Business Examiner Victoria - September 2021

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September 2021

DEVENCORE TRANSFORMS TO AVISON YOUNG - 14 The Avison Young team in Victoria, from left: Griffin Lewis, Matt Pettinger, Dave Bornhold, James Murray, Amanda Neal, Nathaniel Simpson and Rick Pettinger.



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September marks the return to school, a significant ramp-up in busyness for most organizations, and this year, a critically important federal election. If that wasn’t enough, most business owners and leaders are dealing with worker shortages, supply chain shortages, and continued uncertainty from all levels of government on COVID-19 legislation. The beauty of business and entrepreneurship is that you are placing your life in your own hands. Your career, finances, and future opportunities are all intertwined and most of the time in your control. Right now we’re in a time where much of that control is lost, some industries more than others. It’s a real challenge that can pull all fears and anxieties to the forefront of your mind. We do not know what the future holds, let alone next week. However, it’s a risk we’ve accepted, and must adapt to. I hope the content inside this month’s Business Examiner helps you, and encourages you to keep pressing on in the decision you have made to get into business. Keep battling, John MacDonald, Director, Business Development Contact Us 25 Cavan Street Nanaimo, BC V9R 2T9 +1 866-758-2684 Office Hours Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 5:00 pm Saturday – Sunday: Closed Editor: Lise MacDonald ( Press Releases & Story Ideas: ( Sales: John MacDonald (
































BRITISH COLUMBIA - The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total 9,507 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August 2021, a decrease of 7.1 per cent over August 2020. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $901,712, a 17.2 per cent increase from $769,691 recorded in August 2020. Total sales dollar volume was $8.6 billion, an 8.9 per cent increase from last year. “Home sales around the province have essentially returned to normal after a record setting spring,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “However, we continue to see a drought in the total supply of listings as well as downward trend in new listings activity.” Total active residential listings were down 37.9 per cent year-over-year in August and were 42 per cent below normal levels for the month of August. Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 102.2 per cent to $82 billion, compared with the same period in 2020. Residential unit sales were up 67.8 per cent to 89,980 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 20.5 per cent to $911,245.

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VICTORIA - Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has acquired Gevity, a strategy and consulting service provider focused on helping healthcare industry clients transform their businesses through innovative technology solutions, to expand its capabilities to deliver health transformation services in Canada and internationally. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Headquartered in Victoria, BC, Gevity was founded in 1995 and has grown into an established health consulting firm with a team of nearly 100 experts and practitioners across Canada who support clients globally. Gevity works with organizations that span the continuum of healthcare, from providers as well as public and private payers to regulators and healthcare non-profit stakeholder organizations. The firm specializes in providing strategic consultancy services to health sector clients spanning capability areas such as health systems integration, informatics and analytics, and solution implementation and program management. Gevity also leads clients through digital transformations and information systems design implementations. In addition, Gevity offers proprietary methods and tools to support its work, including project and program management, inter-organizational collaboration, and health informatics. A key differentiator for Gevity is its strategic use of interdisciplinary teams comprised of practitioners with experience in clinical, technical and administrative roles in healthcare settings. Read more here

PLURILOCK SECURES U.S. NAVAL WARFARE PURCHASE ORDER VICTORIA - Plurilock Security Inc. (TSXV: PLUR) and related subsidiaries, an identity-centric cybersecurity solutions provider for workforces, has received a US$250,000 purchase order from the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) as part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Solution for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) program, a U.S. Government-Wide Acquisition Contract Vehicle (GWAC). The NSWC is part of the Naval Sea Systems Command, the largest of the U.S. Navy’s five system commands, and plays a crucial role in providing technical solutions to the U.S. Navy. The purchase order is part of a new contract relationship between Plurilock and the NSWC within the SEWP V program and the latest in a series of new business for Plurilock’s Solutions Division. All contracts and orders signed by Plurilock since April 2021, including the latest order, represent a combined total of US$10.48 million in sales. According to the purchase order, Plurilock will provide the NSWC with a renewal of their Dell® EMC Unity maintenance support for existing hardware. “At a time when data breaches are on the rise, the U.S. administration continues to allocate resources to improve the nation’s cyber resiliency, which creates a high demand for cyber defense products,” said Ian L. Paterson, CEO of Plurilock. “As a result, we are pleased to be able to fulfill the stringent security requirements of a prominent U.S. government organization such as the Naval Service Warfare Center.” September 2021

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BC RENT INCREASE CAPPED AT 1.5 PER CENT BRITISH COLUMBIA– BC’s maximum allowable rent increase amount for 2022 is being set at 1.5 per cent, based on inflation. This increase cannot take effect prior to Jan. 1, 2022. If landlords choose to increase rent, they must provide a full three months’ notice to tenants using the correct notice of rent increase form. To support British Columbians, the Province enacted a rent freeze at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The freeze has since been extended to Dec. 31, 2021. The 2022 maximum allowable rent increase is significantly less than what it would have been prior to changes made by the Province in 2018 that limited rent increases to inflation. Prior to that change, maximum rent increases could include an additional 2 per cent on top of inflation. This change has saved families hundreds of dollars. BC landlords can only increase rent once annually, if they choose to increase rent at all. The Province also recently banned illegal renovictions (evictions to complete renovations to a property) by requiring landlords to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for pre-approval before ending a tenancy. WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA

