Business in Edmonton - February 2020

Page 1






44 |





Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 8 | Number 2



Privatization: A Dirty Word or Not? By Terry O’Flynn

10 29



eet Bryan DeNeve, 2020 M Chamber Chair DeNeve is excited to help lead the Chamber through challenges in 2020 while maintaining the priorities set over 130 years ago. By Nerissa McNaughton







Patent Box Legislation Would Boost Alberta Inventors By David MacLean

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Cars for life.

19 Brands | 47 Dealerships | Over 11,000 Vehicles


Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 8 | Number 2




Rebuilding: Construction’s Big Comeback By Nerissa McNaughton


52 54 56 59


A urora Industries Celebrates 5 Years

N orwood Foundry Celebrates 115 Years

C HS Benefits Consulting Group Celebrating Business Excellence


Celebrates 20 Years



he Master of Business T Administration’s Transformational Effect By Will Porter


A Look at the Current State of Manufacturing in Alberta: Industry Leaders Weigh In By Nerissa McNaughton

44 47

Trust Funds 101: The Basics By Laura Bohnert

he Importance of Investors T for Emerging Companies in Edmonton By Dylan MacDougall

What’s in your 5 year plan? If it includes transitioning your business to new owners, start planning today. As a business owner, there is a lot to consider when thinking about selling your business. KPMG Enterprise advisers can help you navigate the process and help ensure you are making the right decisions for your future. To find out more, speak with a KPMG business transition adviser today. Nicole Osolinsky KPMG Tax Partner T: 780-429-7343 E:

© 2019 KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. 25933

OUR VIEW, TOO Just like you, we know the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Alberta. Our affordable benefit solutions put the needs of your business first. Put an Alberta Blue Cross group benefit plan to work for you. | 1-866-513-2555


Business in Edmonton Inc.


Brent Trimming


Nerissa McNaughton


Jessi Evetts


Courtney Lovgren


Nancy Bielecki


THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Nerissa McNaughton Will Porter Laura Bohnert Dylan MacDougall


Cover photo by Epic Photography Inc.


Lana Frank 780-809-1924 Kendra Taylor 780-809-1935



#1780, 10020 - 101 A Ave. NW Edmonton, AB T5J 3G2 Phone: 780.638.1777 Fax: 587.520.5701 Toll Free: 1.800.465.0322 Email:


Online at Annual rates: $31.50 | $45 USA | $85 International Single Copy $3.50 Business in Edmonton is delivered to 27,000 business addresses every month including all registered business owners in Edmonton and surrounding areas including St Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc/Nisku, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Fort Saskatchewan. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and all representations of warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, in all or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Canadian publications mail sales product agreement No. 42455512


*The Blue Cross symbol and name are registered marks of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans, an association of independent Blue Cross plans. Licensed to ABC Benefits Corporation for use in operating the Alberta Blue Cross Plan. † Blue Shield is a registered trade-mark of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. GR19-042 2019/09

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to circulation dept. #1780, 10020 - 101 A Ave. NW Edmonton, AB T5J 3G2

Business in Edmonton magazine’s circulation is audited twice a year by BPA International.







here do you stand on privatization? Did that question bother you?

The mere mention of privatization puts people’s hackles up. Typically, you have adamant supporters of privatization, or you have adamant defenders of public services. The entire linguistic structure of that statement suggests that privatization works like the public service’s opponent. It isn’t a lingual error, though, and that’s the core problem inherent in the social system from which both private and public services have emerged. In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher began introducing privatization into the U.K. That’s also when it made its way into the Canadian economy. Then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s PC government advocated for the privatization of Canada’s Crown corporations and for privatization within the health care sector. However, privatization actually has an earlier (and slightly darker) beginning. Its roots reach back to the 1930s, when the Nazi regime began efforts to de-nationalize sectors of the German economy. While privatization seems to be an ominous, powerful, and threatening force looming over public services, it was also created as a means to relieve the burden on a public sphere that was struggling to keep up to the demand of its service requirements. It was specifically introduced to Canada as a method of cutting federal spending while stimulating economic growth and allowing industrial competition to better regulate service costs and prices. Many believe that there isn’t enough transparency within the management of public services, and that privatization can lead to better economic management. In business it is easy to identify the supplier and the consumer. In the public sector, however, it’s not as clear.

For example, taxpayers that demand a balanced budget and less government spending also do not want money taken from services such as schools and medical care. Can we cut government spending without directly affecting the public services that have a big impact on our everyday life? Not if we don’t try. The value of a service is based on the expectations of the end consumer, but costs must be monitored and controlled so there is a profit or service result. Whether you are for privatization or not, the fact remains: competition affects profit margins and improves products and services – and privatization drives competition. The opposition remains concerned that the structure of privatization is too profit-driven, and that its focus on profits prevents it from managing the tensions that arise over conflicting objectives—like when the pursuit of financial rewards undermines public policy goals. Further, many find it concerning that privatization of vital services could ultimately mean that an individual’s ability to access those services could become based on an individual’s means to pay. Personally, I find that this debate is more problematic than whether or not privatization or public services are in themselves effectual. The biggest issue is that it’s difficult to have these conversations when both sides are unwilling to consider at any other options, including a blended option that sees a co-existence of both structures. Right now, the biggest roadblock is the refusal to consider an opinion outside of ones’ own. The only way to find resolution is to be open to ideas on both sides of the debate, whether that discussion results in solutions that are private, public, or that belong to something new entirely.








We are pleased to announce that Jody L. Wivcharuk has joined the firm as our newest partner in the Oil and Gas Group. We also welcome Jeff Geib back to the Calgary office. Jody and Jeff bring years of insight and expertise to the McMillan Oil and Gas team. We are excited to welcome them along with their extensive transactional experience and involvement with energy projects spanning all sectors of the industry. Contact our team to achieve your business goals



Pat Ottmann & Tim Ottmann

Natural Gas Will Again Energize Alberta’s Economy by David Yager

Profile: Chapman Petroleum Engineering Celebrates 35 Years

by Jamie Zachary

04 07 11 15

Cover: The Heartland PetrochemicalFEBRUARY Complex 2019 by Melanie Darbyshire

Global Insurers Servicing Our Energy Sector are Doing Right by the Planet

by Cody Battershill


Melanie Darbyshire

COPY EDITORS Lisa Johnston


Jessi Evetts


Supplied by Inter Pipeline Ltd


Courtney Lovgren


Nancy Bielecki

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Melanie Darbyshire David Yager Chuck Bean Jamie Zachary Cody Battershill


Evelyn Dehner Chris Miller Leslee Rycroft Kylie Caetano

EDITORIAL, ADVERTISING & ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES 1025, 101 6th Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2P 3P4 Tel: 403.264.3270 | Fax: 403.264.3276 Email: The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and all representations of warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, in all or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Canadian publications mail sales product agreement No. 41126516.

