MARCH 2016 â€˘ VOL. 2, ISSUE 11
New data signals hope for Northwest B.C. mining exploration
Fish are Fine
Rio Tinto announces major Indigenous award
Good news for salmon in LNG draft assessment
David vs. Goliath
Slow and Steady
Litte communications company that can and does
Second wave of LNG projects poised and ready
Connecting Skilled Workers to Employment Opportunities Steven Bernard has been working with BC Construction Association’s Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP) for the past three years. When the opportunity arose to become a dedicated resource for LNG Canada Connect, a STEP partnership between LNG Canada and the BC Construction Association, it didn’t take him much time to say yes. Bernard comes to his position at LNG Canada Connect with a wealth of experience, both in the trades as a framer on construction sites at the outset of his 25-year long career, to more recent positions as the development social worker with the Kitselas Band Council and counsellor on the Gitaus Reserve. “I treat all of my clients as individuals, and figure out what support they need on a case-by-case basis,” says Bernard, the LNG Canada Connect Representative for Kitimat and Terrace. “Some need help with resumes, some have personal protective equipment (PPE) that’s outof-date, and some need their CSTC – or Construction Safety Training System certificate,” he adds. LNG Canada funds Bernard’s position
because the company believes it has a responsibility to contribute to workforce development – both for the LNG Canada project specifically, and for the region overall. “We recognize that we will be drawing on skilled tradespeople and apprentices already on the ground, and appreciate the resources, time and energy that have already been invested in these individuals by the provincial and federal governments, and by employers throughout B.C. and across Canada,” says Tracy MacKinnon, LNG Canada’s Workforce Development Manager. Bernard has a clear goal: connect qualified tradespeople to job opportunities in Terrace and Kitimat, and reduce barriers to their employment. Unlike conventional employment services that start with the client and look for employment opportunities, Bernard receives requests directly from employers, and looks for the best-suited candidate to fill the position. Most recently, Bernard found opportunities for clients in
This space is a collaborative promotional venture by LNG Canada and N2K
the plumbing, carpentry and heavy equipment operation trades. Bernard’s advice to a job seeker is direct: “Don’t give up. Use your resources. Be organized in your job search and follow-up with employers.” He also advises people to make use of the many services available to them, from Employment Insurance for training or retraining if they’ve be unemployed and in receipt of EI, to the LNG Canada Connect program, among others. According to Bernard, “LNG Canada has been very committed to making sure we’re not missing anyone from the local area that is seeking employment. My job is to ensure their resumes make it to the top of employers’ stacks.”
asked EQUAL ACCESS TO about OPPORTUNITIES
Women in the Prince Rupert area want to be included in conversations about their community. We believe equal access to opportunities is important. We are proud to support the Womenâ€™s Leadership Network. Last month, the Womenâ€™s Leadership Network ofďŹ cially launched. Local leaders and community members attended the launch in show of their support. We want to congratulate the Womenâ€™s Leadership Network on this milestone. We are conďŹ dent the Network will achieve great things for Prince Rupert and British Columbia. Interested in participating or want to learn more? Email Miranda Mandarino at email@example.com.
Sandra Jones, Superintendant, SD52
BG Canada is proposing a liqueďŹ ed natural gas facility for Ridley Island near Prince Rupert, BC. Stay informed about what weâ€™re doing in the community by signing up for our email updates on our Contact Us page. Or, visit Rosa and Herb at our local Prince Rupert ofďŹ ce located at 610 2nd Avenue West. For more information, visit www.princerupertlng.ca. Womenâ€™s Leadership Network
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Todd Hamilton Prince Rupert Ed Evans, Sales Melissa Boutilier, Sales Kevin Campbell, Reporter Shannon Lough, Reporter Terrace Rod Link, Editor Bert Husband, Sales Erin Bowker, Sales Kitimat Louisa Genzale, Sales Smithers Grant Harris, Sales Nick Briere, Sales Alicia Bridges, Reporter Houston Mary-Anne Ruiter, Sales Burns Lake Laura Blackwell, Sales Flavio Nienow, Editor Fort St. James/ Vanderhoof Pam Berger, Sales Vivian Chui, Reporter Barbara Latkowski, Reporter Haida Gwaii Quinn Bender, Sales Andrew Hudson, Reporter N2K CONTACT INFO:
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eep calm and carry on. Not unlike that now famous 1939 British poster published at the outset of WWII, Northwest B.C., or Canada for that matter, needs to take a deep, long
