JANUARY 2015 • VOL. 1, ISSUE 10
Thriving in the
The win-win scenario
SAAM SMIT Marine tugboats pushing the fleet around
From industry to public access
Front line Vanderhoof first aid provider is out there
Building B.C. Northwest’s AMS leading the growth
MEMBERS OF THE LNG CANADA COMMUNITY ADVISORY GROUP: (right to left) Derek Collier, Ruth Sulentich, Ron Burnett, Wendy Kraft, Kathy Doyle, Hans Sanou, Marilyn Furlan, Virginia Charron, Sherrie Little, Doug Thomson, Linda Slanina, Dennis Horwood, Marianne Sweet, Dave Pernarowski (group facilitator). Missing are Mary-Ellen Proctor, Cheryl Brown and Ken Maitland.
Advisory group connects company to community One of the busiest people at LNG Canada must be Ruth Sulentich, the Senior Public Consultation Specialist.
fourth Wednesday of every month. All the members have committed to being on the group for at least one year, to maintain continuity. The Group’s membership will be reviewed each to year to make sure it still reflects the interests of the group’s vision, mission, and purpose.
Public consultation is one main focus at LNG Canada these days, with the company having filed their Application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate on November 7, 2014, which kicked off 180 days of feedback and consultation about their proposal to build a natural gas liquefaction facility in Kitimat.
“We’re really reaching out to the community to make sure we know what they’re thinking, understanding their thoughts and concerns,” she said. As well as reaching out to LNG Canada with questions, Sulentich also encourages people to view the company’s Environmental Assessment Application and get involved in our community engagements and consultation activities. Some upcoming topics for discussion in 2015 will include an overview of LNG Canada’s permit applications (including Disposal at Sea and BC Oil and Gas Facilities Permit) as well as input into a variety of social and environmental management plans that the company and its main contractor CFSW will be developing.
representing the Kitimat community as a whole,” she said. “We have all sorts of different backgrounds. That’s what makes the group really special.” She said people chosen are for the most part already in other community groups or committees.
“Their networks are really far reaching,” The company has put together a number she added. of public events to get the The intent of the Advisory Group is community involved, but to use their collective knowledge there is another tool in their “We have all to help with project planning. consultation tool kit: the sorts of different Sharing their local knowledge will LNG Canada Community backgrounds. help LNG Canada make informed Advisory Group. That’s what decisions about the project, and As Sulentich explains, makes the group in turn, the Group will be able to this group was formed pass information about the project really special.” to help ensure that the on to others in the community: community’s interests are what they can do to be better and represented and considered as project sharing information that matters most planning continues. The Group’s members to the community. were recently selected from a large pool In other words, “the Group will be able of applicants. The company posted ads to review our plans with a critical eye; in local newspapers seeking applicants they can give us their input, share their for the group and Sulentich said that viewpoints,” said Sulentich. “We’re the response was overwhelming. The really looking to touch base with all of purpose of the group is to provide an Kitimat and we thought this was a great on-going mechanism for regular dialogue way to do it, because they’re bringing between LNG Canada and the community input from their networks to us so as the project progresses – through that we know what the community is planning, construction and ultimately thinking.” operations should the project proceed. “They were chosen on the premise that we wanted to have a really solid cross section
The group has already met a few times, and the schedule is to meet on the
This space is a collaborative promotional venture by LNG Canada and N2K Editor Cameron Orr
The application can be viewed online at http://www.eao.gov.bc.ca and by searching for LNG Canada, and a summary of the Application can be found on the LNG Canada website at lngcanada.ca.
If LNG proposals on the North Coast are approved, projects like BG Canada’s Prince Rupert LNG will create thousands of construction jobs during the initial construction phase. Here are just some of the construction jobs that might interest you: • Labourer • Ironworker • General Forman • Forman • Scaffolder
• Boilermaker • Carpenter • Concrete Finisher • Welder • Painter
• Millwright • Electriction • Rigger • Pipeﬁtter • Insulator
To learn how you can receive the proper training, visit www.itabc.ca. Working closely with First Nations and local communities, BG Canada is considering a proposed LNG project on Ridley Island. For more information, visit www.princerupertlng.ca, or come by our local ofﬁce at 610 2nd Avenue West, Prince Rupert, BC. You can also call us at 250-624-4914.