COVER 3 • Business of Energy • February 2020

WWW.BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to circulation dept. 1025 101 6th Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2P 3P4

David Yager | Natural Gas Will Again Energize Alberta’s Economy



he fifth anniversary of Alberta’s forced and painful adaptation to low oil prices, reduced investment and no new pipelines passed late last year. November marked five years since OPEC’s decision to abandon global supply management which subsequently collapsed world oil prices. There has been reduced prosperity and tranquility since. For five years, oil prices have struggled to average half what they were from 2011 to 2014. Four proposed oil pipelines are either dead, stalled or years away from completion. Ignoring collapsed commodity prices, in 2015 new climate activist governments in Edmonton and Ottawa introduced expensive interventionist policies accompanied by huge deficits. Political anger in the West is real and palpable. Almost forgotten in the drama of oil prices and climate politics is natural gas, the commodity that formerly paid the freight. Gas was the biggest reason why Alberta prospered for the 30 years prior to 2015, and why the five-year slump has been much worse than it would have been otherwise. Like the old Joni Mitchell song goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” The really good news for the new decade is that natural gas is starting a major comeback. The

outlook for 2020 is sharply improved from last year. If a handful of the gas projects underway are completed, this resource will again play a significant role in the economic recovery of the province and its major industry. Alberta exited the 1980s in tough shape, much like today. Big deficits, low investment and a stalled-out oilpatch clinging to fond memories of better times. But the combination of natural gas prices and export deregulation, new gas pipelines and Alberta’s 1991 royalty regime revisions laid the foundation for a major economic recovery. Oil, which always hogs the headlines, was going nowhere. After the collapse of 1986, oil prices remained in the dumpster for 15 years. Alberta’s production from legacy conventional fields continued to decline. It peaked at 1.4 million barrels per day in 1973 and by 2000 had fallen by half. It would be well into the 21st century before oilsands development began to seriously stimulate the economy. According to CAPP data, Alberta’s gas production remained flat from 1973 to 1983 at about seven billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d). Thanks to pipeline capacity additions, production began to grow in the mid-1980s. By the year 2000, gas output more than doubled

4 • Business of Energy • February 2020

Natural Gas Will Again Energize Alberta’s Economy | David Yager

As important as volume was price. Gas sold for under a dollar per thousand cubic feet (mcf) until 1977. For the next 30 years, gas would average $2.95/mcf, peaking at $8.46/mcf in 2005. For the first decade of the 21st century, the average price was $5.86/mcf. In 2014, gas still fetched $4.36/mcf for the year. Since 2014, the price of gas has fallen further than oil. For 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, average gas prices were only $2.64, $2.33, $2.33 and $1.44 respectively. In 2018, oil averaged 66 per cent of its 2014 price. For 2018, gas garnered only 33 per cent of 2014 levels. Brutal. The impact of natural gas on Alberta’s treasury was spectacular. While political legend has it that Premier Ralph Klein was a fiscal management genius, politics is much like oil and gas exploration where the old saying rules, “I’d rather be lucky than good.” In Klein’s first year in office, 1993, the value of all the natural gas produced in Canada (mostly from Alberta) was $7.9 billion. In 2005, Klein’s last full year as premier, the value was $52.8 billion. Natural gas production royalties in the 1993/94 fiscal year totalled $1.4 billion. In the 2005/06 fiscal year, the figure was $8.4 billion. Alberta’s gas royalties in the first decade of the 21st century totalled $55 billion. Canada’s total gas production fetched only $8.6 billion in 2018, 84 per cent lower than 2005. Alberta’s gas royalties for the fiscal year 2018/19 had plunged to only $536 million, a paltry six per cent of 2005’s record. Natural gas paid the freight during the go-go years when the deficit was retired, taxes were low and the economy boomed. One year there was so much cash sloshing around in Edmonton every living Albertan got $400, the so-called “Ralph bucks.” Of the all the reasons cited why this century started with Alberta as Canada’s model of sound fiscal management and enlightened conservative administration, the real driver – natural gas – is rarely mentioned. Except for oilsands and coal, Alberta’s hydrocarbon deposits are deemed “gas prone.” It’s almost everywhere as the CPR learned in 1883 while drilling for water for steam locomotives near Medicine Hat. For years anybody with $100,000 could drill a shallow gas well, put it on stream and call themselves an “oilman.” In large parts of southeast Alberta not hitting gas was less likely than finding some. For the first 15 years of this century, there were 96,192 gas wells completed in Alberta, an average of 6,413 annually. The 2018 total was only 735. The best year ever for drilling in Canada was 2005 at 22,186 wells. Sixty per cent or 13,268 were new gas wells in Alberta. The oil service business was rocking. By comparison, only about 4,000 wells were drilled in Canada last year. North American gas prices began sliding 10 years ago when massive new supplies were unlocked using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The discoveries that most impacted Alberta were the massive Marcellus and Utica Shales in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. These were close to Alberta’s best gas markets: Ontario, Quebec and the northeast U.S. As more of these customers were connected to closer U.S. supplies, prices and volumes for Alberta gas began to decline. Geologically, Alberta enjoyed significant excitement from the exploitation of massive deposits of oil and valuable natural gas liquids in new formations like the Montney and

5 • Business of Energy • February 2020

Natural Gas Will Again Energize Alberta’s Economy

reaching 16.1 bcf/d, the all-time high. By 2018, it had declined to 12.6 bcf/d, 25 per cent below record production 18 years earlier.

David Yager | Natural Gas Will Again Energize Alberta’s Economy

Most of the challenges facing Alberta’s once vibrant junior and intermediate producing sector can be traced back to natural gas.

Duvernay in the northwest. These also contained large amounts of associated gas production. Just what Alberta didn’t need, more gas. Unlike too many places around the world, Alberta is an environmentallyresponsible producer so the gas cannot be flared. This extra gas with no market further depressed prices. Pipeline transportation interruptions from these new supplies in the northwest to storage reservoirs in the southeast periodically collapsed prices. It has not been uncommon for Alberta spot gas prices to go to zero, even negative. Most of the challenges facing Alberta’s once vibrant junior and intermediate producing sector can be traced back to natural gas. The majority of Alberta’s suspended wells formerly produced gas but were shut-in as uneconomic to produce or repair. The growing number of abandoned wells managed by the Orphan Well Association are from once-successful gas producers. However, improvements – on several fronts – are on the horizon. Aware of the gravity of the problem, Jason Kenney’s new UCP cabinet included an associate minister of natural gas to focus on solutions. Working with federal regulators, producers and TC Energy, the tolling system for the NGTL provincial gas gathering system was changed. This immediately improved the Alberta spot price. NGTL will complete a $9-billion upgrade on Alberta’s gas transportation infrastructure in 2021 which will permanently alleviate the plumbing problems. Meanwhile, LNG exports survived October’s federal election and look very promising. LNG Canada is spending, building, hiring and working hard towards a 2025 completion date for flowing gas. This project is joined by Woodfibre LNG in Squamish, Énergie Saguenay from eastern Quebec and Pieridae Energy out of Nova Scotia, a project called Goldboro LNG.

