We know what we have to work on

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Spring might not be a sure thing, but this area’s cellar-dweller rating from MoneySense can always be counted on for this time of year.

The magazine has published its annual list of best places to live in Canada, and “New Glasgow” – meaning New Glasgow and surrounding towns and area – came in at 198 out of 201.

Residents are likely feeling a little less snubbed about this – as what they call home has for a number of years been ranked near the bottom – but not just because they’re getting used to it. We have to place this exercise in context.

People are catching on that it’s not about the beauty of the area, the friendliness, the neighbourliness, so we can stop feeling an inferiority complex in that regard. MoneySense uses a strict, established set of criteria that would likely matter to a Canadian considering locating in an area.

Subjective impressions of beauty and spirit aren’t easily measured and tabulated – and the magazine this year readily acknowledges that.

In fact, last on the list, at 201, is Port Alberni, B.C., a gorgeous spot on Vancouver Island. We’re a couple of pegs above them.

Chief among the magazine’s yardsticks is availability of career opportunities and employment levels. It would be lost on no one that this area is struggling in that regard. Also on the list is population growth, household income, home affordability, the cost of taxes and so on. Again, we can’t deny what some of the challenges are locally.

While many people across Canada would be tickled to come to Pictou County or other parts of Nova Scotia for a vacation, the logistics of this ranking is to highlight prime places where Canadians might want to live, play and carve out a career.

So many of the ingredients that money can’t buy are here. The ones we’re short on, we already know what we need to work on. Local leaders have acknowledged that particularly in light of recent news about jobs. In that regard, we are not out of step with the magazine’s report. We have to keep plugging.

Geographic location: Canada, New Glasgow, Port Alberni Vancouver Island Pictou County Nova Scotia

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