Census information shows stable population growth in Prince Rupert – Prince Rupert Northern View

The Prince Rupert and Port Edward areas are growing, although somewhat stagnant, according to the latest Census Canada information released Feb. 9.

Since the last census in 2016, Prince Rupert’s population has grown by just 80 citizens to 13,442. Nearby Port Edward has grown by just three people or 0.6% to 470.

However, the information comes as no surprise to Prince Rupert City Manager Rob Buchan, who said the low number of building permits issued over the past two years of COVID was indicative of the news.

He said The view from the north that despite census information showing more even population growth, the news is good and shows the stability of the population, which has been declining over the past two decades.

“We know there are dramatic increases in labor at the port; that’s what’s going to drive development in Prince Rupert,” he said.

“We have reached the stable point. The growth of the industry has made it possible. Port industries allow this to stabilize, and its future growth is what will see this community potentially see new developments. When I say potentially, it’s because you have to be able to attract developers to come and invest. We have construction companies, they will work here, but we have to make private development happen.

Available housing remains a problem in the region. The City of Prince Rupert has a multi-faceted approach to dealing with this, the city manager said.

One facet is a housing needs assessment currently underway, as the city already has an interim housing strategy. A first venture for the city, housing needs assessments are relatively new tools the province is promoting and funding, Buchan said.

Census information shows that in 2021 there were 5,498 private dwellings in the city. The Municipality of Port Edward has 207 private dwellings occupied by 181 usual residents. While the area of ​​the dormitory community in square kilometers is 167.16, the population density is low at 2.8 people. Meanwhile, in Prince Rupert, the population density is a bit higher at 4.1 people per square kilometer in an area of ​​3,303.63 km.

According to Census Canada, a private dwelling refers to a separate set of living quarters with a private entrance either from outside the building or from a common room, hall, vestibule or staircase inside the building. The entrance to the dwelling must be able to be used without passing through the living quarters of another person or a group of people.

“From my perspective, growth in Port Edward helps us meet our housing challenges,” Buchan said. “We are moving forward aggressively. We have the dominant centers. I reach out and speak with a number of proponents in the province. So you know how we can work with Port Ed. we’ll be happy about that. There will be times when we can do that.

Buchan said that, typically, communities often look at their housing in isolation.

“There are benefits to working together, absolutely…I think it’s worth discussing with our neighbors,” he said.

Another plan of the city’s multifaceted approach to housing is the sale of land plots, which will take place in the coming weeks, Buchan said. The first 10 or 11 city-owned plots will be put on the market for private sale and more lots will be open for development, he said.

“I’m very optimistic about the future of Prince Rupert. We are working diligently with industry to encourage and support development here because we know what is needed,” Buchan said.

KJ Millar | Journalist
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