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October 27, 2017 9:50 pm

P.G. Economy “On A Roll” says Conference Board of Canada

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 @ 9:51 AM

Prince George, B.C.- Prince George has the strongest economic outlook  among sever mid-sized  Canadian cities studied by the Conference Board of Canada.

The Mid-Sized Cities Outlook 2016 report  cites “Renewed gains in construction output, steady growth in the forestry industry, and ongoing strength in the finance, insurance, and real estate industry will help real GDP growth in Prince George reach 2.4 per cent in 2016.”

The other  cities  included in the study are Timmins Ontario, Sault Ste Marie,  Brandon Manitoba,  Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer Alberta.

According to the report, Prince George’s economy is forecast “to make significant gains over the next two years (following growth of 2.6 per cent last year), with real gross domestic product (GDP) rising by 2.4 per cent this year and 2.8 per cent in 2017.”

Other highlights from the report:

  • Multiple-family housing starts are set to hit a 20-year high in 2016, boosted by the start of construction on the 173-unit RiverBend Seniors  complex.
  • Employment in the city is forecast to grow by 4.5 per cent this year, following an 8.2 per cent decline in 2015.
  • Personal income per capita is forecast to top $50,000 per year for the first time in Prince George, higher than the BC average.
  • Retail sales are poised to grow by 4.6% this year, again greater than the forecasted average for all of BC.
  • Prince George’s finance, insurance, and real estate industry is poised to expand by 5.6 per cent in 2016, making the sector this year’s growth leader.

Mayor Lyn Hall says the report confirms what  residents have already been  sensing, “Just look at  the previous few months: more than $60 Million in private sector dollars are being invested in the downtown area alone, between the RiverBend Seniors Community and the Courtyard by Marriott hotel announced last week. This week, Council heard we are issuing more building permits than the previous few years. (see previous story) What’s more, as a hub city, we are poised to benefit from the record number of projects proposed for Northern BC in the coming years.”

The report also notes Prince George’s increasingly diversified economy, with UNBC, the Northern Health Authority, and the College of New Caledonia helping to insulate the City from economic downturns.
In  order to be  part of the study, Prince George  ( as did the other 6)   paid $4,000  to have current data on the economy  here and  where it’s going.

The information will be used  by  P.G.’s Economic Development  team says Economic Development Manager  Melissa Barcellos “Current data is essential for the City’s economic development activities as it allows us to approach
potential investors with recent and reliable evidence about the local economic situation and that Prince George is an excellent place to invest.”


Cue the usual loopy left apparatchiks that poo-poo this story because it’s positive news under the Clark government. 3, 2, 1…

How can you tell there is an election coming? Did Shirley Bond help write this good news story?

The Clark Government should be 1,2,3, and your out.

The numbers above seem to be a little out of whack. I can tell you that there are a lot of people in this town that would love to have a per capita income of $50,000.00 per year. The median income for Prince George is around $40,000.00

The retail industry is dragging its butt, and although I am sure they would love to see 4.6% growth this year, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Growth in finance, real estate, and insurance, means that we will pay more for these services.

In any event we will have to wait to see what exactly transpires. I wonder if they will put out a report if they do not reach their stated projections.??

WTH is the NDP government going to do if they get in power. If they get in, these good news stories will be rare. I’m not a big fan of Clark but she is better on her worst day then anyone in the entire NDP party on their best day. This province needs a middle of the road party that sees value in business and the tax base and employment that it provides and an idea of the best way to serve the human element of BC. We seem to have to choose between business first and only or we choose pro-union, anti-business and over the top social welfare growth. I wish there was a middle. We need business to survive but we also need to take care of folks too.

    Unfortunately, to do both requires some fundamental changes in the way governments do their books. There’s no appetite for that in either the BC Liberal Party or the BC NDP. Nor have the Greens or BC Conservatives clued in. In the case of the latter, that’s quite likely the reason they’ll never get anywhere, short of there being some massive scandal that Christy’s crowd can’t overcome. Even then, we’d only be getting more of the same under a different name.

