make some updates,” he said.
The chamber of commerce released a video commissioned by the Pictou County Regional Development Agency before it was closed to promote the area particularly in respect to attracting workers to come here. The feedback Kyte received is at odds with Immigroup’s article.
“The immigrants we worked with were more than happy to participate in the video and said this was a welcoming place to live and raise children – the opposite of what these people are saying.”
MacMillan noted some of the factual errors with the article, such as the listing of New Glasgow as a city.
“These recent surveys are by authors who have no credible knowledge of the communities they are writing about,” he said. “If they did they wouldn’t compare a town of less than 10,000 with major cities or make sweeping statements.”
Jim Fitt, CEO of Velsoft, a computer training materials business based in New Glasgow with offices in South Africa, believes the article is based on second-hand information from other magazines.
“Don’t believe everything you read with these rankings,” he said. “You have to see it for yourself. I choose to be in New Glasgow and have shaped a business here.”
Fitt said if people want to move to a city then they should explore the cities in Canada but if they’re looking for a small-town atmosphere, New Glasgow is a great option.
“If you want to be in a welcoming, small community, where everyone knows your name and the pace is relaxed, then this is the place to be.”
MacMillan noted that despite what others write, the town would continue to build on its strengths such as progressive partnerships, cultural diversity, existing businesses, a growing creative economy and entrepreneurial leadership.
On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn