Thursday, July 10, 2008

Waiting for the times to get better

The much discussed Prince Rupert boom is something that many are still awaiting, and while the local wait for their ships to come in, the neighbours down the road have taken a peek and wondered whatever became of that boom town talk anyways.

Ben Meisner is a well known personality in Prince George, a former talk show host in that city and current moderator and developer of the Opinion 250 news site out of that city.

He has featured the Prince Rupert Port and the impact that it may or may not be having on the local economy, as one of his sites featured stories listed on the website today.

The full report can be found below, which provides some background from local business and real estate people as to the still troubled times that the city is facing. A number of comments can be found at the bottom of the website page found here, they provide an interesting look at how people from afar are looking at the port and its potential importance to not only Prince Rupert but the entire Northern BC region.

Times Are Tough In Prince Rupert In Spite Of New Port
Ben Meisner
Opinion 250
Thursday, July 10, 2008 03:45 AM

While the new container port was supposed to be, "the be all, end all" for the growth of Prince Rupert, you just would not get that comment if you talk to a local resident.

More and more we are hearing that the economy of Prince Rupert is following along in the same footsteps as the rest of the central and northern parts of the province, on a downward slide.
It is, quite frankly, hard to believe that the port would not have broken the tail spin the city has found itself in since the closing of its pulp mill. The short answer is that it hasn’t.

Retail, according to the locals, has been off by as much as 40%; in some cases shop owners are saying that their business hasn't been this bad in 35 years.

So on one hand you hear what is happening in the new container port and then hear from another part of the community that things quite frankly are not good. Homes are not selling and there is plenty of business property for sale.

Is there a future in that community? Of course there is, it is only a matter of time before more containers will be off loaded in that city and that in itself should increase employment and with it buoy up the spirits of the community.

Further to that, BC Finance Minister Colin Hanson says there has been talk of building a new truck terminal on the old pulp mill site and that would require a large labour pool.

In the meantime, time is required and for many, time is not on their side.

I’m Meisner and that’s one man’s opinion.

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