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GREATER VICTORIA - The end of summer has brought renewed concern over COVID numbers and new challenges for organizations. When the provincial government announced on Aug. 23 it was bringing in a proof of vaccination requirement, there were strong reactions across the province. And businesses reached out to their local chambers of commerce to do our jobs as powerful vehicles for advocacy and bringing people together. For employers, the shared concern was frontline staff. who already struggle with backlash to current rules. With so many organizations struggling to bring back enough workers to meet the demands of a recovering economy, there is little capacity or desire to have staff

enforce new restrictions. In our region, where the population has one of the highest rates of immunization in BC, the attitude was we can do this — but we need to know training and help will be there if needed. At the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, staff went to work engaging with our members and decision makers in government. I reached out to other community leaders and chambers of commerce across the province. The response was illuminating and, I believe, helps us better understand the different approaches required in urban and rural communities. We don’t need divisive discourse that takes away from efforts to protect ourselves and each other from the current and future waves of COVID-19. The protests outside hospitals that, rightfully, attracted so much negative attention don’t reflect the attitudes of business. As chambers, it’s in our nature to believe in people. We talk about building good business as the way to create a great community for all. We want business with good values to prosper so they can offer the products and services and provide the jobs and the tax base necessary for a community to be great. This is the same whether we live in cities with diverse populations or small towns where everyone knows your name. During my outreach to other chambers, this was clear and helps explain why chambers might initially seem to have conflicting September 2021

GREATER VICTORIA opinions about requiring proof of vaccination. However, all chambers represent the interests of their members and are working for the return of a healthy and inclusive economy. For example, one rural chamber said they needed better solutions for members who face a Sophie’s Choice between protecting their livelihood and turning away a client that is integral to their business. Both have value but the choice can be difficult especially when differing points of view are in play. The difficulty of course is when that client is a neighbour and a friend or relative who has different politics about the medical advice they should be following. In that situation, the priority needs to be ensuring COVID is not being transmitted. Period. Businesses in Greater Victoria won’t typically face that dilemma. We’ve had great success already following the advice of BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. With 83% fully immunized in Greater Victoria (as of Aug. 31), 78% on the West Shore and 87% on the Peninsula, we’re well protected by vaccine coverage. The proof is on our relatively low case counts and hospitalizations. But COVID is unpredictable, and vaccines are not magic. The longer the virus sticks around the more likely it is for even fully vaccinated people to be part of the chain of transmission. And with fall expected to bring a typical upturn in respiratory illnesses, we need to stay focussed on the best outcome more than ever. We can do this. We have the experience and knowledge that we can do what it takes for a temporary period to stop the spread.


Vaccines work, and masks are a helpful layer of protection. But respect for each other and the safety of our community is what will get us to the finish line. Bruce Williams is CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Upcoming Events 2021 Federal Election - Candidate Listening Sessions - Focus on Business September 14-16 – watch online at Virtual September Business Mixer Thursday, September 23, 5-6 p.m. on Zoom October Small Business Month sponsored by Grant Thorton LLP 3 session webinar series Save the Date! 2021 Virtual Chamber Auction November 7-14, 2021 Chamber Events: Check out details for our upcoming mixers and mingles at



A rendering of UVic Properties’ and Chard Development’s 135-room hotel envisioned for the 1300-block of Broad Street in downtown Victoria’s Old Town. The $50-plus million investment is viewed by downtown Victoria’s business community as a catalyst for post-pandemic economic resilience. The project is headed for public hearing on September 23. © UVic Properties / Chard Development

Sponsored by ESQUIMALT A culmination of over four years of construction at Esquimalt’s landmark Esquimalt Town Square community will coincide with the grand opening of Gallery Splash, a new arts initiative from Esquimalt’s Township Community Arts Council. The four-building mixed-use condominium, rental suite, retail and office project from developer Aragon Properties has completed in phases adjacent to Esquimalt’s town hall along the 1200-block of Esquimalt Road, and its emerging role as a cultural hub will be on full display this fall as the final piece of Esquimalt Town Square (ETS) is unveiled as ‘The Mill.’ With construction starting in 2017, completion of ETS began in 2020 with its two six-storey condominiums (The Douglas with 36-homes and The Arbutus with 32-homes, now 75 per cent sold-out)

on Carlisle Avenue at Park Place, followed by The Spruce in early 2021, a 36-suite, six-storey (fully leased) apartment fronting Esquimalt Road and Park Place. The Mill, a five-storey cross-laminated timber building with 50,000 square foot office and commercial space (fronting Park Place and soon to be home to a new library) is undergoing its final touches ahead of Gallery Splash’s and Greater Victoria Public Library’s openings. LANGFORD Residents of the burgeoning Happy Valley corridor may soon have a commercial centre with a restaurant, multiple commercial units and a childcare facility. Proponent Karen Colangeli has applied to rezone 3553 and 3559 Happy Valley Road from agricultural to commercial zoning in order to permit a 21,000 square foot, four-building development described as targeting “liquor store, September 2021 butcher, grocer, pharmacy, post office, veterinary clinic, library, daycare, and fitness centre” uses, plus a standalone restaurant. The project is planned to rise at the southeast corner of the Happy Valley Road and Latoria Road intersection near the Metchosin-Langford border. Presently the two properties are residential in nature, with a single-family-dwelling situated on each parcel. VICTORIA A plan to contribute over $50 million to the construction of downtown Victoria’s first hotel property in nearly 20-years could deliver an economic impact widely viewed as a strategic catalyst for the Capital’s post-pandemic resurgence. Proposed for the 1300-block of Broad Street by UVic Properties and Chard Development is a 135-room complex that will rehabilitate key and visible heritage-defining elements of the 1892-built Duck’s Building, plus add two subordinate albeit complementary structures to the north and south. Additionally, a rubble stone wall dating to 1872 at the rear of the Duck’s Building in what is known as Duck’s Alley will be day-lighted and rehabilitated. Despite the urgency to kick-start Victoria’s economy on all fronts, before work can begin Victoria council must review the project as part of a September 23 public hearing. Elected officials have intimated since the start of the pandemic a desire to back economic drivers to reignite the city centre as a dominant business and tourism hub for the region. Four retail spaces along the 1000-block of Fort Street could be making way for a purpose-built rental complex with ground floor commercial units. GREATER VICTORIA’S COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE LEADER.

Jawl Properties has applied for a rezoning and development permit application for 1030-1036 Fort Street – currently home to retailers that include a Sally Bun eatery and clothier Not Just Pretty – to erect a six-storey building with 30 residential units and modern retail spaces at-grade. As part of an application package supplied to the City of Victoria, architect Cascadia Architects describes the proposal as “contextually appropriate” for the site and “complementary to the city fabric in which it is situated.” Reliance Properties has unveiled its vision for the Capital Iron Lands, a seven-acre redevelopment plan centred on Store Street at Chatham Street. The proposal includes multiple buildings with heights up to 17-storeys and land uses that include residential, commercial, office and light industrial. A rezoning application now before the City. A 48-unit apartment complex built last fall on upper Johnson Street has mysteriously remained empty despite the Capital’s ultra-tight rental vacancy rate, but that’s about to change. Victoria-based Itziar Properties has begun listing one and two-bedroom suites at The Row, a six-storey woodframed project developed by Victoria-based builder-developer Kang & Gill on Johnson at Chambers streets in Fernwood. The move puts many months of speculation to rest as onlookers and industry insiders-alike mused over The Row’s potential as a student housing residence, a social housing investment from the province, a short-term rental, market rentals or a condominium release. Mike Kozakowski is with Citified Media and can be reached at LD




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The Avison Young team in Victoria, from left: Griffin Lewis, Matt Pettinger, Dave Bornhold, James Murray, Amanda Neal, Nathaniel Simpson and Rick Pettinger.


DEVENCORE TRANSFORMS TO AVISON YOUNG VICTORIA REAL ESTATE FIRM ADDS NATIONAL AFFILIATION VICTORIA – Familiar faces in the Greater Victoria real estate market are now flying under a new banner. Devencore Realty Victoria Ltd. has rebranded as Avison Young, a national company with 16 offices across the country. The affiliation brings together Avison Young’s real estate advisor and broker professionals in Victoria and Vancouver – creating a 123-person team in British. For two decades, the Victoria team has played a key role in B.C.’s commercial real estate landscape and the full-service firm offers a comprehensive range of sales, leasing and advisory

services to clients throughout Vancouver Island for their retail, office, industrial, hotel, multi-residential and land development needs. “It’s exciting to offer our clients a more complete platform with a company that shares our same values,” said Amanda Neal, now Senior Vice President and Partner of Avison Young in Victoria. “Joining Avison Young and combining the expertise of the Victoria and Vancouver offices allows us to further enhance our service offering in the changing landscape of the Victoria commercial real estate market.” The affiliation will deliver leadership for clients

September 2021

FEATURE STORY across a range of specialties, including occupier and corporate services, lease administration, tenant representation, and professional services (such as corporate real estate and workplace consulting, project management, real estate and infrastructure consulting, and valuation and advisory services). “Growing Avison Young’s diverse breadth and depth of experience is a strategic priority, and bolstering our already-strong presence in British Columbia further solidifies our strong Canadian roots that date back nearly 50 years,” said Mark Fieder, Principal and President of Avison Young in Canada. “I am delighted to welcome the Victoria team to the Avison Young family – together we will achieve tremendous collective success.” This past year, Avison Young has expanded

its client experience and professional services teams to best help occupiers, owners and investors navigate increasingly complex and accelerating marketplace needs around the future of work and city resiliency. “Our firms share core values centered around an unwavering commitment to people – and to helping drive value for clients,” said Michael Keenan, Principal and Managing Director of Avison Young in Vancouver. “We will provide significant value by leveraging technology, data and insights that are unparalleled in commercial real estate when helping clients reach their economic, social and environmental goals.” Avison Young is a 2021 winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies Platinum Club designation, and has retained its Best Managed designation for 10 consecutive years.

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Do you remember long ago at the end of 2020, when we all looked forward to 2021 being an easier year? To put it politely, it turns out that 2021 has brought its own challenges. For many of us, our brains have been on high alert since the pandemic reached our shores, scanning the environment and responding to fast-paced change. We are exhausted. As I write, people across our province are grappling with a reintroduced mask mandate, proof of vaccination required starting September 13th, a snap federal election, wildfires and associated evacuation alerts. In addition to all of the above, many business owners are trying to manage with not enough staff and therefore no opportunity to step away and recharge in spite of the fact that this is desperately needed. Exhausted people are not at their best and my purpose in writing this article is exactly as it

says in the title – if you are feeling tapped out or overwhelmed, you really are not alone. And the reason I know this is because I have been able to connect with my fellow chamber executive directors and CEOS across the province over the last 17+ months as we have all been navigating the impact of COVID-19 on our communities. When we are all so busy, stopping to talk to another person about challenges and stresses can feel like a luxury. But in fact it is a lifeline, crucial in supporting our mental health. While friends, colleagues and family are a great resource, sometimes more support is needed. You can find a whole bunch of helpful information and resources at And if you’d prefer to speak to someone, you can call 8-1-1 “any time of the day, any day of the year” to get help finding a service or resource. Let’s keep talking. We are always happy to help, and you can find out more about us at westshore., or give us a call on (250) 478-1130. Julie Lawlor is Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce.