breath. The media Chicken Littles swilling down half-fat lattés in the paved over paradise of the Lower Mainland and downtown Toronto were windmilling the klaxons after someone discovered a notation in Royal Dutch Shell Canada’s quarterly report saying the LNG Canada final investment decision for their Kitimat project would be made in December 2016. Quickly, the negative Nancys dropped their lattés and picked up their smartphones to call the usual doomsday talking heads for an interview. What they all missed was: The Shell comment was nothing new. LNG Canada had always said they expected the decision to come in 2016, the only question was when in 2016 — April was the earliest, December the latest. Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth wasn’t surprised or shocked. “Earlier this month Shell stated that LNG Canada’s project final investment decision was postponed. LNG Canada confirmed that, given the current oil and LNG prices, the joint venture participants in the project continue to aim for a final investment decision late 2016. This is consistent with the messages we’ve received from LNG Canada over the past months,” he said. The early works for the project are still scheduled to proceed once the necessary permits are in place and will be a key part of getting the project to a positive FID. “LNG Canada is still very committed to the project and the District of Kitimat remains optimistic about it going ahead.” And LNG Canada said pretty much the same thing. “Shell’s quarterly results ... included information that the LNG Canada project FID decision will occur right at the end of this year. This is not inconsistent with information LNG Canada has shared with the community,” Kirsten Walker, LNG Canada spokesperson, said. “We have always stated that our joint venture participants plan to make a final investment decision in 2016. We are pleased, given the current oil and LNG prices, and turmoil in global energy markets that the joint venture participants in LNG Canada are still working toward a final investment decision for the proposed facility late this year.” But you didn’t hear that side of the story from the big-city media Chicken Littles or the left-wing naysayers. Instead, they preferred to keep panicking and carrying on. Todd Hamilton N2K Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
Out-of-area subscriptions now available e-mail: email@example.com View our e-version for free at: www.thenorthernview.com/eeditions
Volume 2 • Issue 11
RIO TINTO AWARD Partnership inked to begin $2 million educational award
NEW FRONTIERS Mineral deposit survey could lead to exploration spike in Northwest
MINING TRAINING First Nations-led training and employment strategy utilized by New Gold 9
SKILLED TRADES GAP Apprenticeships found 10
CEAA REPORT Lelu LNG ball in feds’ court 15
TPP DEAL APPROVED BY WOOD Wood industry voices support for benefits sought by Trans-Pacific Partnership 19
EXPANDING OUT Telecom CEO outlines brave plans 20
HELP WANTED Check out the jobs in the career section 22
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Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Issues Draft Report and Conditions
CEAA IS ACCEPTING PUBLIC COMMENTS UNTIL
We want to thank the local First Nations and community members who have provided feedback to us and the Government of Canada regarding our federal environmental assessment. Your feedback has helped us to continually improve the design of our facility. Why has the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) issued a draft report and conditions? The draft environmental assessment report includes CEAA’s draft conclusions and recommendations regarding the potential environmental effects of the project, the proposed conditions and the follow-up program. The ﬁnal conditions would become legally-binding if the Government of Canada approved the project.
What did the review conclude about harbour porpoises? CEAA concluded that the project is likely to cause signiﬁcant adverse environmental effects to harbour porpoises, given their susceptibility to behavioural effects from underwater noise, their current at risk status, their extensive use of the project area and the uncertainty of suitable alternative habitat. PNW LNG is working to develop a mitigation plan to address CEAA’s concerns.
How long is the draft report? It’s 257 pages plus 20 pages of potential conditions.
How can I provide feedback? CEAA is accepting comments from the public until March 11, 2016. Comments can be emailed to GNLPaciﬁcNorthwestLNG@ceaa-acee.gc.ca.
What did the report conclude about ﬁsh and ﬁsh habitat? CEAA concluded that the project is not likely to cause signiﬁcant adverse environmental effects on marine ﬁsh and ﬁsh habitat, taking into account the implementation of the CEAA proposed conditions and PNW LNG’s proposed mitigation measures.
Where can I ﬁnd further information? To review the draft CEAA report and conditions, please visit bit.ly/DraftCEAAReport.
For more information, visit one of our community ofﬁces in Port Edward or Prince Rupert, PaciﬁcNorthWestLNG.com or call 250.622.2727.
Canadian Energy. Global Reach.
