Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Chamber calls for Team Prince George Leadership Table on city's social issues

Table could be established as soon as this evening's council meeting, Chamber CEO says
Third Avenue fire
Fire crews were on the scene of a business fire fire in the 1100 block of Third Avenue on Monday morning.

The Prince George Chamber of Commerce is calling on city council to convene a "Team Prince George Leadership Table" to tackle the city's social issues - from homelessness and addictions to public safety and cleanliness.

The group would replace the Mayors Select Committee on a Safe, Clean and Inclusive Community. Created following the November 2019 council meeting held specifically to discuss the issue, the committee has become moribund, Chamber CEO Todd Corrigall said Monday.

"That committee has been camped several times now. It is heavily staff driven and that is where the challenge has come from," Corrigall said in an interview.

As well as members of city council, MPs, MLAs, representatives from Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, Prince George and North District RCMP, Northern Health, Downtown Prince George, Prince George Fire Rescue and Fraser-Fort George Regional District would be invited to participate.

Corrigall said the problems are more widespread than just the downtown core. Saying otherwise "ignores the fact we have encampments off Central, it ignores the fact we have encampments in Westgate, it ignores the fact that crime is proliferating in Carter light industrial in the Hart. This a truly community-based issued."

He commended the councillors Terri McConnachie, Brian Skakun, Cori Ramsay and Kyle Sampson for a recent call to action on the matter in the aftermath of the Easter Monday fire that destroyed a downtown business and has since been deemed an act of arson while taking Mayor Lyn Hall to task.

"We also note that the mayor has had many opportunities to take action and appropriate action hasn't been taken and we think a strong pass forward is a leadership table where there is accountability at its core and where we're requesting participants that we know have continued to take strong action including our MLAs, our MPs and our public safety units," Corrigall said.

He predicted the issues will be a key topic during the civic elections this fall.

"People will be heavily focussed on public safety, crime and what the community we're building will look like in the next two to 10 years," Corrigall said. "And so this is a huge opportunity to talk about real and constructive change."

Council is holding an in-camera meeting on the issue at noon today (Monday). Corrigall said it's the Chamber's hope that council has seen the recommendations and that the mayor calls for establishment of the table as quickly as tonight's regular city council meeting.

"I think they can definitely do it that quickly," he said.

Editor's note: Carter light industrial is located near College of New Caledonia. The Citizen regrets the error.