Business Examiner Vancouver Island - June 2021

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May 2021


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There is a lot to celebrate right now. Business is moving back to normal one step at a time, with the province sticking to its word - so far - on the phased re-opening plan. Certainly there are industries like tourism and hospitality that are not yet out of the woods, but I am optimistic that changes in regional travel restrictions will provide the first step towards recovery for these sectors. One bright spot in BC’s economy over this time is the construction sector’s wild ride. New projects, rising housing prices, skilled labour shortages, crazy demand, these are all symptoms of confidence in the future of the province and the stability that we have been blessed with. People and businesses want to be here, and they are proving it with their spending. This edition focuses on Women in Construction & Trades. This industry is growing, and it cannot reach its full potential without participation from everyone. We are so pleased to tell you the great stories of organizations with female leaders, and the positive effects it is having on the industry. Alongside this feature, we have great content featuring the Nanaimo Bakery’s new owners, Coastal Community Credit Union, E.B. Horsman, and a whole lot more. Keeping battling, we are nearly there. 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 (





















BRITISH COLUMBIA – The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 12,638 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in May 2021, an increase of 178.2 per cent over May 2020 when the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a lockdown of the provincial economy. The average MLS residential price in BC was $916,340, a 26.2 per cent increase from $726,335 recorded in May 2020. Total sales dollar volume was $11.6 billion, a 251 per cent increase from last year. “Provincial housing markets continue to calm after peaking in March,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “The implementation of a stricter mortgage stress test in June may have a minor impact on home sales but we expect strong market activity over the second half of the year.” Total active residential listings were down 17 per cent year-over-year in May and dipped lower on a seasonally adjusted basis following two prior months of rising active listings. “On the supply side, markets in the Lower Mainland are seeing a strong supply response, with new listings rising,” said Ogmundson, “however, new listings in markets outside of Metro Vancouver have started to flatten out.”

PORT ALBERNI - San Group plans to invest $100 million into its Port Alberni forestry operations over the next year, company owner Kamal Sanghera announced Wednesday. The largest portion of the investment is between $50 million and $60 million as part of an agreement to ship lumber by container ships from the city’s deep-sea port. There are four projects that will see investment over the next year. San Group will spend $15 million in its Coulson Sawmill to create a second line capable of processing small, low-grade or odd-shaped logs. Another $15 million will see the new remanufacturing plant move into phase 4, more BO automation and CNC technology to keep up with global markets, Sanghera said. An additional $15 million will be invested at the San Specialty Sawmill on Hector Road to create a biomass facility. This will allow San Group to use shavings and sawdust from all its operations to create “green” energy. Between all of San Group’s entities in the Alberni Valley approximately 40 tonnes of waste is produced every day. Whatever they or neighbouring Paper Excellence paper mill cannot use, San Group will turn into pellets to sell. May 2021




The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that the housing market calmed slightly in May but is still the strongest experienced since 2016. May saw sales of 534 single-family detached properties compared to 590 in April, a dip of 9 per cent. In the condo apartment category, 150 units sold last month versus 133 in April, up by 13 per cent. In the townhouse market, sales dropped by 11 per cent, with 94 units selling in May compared to 106 the previous month. (Since the pandemic began at this time last year, and the economic lockdown significantly slowed down the housing market – at least initially – our usual year-over-year sales comparisons are not particularly helpful right now.) Slight upticks in active listings are opening up a few more opportunities for buyers, but inventory on Vancouver Island is still historically tight. Active listings of single-family homes rose by 9 per cent month over month while townhouse inventory increased by 5 per cent. In the condo apartment category, however, active listings dropped by 10 per cent from April. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that it would take approximately 2,500 new listings in the VIREB area to create a balanced housing market under current conditions. Sellers remain firmly in the driver’s seat, and many buyers face fierce competition in their home search. Multiple offers are the norm rather than the exception, and many homes are selling over the asking price. Continue story here.

VICTORIA – BC Ferries released its year-end results today for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 (fiscal 2021). The COVID-19 global pandemic has had a significant impact on the company’s operations and financial results. During the year, BC Ferries carried 13.1 million passengers and 6.7 million vehicles, a decrease of 40 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively, compared to the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 (fiscal 2020). These results represent a full 12-months of operations impacted by COVID-19, which has had unprecedented consequences to BC Ferries’ traffic and revenues over the year. However, BC Ferries expects financial results to continue to improve, in part due to Safe Restart funding and as the provincial economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic. The company remains optimistic that traffic will begin to return as more travellers become vaccinated and as the Provincial Health Officer eases travel restrictions. In December 2020, BC Ferries received $308 million through the Safe Restart Program, a federal-provincial initiative intended to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies. Assistance to the public transportation sector, including BC Ferries, has been a critical part of the BC Safe Restart Plan. Full details can be found here.



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WESTERN FOREST PRODUCTS FINALIZE LAND TRANSACTION Western Forest Products Inc. (Western) and Quatsino First Nation (Quatsino) announced the completion of an agreement for a wholly-owned limited partnership of Quatsino to purchase a parcel of Western’s private land near Coal Harbour. The purchase of the 172-hectare property, which is located on the east side of Stephen’s Bay at Coal Harbour and near Quatsino’s Subdivision 18, supports Quatsino’s longstanding goal to return its 595- member nation to a waterfront location for the community. In the coming months, Quatsino will engage with local stakeholders, including local government, as they work through the Addition to Reserve process, administered by Indigenous Services Canada, in the establishment of a new community for Quatsino Nation Members. The land will be used for community housing and the building of a Big House so Quatsino youth can practice their culture in a Quatsino Big House again. The agreement marks a significant step forward in the long-standing relationship between Quatsino and Western. Most recently, in September 2020, Western, Quatsino and the Province signed a Memorandum of Understanding that creates a framework for working together to pave the way towards greater predictability for sustainable forest management on the North Island. May 2021



TRACIE ST. LUKE Have you had to pivot your business in these fast moving times? If so, you may find yourself doing things differently, including your business’s finances. From adopting online banking to introducing contactless payment options, these may pose a learning curve to business owners, requiring guidance from your financial institution. Fortunately, help can come to you, and not necessarily the other way around. Your bank or credit union’s contact centre is an important resource to lean into—for product and services support but also education and helpful advice—beyond a brick and mortar branch. Even better, these experts are here for you when and how you need them, often with extended hours to fit your schedule. As one of the managers of Coastal Community’s Island-based contact centre (or as we like to call, the Relationship Centre), I know how valuable it is for business owners to be able to pick up the phone or chat online with one of our experts. We’re increasingly finding our Relationship Centre is the primary contact for many local businesses to help them with their day-to-day banking, and then some. WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA

Based on some of the common questions my team’s fielded recently, here are a few tips and tricks we’d like to pass on: 1. If your business sends or accepts things like e-Transfers, set up a separate business email address to avoid mixing business funds with personal. The Auto Deposit feature can also streamline things. 2. Check to see if your financial institution offers online banking made for businesses. This version often comes with options that can help your bookkeeper or accountant. 3. Apply for a business credit card through the contact centre. You can give your office manager a card to make purchases and even set different card limits for different roles in the company. One of our favourite things to hear from the people we assist is, “I didn’t know you could help me with that.” We want to break down the assumption that a bank or credit union’s contact centre is just for help with personal finances or minor things. At the Relationship Centre, we see ourselves as a seamless extension of our branches and insurance offices. To do this role justice, we offer the same helpful, proactive advice and strategies— just online or on the phone instead. Tracie St. Luke is the manager of the Nanaimo-based Relationship Centre at Coastal Community Credit Union. You can reach her team by calling 1.888.741.1010.