INDSPIRED AWARD Rio Tinto announces $2 million award for indigenous education By Todd Hamilton
io Tinto announced late last month that they are teaming with Indspire to launch a $2 million award program for Indigenous students in Canada. Rio Tinto is putting up $1 million of its own money that will be matched by the Canadian government to establish the Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous Students. “We are very proud to establish the Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous Students through our partnership with Indspire, an Indigenous-led charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people in Canada,” Alf Barrios, chief executive of Rio Tinto’s aluminium group, stated. “Rio Tinto has been invested in Canada for more than 100 years and we have a long history of working closely with Indigenous people across this great country. At Rio Tinto, we know just how critical education is to the success of the communities in which we work and to the success of our business.” The announcement was made in Vancouver, at Indspire’s Soaring: Indigenous Youth Career Conference, an event where Indigenous high school students gather to learn about career and postsecondary education options. The Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous students is
“We know just how critical education is to the success of the communities in which we work.” - Alf Barrios designed to offer financial support to Indigenous students who are enrolled or would like to enrol in post-secondary studies. It gives young people the chance to obtain a diploma, degree, certificate, academic upgrading, or an apprenticeship program with financial assistance. The award prioritizes students in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines but is also available more broadly to students in any discipline including trades and is available to students of any age pursuing post-secondary education including adult learners. Continued on Page 8
There are three application deadlines for the award: Feb. 15, June 1 and Nov. 1, 2016. Successful applicants are eligible for the funding upon completion of high school. “Through our partnership with Indspire, we aim to provide the chance to all Indigenous youth in the areas we operate to pursue further training and/or studies after high school so that they are equipped for leadership positions in the future,” Barrios said. To launch the partnership, representatives of both organizations toured a number of communities in British Columbia, including Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Burns Lake, and Kitimat, to engage with Indigenous youth about their future careers and post-secondary education opportunities, as well as to raise awareness about the Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous Students. “Lack of financial support is the most significant barrier to success in attaining a post-secondary education and pursuing a meaningful career for Indigenous students,” said Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire. “By partnering with
“Lack of financial support is the most significant barrier to success in attaining a postsecondary education ...” - Roberta Jamieson Indspire, Rio Tinto is making a significant positive impact on the lives of hundreds of Indigenous students, as well as their families, communities, and Canada.” Indigenous students across Canada are eligible to receive funding support through the Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous Students; however, preference will be given to students in Rio Tinto’s communities of interest.
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NEW GOLD First Nations training program finalized by mining company By Vivian Chui Early preparation of its employees for long-term work is what New Gold looks to implement for its proposed mine near Vanderhoof, Blackwater Project director Tim Bekhuys said. Public comment period for New Gold’s Blackwater mining project drew to a close on Feb. 19, while federal and provincial environmental review of the project continues this year. As construction of the company’s open-pit mine in northwest Ontario continues, New Gold is learning to prepare employees with training earlier for Blackwater’s silver and gold mine, which would also be open-pit and is slated to start construction in 2018, said Bekhuys. “Because of our commitment to the Indigenous people of the area, one of the things we ticked off just over a year ago is to start working with the key First Nations in the area around Blackwater,” Bekhuys said. The draft of a First Nations training and employment strategy for the project, led by First Nations, was finalized earlier this month, and the company is currently working on its implementation, he added. “It’s really important as a company that we don’t go away and develop a strategy,” Bekhuys said. “It has to be done with the local communities…our role would be to facilitate that at the end.” The strategy involves matching existing skills and capabilities within the First Nations communities to future jobs with the project, he explained. “We want to start putting in place strategies and plans to make sure there weren’t any barriers to employment,” Bekhuys said. “We have a good understanding of what
training programs, what partnerships we would have to put in place, to get people prepared to work.” New Gold is also looking to time training with the start of work. In addition to providing scholarships through various colleges in the region for related long-term careers, the company also trains many of its employees in-house, such as its Surface Mine Aboriginal Training program at its Rainy River Project in Ontario, Bekhuys added. Over 10 Aboriginal workers have graduated so far from the two-month program involving hands-on and classroom training, continuing onto work with production drills and ore haul trucks, he explained. “We would look towards building on that success for Blackwater ... The strategy is to train a lot of people during the construction period, so when we go into production, they build up that experience and they can move into longer term jobs during the operational period,” he said. He added, “It’s important for us to look longer term; long term careers, not just jobs.” For Chief Stanley Thomas from the Saik’uz First Nation, it’s a long-time coming project since a capacity agreement was signed between the company and the community six months ago. “We’re happy about it; hopefully there will be a long term relationship and we’ll move on from there,” Thomas said, adding that past meetings with the company’s CEO Bob Gallagher were positive. “Things are resolved, though it took awhile,” he said. “We’re glad we stuck to our guns.”
Filling the skilled trades gap By Shannon Lough A pilot project to train people from the Tsimshian Nation and guide them into a construction apprenticeship has successfully found placements for all 15 participants. The Gitxaala Enhanced Construction Craft Worker Pilot Program (E-CCW) saw all its trainees graduate on Feb. 12, and within a month they are expected to begin work for the second phase of the program where they begin collecting apprenticeship hours towards their Red Seal endorsement, an interprovincial standard for skilled trades. Construction craft work involves utility pipe
â€œI want a career not just a job.â€? - Joel Dunnes
installation, placing concrete, road construction and guiding operators in moving equipment, to name a few occupations. Potential employers include municipalities, general contractors and oil and gas companies.
