Business Examiner Victoria - June 2019

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JUNE 2019


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VICTORIA Nu-View Homes Hits Grand Slam With First Development Project


Revenge of the Nerds: Geeks Take Over Victoria’s Beaches Geeks on the Beach Looks to Expand Beyond Canadian Shores

VICTORIA OneTouch Celebrates 20th Anniversary With Major Announcements




INDEX News Update


Digital Marketing


Greater Victoria


Saanich Peninsula




ICTORIA - White sand, salty water, and a team of nerds; that’s the perfect recipe for an award-winning full-service digital marketing company. Fo u n d e d b y Jon at h a n M ichaels (who responds the title Über Nerd), Geeks on the Beach full-service web agency, prov id ing web design, on line marketing, and search engine optimization services to companies all over the Island and beyond. After over a decade in business, the growing company has offices in Victoria and Parksville, and is looking to open a third on the island of Bali. SEE GEEKS ON THE BEACH |  PAGE 27

Tourism 28 Movers & Shakers


Opinion 34 Contact us: 1-866-758-2684


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Consultant Teaches Multi-Billion Dollar Business Practices to Local Contractors MT Construction Advisory Services Takes Island Builders to Another Level


ANCOUVER ISLAND “Build better builders.” That’s the mission of Island-based MT Construction Advisory Services Ltd. Now operating for nearly two years, the boutique advisory firm has been instrumental in transforming Island construction enterprises, bringing decades of

industry expertise to companies of all sizes. “I have been fortunate in my career to have worked with some of the biggest and best contractors in Canada (and internationally),” says owner Mark Taylor P.Eng (Non-Practising), G.S.C. “This has exposed me to business management techniques

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and systems that are proven to increase operating efficiencies, minimize costs, and maximize profitability.” Taylor’s three decades of frontline industry experience includes 18 years working for PCL, Canada’s largest General Contractor. “I rose through the ranks at the company and learned a lot about

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running a construction business at almost every level,” he says. “After working in the company’s Toronto office, I made a family lifestyle choice about four years ago and moved to Vancouver Island.” A fter work i ng w ith a loca l SEE MT CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 8



JUNE 2019

VICTORIA Terminal Welcomes Eight Millionth Passenger V i cto r i a C r u i s e S h ip Terminal at Ogden Point recent ly welcomed its eight-millionth passenger to the cruise ship terminal. Meghan Lorenzon and her spouse Brent Petkus of Florida were welcomed by Lekwungen Dancers at Pier A South after offloading from the Norwegian Joy. Upon their arrival, the couple was presented with the option to either take a Victoria Pedi-cab tour to dow ntow n fol lowed by afternoon tea at Fairmont Empress, or a coach tour to The Butchart Gardens. The Victoria Cruise Ship Terminal at Ogden Point is Canada’s busiest cruise ship port of call – welcoming more than 260 calls and 700,000 passengers throughout the 2019 season. The 333-metre-long Norwegian Joy, is in her inaugural season, carrying 3,883 passengers. Features of the ship include a two-storey go-kart race track, outdoor laser tag, virtual reality amenities,

a 4D theatre, an aqua park and a mini golf course. The harbour authority expects the terminal to welcome its 10-millionth passenger by 2021.

The unemployment rate dropped 0.3 per cent as the amount of people searching for work decreased sharply following little change over the past three months.



Unemployment Rises While Labour Force Grows

Trillium Village Opens Building Addition

The Greater Victoria area saw its unemployment rate rise in April, losing its status as the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The region recorded an unemployment rate of 3.6 per cent in May 2019, an increase of 0.5 per cent compared with the previous month. The increase did however coincide with an increase in labour force participation from 197,100 to 199,400. Vancouver and Kelowna both share the second-lowest unemployment rate in May at 4.2 per cent, while Abbotsford-Mission recorded a rate of 5.6 per cent. The province collectively recorded an unemployment rate of 4.3 per cent, a figure 1.2 per cent lower than the national rate of 5.4 per cent.

Trillium Village celebrated the grand opening of its facility at 333 Wale Road. The center is part of the Trillium West Shore Village residences in Colwood and features 60 one- and two-bedroom units. The affordable senior care residences are described as active homes, wherein the building provides access to day to day amenities on the main floor. Amenities at the space include a computer room, fireside lounge, pub, theatre, gym, salon, entertainment room and a self-service café. Each one- and two-bedroom unit in the facility comes with in-suite laundry, walker and scooter storage, patios, storage lockers, two-burner cooktops and accessible showers. SEE NEWS UPDATE |  PAGE 3

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Move-ins to the new structure began in March and nearly 60 seniors are already living in the building. Ten units in the new building are still available, starting at around $2,550.

VICTORIA Victoria Residents Inducted to Order of BC Three Capital Regional District residents have been appointed to the Order of British Columbia. The appointees are Patricia Carney of Saturna Island and Murray and Lynda Farmer of North Saanich. Carney was a member of the Senate of Canada for 18 years, worked as a business columnist for the Vancouver Sun and Province, was a founding director of Arthritis Research Canada and an accomplished Member of Parliament. Murray Farmer served on the University of Victoria (UVic) board of governors as chair and served two terms as university chancellor, while Lynda served on the Camosun College Foundation and the college’s board of governors. Together they established the Farmer Walk of Excellence to honour former UVic athletes and coaches and have also helped to expand the Victoria Foundation. The induction ceremony will be held for recipients and invited guests at Government House on June 28. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the prestigious Order of British Columbia.

VICTORIA Real Estate Sales Grow Through Spring A total of 848 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this May, 12.3 per cent more than the 755 properties sold in May 2018 and a 21.8 per cent increase from April 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 3 per cent from May 2018 with 244 units sold and were up from April 2019 by 20.2 per cent. Sales of single-family homes were up 9.6 per cent from May 2018 with 445 sold. “We are seeing lower activity than we have experienced in recent years for spring home sales,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “Of course, this is not surprising given consumers are impacted by the B20 mortgage stress test, as well as ongoing lower inventory levels. Despite this, we have seen an increase in May for sales over last year. Prices remain strong in the lower price ranges, with little change in our benchmark prices when compared to last year.” There were 3,019 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate

Board Multiple Listing Service at the end of May 2019, an increase of 9.7 per cent compared to the month of April and a 26.1 per cent increase from the 2,394 active listings for sale at the end of May 2018. The Multiple Listing Service Home Price Index benchmark value for a single-family home in the Victoria Core in May 2018 was $886,200. The benchmark value for the same home in May 2019 decreased by 2.9 per cent to $860,800, higher than April’s value of $843,500. T he MLS HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in May 2018 was $506,100, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in May 2019 increased by 2.6 per cent to $519,300, higher than April’s value of $512,700.



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Province Holds Highest Inflation Rate in Nation The province of British Columbia is experiencing the highest increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) according to a recent report published by Statistics Canada. The CPI rose by two per cent in April 2019 in the year-to-date while the province saw an increase of 2.7 per cent, the highest rate in Canada. April marked the seventh consecutive month that BC led Canada’s CPI inflation rates. One of the reasons for the boosted rate is that prices for energy as a whole rose by 0.7 per cent in April while gasoline prices themselves rose 10 per cent compared with the previous month. Gasoline price increases came as a result of refineries switching to summer-blend fuels, soaring global oil prices due to production cutbacks and carbon levies. Canadians also paid more for transportation, with air transportation prices up 6.6 per cent while they continue to rise year-overyear. Food prices also rose 2.9 per cent nationwide in April compared with the same month last year.

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BC BC Ferries Introduces Term Limits An amendment was recently passed to the Coastal Ferry Act, resulting in three BC Ferries board members being forced to resign. The amended act sets term limits of board members at a maximum of eight consecutive years, resulting in the resignations which took effect on May 22, 2019. The members forced to resign include chair Donald P. Hayes, P. Geoffrey Plant and Brian G. Kennings. John Horning has been named the incoming chair and SEE NEWS UPDATE |  PAGE 4

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commended Plant, Hayes a nd Ken n ings for their years of service to the crown corporation. During their terms, BC Ferries raised and invested over $1.5-billion in the province’s coastal ferry service, added 11 new ships and strengthened BC Ferries’ environmental initiatives.

VICTORIA Graving Dock To See Improvements

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The federal government recently announced that they plan on refurbishing two massive water-tight doors at the Esqu imalt Graving Dock by the end of 2020. Within the past four years, $175-million has been spent on improving the graving dock and on remediation. The nearly 1,200-footlong graving dock is an enclosure where vessels can be floated in and water can be drained for workers to access the ships. Once installed, the upgraded doors to the dock will last the dock another three decades. The




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project will include work on electrical and mechanical systems as well as corrosion protection. The Esquimalt Graving Dock is a federally owned property that is rented out for shipbuilding and repairs on publicly- and privately-owned ships. Work is expected to begin in the next few months and costs for the project have not yet been announced. A l o n g w i t h t h i s a nnouncement, Qualtrough has announced a $3.4-million contract with BC Hydro to install distribution lines to supply the dock with power.

VICTORA First Nations To Buy BC Hydro Land A conditional sale agreement has been signed for the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations to acquire 4.5-acres of remediated BC Hydro land in Rock Bay. T he l a nd s a re on t he traditional territory of the Lekwundgen people and are adjacent to a three-acre plot of land that were also remediated and transferred from the feds to the First

Nations in 2016. The properties combined cover 7.5-acres and provide some promising development opportunities for the First Nations. The development portion of the project will be dealt with by Matullia Holdings, the First Nations’ corporate body, though no plans have been made yet regarding what to do with the property. The land on the northern edge of downtown is on the waterfront on the west side and is next to Government Street on the east. Bay Street runs near to the north of the property and the land is situated around Rock Bay. These lands were among the most contaminated in Canada, costing nearly $140-million in public money and taking almost 12 years to clean. Roughly 290,000-tonnes of contaminated sediment were hauled from the site. While plans for the site have not been made, the First Nations plan on holding a significant equity interest in the property. The sale is expected to be finalized in early 2020 and terms of the sale have not been released. SEE NEWS UPDATE |  PAGE 25


JUNE 2019





hile my nieces and nephews anxiously await report card results and the looming threat of summer school, your business’ digital grades are available in real time, all the time. Critical online measures like Business Listings, Reviews, Social Media, Website performance, Digital Advertising and SEO are a statement to current and potential customers as to how you stand up against the competition. How many different places are your company’s name, address, phone number and website listed online? Not a big deal to you? Google cares, and so do the people trying to find you. Are you responding to reviews – both positive A ND negative – on Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook and the Better Business Bureau? It matters, now nearly 75 per cent of the population views the rating beside your Google My

Most businesses are doing really well in a few areas online. But rarely, if ever are they doing well across the board Business page the same as a personal recommendation from a friend. Beyond responding to reviews, are you proactively seeking them out from your customers? The responses have the ability to provide major insight into problems you didn’t even know you had. How about socia l med ia? A re you managing all your channels from one simple dashboard? Are you posting on multiple channels on a regular basis? Are you monitoring posts for potential leads, or what the competition’s next promotion will be? What about your website? Is it optimized for mobile? Is the content loading quickly? Google and the other major

search engines place a big priority on these things. Are you actively marketing online to develop new business? W hen a customer searches for the competition, are you paying to come up first? Are you advertising to them as they walk into

competitor offices and stores? Most businesses are doing really well in a few of the 5 areas outlined. But rarely, if ever, is a company doing well in all 5. For most businesses without a large marketing department it can be challeng i ng to have good on l i ne g rades across the board. Thankfully there’s outside help that can do the work fast a nd more cost ef fect ive t h a n most people. The Business Examiner’s digital division, BE Digital, is offering free online marketing assessments through our Snapshot Report service for the months of June and July. I f you’d l i ke to k now where you r business stands online, relative to the competition, email, using the subject line “Report Card”. John MacDonald is the Director of Business Development with the Business Examiner News Group. Call him at 604.751.0819, or visit

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GREATER VICTORIA Named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine in 2019 as one of the top 10 tax boutiques in Canada.