Donna Hais, General Manager of R.W. (Bob) Wall Ltd., says the company has started building a new medical building at the corner of the Island Highway and Norwell Drive, across the highway from Laird Wheaton and next to The Wellhouse, home o f R e e d Fa m i l y

Chiropractic. The site has been vacant for many years, and was once a service station. Steve Atkinson, who recently sold Taste of BC Aquafarms to Blue Star Foods Corp. of the U.S. late last year, says Taste of BC is about to start a very aggressive push for expansion. Their plan is to build at least 20, 1,500 ton annual production salmon RAS (Recirculating aquaculture systems). They have enlisted the services of engineering firm PR Aqua to help build the units.

Crescent. Andre’s Electronic Experts has opened a new location at 1875 Boxwood Road, j u s t a ro u n d t h e corner from a new Safeguard Storage facility, which is Michael Bortolotto across the road from Westcore Electrical & Mechanical’s impressive new building. Congratulations to United Floors Nanaimo upon celebrating its 35th anniversary in business. Tenz Café is opening soon at the corner of Wakesiah Avenue and Second Street. Congratulations to motivational speaker extraordinaire Michael Bortolotto upon recently celebrating 30 years in the business. Michael is in demand across North America, and he has written two books and is currently working on his third and fourth books.

Congratulations to Arlene Rolston, Corporate Secretary of the Port of Nanaimo, upon being re-elected as a Director of the BC Chamber of Commerce.

MTB Auto at 11 Cliff Street has received a grant from the BC Used Oil Management Association for a 10-foot modified sea container and 1,100 litre tank for recycling oil.

The Brud House has opened in the former location of The Buzz coffee shop on Dufferin

The City of Nanaimo is planning to spend $20 million to replace the existing Fire Hall

May 2021

NANAIMO #1 at the corner of F it z w i l l i a m a nd Milton Streets. Doug Holmes will return to the area as the new Chief Administrative Officer at the Regional District of Nanaimo Arlene Rolston starting Aug ust 23. Doug worked in management at the City of Nanaimo for many years, and most recently has been CAO for the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District. Greg and Troy-Anne Constable’s IWCD has received approval to move forward on building a 165-unit housing complex at 326 Wakesiah Avenue to suit Vancouver Island University

students. Upgrades to the exterior of the Harbour City Theatre Alliance Society building have been completed. Kudos to Karl Binder and the team at Saywell Contracting Ltd. on a job well done. Lauren Semple is the new General Manager of the theatre, taking over from Dean Chadwick. A new shopping plaza on Rocky Creek Road at the north end of Ladysmith has been given third reading by Ladysmith town council. The property would allow for a commercial plaza that includes a Starbucks coffee shop and Dollarama store. Very sorry to hear of the sudden passing of a long-time friend, Mike Mulder, the former marketing director at Chemainus Theatre. An accomplished musician who wrote “The

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NANAIMO Turkey Song”, a tune that was used regularly on The Tonight Show by host Johnny Carson, Mike moved from Vancouver Island years ago and was a successful businessman based in Ferndale, Washington. Besides his success in real estate and development, Mike helped start Skunky’s junk removal service. Former Nanaimo Mayor Graeme Roberts passed away in early June. Graeme was the former owner of Nanaimo Honda, and Cienar Drive is named from a combination of (Joe) Cunningham & Roberts, of C&R Toyota name. Graeme held a high profile since retirement, serving on numerous boards, including Air Canada, the BC Ferry Corporation, the New Car Dealers Association of BC and the Victoria Airport Authority.

Tilray Canada at Duke Point has launched Symbios, a new medical cannabis product brand, as well as Aphria topical treatments. Tilray and Aphria merged in December. Congratulations to Teri Palynchuk, board chair of the Nanaimo Curling Club, upon being named the winner of the Janette Robbins Award for leadership in curling by Curl BC Teri will also receive a Sport BC Presidents’ Award. Derek Lewis, Senior Regional Manager, Commercial Services, and Stuart Warner, AVP, Commercial Services, are pleased to note that as of June 21, the Coastal Community Credit Union’s Nanaimo Business Centre will be in its new location within their Harbourfront Centre branch in downtown Nanaimo, at 111-59 Wharf Street.


The former location of End of the Roll in Bowen Centre at 1925 Bowen Road will soon be home to a new Dollarama store. Mall owner Eldorado Development Corp. received approval from the city for a variance permit allowing for the new 10,100 square foot location. Congratulations to Coco Café in Cedar for marking 10 years in business. The popular eatery has expanded twice since it opened, and now offers catering and a retail food business, notes General Manager Melanie Atwell.

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May 2021


GOLF CLASSIC – OUR FIRST IN-PERSON EVENT IN A YEAR! The Com o x Va l l e y Ch a mb er of Commerce i n v i te s y o u to ge t y o u r gol f on at our first inaugural Golf Cl a ssic! O n Ju ly 23, we DIANNE HAWKINS will be hosting our Golf Classic at the beautiful Crown Isle Resort. Crown Isle not only boasts an award-winning Platinum rated golf course, but welcomes all skill levels, and their dynamic tee layout meets the needs of all golfers. With 12 lakes, views of the Beaufort Mountain range and the Comox Glacier, this 18-hole course is a superb location to get outside and play. We know that this past year has been stressful, so we are inviting the business community from all over to join us at Crown Isle, blow off some steam, and enjoy 18 holes of networking! While COVID-19 will change the format slightly, all public health guidelines will be respected, so you can enjoy a safe day of networking, fun, and golf. You can play in groups of four or by yourself and enjoy prizes and a host of sponsored activities. You will not want to miss out on this! Welcome to our new members! We appreciate you! Anderton Therapeutic Gardens Society, Far Fetched Grooming & Daycare WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA

and Univirtual Systems Inc. Dianne Hawkins is CEO of the Comox Valley Chamber For more information on what’s happening locally and advocacy at the Chamber, give us a call or email our CEO at dhawkins@ – We’re here for you! #Restart Comox Valley





