Sunny Full Forecast

We Really Don't Have It All that Bad

By Ben Meisner

Friday, February 17, 2012 03:43 AM

When you get away from Prince George for a spell you always seem to run into someone, who lets you know just how nice a small city PG is.
Case in point; last week, talking to an old Dawson Creek resident who now lives in the Penticton region,  who started off describing how shopping was much better in Prince George than across the border in Grande Prairie, and in fact she said comparing the two over the years, prices were better in this city.
The conversation went from shopping to living in the sunny south, to the price of water versus the price of getting rid of the snow. Her take on the Okanagan:  winters are dreary because of the cloud cover, summers are hot, hot. To add to that problem was the increase in traffic from the summer tourists with the result that driving in say Kelowna or Vernon becomes a chore. She added "did I forget to tell you about those thousands and thousands of people who head for the beach and the water leaving little if any room for you?"
What’s with the water? "Well" she said "water can cost you up to $200.00 a month and you people complain about snow removal costs!. And oh yeah, want to fill that pool up to escape the heat?  Get that wallet out again."
So why do we always seem to be shooting this city in the foot?  Take drive through the Fraser Valley, that smell is at least as bad as the pulp mill and they don’t seem to complain.
Yes they don’t get the snow in the lower mainland but have a look at your vehicle after a couple of weeks outside. That’s moss growing on the side. We seem to have a habit of knocking Prince George, well that is until you get out of town and meet some folks who think that we have it pretty good and the truth of the matter is, we do.
I’m Meisner and that’s one man’s opinion.

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I wonder why they are putting in water meters in PG now? Do you suppose someone wants to collect some extra user fees?
Yup I agree we've had a good stretch of weather this year... rewind one year though, and publish an opinion piece like this, and people far and wide would be howling.

Maybe the conspiracy is right that the chemicals used to sink the Gulf oil spill have slowed down the Atlantic conveyer system allowing the Arctic votex to push down into Europe giving Western North America the ying to their yang.

Environment Canada had said that we would have a colder than usual winter, maybe a record breaker because of the strength of the La Nina this year. Turns out the slowed down Atlantic conveyer is weaker than the strong Pacific La Nina? Or maybe its just weather....

I think that constructive criticism is a GOOD thing! Conditions which can be improved and need to be improved should not simply be ignored for the sake of not rocking the boat or avoiding to step on someone's toes!

Prince George has a lot of good things to offer compared to other communities! But, there are a few things which must be improved and can be improved!

Just recently mayor and council stated solemnly how essential and desirable it is to get more input from and engage with the citizens much better than in the past.

I suggest the installation of a Suggestion Box in the lobby of City Hall! Citizens who do care and have new ideas and constructive suggestions about how to do things better can drop off written input right there! If there is in fact a desire in the various departments for improvement they may decide to pay serious attention!

Letters, email and phonecalls to the city are the usual way to get answers or try to get involved. Letters are usually answered (perhaps) after weeks of waiting, emails often seem to get relegated to file #13 and phonecalls do make it from the front desk to someone's voicemail - a call back is often never made.

Yes, what does prince george have to complain about? If I lived in the bowl I would complain about living in a city that has more cancer diagnosis than any other city in Canada per capita. Does that foul smell in the fraser valley cause cancer? So you have 2 choices...move if you can or stay and take the chance you are shortening your life. But other than that, the surrounding area is nice and you can enjoy a whole host of outside activities outside of town, but I wouldn't look at the "city" as a nice place to live. I even hate working down there, but hard to change that right now. Time to start buying lottery tickets I guess.
You are preaching to the converted Ben. I agree that it is not so bad here. Life is what you make it and while I know that our air quality sucks, I like that it isn't a far drive to get out of it. The recreational opportunities in PG are incredible. I truly believe that if you live in the north, then you should try to make the most out of our winters. Personally, I think this winter is hard on those of us who like snow.

I bet if you got the "winter whiners" out on skates, snowshoes or x-country skis then they would quit their whining.
You are right about the "winter whiners", when we first came to PG my husband had never experience winter and but once the he started skiing, he got into all the winter sports and he stopped whinning. The problem is how to get the "winter whiners" to try the sports. My husband would never drop the kids off for sports but always stayed to watch so I got them into skiing and after two days of sitting in the lodge he thought that he should try.
"I bet if you got the "winter whiners" out on skates, snowshoes or x-country skis then they would quit their whining".

LOL! then all they'd whine about would be those that enjoy motorized winter recreation.

As far as the prices in PG being better than that in GP. It may depend on what it is you are comparing prices of. I saved over $500 buying what I was after in GP over buying it here in PG. Not only were the prices a lot lower but there is also no provincial sales tax.

I spend a lot of time up in the Dawson Creek/Fort St John area and spend a lot of money in Alberta, lower prices and provincial sales tax free does it for me!
Dragonmaster, don't paint those of us who enjoy non-motorized sports as being haters of motorized sports. It ain't true!
Yes,I`m a west coast man but have decided to make the central interior my home for awhile. I`v heard folks complain in the summer it`s too hot in the winter,it`s too cold. I don`t venture down to the bowl unless there are at least 2 or 3 reasons for me to go there but I do shop in the down town area while I am there. Living in the area that I do All I have to do is walk out my front door and I can go for a nice stroll or head to a mountain bike trail right down the street,in the winter time I don`t mind shoveling a little snow,keeps me from getting a fat ass and in the summer,well I don`t have much fat ass to work off for that snow. Also on Vancouver Island they have the West Coast Trail hike,I can guarantee that your going to get a good hike out of it but if it`s solitude your looking to achieve on your hike that`s not going to happen, even on the West Coast Trail your going to run into other hikers every twenty minutes.In the north central interior you can fine trails to hike where you wont run into other hikers for days sometimes,and I kind of like that about living here, A quaint city nestled in the middle of nothing short of spectacular..
Nothing makes me hate PG more than a trip anywhere else, but to each his own.
Prince George is a great place to live. The peolpe are great, the shopping is good but the prices are high.

We like living here but the management of our city stinks. They are small town types that don t know how to manage the affairs of our city. Our tax dollars are just thrown away.

Administratiomn has all theseairy fairy ideas on trying to drive the economy and there are no funds left for infrastructure mainainance. Saw an item in the Citizen where the city wants home owners to run their water taps to keep water mains from freezing. Is that ever a novel itdea.

I could keep on whinig but to no avail.

Instead of talking about why PG isn't so bad, why not talk about what makes it great? Is that a more difficult discussion to have or to find examples for?

I don't raise this question to try and discredit what Ben is saying, I'm being serious. If we lay out the 5 major benefits of living in PG, what are they and how do they compare to other cities?