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The Advocate Business Review

Special supplement to


The Advocate Business Review

May 2, 2018






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The Advocate Business Review


Celebrating success in business business owners, managers and employees, the people behind the scenes who accept business risks and make things happen. We are fortunate to have a diverse economy in our region. It is something to celebrate. Jack Kyte

Jack Kyte


conomic development, business attraction, employee retention, immigration, youth retention, entrepreneurship and regulatory reform — all important concepts in moving our economy and our communities forward. But all of these things are focused on the future. We need to attract more business, we need more immigration. Entrepreneurs are the key to the future, we need to make sure employees stay in Pictou County long term. The list goes on. Often lost in the conversation are the many businesses we already have, some old, some new and others just getting started. They have taken a chance on Pictou County as a good place to do business and all rely on community support in one way or another. Businesses are vital to our communities. This issue of the Advocate is dedicated to a celebration of our current

Jackie Jardine


he Advocate is pleased to partner with the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce in producing the

“Pictou County Business Review,” the first of what we hope will be an annual project. Time and time again we hear in our coffee shops and restaurants, community centres, at public gatherings and at local stores and businesses of all sizes, people are proud to live here, to work here and for some, be able to make a living running their own business in Pictou County. We should all be proud to work, live, laugh and raise our families in a community as kind and compassionate as Pictou County. Through the pages of this publication we share some of the success stories of our local businesses. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Jackie Jardine


May 2, 2018

75 years strong CJFX Chair Joe MacDonald and Catherine McNeil MacDonald, current board member and first female board chair, cut a cake celebrating the station’s 75th anniversary. (Submitted photo)

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May 2, 2018

The Advocate Business Review


CHAD Transit rides wave of community support By Faus Johnson For The Advocate

During the last eight years of existence, CHAD (Central Highlands Association for the Disabled) has evolved into an “all exclusive” transportation service catering not only to the disabled, but to all citizens of Pictou County who require transportation. The service now crosses all demographics from youth to seniors whether it be for educational, employment, medical, shopping or recreational purposes. Approximately six years ago CHAD’s charter service was launched providing transportation for groups of people for mainly recreational purposes. This service has grown exponentially catering to birthdays, weddings, social outings as well as community events including the Pictou Lobster Carnival and New Glasgow’s Riverfront Jubilee. It allows groups and individuals to participate in social events while providing a safe and secure means of transportation home. This has also been a good revenue stream for CHAD allowing the organization to keep fares at a reasonable level and lessening the reliability on taxpayer’s dollars. Another initiative that has served CHAD well and provided the business community of Pictou County with an excellent advertising venue has been the “Sponsorship Advertising Program”. The space on each side of CHAD’s six vehicles is reserved for companies who wish to create awareness as well as contribute to a community-based transportation service. There is space for three 40 x 40 inch ads on each side of the buses for less than $2 per day. Not only does it benefit the business community through

public awareness but it has helped to change the image of CHAD Transit from a transportation service for the disabled to an all-inclusive service catering to the transportation needs of Pictou County. The success in operating a safe, economical and reliable transit service has also created capacity issues in which the fleet was not always able to meet the demand of the everincreasing client base. In 2016, a study was commissioned funded by the provincial government to determine the feasibility of a fixed route transit service to alleviate some of

the demand on CHAD. Despite overwhelming public support and because of timing issues, CHAD was not able to get a consensus from all six municipal units regarding funding so this project has been put on the back burner indefinitely. It is hoped that with the recent announcement of funding from the federal to the provincial government of more than $800M, that a portion of that will be earmarked to address the needs for regional transportation. With the ever-changing demographics of an aging population it will become necessary

to change the operating model from an ondemand to a fixed route type of service sometime in the future. CHAD currently averages three or fewer passengers per trip and with the existing fleet of six 18-seat buses, this is neither economically or environmentally a sustainable model of transportation. CHAD currently receives grants from all six municipalities as well as the provincial government and with the ever-increasing demand for charter service, this has resulted in a balanced budget for the last five years.

Summer Street expands opportunities There is a lot to celebrate this year as Summer Street marks its 50th anniversary. In 1968, opportunities were much more limited for adults with intellectual disability. That began to change when a small group of parents got together to create what would become Summer Street. Parkdale Activity Centre opened its doors with nine young adults and one staff person. Today, there are 200 clients, 25 staff members, 2,000 donors, more than 5,000 customers and a vast network of partners. Summer Street has become a vibrant and integral part of Pictou County. By the mid 1980s client numbers were steadily increasing and so was the desire to expand opportunities. It was time to explore working in the community. This proved to be a major milestone for Summer Street and local employers. From the beginning, businesses embraced the idea and before long it was clear it would be win-win. Through employment clients gain dignity, independence, new skills and self-esteem. They experience greater inclusion and a work-life balance that many take for granted. Employers appreciate the great attitude of people who love coming to work. Workers are committed, productive and contribute to the bottom line and workplace diversity. “Summer Street clients volunteered for The Town of New Glasgow for several years,” said Chief Administrative Officer Lisa MacDonald. “We recently changed this to a paid hourly contract. We really value their work and overall contribution to our culture and environment.” Currently, more than 60 businesses and organizations are involved. In 2017, Summer Street clients earned more than $700,000 in wages and gave back to their community

14,500 volunteer hours. Behind the program’s success is a process that keeps everyone’s best interests in mind. Hiring and training are made as easy as possible. Employers meet with Summer Street job coaches to discuss client opportunities and ensure the right match. Expectations and work terms are clearly established and ongoing support is provided as long as required. Positions include both part-time and full-time. Many clients are experienced and have been employed

and trained through Summer Street social enterprises. The Summer Street team is always open to new and innovative ideas, an approach to business and relationships inspired by their philosophy. “We’re a person-centred organization,” says Executive Director Bob Bennett. “Helping clients achieve a work life balance based on their interests and personal choices is our main priority.” Summer Street Works is part of a spec-

trum of programs and services developed to create opportunities that meet the unique and diverse needs of the adults they serve. After 50 years, Summer Street and its relationship with the community is a glowing example of what can be done when people genuinely care and support one another. For more information on how Summer Street Works can benefit your business or organization contact Julie Dignan at julie@ summerstreet.ca.

The Advocate Business Review


May 2, 2018


Chamber stresses future innovation Innovation is a key word for the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce, executive director Jack Kyte says. “We are thinking outside the box and trying to set an example that Pictou County is innovative and can compete with the best of them,” he said during a review of the Chamber’s work through 2017 and into this year. “The keys to success will be in having positive attitudes, finding ways to work together as a community and in being innovative and willing to try new ways to move forward.” Kyte considers 2017 a turning point for the Chamber, with its move to larger office space and the creation of its shared workspace, called ChamberHub, for entrepreneurs in need of a formal work area. “This is a first for Pictou County and a unique project for a Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “Response to the project has been very encouraging, particularly by younger entrepreneurs.” Partnerships with non-traditional community partners for mutual gain represent

Wayne Johnstone, Tareq Hadhad, Barbara Stegemann and Mark Brand were all speakers at the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce’s event, Game Changers: The Social Bottom Line, held in March at the deCoste Performing Arts Centre. another significant change, he said. “The year began with the opening of the Newcomers Welcome Centres in partnership with the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library — a very important move forward as we think about employee recruitment and immigration,” he said. Kyte also cited the Chamber’s partnership with the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce based in Toronto as “another

unique partnership providing online training and information to businesses in regard to improving workplace issues around gender and diversity.” “These are critical elements in modern workplaces,” he said He said the Chamber’s speaker series represents another way for the Chamber to engage with community and business. “It is all about providing value, to our

members and to our community and in stimulating our thoughts about economic development in today’s world,” he said. “Our first speaker series, Game Changers, in partnership with the deCoste Performing Arts Centre, is the best example of this,” he said. “Participants came away inspired about entrepreneurship in rural Nova Scotia and about the value of social enterprise to our economy.”

Energy efficiency the focus of Efficiency Nova Scotia

Home Show From left: Debbie Kennedy visits the Sullivan Fuels booth during the recent home show at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. (Goodwin photo)

Anchor Toyota drives into good year Anchor Toyota is positioned for business prospects as good this year as it was last year. Trevor Leeco, general manager and partner in the firm that took over the local dealership in March 2017, says he is looking forward to a prosperous year in 2018. “We had a successful year last year,” he said. “(It) was better than we anticipated. We’ve been very fortunate to keep all our staff and have added some hires in sales and service.” The local dealership came under new ownership after years in the Comeau family — Bev Comeau and his son Mark Comeau. “The transition with the previous owner went very well,” Leeco said. Leeco said he likes Anchor Toyota’s location in the business park beside Highway 104 and the building’s design and function. “We feel it’s by far the best location in Pictou County,” he said. “We have lots of space to display vehicles.” This is a landmark year for the dealership, which will observe its 50th anniversary. The dealership actually opened in November 1968, but the celebrations may be earlier.

