'Not reflective of life here': North Battleford tops Maclean's list of most dangerous Canadian cities

North Battleford finished top of the list in several crime-related categories in MacLean's recently published list of most dangerous cities in Canada.

Top 24 cities in all crime category are in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and B.C.

Ryan Bater, mayor of North Battleford, said Maclean's recent list of Canada's most dangerous cities could distract from the positive aspects of North Battleford. (Bridget Yard/CBC News)

North Battleford Mayor Ryan Bater says a recent crime ranking by Maclean's magazine only paints a small picture of life in Saskatchewan's seventh largest city.

"That is not reflective of life here," Bater said. "What's being reflected in these crime statistics and their associated stories is one aspect of the community."

The magazine released their annual list of the most dangerous cities in Canada earlier this week. The rankings are based on crime severity index using data from Statistics Canada.

North Battleford finished top of the list for all crime, youth crime, firearms offences and impaired driving.

"People who do live here and do visit here see much more than just these crime stats," Bater said.

Bater said he worries the rankings will deter people from going to North Battleford because they distract from positive aspects of the city.

"We have the best recreation facilities in Saskatchewan. A lot of people don't know that.

Built five years ago, the Nationswest Fieldhouse has three volleyball or basketball courts, a second-level jogging track and seating for up to 250 spectators. (CBC)

"We have a lot of economic activity," he said. "There's a lot of investment going on in the community right now."

Bater also noted some of the events the city recently hosted, including the 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games.

Bater said he recognizes North Battleford has a high crime rate.

"It's something that we're working on and it's a high priority for our city," he said.

"Our citizens know it's a high priority and we have a lot of irons in the fire to address it."

He commended the province for its recent implementation of the Crime Reduction Team, which operates out of North Battleford and Prince Albert, but said the city needs more help from the provincial and federal government.

He said he would like to see more provincial help for people struggling with addictions and mental health, as well as additional assistance from the federal government to address youth crime.

- With files from CBC Radio's Afternoon Edition


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