June is all about supporting our local hospitality businesses who conti nue to adapt to the ever-changing restrictions and operating guidelines. In a small gesture of sol id a r it y, the Chamber is running a June SONJA NAGEL membership drive in support of Cowichan restaurants. Each business or organization that signs up for a new Chamber membership will receive a $25 gift certificate (purchased by the Chamber) to a participating local restaurant. Existing members can get in on the action too if a referral leads to a new member sign up. The Chamber’s Membership Committee Chair Chris Duncan, concedes that a few dozen gift certificates purchased may only be a drop in the bucket for restaurateurs, but says it’s about the bigger picture. “The Chamber has been in the forefront of the Support Local movement. This year’s membership campaign is about keeping that Support Local momentum going and continuing to put our money where our mouth is, so to speak”. The Chamber is also reintroducing in-person events this month with Wednesday Wellness Walks, an outdoor networking event promoting members to reengage with each other in a safe and relaxed environment. The Chamber designed this networking series to not only connect with the business community but also

to support the local restaurants in the area that are only beginning to get back on their feet. The intent behind these walks is to help Chamber members get back into the community, engage with each other and support local restaurants in the process. Each Wednesday Wellness Walk will feature a different trail with hikes for every skill level and will be followed by an optional lunch at a local restaurant. We have been met with lots of enthusiasm, as members are craving opportunities to once again connect in-person. We too are excited by the prospect of being able to hold networking and social events in the coming months, and we are already planning a Summer Barbecue in September and booking Speaker Series Lunches in the fall. The future is bright at the Chamber! Wednesday Wellness Walks will take place June 23 – August 25, wrapping up at the new Malahat Skywalk, Cowichan’s newest attraction. If anyone is interested in attending our walks or joining the Chamber in June (or anytime), we’d love to hear from you! Sonja Nagel is the Executive Director of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce.

May 2021


ISLAND CRISIS CARE SOCIETY BUYS NANAIMO BAKERY SUBSIDIARY PROJECT RISE TO OPERATE BUSINESS AS SOCIAL PURPOSE COMPANY NANAIMO – Island Crisis Care Society (ICSS) has purchased long-time icon Nanaimo Bakery & Confectionery Ltd. ICSS will officially take over the popular eatery July 30, and it will be owned and managed by a newly established social purpose company and subsidiary, Rising Hope Services Inc. The bakery and café will continue to operate under a new Social Enterprise designation as Nanaimo Bakery & Café, while allowing profits to support ICCS and their new Project Rise program. The venture will offer training and pre-employment skills to clients, supporting them on their path towards recovery and independence, and will continue to offer the same products and service customers expect. “We are thrilled with the opportunity to build a new avenue for programming and support that will benefit both our clients and our community,” says ICSS Executive Director Violet Hayes. “The Nanaimo Bakery is such a wonderful presence in our community. Now the bakery will not only provide delicious baked goods, but will support an opportunity for meaningful change for people who have not had hope in the past.” ICSS and Project Rise program offices will relocate to the 2025 Bowen Road, which will also include new community collaboration spaces. “Our vision is to develop a network of community WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA

con nections, off e r i n g e m p l o yment-ready clients the chance to develop job skills they need for independence,” states Corrie Corfield, ICCS Director of Development. “In addition to potential work experience Violet Hayes through the existing Bakery and Café, ICCS will be exploring opportunities for development of other social enterprise training in other areas, and to link with interested businesses in the community that may offer employment placements.” Besides client training, ICCS envisions meeting rooms for community events and seminars at the new premises, as well as learning and collaboration spaces which will foster dialogue and enhance community spirit. A press release states that the Bakery and Café will be another focal point for this, bringing people from all walks of life and parts of the community together in one space to support growth – and enjoy good food. For more information including how to get involved, visit https://www.islandcrisiscaresociety. ca/project-rise/



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WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION ON THE RISE 35% INCREASE IN SECTOR PARTICIPATION, WITH PLENTY OF ROOM FOR MORE BRITISH COLUMBIA - The number of women working in construction trades in British Columbia has gone up a whopping 35 per cent over the past five years. Yet that represents only 6.2 per cent of the actual workforce, a percentage that will undoubtedly improve in the years to come as women avail themselves of opportunities within the burgeoning sector, statistics released by the British Columbia Construction Association reveal. The value of current construction projects in the province is $120 billion, with

another $221 billion in proposed projects forthcoming. There are currently 25,784 construction companies in BC, 92 per cent have less than 20 employees. That’s up five per cent over five years, and along with that, there is expected to be 26,806 construction job openings in the province due to retirements and expansion, and 11,331 construction jobs are anticipated to be unfilled due to labour shortages by 2030. The average annual wage of construction employees is $63,168, and that number

May 2021

WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION continues to climb, due to a combination of labour shortages and overtime opportunities resulting largely due to those labour shortages. Kathy Price, Construction Administrator of Knappett Projects Inc., Chair of the Vancouver Island Construction Association Victoria Women in Construction Committee, points out there is plenty of opportunity now, and in the future, for women in the sector. Things have changed, to the point where Price says “we’re not proving ourselves – we’re working. “Today, nobody cares whether you’re a woman or not, they are interested in if you can do the job,” she notes. “They aren’t

Kathy Price of Knappett Projects Inc. is Chair of the VICA Women in Construction Committee


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VICTORIA - Since 1978, Van Isle Windows Ltd. has played an integral part in the renovation and new construction industries. Selling to Vancouver Island and Gulf Island customers, Van Isle Windows’ business consists of residential family home replacement and new construction, including multi-unit buildings. They’re an industry staple on the Island. “In the early days, Van Isle manufactured single glazed aluminum windows,” explains General Manager Linda Gourlay, who joined the company in 2010. “Today, we are the largest custom vinyl window and patio door manufacturing plant on Vancouver Island, and when customers want it, installation services too. We operate out of a 35,000 square foot state-of-the art factory and are in the unique position to not only deliver locally-built custom made windows and patio doors, but also provide efficient and timely customer service.” Having been in business for 43 years, Van Isle has both the experience and knowledge customers desire, with employees well versed and educated on all of the features and benefits of their products. The Van Isle team makes a point of providing clients with thoughtful, clear information that allows them to make the optimal buying decision. “Purchasing windows is one of the largest investments for a homeowner,” notes Linda. “We do our very best to provide our customers with meaningful information and an exceptional customer experience from start to finish so they can feel confident their money has been well-spent.”

Van Isle Windows General Manager Linda Gourlay

As General Manager, Linda oversees the entire operation of the company island-wide, working with managers and employees to provide the quality service customers have come to expect, and enact changes that have helped Van Isle Windows thrive. “Recently, we successfully launched the most efficient ENERGY STAR® windows on the market today. This was a significant investment, but has allowed us to remain competitive and maintain our ENERGY STAR® ratings in all our product lines.” Their willingness to take big steps has paid off over the years, with Van Isle growing steadily by almost 50 per cent since 2015. This has given them valuable opportunities to invest in manufacturing equipment and technology to meet growing demands. Concludes Linda, “Everything we do is expertly manufactured to meet the demands of our west coast climate and our valued customers. It’s fair to say, we are your Island Window Factory.”

May 2021


Left, Molly Taylor and right, Melissa Dupois, both soon to be Red Seal Electricians through VIU Trade School. They are currently in their 3rd term working with Integrity Electric.

