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‘I’m not overly surprised’: Montreal ranks last in national health, lifestyle rankings

Click to play video: 'Montreal: worst Canadian city for healthy lifestyle' Montreal: worst Canadian city for healthy lifestyle
WATCH ABOVE: The Conference Board of Canada has ranked the country’s 10 major cities to find out where people thrive in terms of population health, access to health care services and lifestyle. As Global's Raquel Fletcher reports, Montreal came in last – Dec 13, 2016

Montreal ranks last in the country when it comes to health and lifestyle, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

The organization ranked the country’s 10 major cities to find out where people thrive in terms of population health, access to health-care services and lifestyle.

READ MORE: Saskatoon, Calgary, Winnipeg top list in national health rankings: Conference Board of Canada

In almost all categories, Montreal came in last, or near the bottom.

“I’m not overly surprised. I think we should not overdramatize this,” said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.

Montreal came in 10th place, receiving a final grade of D on the academic grading system for city health — the only city to do so.

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READ MORE: Canada is 6th happiest country in the world, global study finds

Saskatoon topped the list, with an A.

Quebec City ranked fourth with an overall grade of B.

Cities ranked from best to worst in terms of lifestyle and health.
Cities ranked from best to worst in terms of lifestyle and health. Conference Board of Canada

The Conference Board of Canada ranked 10 of the country’s biggest cities in 24 indicators, grouped into four main categories: life satisfaction, population health, healthy lifestyle and access to health-care services.

“Benchmarking cities’ health performance helps identify gaps and determine policy priorities to improve the health-care system and the health of Canadians,” said Louis Thériault, vice-president of public policy.

Montreal did the best on population health, but still scored low when it came to diabetes, asthma and heart disease.

READ MORE: Toronto most youthful city in the world, global index says

According to the board, though, residents have below-average health lifestyles — smoking more and doing less physical activity than people in say, Calgary and Vancouver.

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Montreal scored the worst when it came to health-care services, from the number of hospital beds to specialists and family doctors.

“We see that more and more Quebecers have a family doctor, 420,000 more than only a few years ago,” insisted Couillard.

“There’s still a lot more to do.”

But the Parti Quebecois blames the government for cutting in healthcare over the last two years. “Doctors are retiring and there’s no one to replace these doctors. The problem is worse in Montreal,” said PQ MNA Carole Poirier.

All in all, the city’s D in overall life satisfaction was due to Montrealers reporting greater life and work stress, as well as a lower sense of belonging or local community.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca

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