Kitimat LNG looks stalled for the moment after Chevron announced its plan to sell its 50 per cent interest. Although this is part of a global asset rationalization, not necessarily the project itself. If somebody buys it, the increasingly bipolar industry will be just as happy as it was disappointed when Chevon announced its intentions. If they were all (except Kitimat) completed, LNG exports would move about 5.5 bcf/day of gas out of Canada, one-third of current gas production. This would have a huge impact on the natural gas business. Compared to what gas producers have endured in the past five years, you wouldn’t know the place. Politically, Alberta and B.C. have found peace over mutually-beneficial LNG exports and improved gas markets. While climate change alarmists continue to claim LNG exports are as bad as oil or coal for emissions once accidental methane leakage is included, common sense dictates replacing Asian coal with natural gas for electricity generation will make the world a better place. What is interesting about LNG is that B.C. and Ottawa introduced financial support to make LNG Canada viable. For oil, these same governments preferred obstacles like opposing and cancelling pipelines. As 2019 ended, the 12-month futures price for Alberta gas was $1.92. The same price in late 2018 was $1.35, 30 per cent lower. For May 2020, the futures price at year-end 2018 was $1.01. As 2019 ended, it was $1.58, 56 per cent higher. This will only improve with market access. Irrational optimism? Nope. Just numbers. Better B times ahead. OE

David Yager is an oil service executive, oil and gas writer, energy policy analyst and author of From Miracle to Menace – Alberta, A Carbon Story. He lives in Calgary.

6 • Business of Energy • February 2020

Back row Left to Right: Konstantin Zaitsev, Lya Lamoureaux, Rebecca Howe, Wei Wang, Khaled Latif, Grace Teh, Klorinda Kaci and Denis Briere. Front row seated Left to Right: Svetlana Simeons, Ann Chapman, Charlie Chapman and Roger Sakatch.


Chapman Petroleum Engineering celebrates milestone anniversary

by Jamie Zachary with photos by Riverwood Photography


t’s 1985 and Charlie Chapman has just ventured off on his own to create what would eventually become Chapman Petroleum Engineering.

Long behind him was the sun-drenched fields from the small central Alberta mixed farm he’d grown up on … the years of study at the University of Alberta … those formative days at Sun Oil.

Chapman did just that, rounding up the cows and then some in guiding his diversified petroleum engineering consulting firm to its 35th anniversary in 2020. More than 1,200 clients. More than 6,000 projects. More than 55 countries.

It was a moment of realization for Chapman — one that required tapping into his roots for inspiration.

More than Chapman could have ever envisioned.

“There’s a sense of urgency you get when growing up on a farm,” Chapman says as he leans across his desk at the Calgary beltline office. “When the cows are out, you don’t go in for cookies. You get the cows back in and then head in.”

“In 1985, I was looking from one day to the next,” he recalls. “What’s been the key to our longevity? So many things. I think the biggest thing was as the business changed, we found ways to succeed by adapting — by looking for opportunities elsewhere.”

Chapman Petroleum Engineering - Celebrating 35 Years

Charlie and Ann Chapman.

One of those early breaks came as Chapman turned the company’s attention internationally – growing its portfolio of reserve and economic evaluations for purposes such as annual financial reporting, acquisitions and divestitures, and securities underwriting. “A lot of where we really started to lift off originated with Calgary clients who were getting involved

333 11 Avenue SW Suite 1500 Calgary AB T2R 1L9 403-233-7750 |

CONGRATULATIONS Chapman Petroleum Engineering on 35 years! We wish you many more years of continued success.

with international projects,” says Chapman. “We got involved with how these countries ran their business. And we’ve since put together models for a lot of countries around the world for the various fiscal regimes they have.” Today, Chapman Petroleum Engineering offers a catalogue of services. As Chapman himself describes it, “Our slogan is no job is too small, no job is too big.” However, the core of Chapman’s business continues to be reserve and economic evaluations and resource assessments, which have helped bring several high-profile companies public to the exchanges in Canada, Hong Kong, London and Oslo, among others. Even as early as the mid-1980s and early 1990s, Chapman Petroleum was instrumental in many of the listings on the Toronto Stock Exchange, including Olympia Energy, Canadian 88, Canadian Superior, Neutrino and Vermilion.

Chapman Petroleum Engineering - Celebrating 35 Years - 2

“We evaluated the first well for Vermilion Energy for a roll-in for their public listing and continued to evaluate their company through their early growth stages,” says Chapman. “We’ve established a really nice relationship with the stock exchanges.” The company’s scope has continued to expand to include specialized technical services such as petrophysical analyses, well test design and analysis, formation evaluation (DST) and geological mapping. And in the vein of “no job is too big,” Chapman Petroleum even offers management assistance. “Because of our diversified staff, we’ve been seconded to co-ordinate various well-drilling programs, including a recent project involving the management of up to 170 producing wells in Alberta,” says Chapman. Some of Chapman’s proudest moments have been the company’s regulatory involvement, including being part of legal applications and hearings, as well as in providing expert witness testimony. Chapman himself just recently wrapped up a three-year term on the Oil and Gas Committee of the Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, which is a five-participant committee called upon to organize and preside over regulatory hearings. Chapman Petroleum has also found itself in international dispute resolutions. The company has provided expert witness testimony in forums such as the International Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland. Separately, Chapman Petroleum was an adviser to the Ministry of National Infrastructures in Israel in a dispute between the petroleum commission and an operator that, upon resolution, went on to make the first on-land oil discovery in that state. Moving forward, Chapman Petroleum is going back to the future, so to speak. In 2004, the company was part of a Canada-Kazakhstan umbrella project designed to foster joint venture agreements between the two countries. Over the next decade, Chapman Petroleum successfully worked on several projects for operators in Kazakhstan, including KazMunayGas, the state-owned oil and gas company of Kazakhstan. In the last couple years, the company has re-initiated its presence in Kazakhstan through the founding of Chapman Petro Consulting with a 50 per cent

Chapman Petroleum Engineering - Celebrating 35 Years - 3

partner in Kazakhstan. Under this arrangement the company is assisting with the government’s initiative to reclassify and record the country’s reserves under the international Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS). “That’s where our real growth focus is right now,” says Chapman. “We’re seen in Kazakhstan as an expert in that area.” While the company’s new venture in Kazakhstan is emerging alongside other projects in countries such as Azerbaijan, India and Mali – where Chapman has been co-ordinating the evaluation and development of the first known purehydrogen reservoir – Chapman believes there continues to be a lot of unrealized opportunities locally. He points specifically to gas-rich areas of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin that extends between Saskatchewan, Alberta and northeast British Columbia. “I’m on an advisory board for a company that’s doing a gas-to-liquids project, and I know another associate who is working on a similar project. Given these projects, along with the coal conversion to gas for electrical generation, I see the natural gas business getting stimulated,” he says. “And I see that being a big uplift for the oil and gas industry in Western Canada. That’s where the opportunity is for growth.” Chapman says the company’s longevity hasn’t existed in a vacuum. He credits his staff as being some of the best in their fields. “We have a diversified spectrum of experience from people from across the globe,” says Chapman, noting members of his 15-person international team hail from countries such as China, Russia, Kazakhstan and Albania. “Everyone in this company has special skills, including several languages, that contribute to the group. It’s a very unique group and I’m very proud of them.” He also feels everyone is willing to roll up their sleeves to get the job done – himself included. “One of the lessons I learned early on is that people at the top must participate in the billing along with the other professionals and staff. Everyone has to

carry their weight. That’s how we’ve managed to survive,” he says. Lastly, Chapman says, “clients sense we really care about them. We work extremely hard to meet their deadlines, and we take our professional responsibilities to society and public very seriously.” That’s a message echoed by Kal Latif, geoscience manager at Chapman. With more than 35 years of experience working for major players such as Total, BG Group and Encana, Latif was a former client before joining the team full time. “The team is unique. The way they deal with clients is unique. You feel the compassion that they are looking after your needs. You feel listened to,” says the Egyptian-born Latif, who has called Canada home for the past 25 years. “Many companies will have their own way of doing things. Chapman, however, listens and makes appropriate adjustments to the client’s needs.” Latif adds that because of his international exposure with several major industrial oil and gas players, he, like many others at Chapman, possess the added benefit of having been on the other side of the table. “We understand our clients’ needs better. We know what they mean when they ask for something. We can add better value,” says Latif. Chapman says, “The last cold-call I made was in 1987. Since then, we have continued by word of mouth and repeat business. I had a client who called me this week who we started doing work for in 1985 – one of my first clients.” “The best marketing you can do in a professional services company is to do good work.” Visit to find out more about Chapman Petroleum Engineering.

