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October 28, 2017 3:53 am

IPG Rumours Abound

Friday, June 12, 2015 @ 4:00 AM

Prince George, B.C.-  The rumour that Initiatives Prince George is about to be  axed,  are not  true,  at least not yet.For the second time  this year, the buzz in the City is that  the  end is near for IPG, the municipally funded economic development arm  of the City of Prince George.

Mayor Lyn Hall  says the  talk is   premature “The City has service agreements with a number of  organizations,  and IPG is one of them.  The IPG service agreement  runs until the end of this year, and  we (Mayor and Council)  are reviewing  all  the service agreements.”   He says there  is “nothing to report,  we are looking at all service agreements.”

The City  funds IPG to the tune of  about $1 million a year.  When 250News spoke to Hall about the  future of IPG  back in  late January,   at the time he said  he thought the City was getting  “good bang for the buck” .

He also  stated at the time  that  he thought IPG was  doing what the City has  asked it to do “and that’s to be our economic development arm.”

The City of Quesnel recently dismantled its economic development corporation.



I think it is worse than a wast of money. I think it removes council to much from their proper position guiding the city, and enables an insider club that puts special interest ahead of good policy.

Any time a level of government runs government policy through an ‘independent’ private organization it removes important transparency issues from the public as they are exempt from freedom to information requests, operate outside of normal government oversight procedures, answer to board members that may or may not be inline with the elected officials, and often will push and agenda just to try and make their work seem as though it is needed.

I think Quesnel did the right thing bringing the economic development issues in house run by existing employees. If we have a mayor and council that are active in leadership then we don’t need IPG.

If PG saved half of a million a year, then that adds up. The city could build a really nice boardwalk around the perimeter of the PG Golf Club grounds… it could be done in brick with nice shrubbery islands dividing it from the roadway, with park benches and garbage bins… it could be the PG version of the Stanley Park walk during the dark winter months. It might cost a couple of years of lost IPG, but the utility to the community would probably bring more benefits than IPG ever did in its 20+ years of service.

Good, kill it with fire!

Look at their website and staff, seems they look after each other and spend more time crossing the country at job fairs then economic development for our City. Million dollars ? no bang for the buck with this new group, in the past IPG had a focus on PG now its China, Ireland, Toronto.

This will be a great chance for Lynn Hall to gain respect if he would get rid of IPG. This is a no brainer. All it was and is is job creation.
DBIA should be next.

There would be absolutely no savings by shutting down IPG. The city, in it’s never ending quest to spend as much money as possible, would just hire people to run it internally.

Over the last 12 days I heard several different rumours, all coming from what I would normally call reliable sources. In other words, they were typically batting close to 100%. One of them supposedly came from a Councillor and was quite detailed. If a Councillor did actually say what he/she was purported to have said, and it was not true, it certainly would harken back to the days of Green when Council was often kept in the dark.

My own initial instinct that IPG’s days were numbered was when it was announced that Rob van Adrichem would move from UNBC to the City in September. He is not coming to the City and given a director position and salary for a “nothing” job.

All one can hope for is that whether IPG comes or goes, it or any City department be given some better direction with the ensuing accountability and community transparency. We need to see that we are getting value for the money we are spending.

As some say, time will tell.

Death to the IPG

If they do close it down the employess should be let go..no jobs at city hall etc. shutting down IPG but just moving the people around but keeping them on the city payroll is typical political move..looks good but means nothing.

PVal is right–one can almost visualize the shuffle.
IPG has definitely outlived its usefulness–if there ever was any???
Now that James and Green are in the past tense–maybe the top lady at IPG will have to apply for a job with some great credentials to warrant the healthy paycheque she is accustomed to.
Quesnel is so far ahead of Prince George when it comes to the operation of a city that I suggest Hall look south for a few lessons!!! Would be interesting. Also the attention Planning in Quesnel shows towards an investor is far superior. Quesnel shows progress and willingness to listen to proposals and offer suggestions. Prince George shuts businesses down–leaving a would be investor holding and paying for property not useable for the purpose it had been utilized for in over 30 years. Fuzzy brained–???
City Hall will not even answer a simple question. State, “Fill out an Freedom of Information form!”
Could be something to hide–you bet!!!!!

My questions to Mayor Hall this morning:


Economic Development?

How’s that working for you so far??

“There would be absolutely no savings by shutting down IPG. The city, in it’s never ending quest to spend as much money as possible, would just hire people to run it internally.”

If they hired 2-3 people internally, it would still be far more affordable. They are currently funding a relatively large staff, and their own space. They should bring 2-3 positions within city hall.

I support shutting down IPG. Have suggested over he years that it provides nothing to the City that cannot be done by the City itself.

Perhaps as pointed out by gopg2015 this is connected to the hiring of Rob van Andrichem, if so then the hiring makes some sense. Some of the IPG staff could be moved to City Hall, to work under Andrichem, and the balance would have to find jobs elsewhere.

Lets keep in mind that the old CN Station on 1st Avenue is owned by the City through IPG, and does generate some revenue through office rentals and leases to Via Rail. It also houses the tourist offices which is another facility that is overstaffed and underworked.

In any event this building could generate some revenue for the City, and at some point perhaps sold to a private business which would generate more money.

And the City of Williams Lake just recently axed their internal ED staff and started a new external “arms length” ED Corp.
Cyclical thinking…….internal, external, internal, external…..Both systems seemed to have failed in the eyes of most communities because this pattern is being seen everywhere.
It’s like the old cliche….give it a couple years and it will change back to the way it was before.

The problem with moving that function to city hall is that building is an elephant graveyard for ideas where even the best ones go to die. They all seem to follow the same path.

1. Someone comes up with an idea. Soon everyone is convinced that it is the best idea that anyone has ever come up with. Ever!

2. Fill a room for a brainstorming session to further develop this brilliant idea. In no time ever wall in the room is filled with Costco sized post-it notes putting flesh to the bones of the plan.

3. Hand notes off to AV geek who will soon have a powerpoint presentation with colored circles, colored squares, arrows, pretty fonts and if we are lucky maybe even a pie chart.

4. After much backslapping it is decided that a powerpoint presentation this good must be turned into a spiral bound glossy full color bonded paper edition.

5.Full color bonded paper spiral edition is used to level a wobbly table leg in the lunchroom of the accounting department.

Case in point

Mayor’s task force, Downtown Prospectus and countless others dealing with the core.

Long term plans for the city the latest being myPG that was once prominently featured on the city webpage with a link to it’s very own website(that was never updated) It is slowly being composted buried deeper and deeper on the site. There is still an old pdf version but be careful if you open it as the room will be filled with virtual dust.

IPG is officially toast!

bang on sparrow

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