There have been four fatalities in a pair of incidents in Prince George’s downtown core this month.

The Serious Crimes Unit of the PG RCMP at the scene of Thursday’s stabbing in front of PG Courthouse that claimed the life of a 26-year-old woman. (Photo supplied by Justin Madu, staff)

The area was the scene of the city’s first homicide on July 2nd after a 26-year-old woman was stabbed in front of the PG Courthouse.

On Wednesday, a massive fire at the Econo Lodge Motel claimed three lives and is still under investigation from police, fire crews, and the BC Coroners Service.

“It will have some impact but the stabbing downtown I think will obviously have an impact as well but I think we are moving beyond the stigma. Is there more work to do? Absolutely, and that’s why we set up the select committee,” said Mayor Lyn Hall.

“The stabbing that took place downtown will certainly resonate with folks, there is no question about it. It is something you don’t want to see, or have happen, in your downtown.”

However, the Mayor believes the city continues to make headway in the area with over 90-million dollars of new development in the last few years.

“We have the integrated health model on First Avenue that’s moving ahead, we have things that are happening in the downtown by the RCMP, our bylaw enforcement folks, our clean team and people from our city.”

“Ten years from now, in my opinion, we’ll still be trying to better the downtown and we’ll try to better everything that is happening in our community, that’s what progress is.”

The scene of the fire (Photo by Brendan Pawliw, staff)

Hall stated some of the adjustments made by the Select Committee on a Safe, Inclusive Downtown were delayed due to the pandemic, pushing back some of their progress by three months.

He noted the owners of the Econo Lodge were continuing to overhaul the facility.

“The owners of the lodge had been doing a tremendous amount of work in that location, the building saw some work done on the exterior and they were doing work on various parts of it, all of that is a hit, it’s a hit to our community, not just downtown in both instances.”

“When I was over at the fire very early in the morning I was talking with folks on the street and there was a feeling that everybody had got out and that everyone was safe. When you hear a few hours later that three lives were lost, that consumes everybody’s thoughts and concerns.”