The northwestern Alberta city of Grande Prairie is fighting back after a national magazine article ranked it as one of the most dangerous places to live in Canada.

"It's a pretty sensational title," Mayor Bill Given said.

The Macleans story, "Where Canadian criminals go to play — A look at the cities with the most lawbreakers" ranks Grande Prairie as Canada's third most dangerous city.

The magazine arrived at its rankings using 2011 StatsCan figures for homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, vehicle theft, robbery and break-and-enter.

"When you get to looking at the actual stats that propel us there, the only thing that we have a sort of first place ranking in that would put us up there is impaired driving," said Given.

Grande Prairie ranked second in the country for vehicle theft and first in the number of impaired driving charges laid.

Those numbers merely reflect the city's hardline efforts at getting drunks off the road, Given said.

"We really believe that our focus in impaired driving drives up those numbers."

"This statistic is a result of the hard work of members of the Grande Prairie detachment to get drunk drivers off the road," said RCMP Supt. Ray Noble. "It also demonstrates the commitment of residents to report this type of crime."

Givens said he can't understand how the city ranked so high when it wasn't in the top 10 for the major crimes of murder, sexual assault, or robbery.

"Grande Prairie has a strong track record of investing in policing, crime prevention and neighbourhood building to provide a safe community in which we can all be proud," he said.

The rankings listed Prince George, B.C. as number one, followed by Red Deer, Alta.

Fort McMurray, Alta. also slipped into the top 10, at number seven.