JUNE 2019

STANDING UP FOR BUSINESS IN GREATER VICTORIA CHAMBER EVENTS FOR JULY • Wednesday, July 3 Summer Social Series: Distillers Dinner at the Farm Bilston Creek Farm (4185 Metchosin Rd.)

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We are are pleased tototo announce that We pleased announce thatthat We pleased announce Dwyer Tax has been named oneoneone Dwyer Tax Law has been named Dwyer TaxLaw Law has been named ofthe the national tax boutiques of national top10 taxtax boutiques of nationaltop10 top10 boutiques CATHERINE HOLT ha mbers of comby Canadian Canadian Lawyer magazine. by Canadian Lawyer magazine. by Lawyer magazine. merce were foundalmost 500 years Thank you to our clients and peers Thank you and peers Thank youto toour ourclients clients and peersa go toedhelp merch a nts for this and recognition. for this honour honour and recognition. for honour and recognition. stand up against threats


faced by ordinary people t r y i ng to do bu si ness. We’ve come a long way from organizing protection against marauding bandits and fighting repressive royal decrees, but Vancouver Island’ s Premier Vancouver Island’s Premier Vancouver Island’s Premier pernicious risks remain. Over the centuries, Tax and Estate Planning and Estate Planning TaxTax and Estate Planning ch ers h ave pl ayed Boutique Boutique 900 Douglas Street, Victoria Boutique 900 Douglas Street, Victoria 900--1175 -1175 1175 Douglas Street, Vic keya mb roles as cheerleaders TTT250 360.2110 F 250 250 360.2110 F 250 360.0440 250 360.2110 F360.0440 250 360.0440for economic development a nd stewa rds of pol icy resolutions that help business thrive. And we continue to be staunch defenders of good business. T h e G reater Victor ia B E A R M O U N TA I N R E S O R T / V I C T O R I A Chamber of Com merce recently took the lead in sta nd i ng up for a loca l company that unexpectedly found itself the target of a municipal motion that would have killed the business. Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt h a s c o u r te d p l e n t y o f media coverage for endorsing controversial positions that divide people i n to o p p o s i n g c a m p s . This form of populism is BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME HERE!

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impacting democracies everywhere, from Brexit to Donald Trump, and is effective on both the right and left of the political spectrum. The danger is that this approach to power requires negative emotions that force people to overlook reasonable arguments and make choices without fully understanding the consequences. As a non-partisan organization, The Chamber does not endorse any candidate or party and we take care to scrutinize all levels of government with the best interests of business in mind. But when Victoria council entertained a motion that would have effectively destroyed the horse carriage industry, we made the decision to not only oppose the proposal but also call out the councillor who made it. The motion to phase out horse carriages in Victoria was perplexing in itself, coming after the city and the industry had spent considerable time and effort to ensure there were rules and regulations to ensure the wellbeing


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of horses a nd sa fety of motorists. City staff and council had also recently completed a comprehensive process to formalize a strategic plan to keep them focused on climate change, housing affordability and other pressing issues. Horse carriages were not among the priorities outlined by council. W hen T he Chamber ca l led Isitt on th is, we s t r u c k a n e r ve. T h e re had been a groundswell of people who had had enough. A rally sprung up — essentia lly spontaneous, though helped by the fact the issue lit up the phone lines at CFAX, after the station reported on our opposition. T he motion was set aside, and tremendous scrutiny has followed every controversial comment Isitt has since made. Times change, but we can never be complacent about who we choose to represent us in government, and what we allow them to do once elected. Catherine Holt is CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Pacific FC Raising $5M Field House


ANGFORD – Pacific FC is building a $5-million indoor field house, the largest in BC. The facility is under construction on the West Shore Parkway on land leased from Langford and is being paid for by the Canadian Premier League professional soccer club.


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Once complete, the 55,000-square-foot facility will be for Pacific FC training sessions. The facility will also be made available for rental by other organizations ranging from national clubs to youth teams in soccer, football, lacrosse and rugby. The facility will be able to be sectioned off into smaller-size configurations as needed. While the Greater Victoria area has a reputation for providing a mild environment for training, it does rain regularly in the winter. Once complete, the field house will serve as an option for rain or shine training. The structure is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Upgrades on Westhills Stadium are underway and will be complete by August 24th, when a grand opening celebration is to be held.


JUNE 2019



ICTORIA - Design-builder Flashhouse is shamelessly modern. Founded six years ago by Ian Roberts M.Arch, LEED-AP, the firm began with the vision to focus on creating stunning modern homes in the Greater Victoria Area. “When I first started, I was very strict about doing only modern homes,” says Roberts. “We had opportunities to design-build homes that would have been major contracts for us, but we turned them down because they weren’t modern.” Today, that initial rigidity is paying off. While the industry standard conversion rate from query to job is about 10 per cent, the Flashhouse conversion rate sits around 70 per cent. The company’s success is primarily due to Roberts’ passion for modern architecture and eye for detail. His homes have been featured in magazines and books, and some have already established themselves as iconic structures in prominent Victoria neighbourhoods. When asked why his company

Ian Roberts M.Arch, LEED-AP is the founder of Flashhouse

has decided to focus on modern design-builds, Roberts responded, “It’s hard enough to do what we do without being passionate about it. W hen it came to design-builds, I needed to be true to what I believed in.” Roberts completed his Masters degree in Architecture in 2006 and received his LEED AP (accredited professional) designation about a decade ago. After working in several architecture firms, he decided to leave his desk job a nd pu rsue a more hands-on approach to his field. I n t h e s p r i n g o f 2 013 , h e

founded Flashhouse, allowing him build the type of homes that he is so passionate about. “T here’s a lot of tech n ica l academic discourse about what modern architecture is, but ultimately, modern isn’t a style; it’s a way of being and a way of thinking,’ says Roberts. “Early modernists characterized modern buildings as being a ‘machine for living.’ Like a machine, a modern structure has just the right amount of parts. You don’t go to a machine and cover it in decorations. It has everything it needs to function and nothing that it doesn’t.”

This minimalist philosophy attracts homeowners from a variety of age ranges. Owners of Flashhouse homes include everyone from young families to retirees. “I built a house for a one couple who moved from a large mansion-type home to one of our projects,” says Roberts. “They had never lived in modern before, and they instantly fell in love. I find that people often don’t realize how much they want this kind of living until they have a chance to experience it.”


“Early modernists characterized modern buildings as being a ‘machine for living.’ Like a machine, a modern structure has just the right amount of parts. You don’t go to a machine and cover it in decorations. It has everything it needs to function and nothing that it doesn’t.” IAN ROBERTS FOUNDER OF FLASHHOUSE




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construction company, Taylor founded his own firm. “I have three seperate avenues of business,” he says. “My main one is working with contractors.” Taylor noticed a large number of smaller to midsized trades and general contractors on the Island that were achieving success a nd were ready to grow, but needed some guidance. “They know they need to get over the hill, but have no idea what the other side of the hill looks like or how to approach it,” he says. “I can help them with that. Having worked with companies of different sizes, I have a good idea of how to get ready for what’s next. I help answer questions like: ‘How do I structure the organization?’ ‘How do I figure out processes?’ or ‘How do we manage our costs?’” Along his journey, Taylor connected with the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA), leading into his second main stream of his business, instructing. “T he p eople at V IC A were often asked to prov ide t ra i n i n g for f ield staff,” he says. “It just so happens that training supers for planning and scheduling was one of my roles at PCL. I created a course called Planning for Foremen. “Teaching courses like this have taken me all over Canada. I was recently in Toronto for a week teaching, and have been to Halifax, Winnipeg, Kamloops, Lethbridge, Va ncouver Prince George, and other communities. It has really taken off.” R e c e nt ly, Taylo r h a s beg u n to tackle a th ird area, working with designers and consultants who are preparing to send their designs to contractors. “A lot of times, designers will put a set of drawings together and put them out on the street without a real u ndersta nd i ng of what contractors are actually looking for,” he comments. “I’ve done a couple of projects now where I critique the constructability of a project before it goes out for tender. I advise the designer what contractors

Mark Taylor, owner of MT Construction Advisory Services Ltd.

“I have been fortunate in my career to have worked with some of the biggest and best contractors in Canada (and internationally). This has exposed me to business management techniques and systems that are proven to increase operating efficiencies, minimize costs, and maximize profitability.” MARK TAYLOR OWNER OF MT CONSTRUCTION ADVISORY SERVICES LTD.

are looking for and how to appea r less r i sk y to bidders.” In u nder two yea rs, Taylor has already helped dozens of construction b u s i n e s s e s re a c h n e w heights. These companies have ranged from trade cont ractors pu l l i ng i n under $1 Million per year to genera l cont ractors bringing in $30-40 Million per year. Through each of these consultancy relationships, Taylor’s ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ is “to shatter the glass ceiling of what is currently acceptable as a profit margin for contractors, while maintaining

(and even increasing) their competitiveness.” Taylor states t h at he wouldn’t have been able to do what he does without the support of his family. “My wife Helen is always there as a sounding board and someone I can bounce ideas off of,” he says. “She has always been there and supported me throughout my career, and never once compla i ned when we were bouncing all over the country with PCL. The same goes for my kids, who have been through a lot of moves before we finally settled on the Island.” To find out more, visit


JUNE 2019





l i m ate scient i sts have been soundi ng the a la rm for some time. Many of you will have heard of young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and her now famous speech to the World Economic Forum in January in which she urged us all to “... act as if the house was on fire. Because it is.” T he acknowledged cr i si s-state of t he environment has sparked activity at the local level, where municipalities, including the three on the Saanich Peninsula, as well as the Capital Regional District, have entertained

(some have passed) motions declaring a Climate Emergency. Reaction at the municipal and regional level is highly appropriate given most of our count r y’s i n f ra st r uctu re i s controlled by these levels of government and they/ w e h a v e m u c h to l o s e economically, environmentally, and from a community health perspective were da mage resu lti ng from climate breakdown to occur. Think of the devastation wrought by forest fires and flooding. The main goal of the local declarations of climate emergencies is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Is that enough? Cutting emissions is an important start. Influencing others to do the same is important. Recently, in Vancouver, Cou nci l adopted a climate emergency plan that arrived at “si x big moves” for pollution reduction. The six areas of action a re: 1) Wa l kable complete communities. 2) Sa fe a nd conven ient active transportation and transit. 3) Pollution-free cars, trucks, and buses. 4)

Zero-emission space and water heati ng. 5) Lower carbon construction. 6) Restored forests and coasts. In addition to these targets, Vancouver council also approved an impressive list of 53 “accelerated actions” that will ramp-up local action right away. Vancouver is an inspiring example of municipal leadership in this regard. Let us also be seen to be a c t i n g a s i f ou r hou se was on fire and use public money to support the urgent opportunity rather than subsidizing the economy of the past.

Since 1985, Alliance Engineering Works has been a leading provider of structural steel and miscellaneous metals to Vancouver Island’s residential, commercial, institutional and industrial sectors.