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E.B. Horsman women at a recent annual general meeting



Electrical supply company E.B. Horsman & Son, one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, has a phrase that embodies their values, while being a play on in their name EBH: Everyone Builds Horsman. Founded in Saskatchewan in 1900, E.B. Horsman has 21 locations and 330+ employee owners across Western Canada - an increasing number of which are women. Renee Lytle, CFO, recalls when she started 24 years ago that the occasional branch would have a female and rarely in the warehouse. Now almost every branch has multiple women in every position. It’s a trend that continues in the traditionally male-dominated construction sector, and a key component to the company’s current and future growth. “Women are extremely important to our business,” notes Sereeta Khara, Human Resources Manager, at E.B. Horsman & Son’s head office in Surrey. “The construction industry has been leading by example by attracting and recognizing the women in their industry.” Externally, EBH is making a difference through initiatives such as sponsoring the BCEA Anti Racism Action Plan and participating in the EFC (Electro Federation Canada) and the BCEA (BC Electrical Association) Women’s Network with our very own Laura Dempsey as Chair. Internally EBH champions women and other URM (underrepresented minorities) through their Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Sereeta states the

more diversity in our companies and our industry, the better for everyone. “Diversity is at the core of our values and our success. Diversity of thought brings new ideas and energy into this fast paced world,” she adds. “Plus, it expands the recruiting pool by 50 per cent. We love seeing women in all positions from working the tools to management roles.” E.B. Horsman includes a staff-led Giving Back Committee to decide which worthy community organizations and causes to support. Various staff incentives include birthdays off, and maintaining a goal of providing 40 hours of training per year to each employee. “We want women to know we are here and there is a great career with us,” she says. “We have open communication in our company, and want to engage women and involve them in the evolution of this industry.” The company operates as one of Canada’s largest ESOPS and is majority owned by President and CEO Tim Horsman, a fifth generation Horsman, and the firm stays close to its small-town Western Canadian roots. “Historically our business strategy was to be in smaller communities to be close to our customers,” Sereeta observes. “Today, regardless of the size of the city our branch is in, we want deep roots in the community with our employees, customers, suppliers and giving back strategies.” May 2021

WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION questioning capability. That’s part of old assumptions and belief systems, and it’s been proven that we can do it now. I think that’s an important milestone.” Construction sector jobs are viable, and increasingly attractive, career opportunities. “Even at the entry level,” she states. “The provincial minimum wage was recently increased to $15.20 an hour, but minimum wage in the field of construction is going to start at $18-$19 per hour. Who wouldn’t want those jobs? They can buy their cars, they can go to school, and there is funding to attend school is available for a woman that wants to go to trade school.” Price has been in the industry since 1999, when she began working with construction projects at Home Depot. “I remember back then it (women in the construction industry) was starting to be accepted, but now, when I tell people I work in construction, it’s only the most ignorant that ask: ‘Are you in reception?’ 5 or 10 years ago, if I told people I worked in construction, they thought I was the receptionist, as that was a female-dominated role. “I have seen the difference in the attitudes, perceptions and receptions now. People don’t blink an eye when a woman says ‘I’m a carpenter’.” Rachel Mayer, Office Manager of Island Aggregates, is a member of the VICA Nanaimo Women in Construction Committee, runs the scale house, dispatching trucks and weighing them in and out at their operation in south Nanaimo/Cassidy. She observes



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more women have joined the membership. “T he first few years I was here, there weren’t too many members, but it definitely has grown a lot in the last few years, and the awareness which is wonderful,” she says. “The goal is to reach out to everybody, in any part of construction.” “It’s definitely growing more and more as the years go by, and that’s great to see.” Price concurs, noting that VICA’s Women in Construction membership is not just for trades people. “We like to remind people that when we say we want them to join us as a member, it’s all of them - the field engineer, the carpenter, the bookkeeper,” she adds. “We are all simply women working in the industry, and we stand together and work together to discuss

There are about 219,500 people employed in the construction sector in BC, which is down 3 per cent over the past 5 years

Victoria: 905 Fort St., Victoria BC V8V 3K3 Tel: 250-385-9786 Sidney: 2455 Beacon Ave., Sidney BC V8L 1X7 Tel: 250-656-1233

May 2021



The average annual wage of construction employees is $63,168, up 8 per cent over 5 years






LANTZVILLE – While the price of lumber has shot through the roof during the COVID-19 pandemic, surprisingly, the price of log homes packages have not. Laura Kandall, who owns and manages Norse Log Homes Ltd., notes that their homes are more affordable than ever when compared with today’s conventional framed house building due to the fact raw logs require less handling than three-dimensional lumber. “Lumber is processed very heavily, while logs are cut in the bush, taken to a sorting area, and delivered to us. There is very little handling involved, which means the price of logs during COVID hasn’t dramatically increased like other lumber has. “Recently certain types of lumber have gone up more than double the price, and to keep costs down for some customers, we are trying to remove as much framing material as possible and use logs as an alternative. Building a log rancher is less costly than building a typical two storey home now.” Kandall literally grew up in the business, as her father John Dahle started building log homes in 100 Mile House before the family moved to

Examples of Norse Log Homes Ltd. projects

Nanaimo to open Norse Log Homes Ltd. in 1984. “He saw Vancouver Island as a great opportunity as we have some of the world’s best wood, specifically Douglas Fir logs,” she recalls. “It made sense to be located at the source of the best Douglas Fir as we primarily build with it. It is a very strong wood and consistent in size. “The last few years have been very busy as carbon-neutral and energy-efficiency has become popular,” she notes. “Our carbon footprint is low and people love the natural building look more than ever.” Kandall notes the keys to Norse Log Homes’ success are the company’s commitment to quality and value, adding “we build as if our customers are our friends and try to offer the best advice we can to stay within their budgets.” Norse Log Homes builds new log homes worldwide as well as offering refurbishing of older log and timber homes locally. “We also specialize in staining and caulking products, and seeing an older home brought to its original glory is very rewarding,” Kandall adds.

May 2021

WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION all of the issues and reap the success.” Programs like Camosun College’s Women in Trades program have encouraged more women to get involved in the industry. “It is working, and that’s super,” she states, but adds that more women are also getting involved in engineering – civil, mechanical and electrical – as well. Opportunities abound. “We need more people,” she adds. April was BC Construction and Skilled Trades Month, and Knappett Safety Manager Cori Coutts and the Victoria office field staff were honoured with a Leadership Award from the BC Construction Association and LNG Canada, which sponsored the awards. Coutts oversaw the field team’s creation,

implantation and maintenance of safe job sites during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Knappett has had no COVID-19 cases on its sites to date. “For the first time in history, Knappett’s field staff were essential workers, and they were proud of it,” Price notes. BCCA P resident Chris Atchison stated: “Congratulations to these deserving winners for their achievements in protecting the construction workforce. These awards showcase just a few of the thousands of individuals that kept our industry going through the pandemic, workers who understand the importance of both mental and physical safety and have acted under extreme pressure with integrity and professionalism.”