September 2021


Chinook received several inquiries from in-

Hugh Cu lver built a successful business f r o m h i s o ffice in Kelowna in 2013 with the goal to help small business o w n e r s g ro w a nd promote their businesses MIKE LENZ, Partner through blogs. He changed the way businesses were being seen by writing valuable content filled with expert copywriting skills, SEO strategies and social medias best practices. After several years of successful operation, he was ready to consider an exit strategy. At first, Culver listed with a local broker. After several months with no leads, a friend recommended Mike Lenz with the Victoria-based mergers and acquisitions firm, Chinook Business Advisory Ltd. “A friend recommended Mike, and It changed everything,” says Culver. He and Lenz signed an Engagement Agreement in January 2021. From there, they began working together to create a strategic and captivating marketing plan. “It got me much more organized around how to present this to the market, so I felt much more confident,” Culver adds. After launching the business to market,

terested buyers. Within thirty days, a serious potential buyer was identified and the purchasing process began. “Within 1 month we had a connection with the buyer who bought it,” says Culver. After engaging Chinook, this business sold quicker, and for more than he expected. “It’s a dream come true that this little company I only started years ago is owned by somebody else, and it’s turned out he’s a great guy!” he adds “We had him over for supper and have gone golfing but I’m really happy with the whole result. Mike and the team at Chinook are just fantastic. It just gave me a lot of confidence to know that they already thought a lot the things ahead of time that I needed to be thinking about. “Mike made the process easy for me”




A rendering depicting Plexxis Tower, now under construction on Westhills Drive at Langford Lake Road in the City of Langford. The six-storey project will become the home of tech firm Plexxis Software founded over 20-years-ago in Ontario. © Plexxis Software


PLEXXIS BRINGING $44M INVESTMENT, 100 JOBS TO LANGFORD CONSTRUCTION SOFTWARE FIRM MOVING HEADQUARTERS FROM ONTARIO LANGFORD – Westhills’ Lakepoint commercial district will have a new anchor tenant when Plexxis Software moves its headquarters from Brampton, Ontario to Vancouver Island next year, as part of a $44 investment in Langford that will bring 100 new jobs to the community. Plexxis commitment was announced September 10, and follows 18 months’ work finalizing plans to move to the new Plexxis Tower that is under construction in Westhills. The building features 80,000 square feet with flexible lifestyle and workplace amenities, including a staff gym and lounge areas

fifth floors. There will also be 50,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial space, with two-ground floor units designated for future restaurant usage. Why Langford? Plexxis co-founder and CEO Chris Loranger says it was largely to offer employees a better quality of life than they experience in Greater Toronto. “It’s the idea of no commute and no mosquitos, to be honest with you,” Loranger said in an announcement on the www.langford. ca website, and adds he expects up to 45 employees will move from Ontario to Langford. “It’s really fun to come to a place where you

for Plexxis, which will be on the fourth and

can get everywhere in five minutes and, more

September 2021


Plexxis Software CEO Chris Loranger importantly, a lot of our team members all live close to each other. We support each other like a mini-community.” Langford Mayor Stew Young states: “You know, this is big; this is our largest influx of tech jobs. To have them move here, buy homes here and be part of our community is a real bonus for us and our community.” Plexxis’ arrival is the latest step of Young and Langford Council’s goal to make affordable housing a priority, as well as adding family recreational activities. “W hat we’re doing here in Langford is

creating a culture that we can get things done,” he states. “We have the ability to attract investment, which is good for our families because living and working in your own community is important.” Plexxis Software specializes in construction software, and Loranger adds “A lot of people say companies build products, but we like to say we build teams first, and those teams build products. “A team is only a team if they live, work and play together, and we’re moving to Langford for a quality of life and to be more of a community. Why Langford? It starts off with giving the families and the team that we build a better place to build a really good life.” Langford was chosen over several Canadian communities by Plexxis, as Loranger said the city has the best location in the country for their venture. Mayor Young points out that “Langford rolls out the red carpet better than anybody. “It’s very important for us, very important for our community and very important for the workers to move to here from other parts of Canada to make sure how we show a great community and what we have to offer to make that choice really easy for everyone.”

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CERB is crippling the Canadian economy. It’s a cl a ssic case of “the good being the enemy of the best”, where a shortterm, possibly well-intentioned solution becoming a long-term problem that is MARK MACDONALD doing damage that in some corners may never be undone. A case in point: One beleaguered business owner recently lamented the fact he can’t get his staff back on the job. Why? Because one of his employees is on the federal government’s CERB program, and receiving $2,000 a month to stay home and not work. Their partner also receives the $2,000 stipend, so between them, they are receiving what would amount to $48,000 over a full year. To do nothing. We are assured that CERB recipients will find out on their next tax returns that the $2,000 was/is not tax free, and it will be recorded as income upon which they will be taxed at the appropriate rate. But for now, it’s $2,000 up front – which is comparable to the $2,500 or more that individual would have to make working a job in the real world, in order to take that much home. Jobs paying those types of rates start in the service sector, and we’re increasingly seeing

signs on the doors of restaurants, in particular, which should send shivers down our collective spines. A popular Island diner advertises on its roadside sign that it is open until 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday – but a poster at the door states bluntly that the eatery is only open until 4 p.m. now because they can’t get enough staff to work. Normally that restaurant would be open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m., so CERB has already impacted the owners’ ability to provide its meals to hungry customers. Our supply chain is being seriously crimped in other sectors for the same CERB reason. Workers are still choosing to stay home and collect their CERB rather than going to their normal place of work. It is a micro-sample of full blown communism. Communist countries are not able to get enough workers interested in personal advancement to make goods and provide services that people will purchase. Nor does that environment provide any incentive for entrepreneurial minded individuals would take the risk to invest in their own futures by building businesses, or having their dreams realized in terms of new inventions or creations. We are now seeing that here in Canada. Yet much of the populace continues to waltz along, ambivalent to what they’re seeing happening, albeit in slow motion, around them. Why? Because they are partaking of the federal government’s prolonged “free” handouts, never stopping to realize they are mortgaging their very own future.