Publisher Todd Hamilton Editor-in-Chief Shaun Thomas Prince Rupert Ed Evans, Sales Lisa Thomas, Sales Kevin Campbell, Reporter Terrace Rod Link, Editor Brian Lindenbach, Sales Bert Husband, Sales Erin Bowker, Sales Kitimat Louisa Genzale, Sales Cameron Orr, Editor Smithers Grant Harris, Sales Nick Briere, Sales Chris Gareau, Editor Alicia Bridges, Reporter Houston Mary-Anne Ruiter, Sales Jackie Lieuwen, Reporter Burns Lake Laura Blackwell, Sales Flavio Nienow, Editor Fort St. James/ Vanderhoof Pam Berger, Sales Jessie Cole, Reporter Rebecca Watson, Reporter Haida Gwaii Jennifer Bailey, Sales Laura Bishop, Reporter N2K CONTACT INFO:
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’ll believe it when I see it. For years, and for some even now, that seemed to be the mantra of many in Northwest B.C. when it came to the promise of Liquefied Natural Gas benefits. Well, believe it. The District of Port Edward certainly does. The small community, population of approximately 550 souls, just signed a $150 million taxation deal with Pacific NorthWest LNG over the next 25 years. It’s a big number. To put it into perspective, that is $272,727 per person currently living in that community. The agreement guarantees the District of Port Edward $3.25 million each year and escalates over the life of the agreement. The $150 million will be paid out in the form of property taxes and front-end contributions by Pacific NorthWest LNG for district infrastructure improvements. This is a windfall of staggering proportions and it will be interesting to see this long-suffering community rebound and grow. With $3.25 million each year for improvements, one can be assured the District of Port Edward now has the resources to make that community whatever that community wants itself to be. Also in this issue of N2K, we highlight three more agreements that will put millions of dollars into Northwest B.C. coffers for the betterment of their communities. The Wet’suwet’en, Skin Tyee and Nee Tahi Buhn First Nations are the first three to sign LNG benefit agreements with the province. The deal with the province will net the Wet’suwet’en $2.8 million, the Skin Tyee First Nation will receive approximately $2.8 million and the Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band will receive approximately $2.5 million. Another $10 million over three years will be shared by First Nations along the route. How that money will be divided is expected to be decided early in the new year. And there are more coming, including a recently concluded deal between Metlakatla and Pacific NorthWest LNG. Agreements are being made and cheques are being signed. The socio-economic benefits of LNG are already being felt. Believe it. We hope you enjoy this issue of N2K. Todd Hamilton N2K Publisher email@example.com
Out-of-area subscriptions now available e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org View our e-version for free at: www.thenorthernview.com/eeditions
Volume 1 â€˘ Issue 10
THRIVE NORTH Mentoring future entrepreneurs
FIRST RESPONSE They head to where the work is 8
BIG MONEY Port Edwardâ€™s $150 million
GRADS PROCESSED These students will have a leg up 18
ADVANCED GROWTH AMC continues to expand business 19
TUGGING COAST SAAM SMIT pushing the fleet around 12
LAND GIFT RTA puts waterfront in play 16
FIRST DEAL First Nations sign agreement 17
BIG PLAYERS CIC proves itâ€™s ready for the big time 21
CAREERS & JOBS Northwest B.C. jobs available 23
NEXT ISSUE Inside the February N2K: Pathways to Success program paving a bright new future
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The winwin-win win
Scenario Rod Link photo
Global company assisting Northwest B.C. future entrepreneurs By Rod Link
n the bid to establish themselves as community participants in the Northwest, energy companies, mining companies and the like subsidize everything from sporting groups to business events to skills training for a workforce they hope to hire should their projects be developed. It’s often called social licence, defined as the effort to gain broad consensus for large projects, and it has brought monetary benefits not seen before in the region. Seabridge Gold, which has hopes of developing its massive KSM gold deposit, for instance, has made several $100,000 donations to Northwest Community College for its skilled trades training programs and pipeline builder Spectra Energy helped build a smokehouse in the Nass Valley. BG Canada, which wants to spend billions on a liquefied natural gas plant near Prince Rupert called Prince Rupert LNG, is taking a different approach. In one of the largest community participation projects to date, the energy giant is financing a fiveyear-$5 million effort called ThriveNorth through national non-profit Futurpreneur.