Project Address

Project Type

Project Details



4537 Whispering Oak Dr

Residential new

SFD & suite

KSD Holdings Ltd


Central Saanich

8150 Thomson Pl

Residential new


Maximilian Huxley Construction



2020 White Birch Rd

Multi-family add/alter

Balcony renewals

Method Eng & Building Services


View Royal

244 Island Hwy

Multi-family new

Condominiums - 37 units

Resthaven Residences



624 Strandlund Ave

Multi-family new

Townhouses - 3 units - 485 sm

Khataw Development



902 Ludlow Rd

Commercial new

Office & warehouse - 21,208 sf

Windley Contracting Ltd


Nanaimo Applications

600 Ninth St

Multi-family new

Townhouses - 4 units

D Akers Property Solutions



6439 Portsmouth Rd

Multi-family add/alter

Interior alterations - 34 units

All Professional Trades Services


463 Hirst Ave West

Multi-family new

Townhouses - 4 units

Tectonica Management

Port Alberni

10360 Bishop Dr

Residential new


Ryan Irg Construction


Alberni/Clayoquot RD

10412 Marina Vista Dr

Residential new


M Mesic Construction Ltd



2310 Guthrie Rd

Mixed-use dev

Townhouses - 6 units

Benco Ventures


3297 Eagleview Cres

Residential new


Candor Developments


Campbell River

2251 Dalton Rd

Residential new

Duplex - 335 sm

Sturdi Construction



590 Marine Dr

Multi-family new

Triplexes - 6 units - 6,588 sf

AFC Construction




$510,000 $1,800,000



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 5108 NWT Ltd 2700-10155 102nd St NW, Edmonton, AB PLAINTIFF Simek, Stefan CLAIM $265,704 DEFENDANT Alliance Realty Associates Inc 770B Hillside Ave, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Caissie, Paul CLAIM $11,176 DEFENDANT AFC Industries Ltd Aquaterra Corporation


25th Flr 700 West Georgia St, Vancouver, BC Dr Elizabeth A Johnstone Inc CLAIM $14,201 DEFENDANT BC Black Orchid Agency 475 Nicol St, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Amex Bank Of Canada CLAIM $13,015 DEFENDANT Canadian Springs Water 895 Station Ave, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Dr Elizabeth A Johnstone Inc CLAIM $14,201

DEFENDANT Canadian Springs Water Company 895 Station Ave, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Dr Elizabeth A Johnstone Inc CLAIM $14,201 DEFENDANT Central Island Communications Ltd 202-58 Station St, Duncan, BC PLAINTIFF Camosun College CLAIM $28,535 DEFENDANT Champion Canada International ULC 2900-550 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Bye, Birgit Maria CLAIM

$25,716 DEFENDANT D Chalifour Construction Ltd 8111 Lorenzen Lane, Lantzville, BC PLAINTIFF Titan GMS GP Inc CLAIM $50,329 DEFENDANT Daily Free Press Ltd 225 Vancouver St, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF JF Pipers Hospitality Holdings Ltd CLAIM $475,000 Gordons Homes Sales Ltd 210-3260 Norwell Dr, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Bye, Birgit Maria CLAIM

May 2021




DEFENDANT Neal & Associates Realty Inc 770B Hillside Ave, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Caissie, Paul CLAIM $11,176

DEFENDANT Painters Lodge 1625 McDonald Rd, Campbell River Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Alsco Canada Corporation CLAIM $16,689

DEFENDANT PW McCallum Roofing Ltd 11-850 Shawnigan Mill Bay Rd, Mill Bay, BC PLAINTIFF Marsh, James CLAIM $13,778

DEFENDANT North Coast Hotel Resort Ltd 1625 McDonald Rd, Campbell River, BC PLAINTIFF Alsco Canada Corporation CLAIM $16,689

DEFENDANT P i l l a r To P o s t H o m e Inspectors 467 Davida Ave, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Hudyna, Ronaye CLAIM $25,176

DEFENDANT QC Nails & Spa Ltd 4th Flr 931 Fort St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Vong, Thieu Quan CLAIM $35,156

DEFENDANT Woodgrove Pines Wellness Clinic Ltd 102-6135 Metral Dr, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Clark Pacific Snow Inc CLAIM $12,437

DEFENDANT Rain Man Roofing 409-1055 St George Cres, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Edwards, Linda Ann CLAIM $15,553

DEFENDANT JE Anderson & Associates 1A-3411 Shenton Rd, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Buck, Dave CLAIM $5,287

DEFENDANT Oyster Bar Liquor Store Ltd 3230 Singleton Rd, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF JF Pipers Hospitality Holdings Ltd CLAIM

DEFENDANT Powerhouse Sheet Rock Ltd 201-19 Dallas Rd, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF AFC Industries Ltd CLAIM

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DEFENDANT Wakesiah Apartments Inc 280 Wakesiah Ave, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Clark Pacific Snow Inc CLAIM $35,216





MARK MACDONALD With inflammatory rhetoric, divisive discourse and policies that pit one sector of society against another – with no apparent middle ground – what is happening in North America? Let’s start with this country. Canadians have now elected a Trudeau as Prime Minister six times, which will most likely be seven if and when the next federal election is called. It is clear that the Trudeau family has a vision of Canada that, while successful in its goal of gaining government, ostracizes and minimizes those outside of Ontario and Quebec. The Liberal brain trust correctly recognizes that all a political party needs to gain power is win those two provinces. Thus their concentration on policies that ensure that dominance and centralization remains.

Pierre Trudeau‘s National Energy Policy immediately doomed Alberta’s economy starting in 1980, stifling that province’s economy with unprecedented limitations that middle-aged Albertans recall bitterly to this day. The reduction of Alberta’s economic clout, while ensuring central Canadian dominance, also became a rallying cry, encapsulated with “The West Wants In” that prepared the way for the Reform/Canadian Alliance/ Conservative wave that resulted in a decade of Stephen Harper. Canadians rejected more Harper for Justin Trudeau‘s “sunny ways”, and the west was “rewarded” by more policies that cripple western Canada’s economy. Punitive legislation restricts pipelines east, south and west, although they begrudgingly, eventually gave the go ahead to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. The impact of every major energy policy decision this Trudeau has made mirrors that of his father. Little wonder that Albertans’ distrust, even hatred, of Trudeau grows, and the flames of separatism continue to be fanned. What does Alberta get out of remaining in Canada except restrictions to its right to extract and export its resources? What does Alberta get in comparison to what it contributes financially, in terms of equalization payments – compared to Quebec, for example? There yet remains enough cooler heads in Alberta to tamper down calls for separatism. Premier Jason Kenney, who some believe looked at success in rejuvenating that province as a springboard to

May 2021

OPINION head back to Ottawa and lead the Conservatives, has been loath to engage in that conversation. Perhaps only personal ambition stands in the way of heightening separatist dialogue – but Kenney’s unpopularity isn’t enhancing any possible future national goals. Will that change? At what point does Alberta say “enough”, and states it wants out of Canada? And what does it mean to Alberta that Trudeau proclaims that Quebec has the right to declare itself a nation. If Quebec, then why not Alberta? Or others? The Trudeau “vision” of Canada seems to be embodied in weaker east and west. The Maritimes hopelessly cycle back and forth between hoping for federal government handouts from Ottawa. They are true dependants. Western Canada? Its great economic strength is resources, and Ottawa clamps down on that. Look at Ottawa’s handling of fish farming. One decision, and instantly, 1,500 jobs evaporate off the BC coast. To be replaced by what? Again we ask: If Trudeau says Quebec can become its own nation, then why not Alberta? Or even all of Western Canada? Meanwhile, south of the 49th, our neighbors are split right down the middle: Democrat/Republican; left/right. That chasm continues to expand, with bitter, divisive words from both sides. Fervent Democrats/Republicans view their opponents as enemies of the United States, and there is no voice, or apparent appetite, to douse that dialogue. The only enemy, it seems, is compromise. Can the United States keep United? There are increasing discussions about states seceding from the Union to pursue the fiscal and moral path of their own choosing.