September 2021

OPINION Favourite brands of food and beverage are slowly disappearing from Canadian shelves. A combination of hoarding resulting in a lack of recyclable aluminum for cans has meant that major soda brands Coca Cola and Pepsi have altered their product offerings out of necessity. They just don’t have enough metal containers for some of their ancillary brands, even though they are worth producing and distributing in regular markets. Some brand name diet drinks are now on the sideline for those very reason. We recently went to a restaurant for lunch, only to find that the doors were closed because they couldn’t get supplies. They said they might get some that afternoon. We went next door, and similarly, the door was closed, with no promise to re-open, for the same reason. We tried a third establishment which was open, although a sign on the door explained that they wouldn’t be able to open to a full complement of seats because of a shortage of staff. A pub recently added wings to its menu, and noted that customers loved them. They then noted, sadly, that they couldn’t get wings until “next Thursday” due to a supply shortage – therefore missing most of a week of valuable sales for their new product. It’s not just food. A walk through an auto parts store revealed spaces on the shelves I’ve never, ever seen before. An electrical company owner notes that he has to be extra careful in his planning to make sure he has enough products to do the jobs he has lined up over the next four months. Reliable suppliers are running low on products, and he has to order four to six months in advance now to make sure his employees have the products they need when it’s time to do the job – instead of enjoying the WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA

luxury of just going to the supplier and getting what they need, when they want it. This is what socialism/communism ultimately looks like. While some decry the vagaries of capitalism, they may want to revisit their ideologies if they will open their eyes and view the results of paying people to do nothing. Some of their favourite goods and services have been curtailed during the COVID catastrophe, and as long as CERB remains those shortages will continue to increase. Some of them may never return, as entrepreneurs decide it’s not worth their time and effort to start again. That would be a tragedy indeed. Mark MacDonald is President of Communication Ink Media & Public Relations Ltd. and can be reached at mark@​

Dig deep with the frontline leaders of our economy


From the Trenches British Columbia business stories and commentary


WHO IS SUING WHOM The contents of W ho’s Suing W hom is provided by a third-party resource and is accu rate accord i ng to publ ic cou r t documents. Some of these cases may have been resolved by publication date. DEFENDANT 0867188 BC Ltd 6550 Me t ra l D r, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Robinson, Penny Mildred CLAIM $10,186 DEFENDANT 0904649 BC Ltd 3-2025 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Va u g h a n , T y l e r James CLAIM $12,216



1712318 Ontario Ltd 3rd Flr 26 Bastion Square, Victoria, BC Cortes, Johanna CLAIM $35,196 DEFENDANT Central Island Vet 6550 Me t ra l D r, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Robinson, Penny Mildred CLAIM $10,186 DEFENDANT Driftwood Design Ltd

906 Island Hw y, Campbell River, BC PLAINTIFF Nagra Holdings Ltd CLAIM $27,553 DEFENDANT Jakes Roofing Ltd 2-707 Primrose St, Qualicum Beach, BC PLAINTIFF Nayda, David CLAIM $9,650 DEFENDANT K Star Home Improvement Ltd 1103 G oldstrea m Ave Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Argus Excavating Ltd CLAIM $135,074

DEFENDANT Kimoki Holdings Ltd 1212-1175 Douglas St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Maracle, Shining Star CLAIM $14,560 DEFENDANT Lean Production Solutions 2847 Ashcroft Rd, Nanoose Bay, BC PLAINTIFF Sau n ders, T yler Jordan CLAIM $35,025 DEFENDANT Masthead Restaurant 1701 Cowichan Bay

Rd, Cowichan Bay, BC PLAINTIFF Maracle, Shining Star CLAIM $14,560 DEFENDANT Medi Dent Developments Ltd 403-495 Dunsmuir St, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Dr Sabrina Longchamps Inc CLAIM $362,500 DEFENDANT Nagra Holdings Ltd 906 Island Hw y, Campbell River, BC PLAINTIFF St Amand, Pierre CLAIM $5,413


Project Address

Project Type

Project Details




2730 Scott St

Residential new

SFD & Suite

Victech Construction Ltd

Oak Bay Applications

1307 Transit Rd

Residential new


Coast Prestige Homes Ltd


Oak Bay

3020 Lansdowne Rd

Residential new


GT Mann Contracting Ltd



836 Viewfield Rd

Tenant improvements

Driftwood Brewery

836 Viewfield Holdings / Waburn Construction


Central Saanich

7246 Skyline Cres

Residential new


Right Angle Builders



2013 Pinehurst Terr

Residential new

SFD - 402 sm

Lida Homes Inc



1100 Silver Spray Dr

Residential new

SFD - 299 sm

J McKendry Developments


Cowichan Valley RD

700 Shawnigan Lake Rd

Industrial new

Malahat Centre Industrial Park

Draycor Construction Ltd / StudioPA Architects

Nanaimo Applications

285 Prideaux St

Multi-family new

Supportive Housing - 51 units

NRB Modular Solution / S2 Architecture

Nanaimo RD

1254 Station Rd

Residential new


Falling Rocks Construction

Qualicum Beach

103 Railway St

Multi-family new

Condominiums - 17 units

Citta Construction Ltd / Continuum Architecture



3132 Grant Rd

Commercial new

Industrial Unit - 575 sm

Lacasse Construction / PHI Architecture



3388 Majestic Dr

Residential new


Benco Ventures BC

Strathcona RD

2713 Iron River Rd

Residential new

SFD - Unit H - 225 sm

Perspective Design Build Ltd

Campbell River

801 Island Hwy

Tenant improvements

Crowne Pacific Office - 1,277 sm

Crowne Pacific / Veyron Properties Group


1,600,000 12,000,000 653,000

800,000 1,283,000 800,000

September 2021

WHO IS SUING WHOM DEFENDANT Nanaimo Chrysler D o dge Je ep R a m Ltd 420-880 Douglas St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Stamm, Tania I CLAIM $22,777 DEFENDANT Osprey Construction Ltd 6263 Selkirk Terrace, Duncan, BC PLAINTIFF Double L Electric Ltd CLAIM $35,256 DEFENDANT Reflexology Experience 301-2220 Sooke Rd, Victoria, BC


