Where do we go from here, Salmon Arm?
On the morning of Thursday, Aug. 8, Salmon Arm residents were greeted with the news their city had been named the best community in British Columbia by Maclean’s.
Furthermore, Salmon Arm was recognized as the sixth best community among the 415 ranked nationwide (and the only B.C. community in the top 10).
Our ranking was established through a point system based on data collected in relation to a community’s economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, amenities and culture.
Salmon Arm did especially well in the categories of wealth/economy, demographics (population growth over a five-year period) and affordability (housing/rental affordability, average value of real estate, ratio of average household discretionary income to average household income.)
Certainly, one can dispute the methodology, or how the results compare with reality (the $845 estimated to be the average rental for a two-bedroom apartment seems low).
But overall, the rankings appear to be an objective assessment, showing the world, or at least the rest of Canada, that little Salmon Arm has got a lot going on for it.
While our best in B.C. status is certainly something to be proud of, improvement is something to be pursued in perpetuity — even in those categories in which we excelled.
Despite our affordability ranking, there is still need in Salmon Arm for affordable housing and accommodation.
There are still lineups at our food banks. There are still people living on our streets.
Being named the best at something isn’t just an honour, it’s an opportunity to raise the bar and figure out how we can do better.