    The old BC Social Credit League under WAC Bennett was about as close as we’ve ever gotten to being truly ‘middle-of-the-road’, but when inflation took them out of office in 1972 it was mostly because they’d veered off too far to the right trying to combat it, instead of re-visiting their original ideas. Later incarnations under the name ‘Social Credit PARTY’ offered even less understanding of what’s really needed.

Good news stories might be rare but there might be some truth to them. Anyone posting like to try and live on $610.00 welfare a month?

    oldman1, here’s a plan….how’s about we cut off welfare to the 50% or so who should not be on it in the first place, the one’s that abuse the system and/or are simply to lazy to get out and find a job or do what it takes to better their lot in life!

    The 50% savings to our welfare tax bill can now be redirected to the remaining 50% of the people currently on and in genuine need of welfare, effectively doubling their monthly welfare income and at no additional cost I might add, to the taxpayer!

    Welfare should be there for those that actually need it, not those that want it! Welfare should not be a cradle to grave intergenerational income stream! It is supposed to be there as a temporary assistance program!

    Not very politically correct I am sure, but I can live with it!

      While on the surface that seems like a sensible solution, it has been tried in the past and each time found to be wanting.

      The reasons why are not too difficult to discern. First, there’s the assumption that those cut off actually ‘want’ to work. Some may, but others won’t. And there’s nothing more poisonous to any workplace than to wish on some poor employer somebody he’s going to have to work harder himself getting any work out of than the value of any work he’s going to get. It is completely counter-productive.

      Second, it assumes that there actually IS a need for ‘full employment’. Is there? Do we really NEED to have 100% of the workforce working to produce and deliver 100% of all the goods and services we require or desire? If we do, we are hopelessly inefficient in terms of our productive processes.

      And why is our greatest problem today not one of ‘scarcity’ of actual goods and services, but in most instances a ‘glut’ of them? Why do we need to add further to that ‘glut’ just to try to sell what we already can’t, and still won’t be able to in its then greater totality?

      When the socialists say, as they’re wont to endlessly do, “The poor are poor because the rich are rich”, this is utter NONSENSE in any country that has a capacity to produce far in excess of what it could ever consume. There is no reason whatsoever to have to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, as they’d have us do. But what is the Conservative alternative? Do they have one? Other than repeating the same mantra that’s been tried and failed, and only plays into the socialist’s hands?

      To give you a little history on this matter, some may remember the Hon. P. A. Gaglardi, whose boss, Premier WAC Bennett, once described as the “..greatest Roman road builder of them all.” ‘Flyin’ Phil’ Gaglardi was a long time Minister of Highways in Bennett’s cabinets, until one scandal too many caught up with him, and he fell from grace.

      He was shortly thereafter resurrected as the Minister of Human Resources, or whatever it was called then. The top guy in charge of welfare. Gaglardi was convinced there were thousands of dead-beats sucking off the system, and all it took was a “rootin’, tootin'” fellow like himself to flush them out and make them into productive, taxpaying citizens. He gave it a good go. But when all the ‘rooting and tooting’ bills were added up it would’ve been cheaper to have just kept paying the few he found welfare!

      Fast forward to the Premiership of Bennett the Younger. And Bill Vander Zalm picked up where Gaglardi had left off. Made a speech, telling the able bodied indigent to “pick up their shovels” and get to work.

      The indigent organised a march, carrying shovels, down to Vander Zalm’s nursery business in Surrey. They were there to apply for all the ‘jobs’ he said were going wanting. The TV cameras following them. Someone tipped the Zalm what was about to happen. A quick call to his nursery manager was made. “Hire everyone who applies,” he ordered. “Give them employment applications to fill out, and tell them they can start right away. And find them something, anything, to do.”

      So it was ordered, so it was done. The protesters had been brilliantly upstaged by a better showman.
      They threw down their shovels, most of them, and stalked away. Vander Zalm’s political stock with the public soared.

