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Mayor Not Worried About Population Decline

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 @ 4:03 AM

Prince George, B.C. –  Mayor of Prince George, Lyn Hall is not  worried about the latest stats which indicate the population of Prince George slipped by 637 people last year.weclome sign

According to B.C. Stats, the drop represents  a decline of 0.9%,  to  73,590.

“We’ve hit a bit  of a plateau” says Mayor Hall, “I don’t see us losing any more,  I think we’ve hit a bit of a plateau at that number, the job is to increase it,  to draw people back to Prince George.  We’re seeing what’s happening in Alberta and maybe there’s an opportunity  for those skilled workers to come back  to Prince George.”

Certainly “Come home to  B.C.” is the message Premier  Christy Clark has been  sending to those  working in the troubled  oil patch of Alberta, but  Mayor Hall says  no one will come home  if there is no work to come to  “They aren’t going to  come back just because they want to come back to Prince George, there needs to be employment”.

Mayor Hall is optimistic there will be  new jobs  here to  bring those  folks home “From my perspective,   I hope that  what is on the horizon for Prince George  this  year, will provide that skilled labour need and they will see an opportunity.”  He says he is pretty positive  about what’s going on  in the community “In the month and a half, the developers I’ve met and the people who want to come to  develop  not just housing,  but  commercial opportunities,  I’m very excited about it, and that’s why I’m optimistic.”

Reduced population can be costly in terms of reduced transfer payments , but  Mayor Hall says the local economy takes a hit as well, “Every time we lose in population,  you lose that  disposable income.  Those  folks  leave town and they had discretionary spending, you know they were buying  vehicles,  they were going out to restaurants, so you lose  that in your economy.”

In addition to the good news the Mayor  expects will roll out from  proposed developments in the City,  School District 57  is finally seeing its enrollment level off.  At  the recent budget  amendment  discussion,  Chair Tony Cable commented ““The Board is encouraged that our funded school-age enrollment is virtually unchanged from the 2013-2014 school year after many years of declining enrollment.”

Here’s how some of the other communities in the region shaped up in 2014 when it comes to population numbers compared to 2013:

Quesnel               9,806   an increase of 0.1%

Williams Lake   11,003   an increase of  0.5%

Mackenzie:         3,538,  an increase of 0.7%

Regionally,  Peace River had the  most significant growth among regions in the province,  with a 2.9% increase.

The provincial  population  total was up 1.1% last year over 2013,  with the total  population  estimated to be 4,621,302


So, does a declining population base equal a decline in city spending?

I am hoping that picture is photoshopped…
I think a lot of people would be a titch upset if city had the numbers changed like that…

I think they actually would.

Judging from my last assessment axman, I think not.

Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 @ 6:43 AM by bcracer

I am hoping that picture is photoshopped…


More like Microsoft Paint. I don’t think the population is even on that sign.

@ axman

The amount of infrastructure to maintain doesn’t drop just because the population goes down. They will spend exactly what they are spending now or even more. They will just have less people to pay for it which means taxes in the city will be going up as usual.

seeee ….even Costco noticed and trying to make up the difference by higher gas price than Super Store this morning :)

If you recall, the last sign said that the population was 81,000. They wisely didn’t put the population on the new sign.

We should be focused on making this town attractive and enjoyable to live in. You can’t force people to come here or stay here, but you can make the town a desirable place to be . . . or not. After 100 years, this place still looks like a frontier town, with only a few exceptions.

PG is an awful place to live for many reasons not the least of which is an absolutely horrible climate.
The vast majority of us can’t wait to leave and never look back. Unfortunately, many factors make that much easier said than done. I really can’t imagine anyone making a conscious decision to move here without significant financial compensation.

PG is an awesome place to live, but you have to like winter sports. No winter sports it sucks. There are some of the most giving and friendly people I have ever met. If you don’t believe me about the friendliness just start a conversation in a shopping line. Soon everyone is talking. Do that in Vancouver and everyone want to know what you want from them and nobody talks, you just get the look.

A place is what you make it and what you look for.

Hello to all the people in PG. Thanks for being there for almost 40 years of my life.

Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 @ 9:13 AM by weaksauce

“PG is an awful place to live for many reasons not the least of which is an absolutely horrible climate.
The vast majority of us can’t wait to leave and never look back.”

I don’t agree, yes obviously the weather is a very big factor for some but you have to take the good with the bad. IF you ski, snowmobile etc. its pretty nice to like here.
Awful? Try commuting 2-3 hours every day in bumper to bumper traffic. Try buying a house in Kelowna or Vancouver for less than $300k. Try steady rain for 5 months a year.
To each his own I guess.
I know, I just opened up a big door here for Retired02. Sorry bout that.


Our climate is not that bad these days. Take a look outside this morning, how can you not appreciate this beautiful day?

I would like to know how you came to be in P.G. Obviously it wasn’t a choice that you made but sometimes you have to make the best of a situation and learn to appreciate your circumstances.