PLAINTIFF Mork, Michele CLAIM $30,000 DEFENDANT Rocky Mou nta in Chocolate Factory Canada Ltd 2600-595 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Fifth Avenue Holdings Ltd CLAIM $92,290 DEFENDANT Semiahmoo Golf Centre Ltd 19 East 52nd Ave, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Stewa r t, Way n e Alexander C LAIM $14,246

DEFENDANT Soltani Holdings Ltd 204-655 Tyee Rd, Victoria BC PLAINTIFF Baker Tilly Victoria Ltd CLAIM $13,634 DEFENDANT Spotlight Academy Inc 3 2 25 Va n c o u v e r Ave, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF McBride, Richard Alan CLAIM $35,176 DEFENDANT Stirling Plaza Inc 1103 G oldstrea m Ave, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF

Argus Excavating Ltd CLAIM $135,074 DEFENDANT Three Point Motors 7th Flr 1175 Douglas St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Cortes, Johanna CLAIM $35,176 DEFENDANT Truck It Delivery Inc 9495 Glenelg Ave, North Saanich, BC PLAINTIFF Island Cruising Ltd CLAIM $35,276 DEFENDANT Van Isle Stucco 2741 Cedar Heights

Cres, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF N ova k , P a t r i c i a Anne CLAIM $35,156 DEFENDANT Van Isle Vapes Ltd 182 Memorial Ave, Parksville, BC PLAINTIFF Biks Enterprises Inc CLAIM $35,176 DEFENDANT Willowview Property Services 906 Island Hw y, Campbell River, BC PLAINTIFF Nagra Holdings Ltd CLAIM $27,553






Identifying retention problems has never been more important to stay competitive. In Part II of our employee interview series, we’re interviewing Marketing Specialist Tonya Havas to find out why she’s about to celebrate her 25th anniversary with Coastal Community Credit Union in October. 1. Why have you stayed with CCCU all these years? TH: I love that Coastal Community feels like a family, and I believe that our leadership has the best interests of employees at heart. Most of all, I appreciate that the credit union recognized a natural ability and helped me grow and develop my skills, allowing me to reach my current position of Marketing Specialist. 2. Why should a company invest in retaining good employees? TH: Good long-term employees bring a lot of value to an organization. The corporate knowledge and perspective you gain year after year provides insight that new employees may not have. 3. What are the key things a company can do to build and retain loyalty?

TH: T reating your employees with care and understanding and being flexible when employees need it go a long way to building loyalty. Offering career mobility, continuing education and a good work/life balance are also good reasons for employees to stay. 4. What are the dealbreakers that could make you look elsewhere? TH: I’d say the usual kind of things. I want a competitive salary and benefits, as well as reasonable hours. And I want to enjoy what I do and the people I work with. A positive and supportive workplace culture and good team dynamics are pretty high on my list of must-haves. 5. On that note, what are the most important skills a manager needs to effectively lead? TH: I think respectful effective communication is key—and building a feeling of connection with and among your team (spoken as a remote worker). Tonya Havas is a Marketing Specialist with Coastal Community. For career opportunities, visit Coastal Community made the list for Best Workplaces in Financial Services and Insurance in Canada, and was recogni zed among the Best Workplaces in British Columbia, a s dete r mined by Great Place to Work®

September 2021


VICTORIA HOUSING MARKET CONTINUES TO ADAPT VICTORIA A total of 831 properties sold i n t he Victoria Real Estate Board reg ion t h is August, 15.1 per cent fewer tha n the 979 properties sold i n August 2020 and 0.5 per cent fewer than the previous month of July. Condominium sales were up 31.7 per cent from August 2020 with 345 units sold. 21.5 per cent more condominiums sold in August 2021 than in the previous month of July. Sales of single-family homes were down 29.9 per cent from August 2020 with 357 sold. 9.8 per cent fewer single-family homes sold in August 2021 than in the previous month of July. There were 1,120 active listings for sale on the VREB MLS® at the end of August 2021, 56.7 per cent fewer properties than the 2,584 available at the end of August 2020 and 11.8 per cent fewer than the 1,270 active listings for sale at the end of July 2021. The MLS® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in August 2020 was $889,800. The benchmark value for the same home in August 2021 increased by 22.4 per cent to $1,089,400, a 0.7 per cent increase from the previous month of July. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in August 2020 was $483,400, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in August 2021 was $540,600, an 11.8 per cent increase.




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

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Phillips Brewing, founded by Matt Ph i l l ips, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. AGS Business Systems has rebranded as NextGen Automation. The print Matt Phillips hardware, software and services provider has offices in Courtenay, Parksville, Nanaimo and Victoria. Kyle Ryan (left) a n d S a m G anong (r ig ht) h a v e s t a r te d Fo r m w e l l Homes, a Victoria-based homebuilding company. Collectively they boast more than 30 years of experience in residential development.

Jane Johnston has been awarded the 2020 Spirit Award by RE/MAX Camosun for going above and beyond in her service to clients. Hawke Media has acquired Seriously Creative, a digital marketing agency. Hawke Media and Seriously Creative will work to maximize customers’ consumer base and overall customer experience, according to Josh Springer, Head of Corporate Development at Hawke Media. The Maritime Museum of BC announced the opening of its new location at 744 Douglas St. Innovate BC presented the final 10 for the 21st Annual New Ventures BC Competition, including Victoria’s LetHub and Rootd. Smuggler’s Cove Pub, located at 2581 Penrhyn St. is now open. Flight Cannabis Co., located at 977 Langford Parkway, is celebrating its first year anniversary. September 2021

MOVERS AND SHAKERS The Victoria Residential Builders Association has named the nominees for the 2021 Vancouver Island Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence (CARE) Awards. Winners will be announced on November 13 at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Highlights below, full list of nominees available here.

