Business Examiner Vancouver Island - January 2021

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January 2021


Business Systems

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LAND-BASED FISH FARM PURCHASED BY U.S. FIRM – 16 Taste of BC Aquafarms President Steve Atkinson


UMBRELLA WELDING & MECHANICAL COVERS EVERYTHING - 26 Your Mid Island Full Service Electrical Contractor (Ladysmith – Nanaimo – Parksville – Qualicum)

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There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, finally. With the government’s focus on immunization we’re day-by-day getting closer to a more open economy and re-establishing a new normal. While we wait for herd immunity to develop, the Business Examiner continues to curate and create content that informs and educates business leaders across Vancouver Island. T h is ed ition is lead by a stor y on Nanaimo-based Taste of BC Aquafarms and its recent ownership transition. Alongside this feature are articles on the first virtual BC Seafood Festival, features on VIP Homes, Umbrella Welding & Mechanical, Terrapure Environmental, and many others. Don’t forget about Who is Suing Whom, and Movers & Shakers. Keep battling, we are close to getting through this all. John MacDonald, Director, Business Development

Contact Us 25 Cavan Street Nanaimo, BC V9R 2T9 +1 866-758-2684 Office Hours Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 5:00 pm Saturday – Sunday: Closed Editor: Lise MacDonald ( Press Releases & Story Ideas: ( Sales: John MacDonald (





























VICTORIA – BC Ferries continues to roll out its Clean Futures Plan with the launch of its fourth liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled Salish Class vessel. The ship entered the water over the weekend at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland, with work continuing there until scheduled sea trials in late 2021. Video of the launch is available here. Following successful sea trials, the vessel will make the 10,440 nautical mile journey from Gdansk, Poland to British Columbia in early 2022 for final preparations. The vessel is scheduled to go into service in the Southern Gulf Islands in 2022, and is identical to the three Salish Class vessels built by Remontowa for BC Ferries in 2016-2017. BC Ferries issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) for the construction of the vessel to leading shipyards in Canada and around the world in July 2018. Canadian shipyards were invited to participate in the competitive bidding process. BC Ferries received responses from 16 international shipyards and short-listed three shipyards to proceed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage. No Canadian companies submitted a bid. The 107-metre Salish Class vessel will have the capacity to carry at least 138 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew, and is built as dual-fuel, capable of running on LNG or ultra-low sulphur diesel.

BCREA 2021 FIRST QUARTER HOUSING FORECAST UPDATE BRITISH COLUMBIA - The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2021 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update. Multiple Listing Service (MLS) residential sales in the province are forecast to rise 15.6 per cent to 108,680 units this year, after recording 94,021 sales in 2020. In 2022, MLS residential sales are forecast to pull back 9 per cent to 98,850 units. “After an unprecedented and often surprising performance in 2020, the provincial housing market is set up for a very strong year in 2021,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Chief Economist. “A strong economic recovery and record-low mortgage rates will continue to drive strong demand this year.” On the supply side, new listings activity recovered through the second half of 2020, but not nearly enough to see any accumulation in overall inventory. As a result, market conditions will start 2021 very tight, with the potential for strong price increases through the spring and summer until new supply comes online. We are forecasting a 7.7 per cent rise in the MLS average price this year, followed by a further 3 per cent in 2022. January 2021


CAMPBELL RIVER AND ITEL NETWORKS PARTNER CAMPBELL RIVER – The City of Campbell River is partnering with iTel Networks to expand Campbell River’s municipal internet service. In addition to serving current and potential new customers on the open-access fibre optic network, iTel will provide Internet services to City facilities and subscribing businesses throughout the community. “Through partnerships with wholesale service providers such as iTel Networks, CRadvantage continues to expand internet service, increase market competition and reduce the cost of high speed internet access within the Campbell River area,” says Warren Kalyn, the City’s information technology manager. The award-winning CRadvantage network provides affordable, high-speed connectivity to support growth in the technology sector and allow local businesses to compete internationally. “Technology continues to be a key economic driver for the City of Campbell River,” says Rose Klukas, the City’s economic development officer. “The worldwide impact of the COVID-19 crisis has clearly identified the essential requirement for affordable access to high-speed internet services, allowing businesses to remain viable in the global economy as they pivot to e-commerce platforms and increase their online presence.” Based in Kamloops, iTel connects Canadian telecom providers to create a continent-spanning “network of networks.” This provides one point of contact for every location and helps multi-site businesses combine internet, voice, and cloud services in different regions. WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA

ATLAS ENGINEERED PRODUCTS ACQUIRES ASSETS FROM ZYTECH BUILDING SYSTEMS NANAIMO – Atlas Engineered Products Ltd. has reached an agreement with ZyTech Building Systems LP to acquire the bulk of ZyTech’s manufacturing assets from its former Langley location in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. “Last year we increased our footprint in British Columbia by expanding into the Lower Mainland through Novum Building Components Ltd. and by adding a pre-manufactured wall plant at our Atlas Building Systems Ltd. operations in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Now with this asset purchase from Zytech, we are adding advanced technology equipment to our business, and it will improve our profitability at several locations,” said Dirk Maritz, AEP’s CEO & President. The equipment purchase is expected to close on January 31, 2021 at a purchase price of $958,160, which is below replacement or market value. The Company paid ZyTech a deposit of $100,000 upon execution of the agreement, and may take possession of the equipment prior to closing. The equipment will be installed at the Company’s Novum and Atlas Building Systems locations starting in Q1 2021 and is expected to be ready for the 2021 peak building season. In addition to acquiring this equipment, AEP will be completing several supply contracts for a number of ZyTech’s clients.






PORT ALBERNI – A $6.25-million emergency department redevelopment will support improvements to patient care and privacy at West Coast General Hospital according to a press release from the provincial Ministry of Health. “The emergency department is a busy place, and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Hospital District is very pleased to support this renovation. We know it will greatly benefit patients in the years to come,” said John McNabb, chair of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Hospital District. A request for proposals was issued Jan. 14, 2021, for a construction manager to lead the emergency department redevelopment project. Construction is expected to begin in March 2021 with completion in summer 2022. The redevelopment will include a 244 squaremetre (2,626 square-foot) expansion, as well as improvements to the existing emergency department space. The project will add three new patient exam beds, extra space for patients awaiting tests and results, a private, safe seclusion room for patients in need of emergency mental health care, improvements to the triage and admitting area, and two separate entrances for ambulances and the general public. The project’s costs are being shared between the Province, which is providing $2.55 million; the West Coast General Hospital Foundation, which has pledged $2 million and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Hospital District, which will contribute $1.7 million.

VANCOUVER ISLAND – The Vancouver Island Coast Economic Development Association (VICEDA) is embarking on a project to boost investment attraction opportunities in the tech sector through an Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) supported regional marketing and collaboration initiative. The VICEDA Regional Technology Attraction Marketing project is one of the priority recommendations from the recently developed regional tech attraction strategy, led by a partnership of Vancouver Island communities located north of the Malahat. The joint initiative created and launched a new website,, at the end of May 2020. The Attraction and Marketing Initiative will improve the region’s online presence by proactively sharing the story of Vancouver Island, including investment advantages, profiles of participating communities and available resources, to identified markets. Targeted web assets will be created to support promotion of Vancouver Island as an area for tech-related investment and remote and mobile workforce opportunities. The VICEDA Regional Tech Attraction Group is open to all communities on Vancouver Island, north of the Malahat and currently includes Campbell River, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Parksville and Qualicum Beach. The project is expected to get underway shortly. January 2021