“What a local economy needs is for local businesses to be successful as well.” - Joanne Norris The goal is to provide business advice, business education and loans when needed to entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39, explains Futurpreneur official Joanne Norris. Futurpreneur itself was founded in 1996 by Canadian banks as one way to develop a young business class and it now has offices across the country. “I believe this particular project is one of our biggest in smaller communities,” said Norris while in Terrace in late November to officially launch ThriveNorth. See Page 7
Rod Link photo
Mentoring key to success “You often hear of spinoffs [from large projects] and this is one way of achieving them,” said Norris in adding that not everyone wishes to work directly for a large project in a skilled trade or other capacity. “What a local economy needs is for local businesses to be successful as well.” When fully established ThriveNorth will match young entrepreneurs with mentors who can provide the specific kind of advice that’s needed. Norris calls this approach similar to a dating service. And it will loan anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 to young entrepreneurs who meet established criteria, such as a business plan and marketing program. There’s also the opportunity for a young entrepreneur to borrow more money from the Business Development Bank of Canada, a federal crown corporation. “There’s a mission behind our money and that’s to help young people who don’t have a lot of equity,” said Norris. Those loans have a payback period of up to five years, with interest only being required for the first year, while a matching mentorship typically lasts for two years. ThriveNorth has an office presence in Prince Rupert with another business development group, Community Futures of the Pacific Northwest. It’s now building up its base of mentors who can either be local or from elsewhere. And for the first while, ThriveNorth will be
“There’s a mission behind our money and that’s to help young people who don’t have a lot of equity.” - Joanne Norris
concentrating on the Terrace-Prince Rupert-Kitimat triangle, said Norris. Aside from mentoring and loans, ThriveNorth will also be holding sessions to explain the business world to young people, she added. “One of the things we’ve found up here is that the awareness of starting a business or being an entrepreneur is not that high,” Norris continued. A specific and immediate project is promoting a prize of a $10,000 grant to a young person who comes up with the best business idea. Norris said that contest will be concluded by next March. “What ThriveNorth is about is presenting opportunities for entrepreneurial businesses,” she said.
Rebecca Watson photo
On the worksite ... wherever and whenever By Rebecca Watson
f you work in northern British Columbia, there’s a good chance you’ve run into Northland First Aid Inc. (NFA). As a leading first-aid responder service based out of Vanderhoof, B.C., they offer emergency training and on-site care in some of the most remote areas of the province. “From a hang nail to fatality we do it all,” Leor Stanely said, part owner and licensed training manager. “We provide services in the bush and the roads, we go anywhere.” Northland First Aid works at a variety of sites as far as Watson Lake, Yukon, to just north of the United States border, including oil patches, mud slides, tailing ponds, highway roads, railways and forest fires to name but a few. “We do forest fires all the time and if five people are out, at least one needs Level 1 first aid,” Stanley said. “As the fire grows, 20 more people are sent out and now we need three first aiders. If the number of people continues to grow beyond 200, which commonly happens, you need two Level 3 first aiders on site.” The minimum requirement for any workplace is one-of-six people must have Level 1 first aid. As the number of employees grows,
so does the demand of first-aid certificates. Distance from the hospital also plays a role and although each worksite must follow Workplace BC regulations, some companies enforce additional training. “Thompson Creek’s Mt. Milligan and Canfor’s Plateau, for example, have their own rules in place and tend to have more people certified,” Stanley said. NFA offers three levels of training. Level 1 is a basic one-day course meant for businesses within 20 kilometres of a hospital. Level 2 is a one-week course on life support, minor wound care and splinting, mandatory for larger companies who may be close to a hospital but have more than 100 employees. Level 3 is two-weeks covering extensive life support skills and how to use the ambulance. This is mandatory when three or more employees are working more than 20 kilometres from a hospital. Businesses can rent ambulance units from NFA, but since loggers are out in the brush it’s almost always less expensive for them to have their own and pay to certify an operator. See Page 9
The Ministry of Forests, however, has an ongoing contract, same with Spectra Energy, BC Hydro and the Ministry of Transportation. In-town workers wouldn’t need NFA’s services, but as soon as they reach outside they do, Stanley said. “Our most common injury is a blister, but we deal with a lot of car accidents. I’ve seen some rough ones. We have some dangerous roads up here,” Stanley said. There are approximately five major accidents per year recorded by NFA. In the past five years, Stanley has seen one fatality, one amputation, and ‘a bunch of broken bones’. A permanent contract with the Biomass plant in Fort St. James has two full-time employees on site including Adele McQueen, 50, a qualified work safe Level 3 attendant. Currently the plant has welders working in confined spaces, so she helps run mock lessons on what to do in an emergency. “We brought an Emergency Transport Vehicle (ETV) to site and extricated a make believe patient. We designated someone to get the oxygen, someone the get the stretcher and someone to phone BC ambulance. From there we showed how to create an oral airway and how to apply oxygen to help the patient breath. After we got the patient stabilized we got them on the spine board, counted to five and got the patient into the ETV,” McQueen said.