Award for Environmental Achievement: BC Housing - Croftonbrook Phase 2 and Mike Geric Construction - The Reeve.

Best Single Family Detached Home over $2M: Falcon Heights Contracting and Ryan Hoyt Designs - Flair and Family; GT Mann Contracting, Jenny Martin Design and Ryan Hoyt Designs - Hidden Hills; Novus Properties, Jenny Martin Design and Zebra Design - Magnolia Lane; Patriot Homes and Adapt Design – Elevated and Rannala Freeborn Construction - Oculus

Lindsay Kearns and Ruth Mojeed R a m i rez h ave been appointed to the Camosun College Board of Governors. The appointments began on July 31, 2021, a nd end Ju ly 31, 2023.

Best New Subdivision: Città Group and Ryan Hoyt Designs - Homes at Bakerview; GableCraft Homes - Royal Bay Phase 2D & 3A and Verity Construction - Westview Phase 1. Best Multi-Family / Townhouse Project: Abstract Developments - Avery Lane; GableCraft Homes – Compass; Kahlon Developments Sea Breeze and Mike Geric Construction - The Reeve. Best Commercial Project: GableCraft Homes - Sequoia Coffee at Royal Bay; Outlook Project Management - Nil Tu,O and Verity Construction - Westshore BoulderHouse. Best Condominium Project or Mixed-Use Development: Abstract Developments - Bowker Collection; BC Housing - Croftonbrook Phase 2; Concert Properties - Tapestry at Victoria Harbour and Verity Construction - Hockley Heights. WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA

Green Builder of the Year: Abstract Developments; Città Group; GableCraft Homes; Mike Geric Construction and Verity Construction.

Lindsay Kearns

T h e W i l l i a m Wr ig ht Commercial Victoria office has transferred to its new location at 843 Johnson Street. The University of Victoria h as been n a med Ruth Mojeed as a recipient of the BC Ramirez Knowledge Development Fund, which will provide $25 million to 34 post-secondary research projects focusing on innovation, ranging from cancer therapeutic research to artificial intelligence. Victoria Golden Tide Head Coach Curtis Pelletier had announced the full coaching and training staff for the team’s inaugural season of the Canadian College Baseball Conference, which begins fall play this September. Of note Victoria native and former Los Angeles Dodger Kyle Orr, who will serve as Hitting Coach. Joining Orr is Pitching Coach Ethan Fox, Third


MOVERS AND SHAKERS Base Coach Aaron Witzke, Assistant Coach Shawn Loglisci, Assistant Coach Ryan Haines, Strength and Conditioning Coach Jeremy Cordle and Athletic Therapist Tanner McGaw. TELUS Vancouver Island Community Board donated $20,000 to the United Way’s More Than Meals program to help seniors on Southern Vancouver Island enjoy healthy meals, social visits, and essential connections. Victoria’s first kosher bakery, The Bikery, owned by Markus Spodzieja, is located in the Victoria Public Market. It officially opened last week.


British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) increased its assets under the management of CEO Gordon Fyfe. The Victoria-based firm was responsible for a 16.5 percent increase in BC’s public pension fund. Howie’s Car Corral, Victoria’s #1 used car dealership located at 1658 Island Hwy, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The Victoria Police Department, in collaboration with the City of Victoria and the Downtown Victoria Business Association, hopes to foster a safer downtown by expanding its Block Watch program. The VicPD Block Watch program has been expanded to the downtown area to provide a safer environment for businesses and people. Parks Canada’s new National Urban Park initiative has Colwood on its shortlist. Parks Canada has announced a $130 million investment in urban park development, citing promise in Colwood, Winnipeg, Halifax, Windsor,

Edmonton, and Montreal, as well as one solid proposal in Saskatoon’s Meewasin Valley. The District of Sooke has been awarded a $1.8 million grant to construct a network of sidewalks, bike lanes, and crosswalks along Otter Point Road between Highway 14 and Wadams Way. The City of Langford is considering a $2.9 million bid from Seacliff Properties for a block of land near the Trans Canada Highway at the south end of Langford Lake. Jaimie Isaac has been appointed Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Isaac is a curator a nd mu ltid iscipl i na ry artist who is a member of Sagkeeng First Nation in Treaty 1 territory, and of Jaimie Isaac Anishinaabe and British heritage. (Photo Credit: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria) Richard Michaels has been named chair of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s newly formed Committee for the Advancement of Diversity and Inclusion. The committee will reach out to Richard Michaels better include communities that have faced systemic marginalization due to race, ethnicity, gender, physical capabilities or other factors. Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging September 2021

MOVERS AND SHAKERS earned 3 gold and 2 bronze medals in the TAPPI/AICC Box Manufacturing Olympics in 2021. This year, TAPPI’s CorrPack and AICC’s Package Design Competitions merged to establish a new event held at the SuperCorrExpo. The Government of Canada awarded Barnacle Systems a contract for the BRNKL Rapid Deploy, funded under Innovative Solutions Canada’s Testing Stream, an Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada program. Lisa Stuart has joined the Colliers team in Victoria as a Senior Associate.

a $175,000 grant by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to study the viability of residential energy efficiency retrofits. The Sooke Lions will hold Octoberfest at the Sooke Community Hall on October 2. Tickets go on sale on September 2nd. Saanich’s Commonwealth Place, the recreation centre at 4636 Elk Lake Dr., is set to reopen on September 17 after completing the final step in the transformer repairs.

Blockstream, a Bitcoin infrastructure company based in Victoria, has raised $210 million in a Series B round of funding, valuing the company at $4 billion (CAD).

