Calgary gets a gold star after receiving the top marks in the country on the annual Composite Learning Index, according to scores released by the Canadian Council on Learning Thursday.
Calgary was in a four-way race for top honours for the past three years, but it left the field in its wake with 89 points this year to take first place among 4,700 communities across Canada, a senior analyst for the council said.
“One important thing about Calgary is there are more opportunities for learning through places besides school, such as the workplace, and Calgary has more people taking advantage of the opportunity,” said Jarrett Laughlin, adding the national average is 75 points, down from 77 points the year before.
Recognition for the smartest of the smart within the city goes to Ward 7 and Ward 8, both of which garnered 91-point honours in the same survey. Other wards in Calgary varied between 88 and 91 points.
Laughlin said Ward 7 and Ward 8 excelled because of high access to broadband Internet. Both wards, which represent the inner-city areas, had 100 per cent access, while other wards ranged from 51 to 80 per cent.
“People are broadening their sources of information. On one hand, people may be reading less books and newspapers, but they are reading a lot more information on the Internet,” Laughlin said.
While having more Internet access may have helped his district, Ward 8 Ald. John Mar said being at the centre of the city helped, too.
“Connectivity is important, and I think our proximity to the culture and finance areas of the downtown core helped,” Mar said, adding he was proud of the honours.