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October 28, 2017 5:58 am

No Growth In The City Not The Worst Thing We Face

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 @ 3:45 AM

One of the main reasons Don Zurowski failed to gain the support he needed in his quest for the Mayor’s  chair  was the fact that he kept insisting that he would grow PG to 100,000 people. It was akin to savings in every department of up to 10%. It may have sounded nice but the residents of the city did not bite.

We now have received the official population of Prince George and in 2014 the figure was 73,590,  down from 2013 when we were at 74,227.

I recall when the sign entering the city, at Mayor Colin Kinsley’s insistence,  showed a population of 81,000 , a figure that we never came close to.

To his credit , Mayor Lyn Hall, did not bite on the population increases. He had a handle on what to expect coming from the school board.

You see during the period 2001 to 2010, the city saw a decrease in the school population by just  shy of 7,000 . Tag that onto the City’s real numbers  and you would see a population of around 80,000 if the student population  had increased in the manner it had in the past.

Reality dictates, and that reality is that couples are having far fewer children, In many cases one, on the high side two. Yes there have been a whole lot of new homes built in the city over the past few years, but you will find that most contain two people, not the old four or better of days gone by.

We also, as Mayor Hall says, lost at lot of young people during the crash of the eighties as folks moved to Alberta and never came back, and unless they have a reason to come  home, don’t look for that to change.

Hall hopes that the oil patch crash along with some very major projects being planned in BC will change all that . He talks about numerous developers who are looking at this city, and that along with the LNG and other mega projects it  may just be enough  turn the heads of those young people who left the city.

Hall notes that we have bottomed out so to speak in the school closings, our population of students has begun to stabilize after ten years of dropping, and he sees no reason for alarm.

You see he wasn’t to the guy who said they would grow the population of the city to 100,000

I’m Meisner and that’s one man’s opinion.


Haaaa how many people, including myself, said that Zurowski would never be able to bring PG population up to 100,000 figure. It will take decades and a miracle to get it that high. The people who are here are loyal to their city, attracting new people is going to require some major changes, air quality being one. Clean the air and you may get more people coming in and not building outside city limits. Doing that just adds to the growing regional population.

Oh and also maybe our old famous mayor had an influence in the lost population.. That many folks who up and left may not seem like much but it is.

pookerjams, you think she had that much influence? “move to greener pastures”. Ha,ha

Not being mentioned is the fact that a large number of PG Citizens are now over the age of 65. It is probably fair to say that the number that leave the City (one way or the other) offset the number that are born and stay in Prince George. So if we get any increase it will have to come from people moving in.

Having one year where the school enrollment didn’t decline much doesn’t mean we have bottomed out.

If there is no opportunity here for young people, they will move away. It’s as simple as that.

Prince George has a reputation as a “hole”. Right or wrong, that is the common perception. Let’s hope everything goes well at the games and perhaps our reputation will get better.

Of course, we still have a lot of work to do. Air quality is pretty high on my list of things we need to change.

Wouldn’t bother me if it stays the size it is, if you want to be in a big city move to Vancouver. It would take a large increase in population to have any positive effect on taxes, and even at that, it would mean more services were needed which would offset any possible revenue increase. Right now we have relatively low costs for most essentials, great outdoor rec opportunities without being bylawed and regulated to death. Shopping online and with the shipping that is now provided you can get anything that isn’t available in town at a reasonable cost. So I see no reason to rush to increase our population.

Hate to say it but people didn’t move to Alberta during the 80s crash, they moved to Ontario and Quebec. During the recession starting in 1981 there were no jobs to be had in Alberta for about a year, bit longer in BC, but there was a construction boom back east in Ontario – lost a lot of friends who made the trek never to return. One even sold his logging truck to go work construction in Toronto. In the 90s people moved to Alberta, first commuting and then pulling up stakes when the NDP hit us hard.

I was the reverse, moved here from Calgary after the crash hit in 1981, even the 7-11s put on a hiring freeze in August 1981 in Alberta. Family brought me here in ’81 – and they moved to Edmonton near the end of the 90s, can’t win. If it wasn’t for family of my better half we would be gone a long time ago as well. I am lucky enough to work a fairly recession proof job, but in the late 90s came close losing that too.

Being content with a stagnant population is the worst thing our elected and non-elected representatives at city hall can do. Be peed and at least get some type of “committee” we are so good at forming to make recommendations to attracting people here. Or perhaps they reason that IPG is doing a wonderful job of it.

Well said Ben! The priority should always be about providing the best quality of life for the citizens we currently have. That is the biggest draw towards future growth.

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