“It’s the oldest Toyota store in Nova Scotia,” Leeco said. He said he has noticed a change in owner preference from more tradition sedans to crossover models, such as the RAV 4. However, the long-standing sedan wearing the Corolla badge remains popular. He said some people like the high, solid stance of the RAV 4, while other customers who may have owned bigger sedans like the Camry have downsized to the Corolla. A combination of aging population and strong brand recognition factors into the change, he said. Leeco said he hopes the redesigned 2019 RAV 4 will sustain the brand’s appeal. Sales of RAV 4 and Corolla models represented 65 per cent of sales last year, he said. Hybrids are also part of the equation, with 20 per cent of RAV 4 and Camry sales containing the hybrid technology. “Toyota’s the No. 1 hybrid seller in the world,” he noted. “We’ve been at it longer.” Anchor Toyota also sells its share of Prius models, and Leeco said he’s looking forward to the introduction of the all-electric Prius Prime model.

A business can increase profitability and comfort simply by embracing energy efficiency. It’s a simple way to more effectively showcase products, appeal to foot traffic and increase workplace safety. The benefits are many but all lead to the same result — a more productive workplace environment. An energy efficient business and building also helps reduce its carbon footprint. Whether owners are constructing a new commercial building, planning an expansion or undertaking a major renovation, Efficiency Nova Scotia can help businesses enjoy all the good things efficiency brings. In the small business sector alone, Efficiency Nova Scotia has helped more than 8,500 participants since 2011. Pictou County Gymnastics Club is one such business that took advantage of Efficiency Nova Scotia’s know-how and rebates. In 2016, the club had LED lighting upgrades completed in their facility by Stellarton-based Trinity Maintenance Solutions with more than 50 per cent of the cost offset by Efficiency Nova Scotia. The total savings for this project amounted to yearly savings of more than $2,200 for the club. Efficiency Nova Scotia can help small

businesses invest in a variety of energy efficient upgrades. Not only does Efficiency Nova Scotia cover up to 60 per cent of the cost through rebates and incentives, they also offer 24 months of interest free financing for approved NSPI customers. Efficiency Nova Scotia makes it easy and affordable to choose energy efficient products for businesses. They can receive either instant or mail-in rebates to help you offset the cost of premium energy efficient products such as lighting, kitchen and laundry equipment, HVAC, hot water heating, refrigeration equipment, compressed air, agriculture and pumping technology. And Efficiency Nova Scotia’s energy solutions personnel can help make an older building brighter and cozier — running at peak performance — saving on energy bills and making everyone inside more comfortable. And all that saved money? That can be re-invested right back into the business. Business owners can keep or gain a competitive edge, save money, create comfort and protect the environment, just by reaching to Efficiency Nova Scotia. To start enjoying all the good things efficiency brings, contact Efficiency Nova Scotia: info@efficiencyns.ca or call toll free 1-877-999-6035.

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May 2, 2018

The Advocate Business Review


A.P. Reid expands size, offerings The first thing you notice when you open the door to visit the friendly folks at A.P. Reid Insurance Stores in the Aberdeen Business Centre is a lobby with a door on each side. These doors open up to separate offices that house the operations of A.P. Reid Insurance Stores and the new MyGroup Insurance Broker Limited. The office is a physical symbol of a business that has needed to sub-divide. “A.P. Reid always did group insurance like personal home and auto insurance for different employers and associations for the last 30 years or so,” explains Stephanie Barrett, Business Development manager for Atlantic Canada. “But we’ve grown that substantially over the last few years to the point that we had to take it national, and have specific employees dedicated to take care of those clients. This tremendous growth is a good news story for the insurance company. So as the company continued to grow and diversify, “We physically split the office in two,” Barrett smiles. Employees on the MyGroup side service the needs of clients that are members of various employer groups and associations and the A.P. Reid staff look after personal and commercial insurance needs of their clientele. Barrett has been with the company for about eight years and saw the business grow by leaps and bounds — so much so that the staffing level has doubled from when she first went to work for the company which was then located in Stellarton. “And we’re looking for more,” she offers. Barrett has also welcomed changes in technology during her time at the business. “We launched our Client Access Centre App this year. This is our online customer portal and mobile app so you can access your policy at any time.” This new feature permits clients the opportunity to view their insurance documents, request policy changes and report claims at any time.

The company also has mobile sales specialists located throughout Canada. They can e-mail applications to clients and obtain e-signatures, process online payments and such. By embracing technology the majority of their clients’ needs are able to be met from the comfort of their own homes. “We make it pretty easy for our clients to do business.” In addition to home, auto, and commercial insurance, A.P. Reid is a full-service operation offering insurance on recreational vehicles

like motorcycles, RVs and boats, as well as travel insurance. Another offering developed by the company’s president and CEO, Jamie Reid, is an online tenant’s insurance program known as ZipSure. “It’s 100 per cent self-serve. You answer a few qualifying questions and you can purchase your policy and pay monthly out of your account.” A.P. Reid was founded in 1980 in Dartmouth by Aileen Reid. Her son, Jamie,

took it over in 2010 with a vision to expand the company nationally from coast to coast. Today, the organization has grown to be branded as The Storm Insurance Group which includes A.P. Reid Insurance Stores, A.P. Reid Commercial Insurance, Agile Underwriting Solutions, MyGroup Insurance Broker Limited, and ZipSure Insurance Brokers Limited, employing more than 60 people in nine locations across Canada.

Michelin reaches out to local community Michelin focuses on communities where they have a presence, Deborah Carty says. Carty, the director of communications for Michelin North America Canada Inc., says the company strives to go beyond its role as an employer to connect with community initiatives. “It’s all about the benefits for the local community,” she said. “(Michelin) has a long history of that.” Community relations are top of mind for the company in general and its local tire assembly plant in Granton, which was established in 1971 to build tires and make rubber and was the first North American Michelin manufacturing operations outside Europe. The Granton site is located on 950 acres of land, which makes the plant the largest in the Michelin Group worldwide. The plant occupies 150,000 square metres and about 700 people work at Michelin Pictou County each day. It is home to tire production, rubber production for the three Nova Scotia plants, membrane production, a tire inspection department, as well as the Michelin Canada corporate offices. In the last few years, tire production has focused on winter tire production, specifically the Michelin Xice Latitude xi2 line. “Being a part of Michelin, you feel you’re part of a big International family,” Granton plant manager Joe Edens said. The Granton site was a winner in the 2017 Canada’s Safest Employer Publisher’s Award sector. In 2017, there were 45 new hires; 69 students hired in co-op and summer jobs. In additions, the Michelin Development component has provided 86 loans to communities in Northern Nova Scotia and created 217 jobs.

Michelin is a founding partner of Special Olympics Nova Scotia, a relationship first established in 1987. Each year, Michelin employees participate and volunteer in community torch runs to raise awareness of Special Olympians and the Nova Scotia Games. This year, the Michelin Corporate Foundation, which is based in Paris, donated $250,000 to the 2018 Canadian Special Olympics Summer Games in Antigonish. Michelin employee volunteers will be out in

force to support this year’s Games. In 2017, Michelin Pictou County employees donated more than 3,600 hours of volunteerism in the community and the Michelin Pictou County site donated $120,000 to local community charities. Projects include Michelin sponsored events, such as Health and Safety Week, Adopt-a-Highway and Michelin Junior Bike, which work to make local communities cleaner and safer. Michelin Pictou County also works with

local schools as employee mentors for reading programs in their Challenge Education program. “Our goal as employees is to make our communities a better place to live,” Carty said. Facility personnel manager Trudy Teed said the company supports communities in ways designed to make them thrive. “We’re more than just jobs — we’re careers,” she said. “We need it to be a bigger career than just a paycheque.”

The Advocate Business Review


May 2, 2018


Harnessing the power of partnerships

By Jack Kyte Pictou County Chamber of Commerce

People may see the Chamber of Commerce and the deCoste Performing Arts Centre as strange bedfellows. The deCoste, is typically seen as a centre for culture and the arts, and the Chamber representing the interests of the business community. So why was the recent “Game Changers” event, featuring some of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs and sponsored jointly by the two organizations, such a success? The answer lies in having common purpose. And in this case, the purpose was to bring a world class event to Pictou County as an encouragement to local entrepreneurs and to stimulate our thinking around economic development. A strong economy is important to both organizations. By sharing resources and ideas, the event became a reality. Individually, Game Changers would not have happened. The lesson is that communities and business have to work together if we are to truly move our region forward. The creation of a Regional Enterprise Network (REN) by our municipalities is good example. The REN will be our primary economic development organization. It will be managed by a joint business/community Board of Directors and funded by the Province, our six municipalities and the Pictou Landing First Nation. The municipal units have come together to sign an inter-municipal agreement to enable the REN to get started and as part of

deCoste Performing Arts Centre the agreement, all municipalities have committed funding over a five-year term. Here again, business and community are linked for common purpose, economic development. This is positive for all our communities and it has the potential to be a true game changer. In a similar way, the Newcomers Welcome Centre at our Pictou Antigonish Regional Library (PARL) came together through a collaboration between the Chamber of Commerce, PARL and contributions for staff training from the business sector. The community wins by establishing a place for all newcomers, including immigrants, to feel welcome and get connected. The business community wins when employees, new to Pictou County, feel they have come to a community that understands their needs as they settle here. Partnerships are powerful. They can change things for the better. We need to keep looking for those strange bedfellows!

Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library Headquarters

Small business is big business Many colours make up the Pictou County tartan — yellow, green, some white, red, purple and of course, navy. Like the tartan, our business community is comprised of multiple threads consisting of different sectors, different stories, different offerings and different faces. As the new Business Outreach officer for the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce, I have had the blessing to meet a portion of the small business community this past month. We’ve laughed, chatted and swapped a business card or two, and in my discussions, it has solidified for me that the

small business sector of Pictou County is the piece that holds this community all together. They represent our culture and identity. Have you heard the secret? It was no surprise to me but for some, it’s a revelation! These small businesses selling goods and services, are… wait for it… doing big business. For instance, Sue and Ken are selling vintage clothing from their studio space on Provost Street, New Glasgow to customers globally while operating Forge Home and Garden. Then there’s So Jeo creating pysanky eggs from her home in Scotsburn and selling them yet again, globally. How

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could I not mention Webbuilders who design and build websites for clients globally? These three small businesses are examples of what resides in Pictou County, and they are going beyond the borders of our region. Pictou County small businesses are serving us culture, trends and community. They are the faces you meet in the streets, the person next to you at yoga and the person shopping at your stores. They are the threads holding our region together and bringing us to the world, one stitch at a time.


May 2, 2018

The Advocate Business Review


Recent growth and expansion for locally owned and family-operated Sullivan Fuels It has been an eventful year for Sullivan Fuels. The time through 2017 and early 2018 has been one of change, acquisitions and expansion of services that Wade Sullivan has found challenging and exciting. Wade and his sister Emily have been taking over business operations from their father Mike Sullivan since the time they became involved in the family company. Wade started with the business in 2002, Emily in 2011. “I’m thrilled I can do something I love and stay in Pictou County,” Wade said. The ascendancy by Wade and Emily is part of a succession plan that has been achieved for the company. “The succession plan has worked well,” Wade said. “Dad started in the late 2000s with a plan and now Emily and I run the company for the most part. Succession planning was very much on his mind.” Sullivan Fuels’ history goes back to 1957 in Sydney, which means the company marked 60 years in business last year. Mike Sullivan was 18 when he entered the business full-time in 1975, which was established by his father. The Sullivan family moved to Pictou County from Sydney in 1992 when Sullivan Fuels bought Ballantyne Fuels. Ballantyne Fuels was a familiar name for local clients for years, so they kept it. But as they’ve acquired more businesses and locations, it made sense to consolidate their branding. Hence, Ballantyne Fuels adopted the Sullivan Fuels name in 2017. They also relocated from Stewart Street in New Glasgow to their new office on Park Street in New Glasgow. Besides their locations in New Glasgow and Sydney, Sullivan Fuels has operations in

Whycocomagh, Arichat and Lower Sackville, N.S. The firm also built a new office in HRM that opened this year. The business’s Whycocomagh purchase took place three years ago. Sullivan Fuels bought the operation in December in Arichat and from that acquisition added the Caper Gas brand name. The company took on an added dimen-

sion in June 2017 when it purchased Thorne’s Burner Service, which was based in Chance Harbour. “We took all of their employees (four) with us,” Wade said, while noting his firm has since added another service technician to its staff. Sullivan Fuels also began selling propane in June. “We have a couple of suppliers in Halifax

and haul it here, but we cover from Sydney to Halifax for propane service,” he said. They also opened a new diesel fuel card lock site at their location in New Glasgow. “We are constantly striving to give our customers more, yet maintain that small family-business feel I think people appreciate,” Wade said, adding that Sullivan Fuels doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

Northern Pulp contributes to local economy Northern Pulp continues to bolster the local economy in Pictou County. Since assuming ownership of Northern Pulp in 2011, Paper Excellence has injected more than $200 million into the business: for capital expenditures, loan principal repayment and interest payments, in pension funding and to support operational and working capital needs. The company also takes great pride in being able to contribute directly to the local community. As such, they have been a major sponsor of Summer Street Golf Scramble supporting Summer Street Industries. “Last year, more than $8,600 was raised via corporate and employee donations,” says Kathy Cloutier, director of communications. In addition, NP is a major sponsor of the annual Race on the River Dragon Boating and raised more than $5,300 in 2017 from corporate and employee donations. Other Initiatives supported through corporate/employee donations to date include: The Bluenose Curling Club, Hector Arena, Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library Newcomer Welcome Centre, local hockey clubs and tournaments, Models for Mental Health – Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, Shepherd’s Lunchroom, Pictou Christmas Light Up, Christmas for Needy Families, Pictou County Christmas Fund, Pictou County Fuel Fund, local food banks, Pre-Canada Day Celebration – New Glasgow, Westville Canada Day Parade, Pictou Lobster Carnival, Trenton Fun Fest, Walk the Walk for Autism, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ship Hector Foundation, United Way of Pictou County, Skills Nova Scotia

BY THE NUMBERS • As of 2016, there are 11,500 Nova Scotians employed directly and indirectly by the forest industry, up from 10,200 in 2012 • As of 2016, $2.1 billion in total economic impact (up from $1.5 billion in 2012) • Forest Products industry ranks fifth in NS contribution to GDP in the Goods Producing Sector • Forest Products industry ranks second in NS jobs in Goods Producing Sector and third in NS exporters in Goods Producing Sector • Since 2011, Northern Pulp has paid $51.9 million to the Government of Nova Scotia, including $33.9 million in interest (as of December 2017) • Northern Pulp operations directly affect and benefit over 1,300 companies over several industries with a total annual value output exceeding $535 million • Northern Pulp invests and spends over $315 million annually in the economy of Nova Scotia • More than $11 million generated annually in tax revenues and more. One of the focuses of Northern Pulp is continuing its progressive efforts to reduce its environmental footprint and the company has been working to open a new treatment facility by 2020. “Northern Pulp and owner Paper Excellence are fully committed to undertaking all measures within our ability to ensure there is a new treatment facility in operation by January 2020,” Cloutier said. An Environmental Assessment Preregistration process is being conducted over a period of approximately 210 days (beginning in winter 2017 through to this spring/ summer). The current treatment facility is off-site at Boat Harbour, while the new effluent treatment facility will be on-site. “This is significant as untreated effluent will no longer be

transported in a pipeline leaving the mill site after the new system is operational.” Cloutier said there are 131 kraft mills operating in North America - 20 per cent operate AST systems while 80 per cent operate ASB systems. In both countries, no other treatment process is used to treat kraft mill effluent. “Northern Pulp has thoroughly investigated treatment options available to bleached kraft mills. Technical options available must include an outfall discharge in order for Northern Pulp to operate.” A series of public meetings have been held over the last number of months for NP representatives to explain the mill’s pipe effluent treatment proposal. Cloutier noted, “There are fishing grounds reasonably close to the existing outfall which flows into the Northumberland Strait. There will be an engineered outfall,

using a six-port diffuser that will disperse effluent released into the mixing zone. Currently, there is no diffuser before the system discharges into the Strait. The new system will make it so that the treated effluent, in part due to planned in-mill improvements, will be of better quality with a smaller environmental footprint than what is currently in place.” She said the company will be introducing a significant process change before the bleaching stage. “This $70-million project will considerably reduce the need for bleaching chemicals by 30 to 40 per cent to whiten the pulp as it progresses through the system.” She continued, “As outlined during our series of meetings with fishers which began in December, Northern Pulp has thoroughly investigated treatment options available to bleached kraft mills. Technical options available must include an outfall discharge in order for Northern Pulp to operate. The bottom line is no pipe equals no mill. “Recognizing their concerns and the valuable knowledge fishers hold, we will continue to extend the invitation to them to remain engaged in the process, as is the case for all stakeholders.” Northern Pulp’s effluent treatment facility replacement project team and mill employees look forward to continued engagement with the community in the months ahead, she added. A market study was conducted in January for Northern Pulp, requested by fishers, is available via the project website www.northernpulpfuture.ca through the meetings and materials tab.


The Advocate Business Review

Home-based businesses showcase entrepreneurial spirit By Ray Burns For The Advocate

Arbonne, Epicure and Usborne … No, it’s not the name of some big-city law firm, but the names will be familiar if you’ve heard about home-based businesses. They are just three of many companies that local entrepreneurs represent in Pictou County. Arbonne is known for its heath and wellness and personal care products, Epicure has made its name in the spices and cooking realm while Usborne is all about books. Lindsay Corbin has been selling Arbonne for five years. “I was impressed by the quality and safety of the products and inspired by the amazing women reaching for their dreams and building strong businesses,” she said as the reason for her involvement. The flexibility around other work and life commitments is also a big drawing point for home-based businesses, she said. “Many people also have full-time jobs, at least when they are starting out; it’s a smart financial decision to give you a tax shelter and the ability to add an additional stream of income that, if you work for it, could become your main income.” This is the wave of the future, she feels. “The economy is changing and it’s a smart move to have multiple streams of income to supplement regular employment and as a Plan B. The Internet enables you to do business globally and the mobility to work from where you are.” Of course, there’s also the grandaddies of them all, such as Avon and Tupperware. Lori Ann Chisholm has been selling Tupperware for a while now and loves it. “I see more and more home-based businesses popping up in the county and I truly believe in people supporting small home-based

businesses locally.” Part of the attraction was, like it is for many home-based reps, the chance to use and get discounts on products she believes in. In many cases, these home-based businesses offer incentives such as trips and even vehicles for top performers. Tami Faudi has just started selling Monat, which is an anti-aging hair care line of products. The opportunity came along at the right time for her. “I had a desire to be financially independent, contribute more to my family income and future, all while having that flexible time to be a full-time mom,” she said. “I was looking for that right niche that I could be passionate about. When a friend presented the offer to join Monat, it was like everything clicked.” This type of business hits the mark for many people with a blend of independence and activity, she said. “It empowers people to be entrepreneurs. There is freedom, independence, more time for family.” She said now is the perfect time to have a home-based business. “It provides new innovative ways to do business. We are moving into the age of a New Economy. There are many businesses moving in this direction. The Internet is a leverage we can use to work anywhere on our terms.” She sees this avenue spreading wider and wider for more entrepreneurs. “People are becoming more connected and these businesses become supportive and encouraging communities… The options now to be providing your service or selling online, running a business off your phone, or car, is appealing. People are getting it. People are awakening to a better way. We are all networking, so why not turn it into a business we get paid for?”