Denny Warner is the Executive Director at the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

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ultural diversity in the workplace was once simply considered the right thing to do, however, research has now confirmed that it positively impacts company profitability. In the McKinsey & Company “Delivering through Diversity” report, a strong correlation was found between ethnic diversity in the executive team and stronger profitability. In their 2018 findings, companies sitting in the top-quartile for cultural diversity were observed to be 33 per cent more likely to have industry-leading profitability. At its base, the importance of a diverse workforce lies with the differences in employee perspectives. These perspectives, which are formed as a result of one’s experiences, environments, and knowledge, can provide for enhanced context,

discussion and ways of looking at opportunities. The more culturally diverse the workforce, the more varied the perspectives, and the greater the opportunity to create new ideas and strategies. Although there are many benefits to having a culturally diverse workforce, it is important for employers to consider how they will create and manage their multi-cultural teams. Here are some key points to consider: Be Respectful and Curious: It is important to ensure that all team members are respectful and willing to understand and learn the differences across cultural norms and work styles. In a culturally diverse environment, there may be differences in how individuals work within a team, how they manage uncertainty, and their attitudes towards leadership. Encourage team members to put in the effort to better understand each member within the team, where they come from, and what expectations they may have around tackling work. Encourage Informal Brainstorming: Barriers related to language differences or cultural norms may make it difficult for an employee to feel

comfortable contributing to a project or task. One way to overcome this is to encourage informal brainstorming led with open-ended questions such as “how do you think we should approach this project?” to encourage equal participation. It is vital to ensure that each member of the team feels as if their voices are being heard and their ideas are respected. Celebrate Diversity and Enjoy Commonalities: To build a strong multi-cultural team, it is important to create a culture where diversity is celebrated and commonalities are explored. Diversity within teams can be celebrated through the use of a multicultural calendar (Canada’s Multicultural 2019 Calendar), or through a potluck where everyone is invited to bring a traditional food item from their cultural background. Through this celebration of diversity, team members can learn more about each other, identify commonalities, and build relationships; all vital factors in ensuring a strong and productive team . Ally Smit is part of the Chemistry Consulting Group team.




arlier this year, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce announced its support of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. This voluntary standard, which has been around since 2013, was developed through the joint work of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Bureau de normalisation du Quebec, and CSA Standards. The Canadian Chamber acknowledges the importance that a healthy workplace has on a company’s competitiveness. “As adults spend more waking hours in the workplace than anywhere

else, healthy work environments play an essential role in maintaining positive mental health and high productivity amongst employees. If unaddressed, the impact of mental health problems on lost productivity, due to absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover, will cost Canadian businesses $198 billion over the next 30 years. This is a cost our members can avoid.” One of the WestShore Chamber of Commerce’s members is an organization that works to support mental health every single day. Pacific Centre Family Services Association (PCFSA) has been providing counselling and supportive programs to all ages for over 50 years. On May 1 they launched the EPIC Campaign in Support of Mental Health. “EPIC” is short for “Encouraging Possibilities in Community” and this campaign aims to raise awareness of mental health as well as funds to support PCFSA’s continued good works. Does your business support community-based mental health services? If so, business owners and

managers are encouraged to get involved by first and foremost having a conversation with PCFSA staff. The EPIC Campaign is designed to be tailored to the needs of businesses and other donors, creating an opportunity that will be useful for all parties. Ideas include but are not limited to choosing PCFSA as an events beneficiary, offering top up at the till to customers, or donating a percentage of sales for one month to the EPIC Campaign. If you are interested in finding out more about the EPIC Campaign, please contact Kara Ross at 250-208-0728. You can go to to learn more about available mental health training and resources, as well as detail on the National Standard. This is also the place to access the toolkit to help you implement the Standard in your workplace. Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at


JUNE 2019

WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION Changing Construction Landscape Demands Diversity Labour Shortages, Technology, and Societal Changes Bring More Women into Construction Industry BY ROBERT MACDONALD


erhaps more than ever before, the doors are wide open for women entering the construction industry. With rapid changes in technolog y, a n econom ic boom, and labour shortages hitting Vancouver Island, construction leaders are sounding the call: more women are needed in the construction industry. Perhaps the most significant issue driving the push for increased workforce diversity is BC’s labour shortage. Last yea r, BuildForce Canada’s annual report included the following summary of BC’s construction industry: “British Columbia’s near-term growth outlook is strong relative to other Western provinces, but much of the available surplus workforce released from A lberta when the oil price fell in 2015 and major project activity declined, has already been absorbed in British Columbia or by other provinces. Relying on SEE WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 12

This Builder’s Code would expand the definition of construction safety beyond physical standards to include stress or distraction caused by discrimination, bullying, hazing, or harassment


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CITTÀ GROUP PAVES WAY FOR WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY “For many years now, Deborah Patterson Boasts Over Three Decades Working in Victoria Construction Industry


ICTORIA - Città Group has been a construction industry pioneer for decades. Deborah Patterson, who co-founded the company with husband and business partner Bill Patterson in 1985, has been clearing the way for more women to enter into the traditionally male-dominated industry. Today, Città Group’s divisions include Città Construction, Città Interiors, Città Millwork, and a development division. Its team includes designers, construction managers, carpenters, apprentices, labourers, and skilled joiners. “For many years now, we’ve given women opportunities to participate in non-traditional roles,” says Deborah. “This company has been including women since day one, and we continue to embrace the roles of both men and women throughout Città Group.” The company boasts a high percentage of females, far exceeding the provincial and national averages for gender diversity. With decades of experience fielding both males and females, Città Group has developed a strong reputation for treating both male and female employees with respect and dignity. Rachel, who has been with the company for about a year and a half, states, “This company has a really nice staff. They were very supportive when I joined, offering lots of information and

we’ve given women opportunities to participate in nontraditional roles. This company has been including women since day one, and we continue to embrace the roles of both men and women throughout Città Group.” DEBORAH PATTERSON CO-FOUNDER OF CITTÀ GROUP

technical help with things, and treating me like one of the gang. Throughout my construction career, Città has been the best employer I’ve worked for so far.” Vice-president and construct ion m a n ager at Città Construction Mike Dalton regular experiences the benefits of diversity on his team. “I n ou r compa ny, we see a value in having both men and women on our team,” he says. “It’s not positive or negative on either side; it’s just different. The difference in perspective rounds out our company with alternative viewpoints, and we’re better for it.” When conducting job interviews, Dalton will typically bring in one of his female co-workers to provide additional perspective on the applicant.

A bathroom in one of the units at Poet’s Corner

The women of Città Group “T hough women have been working in the industry for a number of years, we’re seeing more women take on hands-on roles, especially over the past five to seven years,” says Deborah. “On job sites, I’m seeing more female trades people in fields like carpentry and painting. We’re also seeing more women take on management and leadership roles. Until recently, one of our finishing project managers was a woman who had been in the role for over a decade.” “Every year is getting better and better,” she continues. “There has been a huge change f rom 20 ye a rs a go, a nd t he amount of acceptance we’re seeing is great.” Completing commercial, luxury home, multi-family, and planned community divisions within Greater Victoria and beyond, Città Group aims to be a one-stop shop for design, construction, development, and finishing services. Deborah heads the company’s interior design division, Città Interiors. Capitalizing on its reputation for custom cabinetry, the company founded Città Millwork, which designs, fabricates, and installs custom cabinets. To find out more, visit www. Città

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The Poet’s Corner subdivision, a major Città Group project

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JUNE 2019

continues to challenge ourselves

A workforce shortage is one of the main driving factors behind a coordinated campaign to bring more women into the construction industry


We are proud to be a female owned and operated business employing an all female team, and we greatly support Women in Construction in Victoria.

reach peak demand requirements.“ This report showed that the next decade will likely see the exit of nearly 41,000 skilled workers due to retirement or mortality (about 22 per cent of the current labour force). This is contrasted with an estimated 33,000 first-time new entrants expected to be drawn from the local 30 and younger population. “Construction in BC is undoubtedly faci ng a sk i l led worker shortage, even though we’re making tremendous strides in appealing to youth, women, Indigenous populations, and new Canadians,” said BC Construction Association (BCCA) President Chris Atchison in a 2018 interview. “We must stay committed to a progressive culture shift in construction and embrace necessary changes. This includes ensuring a safe and productive workplace for everyone. “In essence, we’re reach i ng out to non-traditional sources of labour and construction, especially targeting youth. T he ag i ng constr uction work force,

where two-thirds are 45 or older, simply won’t be able to fill all of the job opportunities. We want to embrace all labour sources, and need to ensure that the safety standards and measures of productivity endure no matter how the face of construction changes.” In the coming decade, the province’s population growth is expected to average about one per cent per year, and migration is poised to become the key driver of BC’s aging population. With the gap between births and deaths continuing to narrow, the recruitment of non-traditional sources of labour and construction is crucial to ensure the well-being and continued growth of the industry. For this reason, many industry professionals are campaigning to create more inclusive workplaces to accommodate a growing number of female tradespeople. In its recently released National Summary covering the years 2018 to 2027, BuildForce projected that the present skilled labour shortage that is impacting SEE WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 18


JUNE 2019




irst time at bat, the new kids on the block not only hit the development industry equivalent of a home run – they landed a Grand Slam. At the April 17 Vancouver Island Building Excellence (VIBE) awards for 2019, Nu-View Homes took home five trophies: Best Townhouse Development; Best Single-Family Bathroom Design/ Development under $30,000; Best Custom Interior Design; and Best Innovative Feature. Their crowning achievement was a Grand VIBE award for Project of the Year. “It was huge,” said Nu-View Homes Vice-President and designer Martine Kiliwnik. Their five-award sweep was a surprise for the small but innovative company, which went into the competition with their first completed fully in-firm development: a threeunit townhouse in Sidney called SeaScape. From the start, SeaScape was special. The property was almost a double-sized lot, on the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Second Street in Sidney, beside Totem Park. This high-profile location is part of the ocean-side town scape and is the first property seen as travellers disembark from the Anacortes Ferry. “The property kind of found us,” Martine said. She and NuView President Keith Andrews were eating lunch and mentioned their development company to the restaurant owner. The restaurant owner referred them to his wife, who was handling the conveyancing of the property for the owners. “It’s a showcase property,” Martine said. “We had to create something special.” They met with the owners, who were looking for more than a buyer. They were seeking the right development company that would do justice to the property that had been in their family for two generations. They chose Nu-View Homes. “The owners felt comfortable with the property being in our hands,” Martine said. “They were comfortable with who we were.” One factor may have been the company’s commitment to

SeaScape’s dramatic design combines glass walls and heavy wooden beams. The award-winning project includes three high quality townhomes in Sidney, B.C.

“It was a curve ball. Everyone knew there was a problem but no one knew how to solve it.” MARTINE KILIWNIK VICE PRESIDENT AND DESIGNER

community. In 2013 they had helped to establish the Sidney non-profit ORCCA, which operates a dental clinic serving low-income families. The lot was zoned multi-family. Council approved a three-unit townhouse project, with two side-by-side units on the lower level and a penthouse unit on the second level. Martine drew on all her design expertise to create a show-stopping project that would still be marketable. She has a degree in Environmental Design from the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba. Her degree that encompasses all aspects of urban design, from basic architectural concepts to interior design to city planning to exterior landscaping. For her final year, Martine focused on design. “I’m a creative person. But at the end of the day, I also have the responsibility of designing

President Keith Andrews and Vice-President Martine Kiliwnik oversaw every aspect of SeaScape’s construction, aided by pups Timber Andrews (Quality Control) and Rosie Kiliwnik (Morale) a beautiful product while also understanding the return on investment.” From purchase to completion, the project took two years. The land was purchased in November 2016; building started on October 18, 2017; and the 11,000-plus square foot three-unit project was completed as of October 30, 2018. The design is sleek and modern with heavy wooden beams contrasted by sheets of glass that capture waterfront views.

Martine was able to incorporate multiple “big wow factors” into the budget. Mindful that people live inside their homes, she designs from the inside out. All the award-winning features are inside. For example, the penthouse washroom is easy-care and airily beautiful with an open shower and glassed in water closet. In the open plan living space, a 6.5foot linear fireplace is set in glossy floor to ceiling tiles that reflect the views.

There is a 13-foot by five-foot island, a mix of white and bookmatched grain walnut cabinets, brick tile, a sliding barn door pantry entrance, and a hood fan that can be raised to open the view or lowered when cooking. Yet the project almost didn’t happen. In anticipation of global warning and increased sea levels, after SeaScape was designed, Municipal requirements for building elevation were suddenly increased. As originally planned, the project was 2.4 metres above sea level. To meet the new requirements, the project had to be 3.6 metres above sea level. “It was a curve ball,” Martine recalled. “Everyone knew there was a problem but no one knew how to solve it.” Inspiration struck. She took the project back to the drawing board and in 19 days re-designed it to meet the requirements. Her solution? To give the threeunit townhouse project apartment-style underground parking, with elevators to each unit. That feature earned the company the VIBE award for innovation. Over the two-year build, Martine and Keith did everything – from design to overseeing construction to budget tracking to helping lay drain tile. “We wear every hat. Start to finish, it was us.” “To us, it was absolutely the project of the year. It was a labour of love.”

