Officials in Prince George, B.C., are scratching their heads after Maclean’s magazine labelled the city the most dangerous in Canada for the third consecutive year — despite a significant drop in serious crime.
Prince George RCMP Supt. Eric Stubbs said the city didn't have a single homicide in 2011, compared with 86 for Toronto, 54 for Montreal, and 50 for Edmonton. But none of those big cities made the top 10 in Maclean's ranking.
The city with the highest homicide rate per capita is Red Deer, Alta., according to the magazine's website, but its ranking has not yet been revealed.
"A community that doesn't have any homicides, certainly you wouldn't think would be considered as number one," Stubbs said.
According to Statistics Canada, Prince George ranked 14th for serious crime in 2011.
Macleans' rankings include the country's 100 largest cities and use criteria in addition to those used by Statistics Canada.
Prince George Mayor Shari Green, who received an advance copy of the article from the magazine, said she and her colleagues were convinced the city would drop significantly in the negative rankings.
"I think it's really surprised everybody in the community and is a real disappointment for people that know how much improvement we have had," Green said. "We now have this extra effort to continue dispel this myth against Prince George."
The Maclean's rankings, and the methodology used to formulate them, will be published later in December.
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10) Surrey, B.C.
9) Winnipeg, Manitoba
8) Wood Buffalo, Alberta
7) Kelowna, B.C.
6) Grande Prairie, Alberta
5) Regina, Saskatchewan
4) Red Deer, Alberta
3) Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
2) Victoria, B.C.
1) Prince George, B.C.