Both sides are at fault, but is there a willingness to meet in the middle, somewhere, to calm the storms of verbal civil war before it becomes another call to arms? Government-forming parties in both countries – and provinces - must be willing to compromise with those they’ve defeated, and determine to serve all constituents – not just the ones who got them elected. That includes introducing policies that work for everyone, while calming the conversation and eliminating war-mongering words that cast their opponents as evildoers. Without that, how can Canada and the U.S. remain as functioning, unified countries? Maybe that’s what this is all about – tearing down both countries from within, just like Ancient Rome. That’s something we can learn from history, if we dare to learn from it and purpose to not repeat it.

Dig deep with the frontline leaders of our economy


From the Trenches British Columbia business stories and commentary





NANAIMO – Expert design work and craftmanship enabled Oakwood Business Park to capture the Award of Excellence in the Industrial category in the 14th Annual Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards on May 7. Oakwood, at 1925 Boxwood Road in the Green Rock Industrial Park, is owned by Camargue Properties Inc. (Group Denux) of Victoria, and was designed by Alfred Korpershoek of dHK Architects. Robin Kelley, President/Partner of Camargue, states “The beauty in this was that Alfred the architect designed something that looks great and is also functional. This is often a major issue with what we see with newer industrial. It is either designed for one use and one user, or it looks bad. Having the two work together is the challenge.” The beauty in the design is in the building’s functionality. Too often industrial buildings are often functional and bland or beautiful and impractical, and this building merges the two worlds together. Built on spec, it was fully-leased prior to completion. The interface with the street and natural green features, along with accent panels from Abet Laminati, Congratulations to Groupe Denux from manufactured in Italy, dHKarchitects sets it apart. on your success with Oakwood Business Park! Korpershoek adds Oakwood features “an appropriate and balanced design solution in form Exceptional design and trusted service a n d c h a ra c te r fo r a 250.585.5810 | |

Oakwood Business Park offers functionality and beauty

warehouse that can be divided in individual units. Every unit has a unique front facade that slightly differ from every other unit as the individual elements were arranged from a toolbox of repeating elements and colours.” The Oakwood buildings have been designed with the end user in mind. Unique to the market, features include rear loading spaces from 2,000 to 24,000 square feet, along with ample truck marshaling and clear ceiling heights. Optional exterior storage yards are also available. For transportation logistics, the park is located adjacent to the Island Highway as well as many local transportation corridors, and provides multiple amenities for visitors, business owners and employees alike. These include close proximity to restaurants and grocery stores as well as a bicycle repair station and park like area. Storm water management were treated by a natural swale, and the developer, Windley Contracting Ltd., spent significant funds to rehabilitate what was a failed natural drainage zone. May 2021


EXPANSION BRINGS QUALICUM BEACH AIRPORT TO NEW HEIGHTS Q UA L I C U M B E AC H – T h e Qualicum Beach Airport addition and alterations project was named a Finalist in the 14th Annual Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards May 7. Ingleton Construction Inc. was the General Contractor, and Carsten Jensen Architect Inc. was the Architect/Designer for the project, which involved an addition to the restaurant, some interior alterations, and a thorough updating of the exterior appearance of the airport, which dated from the 1970’s, and was showing its age. It now has an appearance which Qualicum Beach Airport addition was a finalist for the VIREB 2021 Awards is more appropriate to the air gateway to a dynamic small community. Local beginning in 1954. In 1957, the province transstone masonry, cedar soffits, silver fascia, a ferred 160 acres of Crown land to the Town of larger restaurant with a generous patio, more Qualicum Beach for airport purposes. spacious seating and better airside views are In 1986, the runway was widened to 75 feet and featured in the new look. in 1989, the runway was extended to its current The Qualicum Beach Airport has been in existlength of 3,564 ft. In1996, runway lights were ence since 1954 and serves Qualicum Beach, installed to permit extended hours of operation Parksville and the surrounding area. With full in the summer and winter. fuel service, paved runways, and good parkThe airport has provided scheduled passening availability, the airport provides a transger service since 1975 and in 1991, the airport portation gateway that is both accessible and terminal was constructed. The airport serves convenient. a “niche” market offerOperators based at the airport include ing passenger service to Sunwest Helicopters Ltd. - a commercial Vancouver, Tofino, Texahelicopter company, SkyDive Vancouver da/Gillies Bay and Powell Island – a sky diving enterprise, Sealand River. Congratulations Flight – a flight training, flight seeing airIn 2007, the town inon your craft charter and rental company, and the stalled sewer and water Final Approach Restaurant. Over 45 private service to the airport prosuccess! aircraft and members of the Qualicum Beach viding support to both Flying Club frequently use the airport, at hangars and future de250-248-9261 1-866-248-9261 1000 Ravensbourne Lane. velopment. The airport The Qualicum Beach Airport was built by also provides a location for volunteers of the Qualicum Beach Rotary Club, 24-hour Medivac services. WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA



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

Submit your company’s announcement to:


NORTH ISLAND The federal government has awarded a $5.7-million contract to a Florida company to remove bulk fuel from a vessel that sank in 1968 off Bligh Island Provincial Park. The work is expected to start in mid-June and take several weeks. Dr. Prean Armogam presented the Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society with a cheque for $10,000 that will go toward a new roof at the seniors centre. This was the second donation he’s given to the society, after previously donating $5,000 to another cause. The new roof for the seniors centre will cost $27,000. The Port Alice Neucel Specialty Cellulose Pulp Mill’s decommissioning price requires an increased price tag, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), who has been managing the bankruptcy process for the defunct location. PWC asked and received at a recent court appearance approval of an increase in the Receiver’s Borrowing Charge from $17 million to $39.743 million.