1122 4th Street SW, Suite 700 Calgary, AB Canada T2R 1M1 Ph: (403) 266-4141 | Fax: (403) 266-4259

Chapman Petroleum Engineering - Celebrating 35 Years - 4

The Heartland Petrochemical Complex | Melanie Darbyshire

Christian Bayle, President & CEO of Inter Pipeline.




ortheast of Edmonton, on a 230-acre piece of land in Strathcona County – Alberta’s industrial heartland – Calgary-based Inter Pipeline Ltd. aims to transform both the province’s petrochemical industry as well as its own energy infrastructure business with a $3.5-billion mega project. The Heartland Petrochemical Complex, construction of which began in early 2018, will be the first integrated propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP) complex in North America. The facility will take something abundant and cheap in the province – propane – and turn it into something the world consumes at a much higher price – PP (recyclable plastic) – while creating significant value for all parties involved.

“Alberta has some of the lowest-priced propane globally,” says Christian Bayle, president and CEO of Inter Pipeline. A University of Alberta mechanical engineering graduate, Bayle, who first joined the company in 1997 as a junior engineer, has led it since 2014. “The province produces over 180,000 barrels per day (b/d) of propane and consumes around 60,000 b/d, so we have a huge surplus that gets shipped to the West and Gulf Coasts at very high costs to producers.” The Heartland project, expected to be online in late 2021, will consume approximately 22,000 b/d of locally-sourced propane (12,000 b/d of which will come from Inter Pipeline’s own

11 • Business of Energy • February 2020

Melanie Darbyshire | The Heartland Petrochemical Complex

Redwater Olefinic Fractionator, located nearby) to produce 525 kilotonnes per annum (KTA) of PP. The easy-to-transport plastic, used in the manufacture of a wide range of finished products including consumer packaging, textiles, automobile components, medical equipment and currency, is the single-largest polymer in the world, with global demand forecast to grow from ~74,000 KTA to over 90,000 KTA in 2023. Heartland Complex is being built to compete in a global marketplace. The PP manufacturing process at Inter Pipeline’s complex is estimated to generate 65 per cent less greenhouse gas (GHG) than the global average, and 35 per cent less GHG than the North American average.

Mammoet crane lifts Splitter into place at Heartland Petrochemical site.

“We’re feeding into a nicely growing market,” Bayle explains. “Prices in North America for PP are strong and it’s the cheapest market for us to access. There’s great rail access out of Alberta, particularly into the Midwest U.S. where about 40 per cent of all PP in North America is consumed. There’s also a thriving PP market in Eastern Canada, and we can export globally through Vancouver.” The advantages of shipping PP – small plastic pellets – rather than propane by rail is profound. “PP is one of the cheapest things to transport by rail,” Bayle says. “It requires hopper cars versus pressurized tanks for propane. By producing PP in Alberta, we can transport as competitively to the big market hubs in North America, in some cases at a lower cost, than our competitors. We no longer have a transportation disadvantage for hydrocarbonbased product coming out of Alberta.” An energy infrastructure company born in 1997 as a spin-out of Koch’s Canadian business, Inter Pipeline today has four main business segments: oilsands transportation (comprised of the Cold Lake, Corridor and Polaris pipeline systems); NGL processing (consisting of large-scale NGL straddle plants as well as offgas processing facilities located in northern Alberta); conventional oil pipelines (comprised of the Bow River, Central Alberta and MidSaskatchewan pipeline systems); and, bulk liquid storage (consisting of 23 bulk liquid storage terminals located at terminals across the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden).

The Splitter goes vertical at the Heartland Petrochemical site.

Employee works on Splitter at the Heartland Petrochemical site.

The Heartland Complex will diversify and strengthen Inter Pipeline’s existing NGL processing business. It will also be the first in the world where the majority of the plant’s capacity is intended to be contracted under ‘take-or-pay’

12 • Business of Energy • February 2020

arrangements, much like how pipelines are contracted. “We’re not a petrochemical company, we’re an energy infrastructure company,” Bayle reiterates. “We’re undertaking Heartland because it is just another step in the hydrocarbon chain and extracts more value from our products. But we’ll do it within an energy infrastructure business model which allows us to de-risk the facility so we’re not exposed to changes in commodity prices. We’ll have stable cash flow.” Under these contracts, propane producers pay an operating and capital fee to Inter Pipeline in exchange for a fixed portion of capacity at the plant. “Those fees are designed to, when contracted, cover our costs and provide us with a profit,” Bayle explains. “We’ll then sell the plastic pellets on the producers’ behalf. Essentially, they will get, through no investment of their own, a PP-based price for their propane.” Inter Pipeline’s contracts with PP purchasers will be similarly structured. “They will pay a fixed capital fee as well as a propane, operating and delivery cost recovery charge,” Bayle explains. “They will then receive their proportionate share of the PP pellets, at no additional costs. These costs will generally be well below North American market prices because of our transportation and feedstock price advantages.” For example, over a five-year period, Inter Pipeline’s analysis shows an average uplift for propane producers of 110 per cent and a cost savings of 20 per cent for PP buyers. “It’s truly an investment where everybody wins,” Bayle says enthusiastically. “Customers get better prices, we get a strong economic investment and it’s great economic diversification for the province.” To be sure, Inter Pipeline’s investment in the Heartland project evidences its long-term commitment to Alberta. “If we’re going to prosper over the long term, we have to think about our resources differently,” Bayle insists. “Just trying to produce more and more and pushing our way into markets that are ever further away and costly to reach isn’t the best business model. Trying to make investments to add value to our abundant natural resources makes so much industrial logic.” A very large step for the company, Bayle sees petrochemical investments as a major franchise in Inter Pipeline’s future. “Not only propane-based investments,” he adds, “but other NGLs and olefinic liquids.” He points to ethane, butylenes and propylene as potential feedstock for other business opportunities. Two years into construction, Inter Pipeline has thus far spent approximately $1.9 billion on the Heartland Complex, which on some components is ahead of schedule. “It’s a large investment for us, and with any large capital commitment it takes years before you get revenue in the

13 • Business of Energy • February 2020

The Heartland Petrochemical Complex

Heartland Petrochemical site - October 2019.

