The Bear Claw Invitational
And a letter to the editor kicks of a conversation about future of Prince George
Yes, the Super Bowl was yesterday but for my money the most exciting sporting event of the weekend was the inaugural Bear Claw Invitational, hosted by the PGSS Polars. Here’s the story: Last year, Prince George Secondary School Tyler Burbee realized there were a bunch of high school basketball teams named after bears. His (the Polars), Kelly Road/Shas Ti Grizzlies both in Prince George, along with several Kodiaks, Bears, Bruins and Kermodes. And thus was born the Bear Claw Invitational, a sports tournament based solely around teams named after bears hosted in Prince George with a great logo (above) and hopefully a storied future.
I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion about this letter to the editor written by members of Too Close 2 Home, a Facebook group that was dedicated to preventing the West Coast Olefins plastics project from setting up shop in town, arguing its environmental impact would not be worth the jobs it promised. After several false starts the project was scrapped last year (leading to quesions about how realistic it was in the first place) but in the wake of Canfor and other forestry companies announciny major job reductions in and around Prince George some people may be second-guessing whether the city is in a position to be turning any potential employers away. This group’s answer is, yes:
Prince George today is a very different place from the Prince George of several decades ago. We have gained many strengths and much diversity. We have a different future in mind—one that would support and reinforce work done by the Lheidli T’enneh, the City of Prince George, People’s Action Committee for Health Air, Canfor, the Fraser Basin Council, PG AIR, Northern Health, CNC, UNBC, and many others to improve local air, water, and life. We now have several large service and education employers in addition to our industrial base.
Our council and others are also fighting to bring further opportunities our way, such as new veterinary education facilities. We are a hub, and one now strategically connected with a new federal initiative to support economic diversification in B.C. (the PacifiCan office). Prince George was also recently ranked the most affordable city in B.C.
The rise of remote work and the trend of people moving to smaller North American cities both stand to work in our favour. For example, the provincial public sector has recently adopted a new direction in remote work that enables employees to live further from their associated branches/offices.
There likely will be more shutdowns and we should remain “open for business”. But we should not feel overly pressured to accept any new (or reappearing) proposal. This beautiful place and community are priceless and a better future is worth investing in—as anyone lucky enough to live here knows.
That’s not the whole of it but you get the idea. Anyways, it sparked off one of those big idea conversations over on Reddit which points out a lot of the untapped potential the city has, especially when it comes to the (lack of) public spaces along the waterfront but also other perennial issues like a lack of mixed residential housing downtown, walkable/bikeable infrastructure and a new favourite, homeless camps (I do find it curious how many people seem to think Prince Geoge is unique in this latter issue). You can read through it if you want but one thing it does remind me of is that years ago I was thinking about the whole lack-of-public-space -along-the-river thing and realized the most obvious solution, to my mind, is to open a restaurant near the Exploration Place overlooking thhe banks of the Fraser. It would be a public park, in a space that already has infrastructure for parking etc and lacks the worries about flooding that you have if you’re closer to Cottonwood Island Park. That’s my thinking!
PG Teachers’ Association President says some LGBTQ educators feel “unsafe” working in SD57: “Beauregard said the sentiment that SOGI and other LGBTQ+ or sexual health centered education is actually grooming children, or is in some way abusive, has been growing in online discourse – and he confirmed face-to-face encounters in the district have also been reported.”
This doesn’t surprise me. While no one with an explicit anti-LGBTQ education agenda was elected to council the fact that there were people running on that platform — and that some got elected in neighbouring districts — is a sign that it could, indeed, happen here.
RCMP are investigating the first homicide in Prince George of 2023. Last year the first one recorded was Jan. 25.
Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (LTFN) Chief Dolleen Logan has accepted a pledge from the Prince George Public Library (PGPL) of ‘Respectful Acknowledgement’ of Lheidli T’enneh Unceded Ancestral Lands.
A longtime participant in the Relay for Life is hoping to reverse its cancellation.
Lheidli T’enneh elder Edie Frederick has produced audio pronunciations for Dakelh words in a children’s book set at Huble Homestead.
Northern Health has issued a toxic drug alert for light blue “down.”
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