When you have a burning question about Edmonton life you need answered and you can’t back it up with data or facts, where should you go? To the people, of course!
In this case, the question was: which Canadian cities are the safest? Now, there are many sides to every story (many sides…), and in this spirit, the litmus test for the actual data was a public opinion survey. So, what did the citizens have to say about our fine city?
For starters, Edmonton life is perceived as much safer by Canadians than what the data says. According to the stats, crime is on the rise in Edmonton, but we have minds of our own, and damn it, we are safe in our streets if we say we are!
A survey conducted by a firm called Mainstream Research found that although crime has risen by 5.2% in Edmonton, and our homicide rate spiked in 2016 to 47 recorded deaths, Edmonton is viewed as the 6th safest city in Canada (out of 15 cities offered as choices). This is a strong jump up from 11th place in the previous survey.
Meanwhile, our poor neighbors to the south haven’t received the same generous public opinion. Although Calgary’s crime rate dropped by 1.7%, and their crime severity index dropped by 5.6%, they ranked in at 10th place, which is the same place they took last time around.
Quito Maggi, President of Mainstream Research, says that Calgary’s positioning could be a result of widespread media coverage of the troubles in the oil and gas industry, which have led to an economic downturn that could be seen as spiking crime. But Edmonton life has been affected by these troubles too, so why are we moving up so quickly in public opinion?
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a straight answer, you’re not going to get one. Public perception rarely follows any stream of solid logic. If you don’t think so, just scroll through the comments on any moderately controversial Facebook post to see for yourself.
On an interesting side note, Albertan cities were viewed as less safe by BC residents than by those hailing from Ontario. And, of course, Winnipeg was at the bottom of the list – as usual.
For those of you wondering what the rest of the picture looks like, here’s the full list of rankings:
- St. John’s, N.L.
- Quebec City