Nu-View Homes is an innovative property development company, and a full service Design | Build | Live custom-home firm. We create beautiful, quality properties either with you, or for you!

Quality is never an accident, it is the skillful execution of intelligent decisions. | 250-891-3848



JUNE 2019

COORDINATION KEEPS DRAINS FLOWING Two-Week Job Turns Into Five Years In Trades

These core values encompass everything we do, and shape the way we do it. We are Victoria B.C.’s professional technicians in drainage repairs, cleaning, maintenance of older drain tile & replacement experts when upgrading to newer dual drainage systems. When it comes to wet & leaky basements or even flood control, Drainscope can give your foundation the protection it needs. Drainscope is a Proud Member of the Better Business Bureau of Victoria, BC. with an A+ rating.



ICTORIA - No job is complete without paperwork. For DrainScope, administrator Leah Hutchings gets the essential paperwork done. She also handles a host of other tasks including helping clients/ field technicians liaise with owner, Derek Rathwell; preparation/management of projects and appointment scheduling; maintaining the client property database; and organizing integrated systems proprietary to DrainScope In addition to ongoing maintenance, the company uses their own equipment to handle any repairs, whether to waterlines, storm/sewer lateral lines, and drainage improvements. “No day is the same, especially during the seasonal storms and rainy months.” When the skies open, rain pelts, and decades old drainage systems fail, the close-knit company’s service ethos comes into play. “Even if they have already been working all day, they will go out again, and assist when needed.” DrainScope’s video-inspection services allow the team to zero

Leah Hutchings, Administrator for DrainScope in on the problem and often find a remedial fix that restores the system. “Where possible I work with the owner and lead foreman on finding solutions rather than a full replacement,” Leah said. Sometimes answers are in the company files. Leah maintains thousands of detailed records covering all DrainScope residential/commercial clients, so there is an ongoing history of each property, their drainage systems, improvements, and maintenance. “We have thousands of properties that are in our digital

database. We map the drainage systems, record the types of system, its overall condition, take photos, and identify any areas of concern that require immediate attention or may need attention in the future,” Leah said. The company offers ongoing maintenance to find and fix small problems. Routine maintenance is key to prolonging the life of any drainage system. Hazards abound. Roots can infiltrate the drain tiles, sediment can build up over time, full blockages or obstructions can occur in various forms. Some tiles can degrade to the point that they literally fall apart at a touch. “Often, drainage is something no one thinks about until it fails, or when thei r residence has flooded,” Leah said. She appreciates those clients with the foresight to include a drainage system inspection as part of their routine home maintenance or when considering a home purchase. Leah was originally hired for two weeks to help with a shortterm project. Five years later, she is still there and has become a key member of the eight-person team. “I knew nothing about drainage and the trades when I started,” she said. “Now I’m like the righthand-woman. I enjoy working with the guys.”

FIVE THINGS TO COVER DURING ONE-ON-ONE SALES MEETINGS Many managers look at one-on-one meetings as an excuse to closely



any managers are surprised to hear us suggest that it’s important to meet one-on-one with every salesperson on staff at least every other week. Some even say it’s impossible! But it’s not. If you keep the meetings brief ... if you think of these interact ion s a s check-i n s rat her than as opportunities to “fix” people … and if you carefully plan these meetings along the lines outlined below, you will find that they not only fit easily into your schedule, but that they also save time you would otherwise have spent putting out fires. Here, then, are five important things for you to cover during your regularly scheduled oneon-one meetings. By the way, if you cover these points regularly and predictably, and make

evaluate mistakes the salesperson made. That’s a meeting no salesperson looks forward to

a habit of sending along your agenda well ahead of time, you can establish a predictable ongoing cadence with each salesperson. The nice thing about such a cadence is that it allows you both to use your (limited) time efficiently, without either of you having to “wait for the download.” 1 . S E T YO U R U P-F RO N T CONTRACT. G et agreement on the purpose of the discussion, the time allotted (we recommend ten to fifteen minutes), and the specific issues or questions that each person wants to address. You will probably also want to confirm that there will be no interruptions. (Important side note: The sales rep should be setting exactly the same kind of contract with his or her prospects, so be sure you effectively model the best practice here! 2. LOOK AT WHAT’S WORKING. A lways start with positive reinforcement. Brief ly focus on something positive the rep did since your last meeting offer authentic, heartfelt praise. Don’t offer fake praise! That will undermine the bonding a nd rappor t necessa r y for a good check-in meeting. Many

managers look at one-on-one meetings as an excuse to closely evaluate mistakes the salesperson made. That’s a meeting no salesperson looks forward to. By focusing on something the salesperson did well, you ensure that that behavior will be repeated! 3. DISCUSS T HE L AST MEETING’S ACTION ITEMS … AND PREVIEW ITEMS FOR THIS WEEK. Follow through and check in on the status of any specific commitments the rep made to you during your last meeting. Identify any to-do items you want to be sure the rep accomplishes before your next meeting. 4. TALK ABOUT THE COOKBOOK. Your salesperson should have a clear behavioral plan outlining specific, measurable business development activities that he or she is accountable for performing on a daily and weekly basis. Think of this as a cookbook – a recipe for success. (For more on the cookbook concept com/watch?v=E3_kzLUsm00) Examine the performance numbers together. Discuss their implications for the salesperson’s, and the team’s, income when the measu red behav iors a re extrapolated over the month,

quarter, and year. 5. GET A CLE A R V ER BA L COMMITMENT. Near the end of this brief meeting, you will probably have identified one or two particularly important things that you definitely want to see some action on before the two of you get together again. I n t he moments b efore you wrap up, set expectations by asking for a clear verbal commitment that the salesperson will take action in these one or two critical areas. Hearing the salesperson speak the actual words is important. When people commit to something verbally, they are far more likely to get it done! Cover these f ive key a reas in each and every one of your check-in meetings, and you’ll keep your team on track! John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia.

JUNE 2019



Avoiding Debt Trap, Emily opts for Plumbing Over Psychology Building a New Career in Fours Years with Zero Debt


IC T OR I A - For Em ily Schmit, the price for a conventional career was too high. She earned a degree in psychology from the University of Victoria but to leverage that into a career, she knew she’d need a master’s degree and then a doctorate. Total cost? Eight to ten more years and half-a-million dollars of debt. Hence, she became a plumber. “It’s unconventional, especially for a lady,” she says. But she loves it. When she’s in commercial buildings she looks up and traces the connections of the sprinkler installation. She loves going past some of the buildings she’s worked on in Victoria. She knows their inner secrets. “I know where every piece of pipe is in those buildings.” At present she is between year two and year three of her fouryear apprenticeship and is confident she made the right career choice. She enjoys the teamwork on the job site and the creativity in construction. In April, she placed third in a B.C. Skills competition for plumbing. “It’s like building with Legos. Every project is like a Lego house and you just build it brick by brick and pipe by pipe.” But when she started the eightmonth fou ndation cou rse at Camosun College she was less certain. “It was terrifying. But a little bit of courage goes a long way and I decided to go and do it just to see if I could.” E m i ly’s mot her f i rs t s u ggested plumbing as a career. Emily had asked her parents for advice after realizing her fouryear degree led nowhere unless she also earned a doctorate. “I didn’t want to be a half million in debt,” she said. Plumbing looked better. The day she walked across the stage at the University of Victoria and accepted her Bachelor’s degree, she went online that evening and enrolled in Camosun College’s ELT course, to start her training for pipe trades. T he eight-month cou rse is desig ned for p eople new to t h e t ra d e s . To p i c s i n c l u d e

Everything about plumbing, including the kitchen sink, is embraced by apprentice Emily Schmit

“It’s like building with Legos. Every project is like a Lego house and you just build it brick by brick and pipe by pipe.” EMILY SCHMIT PLUMBING APPRENTICE

Emily Schmit at the entrance to Camosun’s plumbing shop safety, mastering power tools, and working on a job site. Before starting the course, Emily had never used a power tool. After the course she knew job site safety and how to effectively use a wide range of both power tools and hand tools. Students also learn rudimentary plumbing skills. She was one of two women in her specific class. At the time, there were four women in the course and 50 to 60 men. As with her psychology degree, earning her Red Seal certification would take four years. But the similarities ended there. As an apprentice she would spend more time on a job site than in a classroom. Following

her f i rst yea r of tra i n i ng at Camosun, she spent a year working in the field. Then she went back to Camosun for an additional six to eight weeks of training, followed by another year of on-site work. Two years and two more sixto-eight-week instructional sessions later, she hopes to write her Red Seal exam, once she has enough work hours to qualify. The difference between what she can do with her psychology degree and what she can do with her Red Seal certification is dramatic. Based on her psychology degree, she might be able to find a job as a research assistant at $15 an hour. Plus, she still has debt from earning her degree.

With her Red Seal certification, she can expect to earn $42 an hour as a journeyman. As an apprentice learning the trade, she already earns $20 an hour. Best of all, she will complete the program debt-free. “There’s a ton of money available to put people – and specifically women – through the fou nd at ion yea r a nd a l l t he training,” she said. Plus, because she is paid as an apprentice, she

has income throughout much of her training. She still has some debt from her university degree but says ‘that w ill probably be cured by the trade.” Nor is she concerned about automation since the uniqueness of each plumbing job means the trade cannot be readily mastered in code. Although not in danger of being replaced, plumbing is being enhanced by technology. Emily is thrilled to be learning CAD programming, which a l lows her to d ig ita l ly program where pipes will be laid in concrete. Her two favourite aspects of the trade to date are interpreting drawings into concrete form and cast-iron work. “I like everything. I’m driven to learn and love being exposed to new techniques and materials.” She has high praise for her employer, Oceanview Mechanical, which does commercial and institutional installations. She also appreciates the support of UA Local 324 and was chosen as Chairperson of the Evolve Youth Committee. Plumbing, she says, is a viable career option for women. She urges any woman interested to “muster up 20 seconds of courage and just apply.”

United Associations Local 324 represents world class piping professionals since 1902. We deliver productivity and safety to the construction industry on Vancouver Island. | 1-888-382-0415



JUNE 2019

Identity, ‘The condition of being oneself, and not another.’

Victoria Design Group announces Rebrand The same influences that impact building design contexts and culture dictate a building designer’s brand life cycle.