May 2, 2018


Highland Nissan celebrates 10 years at Westville location This year marks the 10th year that Highland Nissan has been at their current location, just off Exit 21, and the anniversary has them reflecting on their growth and progress. “Nissan has been building their brand recognition and increasing market share, and every year we see more growth,” said Eric Barker, owner and president of Highland Nissan and Highland Ford. He said when they first purchased the store (formerly Dale Motors Nissan) and built the new location at Exit 21, they were selling approximately 175 new vehicles per year. Now they sell more than 300, and that number keeps climbing. He added, “Part of it has to do with Nissan and their great product, but I also have to give tons of credit to our team. Their customer service is what makes our customers keep coming back.” Highland Nissan is locally owned and a family business. You get that sense of family and team support as soon as you walk through the doors. “We often get comments that we are different — in a good way,” said Tony Fortune, general manager. And the proof is in the numbers. Highland Nissan consistently ranks amongst the highest in the country for customer satisfaction, based on customer surveys, and as ranked by Nissan Canada. Mike MacLean, sales manager added, “I’ve been with this company for more than

27 years and am very happy to say that the Barker Family still carry the same values with regards to offering great service through the sale of great vehicles. It’s a fun work atmosphere. We all get along and work as a team and strive to make sure that 100 per cent of our customers are satisfied 100 per cent of the time.” Two years ago, Highland Nissan expanded its service department to double its original size in order to better accommodate the growing number of customers. They also invested in state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and a four-post alignment hoist. In addition, they hired an expert installation specialist, Aaron McMullin, for aftermarket electronics, lighting and accessories, and now have a side business for all makes and models called Autoworx that runs out of the back of the building. Highland Nissan is a fullservice facility, and they also offer customer detailing as well as undercoating. Barker said he appreciates the fact that Nissan has a full vehicle lineup, which allows them to appeal to many consumers. They even sell commercial vans, and now offer a full-size Cummins diesel Titan. Barker said Nissan is Canada’s fastest growing automotive brand and RenaultNissan-Mitsubishi is now the world’s largest automaker. Barker said he’s extremely pleased with where the brand is headed and is happy to be along for the ride.

New Glasgow; 30p3; 109.999al; Black; 149270

Taxes raging issue, Chamber ED says The executive director of the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce says he appreciates the strong reaction from the small business community to proposed federal tax changes. Jack Kyle says he is also surprised at the federal government’s tepid response to the opposition raised by the business community. “The pressure from across Canada was extreme, even here,” he said. Local businesses’ first opportunity to voice their displeasure with the tax changes first offered by Finance Minister Bill Morneau was during a meeting with Central Nova MP Sean Fraser last summer. Kyte praised Fraser’s engagement at the meeting. The initial outcry was over the provisions being removed that have allowed employers to set aside funds for items like insurance, health care and pensions that their employees can count on but are options employers do not have. Those funds would be heavily taxed once they’re withdrawn. “Even with Sean (Fraser) explaining the proposal and taking the feedback back to the government — he did a lot of work to take that back,” Kyte said. “People felt the timing of the proposals and consultations in the summer was not the best. The consultation was token and that’s why there was a backlash. There was a sense the government

would push the proposals through, no matter what we said. But one would hope they have a better understanding of the effects of these proposals on our businesses.” Kyte laid out some of the things he hopes will happen in the future. “Business wants to be consulted on these sorts of things and not after the fact,” he said. “The tax system is so complex.” He said not all businesses have the accounting expertise to navigate the tax system and “don’t have the time to be tax experts. They’re not aware of the impact of changes until they happen.”



May 2, 2018

The AdvocATe Business Review


These are the faces of your friends, family, neighbours, and friendly strangers. These are the faces of small business.


The AdvocATe Business Review

May 2, 2018


Newcomer welcome initiative boasting one year of progress There are positive signs of effective engagement for the Business Newcomer Initiative. A public launch for the program in January 2017 attracted several hundred people. It followed a newcomer resource web site that was created in late 2016. The Newcomer Welcome Initiative is a partnership of the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library (PARL), the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce and the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce. It is supported by numerous community agencies and businesses. All seven library locations in the Antigonish and Pictou counties, as well as web and outreach services, are participating as newcomer welcome centres. It helps immigrants to Canada and those arriving from elsewhere in the country. The purpose of the centre is to guide the newcomer to services that help with settlement, such as with health and employment services, and to provide guidance to activities and opportunities that assist with inclusion in the community, while complementing the specific settlement services that already exist. Resources include a new PARL welcome brochure and rack cards created in English, French, Arabic and Tagalog. The libraries are providing reading materials in more than 30 languages; the biggest collections are in French, Arabic, Spanish and Mi’kmaq. A relationship between PARL and the Pictou County Multicultural Association was also formalized. The regional library employed two women who recently emigrated from Syria with their families, one in Antigonish library and one in New Glasgow library. The hosting organizations suggested this as a way for the young women to improve their English language skills

From left: Zack Oakes, web assistant with PARL; Wendy Hughes, immigrant settlement worker with the YReach Program in Pictou County; Jess Davey, web manager with PARL and Jack Kyte, executive director with the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce meet at the New Glasgow Library to discuss the Newcomer Welcome Initiative. (Submitted photo)

and better integrate into the community. During the school year they worked 10 hours per week but during the summer they increased to 20. Duties include working with the public in programming as well

as some circulation desk procedures. They are both valued employees. The New Glasgow person has left employment to focus on her studies with the Nova Scotia Community College.

Bureaucracy can impact business By Faus Johnson For The Advocate

Before the age of computers and social media I was an avid reader of business and political literature and never missed the morning newspaper. Today I spend too much time reading off an electronic screen. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting back with a good book or scanning the newspaper with a cup of java so one of my New Year’s resolutions was to spend more time between the covers of a good book. Graham Steele, a former NDP MLA and cabinet minister and the author of “What I Learned about Politics,” was one of my first political reads as I had listened to him speak at several of the local Chamber of Commerce breakfasts. I admired his intelligence and presentation skills. Having been a political junky for many years, I was interested in his behind-thescenes look at how governments work, or more importantly how they don’t work. At the time I was both executive director of the local Chamber of Commerce and also sat on the Board of Directors of the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce. I was often asked what the greatest frustration was from the business community towards governments — municipal, provincial and fed-

eral. The answer without fail was the difficulty dealing with the bureaucracy which is made up of non-elected civil servants. In Steele’s book he is quite adamant that the biggest obstacle to getting things done is trying to deal with the bureaucracy. When I went to university the desire of most business graduates was to get a job in the banking sector or with one of the Fortune 500 companies in Canada. Lay offs, buy outs and downsizing have made these organizations less appealing to the young so this generation is looking for a good wage and job security. What better place to find it than with our evergrowing public sector and herein lies the problem. Many of these people have never had to balance a budget except for their own, meet a payroll or run the risk of being replaced and these are the skills the private sector wants and demands. It is therefore difficult for the business community to deal with the lack of sense of urgency with government organizations and, according to Steele’s book, the elected officials who are trying to represent the needs of their local constituents, including the business community, are faced with the same dilemma. The sad news is that with the centralization of government services away from the rural areas of the province this problem may become worse. When you live in a community you are more cognizant of the needs and better prepared to suggest appropriate solutions than if you are sitting in an office building in Halifax. Up-sizing, down-sizing and right-sizing are not unique to governments or government agencies. As a former employee in one of Canada’s largest Crown corporations as well as a



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large private sector service organization I can attest that both public and private organizations go through the same gyrations on a fairly regular basis. The hope we have is that when the next government determines this experiment to be deemed a failure that the right people will be put in the right place at the right time. Faus Johnson is a graduate of Dalhousie University Faulty of Science and the University of Western Ontario Ivey School of Business



May 2, 2018

The Advocate Business Review


Sobeys; 61p6; 220al; Black plus three; 149052

Thank you for making us #1, Pictou County. For 111 years, our customers have been at the heart of our business, and Pictou County has been our home. We couldn’t ask for better customers, friends, and neighbours. Your support is why the Leger Corporate Reputation Study has recognized us, including our 1,500 local employees, as the best grocer in Canada for seven years running.



The Advocate Business Review

May 2, 2018



Town of Stellarton; 30p3; 108.999al; Black plus three; 149444



Stellarton Town Hall.

COMMERCIAL and RETAIL BUILDING LOTS FOR SALE HIGHWAY EXPOSURE Both an entrance and an exit off the TransCanada Highway 104 38,000 vehicles a day Above: Downtown Stellarton, looking toward Bridge Avenue.


Call Cathy Covey REALTOR® Sunrise Brokerage & Sales Ltd.