BC SEAFOOD FESTIVAL A VIRTUAL HIT ANNUAL EVENT WENT ONLINE IN NOVEMBER TO REACH INTERNATIONAL BUYERS COMOX VALLEY – COVID-19 may have postponed the 2020 BC Seafood Festival, but it didn’t knock it out. Instead, Invest Comox Valley organized a team to put together a Virtual, online event November 17-19. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and I’m very pleased that our team pushed forward to create the event virtually, which provides continuity for 2021,” states Invest Comox Valley Executive Director John Watson. “We know seafood companies have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we wanted to do whatever we could to help them connect with new international buyers. “We also wanted to provide a bridge between our last live BC Seafood Festival and our next one, hopefully next June. It is such a great event and it’s been building every year since we started it, and we felt we had to continue that momentum somehow.” Trademodo provided all the logistics, web development, conducted traffic and hosted the event through their platform for the two-day event. Executive Director of Business Development Kenton Liu says “In general, everyone I have spoken to and the survey has showed that the event went quite well. The overall event rating was 8 out of 10, with people really liking the presenters, and for the most part, being successful with their networking/ marketing activities.” Liu adds: With this whole COVID 19 situation, the industry needs to be more open about investing a bit of time in technology and online solutions. Something as simple as listing their business and filling out their information on Trademodo only takes about 10 minutes and can help them create an online presence for free.” New contacts were made by 19 participants in the BC Seafood Festival Trade Show, which gave them a Virtual Booth and the opportunity WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA

to meet directly with international seafood buyers and customers during the event, or set up Zoom calls. Interest was generated throughout North America and Asia, from as far away as Australia, China and Vietnam. “In these trying times of COVID-19 we have to have creative ways to keep the economy going,” notes Rob Arthurs of Robert Arthurs International, which recruited international buyers to the event. “BC is heavily reliant on the seafood industry we needed to do something virtually to keep our seafood companies meeting and greeting potential buyers globally. “The BC Seafood Festival global event was well executed and a huge success. As many organizations are now looking at 2021 opportunities, how many of them will be virtual? I’m proud to be part of this inaugural event and look forward to many, many more.” Mark MacDonald of Business Examiner helped coordinate the Trade Show, and noted, “I think we can call this event a success, and it gives us something to build upon for next year.” The BC Seafood Festival is held each June in the Comox Valley.




10 MARK MACDONALD Mary Brown’s Chicken restaurant is opening soon in South Gate Mall in Chase River. There are six Mary Brown’s locations in the lower mainland, as well as franchises in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland/Labrador and the Northwest Territories. A tip of the hat to Robert Collins upon celebrating 10 years with Pride Painting. Eye Mean Graphics is moving to share space with The Sign Zone at 3589 Shenton Road on March 1. Bill Smith is excited about the print company’s move to share premises with Mike Carson’s sign and display company. A fond farewell to Nancy Lamont, who retired

at the end of 2020 after working for McDonald’s Restaurants in Nanaimo for the past 48 years. She was most recently the General Manager of the Nicol Street location, and started at Terminal Park in 1972 at age 15. News of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce decision to put its sparkling building on Bowen Road up for sale was met with great sadness, particularly from Past Presidents and Board members who worked feverishly to build the structure starting in 2003, and watched as the mortgage was paid off in under 10 years. Past Presidents including myself, Russ Burke, Charlie Parker and Donna Hais involved in the building’s creation did so with the intention that the Chamber wouldn’t have to “rely on balloon prizes to pay the bills”, and paying off the structure early was viewed as a great accomplishment, which allowed them to achieve that goal. The 3,000 square foot Chamber building was built there partly to assuage concerns about the business organization becoming too focused on downtown as that was part of the reason discussions were being held about forming a North Nanaimo Chamber in order to make sure that area of the city’s interests were looked after. Congratulations to Colton McNeil upon the announcement of becoming a partner in Pacific Certified Professional Accountants. January 2021

NANAIMO Stuart Olson Construction has been chosen to build the new $157 million Brannen Lake Correctional Centre. It will be built next to the existing property. Nicole Sendey, who now works for the Port Alberni-based Coulson Group of Companies, has earned her accredited status with the Canadian Public Relations Society. Nicole is wellknown in Nanaimo and was the founder of the very successful and generous “Secret Santa� program that connected generous residents with proven needy families in the city during Christmas. Nicole was a long-time member of the Charlie Parker Team at RE/MAX of Nanaimo. Raymond de Beeld Architect is designing a 98 unit apartment building at 4851 Cedar Ridge Place next to Rutherford Road that has been


given approval from the City of Nanaimo. The building will include 48 two-bedroom and 50 one-bedroom units. Adam Hawryluk, formerly with Dominion Lending, is now a Lead Broker at Flawless Financing on Princess Royal Avenue. Congratulations to former City of Nanaimo C h i e f A d m i ni s t rat ion O f f icer Tracy (Fleck) Samra, who has been appointed Senior Executive Director of the Indigenous Partnership Office West with the federal Tracy Samra D epa r t ment of




Natural Resources. Tracy will be overseeing Indigenous relations for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. Progress continues on the new downtown hotel on Gordon Street. PEG Developments recently passed a critical deadline to satisfy demands from the City of Nanaimo property, which will be home to a 9-storey, 172 room, $34 million hotel, next to the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. The TELUS building on Fitzwilliam Street could be home to as many as 500 people should the planned TELUS Living Nanaimo residential development be approved by the City. The $70 million project would be comprised of 197 units in the seven-storey building on the three-acre site. It would include a ground-floor

commercial unit, underground parking, and an entrance plaza on Wallace at Wentworth Streets. Congratulations to Doug White III, former Snuneymuxw First NaDoug White III t ion Ch ief a nd current Board Member of the Port of Nanaimo, upon being appointed as Queen’s Counsel for his legal work. Doug is Chairman of the BC First Nations Justice Council. Nanaimo Honda will be growing, as the vehicle dealership has been issued a development permit to expand its 9.700 square foot building to 24,500 square feet. Paige Karczynski is the new Executive Director of the Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. Orange Theory Fitness Nanaimo is now open at 2-5765 Turner Road. Island West Coast Developments did the project. Two five-storey buildings have been approved by City council for the northeast corner of Milton and Haliburton Streets. They will include 79 new residential units, in two-bedroom, one bedroom and studio suites. Mark MacDonald is President of Communication Ink Media & Public Relations Ltd. and can be reached at mark@​

January 2021


2020 - A YEAR IN REVIEW Where do I start? In 2020 we started off the year hosting our A n nua l Cha mber awards with over 300 guests in attendance to honour 2019’s finest. March 18, 2020 - events came to a standstill, literally. Our Chamber, like others across Canada DIANNE HAWKINS have navigated some pretty hectic challenges! We scrambled to find the right information to assist our members, not to mention we called ALL of them! (500) Only one week after the Covid-19 lockdown we were hosting zoom calls, fielding the challenges businesses were facing and coming up with solutions. We found ways to help, from not-for-profits, to businesses, to community organizations. If we were asked, we did our best to find an answer. 2020 saw us focussing on advocacy and our membership. We have been working hard to continue to meet the needs of our members as they continued to navigate the uncertainty and changes these times have brought to each of us. We launched a Stay Strong campaign and worked with 97.3 the Eagle and the Record, as well we were able to provide access to the community to the “Things that are Open’ site hosted by the Pattison Group. This enabled our community to identify businesses that were open. Stay Strong morphed into Restart Comox Valley when the guidelines were lifted in the late spring. The Campbell River and Comox Valley Chambers launched into action and collaborated together the create the #explorenextdoor program showcasing all the wonderful places to visit and explore in our two communities, support local business and tourism. The video was produced by Daniel Kooman of Unveil Studios. We even made the BC Government’s success stories page on their website! The Chamber launched the Comox Valley Volunteer Connector this year. The Connector fosters


volunteer engagement within the community by providing a central place for not-for-profits to connect with potential volunteers and for individuals and businesses seeking opportunities to volunteer to connect with not-for-profit organizations. Why? Because volunteers are the heart of our community. In addition to the Volunteer Connector, the Chamber has put together a Youth Engagement Project to develop leadership in youth and demonstrate the value of volunteerism in the community. The program is being facilitated by our Volunteer Connector coordinator, Carrera Teal who was able to secure some fabulous talent from our Chamber members to teach and mentor the youth. Thanks to a grant the Chamber received we were able to purchase $3,000 worth of gift certificates and partner with the Jet FM to give away to our community to support local business during the Christmas season. We’ve come full circle, its now 2021 and we are on the cusp of celebrating our 2020 Chamber awards. While we will not be celebrating in person, we are excited to be offering our gala Virtually this year and honouring 2020’s finest. We have been overwhelmed by the incredible challenges this business community has faced to meet the onslaught of what the pandemic caused. These are people who stuck with it, persevered and overcame. We are excited to celebrate them! Dianne Hawkins is CEO of the Comox Valley Chamber






