The race to become Mayor of Prince George has another candidate.
Christopher Wood says running for Mayor has been a five-year plan for him.
“Four years ago I ran for City Council and in the five-year mark I was going to run for Mayor,” Wood explained.
“It became especially easy this time because of the trust and transparency issues that this city has. It’s become blatantly clear that they need an outside member to be able to lead and provide leadership and transparency, and to bring some respect back to the institution.”
Wood said there are two main issues that are important to him; Finance and losing green spaces.
“Four years ago, when I ran on a fixed property tax increase for four years, again, the finance is really important for me” he explained
“The biggest issue is really the spending on capital projects that has become some such a tragedy.”
“When you have a City Council that is choosing to build parking lots and to lose a great heritage green space, such as Ginter’s in exchange for that, there needs to be some change and forward thinking.”
Wood added he thinks another current outstanding issue for him is Ginter’s.
“It’s something that, if Prince George is going to known as the ‘Park City of the West’, giving away a lot of people’s favourite green space in town would be a step in the opposite direction,” he said.
“The apparent lack of interest from the current council really drives one to need change this election.”
Wood’s platform is based on two other issues; trust and transparency, and safety problems downtown.
Trust and Transparency:
“The way that I would like to do that is to update the processes at City Hall,” he said.
“YouTubers, Video Loggers, that whole field of employment for those under 40 has been completely ignored within the process, so I’d like to go ahead and integrate that entire industry within the city processes.”
He said he’d like to have a YouTuber do city council meetings, committee meetings, and show up for some currently closed internal meetings.
“To be able to bring that level of transparency back to the public, and whatever form that can be,” he said.
“And the biggest thing is by having that external third party, we’re going to start bringing some accountability to all those involved.”
Safety Problems Downtown:
“It’s something that has grown up over the last few years,” Wood said.
“The city has chosen to put more and more resources into trying to police the area. What I would like to do with Council’s permission is to just offer the businesses in that area the means to be able to relocate to a different part of town, if that is their will. That way we can start to bring back the neighbourhood concept.”
“We’ve learned that over the last four years, COVID, has basically shown us that the ‘one-basket-in-all’ downtown concept is the wrong method.
Wood, born in Kamloops and Penticton raised, moved to Prince George around 15 years ago with his wife when she accepted a teaching job in the Northern Capital.
He’s currently the CEO of Brazen Jester Studios, a local media company specializing in film and video game content.
As of this afternoon (Thursday), Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Corrigall is the only other candidate to come forward in the race to become Mayor.
Earlier this week, current Mayor Lyn Hall announced he would not be seeking a third term as Mayor.
The Municipal Election will take place on October 15th.