CAMPBELL RIVER C&L Supply has a new location at 330-1100 Homewood Road CR. They have the right tools for the right job. www.clsupplyrentals. com. Wesley Cade has been recognized for his contribution to the community by the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association for his contribution to the Campbellton Community Gardens, where he works as a volunteer coordinator. The Strathcona Regional District is pursuing funding to do housing needs reports for its electoral areas, applying for $15,000 for each of its electoral areas, for a total of $60,000. A deadline was set for housing reports to be available by April 2022. Klahoose First Nation has nominated Klahoose Chief Kevin Peacey to once again fill his current role, of which he was the only submitted. This will be the third time he has been May 2021

FEATURE STORY nominated for the position. The Klahoose election will be on July 17th. The unstaffed recycling depot at the Campbell River Sportsplex w ill be closed permanently effective July 1st. Kevin Peacey

T h e Ca m p b e l l R i ver Hospita l Au x i l ia ry is celebrating its 65th anniversary. They’ve already generated $785,310 for Campbell River and District General Hospital this year alone. After 15 years as administrator for the Campbel l R iver A rts Cou nci l, Heather Hughson is moving on to focus on her art. She will continue to volunteer on the board of the Patrons Of The Arts. COMOX VALLEY The Village of Cumberland is considering an offer from the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce for a sponsorship arrangement, passing a motion to add funding to the 20222026 financial plan bylaw for the agreement with the Comox Chamber of Commerce in support of Cumberland’s business and economic development interests. Comox Valley Dodge is relocating to the vacated Canadian Tire site at the intersection of Ryan Road and North Island Highway, taking possession of the site June 21st, with plans to open the dealership this fall, possibly by mid-October North of Hadrians Custom Kilts has opened a second location at 106-364 8th Street in Courtenay. Registration for the 2021 Comox Bike Co. YANA Ride is open. Between August 1-15, WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA

participants can choose when and where to ride to raise pledges in support of the charity’s funding and accommodation programs that help children and pregnant mothers required to travel outside of the community for medical care. There will be an online auction with bike gear and accessories, along with other items to bid on. Prizes for every fundraising rider and top fundraiser prizes will also be included. Register or donate here. T he BBQ Cleaning Co. is a new Comox Valley business that comes to homes to clean and even assemble barbecue grills for their clients. Give them a call at 236-489-0089 (ask for Richard), or book an appointment on their website. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation has received a Mines Act permit application for a gravel pit in the Union Bay area from the Union Bay Estates development. The proposed operation would run for no longer than 10 years. the site, which is on private land, is approximately 13.5 km south of Courtenay along Highway 19A, then west on McLeod Road for about 400 metres to an access road to the north side. The maximum annual tonnage to be extracted if approved is 49,000 tonnes. The province has referred the proposal to the Comox Valley Regional District. Cheryl Clancey has joined the team at Island CPAP. Cheryl has 20 years of experience working in CPAP therapy. New produce market Portside Produce has opened, with stands at the corner of Comox Avenue and Port Augusta Street, the site of the old Lorne Hotel. PARKSVILLE-QUALICUM H a l l m a rk Ch a n nel s e r i e s Ch e s a p e a k e Shores recently filmed at the Parksville


MOVERS AND SHAKERS Community Park at the gazebo, along the waterfront walkway, and along the Salish Sea Drive near the curling rink. Devlin Electric Signs has relocated to Unit C8, 1401 Springhill Road. Nanoose Bay’s VI Equipment Ltd. has pledged to donate $10,000 to Arrowsmith Search and Rescue (ASAR) over the next five years. The Parksville-Qualicum Community Foundation Grant also made a donation of $4,000 to help fund the ASAR’s 2021 training programs.


The Society of Organized Services recently received $100,000 toward its $1-million Project Rebuild campaign from Anne and Don Cameron. SOS is a volunteer-based non-profit organization meeting the needs and improving the lives of District 69 residents since 1968. For more information on SOS Project Rebuild, visit

T he City of Parksville a nd the Town of Qualicum Beach agreed to provide letters of support to the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) on behalf of Arrowsmith Search and Rescue (ASA R) to increase their annual funding, provide a one-time capital grant, and for the RDN to buy out ASAR’s current facility in Hilliers, which is shared jay with the Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire An Ind Department.


Barb and Tom Pope, owners of the Parksville Mulberry Bush Book Store, have sold their business to new owners Kristie and Kevin Lauer. They will be taking over the Thrifty Foods Centre location on July 1st, renaming the store Sea & Summit Bookshop. TOFINO-UCLUELET T he Pac R im Home Development Cooperative is asking Ucluelet Municipal

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MOVERS AND SHAKERS Cou nci l for a 2 .5-acre pa rcel of la nd to bu i ld a neighbou rhood of approximately 40 nonmarket, affordable rental homes. T he proje ct i s expected to cost roughly $8 m i l l ion, a nd wou ld be operated by the Brendan Morrison cooperative. Businesses would be able to purchase an equity share, which would entitle them to one u n it to house a n employee. T he cooperative has launched a survey to gauge interest in the project and collect data from local business owners at Former N HL star Brendan Morrison’s popular Tofino Saltwater Classic philanthropic fishing derby is coming back from July 10-11. More information can be found here. Tofino Urban Farm Co. is selling five-gallon buckets of high-quality mulch compost for


$5. For $10, gardeners get a five-gallon bucket of the finely sifted compost. Tofino Urban Farm Co. has diverted about 67 tonnes of organic waste from the West Coast Landfill in a p i l o t p ro g ra m i n v o l v i n g c o l l e c t i n g fo o d s c ra p s f ro m Sh elte r, Sh e d , L o ng Beach Lodge, Gaia, Rhino Coffee and ten other businesses/offices, plus 40 households. The Tofino Gallery of Contemporary Art has officially opened at 105 – 430 Campbell Street behind Rhino Coffee. A public hearing was recently held for a major housing development across from Ucluelet’s Big Beach on Lot 16 at Marine Drive. The proposal submitted by MacDonald Gray Consultants on behalf of Nored Developments involves a mix of housing, including a 48-unit rental apartment building, six singlefamily lots, 30 smaller single-family lots and 28 townhouse units. To learn more about the project, click here.



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The provincial government’s Healthy Watersheds Initiative has allocated $1 million for a Clayoquot Sound Watershed Recovery Initiative that will see the Central Westcoast Forest Society partner with the Hesquiaht, Ahousaht, and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations to restore critical salmon populations. The initiative is expected to create at least 25 jobs and will include technical training and certification for local workers. The Tofino Hatchery was presented a $10,000 donation from TCH Contracting to go toward building Chinook salmon stocks in the Cypre River. They also received $4,200 from Wardo West Tofino Sportsfishing toward the same project. Tofino surf photographer Marcus Paladino’s first book, Cold Comfort, has been released. Signed copies can be purchased at Mermaid Tales Bookshop. Roar, a new restaurant that cooks on live fire, has opened at 1258 Pacific Rim Highway in Tofino. PORT ALBERNI T y n e S i e r m achesky has joined the AV Financial Team as an office administrator. The Port Alberni Bombers h ave n a me d Gaela n Patterson their first head coach and general manager. G a e l a n , a n a t i v e of L a Ronge, Saskatchewan, was a seventh-round draft pick Tyne Siermachesky for the Calgary Flames. Jowsey’s Furniture is celebrating its 74th anniversary with a sale. Visit them at 4975 Johnston Road, or check them out at www. May 2021



The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) is planning to use some of its provincial COVID-19 restart grant funding to improve trail systems in the Alberni Valley, including expansion and bridge replacement for the Alberni Inlet Trail. ACRD staff will spend $18,000 for an engineer to complete a design and cost estimate for the construction of the bridge. The ACRD is also looking at expanding Maplehurst Park, and will use $20,000 of the funds to create a management plan, which will include public consultation and will determine how much it costs to upgrade the park.