The last 11 months have been horrific. Full stop. The global pandemic rages on undeterred and now there will be delivery issues to Canada of the vaccine for a myriad of reasons. Which means we are looking at another very long 11 months. Have there been any

successes? Well, yes, golf courses across Canada are experiencing an unexpected business boom as they naturally lend themselves to social distancing. And here on the island we have some of the very best courses in the country, not to mention the views. Our two local courses the Campbell River & Golf Country Club and the Storey Creek Golf Club are as majestic and beautiful as they come, not to mention challenging for every skill level! The other success which will only continue if we each do our part is ‘Shop Local’. Many of our restaurants, café’s and retail stores were early adapters to the online world, curb side pickup and strict adherence to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s health procedures. Let’s talk about your neighbour. It is your neighbour’s local stores and shops that support your children’s sports teams. It is your neighbour’s local cafés and restaurants that support your gatherings before the pandemic and as long as we support them now, they will be there to continue their support after the pandemic. Need a book? Go to your local store, and if they don’t have it, I’m sure they would be happy to order it in for you. If we are going to come out of this in one piece we not only have to support each other by checking in with neighbours, friends and family, we need to spend our dollars locally. Full stop.

Let’s not … talk about Amazon whose policies for people selling on Amazon are soul destroying. If, however, you do find a unique item on their platform, research the creator and go to the source — nearly everyone has their own site, and buy direct. And, in the theme of supporting local — support your local chamber of commerce. They work on behalf of businesses and organizations yes, at the local level, but also at the provincial level right into the premier’s office and federally right into the PM’s office. The provincial and national networks are the most dynamic and responsive in the country from coast to coast to coast representing over 220,000 businesses and organizations. And, when you are finished playing your round of golf, grab some take out and a bevy or two from your favourite local restaurant and support your neighbour. Mary Ruth Snyder is Executive Director of the Campbell River and District Chamber of Commerce.

January 2021



Danny Zich Have you thought about what would happen to your business in the event of your sudden passing or becoming incapacitated? An estate plan will help protect your business, family and business partners from these kinds of unexpected circumstances. Here are four legal tools you should consider adding to your plan to help transition your business to the next generation: General Enduring Power of Attorney (POA): For most business owners, an estate plan starts with this legal document. It’s used to appoint an agent to make decisions on your behalf under extraordinary circumstances. If you don’t have a POA in place for unfortunate events, your business partners and family members may be put in a very difficult position. Your will: If your will does not address the business, the most likely result will be your business being incorporated into the estate.


Taking the time to thoughtfully plan for succession in the event of death for the business owner will help ensure stability for the future of your business and reduce stress on loved ones. A Buy and Sell Agreement: This binding contract requires one person to buy and another person to sell their stock for a given price if certain events occur. The most common instances of forced buy and sell are in the event of death or disability. A well-drafted Buy and Sell Agreement is one of the most valuable tools a company can have to protect its value in the event of death. Without it, a healthy business may depreciate or the remaining owners may be forced to work with strangers with no expertise within their business. A Shareholders Agreement: If you’re not the sole shareholder of a business, your estate plan should include a properly drafted Shareholders Agreement. This document will ensure the rights and obligations of various shareholders are taken into account, as your will must conform to the Shareholder’s Agreement. A great first step to create a comprehensive estate plan is to talk to an expert. Call me for advice on how to structure your business and protect your family, business partners, and legacy. Danny Zich is an Estate and Trust Specialist with Concentra Trust* and Coastal Community Credit Union. For more info, call 250-713-0172. *Concentra Trust is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Concentra Bank.





NANAIMO – Blue Star Foods Corp. of Miami, Florida has signed a term sheet on December 28 to acquire Taste of BC Aquafarms Inc., a land-based Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) salmon farming operation on Jameson Road in Nanaimo. The family-run company, incorporated in 2010, is the oldest, continuously operating RAS full grow-out salmon farm in North America. It has been selling its steelhead trout under the Little Cedar Farms since 2013, and it is Ocean Wise certified. Blue Star is a sustainable seafood company that processes, packages and sells refrigerated pasteurized Blue Crab meat and other seafood products in Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, France, the Middle East, Singapore and Hong Kong. “We are delighted to be joining Blue Star Foods through this acquisition,” says Steve Atkinson, President of Taste of BC Aquafarms, who is joined in the company by wife Janet and children Amanda, Benjamin and Bill. “From the beginning, I wanted to create an RAS model that we could easily replicate in multiple locations, with predictable outcomes, and leave a legacy of a new industry of landbased salmon production in British Columbia and beyond. “We took a different approach than others in developing RAS for salmon production,”

Steve Atkinson, President of BC Aquafarms President, at work. Photos by HA Photography

Atkinson adds. “First, we wanted to develop a proven, successful culture system, and now we are looking to deploy this system in multiples. Our modular design strategy works and is highly scalable.” Blue Star Chairman and CEO John Keeler states: “We believe land-based salmon farming can be part of the solution of healing our environment and will meet the gap between the growing global demand of salmon and a supply that is limited by its environmental impact, as well as geographical and governmental constraints.

January 2021

OFF THE COVER “While there are other public companies pursuing a similar business strategy, we believe this opportunity is massive and has plenty of space for several participants,” he adds. “We are very thrilled to partner with the Atkinson family, the founders and operators of Taste of BC Aquafarms, who have been pioneers in RAS farming since 2010. They’ve built a proven and scalable model and we are excited to strategically fund their next level of growth and use our sales platform to market their delicious, sashimi-grade steelhead salmon.” According to a press release announcing the sale, RAS technologies are non-invasive, landbased aquaculture method “that is expected to reshape the seafood industry over the next several decades. RAS land-based farming

avoids some of the current pitfalls of existing methods of sourcing salmon”, including fish harvesting in open environments and oceanbased net pens. With the global population expected to rise to approximately 9.8 billion people by 2050, an jay cousin increase in demand for protein food sources, An Independent particularly marine protein, is anticipated. PH 250Atkinson notes: “I see no reason why the RAS salmon production in BC cannot potentially exceed 100,000 metric tons annual production in the next two decades. Along with Blue Star, we intend to be leaders in this new industry.” Blue Star’s acquisition of Taste of BC Aquafarms is being done through a combination of cash, equity and assumption of debt, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.


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BRITISH COLUMBIA - “Changing Waste for Good.” This mission statement drives Terrapure Environmental, with a desire to shift the way the world thinks about waste with solutions good not only for business, but for society and the environment. Leaders in industrial waste management, environmental and industrial services, Terrapure’s history across Canada is deep, with their unique presence on Vancouver Island being no different. Terrapure’s former parent company opened a small environmental services facility in Nanaimo in 1994. Since then, the company’s footprint on the Island has grown, with a fully permitted environmental waste processing facility in Nanaimo, acquisition of a federally permitted, state of the art water and oil treatment facility in Victoria, and a used oil and hazardous waste management facility in Port Alberni, expanding their environmental services on the Island.

