Canadians perceive Regina as safer than Saskatoon: new poll

Click to play video 'Canadians perceive Regina safer than Saskatoon: new poll' Canadians perceive Regina safer than Saskatoon: new poll
WATCH ABOVE: What is the safest Canadian city? A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll out today shows Canadians believe it's the country's capital. They have also named Winnipeg as the least safe city. Christa Dao breaks down the numbers here in the province to see what Canadians think of both Regina and Saskatoon – Aug 16, 2016

A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll shows Canadians have an optimistic view of crime rates in Saskatchewan’s two main cities.

According to Statistics Canada, Saskatoon and Regina have the highest crime rates in the country, but Canadians believe the two cities to be safer than Toronto, Montreal, and Winnipeg.

Canadians rank Regina just outside the top five safest cities, placing it in the number six spot.

Sixty-one per cent of Canadians believe Regina to be safe, while only 45 per cent feel that way about Saskatoon.

Of the more than 4,000 Canadians surveyed, Ottawa is perceived to be the safest city and Winnipeg the most dangerous.

In Saskatchewan, Regina ranked 6th place while Saskatoon placed 11th in terms of safety on Canadian’s minds.

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Mainstreet Research president Quito Maggi said the numbers seem skewed because of a very popular politician.

“He’s standing up for pipelines, energy sector, other issues that are important to Saskatchewan so that’s the type of news stories that comes out of Regina,” he said.

“Premier Brad Wall is a pretty popular guy in his province. He makes national headlines.”

Despite the sister cities having similar crime rates, the results show Canadians perceive Regina to be much safer than Saskatoon.

READ MORE: Regina still has one of the highest crime rates in Canada, but numbers are trending down

But it wasn’t just Regina. According to the polls, almost all of the provincial capitals scored much higher in perception than the other major cities in their province.

While Winnipeg polled among the most dangerous, in actuality, the crime rate is better than it seems.

It’s the same story for Toronto which ranked just above Winnipeg in perceived safety. Its crime rate is the lowest in Canada, according to Statistics Canada.

Maggi said Canadian’s perception doesn’t line up partly due to media exposure.

“Most cities I would say didn’t get rankings that they deserved,” Maggi said.

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“These numbers are media driven.”

Maggi said most of the news that makes national headlines about Ottawa is often about the prime minister or parliamentary government announcements. He said the government is often what people associate Ottawa with.

By contrast, Maggi explained Winnipeg does not often make national headlines for stories that aren’t negative.

“In recent years [in Winnipeg] there have been a couple of high-profile crime stories involving young people and children. I think that’s really what’s driving these numbers across Canada,” Maggi added.

Maggi said it may take years before Canadian’s perception of safety in cities line up with their actual crime rate. He said Mainstreet Research plans to re-poll Canadians in the future.

Below are the top five safest cities in Canada according to the poll:

  1. Ottawa
  2. Charlottetown
  3. Moncton
  4. St. John’s
  5. Quebec City