250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 11:53 pm

Hall’s Huddles In Ottawa Positive

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 @ 4:00 AM

Prince George, B.C.- Mayor Lyn Hall says  the meetings he’s been having in Ottawa are going well and he is optimistic they will bear fruit.“We’re meeting with  various Ministries,   infrastructure, Veterans Affairs,  technology folks.  We’re just trying to get a jump on what’s happening  particularly around  infrastructure and the $60 billion dollar announcement the Government made a few weeks ago.”

Hall says the discussions  will cover a number of issues “We have projects we need  in Prince George and we want  to see what the criteria is going to be to apply for  funding  from the Federal Government.    The Ministry of Veterans Affairs, I specifically want to talk about the Veterans  Affairs office in Prince George and   there’s been  an announcement  by the Minister a number of months agao about re-establishing the 9  community  Veterans Affairs offices that had been closed,   so I just want to get a  time line to see what that looks like.

Infrastructure is key,  not only for Prince George,  but for every community   right across the country.  The  message has  already been carried to Ottawa by the “Big City Mayors” group as well as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, but Mayor Hall says  he  doesn’t  think Prince George’s voice is being drowned out by those much larger  groups “I am very impressed with the reception we’ve received.  I talked specifically about the  Big City Mayors requests, is that going to impact medium and smaller  sized cities?  And the answer is no, the infrastructure funding is set up for all communitieis throughout Canada, so I was reassured by that.”

The infrastructure funding  has a number  of categories, including ‘social’  and as expected, that will include affordable and  seniors housing,  Mayor Hall says  he has been  advised  a performing arts centre would also follow under that umbrella. But that’s a baby step.   There  is still no indication  on how that funding might be allocated  “With the Build Canada Fund, that’s a three way partnership between  the municipality, the Province and the Federal Government,  so we  wanted to know if that’s going to remain the same and what does the funding formula look like.”  The  policy  on  the  funding share  is still being developed  says Mayor Hall.

But the focus is  on  the below and above ground infrastructure  “I feel pretty positive  about the ability of us to go after funding, even though there’re a lot of communities in the country  that  certainly need it.  The Government  is looking at revitalizing this old  infrastructure and   it looks like there is a real commitment to it and every community is going to need some of that.  It may  be that  we get a few million bucks and that’s great.  We don’t expect  that we will have every  project fully funded,  we know there is money we have to put in  and so will the Province and that’s the other piece we’re waiting on, but I feel pretty  positive  about it.”

Mayor Hall says  while  he is  optimistic  the visit will  produce results,  it  may be several months before  those  results  shine through “This trip is really  just to get our face out there and  to   touch base, and make these ministries  aware that we are going to be looking for funding for some of these projects that we’ve  got in the works.”

The Mayor and City Manager have three more meetings with  Federal Ministries today.




ANd what does that Rob guy do??? Gets everyone coffee??

I think a few people have to admit, this trip is not a waste of time or money. Important information is being exchanged about important and relevant issues for this city, particularly as it applies to infrastructure funding, and our closed veterans affairs office.

Those who see the negative in everything, should at least be thankful our city delegation is not on a trip to China.

The Federal Budget comes out on March 29th.

Then the questions of what programs and how many dollars allocated,

will be answered.

After that, the local governments can start making applications.

For funding under the different programs once the intake process for

applications has been announced.

I would agree that this is not a wasted trip. Prince George and the surrounding area need to be front and centre for the next few years to ensure that we get our fair share of infrastructure funding.

We need to ensure that we get as much money as possible for roads, bridges, water sewer, swimming pools, fire halls, and other structures that are getting long in the tooth.

At the end of the day how much money we receive and where it will be spent, will require input from the citizens at large in addition to City Staff, and Politicians. We need to keep in mind that all this money is in effect tax dollars, and therefore all tax payers should be benefiting not just vested interest groups.

no matter how bad the meetings are really going we are going to be told they are going well if for no other reason than to justify the expense of a trip that could have had the same things accomplished using teleconferencing at a small percentage of the cost..