Downtown Stellarton, looking towards Acadia Avenue.


Over 25% of Summer Street revenue comes through social enterprise.

Now that’s good return on investment! Social enterprises offer goods or services that create both financial and social returns. Summer Street businesses provide training and employment to over 100 clients. They help balance and improve quality of life, contribute to annual revenues and support our full range of programs. Social enterprises add diversity to the business community and give everyone an opportunity to support positive change. Like every successful business, Summer Street offers quality products and services at competitive prices. We’re innovative and always open to new ideas and ventures! Our core businesses include: Summer Street Works Sub-Contracting; On and Offsite Catering, Meeting and Event Space; Trophies & Awards; Business Services; and New Beginnings “gently used” clothing store. 147166

For more info call 902-755-1745 ext 228 www.summerstreet.ca • 72 Park Street, New Glasgow


May 2, 2018

The AdvocATe Business Review


CBS NEWS Nissan; 61p6; 109.999al; Black plus three; 149112 Highland

“Renault-Nissan now world’s largest carmaker, ousting VW group” NISSAN.CA

“Thank you for making Nissan the fastest growing automotive brand in Canada” TRUCKTREND.COM

“Nissan Titan wins 2017 Pickup Truck of the year” Autotrader.com

“The Nissan Rogue has become a top 10 best-selling car” europe.autonews.com

“The Nissan Qashqai is Europe’s top-selling SUV” 2018 Nissan Rogue 2018 Nissan Altima 2018 Nissan Maxima


We’re more than lighting and savings. From reduced maintenance on equipment, to improved air quality and building comfort for tenants, improving energy efficiency can benefit much more than just your bills. Learn more at efficiencyns.ca/business Enjoy the good things efficiency brings. 147171


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May 2, 2018


Joining the gig economy? Four tips for getting the job done right Whether you run a side hustle or work freelance, now is a good time to make sure you’re equipped to successfully manage your business. Here are four areas to focus on to keep on track: 1. Business Structure If you’re just starting out, get professional advice to determine the business structure that works best for you. Whether you choose to form a sole proprietorship or corporation,

it’s a critical step on your path to long-term growth and helping you establish an identity for your business. 2. Finances Don’t miss collecting on any invoices by signing up for accounting and invoicing software. Create a profit and loss statement for your current and previous fiscal year to track how well your business has done after expenses. If cash flow kept you from taking advantage of business opportunities last year, consider getting a loan or line of credit. 3. Business planning Take advantage of slow periods to make or review plans for the year ahead. A good business plan will help you run your business intentionally, rather than reactively. Break down your goals by month and be specific. For example, aim to cut expenses by five per cent, enter a new sales territory or increase revenue by 25 per cent. You can’t effectively do what you don’t plan for. Finally, create a yearly calendar to mark promotions, marketing initiatives and critical dates using tools. 4. Performance evaluation Use your financial statements and client feedback to review how your business did last year, then strategize how you can adjust your tactics this year to get better results. Consider a business coach or mentor to help you identify problem areas and troubleshoot ways to achieve your goals. Ask friends for recommendations or join business networking events to meet potential mentors. By making a plan and monitoring your progress throughout the year, you’ll have a better chance of reaching your goals. Find more tips online at ownr.co. www.newscanada.com




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May 2, 2018




Oil and Propane Delivery • OIL • PROPANE • LUBRICANTS Installation, Sales, and Service 902-752-0377 **Pictou County Owned and Operated** 147160

14865.millside general store Dart Supplies

Toys, Beach & Camping Items

Purina Livestock Feed & Farm Accessories

Firewood & Kindling

Fishing/Hunting Supplies & Licences

Chainsaw Chains, Bars & Files


Gardening Needs

Kites & Flags

Potatoes, Onion & Garlic Sets




Family owned, Proudly serving Pictou County 20 years

Visit us on


8139 Highway 6, Pictou, Nova Scotia



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May 2, 2018



5-980 East River Rd., New Glasgow, NS B2H 3S8

902-755-7653 Independently Owned and Operated


Front left to right: Lisa Swain REALTOR速, Judy Decoste Assistant, Sherry Blinkhorn Broker/Owner,

Angel LeFave Administrator, Kayla Green Assistant Back left to right: Chris Sharpe REALTOR速, Fred El-Haddad REALTOR速, Dave Jardine REALTOR速, Aaron Millen Associate Broker



May 2, 2018

The Advocate Business Review


Fishing good in 2017; NFA questions this year The local fishery was buoyant in 2017 and there is guarded optimism for this year, Northumberland Fisherman’s Association president Ron Heighton says. “In our area it was very good,” he said. “Lobster was up in most places and the prices were better than in other years. The downside: fuel isn’t getting any cheaper and bait prices are up.” Heighton said the rock crab fishery “went fairly smoothly” with good catches and a decent price. “Herring wasn’t as good as last year,” he said. “We left about 30 per cent (of the quota) in the water. There was a lot of small fish. It’s a matter of making some adjustments until the stock recovers.” He explained that the mandated net size allows the small fry to escape and grow. “No doubt, they’ll cut the herring quota,” he said. The scallop fishery was slightly better than the year before, he said. Halibut prices were up and landings were up, he said. The catch price ranged between $6 and $9 per pound. Fish caught tend to weigh 30 to 50 pounds. They must be at least 32 inches long and any fish less than 25 pounds goes back into the water.

He said the tuna catch was average. “There seemed to be plenty around, but the price was no better,” he said.

Lobster prospects this year depend on the Canadian dollar’s value against the U.S. dollar, the local fishery’s big customer. If the

Loonie remains strong, it could subtract 35 cents to 50 cents from the price, Heighton said. “We hope the demand stays high,” he said. Another concern is fish processing, where operators are having difficulty finding workers. Heighton said foreign workers could fill the need if they could be hired. “If the government allowed fishing plants to hire like farmers, it would be better,” he said. Changing customer trends have forced the lobster fishery to adjust. While there is a preference in some quarters for lobster tails, claws and knuckles are being bagged in small portions. “Everybody is moving to individual portions, such as the right amount of lobster for a sandwich — no lobster to cut up, no shell to dispose of,” he said. Fishing seasons this year include lobster trapping through May and June, rock crab fishing to start in early August, herring in the first part of September, tuna in late September and October, halibut starting in late August or early September and scallop fishing from the first of November to December 15.


What’s that you say? Beltone ready to serve

Big things from Blinkhorn It’s been an exciting year for Blinkhorn Real Estate who continue to remain on top in the real estate industry in Pictou County. The last year was a busy one for the Blinkhorn real estate agents and they are leading the industry in the county with their signature hospitality and helpfulness. “We continue to lead in Pictou County as number one in units and dollar volume sold, according to the information provided by our Association of Realtors,” said Sherry Blinkhorn, owner of Blinkhorn Real Estate. She said the business has been top of mind in Pictou County for 13 years which she believes is a result of doing their best to provide excellent client service. She added that the company is bursting with excitement for their latest announcement that is “groundbreaking” and “forward thinking” in the industry — especially being first in Pictou County, and to her knowledge in all of Northern Nova Scotia. Blinkhorn insists that it’s always been her goal to stay on top of the many changes within the industry as it relates to technology. She added that this new tool isn’t even found in many offices in all of Atlantic Canada. Blinkhorn Real Estate took the leap — with an expensive investment — to be able to offer a package to sellers that includes 3D interactive virtual reality tour of their homes. She wanted to be clear that it is NOT simply a “virtual tour,” it’s very different than that. It includes a “doll house” view of the home as well as the actual floor plans. She adds that people will really appreciate using their own VR glasses to walk through the homes. She said with excitement, “It definitely has the “wow” factor and people should check out our Facebook page or our web site to see for themselves.” The office also has a drone, so even those videos serve as an advantage to some clients as well.

Another way they are moving along with advanced technology is with electronic signing. The gradual move away from paper signing and other paper documents means the agency is working to become more green. The business also has a television running in their window 24/7 as a way to show off their listings to anyone who wants to have a look, or you can find them at http://www.blinkhornrealestate.com and take a look at their Facebook or Twitter for updates. Along with their hard work and constantly looking for innovative ways to improve client experiences, Blinkhorn Real Estate still has its mascot, Blinky Bee, which attends charity functions and, like Blinky Bee, they’ve been extremely “beezy”! Community and charity work are on a long list of things they like to fit into their schedules. Many charities are supported by Blinkhorn and the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia can attest to this as the business regularly contributes and works closely with its president and CEO, Starr Cunningham. Even though sometimes Blinkhorn contributes to provincial organizations, she makes sure the money is earmarked to make its way back to Pictou County. Autism Society and New Glasgow Academy are other causes the business helps out as well. “We do a lot for the community because the community supports us, and I always like to pay it forward as best I can,” Blinkhorn said. All of the community work ties in with the mantra that Blinkhorn lives by — “honesty, integrity, professionalism.” She believes so strongly that “goodness prevails” she even it has tattooed on her forearm. “It goes beyond the sales commission,” Binkhorn said. “We truly care about the clients and put the people first. So it truly is a win-win situation when you genuinely care about people to start with.”