Melanie Darbyshire | The Heartland Petrochemical Complex

Heartland Petrochemical Complex site construction.

door,” Bayle says. “It requires a lot of patience from our investors. But in two relatively short years, we should start producing significant additional EBITDA per annum for the company.” Although the first of its kind in North America, the project is utilizing globally-proven technologies sourced from international giants such as Honeywell and Grace. “We’re essentially using proven designs,” Bayle explains, “that have been modified to suit Alberta’s climate and our site plan. We’re confident that something that’s never been done before in Canada will be accomplished reliably.” Over 2,000 people are currently working on Heartland, including 150 Alberta contractors, with a total of 13,000 jobs expected to be created over the course of the project. Once up and running, between 200 and 230 people will be employed on site, with another 30 to 50 in the Calgary office.

service. “Government support is very important for mega projects like this,” Bayle explains. “Alberta is still a higher-cost area to construct mega projects given the climate, our relative remoteness and higher labour costs. In order to be competitive, government incentive is important. We’re very pleased to get some help.” The economic return for government, he adds, is already being realized. Through construction of the complex alone there is over a half-billion dollars in various payroll and income taxes being paid. “That’s in addition to the obvious longterm economic benefits over the next 40 to 50 years from this project.”

As construction activity has tapered off dramatically in Alberta since 2014, Inter Pipeline was able to tap a high-quality and eager workforce.

Partnerships with the community have also been formed. Inter Pipeline has invested $580,000 in a three-year partnership with Women Building Futures (WBF), to empower women to pursue careers in the industrial trades. “It’s an underserved area of the employment market in Alberta – women in construction and industrial operating jobs,” Bayle says. “We’ll support through mentoring, pre-apprenticeship and training programs in six different industrial trades. We have high hopes for that partnership.”

“We made a conscious choice to support local industry through the construction of this project,” he continues. “To direct much of the fabrication and construction activity here in the province rather than offshore. We felt it was the smart thing to do business wise but also the right thing for the province. It’s worked out well for us.”

In November, Inter Pipeline announced a 10-year partnership with NAIT to research opportunities to reuse and recycle plastic in Canada. Known as Plastics Research in Action, it will be funded by a $10-million commitment from Inter Pipeline, the largest applied research partnership in NAIT’s history.

The federal and provincial governments have provided $250 million in financial incentives to the project, the majority of which is from the Alberta government in the form of royalty credits, monetizable once the plant hits

A mega project with the promise of immeasurable economic benefits and diversification for the province, the Heartland Petrochemical Complex is great news for Alberta. B It’s cause for everyone to be optimistic. OE

14 • Business of Energy • February 2020

Global Insurers Servicing Our Energy Sector are Doing Right by the Planet | Cody Battershill



hat are companies really saying when they claim publicly, under intense activist pressure, that they plan to shun our energy sector in the future? I’ll ask it another way. If some international insurers and other financial groups say they plan to shift their business away from us and toward Canada’s competitors, how will these competitors be selected? According to news service Reuters, last summer a coalition of 32 anti-oilsands groups wrote to global insurers and urged them to stop underwriting the Trans Mountain pipeline, which activists hoped would block the delivery of oil from Alberta to B.C. It’s a standard manoeuvre in the activist playbook, dating back to the 1990s and the so-called “war in the woods” that pitted environmental groups against B.C. forestry companies. In the current version, pipeline opponents hoped this move would bring pressure to bear against the federal government to cancel its plan to expand the pipeline.

Of the world’s top 10 oil exporters, Canada ranks number one globally in every single one of the following rating categories: Resource Governance Index 2017; Environmental Performance Index 2018; Democracy Index 2018; and Sustainable Development Index 2019. Further, Canada also ranks first among those same top 10 suppliers in these additional ratings: Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2017; Women, Peace, and Security Index 2018; Rule of Law Index 2019; and Global Peace Index 2019. Who signed the letter pressuring these companies to shun oilsands development? You won’t be surprised to learn signatories included Tzeporah Berman’s, as well as Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Canada and others. Some say global capital markets are so large that any one organization that chooses not to provide services will have little, if any, impact on the larger market.

Again, the key question has to be asked: what are these anti-oilsands groups and the insurers that cave into their demands really saying about the Canadian energy sector, especially in relation to Canada’s competitors?

But I say we have every reason to be proud of Canadian energy – of our world-class people, research, technology, regulatory environment, indigenous relations and product that touches virtually every aspect of our lives.

And more important, what should they be saying?

If you want more information on Canada’s incredible record on the environment, health, safety and social justice – or you’d simply like to check my sources on Canada’s top rankings – then B please visit OE

Examples of financial corporations and insurance companies having pledged to stop financing oilsands projects continue to mount. The list of entities that apparently have caved into activist demands include Munich Re, Zurich Insurance Group, Axis Capital, and French firms AXA, Societe Generale, Natixis and Credit Agricole. Here’s what they need to know about global supply and Canada’s position within it.

Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder/spokesperson for, a volunteer-built organization that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.

15 • Business of Energy • February 2020

Global Petroleum Show Clean Technology Award winners!

Trido Zero Emission Chemical Injection Pump. + 2800 deployed to date

4 0$ Capital Outlay 4 Reduce Emissions & Costs 4 Increase Compliance & CSR

Lease to own model paid down by emissions offsets - Typical payout < 2 years

LET’S TALK 587.747.4077 or


Patent Box Legislation Would Boost Alberta Inventors BY DAVID MACLEAN


e’ve said it a million times in this space and we’ll say it once more: there is nothing more critical to the future of Canadian manufacturing than developing and implementing new technology. Research and innovation drives development, job creation and diversification. We’ll start with the good news – Edmonton-area researchers and businesses are excellent at inventing new technologies. The bad news is, they are not so great at turning patented ideas into viable businesses and commercially-available products. We aren’t alone in this. The entire country needs to elevate its commercialization game. Every province has tried over the years to get more economic punch from the massive public investment taxpayers make in research and development. As an example, the recentlylaunched Saskatchewan Growth Plan (a startlingly ambitious plan that commits to increasing manufacturing exports by 50 per cent by 2030) includes a patent box tax incentive. Initially developed in Ireland in the 70s, a patent box is a program that taxes income generated from certain types of intellectual property, notably patents, at a lower rate. When a local company or institution invents a new product or process and successfully commercializes it, a Patent Box policy rewards innovation with a lower tax rate. France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Israel, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Quebec all have variations of patent box regimes.

by the European Commission found “patent boxes exert a strong effect on attracting patents.” Of course, the devil is in the details. An Alberta patent box policy must be focused to incentivize the kind of work we want to see more of – R&D and product commercialization. We want Alberta inventors like Titanium Corp, TrustBIX and Stream-Flo to develop and commercialize their IP here at home. The Alberta government has clearly signaled a shift away from programs like patent boxes. In last years’ budget they eliminated programs authored by the previous government like the Capital Investment Tax Credit and the provincial portion of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SRED) tax credit. The UCP government is clear – they prefer a broad-based tax advantage over targeted measures to stimulate specific outcomes. The corporate tax relief and red tape reduction are welcome and will generate growth over the long haul. That said, sometimes policy makers must be creative. It’s a tired example, but recall the 1997 Generic Oil Sands Royalty Regime. That program was specifically designed to boost investment in the oil sands, and we will continue to benefit from that policy for the foreseeable future. A well-designed patent box regime could stimulate R&D and new product commercialization in Alberta with minimal impact on government revenues.

Do patent box tax incentives increase commercialization and research? A 2014 study in the Journal of Public Economics found that tax advantages that patent boxes offer do attract intellectual property development. A 2015 paper published CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS & EXPORTERS (CME) IS THE VOICE OF CANADIAN MANUFACTURING. CME REPRESENTS MORE THAN 2,500 COMPANIES WHO ACCOUNT FOR AN ESTIMATED 82 PER CENT OF MANUFACTURING OUTPUT AND 90 PER CENT OF CANADA’S EXPORTS.