Your right to some extent bcracer, however Hall will be more interested in actually making some progress, as opposed to just going through the motions as some of our Mayors have done in the past. I think he does his homework and has the best interests of the City in mind over the long haul.

There is no doubt that there will be significant Federal Infrastructure available in the next few years, and we need to ensure that we get our share. Being in Ottawa works in our favour.

On strategic occassions, having our Mayor’s voice and presence in Ottawa is more important now than ever. Remember, our Federally elected representatives are now backbenchers in opposition, and are not a part of the ruling government. Whether anyone cares to admit it or not, this makes them less effective. So how important is it to have our Mayor’s presence and voice in Ottawa now?

    Our “representatives”, past and present, weren’t effective even when they were part of the ruling government, so nothing has changed in that respect.

    Also, Hall can chirp all he wants in Ottawa, but the truth of the matter is that he and the mayors of cities such as Kamloops, Kelowna, etc. will have to sit with spoons and hope they can catch what dribbles down and out of the pant legs of Vancouver’s mayor when it comes to infrastructure spending. That is how it really works in this country, on both the Federal and Provincial levels.

Just why is Rob along on the trip when basically he is a propagandist. Is this trip really about the PAC and he is along to write diversions around that fact? Just wondering.

Someone should really introduce this thing called ‘Skype’ and ‘The Internet’ to city council. You don’t have to travel the world on the dime of the taxpayer to achieve nothing.

This Veterans Affairs office in PG is a big joke. When theres was an office you could never find it. You had to call a 1-800 number and you would be directed to Winnepeg that would refere you to Penticton or Vancouver to establish a claim.

At most the office would consist of office space and a couple of employees.

Don’t forget that the Mayor was also on hand in Ottawa to receive those prestigious awards they were handing out for the Winter Games.

Rob Van Andrichem, is probably travelling with the group because he is now responsible for economic development, plus he needs to get his feet wet.

    Rob van Adrichem is now responsible for economic development? When did that happen?

The veterans affair office had few active clients. Service could be handled by phone, those in town trained to help and when a veterans affair representative traveled to PG. Also every Thursday morning there are two representatives from the local conservative offices on site at the legion to assist.

I hope the infrastructure money is being spent on aging infrastructure first, bridges, water, sewer. Stuff that is going to have to be upgraded or replaced at some time.

Now is the time to do it when workers are available, and interest rates are low. It would cost us much more later on.

Things like a performing arts center would be far down on my list.

I have to rethink this. Galt’s right, we’ve got two opposition MPs and truth is, even when they were in government, our MPs didn’t seem to make much of a splash. Trudeau is a left wing sort of guy, and Hall is also a left wing sort of guy. Might not hurt for the Ottawa gang to have in their recent memory a guy much like their own boss is mayor of PG. Our current MP’s probably fuel the knuckle dragging red neck stereotype, whereas Hall and crew would contraindicate that.

    Hahahaha… dreamer, nothing but a dreamer…

I do not know what Mr Hall has in mind for Project’s but based on what I have seen recently i think most of the money (Fed. ) has already been allocated .
Marine Atlantic (ferries to Newfoundland ) has a request for proposal for 2 new Vessel’s.There is only a 3 week window for proponents to
respond , that Tell’s me they already have some one lined up.( to build the vessel’s )
BC Ferries applied because they want to replace their Mid Coast Vessel , they (as far as I know ) have not heard any thing back on their proposal.
Shovel Ready, maybe you might get something , Wish List line is over here…

Correction::: Rob Van Andrichem is the External Relations Director for the City. I thought that since he came around the time that IPG was leaving that he had something to do with economic development.

In any event as External Relations Director, I guess he could make a case for being in Ottawa.

I just hope they don’t bring up the problem we are having with bears eating the chickens in PG. But then you never know there might be some funding for that type of problem also.

    hahahah that is sooo funny… Thanks for the humor

At least he’s in Canada meeting with people that can make a difference. It’s not like all the trips Colin Kinsley wasted time and our money on so he could drink in China.

External Relations Director for the City, like I said, fancy words for a propagandist.

Comments for this article are closed.