The multi-partnered program was led by the Industry Training Authority (ITA) that saw an opportunity with the expansion of the port and pending liquefied natural gas development to meet the need for trades training in construction work. The Construction Craft Worker Program is the newest Red Seal program in B.C., said the ITA apprenticeship advisor, Crystal Bouchard, who was visibly moved at the graduation when she heard that all participants were matched with jobs. “It’s been a labour of love with some challenges along the way.” Bouchard said. The training was 10 weeks in total and began in November when the weather was particularly stormy while coordinating transportation from the Gitxaala community to job sites. She said other challenges were getting people in the right positions for the partners and getting funding. The Construction Craft Worker Pilot Program had several partners to implement finances, recruit and coordinate job placement, offer skills and technical training and to provide apprenticeship work. The process involved the Gitxaala Nation, Coast Educational Development and Research (CEDAR), the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and Coast Industrial Construction. The course had 80 per cent on-the-job training and
“You’ve done this part and now you have to reach out beyond that.” - Timothy Innes 20 per cent classroom training. The graduates now have to complete 4,000 workplace hours in two levels of technical training and then pass the interprovincial exam to earn their Red Seal certification. One of the graduates, Joel Dunnes, was doing a carpenters-in-training program at the North Pacific Cannery when he was selected as a candidate for the pilot program. He said he jumped at the opportunity to participate. “I’ve been a labourer most of my life. Bigger contractors are coming here and looking for labourers,” Dunnes said. “I want a career, not just a job,” He appreciated the essential skills section of the program where he could update his reading and math skills. The Gitxaala Nation hosted the program in Kitkatla and hereditary chief Timothy Innes spoke to the graduates and told them their achievement was “something to be proud of. You’ve done this part and now you have to reach out beyond that”.
We take social responsibility seriously. “Rio Tinto’s donation to the Kitimat Dynamic Gymnastics club has allowed us to upgrade some much needed equipment that is safer to use, and will help us develop a stronger competitive advantage.” .... Angela Pitzell, coach. Investing in communities: in 2015, Rio Tinto donated just under $900,000 to non profit organizations that support health, education, youth and the environment throughout BC. Rio Tinto partnered with the District of Vanderhoof, the Governments of British Columbia and Canada to build and operate the Nechako White Sturgeon Hatchery. The annual Nechako White Sturgeon Release Day when close to 1,000 children participated in releasing over 600 Sturgeon into the Nechako River is a is a demonstration of Rio Tinto’s commitment to protecting this endangered species.
We encourage your group to visit our website to learn more about our Donations & Sponsorship program, and to apply online using our new simplified application form at: www.riotintobcoperations.com/our-commitment/community-investment/
RIDING THE Second Wave
Aurora LNG takes the slow and steady approach By Shannon Lough Being in the second wave of liquefied natural gas (LNG) proposals has its advantages. That is exactly where Aurora LNG is positioned as it moves forward — slow and steady — with its environmental data collection and community engagement. The consortium led by Nexen Energy (a CNOOC Limited company) and INPEX Gas British Columbia Limited is not timeline driven and is focused on quality during the data collection, said the general manager of site development, Andrew Hamilton. He was in Prince Rupert in February during one of his monthly visits and said they are almost complete in their data collection. The next step will be to prepare an environmental report to submit sometime this
year. “By focusing on quality and getting it right the first time it may take us longer to get that initial filing in but our expectation is that it will result in a shorter process at the end of the day if we’ve done our work right,” Hamilton said. The proponent has watched the process unfold elsewhere and with new regulations coming out of Ottawa, there is more scrutiny on ensuring quality. Nexen has a team of five people working on the environmental approvals and regulations. Consulting firms are also hired for their expertise. The environmental process began two years ago when Aurora was looking for viable locations along the West
Coast of Canada. “One of the reasons Prince Rupert was attractive to us was because the potential for quality of life here is incredible,” Hamilton said. From the industry’s point of view, the host community needs to be a vibrant place and family friendly in order to attract the best talent to work for the project. Then the initial environmental assessment was done on Digby Island and the north end of Grassy Point to determine which of the two sites made more sense. It also gave the company time to watch what other projects were doing. “There’s advantages to being part of the second wave because you can see what people have done well or you can see where they’ve run into a little bit of difficulty and going
‘okay, we would never have thought of that’ so you begin to incorporate those into your plan,” Hamilton said. Another advantage is taking note of questions the public has been asking from project to project. There are approximately eight LNG projects proposed for the Prince Rupert area in various stages of the application process to receive approval from the federal government. “The public comment process for the environmental assessment brings up things that we hadn’t thought about and the other reality is there really is no perfect site on the West Coast. They all have some challenge of some type and they’re all unique,” Hamilton said. See Page 14
The public has had the opportunity to become wellversed by attending several open houses held in the region. The three big questions Hamilton has noticed involve fisheries, fresh water and air quality and First Nations often have some specific concerns around archeology. The environmental data collection for the proposed Digby Island site involves fisheries studies for both freshwater and marine fish, as well as marine mammal and bird studies. The proponent is also looking at possible impacts on air and water quality. At one point there have been up to 20 people in the field collecting data. They created a map to decide on which areas they could develop on and which areas to avoid by towing remotely operated vehicles with cameras in the water to gather video of the surrounding habitat. Archaeological assessments that are being completed in the engineering study also include environmental aspects. The studies look at rock types and if there could be acid rock drainage on a particular site. Hamilton said they will try to manage the rainfall on the site and avoid acid run off. Some of the challenges to the Digby Island site is the proximity to the Dodge Cove community and to the Prince Rupert Airport. â€œBased on all the work that we did and our conversations with the two regulatory bodies and the airport authority, weâ€™re pretty comfortable that weâ€™re far