Thank you to our 23rd Annual Snowflake Gala sponsors, guests and volunteers who helped us exceed our goal and raise more than $1,066,100* to advance physical and mental health care for kids from backyards across northern Alberta and beyond. Together, we’re giving kids the best chance to live a long and healthy life. We look forward to celebrating with you at our next Snowflake Gala on December 7, 2020. Thank you to our 2019 Snowflake Gala sponsors:


The Garritty’s Mike, Robi, & Family

Photos by Rob Hislop *Gross revenue

THE PROMOTIONAL PRODUCT EXPERTS, RIGHT IN YOUR BACKYARD Our roots run deep in the promotional products & awards industry. Started in Edmonton in 1952 as Alberta Trophy & Gift Shop, we gained recognition for being the first free standing trophy shop in Canada. Over the years, the industry evolved and our business expanded into what it is today, ELITE Promotional Marketing – an award winning, full service promotional products & awards distributor. We work with our clients to enhance their marketing by creating and delivering unique promotional merchandise that compliments and elevates their brand. Each and every day, our team aims to achieve our goal of ensuring that our clients receive high quality promotional solutions that are on brand, on budget and on time.


THE ELITE TEAM AWARD WINNING PERSONALIZED SERVICE For 8 years in a row, we have been named the Consumer Choice Award Winner for Promotional Products in Northern Alberta. It is through continuous dedication to our clients and maintaining high standards of quality control that we have consecutively earned the honour. Our experienced and knowledgeable team of promotional consultants provide a personalized service for each our clients with every project. We offer product recommendations and support from the initial product concept stage through sourcing products, managing customization, and overseeing final delivery. Our mission is to make it easy for our clients to create the perfect promotional items that make their brand stand out.




We’re hands on when it comes to creating our clients’ branded merchandise. Our 60,000 sq. ft. decoration facility at our Edmonton head office is home to our production team that specializes in screen printing, embroidery, custom built awards & ribbons, engraving, cresting, dye sublimation, heat transfers, and direct to garment printing. With our in-house production, we are able to achieve quick turnaround times while maintaining superior quality control for our clients. We’re proud to say that our services have long been trusted by high profile organizations such as the Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Oil Kings and the Edmonton Eskimos.

Your Local Branded Merchandise Specialists



The Era of Women: BDC’s Diversity Recognized Recently, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) was awarded the WBE Canada 2019 President’s Award in Toronto. This award recognizes individuals or organizations who have demonstrated significant contribution in supplier diversity benefiting or promoting Canadian women-owned businesses. BDC is devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. It provides access to financing, both online and in person, as well as advisory services to help Canadian businesses grow and succeed. For over 75 years BDC has been purpose driven to support entrepreneurs in all industries, at all stages of growth. BDC also has a variety of free tools, articles and stories from other entrepreneurs to help motivate and empower current and future business leaders. As we move into a time, which can arguably be called the Era of Women, BDC remains forward thinking with how it serves entrepreneurs. “As Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, supporting womenowned and led businesses is a priority for us, so we are so proud to be recognized by WBE Canada for our efforts,” said Laura Didyk, vice president and national lead, Women Entrepreneurs, BDC. “We know our economy is stronger when we have more female entrepreneurs and we want to help them unleash that potential, from providing financing and advice to creating an inclusive supply chain and procurement process that increases visibility for diverse suppliers across the bank and across the country.” In a three-year period, BDC has doubled the number of women entrepreneurs it finances. In 2018, the bank committed to lending $1.4 billion to women-led businesses by 2021. Also, in 2018, BDC tripled the size of its Women in Technology Venture Fund to $200 million, making it the world’s largest venture fund investing solely in women in tech. The bank also hosts and sponsors many events across the country and partners with like-minded organizations, like WBE Canada, to help women succeed in Canada and abroad.



Earlier in 2019 BDC launched a national supplier diversity program, with the support of WBE Canada. More than 60,000 clients and suppliers were encouraged under the program to resister for procurement opportunities with BDC. It was an opportunity for purchasing staff to learn valuable insights into the benefits of diversifying their suppliers. “We believe that sourcing products and services from under-represented communities and diverse suppliers creates a win-win scenario for Canadian entrepreneurs, diverse suppliers and BDC,” says Maude Pariseau, director of procurement at BDC. “Diverse suppliers and clients benefit from increased visibility on business opportunities, and BDC benefits from competitive offerings and greater innovation that allows us to deliver the best value to our clients.” Leading by example, BDC itself purchases a wide variety of goods and services, encouraging their clients to do the same. Clients, certified diverse suppliers, and B-Corp certified organizations can find more information by registering with BDC at BDC is proud to be named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers annually since 2012. As society moves deeper into the Era of Women, BDC will lead the way by promoting diversity and women business leaders through its programs, well into the future.



KNOCK OUT Parkinson Disease at the MAIN EVENT Presented by Parkinson Association of Alberta & Bayshore Home Health, this dress to impress evening will take place Saturday, February 29th, 2020 at the prestigious JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District. Parkinson Association of Alberta helps make every day better for Albertans affected by Parkinson disease and Parkinson’s Plus Syndrome. We provide support services, education, advocacy and funds for research. We also run and partner to run physical, cognitive, and social programs, such as boxing, to help people living with Parkinson disease. Boxing stimulates and exercises the body, portions of the brain, improves flexibility, balance, power, strength, endurance and hand-eye coordination and clients province wide feel the benefits of these programs. The impact of the various boxing programs inspired us to host our Main Event boxing gala.

The event will include FOUR fights, world class cuisine, live/a silent auction, live music and special guest Jelena Mrdjenovich, current WBC Featherweight Champion of the World and WBA World Champion! To purchase tickets visit or call 1-800-561-1911.









Building Bridges NorQuest College Teams Up with the Enoch Cree Nation NorQuest College making major steps in the fight to make education and training more accessible to native communities, and they have begun with the Enoch Cree Nation. “Enoch Cree Nation is excited to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with NorQuest College to explore future educational opportunities,” said Chief Billy Morin. “Establishing a meaningful relationship with NorQuest College will provide our members with quality education, which will eventually lead to better outcomes for the Nation. Furthermore, this relationship is symbolic of the Treaty right to education.” The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed late last year and put in writing the intent to focus on education and healthcare innovation with the Enoch Cree Nation.

Further to this, the MOU will help to develop training and learning opportunities through workshops, dual-credit high school programs and custom academic upgrading opportunities. With specific identified needs as a unique community within the Canadian landscape, these tailored programs will hopefully help bridge the divide we currently see between native communities, education and careers. Another important feature will be the Enoch Cree Nation Cultural Department, which will help to preserve and foster the Cree language as well as cultural learning opportunities. The College has an existing goal to enhance its community presence and the MOU is a major, tangible step toward that goal. The MOU is establishing the framework needed to achieve the strategic goals of everyone involved.




