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October 28, 2017 3:42 am

Plenty of ideas shared at Community Conversation

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 @ 9:06 PM


Prince George, B.C. – The first in a series of community consultations in Prince George, saw a healthy turn out of residents in the Hart area in Prince George.

Mayor Lyn Hall   opened up the session  “The reason for tonight’s meeting was to have a conversation with you folks   and really get a sense of  what you want in the community. It’s really important for us to hear your comments, good , bad indifferent.  We’re going to hear about  roads, parks,  lighting, you name it.”

Presented in a speed dating  style,  staff moved from ‘station to station’ to  take note of residents’ concerns.

Some of the issues  presented included the call for a multi-use park that would have an off leash  dog  park, a running track,  outdoor rink and skateboard park.  There was one suggestion that the City work with the School District to demolish the Austin Road School and have that  property turned into a park.

One resident also called on the City to  do  something to prevent vehicles from gaining access to the wooded area between Foothills Boulevard and the weigh scales on the Hart Highway.  The area has become a  dumping ground for all manner of  debris.

The issue of  continuous sidewalks,  or lack of such, was brought forward,   to improve connectivity between residential areas and  the shopping  area.

Poor lighting along the Hart Highway and Foothills Boulevard were also mentioned. On the Hart Highway, residents say lighting is especially poor between Birchwood and south to  Northwood Pulpmill Road.   As for Foothills,   there was a call for  improved lighting from North Nechako Road to Chief Lake Road.

Residents also  asked for more  events for youth,  more information on how roads are selected for rehabilitation as they noted, both Dagg and Glenview Roads are in dire need of upgrades.

Once the  speed sessions wrapped,  the evening was opened up for comments from  participants.

One woman called for  more apartment  construction,  “It would provide some affordable housing, but if it’s going to be  $1300 a month, who can afford that?” The vacancy rate in the Hart area is much lower than in other areas of the city. The City is toying with the idea of “laneway” housing,  to provide more secondary suites, similar to what is offered in Vancouver.

Mayor Hall says all of the ideas and  concerns will be  compiled and a synopsis posted on the City’s website  by July 1st.

When the  session was  opened up for comments,  there was a question about  being more vigilant in  enforcing bylaws and the motor vehicle act   to  discourage  drivers from  revving their motors at stop lights,  or  from  using  jake rakes  when approaching  stop lights.  There was also a call  for bylaw services to  take more action  on  dealing with unsightly properties.  “We are looking at remedial action on many  sites that are  causing  distress for neighbours” says Mayor Hall

Overall, Mayor Hall says he   thinks things went well in this first  session “There  was a very good turnout ”  he promised the team will return “I just don’t want this to be a one time event.   We want to keep coming back”.


So Mayor Lynn Hall opened up the meeting with this ““The reason for tonight’s meeting was to have a conversation with you folks and really get a sense of what you want in the community. It’s really important for us to hear your comments, good , bad indifferent. We’re going to hear about roads, parks, lighting, you name it.” – Well since our Mayor mentioned “parks” why did he and His council change the name of “Fort George Park” without consulting the people of Prince George? I was born in Prince George, raised in Prince George and plan to be buried in Prince George and I’m approaching 60 years of age. I grew up in the Miller Addition and spent many uncountable hours at “Fort George Park”. Again why would council change this historic park without the public’s input, then two weeks later address some citizens saying we want to hear about parks?

I agree Cheetos the mayor and council showed their hand with the underhanded FORT GEORGE PARK rename, these meetings are just smoke and mirrors. Renaming of FORT GEORGE PARK eliminating the history of one race for another. Wonder what’s next?

Well said, Cheetos. There may have been some Council members who did not agree with the name change but were too chicken to say so – they might offend FN people, which is now a big NO, NO!

I remember the fort in Fort George park. I visited it as a kid many times.

I wonder what would have happened if a band wanted the land it was on. Tried to buy it, then decided to burn part of it down to speed up the sale. Then after the sale changed the name. To My Park, then a few years later they admitted they burnt it down. Would the residence of PG want it changed back to Fort George park? Would it be right to change it back?

I think it would. So good on council for changing the name. No it does not fix everything.

Besides in a few years from now most of us will be trying to remember which park and what the name was.

I can hear the nay-sayers now saying it is not the same but you can decide for yourself.

Thanks for the meeting and keeping you promise council, about time. PG can finally act like the city it is.

Making the Hart community area more attractive to new business will also help! I see some business have finally updated their exteriors since Shoppers opened.

It would be sad to see Austin Road School go though but a new park would make the old school grounds a great feature for the area. Name the park after the school that taught so many of us who lived out there back in the day lol. Update that fire hall!

When are we going to stop turning everything with the word park in it into more rants about the name of a park? How long are you all going to keep this up? The issues brought up at this meeting are far more important; they actually affect people’s lives.

Agreed lhl; The park name change was not brought up by anyone at this Hart Community Consultation session. It’s just the sour grapes crowd, that comment on this site, who will use every opportunity to insert their pathetic racist and anti-city council agenda into as many discussion threads as they can.

Are the comments about the park name change off topic to this news story? The answer is yes! Do they care? The answer is no!

Obviously people still have no idea what went on 100 years ago.

As written by thinkagainplease “Tried to buy it, then decided to burn part of it down to speed up the sale. Then after the sale changed the name. To My Park, then a few years later they admitted they burnt it down.”