enough away from the flight path and that it should have no impact at all on aviation safety,â€? Hamilton said. The facility is proposed to have its shipping and receiving area closer to Doge Cove so that residents are further away from the industrial processing to ensure there is no impact to public safety. Emissions modelling will also be completed to gage the noise levels. â€œBut to say that we will have no impact on that community, you canâ€™t say that,â€? Hamilton said adding that they will continue to engage with the community to see what they can do about specific concerns. Safety is key for the Aurora LNG project. One of the first full-time staff members on the ground is safety advisor Gordon Armstrong who lives in Prince Rupert and is familiar with the area. â€œThe oil and gas industry has sort of a different way of talking about it and making it happen in the field so itâ€™s very important for us to have someone local, who has some experience with that to help bridge the conversations,â€? Hamilton said. While protecting the environment and residents is important, so is economic viability. There is still no final investment from the proponent. It will cost $30 billion to develop the Aurora LNG facility on Digby Island to process from shale to ship. Hamilton said the project would be designed with a 30-year contract in mind and would provide upwards of 400 full-time jobs in the region.
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OVER TO THE FEDS CEAA releases highly-anticipated draft report on PNW LNG project By Kevin Campbell The much-anticipated ‘draft Environmental Assessment Report’ on the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Lelu Island in Port Edward was released by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency on Feb. 10 to the public. The document details the Agency’s conclusions and recommendations concerning the potential effects of the terminal, as proposed by Pacific NorthWest LNG, a consortium led by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas. The draft report by the Agency (CEAA) found that the proposed project is “likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects” to two areas of environmental concern — effects to harbour porpoise, and the effects from greenhouse gas emissions. “With respect to all other valued components, the Agency concludes that the Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects taking into account the implementation of the key mitigation measures,” the report states. Much of the environmental concern by opponents of the proposed site relates to damage to the eelgrass and fish habitat on Flora Bank, but the Agency concluded that, with mitigation efforts by Pacific NorthWest (PNW), there would be no significant adverse environmental effects specifically related to the Flora Bank environment or overall fish and fish habitats. The company provided a response statement to the draft release shortly after the report was made public. “Pacific NorthWest LNG would like to thank the Government of Canada, First Nations and community
“We are committed to building a world-class LNG facility in an environmentallysustainable manner.” - Spencer Sproule members for their constructive and rigorous approach with respect to the federal environmental assessment. We are currently reviewing the comprehensive draft report and conditions ... [and we are] committed to building and operating a world-class LNG facility in an environmentally sustainable manner that First Nations and residents in the region can be proud of,” said Pacific NorthWest LNG spokesperson Spencer Sproule in February. See Page 16
CEAA will now conduct a 30-day public comment session, where members of the public are invited to submit their feedback to the draft by March 11 at the Agency’s website. Overall, the Prince Rupert Port Authority was satisfied with the report and CEAA’s methodology. “The Port has a number of management plans currently in development that will systematically evaluate and reduce risks not only to marine mammals but also water and air quality,” said Port manager of corporate communications Michael Gurney. For greenhouse gases emitted by the terminal, Gurney stated that the Port keeps an inventory of energy use and emissions from all its terminals. “While no limits are strictly defined, the baseline inventory is being used to measure the effectiveness of specific emission reduction initiatives currently underway,” he said. In the Port’s capacity as a member of the environmental assessment working group, the organization provided expertise and guidance on marine safety and guidance related to their responsibility on the stewardship of federal lands in the area. The Port also contributed scientific data on sustainability initiatives, such as animal programs and water, noise and air conservation programs. “We are satisified that the draft report represents a thorough summary of issues and concerns related to responsibilities within the Port’s jurisdiction. The
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“We are satisfied that the draft report represents a thorough summary of issues and concerns.” - Michael Gurney report’s findings also adequately reflect the project elements and issues that were assessed during the course of the review ... The CEAA draft report finds that with mitigation measures proposed by PNW LNG, salmon-spawning habitat in the vicinity of the project will not be significantly adversely affected. The research and analysis that support these findings have been extensive and thorough,” said Gurney. Following the public consultation, the Agency will “finalize the report, taking into account any comments received and submit the report to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change,” states the draft. “The Minister, after taking into account the report and the implementation of any mitigation measures, will make a decision on whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects”, the report continues. March 22 is the final date that the Minister can make her decision within the 365-day timeline since the project’s Notice of Commencement was posted.