Get involved with the community and you will see what it offers, instead of just running it down.

I love the haters, they live here and usually retire here..lol

Every place I have lived has its good and bad points, all depends if you can make the best of it. We all know it’s easy to complain, we all do it. But PG has tons to offer if you want to find something to do in any season.

People move, it’s life. Most of us moved here :) The world is a negative place now, you always hearthe bad stuff, very rare to hear the good stuff. News sells on bad. There are 4 roads leaving PG, if you don’t like it here then choose one and go :).

A vast majority love it here.. Anyone who makes excuses for not leaving a place they hate will hate anywhere they live.

P Val. Seems in your mind you have all the answers. If your points are valid, then explain why all the other like sized Cities in the Province, including Vancouver Island are growing, and the towns/cities in North Central BC are shrinking.

Access to Winter Sports is available anywhere in BC. So Prince George does not have an edge in that area.

Fishing is available all over BC. Other areas have access to the ocean, and many beaches and lakes, etc; People head into the Okanogan in droves every year to spend the summer. The whole South West of the Province runs amuck with Tourists. No so in Prince George.

Years ago in Prince George, if you went to Bear Lake on a week end there would be hundreds or people on the beach. Nowadays your lucky if you see 50. Same applies to Summit Lake, Ness Lake, West Lake, etc. None of these places are looked after to the extent that they should be.

People come to Prince George to get a good job . If there is no job then they don’t come. Its just that simple. Most people are here, and stay here for the same reason.

When people retire, it seems they get the hell out of dodge. Most people with good jobs that I know over the years have left for the Okanogan, or the Island to retire.

The incentive to come to Prince George for cheap housing works only for people looking for cheap housing. If you like where you are, then you will do everything to stay there,. Coming to Prince George to retire is an option, but not used very much. If it was we would be inundated with people looking for houses, and of course we are not.

For all the people that thinks PG is a horrible place to live, please just leave, the rest of us who thinks its great place would rather not have you here anyway, so just kindly leave and let us get new people who wants to make this a positive community….. Or all you naysayers just talk and no substance. Yeah, I know people like you, don’t do nothing to improve our community, and just want a free handout on everything. I know all you are nothing more than takers, never giving back. We don’t want people like you anyway, so just leave, yes the grass will be greener on the other side of the fence.

yep for all those people that fail to fill out the census report should be prosecuted.

1) Additional personal taxes.
2) No Old age Pension
3) Deduction on welfare check if collecting Dole
4) Deduction on EI check.

We all have responsibilities, failure to fill out a census report should have penalties.

So over the past seven years I’ve lived in a few different places. Prince George tops them all. I moved here because I wanted to be here. PG has everything I enjoy doing and is pretty affordable compared to most other large centers. I’ll take PG and winter over down south and the rain.

Hey, if you folks can make it work here then more power to you. I just doubt that ‘Mr. & Mrs. Anywhere Else’ are dying to move here just so they can ‘try & make the best of it’.

Not having my head in the sand does not make me a ‘hater’.

I’m also not interested in changing anyone else’s opinion so I’m done with this topic for now.

Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 @ 10:24 AM by Palopu

“P Val. Seems in your mind you have all the answers.”

Pot , meet kettle!

Laughing my *** off!

He Spoke. This particular population count comes from BC Stats, and they peg the population at 73,590. The last Federal Census (2011) showed the population at 71,974.

Considering that a number of programs are funded based on the Census numbers (not the BC Stats numbers) I agree that people should be sure to fill out the Census form, however they seem not to be interested. Probably because they do not understand the ramifications of not filling it out. As an example money transferred to PG from the Gas Tax Fund is on a per capita basis based on 2011 census.

Years ago, Mayor Kinsley would make an effort to have the homeless fill out the form, to ensure that the City got the proper funding. Not sure that this effort is made anymore. In any event, I suspect that the BC Stats figure is closure to being accurate than the Census.

Next Federal Census is 2016. People can start to think now about filling it out.


PG is an awful place to live for many reasons not the least of which is an absolutely horrible climate.
The vast majority of us can’t wait to leave and never look back. Unfortunately, many factors make that much easier said than done. I really can’t imagine anyone making a conscious decision to move here without significant financial compensation.

Hey you should go see a doctor about depression, when referring to us. Think me, myself, and I .

He spoke

“yep for all those people that fail to fill out the census report should be prosecuted.

1) Additional personal taxes.
2) No Old age Pension
3) Deduction on welfare check if collecting Dole
4) Deduction on EI check.

We all have responsibilities, failure to fill out a census report should have penalties”.

Not sure what census your referring to? I have never received any census in the mail ever!

How does the climate in PG differ from Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, most of Ontario or Quebec for that matter?


“How does the climate in PG differ from Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, most of Ontario or Quebec for that matter?”

The answers to the questions you seek are in the carbon taxes!!!

