Canada's healthiest city? Saskatoon tops list, Montreal ranks last
Published Tuesday, December 13, 2016 12:58PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 13, 2016 2:04PM EST
A new report that compares 10 Canadian cities found Saskatoon to be the healthiest, and gave Montreal the poorest grade.
The Conference Board of Canada’s City Health Monitor, which studies the physical and socio-economic health of Canada’s metropolitan areas, gave Saskatoon, Calgary and Winnipeg an A for their overall performance.
But Saskatoon got the highest ranking overall when it comes to life satisfaction, population health, access to health care services, and healthy lifestyles.
A low rate of tobacco use is just one example of the overall good health of Saskatoon residents, said Louis Theriault, Conference Board of Canada’s vice-president of public policy.
The smoking rate in Saskatoon was 12 per cent, compared to 22 per cent in Halifax, Theriault told CTV News Channel on Tuesday.
Vancouver got an overall B grade, despite ranking first in the lifestyle and population health categories. That’s because the city scored poorly when it comes to access to health care services and life satisfaction, according to the report.
The other metropolitan areas that also received a B grade are: Quebec City, Ottawa-Gatineau, Halifax, Edmonton and Toronto.
Montreal landed at the bottom of the list with a D grade, “performing so poorly in all categories that its final ranking is set apart from the other metro areas,” the report says.
Montreal had high rates of perceived life and work stress, did poorly in managing diseases such as asthma and diabetes, and got the worst score when it comes to access to health care services (benchmarks include number of available hospital beds and percentage of residents who have a regular doctor).
The Conference Board of Canada says the aim of its report is to better understand the differences between major cities and “pinpoint policy priority areas.”
“By highlighting gaps in performance, we can work toward closing them and improving the performance of the health care system and the health of Canadians,” the report says.
This is the first time that the Conference Board of Canada has ranked Canadian cities based on health and lifestyle indicators. Theriault said the board has been comparing various countries and Canadian provinces for years, and the new city rankings are “a natural extension” of that work.