An operator takes a sample of used oil at Terrapure’s Victoria Facility, part of an acquisition that expanded Terrapure’s services, resources and pool of facilities for new and existing clients in BC

In 2015, Terrapure, previously operating as the industrial division of another company, became its own i ndependent entity under new ownership. Long time Vancouver Island resident, Erica Ellefsen joined shortly after as their Senior Technical Coordinator for Western Canada. Erica Ellefsen is Senior Erica, holds a bachelors Technical Coordinator of science with a major for Western Canada in biology, and has lived on the Island since 2009 after working in industrial and oilfield hazardous waste management in Alberta. In short, she was ideal to further Terrapure’s mission to offer solutions helping companies across the Island reduce waste, restore operational efficiency and recover value from their waste streams. Erica explains, “As the Senior Technical Coordinator for Western Canadian Facilities, I work with our commercial and operations teams to assist in correctly classifying and profiling industrial and commercial hazardous waste in order to provide optimal recycling and disposal solutions to our clients for their most technically challenging waste streams. I provide guidance to ensure waste is transported and handled in a safe, environmentally friendly, and legally compliant manner. As a team, we provide tailored solutions to each customer based on their specific needs.” To offer said solutions, Terrapure has built a diverse suite of capabilities and services, everything from traditional industrial waste management and field services to industry leading battery and oil recycling, and more. January 2021

FEATURE STORY Elaborates Erica, “The Victoria Facility is another example of an acquisition which expanded our services, resources and pool of facilities for new and existing clients. We can protect the sensitive Vancouver Island ecosystem. while servicing many key industry sectors that drive the economy. Our operations and environmental services on the Island are a unique offering unmatched in BC.” Vancouver Island is a showcase for the “Changing Waste for Good” mantra. The Island is foundational to Terrapure’s sustainable development and resourcing strategy for the recycling of oil re-reThe North Vancouver Facility, where re-refining provides recycled lubricants to local customers, providing a closed-loop, circular economy fining across Western Canada. approach to oil recycling “Our ability to turn waste into a “We have many competitors in different parts value-added product as part of the of the business,” notes Erica, “Still, there is no circular economy is unmatched,” says Erica, one competitor offering the breadth of services “This ties perfectly with the environmentaland integrated national scope that we do. In ly focused culture of Vancouver Island. Being BC specifically, we are unique in our ability to isolated from the mainland, logistics can be a provide a local solution to recycle used oil at our challenge, but we work hard optimizing route North Vancouver re-refinery. By collecting used collections and finding environmentally and oil, re-refining it and then providing recycled lucost-effective alternatives in line with our overbricants to local customers, we provide a closedall mission.” loop, circular economy approach to oil recycling.” And while this mission is being implemented Also, on-Island, Terrapure’s Esquimalt Graving across Terrapure facilities nationwide, Erica dock water treatment facility is capable of treatEllefsen’s connection to this positive corporate ing millions of litres of hydrocarbon-impacted mandate has a personal, local touch. water annually. Their licensed hazardous waste She concludes, “BC and Vancouver Island are facility in Nanaimo is designed to receive an my home. I believe it to be the most beautiful array of containerized hazardous waste, and is place on earth. I feel connected to the people, equipped with an oily-sludge processing pad. the land and its culture. I care very much about To further grow their breadth of services, opthe people we work with, and am proud to say tions and expertise nationally, Terrapure has Terrapure is a local service provider for all of made almost a dozen vital acquisitions over reBC’s industries, both private and public. In cent years, including Terratec Environmental in terms of doing business as an environmental 2017, which added organics management to their solutions provider, I am deeply passionate about repertoire, with Envirosystems Inc. and Hethdoing the right thing, the right way, to protect erington Industries shortly thereafter, doubling BC’s pristine environment for a sustainable Terrapure’s size to seventy locations, and bringfuture.” ing their current employee count to 2,000. WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA



VIP Homes Ltd. is known for its top quality construction.


QUALICUM BEACH CONSTRUCTION COMPANY BUILDING & RENOVATING SINCE 2002 QUALICUM BEACH – Craig Gooding and Cliff Smith were determined to give their customers the VIP Treatment when they opened their construction company over in 2002. Mission accomplished, as the partners’ VIP Homes Ltd. (Vancouver Island Pacific Homes Ltd.) has carved out a solid reputation for building and renovating homes. “We each had vast experience with framing construction, roofing, siding and finishing, and we felt we could offer something different that people could rely on,” says Gooding, noting that the owners share management, superintendent, scheduling and paperwork duties in the business.

“Cliff is one of my best friends, and he’s the hardest worker I’ve ever seen,” he says. “He has been such a great business partner to travel this road with. There is nothing that happens in our company that he and I do not discuss.” VIP Homes Ltd. includes team members Dan

January 2021

FEATURE STORY Bereska and Scott Heale, who have proven to be great assets for the company. “Our second greatest assets are our sub-trades, from plumbing, electrical, heating, drywallers, roofers, insulators, truss designers, draftsmen, painters and bookkeepers,” Gooding notes. “We work with some of the most qualified professionals in our area, and without them we would not put out the quality of product that we do. “Our goal is we want the people we work for to feel safe and have pride about the fact they live in one of our homes, and that they know it was built with passion, pride, skill, and will stand the test of time.” A National Home Builders Warranty approved builder, VIP homes offers general contracting services, and custom built homes featuring custom carpentry and millwork, and every style from modern homes to Tudor, Cape Cod, to West Coast craftsmen. “We are spec builders when we have time, customer builders when we meet good clients, and renovators when they fit in,” Gooding states. “We flow with the market, and adjust where it is necessary. “We take pride in our honesty and our

Proud supporter of VIP Homes, congratulations on all your success! 3401 Slaney Road, Qualicum Beach Parksville: 250.248.7927 Nanaimo: 250.714.8457 E:


Craig Gooding, left, and Cliff Smith are partners in VIP Homes Ltd.

commitment to our clients, whether we are putting a deck on the back of someone’s house, or building a million dollar home,” he adds. “ The reason we are so busy is we take pride in everything we do, and people like to see that.” “I can’t believe we’ve almost been in business for 20 years,” says Gooding. “Time flies when you’re having fun, and that’s the key to what we do, it even says it on our shirts: ‘We like what we do.’ And if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.”

Congratulations to Craig and the team at VIP Homes on all your success! 26A – 1343 Alberni Hwy, Parksville Phone: 250-240-2702 E:


WHO IS SUING WHOM The contents of Who’s Suing Whom is provided by a thirdparty resource and is accurate according to public court documents. Some of these cases may have been resolved by publication date. DEFENDANT 0968709 BC Ltd 202-1007 Fort St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Kings Granite Canada Ltd CLAIM $21,745 DEFENDANT 401721 BC Ltd 1779 Comox Ave, Comox, BC PLAINTIFF Fras, Alexander Anton CLAIM $35,306 DEFENDANT Akal Development Ltd 1326 Ivy Lane, Nanaimo, BC M McNeil Contracting CLAIM $9,036

DEFENDANT Blossom Place Eating Disorders & Addictions Ltd 630 Terminal Ave North, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Giguere, Arlene CLAIM $6,739 DEFENDANT Bronte Heights Developments Ltd 1626 Garnet Rd, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Kings Granite Canada Ltd CLAIM $21,745 DEFENDANT Bronte Heights Developments Ltd 1626 Garnet Rd, Victoria,

BC PLAINTIFF CBS Electrical Contractors Ltd CLAIM $27,801 DEFENDANT Canada Hanjiang Construction Ltd 777B Blanshard St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Li, Yaxin CLAIM $10,216 DEFENDANT Cedar General Store 1771 Cedar Rd, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Fras, Alexander Anton CLAIM $35,306 DEFENDANT Complete Resident ia l

Property Management Ltd 3267B Tennyson Ave, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Chin, Sean CLAIM $30,356 DEFENDANT Earthwise Contracting Ltd 2C-6331 Sooke Rd, Sooke, BC PLAINTIFF JMS Holdings Ltd CLAIM $21,794 Gas N Go Petroleum Ltd 1771 Cedar Rd, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Fras, Alexander Anton CLAIM $35,306 DEFENDANT Green Tech Roofing Inc 1701 Sheridan Ave, Victoria, BC


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WHO IS SUING WHOM PLAINTIFF Pro Tech Exterior Products Ltd CLAIM $5,692 DEFENDANT Greentek Roofing 1701 Sheridan Ave, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Pro Tech Exterior Products Ltd CLAIM $5,692 DEFENDANT Hansens Diesel Corporation 9819 5th St, Sidney, BC PLAINTIFF Coast Outdoor Advertising Ltd CLAIM $9,855 DEFENDANT Lambert Everest Holdings Ltd

1631 Longacre Dr, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Klippenstein Development Corp CLAIM $122,053 DEFENDANT Mada Construction Ltd 810 Sherk St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Torrell Brothers Construction Ltd CLAIM $13,328

PLAINTIFF Haime, Colin CLAIM $35,276 DEFENDANT Sound Runner 13 19 Pe m b e r ton Ave, Squamish, BC PLAINTIFF Westcoast Sports Consignor Corp CLAIM $153,700