Master of Entertainment Add some affordable fun to your next Special Event with

Danny Hooper “Chief Morin and his council have an ambitious vision to create a hub of healthcare innovation, educational opportunities, and economic development for both Indigenous communities and urban Indigenous peoples in the greater Edmonton region,” says Dr. Jodi Abbott, who is now the former president and CEO of NorQuest College. “NorQuest College is honoured to work with them as equal partners in realizing this vision.” NorQuest College is proud to continue its commitment to ensuring the principles and objectives within its Indigenization Strategy, Wahkôhtowin, which aim to make education for Indigenous people accessible and culturally sensitive, are realized. “There is already great cooperation between NorQuest College and Enoch Cree Nation. This MOU provides a solid foundation,” says April Stone, business development officer, Indigenous Partnerships, NorQuest College. “The partnership will certainly open more doors for Indigenous youth and the community. Education from NorQuest College is accessible, and in the future, we can help provide Indigenous people with paths to careers they had not considered possible.” According to Statistics Canada, the 2016 Census showed that more than half of the entire aboriginal population of Canada resides in Western Canada, with 14 per cent living in Alberta. Further to this, more than half of aboriginals aged 25-64 had post-secondary qualifications, and more are more are moving into metropolitan areas. With all of this information at hand, NorQuest College is striving to create the most relevant learning opportunities that address the needs of these communities in meaningful ways.

Golf Tournaments Awards Dinners Conferences Meetings Conventions Sales Rallies Fundraising Corporate Events

(780) 487-5291 Are you looking for a change for your company Christmas party? Prosecco Welcome Reception Fabulous Festive Buffet Live Entertainment Door Prizes FREE Photo Booth FREE Shuttle Service Home courtesy of DRIVING FORCE

We're busy planning Edmonton's premiere multi-company Christmas party, and this year's 20th Anniversary holiday celebration will be our best yet! Hope you can join us. For information visit (780) 487-5291 BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // FEBRUARY 2020





ryan DeNeve is pleased to start his term as the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce chair, becoming part of the history of an organization that was in place even before Edmonton achieved status as a city. The span between the earliest iteration of the Chamber and the recognition of Edmonton as a city was 15 years apart. Yet, it is hardly surprising when one looks a little closer at the timelines and of the entrepreneurial people that made up the city and the Edmonton Board of Trade. Edmonton, the “Gateway to the North,” has always been a place of commerce and trade. Indigenous peoples were meeting on this land as far back as 3,000 BC. Archeologists have identified many of the artifacts left behind as tools belonging to semi-nomadic peoples; trade was evident during these times. In the late 1700s the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company established trading posts near Fort Saskatchewan. In 1821, the two companies merged to become the historical icon we still celebrate today: Fort Edmonton. Even though Fort Edmonton dominated Western Canada as the prime outpost for trading fur, the region was still known

for its business activities, not as a place to live. It wasn’t until the 1870s when homesteads started to slowly appear, and settlement didn’t ramp up until the early 1900s when the Canadian Northern Railway established a local connection and Edmonton amalgamated with Strathcona. It was just prior to this boom, in 1889, that 33 pioneers signed a certification of formation, or as it is better known, the document that formed the Edmonton Board of Trade. As visionaries, these members saw that the future of Edmonton hinged on selling its resources outside of the province, and outside of Canada. The Edmonton Board of Trade was renamed the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce in 1928, and the purpose remains largely the same: to showcase Edmonton’s resources on the global stage while supporting the businesses, large and small, that make up the capital city. Last year the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce celebrated 130 years of protecting and advancing the interests of Edmonton’s business community. As year 131 gets underway, Bryan DeNeve takes his seat as chair, and is excited about his role in moving Edmonton forward during one of its most pivotal and vulnerable times.








Economic and political changes, the ongoing boom and bust economy typical of the energy industry, climate change and the growing emergence of the tech/digital/AI sector sees Edmonton’s business community facing new challenges and having to adapt quickly with modern solutions. DeNeve is more than up to the task. Born and raised in the capital city, DeNeve says, “Edmontonians are typically down-to-earth, hardworking people. It is a tremendous city in which to raise a family.” With a history entrenched in the energy industry, a keen eye for innovative solutions, and a talent for leadership, the Chamber’s 131st year is in good hands. DeNeve has worked in Alberta since 1987, his career and education encompass economics, finance and business development. From 2011 to 2015, DeNeve was the senior vice president of corporate development and commercial services at Capital Power. “During this period, I led the development of new growth projects for Capital Power along with the management of commodity trading and commercial optimization of our generation assets,” he notes. “During this time, we also developed a number of new wind facilities across Canada and the United States and entered into a joint venture with ENMAX Corporation to develop the Shepard Energy Centre (a combined cycle generation facility) located just outside of Calgary.” Since 2015 DeNeve has held the position of senior vice president, finance and chief finanical officer at Capital Power. “In this expanded role, the team and I have successfully raised $2.5 billion in the capital markets alongside enhancing and executing on our overall financial strategy. A key element of our strategy is to consistently grow our dividend year-over-year at 7 per cent per annum.” The achievements are impressive, but DeNeve admits, it hasn’t been easy to lead in an industry that is currently facing significant changes as it evolves. “Capital Power has remained resilient through the ongoing economic and political challenges in Alberta,” says DeNeve with optimism. “We have a young and highly reliable



portfolio of generation assets in Alberta, which allow us to manage our commodity exposure with strategic hedging of our power position. We also have deep experience in developing and constructing generation facilities, which has allowed us to create significant shareholder value over the last 10 years.” Capital Power is a strong advocate for the sector. DeNeve explains. “We seek to constructively engage with governments, regulators and community stakeholders in all of the markets in which we operate. Electricity has, and will always be, a focus area for public policy discussion, and the growing focus on electricity’s role in achieving climate and sustainability objectives adds an important new dimension to the discussion. We work to provide information reflecting our particular experience and expertise in these areas to support informed policy decisions that take into account all relevant factors and considerations.” He continues about how Capital Power is excited about leading the changing sector. “Since our inception, Capital Power has been committed to sustainable energy through building and investing in state-of-the art facilities and investing in renewable energy. We are now focused on becoming a leader in environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy and reporting. Last July we established long-term objectives for reducing CO2 emissions at our Genesee facility as well as reducing the overall GHG intensity of our fleet across North America. We are also involved in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) with an interest in C2CNT, a technology company developing a proprietary solution to transform carbon into carbon nanotubes, which have numerous commercial applications. C2CNT is currently competing in the natural gas track of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, which is hosted at the Shepard facility, and is testing their technology at commercial scale.” Through his work at Capital Power, DeNeve has seen firsthand the potential Edmonton has to become a global leader in not only clean energy, but in many aspects of commerce and trade across several industries. With this view, he turned to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. His involvement prior to

The Business Owner Presentation Series Insights to Help You Address Your Business Challenges

Alberta’s economy has changed dramatically in the past five years. Add emerging industries and technologies to the mix and there are plenty of topics and challenges top of mind with business owners. MNP’s monthly Business Owner Presentation Series is designed to offer insights on the most relevant topics on the minds of business owners — and help you address the pressing challenges keeping you up at night. FEBRUARY FEATURE PRESENTATION Performance Improvement: Increasing Profitability and Enterprise Value of Your Business Date:

Tuesday, February 25, 2020


7:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Location: Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre 4235 Gateway Blvd NW, Edmonton Visit to register and find out more about this timely event. For more information on this timely event, call 780.969.1468 or email


