Let's just bypass the whole city
Plus Black history you should know and a good post from the City of Prince George
Last week my Monday newsletter came from the Tse’khene Food & Fuel rest stop in McLeod Lake as I hit the road to Dawson Creek. This one comes from the same place on the way back and my trip in an EV was much more successful this time — I had a better sense of what to expect and plan accordingly, enjoying my pit stops more rather than worrying about whether I would have enough charge to make it. Here, I went for a ski down Carp Lake Road, something I would never do if I was able to just blast down the highway. In that sense, having an EV feels a lot like it must have back in the early days of gasoline, where pit stops were planned far more in advance and there was more incentive to stop and explore communities that provided the amenities needed. I’ve made the trip to and from Dawson Creek many times in my life, and never once have I stopped this way, now I have and will again… and I’d really like to have incentive/opportunity to do the same in Mackenzie and Chetwynd along the way.
One thing that’s interesting is less than two years ago, the trip I just did would have been a lot harder/impossible due to the lack of infrastructure and while there’s room for improvement now I’ve been told that within the next two years there will be charge stations set up all the way from Prince George to the Yukon border along the Alaska Highway so things are changing fast.
Alright, on to today’s newsletter.
Ring around the roadway
Having just spent a week in a city that is well-defined by a ring road I was pretty intrigued to see mayor Simon Yu proposing one for the city. However, as pointed out here I’m not sure this proposal is for a ring road so much as a bypass. And, as someone who works along the downtown highway that this bypass would… bypass… I can’t say I’m convinced I see the need? Victoria St. is busy, as downtown roads go, but never so busy that it’s tough to cross or to drive through the downtown. And I also don’t know that the businesses set up along the current route servicing people passing through town would be thrilled about the idea (although based on the comments here, I could easily be wrong?? Always keep that as a strong possibility when you read my thoughts). Not that it matters, since the city doesn’t have the budget to build such a thing, anyways, so for now it can go alongside making the industrial section of downtown Prince George flood-proof and developing it into an entertainment district as one of those ideas Yu likes to throw out there as something the city should have without a concrete plan on how it would actually get built.
A Black Prince George barber called out the city’s racism in the 1920s
I first told the story of Charles Sagar eight years ago, relying heavily on research from UNBC historian Jonathan Swaigner who himself relied heavily on the Prince George Citizen newspaper archives. So it’s cool that the Prince George Citizen is sharing his story this year as the Heritage Commission makes plans to honour him. I heavily recommend you read this story as it tells a version of Prince George history that’s really not in our history books:
In 1921, there was a move to rid the city of its “undesirable” elements, ultimately meaning the twenty-five to thirty black residents of what was then called N* town, which was the name white residents gave to the area around Third Avenue and Quebec Street.
In April 1921, a fight broke out on Quebec Street between two groups of Chinese residents.
The fight was broken up by the Prince George Municipal Police, but it led Acting Mayor Barney Keegan to develop a strategy to clean up the city of those they deemed “undesirable”.
It wasn’t the Chinese community who were targeted by Keegan’s plan, but instead the city’s small Black population.
Keegan instructed the city clerk “to forward to the police commissioners a strong expression of the council’s desire to have the city cleared of undesirables, to have drunken drivers of motor cars, speeding, drunkenness, bootlegging, etc., wiped out, and further asking that all undesirables be ordered out of town, especially referring to N* town”.
It’s a reminder that to the extent our city’s history is heavily white, a not-insignificant reason is by the design of the people in charge, rather than chance.
What’s a vote worth?
On Reddit, u/mehblehneh did some calculating to figure out what each candidate who ran in the municipal election spent per vote. We already knew Kyle Sampson spent more than double the next closest-candidate (he also got the third-most votes, after Skakun) but this gives you a sense of just how much that was:
A councillor's salary is $37,908 a year. While it's in donated dollars and maybe some of his own, Kyle Sampson spent nearly two-thirds of a yearly salary to get re-elected.
City council will vote on whether to support the creation of a veterinary school at UNBC.
Hot on the heels of a bunch of people complaining Prince George residents pay more taxes than anywhere else, it’s been ranked the most affordable city in B.C.
Competitve Prince George curling team is a combined age of 305 years
No ‘silver bullet’ for dealing with safety issues in Prince George, public safety minister says durng city visit.
UNBC and grad teaching assistants at UNBC have ratified a collective agreement.
A UNBC student earned a national award for her work teaching kids about STEM.
Opinions: Neil Godbout says the city needs to get a handle on its spending.
A good post from the City of Prince George:
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