DEFENDANT Omni Foods 40 Cavan St, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Fras, Alexander Anton CLAIM $ 35,306

DEFENDANT Sproat Highland Estates Ltd 208-1725 Beach Dr, Victoria, ON PLAINTIFF Javelin Investments Inc CLAIM $1,040,278

DEFENDANT SK Septics Ltd 1386 Turner Lane, Cobble Hill, BC

DEFENDANT Waterworks Irrigation And Landscaping Inc 300-736 Broughton St,

Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Johns, Andrew CLAIM $ 12,716 DEFENDANT Western Coast Insurance Services Ltd 3rd Flr 110-29 Helmcken Rd, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Flynn, Daniel Joseph CLAIM $ 35,155






Communities across Vancouver Island are reaching out to Bunt & Associates Engineering Ltd. to find solutions for active transportation. The latest for the transportation planning and engineering company is Port Hardy, the northernmost town on Vancouver Island, which is having the firm lead the development of its Active Transportation Plan. Bunt & Associates, founded in 1993, is one of the largest specialist transportation planning and engineering consulting companies in Western Canada, with 60 transportation planners, engineers, technologists and support staff in offices in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. Senior Transportation and Active Transportation Planner Tyler Thomson has been with Bunt for 15 years and is an associate of the company, and is currently leading the Port Hardy initiative. Their work in Port Hardy includes gathering information on “how people move by non-motorized modes like walking and cycling, and it also touches on mobility scooters. It’s about inspiring healthy, active ways of moving around a community,” he says. Bunt & Associates is using a two-phase public engagement strategy that started with understanding the experiences and perceptions of citizens.

Bunt & Associates is doing an Active Transportation Plan for Port Hardy

Tyler Thomson

“We have learned a lot from the community in terms of how weather, maintenance, accessibility, and social behav ior cond itions affect transportation choices,” Thomson says. Soon, the tea m will be launching an interactive survey which asks citizens to help prioritize recommended projects based on

budgetary constraints. “The challenge is stitching communities together and making sure there is a connected network, for All Ages and Abilities (AAA), allowing people to use walking or cycling or scootering to move around to the places they want to go,” he notes. “So there’s a connected network that gives people the choice not to use their cars, and stay active and healthy.” Thomson observes that COVID-19 has resulted in more people getting out in the fresh air to walk and cycle, part of a healthier lifestyle that he hopes continues once the pandemic passes. Other Bunt & Associates projects in the region include the Island Rail Corridor Condition Assessment, the Ganges Village Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure Plan on Saltspring Island, the Cortes Island Transportation Demand Study, Royal Bay Master Transportation Plan, Six Mile Road Corridor Study, E&N Rail Trail Wayfinding Signage Review, Latoria Boulevard Bike Lane Design, and Cadboro Bay Road Design amongst many others.

January 2021


LOWEST INVENTORY ON RECORD FOR DECEMBER The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that sales of single-family homes in December increased by 34 per cent from 2019 and were 28 per cent lower than in November. Last month, 302 single-family detached properties (excluding acreage and waterfront) sold compared to 226 in December. Condo sales rose by 94 per cent year over year and 16 per cent from November. Row/townhouse sales increased by 61 per cent from 2019 but dropped by 41 per cent from November. Active listings of single-family detached properties were 421 compared to 541 in November, a 22 per cent decrease and the lowest number on record. There were 232 condo apartments and 119 row/townhouses for sale last month, down 24 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively, from November. The benchmark price of a single-family home hit $546,900 in December, a five per cent increase from the previous year. The benchmark


price of an apartment reached $312,000, increasing four per cent, while the benchmark price of a townhouse rose by 10 per cent year over year, climbing to $450,100. In Campbell River, the benchmark price of a single family home rose 12 per from last year to $473,000 while in the Comox Valley a single family home rose 4 per cent compared to 2019 to $550,800. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $509,600, an increase of five per cent from December 2019. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose by one per cent, hitting $569,400, while the Parksville-Qualicum area increased by nine per cent to $639,100. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $328,000, a two per cent year-over-year increase. For the North Island, the benchmark price rose to $236,000, a 17 per cent increase over last year.



An Umbrella Welding & Mechanical crane


UMBRELLA WELDING & MECHANICAL COVERS EVERYTHING MOBILE WELDING AND MECHANICAL SERVICES ADDS TERRACE TO CHEMAINUS LOCATION CHEMAINUS – With a company name like Umbrella, one would expect that everything would be covered. That’s certainly the case with Umbrella Welding & Mechanical, which has its head office on 4.5 acres at 9390 Smiley Road in Chemainus, with a recently opened second location in Terrace that services northern British Columbia and the mainland. With a motto of “We’ve Got You Covered”, Umbrella provides mobile welding and mechanical services to all of Western Canada and the Yukon territory.

“We cover many fields of construction,” notes Chief Executive Officer Nathan Zwiers who founded the company in 2013, and incorporated Umbrella in 2015. “We do that mainly through our mechanical installations, fabrication shop and our newly started electrical division, which is the bread and butter of the Umbrella Group of Companies.” Umbrella works on a wide variety of projects, from industrial mills and pipelines, mining operations, oil & gas maintenance and construction. They also offer fabrication services, along with personal repair jobs. January 2021


Umbrella Welding & Mechanical workers on the job

They employ qualified Red Seal millwrights, machinists, welders, fabricators, iron workers, pipefitters and heavy duty mechanics. Zwiers says the company grew very quickly before a lengthy Vancouver Island forestry strike slowed operations, before rebounding back to pre-strike levels. “We came out of the gate strong in 2015 after incorporation, and grew to almost 100 employees by 2018,” he recalls. “We were then hit extremely hard by the forestry strike on Vancouver


Island in 2018 - 2019 that forced us to either diversify or die off. “We moved to the Terrace-Kitimat area at the end of 2018 and have since landed multiple new clients and have built back a strong workforce. We now have a shop and office in the area,” he says. It was really a return, as Umbrella started its operations serving northern BC and the Yukon before moving its main office to southern Vancouver Island in order to expand into multiple industrial sectors. The recent opening of the Terrace office allows the company to better serve customers in the north and throughout the interior and lower mainland. Zwiers, who is a Red Seal journeyman millwright himself, says the company’s mission “is to offer our customers the highest quality mechanical, welding and fabrication services in the sawmill, pulp and paper, mining, oil and gas industries. We respond and resolve any breakdowns or problems quickly, safely and cost-effectively to keep production running smoothly.” One of Umbrella’s specialties in mill maintenance, as their team offers troubleshooting


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abilities and skilled maintenance practices in all work environments. “From daily preventative maintenance to emergency after-hour call-out work, we strive to get and keep production running efficiently,” he adds. Um bre l l a M a n u f a c t u r i n g i s b a s e d i n Chemainus, and offers start-to-finish services from drafting and design to fabrication, manufacturing and installation. They have mobile welding rigs available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, crane services, and their full-service fabrication shop includes machining and a CNC plasma table. “Our team takes the concept and makes Congratulations it a reality, working to Umbrella Welding together throughon all your success! out the project to provide continuity from start to finish,” Zwiers notes. “Our project m a n agers work alongside cli101 - 6545 Portsmouth Rd, Nanaimo 13 - 327 Prideaux St, Nanaimo ents to make sure 250.754.1852 their job happens as Proud supporter of Umbrella Welding, congratulations on your success!

Welding is one of the services offered by Umbrella

seamlessly as possible, regardless of developments or changes that may arise.” Looking after customers has always been the key ingredient to a winning formula at Umbrella Welding & Mechanical. “I believe that the success we have experienced is from offering the best customer service in the industry,” he notes. “As well as having such a diverse team from all different walks of life, from which we have effectively put together one of the best management teams in the industry. We are always looking for a new challenge.” That includes looking to expand into new markets in eastern Canadian provinces in 2021.