“We have some dangerous roads up here.” - Leor Stanley NFA also provides flagging, checking people in and out of sites and safety orientations. “But no one really wants us there and sometimes we are unappreciated out on site because no one wants to get hurt or think about it. The day can also get quite boring waiting around for an injury, so it’s actually nice when a company has something for us to do,” Stanley said. Summer is the busiest time for the company, running two to three courses a day from March-June, and they are known for hiring students during that time. They have covered events such as the Vanderhoof Airshow, Fall Fair, Rodeo, speed skating and drag races. “But above all the worst is probably the bad driving,” Stanley said. “I’ve seen rollovers, head-on collisions and people hitting animals. It’s not regulatory but we encourage people to take the Class 4 driving test. It would probably make our lives a lot easier.”
VANDERHOOF and DISTRICTS CO-OPERATIVE ASSOCIATION 15 Cardlock Locations: Fort St. James To Quesnel, Terrace To Valemount. Fuel Tanks Sales & Rentals, Bulk Fuel and Oil Deliveries: Vanderhoof Toll Free: 1-888-545-2667, Quesnel: 1-888-992-2667, Prince George: 1-866-309-2667 Houston: 1-800-848-6347, Terrace: 250-635-9595
Martina Perry photo
Port Edward inks landmark deal with Pacific Northwest LNG By Shaun Thomas
acific NorthWest LNG has not yet made a final investment decision on its proposed terminal on Lelu Island, but the company took a major step toward taxation certainty when it signed a landmark agreement with the District of Port Edward on Dec. 15. The agreement guarantees the District of Port Edward $3.25 million each year and escalates over the life of the agreement. The $150 million will be paid out in the form of property taxes and front-end contributions by Pacific NorthWest LNG for district infrastructure improvements. “Pacific NorthWest LNG intends on being a long-term positive contributor to the District of Port Edward and this agreement-in-principle serves as the blueprint for a multidecade co-operative relationship that will benefit all residents of Port Edward,” said Pacific NorthWest LNG President Michael Culbert. “I would like to thank Mayor Dave MacDonald, Port Edward Council and district staff for their dedication and hard work to get to this day.” The Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Hon. Coralee Oakes, was in attendance to celebrate the signing of the agreement-in-principle. The
“Pacific NorthWest LNG intends on being a long-term positive contributor to the District of Port Edward.” - Michael Culbert Province has committed to introducing legislation at the earliest opportunity in 2015 to enable this agreement under the Community Charter. “I can think of no other community in British Columbia that has the ability to deliver on a project to ensure that the results will be successful for decades and decades to come,” said Minister Oakes at the signing ceremony. “Liquefied natural gas, and Pacific NorthWest LNG in particular, represents the chance to bring our children who have gone elsewhere in search of opportunity back home to Port Edward,” said Mayor MacDonald. See Page 11
“[PNWLNG] represents the chance to bring our children ... back home to Port Edward.”
NE HA W PP YE Y AR !
- Mayor Dave McDonald
“The bold agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG was reached on our terms and will ensure that Port Edward residents benefit from the LNG opportunity in the form of increased services, as well as infrastructure upgrades and ultimately, improved quality of life.” The agreement is subject to the project proceeding to construction and will be effective upon the execution of a long-term lease with the Prince Rupert Port Authority. ~With files from Martina Perry.
Paciﬁc NorthWest LNG is a proposed liqueﬁed natural gas facility located on Lelu Island within the District of Port Edward. The facility would generate signiﬁcant beneﬁts for northwest British Columbia and the rest of the province. Visit www.PaciﬁcNorthWestLNG.com to learn more about the project and follow our progress.
