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Engineer Simon Yu launches campaign to become mayor of Prince George

Yu immigrated to Prince George 50 years ago from Hong Kong

Local businessman and engineer Simon Yu has officially launched his campaign to become the next mayor of Prince George.

“I always see the great potential of this great city and I am very much looking forward to this run as mayor to show what my vision might be for the city,” said Yu, at his campaign launch event at the Prince George Roll-A-Dome.

Yu immigrated to Prince George nearly 50 years ago from Hong Kong carrying only two suitcases. As a young high school student speaking very little English, he attended Prince George College, which was a local boarding school at the time.

He has over 30 years of consulting engineering services in northern B.C. and was an instructor at the College of New Caledonia and a member on the board of directors at UNBC, the Prince George Airport Authority, the Downtown Business Association and other community organizations.

He is the father of six children and the proud grandfather of eight grandchildren, who all live in Prince George.

“We have some problems right now, in our face in our city. Nothing that is so big that we as a people cannot get it get corrected,” said Yu.

“Whether it's a downtown issue, whether there's an affordability issue. I mean, we are a city of 80,000 people, and our infrastructure was built for 120 to 130,000 people. So therefore, it's very, very simple mathematics, to me, in order to solve the affordability problem, we need to grow the city.”

In terms of addressing the needs of the unhoused population in the city, Yu pointed to his experience working in the 2003 Aceh Post Tsunami housing relief effort which he said provided him with deep insights and practical challenges to help solve many challenges facing Prince George.

“Because after the tsunami in Indonesia, I have had the privilege to lead a team to solve some the problem over there, I think Prince George should be and will be the most important manufacturing centre for small disaster relief homes -  not only to solve our problem to solve the problem beyond, and this is my vision for our area.”

Yu also spent time as the municipal manager for Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, in the late 1980s where he said he gained the knowledge of municipal administration practices and how to work with senior governments.

He said he hopes his energy and enthusiasm will carry through to city hall and he promises to be ethical and have empathy for everyone.

“And one another major reason I'm doing this is because I want to see more immigrants participate in this democratic process,” added Yu.

“I hope my story, my hat in the ring will rejuvenate some of the energy and more people show up to vote, we need a more higher percentage of voter turnout to make the democracy work.”

Yu will face incumbent city councillor Terri McConnahice, Chris Wood, the CEO of local film and video game company Brazen Jester Studios, lawyer Roy Stewart and industrial sales representative Adam Hyatt in the race for mayor.

Prince George Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Corrigall announced yesterday that he would withdraw his campaign to become the next mayor due to health issues.

“I was a little bit disappointed yesterday to hear my dear colleague and my friend Todd had to drop out due to his health. I wish him a speedy recovery, first of all, I want to assure you that his passion for the city and a lot of his ideas will be carried by me into this campaign,” said Yu.

Voters will hit the polls on Oct. 15.