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250-228-2677 January 2021


COWICHAN REGIONAL DASHBOARD SHEDS LIGHT ON PROGRESS TOWARDS RECOVERY COWICHAN VA L L E Y – I n response to the unprecedented economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region, Economic Development Cowichan has deBARRY O’RIORDAN veloped a regional recovery dashboard of indicators to track progress towards recovery. The report reveals that some sectors of the Cowichan regional economy have been hard hit by the pandemic, while others are doing well. Tourism in particular has suffered over the last ten months. While employment levels across Vancouver Island have rebounded well, some residents are still struggling. Affordable housing and overall real estate inventory continue to be issues for the region. “This series of quarterly dashboards will provide the data needed to make informed decisions and create effective recovery programs tailored to the needs of the Cowichan Valley,” said Barry O’Riordan, Manager of Economic Development Cowichan. The Cowichan Regional Recovery Dashboard – January 2021 can be found on Economic Development Cowichan’s website at This is the first in an ongoing series of recovery dashboards that Economic Development


Cowichan will publish quarterly to help inform and guide the recovery efforts of local government, community organizations, businesses, and others. The next dashboard will be published in April 2021. Barry O’Riordan is Manager of Economic Development Cowichan and can be reached at 250.709.1119 or

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VICTORIA - Mining data to find the missing link. That’s what eBuyNow has been doing since 2012, and the Victoria-based data driven consumer electronics technology company has been making a global impact by identifying new markets and creating innovative products for clients like Kodak, Skype and Motorola ever since. What Chief Executive Officer Craig Smith and partner Connor Tobin started has now become a company with its head office in Victoria and 85 staff in offices in Hong Kong, Vietnam and throughout Europe. It is preparing to become a publicly listed company. “Originally, we were an agency serving bigname brands,” recalls Tobin. “We were working with Skype and had been delivering products for other brands, delivering cameras for Panasonic, products for Motorola, and headphones under a house brand. Over the course of time we developed a competency at identifying key trends in the market and finding products to meet them.” Tobin adds: “We can tell a company what their market is going to do next. We can see opportunities for them, and we make presentations to them. We do their market analysis, and they don’t have access to the data that we have.” Basically, eBuyNow became an off-site Research and Development team behind other companies, using information mined from that company’s own data base to identify gaps in their product line-up, combined with

eBuyNow’s ow n a na lysis to suggest new items to fill the void. They also built a supply network where they can have the products built and del ivered to t he client, who markets them w ith their own existing sales systems and distribution eBuyNow partner systems. Connor Tobin “In 2017 we pivoted from doing strictly R&D to building the products ourselves,” Tobin notes, adding their first product launch, a baby monitor for Kodak, was in 2018. “We were able to look at the market and customers, and realized that a lot of big companies had a major weak point, in that they weren’t using data-driven information to launch new products,” he adds. “We were able to identify key opportunities in their consumer product line. For example, Kodak had great products, but we saw there were some missing brands in home security. We approached them about considering an internet-connected video baby monitor under their brand name, to be built by Victoria-based companies.” Smith says one of their most successful ventures has been identifying a Smart Watch for January 2021

FEATURE STORY Motorola, which d id n’t h ave one in their arsenal. eBuyNow’s Sean Croft then created the Moto 360 Smart Watch for the company. “Sea n has been spectacular,” notes Smith. “His watch i s n o w o n e y elevel with Apple, Samsung and FiteBuyNow Chief Executive Officer Craig Bit. And that’s his Smith first watch. He now deals with Google, Qualcomm, and other factories, brands and tech companies. “From day one of our launch, Amazon’s professional reviewers said it was the best overall Smart Watch,” he recalls. “They wanted a product that felt like a luxury watch, in that it was big and heavy, and we went to the factory in China that manufactured the Apple watch, and got the factory to partner with us.” eBuyNow now sells products in 32 countries throughout the world with their global platform, and engineering and e-commerce capabilities. One of their latest products is an Air Purifier for Kodak that is internet connected, and certified to eliminate air viruses like COVID-19. They identified the number one customer complaint regarding such units – costly filters - so they developed a product that can re-use its filters since they can be cleaned in standard dishwashers. “We identified that people hated buying purifier filters and replacing them, so we developed a product that they can throw in the WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA

dish washer and re-use it multiple times. It’s totally unique,” says Smith. eBuyNow is also building battery powered home security products, including Smart lighting, and smart ear buds with fitness tracking. eBuyNow was jump-started with funding and support from the federal government’s SR&ED (Scientific Research and Economic Development) program, and Tobin expects the next decade to be “phenomenal”. “We’re a small company out of Victoria, and we’re able to meet the expectation of brands that are 1,000 times larger than us,” he states. Smith concurs: “We see really deep inside other companies and how they’re doing and how we can grow their business internationally. We can see what companies are doing online even before we have a conversation with them, and it gives us a great future as we show them how we can help them.”

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CAPITAL GAINS TAX HIKE WOULD HURT MANY CANADIANS—NOT JUST THE RICH And yet, the Trudeau government continues to refuse to clarify whether it’s considering— or indeed planning—to raise taxes on capital gains, which would do considerable damage to our economic recovery from COVID and the recession. As such, it’s worth clarifying some common misunderstandings about capital

32 ALEX WHALEN A key consideration in any serious discussion about taxes is what the general public—specifically voters—will support. This is the main reason why Ottawa has not raised the GST. It’s also why advocates for higher taxes often favour tax hikes on businesses, high-income earners and capital gains. Many Canadians assume such taxes are not paid by them and have no effect on their well-being. There’s fairly widespread agreement among economists that taxes on “consumption” such as the GST are the least damaging to the economy while taxes on capital and income (business and personal income taxes, capital gains taxes) are the most damaging to the economy.

gains taxes. For starters, who pays capital gains taxes in Canada? Many Canadians are sheltered from paying capital gains taxes because their principal residence and savings in RRSPs, pensions and TFSAs, etc. are exempt. Because most Canadians don’t pay tax on capital gains, there’s a common perception that only ultra-high-income earners pay such taxes. Indeed, when we examine who pays capital gains taxes by income level, it does appear that the tax is disproportionately paid by high-income earners. An estimate of 2020 data using a model provided by Statistics Canada indicates that 77.4 per cent of capital gains taxes are paid by individuals earnings more than $150,000. However, the problem with this approach to measuring who pays capital gains taxes is that the underlying “capital gain” is included in the income. Consider a small business owner who toiled for years building their business and decides to sell in advance of their retirement. The “gain” from the sale of the business is included in that person’s income and presents a distorted view of their normal year-to-year income.

January 2021

OPINION To further clarify, let’s use a hypothetical example. Consider people who win the millionaire’s lottery. Using the approach currently applied to capital gains, one would conclude that every person who won the millionaire’s lottery was already a millionaire because the lottery earnings are included in their income. Obviously, this approach produces misleading results when trying to explain the income levels of people who win lotteries or earn capital gains. But when you remove capital gains to reveal a person’s normal year-to-year income, the share of capital gains taxes paid by Canadians with incomes over $150,000 falls from 77.4 per cent to 48.0 per cent, or less than half. This clearly indicates that a considerable number of people are paying capital gains taxes in situations like the small business owner cited above, where the “capital gain” is a onetime event rather than a regular ongoing source of income. Put differently, capital gains taxes are not paid exclusively—or even largely—by ultra-high-income earners. Rather, Canadians with much lower levels of income, including many entrepreneurs and small business owners cashing out after a lifetime of work, pay the majority of capital gains taxes in Canada. Therefore, any increase to the capital gains tax would affect Canadians across a variety of income levels—not simply the rich, as is often claimed. Alex Whalen is a Policy Analyst and Jason Clemens executive Vice President with the Fraser Institute.


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MOVERS & SHAKERS Announcements, business changes, celebrations and other hidden gems from around Central/North Vancouver Island. Curated just for you.