They did not burn it down to ‘speed up the sale’ – the sequence of events is: tried to buy it, were voted down. Tried to buy it for more, still voted down. Tried to buy it for more, male residents voted in favour (legal voters at the time) with conditions that they move once 20,000 in new buildings are built on #2 and #3 and the graveyard remain as it is. All residents split the first 25,000 installment the very same day. The parish was against the sale – not against the actual move but they wanted the band to hold out for another 25,000. This was in 1911.
One year later the new buildings were not finished so they did not vacate the area and the second 25,000 installment was paid; although the government wanted to wait until they had vacated the area to make the payment but eventually gave in to pressure from the parish and the IA.
Next year buildings were finished but now with no more money coming from the sale to individuals (the remaining 50,000 was payable to the band itself) they decided not to move.
One section of the village was empty of residents so railway workers started to burn the vacant buildings in that area. This lit a fire under the remaining residents and they took their chattels to the boat on the river to transfer to #2 and #3.
40 years later an employee of the IA says the only option they had was to start burning the empty homes sooner than they planned to get the others to move because the land now belonged to the GTR – and they had refused to move with 25,000 spent on new homes on #2 and #3 and 50,000 spent on the first two installments. He states he could not be part of the actual demolition so he went downtown to a bar and waited for the railway workers to begin burning the empty houses. Some of the residents found him and he told them the land belongs to the GTR now. The argument can be made on how factual he was 40 years later working from memory, but most want to use his account 30 years later over the accounts recorded by reporters of the day. The only part of his account that doesn’t really fly is he states the empty homes were of people who were out hunting – this does not jive with history because only the men went out hunting and the women and children remained in the village. There is further evidence of this fact in records dating to 1911. Still his account is only slightly different from the accounts recorded in 1911 through 1913, but some could be attributed to wanting to sound more important in the grand scheme of things than he actually was, and 40 years later how much of what one remembers is 100% fact.

In 1935 there was never a plan to leave the area as a park, the only area left out was the surveyed area of the “indian burial ground”.
In 1966 there still was a plan to subdivide the area of Fort George and Simon Fraser Parks into lots. This all changed once the cities land base expanded in 1975 which allowed them to drop all plans for subdividing the area as it was no longer needed for residential lots.

Some people say the graveyard was bulldozed of its gravestones but there is no record of this ever happening that I have ever seen written anywhere. There is however record of gravestones being vandalized to the point they all but disappeared. In the 60s there is written record of people remembering seeing gravestones marked from the 1840s but being smashed by vandals so none were left to mark the actual locations of the graves.

There is also talk that no-one knows where the actual graveyard is anymore, but that is hogwash as well because the area was surveyed right after the sale and a company in Ontario designed the first subdivisions based on the surveys – and they show the location of the graveyard which is still in the same place in 1935 and 1966 plans.

There are also rumors that people died in the fires but this is also not true, again there is no record of this anywhere.

The government just spent millions buying the rights to a mountain with a view in Vancouver from reserve lands a few years ago – will we once again in 100 years have a different account of what exactly took place?

Did I miss anything?

Sophic Sage – if you actually took the time to read thinkagainplease’s comment you will see it is not an opportunity to spread his/her racist agenda to the masses in as many threads as possible. Although you will say mine is, but then again you will not read it, but will respond anyway.

I attended the meeting last night and I was impressed with the city staff who presented their topics and were so receptive to the constructive feedback. As for the renaming of Fort George Park; I was totally opposed and appalled at the way City Council handled it, but that’s NOT what this meeting was about. It was an opportunity for community residents to have some input on a topic that will affect the people living in the area. We need to move forward.

Street lighting is the biggest issue for the Hart. Todd Stone should be made to drive up the Hart on a rainy November evening. Head lights don’t work when covered in road grim and that highway that connects the 20,000 in the Hart with the rest of the city has no sidewalks for long portions.

Slinky, well said. The ones yelling racist the loudest are the real trouble makers here. Those that use revisionist history to push a race baiting agenda.

The hypocracy of their argument is bordering on the absurd. The due process extended to the First Nations in the relocation was far far more than any due process consideration given to the renaming of the park erasing the settlers historical context from the name of only the third European settlement west of the Rockies.

Interesting how Fort George was renamed Prince George with nary a peep of protest. If your small group of vocal protesters are so upset with the move away from commemorating white settle culture / history, why not create a movement that renames Prince George back to Fort George. Why not? Fort Saint James, Fort Fraser, Fort Saint John, Fort Simpson, and other places have kept their white settler historic names. No big deal right? Changing a white cultured name like Fort George to Prince George and then back to Fort George would be predictably acceptable to all.

But change a white settler historic name to an Aboriginal name and suddenly there is all kinds of protest. Yes, yes, it’s not about the name change, it’s about the way it was changed, without expensive and extensive public debate and consultation. What about the extensive and expensive consultation that occurred with the Lehdlih Tenneh people to move their village? There was none!!! They were given one tenth of what their land was worth, negotiated by an Indian Agent that did not have their best interests in mind. The very same person who bragged about scaring these people into believing their homes were going to be burnt to the ground with them in it.

The Lehdlih Tenneh people had as much say in their move to Shelly as you all did in the renaming of a park, and this is just a park name, not the burning of your homes and forced relocation to a place “out of the way”. You whiners make me both sick and ashamed to be called a Prince George citizen.

Sage, read a bit of history before you rant please, there were 2 townships in the area and the GTR made 3. They didn’t rename anything, Fort George was the Fort owned by the fur traders. South Fort George was a township still known as South Fort George. Central Fort George is still known as Central Fort George, they are now subdivisions within PG. Prince George was the name of the new township the GTR built around their railway – they did not use the name Fort in it to distinguish it as a separate community from the other 2.

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