It was time. Our Service Portfolio • • • •

Design consultation Custom building design Land use application Renovation and addition design • Working drawings

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• Metal roof installation (panels manufactured on site) • Metal cladding • Custom flashings • Roof Inspection Reports • Fibreglass shingle installation • Flat roofing (torch-on membrane) installation • Gutter, downpipe & leaf guard installation

A 2017 article from Mediaplanet Canada and the CCA stated, “The gender imbalance is most pronounced in on-site occupations and skilled trades professions. Fewer than four per cent of women choose careers in these occupations.”


companies across the nation will continue to worsen. In the summary of the BuildForce Canada report, Bill Ferreira, the group’s Executive Director said the industry has to take steps to head off a potential labour crisis. “This decade, Canada needs as many as 277,000 construction workers to meet labour demands and counter rising retirements,” he said. “With these challenges in mind, the industry will need to step up recruitment efforts and do all it can to encourage far more new Canadians, women, and Indigenous people to join Canada’s construction workforce.” The need for women in the construction industry goes beyond merely filling the gaps in the labour shortage. Many of the Island’s construction leaders believe women have unique strengths to bring to the field. Deborah Patterson, President of Victoria’s Citta Interiors (part of the Citta

Group) has been working in the industry for over 30 years. “I’m one of the founders of the company, so we’ve had women with us from the very beginning, almost 35 years ago,” she says. “I think we’ve proven how much women can offer this industry. We bring our own perspectives and our own strengths, and we help our male co-workers see things that they might otherwise miss.” Citta Group’s Vice-president and construction manager Mike Dalton states, “In our company, we see a value in having both men and women on our team. It’s not positive or negative on either side; it’s just different. The difference in perspective rounds out our company with different perspectives, and we’re better for it.” At Nanaimo-based Alair Homes, the company’s innovative approach to design build has created a set of requirements for each project manager. As the company embraces technology and endeavours to become more organized, SEE WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 19

Today, the demand for workforce diversity in the construction industry is greater than ever

JUNE 2019



International Women’s Day, the provincial government issued a statement along with industry partners including the BCCA, Industry Training Authority, WorkSafeBC and LNG Canada, announcing a new initiative called the Builder’s Code


the place of careful planning and communication becomes crucial for a project manager. Recently, a high percentage of the company’s 120 franchise locations have been hiring a high percentage of women for these roles. These women are in turn rising to the top as top performers in their field. This year, the company celebrated its first ever female Project Manager of the Year, giving the honour to Vancouver’s Laura Quilty. Sooke-based Westcom Plumbing & Gas was founded by Mary-Anne Bowcott. During her time working as a female tradesperson, Bowcott has noticed that she has some surprising advantages over her male counterparts. “People have been very supportive, and love having me come into their house,” she said. “A lot of women are uncomfortable with having men come in when no-one else is around, so they feel more at ease working with a female tradesperson. I can also fit into some really small spaces, and I’m not claustrophobic, so that’s a bonus.” In spite of the advantages of a diverse workforce, the industry has a way to go before women are fully integrated into the traditionally male-dominated world of construction. Information compiled by the federal government suggests that women comprise approximately 54 per cent of the nation’s workforce, but represent less than 10 per cent of Canadian construction industry employees – a statistic that may actually inflate a more

disheartening percentage. “I believe the statistics include women who work in the office and in administrative capacities in those numbers, and essentially lump all ticketed trades not just construction trades under the overall umbrella of construction. This would include persons such as hairdressers, which are certainly not part of construction,” explained Kinetic Construction’s Katy Fairley, a Director with the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). “If we were to drill down into those numbers, and from what I know through personal experience, the actual percentage of women directly working in the industry in an active role would likely be closer to five to seven per cent, so obviously there’s lots of room for improvement.” According to Fairley, while progress has been made, the present small percentage of female involvement is an obvious sign that there’s still plenty of room for improvement. “There’s no escaping the fact that the older segment of our industry is leaving which creates a real potential for women,” she concludes. “We’re now acutely feeling what a labour shortage does to construction and it’s not a problem you’re going to fix by looking at only 50 per cent of the population, you simply have to put it on the table for the other 50 per cent as well, make it an option and women will recognize it and take it.” At a growing rate, industry leaders are realizing the critical need for increased diversity in the construction workforce. A 2017 article from Mediaplanet Canada SEE WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 21

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OMICRON TAKES ON MAJOR ISLAND PROJECTS “Omicron is looking to the Catherine Reimer Reveals What Makes Omicron Unique


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ANCOUVER ISLAND - For Catherine Reimer, Construction Manager at Omicron Canada Inc.’s Victoria office, being a woman in the construction industry doesn’t seem unusual. “Being a woman in this industry is great, and it’s becoming a lot more common,” she says. “We have several women working at our Victoria office, and we all feel like peers here. Nobody makes a big deal about our gender, and we are respected and treated well within the industry.” This is Reimer’s fifth year with the company, an integrated firm, that designs, engineers, and builds projects throughout Western Canada in the residential, mixed-use, institutional, industrial, and commercial market sectors. As a LEED Certified Project Manager, with a degree in Building Engineering, and over a decade of industry experience, Reimer believes women have a lot to offer when it comes to construction. “Women tend to bring their own unique perspectives to this industry, and when that’s embraced, businesses and communities benefit,” she says.

future when it comes to this industry. In addition to our integrated delivery model, our embracing technology is part of this vision.” CATHERINE REIMER CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AT OMICRON CANADA INC.

Reimer is one of many women who thrive in Omicron’s collaborative environment. With offices in Victoria and Vancouver, the company fields a team of 135 in-house real estate strategists, engineers, designers, architects, and builders who work together to deliver projects. Current Vancouver Island projects include the Marriott Hotel in Nanaimo, The James at Harbour Towers in James Bay, the mixeduse Eagle Creek Village development in View Royal, and a 19-acre mixed-use employment centre in Colwood. “We’re really excited about The James at Harbour Towers,” says Reimer. “We’re transforming a hotel into 219 market rentals”. “Some of the spaces on the top floors have been converted into two-level penthouses, which has involved a lot of careful planning.

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It’s an older structure and we are adapting it to modern requirements. When it’s complete, it’s going to be quite an impressive building.” With Omicron’s design, engineering, and building staff all working under the same roof, collaboration is a major part of every project. As a result, clients are continually impressed with Omicron’s completed projects. Today, roughly 80per cent of Omicron projects come from repeat clients. “Omicron is looking to the future when it comes to this industry. In addition to our integrated delivery model, our embracing technology is part of this vision. ” says Reimer. “This is especially evident in our design and development side. Recently, we’ve been using virtual reality in innovative ways, allowing clients to use VR goggles to walk through a space and get a sense of the final product. “This not only gives the client an accurate vision of the finished product, but also allows us to save time and money by catching potential issues at an early stage.” At Omicron this focus on collaboration and integrating technology is what allows for a more effective flow of information between departments, connecting each level of the construction process from top to bottom. For more information, visit www.


JUNE 2019


As women leaders, we proudly support Women in Construction. Cherish doesn’t just build buildings, we build communities for real senior living - The Cherish Way - where smiles are the measure of our success! Call to book your tour today. Though the number of women entering the construction industry is on the rise, leaders believe there is still a long way to go


and the CCA stated, “The gender imbalance is most pronounced in on-site occupations and skilled trades professions. Fewer than four per cent of women choose careers in these occupations, though there are some regional variations. The Western provinces have been most successful in recruiting women into the industry, with women now accounting for 15 per cent of all construction employees in Alberta, of which about 30 per cent are in on-site construction occupations. Women in Saskatchewa n a lso tend to be more

Leslie Myers

inclined to work in on-site construction, as nearly 40 per cent of women in the province’s industry are employed in these occupations. Across the rest of Canada, however, female participation in the trades remains stubbornly low, despite ongoing industry and recent government efforts to promote careers in the trades to women.” This year, on International Women’s Day, the provincial government issued a statement along with industry partners including the BCCA, Industry Training Authority, WorkSafeBC and LNG Canada. SEE WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 23

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ICTORIA - Trapped in an insane real estate market, a unique solution utilized by Habitat for Humanity Victoria CEO Yolanda Meijer is keeping the charity in the market as a provider of affordable housing. Yolanda realized two years ago that Habitat was being squeezed out. Dem a nd for a f ford able housing was more desperate than ever as rental and purchase prices soared. But with land donations from the province and municipalities drying up, Habitat was struggling to secure land. “We got sidesw iped by the market,” Yolanda recalls. “We couldn’t afford the land prices. Our whole program was in peril.” Yolanda changed tactics. Instead of competing with developers for increasingly rare development l a nd, Yol a nd a forged a new type of partnership that leveraged the charity’s goodwill to benefit the developer, Habitat, and local municipalities. To avoid closing Habitat’s doors in the face of people who needed a toehold in the market, Yolanda asked, “What if you brought the three parties together: the municipality provides zoning; Habitat provides affordable housing; and the developer contributes the land as part of a larger project?” Everyone gives a little and gets a lot. The municipality provides slightly higher zoning density and accepts the inclusion of affordable housing in the project as a community benefit. T he developer gets a project approved. Habitat gets land it cannot otherwise obtain while Habitat inclusion enhances the project value for council and community. Everyone benefits. Municipalities get affordable housing for residents; the developer gets required zoning; the community supports the project; and Habitat gets quality housing for working families who are ownership-ready but shut out of the market. Those chosen for the Habitat


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“We couldn’t afford the land prices. Our whole program was in peril.” HABITAT CEO YOLANDA MEIJER

units are everyday working parents who, despite full-time jobs, are struggling to make ends meet for their families. The dream of owning their own home is a distant one in today’s market. That’s where Habitat’s program comes in, providing an opportunity through its unique interest-free mortgage to enable young families ready to take on the responsibilities of homeownership. To qualify, the families’ incomes must range from $35,000 to $80,000. “We are helping a demographic of people who are ready to own, but would never get there on their own,” Yolanda said. To date, the new model has resulted in land donations for 16 homes with four different developers. Yolanda notes that Habitat’s participation was the tipping point in getting two recent projects approved. “It’s a really beautiful partnership.” Yolanda now seeks more development partners. “Habitat is open for business and looking for more of these opportunities.”



JUNE 2019




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This statement announced a new initiative called the Builder’s Code, which “aims to retain more women in the construction trades by creating a supportive, inclusive work environment that works for everyone.” One of the initiative’s primary goals is to have women make up 10 per cent of BC’s construction trades by the year 2028. T his would make BC the first province in Canada to accomplish such a goal. This code would include a voluntary standard code of conduct for all workers on construction sites in the province.

It would also expand the definition of construction safety beyond physical standards to include stress or distraction caused by discrimination, bullying, hazing, or harassment. “All British Columbians deserve the opportunity to share in the benefits of our thriving economy,” said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “With a construction industry that’s booming and thousands of tradespeople needed, the Province is proud to support BC’s construction employers in making sure everyone on a jobsite knows what’s expected and can work safely and productively.”

Information compiled by the federal government suggests that women comprise approximately 54 per cent of the nation’s workforce, but represent less than 10 per cent of Canadian construction industry employees


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VICTORIA Game Developer Acquired by Swedish Studio Victoria-based game developer Kixeye has been acquired by Sweden-based game software development studio, Stillfront. Kixeye was founded in 2009 a nd i s ow ne d by founders Will Harbin, Paul Preece and Dave Scott who are venture capital investors and current and former employees. The company was purchased for $90-million US in cash and as much as another $30-million US if they are able to reach certain financial targets in 2019. K i xeye’s products i nclude War Commander, War Commander: Rogue Assault, Vega Conflict and Battle Pirates. Battle Pirates is the top-grossing game on Facebook and Kixeye has generated a profit of $13.5-million US in the first quarter of this year. The company has additional development centers in the United States, Australia and Vietnam and the deal will see the company’s key employees and management team remain with the company. Stillfront is a global conglomerate of gaming studios that describes itself as focusing on free-to-play online strategy games. Dorado Games, Playa Games and Imperia Online are among the studios owned by Stillfront. This is the company’s 11th acquisition in the past nine years. The sale is expected to be finalized by July 1.

VICTORIA UVIC Student Housing Project Ramps Up Two new student housing facilities at the University of Victoria with a total of 783 beds are now expected to be completed in 2023, 16 months sooner than originally scheduled. The two buildings will now be built at the same time, rather than in two phases as originally planned. Work on the project is expected to begin next year. The $201-million project was announced by the provincial government in November. The project will include student dorms, a

600-seat dining room in one building and two 225seat classrooms as well as a meeting space in the other building. During construction of the new structures, three b u i ld i n g s w i l l b e tor n down including the Emily Carr Residences, Margaret Newton Hall and Cadboro Commons. Once complete there will be 621 net new beds available. To continue serving food during construction, a temporary kitchen/dining facility capable of seating 500 is expected to be constructed on a campus parking lot. The plan calls for an eating facility to be assembled off-campus and craned into place by the fall of 2020.

