I don’t know if you noticed, but there was an election in B.C. this week.
Gordon Campbell? He’s the premier for another four years? More of the same?
Most people, I guess, are perfectly content with that result.
After all, Campbell and his Liberal government won their third majority in a row, and 52 per cent of eligible voters failed to exercise their flabby franchises, so we don’t seem too concerned about life in Canada’s westernmost province these days.
We chose to agree with the Liberals that B.C. is “The Best Place on Earth” and stayed home. There’s even a website: best placeonearth.ca that explains why we’ve got it so good — in case you’re wondering.
I’m not sure who came up with such a cringeworthy slogan or who thought we had to be reminded, but it’s worth noting that the rest of the world — almost — agrees.
Once again, Vancouver ranks among the Top 5 cities in the world in the annual Mercer survey of best places to live, so boasting, while bad manners, is not entirely out of order.
We should note that the survey considers Vienna, Zurich and Geneva as better places to live than Vancouver, but when you’re that close to the top, don’t quibble. Just be happy you don’t live in Baghdad, Bangui (the Central African Republic) or N’Djamena, Chad, the three losers at the bottom of the list.
It’s also noteworthy that Vancouver stays in the Top 5 despite gang warfare, the failure of the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup and gridlock on the Port Mann Bridge.
We even have, according to Mercer, the sixth best infrastructure in the world, which means you should be able to make it over the bridge without falling into the Fraser. Life is good.
Actually, I have the sneaking suspicion that I do live in the best place on Earth. Vienna has the best sachertorte, no doubt, but at the end of my block is a trail leading to a vast wilderness that runs all the way to the North Pole. If I want, I can walk 10 minutes in any direction from my office at the corner of Pender and Howe streets, and end up on the beach.
There are alabaster eagles all over the streets, but if I look up, the real thing circles overhead, its primeval cry echoing through the high-rise canyons. I even live in a city that has not one, but two rain forests. Take that, Vienna.