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?