What’s involved in a hearing test? Here’s what to expect. Lifestyle Assessment and Medical History If it’s your first time seeing a hearing health professional, be prepared to answer several questions about your lifestyle and medical history. Don’t worry, they won’t get too personal! Visual Examination After a brief chat about your lifestyle, the hearing care professional will take a look inside your ears, both the canals and the drums, using a light called an otoscope. This is done to rule out anything that could affect the outcome of the hearing tests, such as an infection, a perforated ear drum, or an earwax buildup. Pure-tone Test In this test, hearing health professionals are looking to find out the faintest tones you can hear at certain frequencies (from high to low). A person sits in a quiet room or sound booth wearing sound-blocking headphones that play sounds to test the quality of hearing in each ear one at a time. Speech Test During the speech test, you are asked to recite words played or spoken at different volumes. The practitioner will take note of the faintest speech you can hear at least half the time, record any problems you have with word recognition, and analyze your ability to correctly repeat words back to them at a reasonable auditory level. Bone Conduction Test The bone conduction testing procedure is much like the pure-tone test, but instead of through headphones, a device placed strategically behind the ear is used to play the sounds. Your reactions to each tone during the test give hearing care professionals a broader picture of what is going on with your hearing. The Audiogram The results of each of these tests are compiled onto a line graph or chart called an audiogram, which provides a visual of what ranges you’re hearing normally, and what ranges you’re missing. Your hearing health practitioner will go over the results with you in layman’s terms to give you a sense of your trouble zones, and how they can be remedied. What’s Next?

If the results of your tests show you are experiencing hearing loss, hearing aids may be a recommended course of action. The good news is that today’s hearing aids are so small and comfortable that living with them is no longer the burden it once was. Some digital models can even be synced and controlled using an app on your smartphone! Now that you know a little bit more about what to expect, you’re ready to book an appointment with confidence. There really is nothing to fear! Beltone in Northern Nova Scotia has been providing state-of-the-art hearing device technology and excellent patient care for over 45 years. Serving the counties of Pictou, Cumberland, Colchester, Antigonish, Guysborough and Cape Breton Island, our main office is in New Glasgow at 744 East River Rd., just down the street from the Aberdeen Hospital. Call 1-877-742-5141 to book your hearing test.

The Advocate Business Review


Stationery and Cards As the saying goes, “you only have one chance to make a good first impression.” How you present your business to the public is your first impression. We can help you with everything from stunning business cards to serviceable but corporate forms and labels.


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May 2, 2018

Marketing Materials Whether you need a display and unique handouts for trade shows or want to highlight your successes in an annual report, we understand the importance of marketing.

we do that We make your life easier by providing the products and services your business needs to put its best face forward. What else do we do? A whole lot more!

PICTOU: 902-485-1990

DARTMOUTH, NS 902-457-7468 | HALIFAX, NS 902-455-2870 | BRIDGEWATER, NS 902-543-2457 DIEPPE, NB 506-857-8790 | SAINT JOHN, NB 506-654-1303 | ST. STEPHEN, NB 506-466-3220 ST. JOHN’S, NL 709-597-2599 148491


May 2, 2018

The Advocate Business Review


Employees, customer satisfaction keep Millside store thriving By Amanda Jess For The Advocate

Rose Sangster believes one of the reasons Millside General Store has been able to stay in business for 20 years is because the employees are willing to work and adapt. Rose opened the space at 8139 Highway 6 in Pictou with her husband John because they always wanted to have their own store. She said they used to go for drives and loved to stop in at little shops, flea markets and restaurants. “You could take off from here and go to the New Brunswick border and you could make about 80 stops — little stores, little flea markets.” They came across the for-sale sign and decided to go for it, retiring from their previous jobs — Rose, a medical laboratory technologist and John, a chartered accountant — after the purchase. Rose said they wanted a small, convenient store, but it quickly grew larger than they anticipated. “It’s kinda got a mind of its own. It wasn’t what we planned and it became more work than we planned.” Rose isn’t bothered by hard work, though. “People keep saying when are you going to retire and I kinda say well when it’s no longer any more fun.” The family-based business sells a little bit of everything, including livestock feed for hobby farms, fishing and hunting gear and licenses, darts and dart supplies, chickens, flags, gifts, ice cream, and new-to-you items. “Some of it, we only carry one item of something. We’re very willing to listen to our customers,” Rose said. They decide what to carry based not only on what they think will sell, but also on what customers request. “We’re willing to source the things they can’t find elsewhere,” said Mike Sangster, Rose’s son. An example of that is dart supplies, which they started selling about a year ago.

“It’s an area that’s not available as such unless you’re big enough,” Rose said. They’ll be bringing ice cream back as the weather heats up, with Rose calling it one of their mainstays. During the summer, they increase their hours based on the

weather and if people are coming in — typically open from 8 a.m. until 10 or 11 p.m. Right now, they’re open 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

Now that’s the spirit! Brewers, spirit makers enjoy market upswing By Ray Burns

Henderson said all the local distillers and brewers are adding value to the market place. “We’re all producing great products. We think it’s great, Pictou County’s latest craft brewery is riding high on the especially in Pictou County. It’s great to bring people here. crest of an amber coloured wave. The more the merrier.” That wave of distinctive craft brew was launched in The notable product range at the Nova Scotia Spirit November at Backstage Brewing. The Bridge Avenue, Company has some pretty distinct names, and one may be Stellarton, business is just one of just a wee bit more popular at many small breweries and disthe moment. tilleries that are dotting the coun“I’d probably go with our “We’re all producing ty. Blue Lobster vodka,” Henderson AJ Leadbetter, owner/brewer said. “But at the same time, all of great products. We think at Backstage Brewing, said he our products have taken off, sees this trend born of a thirst for including our new blueberry it’s great, especially in something different, something liqueur.” Pictou County. It’s great new. Brewer Karl Whiffen of Uncle “I think it’s a shift toward flaLeo’s Brewery in Lyons Brook to bring people here. vour. People have expected flapoints toward the desire for vour in food and they are startmore flavours as a reason that The more the merrier.” ing to enjoy big, flavourable beer. craft brews are so big now. — Alex Henderson You can draw upon an infinite “I think it’s that people are number of possibilities for brewtaking advantage of a wide variNova Scotia Spirit Company ing.” ety of beer styles. There are plenLeadbetter says a couple of ty of varieties around and people the popular beers they craft on want to seek that out… they premises are Headliner IPA and want to try something different.” The Big Deal IPA. It’s not a coincidence that they are both He said that sour beers with a “somewhat tart” taste are the same type of beer. gaining popularity in the craft brew world but newcomers “IPAs seem to be the big thing in craft brewing.” to drinking craft brews might want to start differently. Leadbetter said they have brewed eight different variet“People that are just getting into craft beers might try a ies on site so far from a “couple of dozen” recipes they have pilsener or a red.” on hand. He sees IPAs as a landmark among craft brewers. “IPAs, The Nova Scotia Spirit Company, based in Trenton, con- hoppy beers, are a common thread.” tinues to see its products do well and has plans to broaden As far as customer favourites at Uncle Leo’s go, Whiffen its product range. cites the Sunburst Pale Ale, Smoked Porter, and Uncle Leo’s “We’re still seeing an increase in production and sales,” IPA, plus the Ceilidh Ale which “tastes like a pilsner.” said marketing and events co-ordinator Alex Henderson. Both Uncle Leo’s and Backstage Brewing are planning to “We have beer on the way and we’re super excited about add decks to their locations this summer. that.” Whiffen said this is just one more way that Uncle Leo’s She said that Painted Boat Beer Company hopes to set is aiming to give customers what they want. sail within the next few months and they are working to “Craft beer tourism is a real thing and we’re always have their spirits offered at some golf courses this summer. looking for ways to take advantage of that.” For The Advocate


The AdvocATe Business Review

May 2, 2018


Proudfoots proudly serving for three generations

Local businesses benefit from tourism By Ray Burns For The Advocate

The tourist numbers of 2017 were up across the county and the province as a whole, and anyway you look at it, that’s a good thing. Red MacKean, managing partner with the Tara Inn, agrees with the statistics. “Generally speaking, last year was a good year. There were more Europeans in the area. They tend to come in June, it’s good for occupancy.” MacKean said there were also plenty of American tourists around and said there are probably as many theories to why that is as there were tourists. “Everybody’s got a different viewpoint on U.S. tourism. The (exchange) rate is definitely in their favour. I think they may be looking at it that Canada is a safe place to visit.” The fall season was a good one too, “better than normal,” MacKean said. The maintenance shutdown at Northern Pulp drew workers to the area during what is more of a slow time for accommodations. He’s looking for a good 2018. “We are anticipating a busy season. The summers look after themselves.” Cindy MacKinnon, managing director of Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores (DEANS), said our strength here lies in our people and the opportunities we have for working together as a unit. “Tourism is providing significant eco-

nomic spinoffs. We have festivals and events, welcoming people, creative people. We have incredible culinary and experiential opportunities here…We need our people working together to share ideas and bring people together. Visitors don’t care about the boundaries from one municipal unit to the other. They want experience and opportunity.” The latest figures show that licensed room nights sold were up three per cent on the Northumberland Shore in 2017; included in those figures were increases of 10 and 12 per cent in June and July respectively. There was also an increase of 10 per cent in October. MacKinnon attributes some of that increase to late-season tourists and school sporting events, which are a real driver for tourism and its spin-off benefits. “Sports tourism is really what carries us through those months. Sports tourism really is huge.” MacKinnon said both visitor centres in the county will be open again this year. The former provincial centre at the Pictou roundabout draws upwards of 10,000 in the summer, while the one at the Westville rest stop serves up to 4,000 per season. “They give us a chance to encourage and make suggestions. We are able to influence visitors a bit.” She figures that momentum from the 2017 tourist season should carry over this year. “I think we’ll have a strong year again… There’s a lot of positivity, a lot of new ideas.”