Bare Bones Fish & Chips is now open at its 4824 Johnston Road location with a brand new look.

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Brad West is celebrating 29 years with McGill & Associates Engineering. Gayle’s Fashions at Kingsway Crossing off Argyle has new summer clothing arrivals to choose from. Visit them or go online at w ww. Port Alberni Coastal Community Credit Union Commercial Services is financing the commercial development project at 4721 Johnston Road in Port Alberni’s Commercial Revitalization By Law Zone. Coastal Community’s teams will be relocating from the current Port Alberni Branch and Insurance Agency locations to occupy two-thirds of the newly constructed building in the summer of 2022. The new integrated location will deliver retail banking, commercial services, insurance and wealth management services. Huu-ay-aht First Nations and BC Housing have partnered to develop the Oomiiqsu Mother Centre at 4305 Kendall Avenue, which will provide housing and support services for Indigenous mothers and children. Oomiiqsu will be a two-storey building with 16 living WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA




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MOVERS AND SHAKERS units, administration offices and meeting rooms. The province will also provide more than $700,000 i n f u nd i ng to create 2 4 child-care spaces. Construction is set to begin soon and is estimated to take 16 months. Tori Wickheim


Michelle Hall

NANAIMO N a n a i m o -b a s e d c o ns t r u c t ion m a n a gem ent firm, Tectonica, has added Construction Manager Tori Wickheim and Director/ Administration Michelle Hall as new partners. Tori originally joined Tectonica in 2017 as a site foreman, while Michelle joined in 2007 as an office manager,

both moving up the ranks over their ensuing years with the company. The Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) has a new website. Construction of Nanaimo’s new fire station is on schedule and on budget thus far. Regional District of Nanaimo’s directors approved a plan to borrow more than $11 million from the Municipal Finance Authority of BC for the building, which is being constructed by Capex Projects, under a 20-year term. The city passed a bylaw in April authorizing borrowing of up to $17 million. Thus far, the city borrowed $3.2 million in 2018 and $2 million in 2020. Firefighters could begin occupying the Fitzwilliam/Milton Street complex as early as April 2022. Hakai Energy Solutions h a s ex pa nded to Nanaimo with a new location on Old Victoria Road. They offer commercial and residential solar solutions to clients located across the Central and South Island. www. Christine Meutzner, Nanaimo Community Archives manager, was presented with an award of recognition by the British Columbia Historical Federation for her advocacy of Nanaimo heritage and history for nearly 25 years.



Tyler Brown, a City of Nanaimo councillor, will join Bill Yoachim, Snuneymuxw First Nation councillor; Brent Edwards, SnawNaw-As First Nation councillor; Charlene Everson, K’omoks First Nation councillor; and Aaron Stone, Cowichan Valley Regional District chairperson and Ladysmith mayor, on the Island Corridor Foundation’s board. The BC government has directed $775,000 toward addressing homelessness in Nanaimo. The money will go to organizations May 2021

MOVERS AND SHAKERS supporting people experiencing homelessness while working to reduce homelessness, supportive housing, tenancy support services, community outreach, and more. The United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island a nd the Nanaimo Homeless Coalition a re two organizations that have earmarked the funding for their various endeavors. Ladysmith Chronicle publisher Andrea Rosato-Taylor is retiring after 36 years in the newspaper business. Megson FitzPatrick Insurance Services has expanded and opened its Nanaimo office. T he new office is located at 96 Wallace Street. Marianne Stolz is a new Managing Broker at NAI Commercial Central Vancouver Island. T he City of Nanaimo is looking to buy the old Jean Burns building site for a potential downtown transit exchange in the future. The Marianne Stolz city has started a process to acquire the property, along with two other properties on the block. The city will examine whether to relocate the downtown transit exchange, currently located on Front Street, to Terminal Avenue. Nanaimo city councillors voted to consider $750,000-$1 million in amenity improvements at Westwood Lake Park when they begin budgeting for 2022-26 in the fall. Potential improvements would include increased parking, new or renovated washrooms, a new playground, expansion of the first beach, additional picnic and special event areas, and more. Money for the improvements could come from reserves.


Regional District of Nanaimo d irectors have approved a contract Radius Contracting Inc, to construct a $659,100 skate park on Gabriola Island. $567,354 of the project cost came from grants from the federal and provincial governments, with $69,000 raised by the community. Ground has been broken on the condo development project at the former site of Dalby’s Automotive in Ladysmith at 201/203 Dogwood Drive. Construction is expected to take at least a year with an estimated move-in ready date of spring 2023. COWICHAN VALLEY The BC government recently announced funding for 47 affordable housing projects across the province, including the renewal project planned for Duncan Manor, as part of the govern ment’s i nvestment of $1.9 billion over 10 years in affordable rental housing through the Community Housing Fund. The non-profit Duncan Housing Society, which operates the Manor, a three story, 122-unit building on First Street that offers below-market independent housing for seniors and persons with disabilities, applied for funding in January from the CHF program for work that could see a new, expanded facility with approximately 300 units when completed. A new laundromat is in the works at the Peters Centre in Lake Cowichan. Cowitan, a new tanning salon located at 187 Kenneth Street in Duncan, will open for business on June 25th. Cowitan will have a retail section with beach-related merchandise, including beach towels from the Tofino Towel Company, bathing suits for men and women, sun glasses, visors, fanny packs and more.


MOVERS AND SHAKERS The Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Arts and Culture Division have been awarded a Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategies Grant of $47,000 and project assistance through the Pivot Program of $45,000 supported by the British Columbia Arts Council. The Digital Strategies Grant will be used to fund free online learning workshops to build digital capacity for the Cowichan Region’s arts community and the Pivot Program will support development of a community-focused digital studio space for video and audio creation, recording, and editing at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.


Paper Excellence recently announce the first barge successfully loaded with chips produced by Atli Chip Limited Partnership, a new First Nations partnership for the Company. The Atli Chip Limited Partnership in Beaver Cove is majority-owned by Atli Resources LP, with minority stakes owned by

Paper Excellence and Wahkash Contracting Ltd. Atli Resources LP is the forestry arm of the ‘Namgis First Nation. Wahkash Contracting Ltd. is a stump-to-dump logging contractor specializing in remote logging in coastal BC. As part of the partnership, Paper Excellence entered into a chipping services agreement to receive all the chip and hog production from the facility. The chips will be consumed by one of four coastal mills owned by Paper Excellence located in Powell River, Port Mellon, Crofton, and Port Alberni. Rachael Scott-Screaton is the new owner of the Brass Bell Pub in Crofton. Dean’s Marine Ltd. has moved to 5295 Chester Road in Duncan. Duncan & Company CPA Cloud Accounting Firm is looking for a new manager. For details on the role, click here.

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