330 NEW CAREERS OPERATING THE FACILITY | 300 LOCAL SPIN-OFF JOBS | UP TO 4,500 CONSTRUCTION JOBS AT PEAK ACTIVITY | CONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOCAL AND REGIONAL BUSINESSES | MORE THAN $1 BILLION IN PROJECTED NEW ANNUAL REVENUE FOR LOCAL, PROVINCIAL AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS
The 21st Century
Tugboat Bigger Meaner Alicia A Al Alic lic iciaa Bridges Brriidggess pphoto hoto ho
SAAM SMIT TOWAGE, the harbour workhorse By Kevin Campbell
ast aside your Disney-inspired preconceptions of what a tugboat looks like. Now, picture what you had before. Only, bigger. And meaner. That’s what the modern-day towing industry looks like to meet the needs of 21st-Century marine vessels. And that’s where the towage and salvage company SAAM SMIT Towage comes into play. On the evening of Nov. 20, in the quaint but gentrified Port Interpretive Centre in Prince Rupert – the building centred in the heart of the touristy Cow Bay retail core –
the Prince Rupert Port Authority hosted a showcase. The event was part of a larger series by the coastal industry giant, called Trade Talks, in which a featured business is put in the spotlight, quite literally, under both the PowerPoint shimmer and the scrutiny of the gathered audience consisting of coastal industry movers and shakers and curious citizens wanting to know what the future of their port city entails. On this night, it was SAAM SMIT Towage’s turn to inform and dazzle. Two area representatives from SAAM SMIT Towage
took centre stage. Gregory Malcolm, assistant operations manager for Northern B.C., and Jeff Melegrito, operations manager, outlined the history of the company, where they are now and where they are going. And the long list of the countries and terminals they’ve operated out of is staggering – not surprising since they have been around for 170 years. “I was recently in Singapore and Jeff went to Rotterdam [of the Netherlands],” explained Malcolm during the conference. “We have three main operations worldwide – that’s
“With larger ships, we need larger tugs...” - Gregory Malcolm salvage, towage and external operations and management. SAAM SMIT Towage operates in 15 countries with 40 port locations and we have around 250 vessels,” Malcolm went on. See Page 14
SAAM SMIT Towage can be found in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium in Northwest Europe, in Brazil, Panama, Mexico and Canada in the Americas and China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei in Asia. While SMIT has been around since 1842, the maritime servicing company is now part of the Dutch industrial marine giant, Royal Boskalis Westminster, a company originating from the Netherlands in 1910. And Prince Rupert is one of seven ports that the business operates out of in B.C. including Kitimat, New Westminster, Vancouver, Squamish, Prince Rupert, Stewart and Port Mellon. “We assist ships to and from berth, docking and undocking and escorting,” said Malcolm. “Ten vessels service Northern B.C. ... and we currently have a new build in Vancouver – another tractor tug that should be ready by August 2015 and maybe we’ll see it up here.”
bigger, with larger economies of scale, [they’re] more efficient, more environmentally-friendly and they can bring over more cargo on a [single] ship versus multiple ships. So with larger ships, we need larger tugs to do our assists,” said Malcolm. And not lost on SAAM SMIT Towage are the unique challenges the deepest ice-free natural harbour brings with it to operate in Prince Rupert. “When we look at harbour docking and tugging, we look at what’s suitable for the region – [things we consider include] the passage and the berth, the environmental conditions, types of ships, so here in Prince Rupert there are a lot of shallow areas and a lot of deep shoals and narrow channels ... you get the fog here, you get the tide, you get the wind and depending on where the terminal is that we’re working with, there’s swells,” he added.
Prince Rupert’s diverse challenges
In addition to towing, SAAM SMIT Towage performs salvage operations and escorts vehicles in distress to safety – whether it be from weather, fire, lack of power or illness. And it’s not just the distressed vessel that handles the risk. Often, the tugs themselves put their own ship in harm’s way to perform a salvage mission. “One of the most dangerous [points of the assist] is the ship-handling when the tugs are required to take the bow line ... the tug must come extremely close to the ship’s bow in the process leading to possible collision and capsizing. Another danger as well [occurs when the tractor tug’s line] is attached to the ship and the ship overtakes the tug causing the line to strain. This may result in the tug being pulled onside and capsizing,” said Melegrito. “With the tractor tug design, it is less likely to capsize than the conventional tug.” N2K asked the pair to elaborate on a typical dispatch procedure and ‘panic’ isn’t in the business’ vocabulary. “An agent will represent the ship and he’ll call our dispatch office and they say they work with the pilots or the marina. We order in tugs to suit the ship and then we take that order and figure out the logistics to set up the crews and then send them off. They go and dock the ship, come back and report to us any issues, any problems with the vessel. We’re in constant communication,” said Malcolm. “Ninety-nine point nine per cent of the time it’s very planned, very thought out. It’s methodical – we have the right vessels assisting the right ships. There’s that 0.01 per cent of the time where we have emergency tows or a ship dragging anchor and we just have to be prepared and we are prepared 100 per cent of the time.”
One point Malcolm and Melegrito emphasized was the burgeoning and overall physical growth of the tugs and vessels that SAAM SMIT Towage operates thanks to constantly improving technology. “In the shipping industry, ships tend to be getting
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See Page 15
“The conditions ... here on the North Coast are a little more intense...” - Gregory Malcolm
get a lot of connection with the captains and the deckhands. The communication’s great and it’s just the exposure that you gain here – it’s bar none the best,” Malcolm continued. “The conditions ... here on the North Coast are a little more intense than southern ports and we have the assets and the equipment to handle that.”