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Episode 4 of the Business Examiner podcast – From The Trenches – is now live! Stu Hopewell, Chief Operating Officer of Alair Homes talks about growth through franchising, operating in Canada + US during COVID-19 and much more. NORTH ISLAND Port Hardy former police officer Chris Voller has been nominated for a BC Reconciliation Award by his former boss, Sergeant Wes Olsen, the four local First Nations and the District of Port Hardy. Mr. Voller was frequently seen at community gatherings, developed friendships with First Nations leaders, and supported Indigenous-led initiatives such as the Managed Alcohol Program and the Indigenous Court. CAMPBELL RIVER The North Island College Foundation (NIC) Board of Directors has announced Garry Griffin as chair of the NIC Foundation board, Colleen Sawyer as vice chair, Donna Cloutier as treasurer, Brett Woodside re-elected as

secretary and new board members Sandra Harrison and Arlo McCubbin. The provincial government will invest $5 million in projects spanning twenty-four provincial parks including the Loveland Bay Provincial Park in 2021, one of four West Coast parks that are getting funding. The park will receive an upgraded campground and improvements to the beach, campsites and service areas. The other coastal parks include Macmillan Provincial Park, Maquinna Marine Provincial Park and Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. Campbell River City Council has deferred a decision on whether or not to support a lease of Crown Land within the community by the Kwiakah First Nation to set up a community garden and urban farm near the old gun range on Argonaut Road. The proposed plan is for the Kwiakah First Nation to build a series of raised garden beds and small greenhouses on the property for its members to access. Council first wishes to confer with the other local bands that the project has their support as well before making a decision.

January 2021

MOVERS AND SHAKERS The Strathcona Regional District has awarded Port Coquitlam-based Baylink Networks the contract for the SRD and CityWest joint-project, Connected Coast, to build the largest undersea networks in Canada. The project will bring high-speed internet to rural and remote communities along the coast, from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii, down the Sunshine Coast and around Vancouver Island. The Campbell River and District Coalition to End Homelessness has hired Stefanie Hendrickson as new coordinator for the start of 2021. Campbell River’s municipal CRadvantage internet service is partnering with iTel Networks to expand, providing internet connections to city facilities and other businesses in the community. The technology will help maintain affordable access for businesses. Aquaculture company Grieg Seafood BC donated mooring gear to anchor a heavy 10,000-foot-long boom in place to the Canadian Coast Guard working to contain the oil spill near Nootka Sound. Grieg Seafood was approached by the company designated to tackle the spill, Diversified Marine, to see if they could assist in containing the active oil leak. The Quadra-based Open Bay Society (OBS), a non-profit wilderness conservancy and research centre, is negotiating with Mosaic Forest Management to buy timber harvesting rights for 7,000 acres of forest at the centre of the island. The non-profit aims to protect biodiversity, enhance research and restoration in the area while respecting the We Wai Kai Nation’s social, cultural and ceremonial uses of the land falling within their traditional territory. COMOX VALLEY




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Crow n Isle Resor t a nd Golf Community at 399 Clubhouse Drive in Courtenay welcomes Jared

MOVERS AND SHAKERS Siminoff from the Point Grey Golf & Country Club as their next Head Professional starting in early February. They have also announced the addition of Christine Grant as their new Food and Beverage Manager. The Wachiay Friendship Christine Grant Centre in Courtenay wishes to turn its parking lot at 17th and 1679 McPhee Avenue into a five-storey wood frame building with forty affordable living units. Pending the outcome of an application to BC Housing, the suites will be studio and one-bedroom units. The centre applied for assistance via a Community Housing Fund. M’akola Development Services has applied for rezoning at the location.


Courtenay council has adopted a bylaw allowing Habitat for Humanity to construct twelve homes at 1375 Piercy Avenue. The project

will consist of three four-unit townhomes. Inspired Cannabis Co. at 623 Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay is now open daily. The City of Courtenay is partnering with the Community Land Trust Group of Societies to secure funding for a new model of housing in the community. They are applying to BC Housing’s Community Housing Fund program with proposals for three city-owned sites as potential locations for housing co-operatives (co-ops) at 152 1st Street, 645 – 725 Cliffe Avenue and 425 Duncan Avenue. Courtenay’s applications propose a mix of affordability levels and unit types for low and middle-incomes. To view their portfolio of projects in other communities, visit Forestry companies Western Forest Products Inc. and Interfor Corporation have agreed to follow Indigenous protocols pertaining to large cultural cedars set by a council consisti ng of Mamalilikulla, Tlowitsis,

January 2021

D E T N E C -S D R A W A

Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala, Wei Wai Kum, and K’ómoks First Nations, with traditional territories on northern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland. The Large Cultural Cedar (LCC) Operation Protocol outlines policies and procedures for those seeking to carry out forestry activities and secure permits to harvest timber in these Nations’ territories. It aims to protect culturally important large cedars, which are at risk from large scale logging, under traditional laws and jurisdiction.



The Strathcona Regional District has chosen McElhanney Consulting Ltd. to map the Salmon and White River floodplain encompassing Electoral Area A, the village of Sayward and the traditional territory of the K’omok’s First Nation. The mapping will help with the upcoming review of Sayward’s Official Community, future development, infrastructure and emergency planning. The Comox Valley Economic Development Society and Tourism Vancouver Island have entered into a service agreement, with TVI managing the Vancouver Island (Comox Valley) Visitor Centre, as well as managing tourism marketing for the communities in the Comox Valley. This agreement is effective January 1, 2021 and will be in place for two years. For more information, visit

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PORT ALBERNI The City of Port Alberni has hired Scott Smith as the new Director of Development Services/ Deputy CAO. He will oversee operations of the planning and building services departments, act for the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in his absence, as well as being directly responsible for the inventory, development and sale of Cityowned properties. Solda’s Family Restaurant at 4785 Beaver Creek Road in Port Alberni is offering dine-in and takeaway. Visit their Facebook page for their menu and hours.


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The Rollin Art Centre at 3061 8th Avenue in Port Alberni will reopen February 2nd, featuring pieces from its permanent collection. To find out more, visit The City of Port Alberni and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) have received grants from the provincial government to cover the costs incurred by COVID-19. The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District has received $485,000 in total funding from the province’s COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant, while the City of Port Alberni received $3,536,000. Alberni Brewing, currently under construction on Adelaide Street, has been named one of the province’s most anticipated new breweries in BC for 2021. The brewery was featured in the fall/ winter 2020 issue of The Growler, BC’s craft beer and cider guide. Visit them at www.facebook. com/AlberniBrewingCompany. Literacy Alberni Society has received a $340,000 grant to teach new online training programs, providing participants with online training in project management, design principles and WordPress, over two intakes. Anyone interested in finding out about the second intake running from February 8th to November 5th 2021, or other Community and Employer Partnership projects, can contact their local WorkBC centre. Mountain View Kitty Cottage & Pet Services at 7898 Beaver Creek Road in Port Alberni is open. The cat boarding and grooming business is Owned by Sheena Lokszyn, a certified vet technician with fifteen years of experience. Della Falls Water Taxi at 3198 5th Avenue in Port Alberni is now owned by brothers Zach and Noah Marley. The business offers water taxiing service from the Great Central Lake RV resort, as well as tours around the lake. For more information visit Jennifer Gillard has opened The Shear Lounge Hair Designs at 4306 Redford Street in Port Alberni.

January 2021

MOVERS AND SHAKERS PARKSVILLE & QUALICUM BEACH Former Parksville Qualicum Beach radio personality Dave Graham was awarded the Rotary Club of Parksville AM’s Paul Harris Fellow Award for his support of the Rotary and community. Semiahmoo Golf Centre Ltd plans to reduce the Eaglecrest Golf Club course at 2035 Island Highway West from eighteen holes to nine starting April 1st, citing economic factors and issues with the golf club’s lease agreement with the Town of Qualicum Beach. The town proposed a five-year lease with escalating rental rates to run from January 2021 to December 31, 2025. The ownership group rejected the town’s offer, and has declined to renew the lease. The Sapphire Room Restaurant at the Crown Mansion Boutique Hotel & Villas located at 292 Crescent Road East in Qualicum Beach is reopening February 5th under COVID-19 safety protocols. To make a reservation, call 250-7525776.