A 75-unit modular housing project in Sooke, in partnership with the province, M’akola Housing Society, the federal government, and the Capital Regional District, is expected to be completed in December. It is located at 2170 Charters Rd., near Sooke Road.

Foresight is launching Foresight 50, an annual initiative that highlights 50 of Canada’s most investable enterprises that are pioneering the transition to a green economy. Nominations will be accepted until October 2nd.

The City of Langford, in partnership with the Island Corridor Foundation, started a six-business incubator project at Langford Station, along station Avenue beside the E & N Trail. Application for vendors is now open.

Just For You Fashions, located at 3142 Cedar Hill Rd, has been voted Best Women’s Clothing Store in Victoria for four years.

Robyn Welsh is the new M a rke t i n g a nd Communications Coordinator at Scale Collaborative. Robyn has a Bachelor of Communications in Journalism and has worked in newsrooms, as well as Robyn Welsh advertising and public relations organizations, to deliver compelling stories. She is looking forward to putting her previous experience to good use with the Scale Collaborative team.

The Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre is celebrating 30 years of leadership and innovation in improving communication, assisting families and communities in strengthening their bonds, and combating isolation. The Central Saanich Fire Rescue celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. The Capital Region District has been awarded WWW.BUSINESSEX AMINER.CA



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Pavan Nirwan has been named Director of Stakeholder and Government Relations at the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. Pava n has more than two decades of expertise as a trusted Pavan Nirwan strategic advisor, advising clients on government relations, company development, community participation, and stakeholder engagement. A 115,000-square-foot Amazon distribution center will be developed on Victoria Airport Authority land, according to Geoff Dickson, president and CEO of the Victoria Airport Authority. The construction of the center will begin in September and be completed by the fall of next year. The facility will be used as a “last mile” terminal by Amazon to expedite delivery to customers. The DER3 Program has been extended due to popular demand. DER3 is a program for companies interested in entering or developing into the digital economy. The Downtown Victoria Business Association is giving out security grants on a first-come, first-served basis to downtown businesses. Roza Home, located at 645 Johnson Street, held its grand opening on August 31. The Victoria Chamber’s major fundraising event, the Virtual Chamber Auction, sponsored by Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics, is back this year.

September 2021

MOVERS AND SHAKERS The Victoria Chamber welcomes its newest members Gwaii Engineering, Oceanwest, DeFrias Management Group and Breakwater Law. Paul Mara Jewellers is moving to its new location at 619 Fort St. on September 1. The Victoria International Airport has been awarded $3 million from the federal government as part of a regional air transportation initiative. The fund will go toward attracting new air services and increasing travel demand. Richard Porges h a s b e en named President and CEO of Destination BC by the Board of Directors. Previously he was the organization’s Acting President and CEO, and Vice President of Corporate Development. Wild Birds Unlimited, located at 3631 Shelbourne Street, is now under new management.


Kate Furtaw bought the store in late February. Capone’s Chicken is opening its downtown location at 4-612 Head Street in Esquimalt. The WorkLink Employment Society is seeking interested and qualified suppliers to develop and submit competitive proposals for construction project management services for the Pre-Construction and Construction Phases of a new WorkLink office at 2096 Church Road in the District of Sooke. Sooke District has received a grant of $1.8 million that will be used to install bike lanes, sidewalks, and crosswalks on Otter Point Road between Wadams Way and Highway 14. Oceanside Pharmacy located at 105-2506 Beacon Avenue is now open.


MOVERS AND SHAKERS Truth + Alibi Cannabis Co., located at Beacon Ave, Sidney, is now offering delivery services. The Storage Room, located at 658 Redington Avenue, is now open. Bumper to Bumper Auto Service has transferred to its new location at 2836 Millstream Road, Langford.



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Infrastructure BC is organizing a business event (link here) to support the Cowichan District Hospital Replacement Project. Local contractors, suppliers, and businesses interested in providing products and services to the successful proponent team are welcome to register. Leslie Welin, Clements Center Society’s chairwoman of the board, presided over the grand opening of Stanko-Casswell Place on Princess Avenue in Cobble Hill. The Municipality of North Cowichan and the Quw’utsun Nation, which includes the Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Stz’uminus First Nation, Penelakut Tribe, and Lyackson First Nation, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the establishment of a Municipal Forest Reserve (MFR) Working Group to share information regarding the stewardship and use of the MFR for the benefit of the community. Economic Development Cowichan has teamed up with the Synergy Foundation and the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce to further the circular economy movement in Cowichan. On Tuesday, September 21 from 10 - 11:15 a.m., business leaders are invited to a free virtual workshop titled Circular September 2021

MOVERS AND SHAKERS Cowichan: Business Opportunities in the Circular Economy.

Foxy Box Laser + Wax Bar, located at 179 Station Street, owned by Tiffany Shanahan, has opened.

Cowichan Collision was presented with this year’s prestigious Priory Vote of Thanks Award by St. John Ambulance in recognition of their excellent dedication to the Order of St. John in Canada.

Pier 66 Market and Liquor Store, located at 1745 Cowichan Bay Rd., is now open.

Cowichan Tribe expresses gratitude to Nexus, the principal contractor for the new $8.3 million affordable housing project on Boys Road currently under development. Dana Thorne, associate director of housing for the Cowichan Tribes, also recognizes the work of Porlier Pass Contractor, Matt T Excavating, Raven Stone Construction, HG Xcavating, Fran’s Trucking, Proframe and A-2-Z Traffic Control.

Rides 4 U, a new business in the Cowichan region, owned by the Valley’s Darwin family, opens on August 16. Economic Development Cowichan has collaborated with the Synergy Foundation and the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce to advance the circular economy movement in Cowichan once again. Business leaders are welcome to join a free virtual workshop, Circular Cowichan: Business Opportunities in the Circular Economy, on Tuesday, September 21 from 10 - 11:15 am PST.


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