The LNG Industry
In-house training SAAM SMIT Towage develops their staff internally – a practice they’re very proud of. “As a company we like to train from the bottom up,” said Melegrito. “Currently we have young skippers in their 20s and 30s to replace those who retire in the next 10 years and then we also hire deckhands who are currently going to school now and will try for their captain’s licences.” The prospective captains take their tests in the Lower Mainland. One skipper in particular who will be leaving SAAM SMIT Towage in the near future is Capt. Mike Stevenson, who has helmed ships in Prince Rupert for more than two decades. “He’s an expert. He’s a marine professional ... luckily Jeff and I have been able to shadow him for a couple years and gain as much knowledge as possible,” said Malcolm. “Prince Rupert is a tight-knit community and you
While murky waters surround liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Prince Rupert and the region for now, SMIT is capable of handling such cargo based on both their extensive history and fleet. With Boskalis, SMIT’s capacity and efforts to work with LNG vessels are already underway in countries around the world. While the business doesn’t know what form the industry might take in Northwest B.C., SAAM SMIT Towage says they’re prepared for anything. “We do have experience globally working with LNG carriers,” said Malcolm. And part of that comfort level derives from constant contact with port authorities themselves. “We have a very good relationship [with the Prince Rupert Port Authority]. We meet quite often. We have daily communication with [them] and we’re happy to be working with them,” said Malcolm. “They do a really good job meeting our needs as a tugboat company.”
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Google satellite of Minette Bay Returning access, opening a new waterfront for photo Kitimat
By Cameron Orr
he District of Kitimat and Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) have come a long way through the last decade. When RTA announced on Nov. 12 that it would gift over 63 hectares (156 acres) to the District of Kitimat it was another step in ongoing relationship building between the two sides. The company was no stranger to land gifts to the District of Kitimat. In May 2009, the company gifted green-belt lands to the town, just west of the Hirsch Creek Golf and Winter Club. In that instance the lands were passed over for“conservancy.” In this year’s offering, conservancy isn’t on the table, but rather land use that serves the public. Gaby Poirier, general manager of B.C. operations, said that the land gift is without restrictions, except as long as it’s used for “public access and community good.” There is not much development already on the land, which is situated near the furthest tip of the Douglas Channel in the Kitimat Arm. The land is effectively directly across the water from Minette Bay Marina, and is just south of the Minette Bay Lodge. Beyond that, however, it’s a lot of greenspace meets waterfront. The process to see the land developed will be a public one, thanks to one of outgoing-Mayor Joanne Monaghan’s final actions. At the Nov. 17 council meeting she moved that “a public process be established to gather input on development of the property for public recreational use”. She said that she has spoken to many individuals and there are many, many ideas out there of what people want to see developed. “Some want a boat launch ramp ... some want a dock that’s accessible for people with disabilities.” The District of Kitimat, in the midst of shifting into a new council following the Nov. 15 elections, has not finalized what sort of public process that will take. Opening up new waterfront does have advantages for both sides of the deal. While Kitimat gets new, and much needed, waterfront, Rio Tinto Alcan reduces its own pressures regarding offering waterfront.
“We have indicated our interest and support ... even enhancing recreational activities and access to the waterfront.” - Susannah Pierce The company-owned land at Hospital Beach has seen one closure so far relating to the company’s construction of a modernized smelter. That closure, in 2013, ignited community discussion about the need for waterfront. RTA also hasn’t ruled out future closures as needed, which is very possible, especially given a proposal to extend their existing wharf to handle traffic capacity lost with the sale of their Terminal B to LNG Canada. That could potentially cause another closure of that waterfront land, primarily due to safety concerns. The company has said that the beach will remain open for as long as it is safe to do so. There is still discussions taking place, for instance, in RTA’s potential role in helping develop the District’s new land, lot DL 471. It may also not be a solo effort by the aluminum producer. LNG Canada has shown signs it is willing to lend a hand on the land. “We have indicated our interest and support for maintaining and even enhancing recreational activities and access to the waterfront and would be interested in working with both RTA and the District of Kitimat as their studies continue,” said Susannah Pierce, external affairs director. Regardless of who pitches in to develop the land, there’s no doubt that publicly owned waterfront has been a major desire from all corners of the community and this donation is a step toward Kitimat having fully realized access to its salt water.
By Chris Gareau
hree First Nations signed LNG pipeline benefit agreements with the province in December, moving forward the process of building the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The Wet’suwet’en, Skin Tyee and Nee Tahi Buhn are the first three to sign agreements with the province. There are 20 First Nations along the route who need to sign agreements. Wet’suwet’en Chief Karen Ogen, who was the latest to sign the deal, said a separate industry benefit
agreement has also been signed with Shell Canada, which will be using the TransCanada-built pipeline to bring liquefied natural gas from northeast B.C. to an export facility in Kitimat. The deal with the province will give the Wet’suwet’en $2.8 million, the Skin Tyee First Nation will receive approximately $2.8 million and the Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band will receive approximately $2.5 million. Another $10 million over three years will be shared by First Nations along the route. How that money will be divided is expected to be decided early in the new year.
