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October 28, 2017 12:11 am

Economic Development Committee Meets for First Time

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 @ 5:40 PM
Prince George's Economic Development Committee - photo submitted

Prince George’s Economic Development Committee – photo courtesy City of Prince George

Prince George, B.C. – Members of Prince George’s Economic Development Committee gathered for their first meeting at City Hall this afternoon.

The 17 member committee, comprised from a cross section of sectors in the community and announced earlier today (see previous story here), has been tasked with advising Council on an economic development strategy for Prince George.

A similar committee was set up 20 years ago under former mayor Colin Kinsley’s administration. Committee chair and Mayor Lyn Hall was asked how this new committee would be any different.

“I’m not really that familiar if at all with the one that mayor Kinsley had. I think the key to this one is its strong connection to the economic development arm and that was our intent,” he said.

“We wanted this body to give our economic development folks an opportunity to hear their positions and their views on things from industry, retail, health, and education.

“So not knowing what mayor Kinsley’s committee looked like, this one here is really going to be focusing on the expertise they bring to the table in the various capacities that they hold inside our community.”

Along with introductions, committee members today also agreed to hold a strategic planning session and meet at least three more times before summer.


Can’t seem to log on to the other thread, but I have to say this economic development committee looks like scatter shot hoping that they hit on something.

I see huge potential for PG if we could ever get focused on adding value to the resources of this region. As a region we have the resource extraction pretty much nailed, but what about adding to the banking, head office, commodities trading, engineering, and downstream manufacturing… and how can we pool the talents needed to incubate the diversification that would make PG the industry center for forestry as well as mining and the energy industries.

What does PG need to bring together the capital formation required for entrepreneurial start ups, trading floors of commodity traders, integrating with the logistics of shipping, finance, banking, engineering, and the decisions makers both in government and corporate head offices?

Vancouver is out priced. Its insanely expensive for not not only a corporate office in Vancouver, but also for remuneration to have employees locate in the GVRD. At some point its got to be more cost effective to have government offices relating to the resource industries, to relocate outside of the GVRD and Victoria area to the part of the province where the activity takes place.

Why not push to make PG the natural center for the resource industry in BC?

Why not start with the likes of Petronas or any other number of LNG outfits. See if we can get them to make their head offices for North America here in PG. Encourage them to buy up land prior to any announcement if need be… if one bought up enough, and an announcement sparks inflation of the market, they could sell the excess and have that subsidize further the cost of making PG a head office town.

It would be great if we had a group that could lay down a vision, and then get not just the targeted resource corporations to set up in PG, but also have the government on board helping to facilitate the trading markets that would make them want to stay here so as to be at the center of industry activity from capital formation, to trading floors, to regulatory oversight and decision making.

PG would need new office towers, new hotels, new shopping malls and more housing of all types… and over the long stretch we would see resource dollars circulating in this city rather than bypassing the city entirely.

Time Will Tell

    While I agree with your sentiment, many resource companies should be based out of Prince George, I think you’re underestimating how unreasonable lower mainlanders are. People will do almost anything to keep from moving up here.

    Even companies like Canfor have their head office in Vancouver. The CEO of Northern Health resides in North Vancouver (from what I’ve been told).

    Until we can break-free of our numerous poor, and false reputations (crime-ridden, mill town), we won’t have any success in attracting big business to PG. We’re also up against a global trend, and that’s the huge amount of people flocking to major urban centers. Big business tends to set up where people want to be now, rather than people moving where the jobs are. Also, people perceive us as being too remote. The 8 hours to Vancouver is too much, and the 2 hour daily commute for them is acceptable haha.

    I agree, I see so much potential with PG. Our costs will never be the same as Vancouver as well because we aren’t locked into a small amount of land like them.

We had better pull our heads out of the sand. No major company is going to locate in Prince George because it is NOT THE PLACE to be.

Prince George was a more diverse town many many years ago, however times have changed, and things have changed.

People in Prince George just cant seem to get their head around the idea that they are in fact **a small city** and that they have very little of offer.

When you have choices of where to locate such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, London, Berlin, New York, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Los Angeles, etc; etc; why in the H would you come to Prince George.

For the movers and shakers of the world, money is not an issue, and moving to Prince George is not and will never be on the drawing board.

We need to re-invent ourselves, and this will take time and dedication, sitting back and waiting for someone to come to town is probably not going to work.

PG was more diverse many years ago?
Please elaborate, because I see many more job opportunities in sectors that never existed before.

The city may have lost many saw mills, but it has not lost its diversity.

This city would have crumbled with the US housing crisis if we weren’t diverse.

Additionally… you’re forgetting a major part of the picture. Sure for the big companies, they don’t care about the price of rent for their offices, but I can assure you their employees care about their cost of living. Vancouver having to shut down 15 schools is proof that all isn’t perfect down there and the high cost are driving families out. At the rate of property price increases, no working person will be able to live in that city.

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