LANGFORD Three Residential Towers Proposed for Downtown Three 12-storey commercial and residential towers in downtown Langford are being recommended by the city’s planning committee. Matthew McKay of DB Services has applied on behalf of a numbered company to rezone and consolidate 10 lots between Goldstream and Hockley Avenue’s, creating three large land parcels. Each of the existing lots have housing on them, excepting 801 Goldstream which is presently a children’s consignment store. A mixed-use tower with commercial space on the ground floor and residential units above has been proposed to be built on each of the three new parcels. Office space on some f loors may also be added, depending on market conditions. The plan is in keeping with recent changes to the City of Langford’s official community plan, which called for increasing downtown density. If approved by council following a public hearing, construction is expected to begin on the southern-most property that touches Hockley Avenue. For the project to proceed, the maximum allowable height for the properties will have to increase from 11-storeys to 12. Council will also have to amend the height limit for the zone itself that restricts building height within 30 meters of Goldstream Avenue to six storeys. McKay filed the application on behalf of Richard

a nd Kathryn Robinson. The proposal for one of the sites, east of Veterans Memorial Parkway, is to construct 25-residential units in a structure that would include a professional building on the ground floor.

VICTORIA VIATEC Award Winners Celebrated The 19th Annual VIATEC Awards were recently held at the Royal Theatre and this year’s winners were announced. 49 finalists were honoured, with 15 recipients receiving newly designed astronaut trophies (designed by local artist Russell Papp), at the elaborate show. Attendance ballooned to over 1,100 guests, making it one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the nation, and VIATEC’s most attended - ever. Erin Skillen took the reins for the second year in a row as host for the production, bringing the perfect balance of humour, intelligence and attitude. The event had a theme of “There’s no place like home” and featured local variety show acts from Passion and Performance Arts Inc, Atomic Vaudeville and a powerful finale accompanied by the resident awards band. At this year’s awards, Benevity came home with the Technology Company of the Year Award in the 30+ employees category, while RingPartner took home the same award in the 11-29 employees division. Tutela took home top honours in the Scale-Up of the Year category, Cuboh in Start-Up of the Year, Limbic Media in Product of the Year and Anita Pawluk of RaceRocks in Leader of the Year. This year’s winners in the Innovative Excellence categories were DreamCraft in Software of Service and RioT Technologies Corp. in Hardware. Stephanie T hiel of SaaSquatch was this year’s Emerging Leader of the Year, Encepta took home the Team of the Year award and FreshWorks Studio was this year’s Employer of the Year. Erin Athene of Mint CRO was this year’s Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion recipient; Sang K iet of K PMG wa s t h i s year’s VIATEC Member of the Year; RingPartner was named Community Champion; and Women’s Equity Lab received the Angel of the Year award.

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ICTORIA - OneTouch House is celebrating two major milestones this year with its 20th anniversary, a newly opened showroom, and a recently launched alarm monitoring division. Founded in 1999 by owners Martin Engelbrecht and Kevin Lintern, OneTouch House is leading the Greater Victoria Area as a premier smart home technology service provider. Today, the company provides unique and innovative solutions in home automation, home theatre, smart home technology and business control systems. They have grown from a one man operation to 12 full-time staff and 8 service vehicles. Recently, they have expanded their services to include an alarm monitoring division. As OneTouch House was

business of providing automatic door locks, smart lighting, and other integrated systems, it was a natural fit for them to move into alarm monitoring, installing cameras and surveillance quipment already in the business of providing automatic door locks, smart lighting, and other integrated systems, it was a natural fit for them to move into alarm monitoring, installing cameras and surveillance equipment. Over the last three years, the company has witnessed a spike of public interest in smart home technology. As a result, they have experienced rapid growth, prompting their need for a larger space. The new showroom features an enhanced, esthetically pleasing space with key demo areas. Displays will feature cutting-edge home technology, including products for the newly-added alarm monitoring division. The space features an open floor, allowing customers

to examine each product close-up and speak with an informed salesperson. One of the demo areas is a Star Wars themed space theatre that shows off some of OneTouch House’s home theatre offerings. When the company began in 1999, OneTouch focussed on installing satellite TV systems. As the company has built its reputation, the team has expanded its services to offer a wide variety of high-end technology sales, service, and installation. All of their work is completed in-house, from planning and design, to wiring, to final tutorials. The new showroom is located at 3360 Tennyson Ave and open for viewing. To find out more, visit

Tilray Shares Up 11 Per Cent On Merger Deal


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ANAIMO – Tilray Inc.’s stock flew up after signing a deal to merge with Privateer Holdings Inc., its largest shareholder. The agreement structure will see Privateer Holdings become a subsidiary of Tilray. New shares distributed as a result of the merger will be subject to a two-year lock up period and will not be able to be sold off except under certain circumstances. T i l ray sh a res rose a s high as $46.65 USD on the NASDAQ following the announcement, up from its previous close at $38.80

USD. Sh a re s close d at $43.14 USD, up 11 per cent from the previous close. P rivateer Hold i ngs is backed by venture capit a l i s t Peter T h iel a nd holds 75-million shares – about 77 per cent of the Nanaimo-based cannabis company. The agreement will see Tilray acquire Privateer and its stake in the company in exchange for an equal number of new Tilray shares that will be issued to the US private equity firm’s shareholders. In the first year, the shares will only be released in marketed offerings and/or block trades to institutional

investors or via sales to strategic investors arranged at Tilray’s discretion. Remaining shares will have a staggered release over the second year. Earlier this year, Privateer distributed ownership of its three other operating subsidiaries directly to shareholders. The move left no material assets in Privateer apart from the 75-million shares it currently holds in Tilray. The deal effectively flips control of a stock sale from Privateer to Tilray and provides the cannabis company with an increased ability to manage its public float.


JUNE 2019


Geeks on the Beach Looks to Expand Beyond Canadian Shores

Jonathan Michaels is the founder of full-service web agency Geeks on the Beach


O r ig i n a l ly f rom New York City, Jonathan got his start in the tech indu st r y wh i le l iv i n g i n Saskatchewan. “Years ago, I founded a service that helped people navigate the online dating world,” he says “To create the website, I teamed up with web designers and developers, and quickly realized that I needed to learn how to speak their l a n g u a ge. I received a web design and marketing diploma, and spent my entire life savings on development in hopes that I would be able to raise more money to help with the project.” While that project was u lti mately sidel i ned, Jonathan came away from the experience with an invaluable skill set that he continues to leverage. “I moved to Vancouver Island, and needed something to do, so I used my tech background to help little old ladies with their computer problems,” he conti nues. “I needed a marketing website to promote the operation, and quickly discovered that I h ad m a n a ged to pick up all the skills required to make a great-looking site. I loved the experience and decided that if I could build a website to help my business grow, I could use those same skills to help other businesses grow, too.” This is what Jonathan describes as the orig i n s to r y o f G e e k s o n t h e Beach. The company officially launched in the Parksville-Qualicum Beach area (known for its beaches) in 2007. “At first it was just me, sel l i ng complete web packages for as little as $500,” Jonathan remarks. “It was tough at first, as the area didn’t

have a lot of large businesses, but I made it my focus to create beautiful websites that provided good value to small business owners.” The company eventually broke into the Island’s h o s p i t a l i t y i n d u s t r y, taking on contracts with high-profile resorts like the Beach Club, Tigh-NaMara, the Kingfisher Resort and others. “Helpi ng some of the largest, most visible resorts lead in a highly competitive industry allowed us to hone our skills with search engine optimization, usability, and conversion,” says Michaels. “With a market as competitive as resor ts a nd tou rism on the Isla nd, the only way we could do well by our clients was to create better, more refined experiences for their visitors.” Over the yea rs, Jonathan has added more team members who specialize in the various aspects of web development and online marketing. His first employee was David Michels, who proved such a valuable team member that he was made a partner. Just over five years ago, Jonathan opened the company’s second location, in Victoria. “I loved Qualicum Beach, but coming from New York, I found myself missing city life,” reflects Jonathan. “It was about time for us to expand, so I opened up an office in Victoria. David was put in charge of the mid-Island location, which allowed Jonathan to expand in a new market. “Now we call the Victoria office our ‘World-wide Headquarters’ while Parksville is home to the ‘Nerd Lab,” says Jonathan. A fter experiencing g row th a nd success on the Island with a team of 9 geeks, Geeks on the Beach

has eyes on expanding beyond these shores. “Our next big move is to expand into a third and more tropical location on the beaches of Bali, Indonesia,” says Jonathan. As long as there is a beach nea rby a nd busi nesses t h at we ca n help g row online, we will consider that an opportunity to put a geek there.” T he tea m a l ready has feet on the ground in Bali, with their first developer already working to support the company. Jonathan hopes to open up an office on the Island in the not too distant future. “Ou r hope is that ou r Canadian and Balinese locations will be able to support each other, combining the best of bot h worlds,” he says. “Since there’s a 15-hour time difference, we will basically be able to work around the clock to when sharing the load between the two offices.” As the company moves for wa rd, Jonatha n believes they have found a sweet spot with their balance of quality and affordability. “There are some great companies that are tightly focused on cookie-cutter websites that aren’t very creative, but get the job done at a low cost,” he says. “There are some high-end companies that do beaut i f u l, world-class work at the highest level, but for a premium price. “We feel there’s value in the middle. We don’t do cookie-cutter websites, but you also d o n’t n e e d to p ay u s tens of thousands of dollars just to get our attention. It’s about gorgeous web desig n for you r bottom-line.” To find out more, visit www.geeksonthebeach. ca or Google “Web Design Vancouver Island”.

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ast year was a banner year for tourism in Greater Victoria. Our hotels were full, our restaurants were packed, and our attractions experienced brisk business. This was the sixth straight year of growth in the sector. Many of us like myself have worked in the tourism industry for years, seeing the highs and lows of the economic cycle. Naturally, people begin to ask – how much longer can the tourism industry continue to grow at this pace? The answer to this question is becoming increasingly apparent. Key statistical indicators for the first few months of 2019 reveal growth in the Greater Victoria tourism

industry has plateaued for now. Forward-looking consumer data gives us reason to pause. Visitors are still coming to Greater Victoria in strong numbers and the destination is still desirable, especially from short-haul markets like Vancouver and Seattle. However, visitation is expected to be no higher than it was in 2018. Tourism growth is closely linked to consumer confidence indicators – and these indicators reveal a slight decline in overall confidence in consumers spending on expensive or luxury goods. Inconveniences like downtown construction also have a temporary negative effect on the visitor experience. In previous years a potential economic slowdown would be cause for concern. Too often the tourism industry has been ill-prepared when issues arise. Destination Greater Victoria’s strategic plan has been in place since 2017 and provides a framework for both periods of economic growth and inevitable downturns. One area of focus is our shoulder and off-peaks seasons, so that we are not overly reliant on visitation in summer months. One tactic

in achieving this goal is to bid on and win conferences for the Victoria Conference Centre, filling our hotel rooms at a time when vacancy traditionally has been high. Sports tourism also plays a critical role in driving shoulder and off-peak business. The federal government recently released a new tourism strategy as well. A renewed national focus on one of Canada’s most important economic sectors will provide framework of support for the industry. Economic cycles are inevitable. We may soon experience a slow down or keep growing. Economic growth means opportunities for job growth and investment. But due to the foresight of the decisions industry-led Destination Greater Victoria board has made in the past few years, we will weather the storm and position ourselves for growth in the medium term. We will also continue to work hard to gain more than our fair share of the market. Paul Nursey is the President and CEO of Destination Greater Victoria

JUNE 2019

WHO IS SUING WHOM The contents of Who’s Suing Whom is provided by a third-party resource and is accurate according to public court documents. Some of these cases may have been resolved by publication date. DEFENDANT 1185285 BC Ltd 4669 Willingdon Avenue, Powell River, BC PLAINTIFF Chan Nowosad Boates Inc. CLAIM $32,133 DEFENDANT Admiralty Leasing Inc. 205 – 791 Goldstream Avenue, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Lorri Dawn Popoff CLAIM $14,972 DEFENDANT BC 0108815 5170 Argyle Street, Port Alberni, BC PLAINTIFF Quang Van Nguyen CLAIM $35,156 DEFENDANT Blackfish Sales Ltd. 1352 16th Avenue, North Vancouver,

WHO IS SUING WHOM BC PLAINTIFF Juan He CLAIM $60,282 DEFENDANT Bronte Heights Developments Ltd. 1626 Garnet Road, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Don Mann Excavating Ltd. CLAIM $53,249 DEFENDANT Garden City Tree & Landscape Ltd. 104 – 9717 Third Street, Sidney, BC PLAINTIFF Trident Marine Contracting Ltd. CLAIM $42,800 DEFENDANT Habanero Homes Ltd. 2 – 177 Fourth Street, Duncan, BC PLAINTIFF Roofmart Pacific Ltd. CLAIM $10,603 DEFENDANT Hollyhock Farm Ltd. 445 Highfield Road, Mansons Landing, BC PLAINTIFF Wizards 4 Environmental Technologies Inc. CLAIM $16,926 DEFENDANT HTO Enterprises 1995 Ltd.