      Might have been the end of the story ~ for most of the media it was. But one reporter noticed some of the protesters, only a few, had actually filled out the job applications and been put to work. They were told to move a large pile of compost, by hand, with shovels and wheelbarrows, from one part of the nursery over to another. They sweat it out all day, and at the end of their shift, the reporter went over to talk to one of them. He asked the young fellow how he liked his new job.

      The new hire replied he was very glad to have a job, and though it was hard work, he didn’t mind it. Said he’d tried without success to get work for quite a while, but couldn’t find anything. Then he added something that should’ve been front page news, but it never was. When the reporter’s story was written it was buried in the Sun’s back pages. The young fellow said he knew ‘why’ he’d been hired ~ and while he was glad of a job, he said, “You know, there were half a dozen of us doing that job all day long, but right over there, (pointing to a tractor with a front end loader on it), is a machine any ONE of us could’ve got on, if we’d been allowed to, and had that job done in ten minutes. But then we’d be unemployed again.”

      How does anyone sell everything that’s produced unless consumers, all of us, because we’re ALL consumers, (but we’re no longer ALL ‘producers’, nor do we need to be), unless you find a way to pay ALL of us “….the wages of the machine.”?

Again we have a media release/report which does not provide a key piece of information.

What is the base we are talking about for at least the cities mentioned.

What is the GDP for Prince George over the past 10 years, 10 years, even the last 5 years. And then what is the GDP of the other communities?

Why are those figure not included???

    Agree completely! What would be really useful is seeing how PG stacks up as compared to other peer communities across the country, especially those in BC. All this tells us is how it compares to the other cities who paid to be part of the study.

    What if most mid sized cities in BC have GDP growth of 3-4%? It would paint quite a different picture. Stuff like this almost smells like a paid advertisement. I wouldn’t rely on it at all to provide any reliable information. That’s not to say the data it presents is not true, you just don’t really know because of the limited sample and lack of context.

      It was only a $4000 report. The meat and potatoes report probably cost way more.

I have been to most of the cities in the report and I can say from my observation that those cities have PG beat by a long shot in accessibility for the elderly and disabled, and it is a huge deficiency in cimpetitative competency as a city here in PG.

Mostly because those cities have the natural advantage as southern cities with a better climate and proximity to larger urban centres…. but they all have much better accessible trail systems, better planning for urban transit interface, and core services centrally located near much higher end fixed income housing.

Fixed income residents bring a lot of income to a city. They have a pension or disability income that is only the half of it… This cohort of citizens also bring a huge return in senior level government tax dollars for services they require as well. A retiree might have only $39,000 in annual pension income, but might need twice that in health care related services that employees others in high paying occupations.

A single retiree could bring $60,000 annual income into the community… Multiply that by say a thousand and the impact dwarfs that of most of these other much hyped economic development projects. And all of the retirement and disability related incomes circulate in the local economy… As opposed to construction maybe adding half its value at most to the local economy.

PG fails at attracting these Indus of new dollars to our community and much lags the other mentioned communities. Hopefully the new retirement housing will help to close that gap and that I think is the big story here.

    Sorry abou the iPod spelling mistakes… Had to beat the reload that errases everything.

      write in a word processing software and cut and paste when you are ready.

    GDP measures the economic contribution of government social programs such as health care, education, policing, civic government, capital improvements and maintenance whether public or private, government and private pension incomes as well as all the private industries from retail to manufacturing and private service industries. In other words, it is the total gross income into an area with a geographically defined boundary whether Country, state/province/county/economic trading area or city.

    Canada typically does not measure city GDP’s. There have been some trial going on for the Census Metro Areas. Cities below a population of 100,000 do not meet that standard.

    A GDP figure for a community will also identify the key contributors to that GDP.

    So the anecdotal notion you present along with some assumed actual dollar value is covered in the info I and others are asking for that would tell more of the full story and would tell it on an equitable based protocol.

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