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By Jackie Lieuwen
ive students earned certificates from the firstever Mineral Processing Operator course that meets industry-designed occupational standards. The 12-week entry level program was held at the Houston campus of Northwest Community College, and was a pilot project run with industry support. It took two years to organize the program, said Danielle Smyth, project administrator with the School of Exploration and Mining.
In addition to industry guest speakers, the program also included field trips to Huckleberry Mines, Endako Mine, Dome Mountain and Equity Silver Mine. “I feel the program gives us an edge on other potential employees who wouldn’t have the same training we received”, said student Louie Dalby. The Mining Industry Human Resources Council put mineral and metal processing operators as a skills shortage and in top demand, with more than 2,000 job openings estimated by 2020.
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They build ‘em and maintain ‘em By Jesse Cole
he northern British Columbia landscape is dotted with companies specializing in industrial construction. As the province experiences an industry boom, there is an increased need for infrastructure development. Advanced Millwright Services (AMS) specializes in exactly that, focusing on building industrial facilities and aiding in the growth of British Columbia’s industrial sector. AMS specializes in industrial construction of forestry, We specialize in sustainable site, building & interior design, heritage restoration & project management.
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mining and chemical manufacturing developments. In simple terms, AMS builds and maintains factories. Starting in 2007 by Tim Johnson, AMS began humbly with only four employees, but in the years that have followed AMS has experienced significant growth as it now employs more than 80 full-time employees with fulltime benefits. “We’ve had faster growth than most companies,” Jeremy Johnson, operations manager, said. See Page 20
“We started with four to 10 employees at anytime and we’ve experienced steady growth for years.” What separates AMS from their counterparts is their commitment to building relationships, whether it’s with their clients or their communities. “We pay attention to our clients,” Jeremy Johnson said. “We have a different model of construction; we’re not going out to make a quick dollar off of them and the people around here. We were born here and lived here our whole lives, so we want to create and maintain relationships here.” Their commitments shine through in their track record. “Everyone we’ve worked for in the past we still work for today … we’ve always maintained the relationships so all we do is continue to grow our client base,” said Jeremy. “We have a client in Calgary who cold-called us a few years ago to do an expansion on their chemical plant,” Johnson said. “In February we’re going back to add onto this ... they’re in Calgary and can hire anyone they want, but we’ve created a relationship with these guys, a personal relationship.” AMS’s reputation for quality and building relationships has resulted in expansion beyond northern British Columbia into areas as diverse as Vancouver Island, Calgary and Texas. AMS has diversified its operations in order to maintain and encourage steady growth each year and AMS remains committed to sustainability and environmental protection. “Our environmental stance is that if we’re involved in it, we want to make sure that we’re not going to be the ones causing a spill out there. We want to ensure that all of our work is up to code and ensure that we’ve done our part … we follow all the regulatory bodies to make sure that it’s done right,” said Jeremy. Founder Tim Johnson added to the sentiment. “The simplest answer is that we believe that we will be a part of the communities we work in later on and we don’t want to have any impact that would make us embarrassed to go back later,” he said. “We’re raising our families here, so any work that’s done around here we’re going to make sure that if we’re involved we’ll be proud of it,” Jeremy added. AMS’s commitment to quality extends beyond their working life and into the philanthropic, “We give back a substantial amount of time and financial resources to our communities,” Jeremy said. AMS gives back 10 per cent of its overall profits to the communities they operate in, including donating to minor hockey, local hospitals and the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. This kind of community involvement goes beyond just donating money as AMS routinely hires local workers and graduates from the College of New Caledonia (CNC). “A big thing for us is the hiring of local workers,” Jeremy said.
“Every year we have the welding classes from the CNC come in and we give the classes a 20 minute speech and have them bring in their resumes and we introduce them to what’s going on. Out of every class we’ve hired one or two students.” AMS offers full apprenticeship programs within its business model and have been involved with fine-tuning the trades programs at the CNC. “We get asked all the time by the college is we can provide instructors for the millwrighting courses,” Jeremy said. “We get along with with them and will give them feedback on what the industry is looking like ... we’re in constant contact with them.” The future looks bright for AMS, who are looking to further diversify their markets. “We’re always expanding. Right now we’re looking to get involved in bio-energy and the LNG projects. As the industry grows we want to grow with it,” Jeremy said. Having recently achieved their COR certification (the highest safety rating given out) by WorkSafeBC, they are now eligible to bid on projects offered by the government such as LNG and oil and gas projects. Tim says that AMS’s long term goal is to be recognized as a prime contractor in western Canada. “We want to be recognized as an industry leader,” he said. “We know that we’re a young company and we’re proving ourselves in order to get to the position where we are known and called upon because of our name.”
