Prince George, B.C. mayor latest to announce he won’t be seeking re-election in the fall

Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall is the youngest BC mayor to announce he will not run for re-election this fall.

Hall made the announcement at the end of a regular council meeting Monday night.

“Today is bittersweet – there’s no question that this was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Hall said in the council chambers, his voice choking with emotion.

Hall joins several other multi-term BC mayors who have announced they will not be voting in the local elections on October 15, including that of New Westminster Jonathan CoteHenry Braun from Abbotsford, Ken Christian from Kamloops and Lori Ackerman from Fort St. John.

Hall has been involved in local politics for two decades, first on the Prince George school board before moving to the city council for a term in 2011. He was elected mayor in 2014 and won re-election in 2018.

spend controversy

Hall began his first term as mayor just months before the city hosted the city in 2015 Canada Winter Gamesthe largest sporting event ever held in the city at the time.

He also oversaw the 2017 and 2018 wildfire season, when thousands of residents displaced by evacuation orders in nearby communities had to seek refuge in Prince George for weeks.

The latter became an issue during Hall’s bid for re-election in 2018 after it was revealed that the city’s nine-man leadership team was being paid up to $235.72 an hour for overtime to handle the logistics of evacuees.

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But Halle easily won the race after the sole challenger for the job, WIlly Ens, largely missed campaigning, including skipping several debates.

Hall’s second term was marked by new developments across the city as the population reached record highs, including large hotel and housing developments aimed at attracting new residents to the downtown core.

But even these efforts have been marred by controversy Cost of a large condo and parkade Constructed next to City Hall bloated with little oversight prompted an independent review how the city manages its finances.

More recently, Hall joined mayors of other large BC communities in calling for action on housing, mental health and addiction treatment as the city struggled with a growing tent city outside of downtown.

Last November, the city of Prince George destroyed several camps despite a court order protecting it.

This March, the city issued an apology for its actions after the BC First Nations Assembly criticized that the city’s homelessness policy “counterproductive, cruel and inherently racist.”

COVID-19 challenges

Hall says leadership has become more difficult over the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic — and the city has more hurdles to overcome in the years to come.

“It was important to me to see Prince George grow into a vibrant, active person [and] a desirable place to live and ensure we offer amenities to everyone from our youngest to our seniors to become an attractive location for development and investment. I think that’s exactly what we did.

“Are there still challenges we are facing and need to overcome? No question,” he said. “This work will continue – and this is the difficult one.”

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So far, no one else has announced their intention to run for mayor of Prince George in the upcoming local elections.

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