The Ministry of Environment announced the gravel, day-use parking lot at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park will be paved over at the cost of around $90,000. Rathtrevor Beach is one of twenty-four parks sharing $5 million in infrastructure funding. The Town of Qualicum Beach made a deal with the St. Andrew’s Lodge Historical and Cultural Society to shoulder the utility costs of the historic St. Andrews Lodge until the end of December last year, turning over the payment responsibility to the society this January. The society has agreed to take over operation of the heritage building once the group is officially established. Electoral Area F of the Regional District of Nanaimo will allocate $2.2 million from its community works funds for the construction of the Meadowood Community Centre project, with funds as well as the tender to be awarded to Dawson Wallace Construction for a value of $1,648.000. The project, led by the


MOVERS AND SHAKERS Corcan-Meadowood Residents Association, will be located on Galvin Place. The owner of 431 College Road wishes to demolish and replicate Qualicum College, as well as develop two multi-residential buildings on the property. If passed, the current zoning bylaw would allow for a 62-unit multi-residential development on the otherwise 40-unit maximum property. J&B Everything At Your Service, run by young entrepreneurs Jacob Stockton and Brett Wildeman has gifted $550 of their earnings to those in need, plus $1,500 worth of holiday items donated via family, friends and generous employers. The company offers everything from yard services to house painting, and much more. Contact them at 250-927-7695, or visit their Facebook page to learn more.


Copcan Civil Ltd. of Nanaimo has successfully bid to helm the building of a $3.3M roundabout at the intersection of Memorial Avenue a nd H ig hway 19A i n Q u a l icu m B e ach. Reconstruction of the intersection will increase public safety, calm traffic, improve services and reduce idling. The Pacific Prime Restaurant at the Beach Club Resort located at 181 Beachside Drive in Parksville is providing a unique outdoor meal experience, with three plastic domes accommodating up to six guests from within the same household or “social bubble.” Visitors can enjoy the view while adhering to BC public health guidelines. To make an appointment, visit their website or call 250-248-8999. T h e R e g io n a l D i s t r ict of Na n a i m o i s transferring ownership of the District 69 Arena to the City of Parksville in early January. The RDN board, Parksville council and the current operator of the arena, the Parksville Curling Club Society, agreed on the move. A single, new lease between the city and curling club will replace the existing leases, leaving the RDN with no further interests in the arena once the transfer is complete.

NANAIMO Nanaimo councillors are discussing a bid to host the 2026 BC Summer Games. A staff report noted the games add an estimated $2 million to the local economy. The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture provides $625,000 for the administration and operational requirements to successfully host the games. Nanaimo hosted the games in 1985, 2002 and 2014. Nanaimo council voted unanimously to support BC Ferries’ Island-class ferry “electrification program’’ at a recent board meeting. BC Ferries previously announced two hybrid diesel-electric ferries for the downtown Nanaimo-Gabriola Island route will arrive in 2022. The ferries are battery-equipped and designed for full electric operation once shore charging infrastructure and funding become available. The program will see modifications to existing Island-class ferries, upgrades to ferry terminals with rapid charging systems, up to seven Island-class ferries built domestically, and upgrades to affected terminals to accommodate the new vessels and implement systems for rapid charging. BC Ferries estimates the project will cost $1.19 billion. Paige Karczynski has been named as the new executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. The Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district has renewed the contract of superintendent Scott Saywell for another four years, extending his tenure to July 1, 2025. Scott, formerly district assistant superintendent, has been NanaimoLadysmith’s top school administrator since August 2018. The Regional District of Nanaimo’s transit select committee has approved support of a bus route between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley. Staff are recommending service consisting of six round-trips during morning and afternoon peak hours, with another round-trip midday and six roundtrips on Saturday. January 2021

The Regional District of Nanaimo is searching for a new chief administrative officer after current CAO Phyllis Carlyle told the RDN she would not extend her five-year contract, signed in October of 2016. Their goal is to have a new CAO in place by October of 2021. Vancouver Island University is expanding its Community Mental Health Worker program, now running year-round through online learning with up to twenty-eight students in each cohort. Students earn a certificate after the twenty-six week program, which is recognized by Island Health. Applications are open for the program, which starts March 15, 2021. The Gabriola Island Recycling Organization seeks a $103,000 grant from the Regional District of Nanaimo for a textile recovery/clothing recycling program. A plan submitted to the RDN notes the organization estimates the 10year, three-phased project could see a yearly decrease of about 23,600 kilograms of cloth waste at the landfill. It also projects about $118,000 in revenue after the first year. The recommendations go before RDN directors at their January 26th board meeting. COW ICH A N VA L L E Y + L A DYSM I T H / CHEMAINUS Stepha n ie Ba l la nty ne, Associate Broker with RE/ MAX Ocean Pointe Realty, has taken over as president of the Chemainus and District Chamber of Commerce, succeed i ng Paul McGregor. Stephanie Ballantyne

Seven streets in Downtow n Du nca n w i l l soon get Hul’q’umi’num names on their street signs, in addition to their English names. Duncan’s council unanimously approved the Hul’q’umi’num Signage Project, an initiative coordinated by the Downtown Duncan BIA, Cowichan Tribes and the City. The project began in 2019 when its three partners applied WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA

for a grant from the province’s Rural Dividend grant fund. Tammy Gurski, Jason Farrugia, and Renee Russell are the three newest directors of the board at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce. T h e C ow i c h a n Va l l e y Regional District applied for a grant of up to $350,000 fo r t h e M e s a c h i e L a ke Tammy Gurski Fire Hall retrofit project through the Canada Infrastructure Program – COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream. The fire hall needs showers, decontamination areas, upgrades to the heater system and building envelope and back-up power installed, amongst other work. The CVRD expects to be notified in March if it will receive the funding.




North Cowichan council has appointed Sandy McPherson, Neil Anderson, David Coulson, Cameron Campbell, Dr. Zoe Dalton, Dr. Shannon Waters, Ashley Muckle, Bruce Coates, Per Dahlstrom, Dr. Jana Kotaska, Dr. Jesse Patterson and Dr. Geoffrey Strong to the newly reinstated Environmental Advisory Committee.

Ladysmith-born actress Pamela Anderson is appearing on a stationary billboard near the Pat Bay Highway on the Saanich Peninsula and on three rotating electronic displays south of Duncan across from the Old Farm Market in support of the Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals in Chemainus, as well as advocating for a vegan lifestyle.

Drisht Preet has opened the first Canco Supermarket in Saltair. Located in the former Byron’s building, serving the largely rural community between Ladysmith and Chemainus. Mr. Preet also owns Canco locations in Chemainus, Duncan and Nanaimo.

North Cowichan’s council will utilize funds from its municipal forest reserve in 2021 due to the municipality’s forestry department anticipating a deficit of $592,000, to cover costs at the 5,000-hectare municipal forest reserve. The shortfall comes from council cancelling logging plans for the year while the forestry review on the future of the reserve continues.

With the construction of a new well in Youbou, the Cowichan Valley Regional District was able to utilize gas tax funding and system reserve funds to cover the costs of associated works to bring the new groundwater system online. Three new diesel generators were also purchased and distributed within the water distribution system, ensuring that it will continue to operate during any future power outages. The budget for the project was $305,000. With the in-house expertise of utilities staff, it was completed for approximately $260,000. The $15-million Malahat Skywalk project is expected to be completed late this spring or early summer. A.Spire by Nature, led by two of the founding partners in the successful Sea to Sky Gondola near Squamish, and the Malahat Nation have partnered on the project, intended to combine nature-based and cultural tourism experiences. Developer Fred Green wants to add another storey to his Jailhouse development at the site of the former RCMP station on Belaire Street in Ladysmith. With four storeys, the development will have twelve units of residential housing.

The retrofit and expansion of the Cowichan Aquatic Centre at 2653 James Street in Duncan is complete. The project was made possible in part through a $2.377 million Federal Gas Tax Grant. The expansion and improvements include the competitive pool deck, gym, group fitness rooms, and spin room, with new folding bleachers and private spaces for fitness consultations. An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) is being conducted by the Cowichan Valley Regional District until February 10, 2021 for Area G Saltair electors to adapt a bylaw for a Saltair water system service loan authorization of $3.7 million for water treatment upgrades. The AAP allows eligible electors within the Saltair water system service area to borrow up to $3.7 million for necessary upgrades to the system. If approved, the additional cost for taxpayers is estimated at $270 per property per year over the term of the twenty-year loan. The loan will spread the repayment over current and future Saltair property owners.

Wild Coast Perfumery has opened at 1721 Cowichan Bay Road, creating natural, artisan perfumes made in Canada. Visit their website at January 2021

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