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October 28, 2017 3:50 am

Select Committee on Economic Development To be Established

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 @ 3:59 AM

Prince George, B.C. – When the  recommendation was made  against  renewing the service agreement with Initiatives Prince George, it was Councillor Albert Koehler who was the only one who  vote against the idea.

That vote  was  conducted at a closed door meeting  of Council  in  late May not to renew the service agreement  with  IPG , that agreement comes to an end  at the end of this year.

Koehler says the projected savings of $500 thousand dollars by dismantling IPG  could have been achieved by  simply cutting  IPG’s budget by the same amount.

“I look forward to fresh ideas” says Councillor Brian Skakun who  said while he appreciated  what IPG has done over the years “I’ve been challenged on how many jobs they created in the City.”

City Manager Kathleen Soltis says on January 1st 2016 economic development will be handled  in house,  which will be under the banner of the  Development Services  department which ultimately answers to  the City Manager’s office. Only Heather Oland has been offered  a job  with the City, but she  has not yet  advised if she will take the post.  

If Oland accepts,  she would report  to Ian Wells.   It is imagined  the  work will require  staff of 3 to four people,  so all others at IPG have been given layoff  notices.  Whatever  new positions  are created will be union  positions, and the job descriptions will be developed in consultation with  CUPE  and the positions posted externally.

“There is an opportunity for us as we move forward to have substantial savings for the City.” says Councillor Frank Everitt,  who added “Council needed to be much closer aligned with  economic development.”

Mayor Lyn  Hall  offered thanks to IPG and its Board for their work  over the years. 

Meetings by the new Select Committee on Economic Development  will be open to the public.


So the person who was the head of an unsuccessful economic development company has been offered a job with the city. The city does need someone with a strong proven background in economic development and this particular individual is not who we need. Council you got half the job done now do the rest of the job and advertise for this position.

It is time for PG to decide what we want to be when we grow up. Same old boys club that is a downtown slumlord? Or soon to be vacant lot master? will the select committee be the same people from the IPG board? Just move some of the salaries inhouse to hide them from the public? Disband it and then decide what it is you want and then hire people appropriate for the role. This is just one step forward and two steps back. I agree with oneup482, find someone who can do the job you actually want to do.

Think Oland will just slip off into the sunset, would not be in control and have to perform which is not likely. As an engineer should fined a job more in line with her abilities.

She is not an engineer. She is a planner. She has a BA in Political Science from U.Vic and a MA in Community Planning from UNBC in 2000. She is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners.

She has previously been employed at the City as well as L&M Engineering.

She has been with IPG since January 2012.

EDAC is the Canadian association for those working in the economic development field. It has existed since 1968.

EDAC produced a 35 page report in 2011 called Performance Measurement in Economic Development.

The exec. summary states the following:
The initial goal was to produce a standardized template or model that could be used by all economic developers to provide a consistent level of reporting in economic development. It soon became apparent though that the profession is too disparate for that ever to be possible.

As well the governance models for economic development organizations are evolving making a standardized template impractical.

A survey of the EDAC membership was used to determine the metrics currently being used by economic development offices across the country. One of the most interesting results of the survey is that no single metric was cited by all 99 respondents.

It seems that what people want to see are cause and effect. In other words, here is what we did and here are the results.

ED is a function which at best can use leading indicators which identify all the right things being done as well as lagging indicators which show change in the level of investment in the community.

Linking the two together into a direct cause and effect is impossible to do other than for a case by case basis.

Whether an Economic Development Corporation or an Economic Development Department, it is still going to face the same reporting out to the community problems. Whether it will be cheaper remains to be seen. Suspect we will actually never get to know that. It would be nice to have that monitored from the start over the last 3 years of this Council.

So, hiring fewer people into union positions at union pay rates is going to save the city a half million dollars, eh? How come a non-union company/group was so inefficient? The right wing, whining, anti-union crowd on this site always tell us its the other way round, don’t they?

We have not seen the $500,000 saving calculation. We likely never will be shown that. This Council is no more transparent than previous ones. They spin stuff like everyone else.

Oh, come one! The right wing, whining, anti-union crowd are the biggest spinsters in PG. Everything is a union’s fault, absolutely everything! Now that’s spin!

Amazing!!!!!! Not one councillor asked Soltis what the SALARY would be with the hiring of Oland, if she chooses to accept the position.
One step forward–two or three backwards!
IPG should simply have met an end–which should have happened years ago–and no one offered any position with the City of Prince George-let alone a friend of the City Manager????
If positions came open–look at suitable applicants.
What is this with the re hiring of A. Clark–a previous employee who quit the city after maybe 3 decades of employment in numerous management positions. He has now returned from Courtenay–and it appears he simply walked into a new position at City Hall in Prince George. Is this not so??
If the public is not yet aware of the need for secrecy is predominant at Prince George City Hall–then they indeed are simply stupid tax payers supporting the questionable dealings which they are paying for!!!!

I think I wrote “they spin stuff like everyone else”. That means you, me, Council, union, IPG, CNC, UNBC, Northern Health, the feds, the MP offices, BCLiberals …..

Why do you think that communications people are so much in demand and get paid so much. That is their purpose.

Do we own the building IPG is in? if so that means we will have a empty space. I think we should move Native Health into that spot it would be a real good place for it and maybe we could also move the Fire Pit there if there is room.

The City owns the building.

Tourism PG and Visitor Centre is downstairs with some very expensive and nice tenant improvements. If the City were to sell the building it would have to recover the money to relocate and put new tenant improvements in.

IPG is upstairs but uses only part of the space. The rest is rented out.

The building has a major problem as I see it. There is no elevator and the stairs leading to the upstairs are a single run and relatively steep. I am not sure where the second set of stairs are for a fire exit.

There is nothing to prevent the space upstairs to be continued to be used by the city for the same purpose. Remember, City Hall has a finite space. I understand Bylaw services is in the new RCMP station. I do not know what departments or partial departments are in the works yard. I believe the facility east of Queensway is fully closed down.

Perhaps someone could give us an update of where all the city offices are located. I tried to find that information on the City Web site but could not.

Another ‘Facepalm’ for the city of PG. Hey, lets keep hiring the people that are fired from previous positions.

The City through IPG owns this building. Via Rail leases a portion of the ground floor East end, the tourist bureau is located in the West end ground floor of the building in what can only be described as **great digs**. SNC Lavalin rents out space in the top along with some other small offices. IPG was I believe in the top floor West end of the building, and this would be the only space available for renting.

Its highly unlikely that the City can sell this building because it has some issues and they probably should not have bought it in the first place. So they will probably rent out the rest of the building and pay off the building with the rental income.

no mention of who this select committee will be or what their mandate will be…

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