Prince George Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Corrigall was extremely pleased with the turnout from Monday’s special council meeting on downtown issues.

Over 140 people packed the council chambers along with those who watched the live stream in an overflow area.

Some of the suggestions brought to the table included a 24/7 safe injection site, better usage of vacant lots or properties to house our most vulnerable and even a “safe zone” for those living on the street.

Corrigall told what we need are some permanent solutions so that we stop shifting the problem around.

“What we don’t want to do is just move a problem around. What we are looking for is the right mix of support, enforcement, and safety for our entire community.”

“This is not a new problem, the problem has maybe escalated over recent years but it’s not a new issue, and what that requires is strong leadership and strong collaboration amongst the community.”

He adds some of the options that were presented offered some expanded viewpoints.

“I think there was some fresh perspective on some ideas that either have been on our list or just a different lens to look at things through.”

“That was a great show from the community. When these opportunities are provided we can all sit back and say I’d like to do this or that but unless you show up, change can’t be made.”

Once the smoke is cleared and everything is put on the table, Corrigall is of the belief it will take multiple solutions to fix the issues in the downtown core.

“There truly isn’t one party that solves all problems. This is a community-wide issue that requires a community-wide approach. I think what we saw on Monday evening was a number of businesses, organizations, and individuals who came forward and indicated what they would like to see.”

The Chamber, Downtown PG, and the Gateway Business Improvement Association will present their thoughts to Mayor and Council at the December 16th meeting.