Palopu, I can appreciate your points about tourists coming to PG or going elsewhere, but if you flip your argument & look at your points from the opposite view, those are the things that make a place like PG desirable. Heading to Kelowna for a vacation ( or even passing through)? Good luck with the grind to get through the town. Heading to the Island? Better book your ferry now. Heading to Calgary through the Parks? Give yourself an extra few hours to avoid the idiot gawkers. PG is not perfect, what place is. We do have a lot going for us, unfortunately we have a bad reputation, some of it deserved, some not. Hopefully with the Winter Games people will see that PG is actually a pretty nice place & the people are great ( we are, as another poster pointed out, other areas of BC are really not that friendly).

detoe44.. Agreed.. I moved here becuase i didnt want to deal with the first points you brought up and to add to it i can afford to own a decent home and have some extra play money too. (actually lived in kelowna for a while..) Some people who live here dont cant even see the oppertunities just past their doorstep. Yes we do have some undesirable traits but you can expect that anywhere you go.. For me the rewards outweigh anything else..

Prince George is a great place to live. Its not threatened by the huge earthquake like Vancouver is.
Our 4 seasons are very straight forward.
People make excellent money on the average.
Nice lakes.good hunting and fishing.
Posed for an industry bust. mineing, oil, natural gas.
Spruce capital of the world.
I think we should be a little more thankful here.
Winter games are here for good reasons, obviously a good choice.
No spiders and bugs in the winter.lol.
I have lived here for 63 years. Im staying.

I mostly agree with you, onemansthoughts! The benefits of living in Prince George by far outweigh any real or imagined drawbacks! Nothing is perfect as people in Kamloops, Kelowna and dozens of other places will tell you if they are making an honest assessment! That includes the Lower Mainland and the Islands.

I think Mayor Hall should be worried.

Every year that cities like Kelowna, Kamloops, Nanaimo, Chilliwack, etc., continue to grow, is another year that PG gets bumped down the list as a city that will attract primary interest and attention from the private sector, government investments, people looking to re-locate, etc. PG will never shrivel up and die, but it could very well find itself being unable to compete with those aforementioned places because it is too small. 20-30 years down the road, it could wind up competing with Fort St. John, Penticton or places like that.

Now, if the desire is for PG to remain at around 70,000 people, then I think there has to be some pretty serious discussion about whether the city is sustainable in its current form over the long-term. The city has a massive area to service for its population and it offers great services for a city its size, but with stagnant growth or even population decline, it’s going to be harder and harder to keep those services up.

I think PG should focus on slow and steady growth and that it should start by re-investing in the city and improving its appearance and liveability. This includes basic things like parks, public spaces, beautification, trail networks, but also stuff like more intelligent development. There are lots of things that can be done to make PG a more attractive community. There are many examples elsewhere that PG could learn from and apply.

Very good post, NMG. I agree.

Hey, Oneman, you too???
Whaetver happened to population going to 100,000 in four years? Oh yeah, that was the other guy. Ah well, had a good laugh over that.
From living in the cache til now, it’s a special town for me, the hunting and fishing, the winters, good times. Think the city should do more to make out rivers more accessible in town but that’s just me.
It’s big enough, no worries.

For a city who seems to be population stalled why do we have so many houses being built ? And they are huge, $500,000 per. Condos going up etc. Who’s buying these and why if PG is floundering. seems a bit off to me.

Good points NMG, PG can certainly look & learn at what has worked elsewhere. Two places that have similar populations come to mind, Kamloops & Lethbridge. Roughly 20 years ago Kamloops reinvented itself, especially the downtown. I remember in the 80’s the downtown was very similar to PG but some very forward thinkers & movers decided to remake the downtown, now instead of rough bars & a place a person ran in & out of if they had to go there, it is small boutique shops & restaurants, parks & green spaces. Truly a wonderful make over. Lethbridge is a city of comparable size that benefits from some very forward thinking & a well designed city core. Again, use of green space as well as placing businesses where they will get the best exposure. Are both these places perfect? No, but they have a lot that PG could look to & borrow from.

But in PG we have to knock down parks (1st $ George) because the junkies like to sit there and shoot up. In PG we have to remove tree planters because people use them as toilets. PG is the destination for all northern BC’s downtrodden. It’s tough to have nice things in this town.

Raw log exports create declining populations. A HREF=”http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/02/04/BC-Raw-Log-Exports/”Ever Increasing Raw Log Exports/A

One thing that makes Prince George looks like a war zone is in the spring when all the roads and sidewalks are all busted up from the snow removal equipment. Gravel is dumped on all the lawns and especially on central where all the car lots and stores dump their snow and gravel. This should not be allowed. Then comes the yellow fields of dandelions!!!

@1mansthought if you’re 63 years old and you can’t remember the 4.6 quake in Prince back in 86 , that’s 1986 , then you got a bigger problem than geographic location .

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