This week there were two different groups that released performance statistics, and they paint two very different pictures of where Prince Rupert is at and where Prince Rupert is going.
First there was the Northern BC Real Estate Board, whose figures show that property sales and prices are down this year compared to last in Prince Rupert while they are up in Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers. That would point to Prince Rupert being in a bit of a slump at the moment, as property sales are usually an indicator of people either moving into town or doing well enough to buy a home.
But then you look at the stats provided by the Prince Rupert Port Authority, and they paint a completely opposite picture of a town that is going to need a lot of people in the future. The number of containers being imported is up almost 10 per cent and the number of loaded containers being shipped out is up 79 per cent year to date compared to 2010. Ridley Terminals is also up 18 per cent compared to the record year the company saw in 2010, Prince Rupert Grain is up 6.6 per cent and the number of logs being shipped out is up 51 per cent compared to the same time last year.
When you couple that with the story on the front of Friday’s Northern Connector, which indicates the number of weekly ships could jump to 10 once the expansion north is completed and I have no doubt that people on the outside would see Prince Rupert as a town on the upswing. The number of jobs needed during construction and with seven additional ships per week paint a bright future in the not too distant future.
Though that is the not too distant future. Today, based on what I see and hear, the realty numbers sound about right. But I would much rather look to a future with plenty of jobs and income than dwell on a town that remains in transition.