First Nation company now playing in the big leagues By Shaun Thomas
he Gitxaala Nation of Kitkatla may be a small community on the remote shores of Dolphin Island, but the foresight of the band has created a construction company that is making a big impact on the North Coast. Meeting in 2009, the Governing Council recognized a need to move away from a fishing-based economy to create more opportunity for its members. One of the results of that session was the formation of Coast Industrial Construction (CIC), a company that is
now directly involved in some of the larger projects happening in the Northwest and one which has grown by leaps and bounds since its formation less that five years ago. â€œWe currently have about 45 employees, but we have had a peak of 130 in the past two years. 65 per cent of our employees are First Nations and we are providing full-time employment,â€? explained general manager Finn Conradsen. See Page 22
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“CIC has a very extensive equipment schedule with about 65 pieces total and a value of about $15 million owned exclusively and outright by CIC. It’s a late-model schedule of equipment and very specialized for the terrain and geography we are in ... we have a progressive equipment procurement and upgrade schedule, which will keep us in the game long-term.” In Prince Rupert, CIC was one of two primary contractors that successfully completed the Ridley Island Road, Rail and Utility Corridor on time and on budget. “Coast Industrial Construction’s role in that project included removing approximately 100,000 cubic metres of overburden material, 185,000 cubic metres of rock excavation – and that is drill, blast sort and haul, it’s a lot of rock. We burned 100,000 cubic metres of wood waste and handled hog fuel removal ... it was all handled directly by Coast Industrial Construction, there was no subcontractors,” said Conradsen. “Your typical dump truck you see around town fits five cubic metres, so if you’re moving 100,000 cubic metres of overburden it is 20,000 dump truck loads.” Outside of the Prince Rupert area, CIC has worked on widening the forest service road from five metres to 20 metres and are the main contractors for the plant site development for the Kitimat LNG project, have done road work in Terrace for the Northwest Regional Airport and have an ongoing rock quarry and fill project for the City of Prince Rupert. With those projects already under its belt, CIC is looking ahead to a bright future. “Upcoming opportunities for CiC includes construction of a portion of the Fairview container terinal expansion project, the proposed Canpotex potash terminal project at Ridley Island, and CIC is also actively pursuing opportunities related to the Prince Rupert and Kitimat LNG projects,” said Conradsen. Although the company has
completed some major projects already, Conradsen said the proudest success for the company is what it has been able to provide when it comes to providing training an opportunity for members of the Gitxaala Nation. “Eighteen candidates have completed ITA, industry training authority or Red Seal, same as your plumbers, electricians and carpenters ... we have also trained 60 members of the Gitxaala in heavy equipment operating. They will too have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of others and become Red Seal,” he said, calling another program perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the company. “We are very proud of the fact that we were able to put together an initiative whereby four members of the Gitxaala Nation could
purchase rock trucks and become independent contractors. It was done in collaboration with Community Futures and it has provided an exceptional opportunity for four young members who are now recognized by their peers as up and comers ... prior to owning rock trucks, these four had only but walked up to a rock truck and could never have imagined themselves to be owners and contractors. They now operate those rock trucks and maintain them, and they have the opportunity to build on that by buying other equipment and contracting to others other than CIC.” With one eye on training and opportunity and another on the future, Coast Industrial Construction is poised to become a big part of building the future of the Northwest.
January 2015 NOVEMBER 2014
School District No. 91 (Nechako Lakes) P.O. Box 129, Vanderhoof, B.C. V0J 3A0 Telephone: (250) 567-2284 Ĺ˜ FAX: (250) 567-4639
LOCATION: Burns Lake Transportation Department DUTIES TO COMMENCE: Immediately RATE OF PAY: $28.76 per hour as per the current Collective Agreement School District No.91 (Nechako Lakes) is seeking a highly motivated, progressive individual who would be interested in working as a Bus Mechanic in the Burns Lake Area. This individual would provide mechanical services, repairs and maintains school buses and District vehicles and equipment. For full details please visit www.sd91.bc.ca/employment_opportunities. Please mail, fax or email resumes to: LYNN MAKSYMCHAK DISTRICT PRINCIPAL â€“ HUMAN RESOURCES/LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 91 (NECHAKO LAKES) PO BOX 129 VANDERHOOF BC V0J 3A0 Phone: (250)567-2284 Fax: (250) 567-4639 Email: email@example.com
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