MacLeod Lorway focuses on customer satisfaction MacLeodLorway where we share important information about safety, tips for maintaining your home, community information and more. “ This attention to detail and focus on customer satisfaction is something clients have come to know and appreciate of MacLeod Lorway. When you visit https://www.macleodlorway.com, the words of company president Stuart MacLeod Jr. highlight the company’s commitment: “We provide more than insurance coverage for assets and valuables. We provide an unequalled commitment to the needs of our customers, a commitment that goes well beyond just finding the right policy for customers. We do the things that make having insurance less of a “must-have” and more of a “happy-tohave”. Best insurance advice? Insurance should always be about coverage first, price second. “As a broker, we are always on the lookout for better prices for our insureds, but not at the risk of dropping important coverage. For example, imagine experiencing a $20,000 sewer backup claim that isn’t covered because you wanted to save $100 on coverage.”

we can better serve our customers, and a lot of times technology plays a part in that.” Proof that the business continues to change to meet the needs of today’s consumer? Proudfoot Motors recently received a shipment of robotic lawn mowers. “We’re excited about this new product,” says Colleen Proudfoot. “Husqvarna’s Automower works quietly and efficiently, is environmentally friendly, and, best of all, gives you more free time. I’m not sure what my grandfather would have thought about a robot mowing the lawn, but he was in his 80s when he got his first computer, so he was receptive to new technology. He probably would have liked the idea of having more time to golf.” Something that hasn’t changed at Proudfoot Motors over the years is their commitment to their customers and the community. Proudfoot Motors has received awards from a number of their suppliers for excellence in sales, service and operations. “We strive to provide our customers with a great experience and excellent service — at the time of equipment purchase and in aftersales parts and service,” says Colleen Proudfoot. Proudfoot Motors has a long history of supporting the local community and has contributed to many community organizations and facilities, including 4-H, the Pictou-North Colchester Exhibition and the YMCA of Pictou County. “We’re proud to be a locally owned business in Pictou County. It’s important to us to give back to the community that we live and do business in,” says Brock Proudfoot. To learn more about Proudfoot Motors, visit proudfootmotors.ca.

#HERE TO HELP THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVICE In 2017 our government sought to change the way private corporations are taxed in Canada. The initial proposals raised very serious concerns from the small business community. In our efforts to ensure corporations were paying their fair share of taxes we proposed measures that could have inadvertently hurt small businesses and their owners. Most small business owners don’t have millions of dollars in reserve. In fact, many work incredibly hard to make ends meet. Our approach didn’t appreciate that sacrifice and how we communicated our approach was equally problematic. I want to thank each of you who reached out, who shared your story of dedication and passion. Thank you for improving my understanding and for helping us shape a new approach to business taxation that will see a tax cut for every small business in Canada from 10.5% to 9%. Our new plan will retain the ability of business owners to save for retirement, maternity leave, or other life events that employees have coverage for. It will also end special tax strategies that do not create jobs and only benefit 3% of Canada’s wealthiest business owners. I look forward to continuing our work together to build a stronger Pictou County


902-752-0226| 1-844-641-5886 sean.fraser@parl.gc.ca /SeanFraserMP




Customer is king and MacLeod Lorway Insurance lives that motto every day. Focus on customers is one of the reasons why the New Glasgow company continues to grow year over year. Jennifer MacLeod, management team member, said another reason for continued growth is the company’s investment in building its digital platform. “This attracts younger customers who tend not to be customers of brokerages, rather they go to direct writers through affinity programs. We also continue to grow through acquisition,” she said. MacLeod Lorway also uses the digital factor to connect with their clients but still enjoys meeting with customers one on one. “MacLeod Lorway prides itself on placing the customers’ needs first and responds to the client the way they wish,” MacLeod noted. “We don’t have voice mail in our offices because we believe that our clients deserve to speak with a live person every time they call and get their needs met immediately. Many clients now prefer to communicate by email or text and we’ve added platforms to enable this communication. We have an active following on www.facebook. com/InsuranceNS and www.twitter.com/

Proudfoot Motors was started by brothers John and Jim Proudfoot, who grew up on a family farm in Saltsprings. The entrepreneurial siblings invested in their first incubator when electricity came to the farm. Their business grew to include a large hatchery, Proudfoot Motors and Proudfoots Home Hardware. Proudfoot Motors opened in 1950. Some 68 years later, the business is now Northern Nova Scotia’s largest farm, lawn and garden and outdoor power equipment dealership, serving Pictou County, Northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Proudfoot Motors provides sales, parts and service for a number of equipment lines including Massey Ferguson, Kioti Tractor, Cub Cadet, Husqvarna, Woods, Horst, K-Trail & MK Martin. Their diverse product offerings include tractors, tractor implements, lawn tractors, zero-turn mowers, lawn mowers, tillers, chainsaws, brush cutters, utility trailers, standby generators and snow blowers. The locally owned and operated business is now in its third generation of family ownership, with Colleen Proudfoot recently becoming a co-owner of the business with her father, Brock Proudfoot. Brock Proudfoot has seen a number of changes in the business since he started working at Proudfoot Motors in the 1970s. “There’s been changes in the farm industry — there are fewer large farms in our area. While we still have a few large farms, many of our customers today are small farms, hobby farmers and rural property owners,” says Proudfoot. “We’ve also had so many advances in technology — computerized parts lookups, diagnostic programs for tractors, and improvements to communications, to name a few. We’re always looking for ways


May 2, 2018

The Advocate Business Review

LPNs London Noel, left, and Alicia Jamieson chat as they work at one of their carts in Glen Haven Manor. (Brimicombe photo)

Careers in long-term care a growing industry An aging population is not only switching up demographics but creating new career opportunities with the long-term care field growing as an industry and employer. A career in long-term care isn’t just a onestop opportunity though, with opportunities for advancement becoming a career of choice. New Glasgow’s own Glen Haven Manor has a number of opportunities for advancement for just about everyone in the facility. The learning starts before students even end their high school career with the chance for those who are curious about the industry to volunteer at the manor. Many secondary education students also attend the facility for their educational placements. “Currently we have about 30 students,” said Janice Jorden, employee relations specialist for the New Glasgow facility. Glen Haven is one of the few facilities that can offer a mental health placement as well. For those already hired, a clinical tutor is available to help them move up through the ranks to the position they aspire to hold. Employees have been known to study hard and make their way from nutrition and environmental careers all the way to becoming a nurse or LPN. With around six or seven students in a class per year, the opportunities to learn are readily available and well used. “It’s the rewards they get from working in this environment,” said Jorden about why so many choose to stay at the facility and in the long-term care career path. She listed connections with residents, felRN Brittany Stewart gets a blood pressure monitor ready to go at one of the nurses station. (Brimicombe photo)


Ready to serve The friendly staff at Blinkhorn Real Estate are ready to serve. From the left are: Lisa Swain, Chris Sharpe, Judy Decoste, Fred El-Haddad, owner Sherry Blinkhorn, Dave Jardine, Angel LeFave, Aaron Millen and Kayla Green.

“It’s the rewards they get from working in this environment.” — Janice Jorden Glen Haven Manor low staff as well as the many different types of therapy such as music and occupational therapy and even a snoezelen sensory room to help residents with dementia as bonuses. “CCAs can become a lead; we have CCA leads on every floor,” said Jorden emphasizing that there is a chance to excel or lead in every position. A CCA lead helps the RNs and acts as a liaison with them. Lisa Smith, CEO of the facility, added that along with the chance to move up, healthy workplace initiative are also perks their employees enjoy. Access to a personal trainer, subsidized gym memberships and a gym on site, initiatives like learn to run programs and mental health awareness initiatives make working life more enjoyable for employees. The Maritime Odd Fellows Home in Pictou, which has a staff of about 100, also encourages education and the opportunity to move up in the organization. “Long-term care is very exciting and always changing,” said Rhonda Mason, RN director of care at the Odd Fellows Home. “There’s lots of skills utilized.”

Real Estate business booming The business of real estate is looking good this year, not only for buyers but sellers and real estate agents, too. With a market that is more stable now than it has been in the previous years, it’s a great time to be buying and selling. “I don’t think there’s been an overall increase in Pictou County,” said Peter Fraser of ViewPoint Realty. He explained that in previous years there had been a surplus of houses on the market, but the selling rate had remained the same. With an average of about 300 houses on the market in Pictou County historically, the end of 2016 and into 2017 saw about 500 houses on the market. The number is currently back down to around 318 at the time of the conversation with Fraser. “Which is good for buyers and sellers,” said Fraser. He added that this past year has been one of the best years he has had yet and he is pleased with how things are going. Sherry Blinkhorn of Blinkhorn Real Estate was also pleased with the year they had, adding that they have been able to remain top in the county for another year. The business itself is changing as well

with Blinkhorn announcing 3D virtual touring of houses coming to their business this year — a big step for real estate in Pictou County. The downsides to the year have been uncertainty in the job market that has been causing a negative impact on the housing industry as well. Fraser mentioned that with the lack of hiring from Sobeys as well as the uncertainty that has been surrounding Northern Pulp, a lot of people have been affected and are acting a bit more carefully than they usually would due to the uncertainty of whether or not they will have a job in the future. Cathy Covey of Sunrise Brokerage and Sales Ltd. added that the mild winter this year also helped with the great sales in the past year as more out-of-province buyers were more inclined to come view the houses. She also sold a number of apartment buildings in the area to out of province investors. She said, “2017 was a banner year for us. It was our best year in 10.” “The houses are selling but they’re selling at lower prices,” Covey said.