104 – 3680 Uptown Boulevard, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF R M P Athletic Locker Limited CLAIM $10,842 DEFENDANT King Edward Hotel Ltd. 5170 Argyle Street, Port Alberni, BC PLAINTIFF Quang Van Nguyen CLAIM $35,156 DEFENDANT Landtran Logistics Inc. 2300-550 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF HMTQ Province of BC CLAIM $31,738 DEFENDANT Lordco Parts Ltd. 22866 Dewdney Trunk Road, Maple Ridge, BC PLAINTIFF Caara Haynes CLAIM $35,326 DEFENDANT M48 Investments Ltd. 3637 Shelbourne Street, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Alexis Dunn CLAIM $35,156 DEFENDANT

29 Marshall Trucking Inc. 990 – 1040 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF HMTQ Province of BC CLAIM $31,738


DEFENDANT Methodic Falling Ltd. 2383 Hoover Road, Campbell River, BC PLAINTIFF Chan Nowosad Boates Inc. CLAIM $32,133

DEFENDANT S & I Hardwood Floors 1885 Feltham Road, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Dwayne Epp CLAIM $8,984

DEFENDANT Moneris Solutions Corporation 10th Floor 3300 Bloor Street West, Toronto, BC PLAINTIFF Pacific Geodynamics Inc. CLAIM $6,334 DEFENDANT NJS Transport Inc. 74 Lyndbrook Crescent, Brampton, BC PLAINTIFF HMTQ Province of BC CLAIM $31,738 DEFENDANT No. 158 Corporate Ventures Ltd. 201 – 19 Dallas Road, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Alexis Dunn CLAIM $35,156

North Island College Foundation 2300 Ryan Road, Courtenay, BC PLAINTIFF Liberty Steel Buildings Inc. CLAIM $205,209

DEFENDANT Seabrook Developments Ltd. 723A Vanalman Avenue, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF 0831524 BC Ltd. CLAIM $10,875 DEFENDANT Ulster Transport Inc. 201 – 33832 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, BC PLAINTIFF HMTQ Province of BC CLAIM $31,738 DEFENDANT WOM Mastercraft Construction Ltd. 201 – 19 Dallas Road, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF RCS Resolution Construction Systems CLAIM $21,473



JUNE 2019

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The University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business recognized Sue Paish a s t hei r 2019 D i st in g ui shed Entrepreneur of the Year. Paish is the head of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster and is the former CEO of Life Labs and Pharmasave. She is also an appointee to the Queen’s Counsel in BC and has been named by the Women’s Executive Network to its Hall of Fame of Canada’s Top 100 Most Influential Women. Family-owned Russell Books on Fort Street is moving across the street to 747 Fort Street, a space once home to Staples. The new space has an additional 6,000-square-feet, making room for additional administrative and retail space, as well as room for customized shelving and additional seating. The official opening for the space is expected in the fall. Kelowna-based Kot Auto Group acquired Victoria Hyundai as of

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June 1 and plans on building a new facility in three years. Victoria Hyundai will lease its current location at 525 Gorge Road East for three years and plans on building a 30,000-square-foot facility at another site. The Kot Auto Group is a family-owned business led by president John Kot. Son Brandon will move from Kelowna to the area to serve as the director of operations for Victoria Hyundai.

who has resided and worked in t he com mu n ity si nce 2005. Tim spent seven years on the board of directors of the Victoria Real Estate Board, including a year as its youngest president in 2014, and two years on the board of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Victoria Caledonian Distillery came home from the World Whiskies Awards with the Best Canadian New Make Award for its Clearach Single Malt Spring. Caledonian Distillery is at 761 Enterprise Crescent. Robinson’s Outdoor Store is celebrating its 90th anniversary on June 19th and will present one lucky attendee with a $14,000 trip to Nimmo Bay.

Tim Ayres The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce welcomes Tim Ayres of Royal LePage to its board of directors. Tim is a Sooke realtor

OakTree Naturals is celebrating its 1 st anniversary at 705 Goldstream Avenue in Langford. Cotton s a nd Blue s, a S i dney-based boutique for casual SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS|  PAGE 31


JUNE 2019


wear, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Anna Savage has been the owner of the business since November 2017 after working with the compa ny as both a business partner and employee for over 10 years. Fairway Market is celebrating its 55 th anniversary at locations across the Greater Victoria region. The company has grown from a small family business to one of Vancouver Island’s largest independently ow ned g rocer y stores with 10 locations on Vancouver Island. Miss Bliss Boutique is in its 10th year of business at 2389 Beacon Avenue in Sidney.

Sonya Conn has joined the Modern Real Estate Team. Sonya has called Victoria home for most of the last 25 years and has been a l icensed rea ltor since 2009. The Modern Real Estate Team is at 208 – 2187 Oak Bay Avenue. B o k e h C a fé i s a n e w photography-themed café open for business at 1028 Bla nsha rd Street. T he space featu res a photo-ga l ler y shot by local photographers and hopes to serve as an educational and networking space for photographers. The café provides coffees, teas, baked goods, sandwiches, wraps and desserts inspired by modern Korean culinary trends. Cadboro Bay Dental is open i ng t h is mont h at 3849 Cadboro Bay Road and is accepting new patients. Ya rrow Med ica l welcomes their family practice patients to their new location at 104 – 645 Fort Street.

Sally Morrow Pharmasave Broadmead introduces Sally Morrow, RHM, RNCP as the most recent addition to their team as a nutritional and lifestyle coach. Pharmasave Broadmead is at 777 Royal Oak Drive. Westshore Dental Centre is now open for business in a new larger space at 15 – 2945 Jacklin Road. The clinic is now open on Sundays from 9 am – 4 pm. W i n n e r s i s p r e p a ri n g t o o p e n fo r b u s iness at the Bay Centre in 20,000-squa re-feet of space. T he Bay Centre has recently undergone upgrades that include redesigned marquee signs, entryway upgrades and improvements to interior and exterior lighting. Mr. Pretzels and Lifestyle West are both preparing to open this summer in the Bay Centre on the first floor. A rdene, Bentley, Freedom Mobile, SoftMoc and Purdy’s Chocolates have all moved to new locations in the shopping center. Leif Wergeland, who sat on Saa n ich cou nci l for 22 years until retiring in 2018, has joined the board of the Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs.

Eagle Rise and Glenview Animal Hospitals welcomes Dr. Erica Wolford to their team. Dr. Wolford grew up on Vancouver Island and completed her D o c t o r o f Ve t e r i n a r y Medicine in 2014 at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. OSHIO College of Acupuncture and Herbology i s c e l e b ra t i n g i t s 2 0 t h anniversary. The City of Colwood has hired Robert Earl to fill the role of chief administrative officer come August. Ea rl w i l l joi n Colwood from the Town of Banff where he served as Town Manager for the past 15 years. Colwood’s previous chief administrative officer, Ian Howat, announced his plans to retire from the role in November. By an order in cabinet, Victoria developer Robert Jawl has been appointed to the board of directors of the Royal BC Museum. Jawl w i l l hold the post until July 31, 2020. Raymond Protti was re-appointed to the board with a term end set for July 2020 a n d Pe eter We si k w a s re-appointed until July 31, 2021. Gord Snell was appointed as the new president of Archipelago Marine Research – replacing Shawn

Stebbins, who held the post for 15 yea rs. Snel l will oversee the overall operat ion s of t he f i r m including its subsidiaries in the US and Australia. Snell was previously the director of the company’s monitoring technologies d iv i s ion . A rc h ip el a go provides marine resource management products and services and has over 150 employees. Engel and Volkers announced that Gina Wakeham has joined their team of professionals and will work out of the agency’s Oak Bay office at 2249 Oak Bay Avenue. Oak Bay Bikes is celebrating its 85th anniversary at 1990 Oak Bay Avenue. This year is also mark’s the 25 t h a n n iversa ry of the Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week, which the bike shop supports with free tune-ups at the celebration stations during the events. Pets West is celebrating its 30 th anniversary from June 21 to 23 at 777 Royal Oak Drive. FishingBooker recently named Victoria as Canada’s best family fishing town on their ranked list of friendly fishing towns in Canada. Victoria made the list thanks to the number of family friendly attractions in the city such as Canada’s first Chinatown, Miniature World, Craigdarroch Castle and the Butchart Gardens.



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Mark Walsh Pulver Crawford Munroe law firm has added Mark Walsh to its te a m a s a labour, employment and h u m a n r i g h t s l a w ye r. Walsh moves from his role as school district secretary-treasurer with the Greater Victoria school district, a role which he has held since 2016. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the dragon boat races in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, hosted by the Dragon Boat Society. As part of marking the silver SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS|  PAGE 32

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The University of Victoria’s Campus Cycling Plan recently received the New and Emerging Plann i n g I n it i at ive s m er it award from the Canadian Institute of Planners. The plan was put together by UVic’s sustainability coordinator Susan Kerr in partnership with UVic’s ca mpus pla n n i ng a nd susta i nabi l ity d i rector Mike Wilson, as well as Urban Systems planning consultants. Brun Dahlquist, owner of Pluto’s Restaurant at 1150 Cook Street, has learned that the restaurant’s lease will not be renewed in order to make way for a new project by Sakura Developments. The business has until April 2020 to move out of the space, though the business hopes to find a suitable home before then. The Sidney/North Saanich Library held a grand opening celebration on Ju ne 15 t h for a new a nd improved library at 10091 Resthaven Drive in Sidney. T he reimagined library underwent $2-million in renos that included upgrades to flooring, HVAC, l ig hti ng, w i ndows a nd more. The new space includes remodeled youth and adult’s sections, new f u r n i t u re , a f i re p l a c e lounging area, additional computers and upgrades to improve accessibility for wheelchairs, strollers and walkers. S a a n i c h c o u n c i l a pproved an application from Red Lion Inn on Douglas Street to extend serving hou rs. T he appl ication which still requires approval by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), would extend liquor service to 2:00 am every day of the week. Queen’s Grocery at 10153 Resthaven Drive signed on a s a U-Hau l nei g hbourhood dealer, which will see the grocery offer trucks, towing equipment, moving supplies and instore pick-up for boxes. Due to space restrictions, Queen’s Grocery will keep just one van on-site, but trucks can be booked in advance.

JUNE 2019

Sit k a Yoga op e n s fo r business in a newly renovated space, featuring a variety of yoga and pilates classes at 9819 Fifth Street in Sidney.

Grades 9-12; continuing education – for students aged 16-60 and above; and a program called The Link, the district’s new online learning program.

Ranjit and Jasbir Bains h ave op ened Ta ndoori Flavour Indian Bistro at 2389 Beacon Avenue. The eatery includes favourite Indian dishes including chicken tikka, masala fish, vegeta r i a n sp eci a lt ies and more on an extensive menu.

D e p a r t u re s T ravel i s celebrating its 1st anniversary of its Sidney branch at 105 – 2506 Beacon Avenue.