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BOOST FOR EXPLORATION
Slump makes mining industry smarter By Alicia Bridges A new survey of mineral deposits in the Smithers area could lead to a spike in exploration in the Northwest, according to Smithers Exploration Group president Rob Maurer. Non-profit organization Geoscience B.C. last year used aerial magnetic surveys to detect concentrations of minerals in an area between Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers, including sites that had not been surveyed since the 1960s. Data from the survey was unveiled at the 2016 Minerals Roundup conference, held by the Association for Minerals Exploration B.C. (AME BC) in Vancouver last week. According to Geoscience B.C., the project was designed to identify mineral resource potential and to help guide land use decisions. “The data we have generated here will provide detailed insights into the bedrock and focus mineral exploration and investment in this area,” said Geoscience B.C. minerals and mining vice president Bruce Madu. Another survey is planned for the area between Smithers and Vanderhoof this year. Smithers Exploration Group (SEG) president Rob Maurer, who attended the AME BC conference in
“The data we have generated here will provide detailed insights into the bedrock and focus mineral exploration and investment in this area.” - Bruce Madu Vancouver in January, said similar surveys in stronger economic times had led to increased exploration. “When it’s been done in the past, when economic times were more plentiful, the aerial survey information being released has actually set off some little staking rushes where people are quick to get in there and stake claims in spots they think show promise based on the information,” said Maurer. Although exploration has slowed with the downturn in the mining industry, Maurer said the new information could still stimulate activity in the Northwest. See Page 18
He said the data would not specifically identify where to build a mine, but it helped narrow down the search for hidden resources. Because sites that looked promising could be snapped up quickly, Maurer expected the data would lead to increased exploration in the survey area. “To take advantage of this information people do have to stake mineral claims or someone else will stake claim to that resource,” he said. “And to keep those claims people have to do work every year and it’s a matter of, they need to spend an amount of money or do an equivalent amount of work that equates to a number of dollars per hectare per year.” Maurer emphasized the survey was unlikely to lead to a sudden boom in exploration. Instead, he said a slow increase might occur, starting with small amounts of sampling, prospecting or reclamation this summer. “I wouldn’t want to get people’s hopes up that this survey will become an instant boom and there’s going to be drillers and camps and jobs for everyone,” said Maurer. AME BC president and chief executive Gavin Dirom predicted the Geoscience B.C. data would be a major stimulant for exploration. “It’s one of these things that if you’re not doing it then you’re not going to be competitive and you won’t have a chance of attracting investment or some really high quality companies in the area.” Despite the current downturn, which has been blamed for a suspension in operations starting in August at Huckleberry
Mines the conference trade show and exhibits were sold out. Dirom said the overall mood at the conference was “optimistic but realistic” although the number of participants dropped from 6,500 to 5,400. “When they come together during Roundup it allows them to share and to compare strategies and methods of how to cope with the current downturn,” he said. Maurer believes the tough times have made surviving companies grow stronger and smarter, having been forced to become more efficient. “One thing I’ve seen here this year and last year is the use of drones ... companies are starting to use those to do flyover research and take photos because you can purchase one of those units comparable to the same price of a couple days worth of helicopter time,” he said. Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach was among approximately 65 people from the Smithers area who travelled to Vancouver for the AME BC conference. Based on his conversations with industry members, he said it appeared people in the resources industries were utilizing the lull to prepare for an upswing. “Talking to people down here at the conference, a lot of people also see opportunity in it,” he said. “It’s a chance to make some strategic moves and get in position for the recovery.” Bachrach said there were also positive developments in the Northwest, citing Pretivm’s Brucejack Gold Project north of Stewart and the Imperial Metals-owned Red Chris coppergold mine near Iskut village.
WOOD ON BOARD By Tom Fletcher Wood products producers are encouraged by the Trudeau government’s decision to sign the TransPacific Partnership, the first step to ratifying a sweeping agreement with Japan, Australia and other Asian countries. International Trade Minister Christia Freeland said in late January she will take the next “technical step,” allowing the TPP to be debated in the House of Commons. It’s the first signal the Liberals will continue the work started by the Conservative government, which warned against being left out as the U.S. and Mexico go ahead with the TPP. “All in all we think this is a pretty good agreement,” said Paul Lansbergen, acting president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, in an interview from Vancouver. “A lot of our industry is in rural Canada, and I think it’s important for the government to recognize the importance of the well-paying jobs that we provide,” he said. “And when our economy is having some rough times, particularly oil and gas, really
the government should be thinking about how our economy is diversified.” Lansbergen said the deal not only phases out tariffs against Canadian forest products, it has clear provisions to settle disputes, and rules around blocking imports due to concerns about insects or other contaminants. Some of the TPP partners currently have few forest product imports from Canada because of “prohibitive” tariffs, he said. Vietnam applies tariffs of up to 31 per cent, Malaysia up to 40 per cent and Brunei up to 20 per cent, which would be phased out under TPP. Japan, a long-time customer for B.C. lumber, has tariffs of up to 10 per cent on forestry and valueadded products such as oriented strandboard and engineered wood. Forest product exports have done well with the low Canadian dollar, with sales to the U.S. returning to historic levels after a collapse of the U.S. housing market in 2008. Canada’s softwood lumber agreement with the U.S. expired last fall, but bilateral wood products trade is exempt from the TPP as it was left out of NAFTA.