The Advocate Business Review

A barn on 26 acres of property near Scotsburn will be the site of medical cannabis production.

May 2, 2018


(Goodwin photo)

Cannabis production facilities coming Cannabis production facilities will be the newest type of business to open in Pictou County. In Stellarton, Mayor Danny MacGillivray says he’s pleased that a long-anticipated marijuana production facility will soon open. MacGillivray said he was informed by officials with Zenabis of an impending announcement by the company and that it has received Health Canada approval to grow marijuana in an idle building in town. Zenabis is the brand name for the company called International Herbs and Medical Marijuana Ltd (IHMML). “It’s big news for Stellarton and Pictou County,” he said. “It’s not every day a major employer comes here. We’ve been waiting for a long time for this good news, so we’re happy with it.” Plans call for Zenabis to begin production at the former Clairtone electronics factory on Acadia Avenue after purchasing the 275,000 square foot building that Ontario-based Vida

“It’s going to be good for the community.” — Deb Sangster Deb’s Hidden Cafe Cannabis Corp. bought and converted for a similar purpose. Vida Cannabis bought the property from the town for $500,000 in 2014 but was unable to secure federal approval for cannabis production there, despite renovations inside the building that included removing the offices from the front of it. “Health Canada will check the building so it’s up to code and they’re (Zenabis) ready to roll,” MacGillivray said. He said Zenabis would operate with 50 employees in the first year once it’s ready to do so. Up to 200 employees could be working in Stellarton, similar to the company’s can-

nabis operations in Delta, B.C. and in Atholville, N.B. A company press release last August announcing Health Canada’s issuing a licence for the Atholville facility included a statement that it was developing an operation at the idle site in Stellarton. It said the company was well positioned to meet the federal government’s July 2018 goal of servicing its proposed regulated market. Zenabis CEO Kevin Coft was not immediately available for comment. A cannabis operation is also planning to be established in Scotsburn. Nova Grow Ltd. president and CEO Roger Stuckless confirmed the purchase of a 26-acre property on 712 Durham Road that contains a barn that is being prepared to grow cannabis. He said the plants will be for medical purposes only. He said the Health Canada permit is for 400 plants, but he would like to grow 5,000 plants at a time and plans to build four more

barns on the site to do so. The size of the property was a factor in the purchase, as was an available labour force, he said. He hopes to employ up to 150 people. “We searched all over Nova Scotia,” he said. “This place was more appealing.” Debbie Sangster, who owns and operates Debbie’s Hidden Cafe in Scotsburn, said the development is welcome news. “I think it’s wonderful for the economy here,” she said. “People (from the work site) are coming here for a bite to eat. It’s going to be good for the community.” Sangster has kept her establishment open while Scotsburn Co-operative’s presence ended; a retail outlet across the road opened and now lies empty and the nearby sawmill has hired more employees. The news comes as the province has announced New Glasgow’s East River NSLC outlet will be one of nine Nova Scotia locations for marijuana sales in July.



May 2, 2018

The Advocate Business Review


Marketplace to open in June

Erika MacKenzie represents the McCulloch House Museum and Genealogy Centre, which has partnered with the Pictou Seaside Marketplace offering historic walking tours from its location at the New Caledonian Curling Club this summer. (Submitted photo)

Seaside Marketplace’s new owners hope they can capture a new clientele and generate a new dimension of activity this year at the New Caledonian Curling Club. Louise Dixon and Andrew Loscher, who operate Media Ladder Digital Marketing in Pictou, purchased the business formerly called the Pictou Weekend Market. They secured a five-year lease agreement with the curling club and plan to have extended operating hours and a different variety of vendors and products. “At this point, we have a five-year plan and a five-year lease,” Loscher said. “It’s no longer a craft market. Our goal is more of a marketplace, a place to gather and a place for entrepreneurism.” Dixon described three main pillars for the new venture based on community development in line with the Pictou Proud initiative, tourism appeal and economic growth.

The market is scheduled to open on Saturday, June 16 and close on Sunday, September 16. Business hours are yet to be determined, but the marketplace would be open Thursday through Monday and closed on Tuesday and Wednesday each week. Besides tourists, Dixon and Loscher want to attract summer residents to town, offer T-shirts and other souvenirs and offer evening services that would include a partnership with McCulloch House Museum and Genealogy Centre, which will conduct walking tours. They have discussed the possibility of a new food vendor coming to the market. Live art is also part of the equation. “Creative art type people can set up their easels,” Dixon said. “We’re making it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to get involved.”

Major success for Albion Business Park Five lots sold to business developer The Albion Business Centre in Stellarton is about to get a bit more crowded. Mayor Danny MacGillivray announced the sale of five lots in park resulting in about $1.1 million in revenue for the town. Town Council ratified the sales of lots 61, 62-Z, 63-X, 67-B and 69. “This is a good news story for the Town of Stellarton on the economic development front,” MacGillivray said. “We’re really excited about this as a council; we worked really hard to make this happen.” Town solicitor Craig Clarke said the purchaser of all five lots is Endurance Equities Corporation, a developer out of Alberta. According to the firm’s website, Endurance Equities is “a closely held commercial property development company focusing on retail property development and long term ownership of first class commercial real estate.” The company was founded by Pat Lipton who has more than 30 years of experience in leasing and development of commercial real estate. Matt Stokes manages the development projects and daily operations. A commercial lawyer by trade, Stokes possesses the organizational and technical skills to fulfill the company’s mandate of expanding its real estate portfolio. A call to Stokes for comment on the purchase was not returned to The Advocate.

“The company is operated with the goal of providing our tenants with The Edge in Retail. This is achieved by securing prime locations, developing quality shopping centres, and conducting efficient operations to keep costs to a minimum. The success of Endurance Equities is integrally tied to the success of our tenants.” Lot 69 contains 178,160.4 square feet. Cost

per square foot is $2.53 for a total of $518,357.68. Cost before HST is $450,745.81 Lot 62-Z is 205,167.6 square feet and the cost per square foot is $1.38 per square foot. Cost before HST is $283,131.29. Lot 63-X is 62,396.5 square feet; cost per square foot is $1.38 for a purchase price of $86,107.17. Lot 67-B is 222,156 square feet at a cost of

$1.38 per square foot for a purchase price of $306,575.28. Lot 61 is 39,427 square feet sold at a cost of $1.38 per square foot for a purchase price of $54,409.26. Clarke said the purchaser has a 120-day due diligence period and if they find the due diligence in order they would proceed to closing. “Each lot is a separate agreement, so they could proceed to purchase one lot … so we may end up closing one of them or all five of them.” Clarke said the purchaser has been “excellent” to deal with. MacGillivray said the five lots represent the last of the lots in the park that are fully serviced and ready to go. The lots are on Lawrence Boulevard and Vista Drive. Once the purchase is complete and new businesses are secured and settled, it will bring a new look to the business park. New operations will join the businesses already located in the park like Kent, Anchor Motors, the Holiday Inn, Access Nova Scotia, Subway and Goji’s, Pictou County Yoga, Home Hardware, Water & Wine, Sun Lovers Tanning, Heritge Gas, and Albion Plaza which houses Global Pet Foods, the VON, Sunrise Realty, S.R. ProActive Health & Physiotherapy and Johnson Insurance.

New Glasgow

The George Street bridge in downtown New Glasgow, as seen from the Samson Trail. (Submitted photo)

Downtown New Glasgow, reflected in the East River.

(Submitted photo)

The AdvocATe Business Review


May 2, 2018



The Ultramar gas station at Pictou Landing First Nation is a busy enterprise. Trenton Town Hall.

The administration building at Pictou Landing First Nation.

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The health building at Pictou Landing First Nation.

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May 2, 2018

The AdvocATe Business Review

Serving all of Pictou county

How to take your business to the next level If you’re a small business owner, you probably know that the key to success is about making the most out of limited resources. Fortunately, there are many free tools that can help you identify opportunities to boost your company’s chances of success.

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The Advocate Business Review

May 2, 2018


Nova Scotia

Always there to lend a hand.

Every day, in communities across Pictou County, Michelin employees lend a hand through volunteering. In 2017, employees donated 3,600 hours as local volunteer firefighters, as sports coaches and as community leaders, along with Michelin hosted community events such as Health and Safety week, Adopt-a-Highway and Michelin Junior Bike. Since 1987, Michelin has been a founding partner of Special Olympics Nova Scotia, with many Michelin employees making their mark as volunteer coaches and community volunteers. This summer, Michelin and the Michelin Corporate Foundation are proud sponsors of the upcoming national Special Olympics games in our community.

Come join us at the National Special Olympics Games, July 31-August 4 to cheer, volunteer and show our Pictou County Pride! 147164


May 2, 2018



70 Lawrence Blvd. Albion Power Centre, Stellarton

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