New rankings shun Edmonton, praise Calgary, peeve capital city residents

Edmonton isn't so livable, according to a new global ranking the most livable cities — and some capital city residents are miffed about that.

'We've determined that generations of Calgarians are going to be born with woe'

Calgary placed fourth on the list, Vancouver was sixth and Toronto ranked seventh. Edmonton didn't make the top 140. (Leslie Kramer/CBC, Manpreet Kooner)

Edmonton isn't so livable, according to a new global ranking the most livable cities — and some capital city residents are miffed about that.

Three Canadian cities placed in the top 10 of the list by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which scored cities based on factors like infrastructure, culture and crime rates. 

Every year, the research and analysis arm of the London-based Economist magazine ranks the top 140 cities based on 30 factors.

Calgary placed fourth, earning perfect scores in most categories, except culture and environment, where it got a 90. Vancouver was sixth and Toronto ranked seventh.

Edmonton did not make the list.

Mayor Don Iveson said Edmonton was unfairly snubbed by experts who fail to understand there is a big difference between Edmonton and Calgary.

He's confident that "pound for pound" Edmonton stacks up just fine against its bigger neighbour.

"I actually sat down with someone from the Economist a few years ago and tried to make the case that Edmonton is different," Iveson said on Tuesday.

"It's my understanding that they see the cities as fairly interchangeable and comparable.  As Albertans know, that is not the case."

The analysts at the global agency tend to lump Alberta's biggest cities together, Iveson said.

"It's unfortunate that Edmonton is not featured on that list," he said.  "But it's still a good news story for Alberta."

However, not every politician was feeling quite so gracious.

The rankings stirred up some old rivalries when the CBC morning show Edmonton AM asked opposing city councillors to duke it out in a "totally unbiased debate." 

Druh Farrell, a Calgary city councillor, was not only talking smack about the capital city but decided to take a sarcastic jab at West Edmonton Mall.   

"You have a mall. I've heard about this mall, and you had the flat earth conference at this mall last week, so there must be something good going on."

Meantime, Edmonton city councillor Aaron Paquette was nonplussed. He pointed to some questionable calculations as proof that all Calgarians are miserable.

"There's a statistic that 300 per cent of Calgarians wish they were Edmontonians. How does that happen?" Paquette asked. 

"We've determined that generations of Calgarians are going to be born with woe that they were not born in Edmonton." 

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