PRETIVM IS ADVANCING ITS HIGH-GRADE GOLD BRUCEJACK PROJECT IN NORTHERN BC.
UP TO SPEED
CityWest CEO outlines expansion plans By Kevin Campbell It’s the classical ‘David vs. Goliath’ story, except David has gone on to thrive for 106 years after taking down his more gigantic competitors. Playing the role of David is CityWest, the municipally-owned Internet, cable and communications company, led by CEO Don Holkestad. Holkestad has been toppling giants for the over 30 years that he’s spent with the company, and it’s mainly because of one reason: innovation. “You can’t be over 100 years old ... without being innovative,” said Holkestad in his address to the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce at the organization’s February luncheon. “I think that’s what we are all the time and it’s one of the things we always want to be going forward.” Taking the mic for his presentation and sharing multiple updates on the City of Prince Rupert-owned business, Holkestad outlined CityWest’s strengths as a smaller (but growing) communications company. Having once started out as a simple vision to form a telephone company, now becoming a full-service telecommunications provider. CityWest has grown to service more than just Prince Rupert and moved into territories like Terrace, Kitimat, Port Edward, Smithers, Telkwa, Houston, Metlakatla, Kispiox and Hazelton.
“You can’t be 100 years old ... without being innovative. I think that’s what we are all the time and it’s one of the things we want to be ...” - Don Holkestad CityWest is embracing new lands, new ideas and new technologies – all in the name of their customers. Netflix, for example, has become an increasing presence on data usage for CityWest’s customers, going from below 10 per cent of customers’ usage when it was first introduced years ago, to now accounting for approximately 55 per cent of CityWest’s customers’ Internet usage. Of course, the online TV and movie streaming company represents competition to the cable packages that CityWest itself sells, but Holkestad was very emphatic that he and his company deliver what the customers want. See Page 21
“Why do I do it? Because you want it. Being a local company, we understand that, so we’re giving you what you want, not what I want to sell you. So, we’re always looking at the customers’ needs,” said the CEO. Another huge change is the sheer amount of Internet usage that the average northwest household consumes. What was once a single-sourced dial-up connection in a home, now may have as many as a dozen wireless devices connecting to the Internet. “We’ve taken those customers and given them higher speeds. You need more bandwidth today, because you’re using more bandwidth ... It’s a huge crunch on data that’s morphing all the time,” he said. “To keep up to it, that’s a huge challenge for us, and we [perform upgrades] from 2 a.m. - 6 a.m. so we don’t interrupt your service.” While introducing fiber-optic communication (replacing copper wire connections for faster, direct speeds) and direct fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) set-ups in other places in the northwest due to funding from grants, the technology will come to Prince Rupert in the near future, starting with new subdivisions, Holkestad explained. CityWest has built a fiber-optic system all the way to Prince George and have even built a system that reaches Vancouver and Seattle. “Why do we do that? Once we get into Seattle, Washington, Google and Facebook and all those other huge companies are in the same room, I’ll connect
tt3FBEZ.JY$PODSFUF 3FBE 3F BEZ EZ. .JY$PODSFUF t$PODSFUF'PVOEBUJPOT t&YDBWBUJOH%FNPMJUJPO t$PODSFUF1VNQJOH $ U 1 J t$PODSFUF'JOJTIJOH t DPODSFUFCMPDLT JOTUPDL t%SBJO3PDL3PBE$SVTI t4BOE(SBWFM t4OPX3FNPWBM4BOEJOH General Manager: Gerald Sensenig
250-692-3324 email@example.com 2350 Fountain Road Burns Lake, BC V0J 1E1
directly to them. It means faster service for you and less latency. The fact that we own and operate a system there is an amazing thing. For a small company and ... to make that happen is amazing. Our technicians have fixed Shaw’s problems for Shaw,” he said. CityWest comprises 80-plus employees and does not receive any money from the City to operate. It’s given back a $400,000 distribution payment to the City of Prince Rupert, its sole shareholder, for each of the past two years. The CEO is also proud of the flexibility and adaptability of the company. For LNG companies looking to settle in the Prince Rupert area, Holkestad explained that they are always quite surprised that the company can be able to deliver anything they could ask for. “When you get very big, you become very pigeonholed – ‘This is what I have. Take it or leave it’. We are very much a ‘What do you want? We’ll build it for you’. It’s one of our powers and we can do it faster,” said the CEO. Attending the #BCTECH summit in Vancouver, Holkestad saw first-hand the holo-lens and 3D technology that will soon be capable in everyday homes and he was excited for the possibilities. “The future’s going to be amazing. You’re going to be a part of it I’m going to be a part of it ... and it’s our job to make sure we give you the ability to take all that and use it,” he said.
