Building the Case….Continued

In the previous post we looked at building permit values and their change over time.

This only considered total business permit values.  As business friendliness is considered a key feature of any mayoral campaign, it warrants further exploration.

One of the areas I wanted to analyze is number of business licences granted.  Although building permits are a valid measure of growth, business friendliness implies ease of conducting business and success at attracting business investment.  If the business does not require any new or improved infrastructure, this won’t reflect in the building permit values.

However, the hard working staff at the Town have better things to do than satisfy my curiosity so I’m not pushing the matter.  When I receive the figures I will report what I find.

Building permit values are not the only figures reflected in the permit summaries published by the Town.  We can also look at the number of permits issued in a given year.  Again, although comparing figures between two different mayors ignores a whole host of factors that contribute to development, it is what was done in Mayor’s Musings, so it is what I will do here.

Mayor Lorne Mann: 2001-2007, 2011-2012: Average of 48 building permits issued per year

Mayor Iris Callioux: 2008-2010: Average of 69 permits per year

In fairness, you do see a stark contrast between the years 2001-2004 and those coming after.  As such, there was likely another driving force at play.

When you remove those calculations from the analysis, you find an average of 60 per year for Mayor Mann.  Again, statistical analysis shows the differences are insignificant and most likely due to chance.

What about commercial and industrial permits alone?  Residential permits make up the majority of the permit values, but commercial and industrial development is arguably a better metric to measure business investment in the community.

Using the same references as in the previous post and again adjusting for inflation to 2013 dollars I calculated the following:

Average value (number) under Lorne Mann: $6 620 272 (14)

Average value (number) under Iris Callioux: $7 986 208 (17)

Yet again, no statistically significant difference between the two.

Finally, Grande Prairie statistically dominates the northwest region.  It can thus give some insight into economic activity happening closer to home.

The decline from 2007 to 2008 was almost 35% in Grande Prairie but only 2% in Peace River.  From 2008 to 2010 during Iris Callioux’s term, building permit values dropped 60% in Grande Prairie and only 45% in Peace River.

If anything, the previous council mitigated the deflation wrought by the global recession.

Finally, in order to counter any suggestion that I cherry pick my data, from 2010-2011 there was a 49% increase in permit values in Grande Prairie and a much larger 104% rise in Peace River.

What specific policies under the previous council and mayor may account for this difference?  Was it a reflection of regional growth?  Regression to the mean?  Chance?

What do you think?

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3 Responses to Building the Case….Continued

  1. North Darling says:

    The specific policy that makes a difference is who worked with developers to create Area Structure Plans. This leads to building permits, and the values you make note of. Nearly all of Iris’ permit values comes from Saddleback and Shaftesbury – thanks to previous Council ASPs. Iris also created an Offsite Levy Bylaw that took us two years to convince Council to amend. This Bylaw forced Developers to frontload the cost of services, which scared Developers off, and lead to terrible situations where families had subdivision placed on them by the Province to build a road, and were suddenly on the hook for millions of dollars of Offsite Levies. It has now been amended to allow payment of the Levies upon sale of their land. You like numbers – but they only tell a fraction – pun intended – of the story. You should meet with me and I’ll help fill in the blanks.

  2. Pingback: Quick update | Peace River Votes 2013

  3. Francois G says:

    Once again I thank current Council for providing ALL the facts, thanks Mr. Darling, for filling in the gaps to these misleading interpretations posted by self proclaimed unbiased few. When in fact, this blog and a similar FaceBook page are evidently one sided and preying on the ignorance of most voters such as myself. Shame on you, Tony, and your slanderous klan. If you are out to honestly spark debate, please provide all the facts. I hope your readers/followers see through your smoke screens as most of us do. May God forgive you.

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