What is this, Burnaby? And the leader of the civic opposition
Also I have thoughts on the number of McDonald's being built in this city
Today’s newsletter has some musings on who might run for mayor in 2026 and a big ol’ federal government announcement, but first:
Let’s go to the mall
Have you been to the mall lately?
I haven’t. We went last night and I was shocked at how much it had changed. In particular, I was surprised to see a Lulu Lemon directly across from a Sephora — what IS this, Burnaby? (I knew about the Sephora but not the Lulu Lemon). There is also a store that sells cereal and candy from other countries? There was a kiosk selling shirts that say “Skoden.” Did you all know about this?
I was also surprised to see another McDonald’s under construction on the way up to College Heights. Apparently it’s replacing the existing McDonald’s in College Heights. No, not the one in the Wal-Mart — the other one. I feel like we may be approaching peak McDonald’s, either way. And we have two Fat Burgers? What does it take to get an Arby’s in this town?
I know none of this inspires a lot of confidence when ostensibly this newsletter is premised on the idea I have some idea about what’s going on this city but idk what to tell you, Vance Rd. is a different country.
Anyways, would you believe there are only 700 malls left in the United States, and it’s estimated it could be down to 150 in just a few years?
The shopping mall is dead. Long live the shopping mall.
The leader of the civic opposition
The Prince George Citizen has a profile on Todd Corrigal returning to his job as the CEO of the chamber of commerce. As you may remember, he was the first person to declare his run for mayor but then had to drop out due to health issues. The headline of the profile is “Prince George Chamber CEO Corrigall back on the job, keeping close eye on new city council.”
What’s interesting about that is I think there’s a pretty good chance Corrigal would have won had he been able to stay in the race. He was a known quantity in the city and business community, but not someone who, like Terri McConnachie, would have had to defend the record of the previous council. In fact, just the opposite: He was often a vocal critic of some of the happenings at city hall, tweeting through council meetings and commenting on what he thought could have been done differently.
In that sense, he was something like the leader of the opposition in a city whose council is functional enough to largely work together. That’s not to say that Corrigal voiced opposition just for the sake of it — but for the past eight years we’ve had a mayor and council that seem to like each other enough to not really take their disagreements outside city hall, so you wouldn’t have them talking to media or taking to Facebook to say why they think a decision was wrong (there are obviously exceptions to this, but I’m talking generally). Corrigal, then, could sometimes serve as a stand-in for that role.
Famously (if you follow municipal politics like me), Ken Sim, the new mayor of Vancouver, started running for the job four years ago after he failed to get elected. Likewise, in Kelowna, Tom Dyas of Kelowna ran for mayor in 2018 and failed but ran again in 2022 and unseated an incumbent (Dyas, by the way, was president of the chamber of commerce). In Prince George, we don’t really have people start running for mayor until a few weeks before the election. But Corrigal is back on the job and we know he wanted to run this time around and we know he’ll be watching. He seems optimistic about Simon Yu for the job, so maybe he won’t be interested in trying again in 2026. But if Yu starts to mess up — we know Corrigal is watching.
Valemount is dragging two people onto the job as councillors today because not enough people wanted to run in the last election.
Those two earthquakes near Fort St. John were “very likely” caused by fracking and, if confirmed, would be the largest fracking induced earthquakes recorded in Canada.
An Elizabeth Fry property beside Studio 2880 suffered from a fire again. The gallery was unaffected.
Yes, we PacifiCan
The federal government launched a new office in Prince George, as well as one in Prince Rupert and Fort St. John. PacifiCan is, as their website states, “the Government of Canada’s new economic development agency dedicated to British Columbia. PacifiCan promotes growth and diversification in B.C.’s economy by enhancing innovation, improving business competitiveness, and promoting inclusive growth.” It looks like the local shop is going to be run by a few familiar faces, including Christina Doll, formerly of the Prince George Airport. Here are some tweets:
The offices also came with a bunch of money for projects around northern B.C. They include plans to “build a venue to extend the golf season” (???) in Prince George at Alder Hills, add an indoor shooting range in Dawson Creek and build a cross-country ski lodge in Williams Lake. Here’s the full list.
But seriously, if anyone knows how Alder Hills plans to extend the golf season, hit me up.
“The mall” is Pine Centre, right? I don’t think anyone calls Parkwood or Spruceland “the mall.”