Reviews

Unhappy

Stephen Osborne

In April 2015, Statistics Canada released a report, How’s Life in the City?, with figures showing that the least happy, which is to say the unhappiest city in Canada, is Vancouver, to which it assigns a happiness rating of a mere 7.7, followed by Toronto, Windsor, Guelph and Edmonton, respectively, each of them only slightly less unhappy than Vancouver by factors of less than 1 point; whereas St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Saguenay, Quebec, are assigned the happiest (or least unhappy) ratings in the country by a margin of 40 percent on a scale of Life Satisfaction that can be seen on the Stats Canada website, along with the following disclaimer (or claimer): There is now international support for the measurement of subjective well-being. A less unhappy but weakly substantiated view of happiness in Vancouver is provided by a so-called premium content provider in BC best place for tourists, a post claiming that the province of BC, including Vancouver, is the best place on earth, and quite a bit more attractive compared to Saudi Arabia and many other locations. It is easy for a visitor to talk in Vancouver, says the post: no need to rely on the translation function on your phone. Further, you can say whatever you like in any language, not like China or Tibet. And there is no need to worry about muggers, robbers or even pickpockets, the content provider says. BC has attracted some of the world’s best chefs to prepare our edible bounty, says the post, and there is always a McDonald’s or a Starbucks if one is looking for the globally familiar.

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Stephen Osborne

Stephen Osborne is a co-founder and contributing publisher of Geist. He is the award-winning writer of Ice & Fire: Dispatches from the New World and dozens of shorter works, many of which can be read at geist.com.


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