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Rothesay, Quispamsis top Maclean's list of safest places in Canada
Two communities in southern New Brunswick have been named the safest places to live in Canada, and local residents say the honour doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
“I hear many people in the valley and the residents say they don’t lock their doors,” says Quispamsis Mayor Gary Clark. “I certainly wouldn’t encourage that by any means, but they feel that safe.”
Maclean’s Magazine released its rankings of the safest places in Canada this week and the riverside towns of Quispamsis and Rothesay are at the very top of the list.
Maclean’s says the rankings are based on a crime severity index, which is a measure used by Statistics Canada that accounts for both the number and seriousness of crimes.
With a crime severity index of 18.25 -- the lowest of the 237 Canadian urban areas ranked by Maclean’s and almost 55 points lower than Canada’s overall CSI of 72.9 -- Quispamsis and Rothesay residents can rest easy.
“I walk late at night now and I feel very safe in this community,” says Rothesay resident Paddy O’Reilly.
“We have good neighbourhoods and if we’re out of town, there’s neighbours looking after us, and the [police department] is here in a minute in case you need them,” agrees Quispamsis resident Tony Bogliuni.
Rothesay and Quispamsis, located just northeast of Saint John, were the only communities in Atlantic Canada to make the list of the top 50 safest places in Canada.
Maclean’s says the neighbouring towns have the lowest rate of break-and-enters in the country, with only 18 reported last year.
Kennebecasis Regional Police Chief Wayne Gallant has been on the job for a year. He calls it a policing and community success.
“It certainly speaks well of the two communities that we police here, and it’s certainly not just a policing success, it’s a community success,” says Gallant. “We have a lot of people that are very engaged in our communities here and making sure we have healthy and vibrant communities.”
However, Gallant notes that the statistic will probably change, given the unpredictable nature of crime.
“It’s very fickle too, so who knows. We have a couple of events that happen and that could change,” says Gallant. “You could be asking me the same question next year for a different reason.”
For now, residents say they are going to enjoy the bragging rights that come with the distinction, and take comfort in knowing they’re in good hands.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Laura Lyall