Babak’s Oriental Carpets is celebrating its 25th anniversary at 919 Fort Street. Christie’s International Real Estate recently presented Newport Realty with the Affiliate of the Year Award in the small market category. Newport received the award for its television series on New port real estate agents introducing their lu x ury real estate in 13 i nter n at ion a l m a rkets and its video advertising at Victoria International Airport, featuring luxury listings. Open Spaces Arts Society appointed Gerry Ambers as its elder in residence and Doug Jarvis as guest curator. The organization is an artist-run center and Gerry A mbers is an Indigenous elder and artist. The Cridge Centre for the Family is in its 145 th year of serving the community and is at 1307 Hillside Avenue. The organization provides inclusive care and support for children and families in all walks of life. T he Victoria Residential Builders Association has announced a Call for Entry for the 2019 Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence (CARE) Awards of Vancouver Island. The award winners will be announced in the fall at the Fairmont Empress Hotel at the awards celebration. T he for mer Bu r nside Elementary School has reopened as an alternative and continuing education center after a $6.5-million upgrade that included a seismic refit. The 100-year-old school closed in 2006 while enrollment was falling and is now named the S.J. Burnside Education Centre. The school now has programs including an alternative scho ol for s t ud ents i n

Maycock Eyeca re i s celebrating its 70 th anniversary at 1318 Blanshard Street. B r ow n s S o c i a l h o u s e Uptown was recently recognized as the most successful Brown’s restaurant in Canada at the Browns Restaurant Group Awards. Jeremy and Norm Wilson received Franchise of the Year Award. The owners opened their location in 2016 a nd a re pl a n n i ng on expanding to Victoria West, where they plan on opening the Island’s first Browns Crafthouse at the corner of Bay Street and Tyee Road this summer. Abstract Developments has signed the first three commercial tenants for its Black and W hite development on the corner of Cook and Fort Streets. The project is mixed-use with 75 residential units and is expected to be completed in October. The tenants at Bear & Joey, a 60-seat café to be located at the corner of Cook and Meares Street, Hydrate IV Wellness Centre, a naturopathic center at 1103 Cook Street and dentist Dr. Craig Siemens at 1105 Cook Street. Ca n a d i a n Ap a r t m ent P rop er ties Rea l Estate Investment Trust has acquired a $26.5-million development in View Royal. The development is a 65unit multi-family building with one-, two- and three-bedroom units that is 97 per cent leased. Re/Max Camosun cong ratu lates its top prod u c e r s fo r t h e m o n t h of May from across the Greater Victoria region. Hailing from Victoria the top producers are Cheryl Barnes, Blair Veenstra, Andrew Holenchuk, Michael McMullen, Roxanne Brass, Paul Askew, Geoff McLean, Laurie Lidstone, Mancy Di Castri, Alex Rose and Bruce Hatter. Tony Joe and Veronica Crha were the top producers for Oak Bay, Dale Sheppard and Dan Silburn were the top producers for Westshore, SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS|  PAGE 33


JUNE 2019


Oliver Katz for Sooke and Brooke Miller for Sidney. Re/Max Alliance Victoria congratulates their sales leaders for May. They are Ron Neal, Jason Leslie, Manpreet Kandola, Julia Swift, Karen Love, Ryan Fach, Jaclyn McMillan, Chantelle Lysyk, Claude Delamaire and Laura Godbeer. The Seahaven townhouse development in Sidney is offering a free electric Smart Car in partnership with Three Point Motors as a promotion to convince potential buyers to move into the development. Each townhome comes with an EV-ready garage. Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty announced their top producers for May for the Greater Victoria region. The top producers were Neil Bosdet, Rick Hoogendoorn, Sarah West, Pat Foster, Tammi Dimock, Roger Levesque, Justen Lalonde, Cheryl Laidlaw, Craig Toker, Jacob Dimock, Mike Hartshorne, James Liu, Jordan Campbell, Morley Bryant, Tara Lynn, Cal Faber, Jason Chen, Saira Waters, Tim Ayres, Alli Munro, Scott Munro, David Stevens, Tasha Medve, Jackie Adkins and Jenn Raappana.

Destination Greater Victoria’s business events division recently named Wear2Start Society as its charity of choice. The notfor-profit provides professional wardrobes to women in need and will have Destination Victoria promote its work during events and meetings. T he Victoria Ha rbou rCats recently debuted their newest attraction at Wilson’s Group Stadium – a 120-metre zipline spanning almost an entire city blo ck. T he z ipl i ne w i l l r u n alongside Cook Street, beyond the right-field fence, toward Pembroke Street. Constable Don McIntosh is the most recent addition to the West Shore RCMP, taking on a role to



facilitate education around cannabis. The new role is designed to create awareness around cannabis use as well as to educate and inform the public about cannabis related regulations. BC Transit recently opened their new body and paint facility at 520 Gorge Road East after two years of demolition and reconstruction. The new shop includes an enclosed painting garage – large enough to accommodate a double decker bus. The new facility also includes an on-site wastewater treatment system and an upgraded repair station. BC Transit is anticipating 1,200 buses coming through the shop each year, with projections of more coming through as their fleet grows.




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ver lunch, a businessman in Kelowna shared that in a recent conversation, BC’s Finance Minister Carole James told him it was the NDP government’s goal to reduce the value of the province’s residential real estate market by 20-30 per cent. I sought to have that verified, starting by directly contacting James via email. I was “intercepted” by Chandler Grieve, Senior Public Affairs Officer/Media Relations for the Ministry of Finance. After a phone call, I sent the questions to him directly via email, and Grieve’s first response was that he had no recollection of the meeting. I responded that I wasn’t trying to determine whether there was a meeting or not – that the question was what needed to be answered: “Is it the goal of Finance Minister Carole James to see the value of residential real estate in BC decrease by 20-30 per cent?” The generic response included a

statement made earlier in May by James, which noted “we needed to deal with a housing crisis and we needed to deal with speculation in the market. When you have people who can’t find places to live in the communities that they work in. . .you have a crisis and we have to deal with it. We are looking at everything from sales, to home starts, to affordability prices, to vacancy rates. . .” To which I responded again to Grieve, looking for a simple answer. “How about just answering the question straight up: ‘Is it the Minister’s goal to reduce the price of residential real estate 20-30 per cent?’ The answer, I would think, would be yes, or no.” No response. No surprise, really. It could have easily been a flat “No”. Yet if James’ alleged comments are true – and we’ve given her and her office every opportunity to say whether they were or weren’t – that should send shudders down the spines of every homeowner in the province. Home ownership is the backbone of financial strength for most families, as its Capital Gains exemption means any upward price gains aren’t taxed and become a large part of retirement planning. Yet even as neither James nor Grieve will confirm the 20-30 per cent reduction goal, the NDP government’s predictable ideologically-driven policies are having an

increasingly concerning effect on the real estate market. Their preferred “rich versus poor” diatribe manifests itself with policies like the “speculation tax”, which hammers selected communities where individuals own second, third or more residences – even if they’re only summer homes. Their foreign buyers’ tax, which was mainly aimed at Asian investors, has reduced what was a torrent of purchases down to a drizzle. Real estate boards throughout the province continue to report reductions in sales volumes from 10-20 per cent month over month, and significant reductions year over year. And yet, still, the NDP plods on, pursuing a path that has actually increased prices in some areas, simply because the supply has dwindled. Meanwhile, civic councils, which are often NDP farm teams largely due to public sector union funded pushes behind NDP candidates who ultimately vote on their labour contracts (somehow that’s not a conflict), make it increasingly difficult to develop and add product to the real estate market. Which produces scarcity, which drives up prices. The NDP is now boasting about rent controls, much to the delight of supporters. What they fail to realize is that

the unintended consequences of this squeeze is that developers put rental housing projects on hold. Why make an investment if you can’t get a decent return? The NDP’s response to that: Government funded low income housing. Which costs much more than the going rate for those built by the private sector. And, lest everyone forgets, it’s not “government” money. It’s ours. It is taxpayers funding those units. To compete, taxpayer funded subsidies in hand, with the private sector – that pays the lion’s share of tax already. Rent controls are obviously popular with renters, but as with most government policy, there are negative implications. A Ch a r tere d P rofe s s ion a l Accountant explained that rent controls also discourage apartment owners to renovate existing units, knowing they can’t recoup their investment through increased rents, as they normally would in a true free market. So if new apartments/accommodation units aren’t being built, what happens? Scarcity – and another failure to address the problem of availability. On the other hand, what is currently happening is the private sector, sensing opportunity due to extremely low vacancy rates, is the building of rental housing/ apartments everywhere, it seems.

They know their buildings will be filled immediately. One Island developer was a year and a half away from completion of a sizeable apartment block, and noted that half of the units are spoken for. The other thing that happens is, renters currently in older housing units see an opportunity to “move up” and seek tenancy in the new projects – which leaves vacancies where they used to live. They can manage to pay a little more for something new, and their former abodes become, effectively, a wave of “low-income housing”. So if the NDP’s goal is to reduce the residential real estate market 20-30 per cent, that won’t make housing affordable for untrained workers, either. But wait, if they raise the minimum wage. . . No, that won’t work. Minimum wage jobs were never intended to be mortgage paying occupations. But the NDP doesn’t get that either. It’s frustrating to watch the NDP nonsensically tinker with an economy that was doing just fine, thank you very much, for the past number of years. A team of rank amateurs fiddling with economic issues in real time, seemingly completely unaware of the potentially devastating results of their ideologically-driven policy. Who pays for that? Everyone, including their own traditional supporters.




s the fall federal election ap proa che s, p ol it ic a l commentators will bombard Canadians with sometimes misleading rhetoric. But Canadians need facts, not fiction, to make well-informed decisions. Such rhetoric undermines the public’s understanding of good policy and on one key issue, creates confusion around the size

and role of Canada’s federal government in recent history. Appropriate size of government is critical, as it shares a close relationship with economic growth. Two measures can properly determine the size of the federal government: spending (as a share of the economy) or per person spending (adjusted for inflation). Immediately after taking office, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau increased program spending. As a share of the economy, federal program spending increased from 13 per cent in 2014 to 13.9 per cent in 2015. At the end of this government’s term in October, this year’s federal budget projects program expenses will reach 14.3 per cent of gross domestic product. So the share of government spending has increased (relative to economic growth) since the last federal election. Similarly, per-person spending

(inflation adjusted) immediately jumped from $7,740 in 2014 to $8,282 by the end of 2015. In 2018, per-person program spending (in f lation adjusted) reached $8,869, the highest point in Canadian history, including the Great Depression, the 2009 recession and both world wars. Clearly, under the Trudeau Liberals, the size of the federal government has increased. Yet the size of government can’t be branded by political party. Prime Minister Stephen Harper also increased the size of the government. According to data from the federal Department of Finance, the Harper Conservatives increased per-person spending (inflation adjusted) from $6,992 in 2005 to $7,740 in 2014 – an increase of 10.7 per cent. Prior to Harper taking office in 2006, federal government spending as a share of the economy was 12.5 per cent. By the end of his tenure, Harper had

increased spending (as a share of GDP) to 13.0 per cent. No matter how you slice it, the Harper Tories increased the size of the federal government. The expansion of government under both Harper and Trudeau stands in stark contrast to the reform period led by Liberal Jean Chretien. By the end of his tenure as prime minster, Chretien had reduced the size of government (as a share of GDP) from 17.1 per cent in 1992-93 to 12.5 per cent in 2003. Moreover, in 1999-00 and 2000-01, federal program spending as a share of the economy was reduced to 11.8 per cent – a level not seen in decades. Per-person spending tells a similar story. Before Chretien took office in 1993, per-person program spend i ng was $6,995. At its lowest point, Chretien reduced this number to $5,806. Although per-person spending inched up to

$6,670 near the end of his tenure, the amount was still lower than when he took office. Some political commentators may suggest a Liberal government means more spending and larger government, but that’s not necessarily the case. Chretien reduced the size of government during his time in office. As Canadians prepare to vote in the fall, it’s crucial to remember both the importance of sound fiscal policies – balanced budgets, smart and prioritized government spending, and competitive taxes – and the history of previous governments. The resounding economic success of the Chretien government can serve as an ideal model for future governments, regardless of the party. Jason Clemens, Jake Fuss and Tegan Hill are analysts with the Fraser Institute

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The Serious Business of Property Management