KITSELAS FIRST NATION 225 Gitaus Road, TERRACE BC V8G0A9 TEL. (250)635-5084 | FAX (250)635-5335
COMMUNITY HEALTH Registered NURSE Kitselas First Nations is looking for a highly motivated part time Registered Nurse to join their Health Team. The objective is to deliver and support Care Aid in provision of hands on Community Health and Home Care Nursing Services to Kitselas community members. Qualifications: • Registration with the College of Registered Nurses of BC • Current CPR • Up to date immunizations/TB Screening • Experience with supervision of health staff an asset • Experience in First Nations Community Health Care Services preferred • BCCDC Immunization Certification (or willingness to obtain) Specific Skills or Training: • Knowledge of Social Determinants of Health and effects. • Excellent assessment, documentation and problem solving skills. • Knowledge of working with clients facing multiple barriers to health and well-being. • Working knowledge of scope of practice, clinical guidance and direction. Other: 1. Able to recognize and provide support/resources in potential practice conflicts. 2. Excellent oral and written communication skills. 3. Willing to gain additional certification, education and skills as required. 4. Vulnerable Sector Check – Criminal Records Check mandatory. 5. Reliable transportation and Class 5 Driver’s License. Salary: A competitive salary and benefits package is offered. Further information can be obtained at www.kitselas.com Interested applicants should apply at their earliest convenience with a resume and cover letter to the attention of the Finance Clerk. Please reference “COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSE - RN” and indicate clearly in your cover letter how your experience and qualifications meet the requirements of the position. Deadline: OPEN UNTIL FILLED Please submit Resume with Cover Letter and names of Previous Supervisors for reference to: Ginger Fuller 2225 Gitaus, Terrace, BC V8G 0A9 firstname.lastname@example.org • Tel: 250-635-5084 • Fax: 250-635-5335
A division of
DRILLER’S HELPER COURSE MAY 2016 Are you looking for an opportunity to receive hands-on training in the Diamond Drilling Industry? At the end of this course, participants will have an opportunity for potential employment with Hy-Tech Drilling Ltd. The course, which will include 9 days of hands-on and classroom training, will take place in May of 2016 in Smithers, B.C.
Application Deadline: March 20, 2016 Training Fee: $750.00 due by April 25, 2016 (Participants are responsible for their own transportation, accommodations and food) To find out more, please visit us at www.hy-techdrilling.com
ROAD PAINTER LABOURERS Yellowhead Pavement Marking is looking for people to paint roads around the province. Work requires a demanding and flexible work schedule. Assets; • Drivers license (clean) • Traffic control ticket • Mechanically inclined • Good work ethic (reliable) • Sandblasting, painting experience Wages Negotiable! Paid travel, lodging and food allowance while on the road. Please contact us by phone: 1-250-635-4332
GMC SIERRA 1500
GMC SIERRA 1500
Also available in white!
With Bucket Seats
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GMC SIERRA 3500
CHEVROLET SILVERADO 1500 CASH PRICE
CHEVROLET SILVERADO 3500
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All cash prices are plus applicable taxes and fees. Bi-weekly payments include taxes and fees. Please see dealer for details.
INCLUDING: Oil Change • 44 - Point Inspection *Prices vary by vehicle. Full Brake Inspection Please see dealer for details.
SPRING SERVICE SPECIAL
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GMC SIERRA 1500
Joey Prevost General Sales Manager
ING AT START *
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TRANSMISSION FLUSH Extend the life of your transmission. Avoid Costly Repair Bills
Kimberly Godfrey Prince Rupert
Tyler Portelance Prince Rupert
Boyd McCann Terrace
Bobby Moniz Terrace
Ariana Pacheco Terrace
email@example.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com
1001 Chamberlin Ave, Prince Rupert • 250-624-9171• Dealer #31283 | 5004 Hwy. 16 West, Terrace • 250-635-4941 • Dealer #5893
Trade is building stronger communities. The Port of Prince Rupert is growing opportunities and prosperity by connecting the communities of northern BC. Last year, port activity was directly responsible for the equivalent of 3,060 permanent full-time jobs. Watch and share our video tribute to the workers and families of BCâ€™s gateway industry: youtube.com/rupertport.