FROM HIS ROLE AT CAPITAL POWER TO HIS COMMUNITY WORK AND INVOLVEMENT WITH THE EDMONTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, EVERYTHING DENEVE DOES SHOWS HIS LOVE OF EDMONTON AND EDMONTON’S BUSINESS COMMUNITY – AND HIS DESIRE TO BE PART OF THE CHANGE THAT WILL BRING EDMONTON TO A BRIGHTER, MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE. becoming the Chamber chair included work with the audit, risk, and policy forum committees. “I believe maintaining the standard of living in the city of Edmonton requires a healthy and vibrant business sector. The Edmonton Chamber is front and centre in terms of making this happen,” he says. “This includes advocacy on behalf of businesses in Edmonton to the appropriate levels of government as well as supporting business from the perspective of providing networking and educational opportunities.” DeNeve is excited about taking on what he sees as a big roadblock in the path of Edmonton, and Alberta’s, success. “Economic challenges continue in Edmonton and Alberta due to a lack of market access and overall slowdown in global growth, which is compounded by the fiscal challenges faced by the various levels of government. Advocating to all levels of government on the importance of maintaining our competitive advantage is critical. The Edmonton Chamber has done an excellent job in this regard over the past several years. We will continue to work with other Chambers to bring a stronger message to the provincial and federal governments.” He is also excited about, “The opportunity to work more closely with the Chamber’s members over the next year. Despite the headwinds, our business community is filled with talented individuals who utilize creativity and innovation to continue their success. It is also exciting to recognize the opportunities that are being created for businesses through continued digitalization in various industries.” As he thinks back on his time as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and as a member on several of its committees, he notes that there are several highlights he remembers fondly. However, DeNeve is most thankful for the events hosted by the Chamber that have brought, and continue



to bring, timely and relevant information to Edmonton’s business community through speakers, forums, networking and product demonstrations. A passionate supporter of the community, DeNeve is also pleased to see the depth of the Chamber’s charitable giving. “The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce supports the Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF), which helps children in need in the Edmonton area,” he smiles. ECF connects donors and charities, ensuring that those in need are matched with the best resources for their situation. ECF helps donors establish and grow endowment funds; provides support for charitable organizations; provides grants for students that have a finanical need and are demonstrably active in the community; and helps professional advisors’ clients manage gifting, donating, and legacy building. On the personal side, DeNeve sits on the board of United Way Alberta Capital Region, which he calls, “another very important organization doing tremendous work for people in need in the Edmonton area.” United Way Alberta Capital Region is committed to changing lives by breaking the cycle of poverty, lifting people out of disadvantaged circumstances, and providing a safety net when life takes an unexpected turn. With important programs such as Tools for School, Coats for Kids and Families, Care Kits for Homeless Connect and the Community Mental Health Action Plan, to name just a few, this organization helps thousands of Albertans daily, and DeNeve is excited to be a part of it. From his role at Capital Power to his community work and involvement with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, everything DeNeve does shows his love of Edmonton and Edmonton’s business community – and his desire to be part of the change that will bring Edmonton to a brighter, more sustainable future.

For the business community, this means encouraging more entrepreneurs and corporations to join the Chamber. “The Chamber has the mandate and resources to effectively support Edmonton businesses from an advocacy, educational and relationship perspective,” he points out. “As a key stakeholder in the community, Edmonton businesses can work together with the Chamber to ensure we have a vibrant business environment that enhances the overall standard of living in Edmonton.” During his term as Chamber chair, DeNeve will focus on government advocacy and looking for ways to best provide value for Chamber members. For DeNeve, the future of the Chamber, and of Edmonton, is full of possibilities. “This is our home and where we raise our families,” he concludes. “Volunteering time to enhance the community is time well spent and will benefit generations to come. I expect to continue to work with my colleagues at Capital Power to continue our leadership as a trusted partner in electricity generation. Part of this leadership is the continued advances in the area of environment, social and corporate governance.” Learn more about Capital Power at, and the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce at

35 Years of Distinction JR. KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 12

“Outstanding students, outstanding results.”

PERFORMING ARTS, VISUAL ARTS & TECHNOLOGY We are committed to maintaining a caring and creative environment that fosters the natural curiosity to learn.






This organization coordinates and promotes the interests of 18 Alberta local skilled trades unions, whose more than 60,000 members work in the residential, commercial and industrial construction, maintenance, and fabrication industries.

“The skilled construction trades provide many Albertans with rewarding, mortgage-paying careers, whose income supports local businesses, restaurants, shops and more. This means a healthier local economy for all of us,” says Tyler Bedford, director of communications and relations at Building Trades Alberta.

“The Building Trades of Alberta is proud to partner with many organizations that expose and promote careers in the skilled trades to students, youth and underrepresented groups like women and Indigenous Albertans.” Bedford points out. “Our own Building Trades of Alberta Training Society (BTATS) was established to provide training, answer questions and coach apprentices through the apprenticeship system to help prepare folks for a skilled-trades career.

ccording to, the province has about 615 active projects underway, totaling $191.5 billion. Construction projects in Edmonton account for $186.5 million of that total. From infrastructure to residential, commercial to industrial, Alberta continues to build – and we are building more than structures.




Contemporary open offices. A vibrant open office design demonstrates an innovative and collaborative workplace culture. Open format offices have increased in popularity as organizations grow and evolve to suit the demands of the 21st Century economy and a digitally enabled workforce. Contemporary open workspaces balance visual and acoustic privacy with collaboration, creativity, and stunning design. Let’s discover how we can reimagine your workspaces. Contact us today to start your consultation and request your 2020 Inspiration Guide.

Solutions for every generation.TM

call 1.888.230.2280 Furniture · Flooring · Digital Component Construction

Apex Business Park is a master-planned, 1.1 million square foot, class A industrial development located in Edmonton, AB. Encompassing over 61 acres of land and four buildings, Apex Business Park is ideally situated immediately adjacent to major transportation routes, is close to the CN Intermodal yard, and is fully serviced by local public transit systems.

BUILDING 3 285,000 SF


BUILDING 4 285,000 SF










BUILDING 1 216,890 SF







BUILDING 2 Fully Leased 320,000 SF Build-To-Suit

Two Additional Buildings Planned Up to 500,000 SF


BUILDING 1 216,800 SF Available Spring 2020

BUILDING 2 316,791 SF

For information on current and upcoming opportunities, please contact: 780-409-8047 PANATTONICANADA.COM













These careers are rewarding, challenging and allow people to contribute to the economy and our society all while making a good living.” Even though construction has experienced economic setbacks, Bedford notes that Albertan’s should still feel optimism. “The economy has made things challenging for many industries in Alberta,” he admits, “but The Building Trades of Alberta pushes hard for mega projects and other large-scale jobs in our province so that our more than 60,000 members, and other Albertans, can find and keep work. There is good evidence that work is coming back and in fact, we’ll need many more skilled trades workers to not only keep up with the labour demand, but to fill the looming labour gap that will result in a heavy increase in skilled-trades workers reaching retirement age over the next decade. “There is always a need for construction, fabrication, maintenance, shutdown and turnaround work in the province too, so there are a number of reasons Albertans should feel optimistic about Alberta’s construction industry and the future of trades here in our province.”

In Edmonton that turnaround is already underway, thanks in part to the long-awaited Trans Mountain Expansion Project. Construction began in Greater Edmonton in December 2019 and was the first area to have pipe in the ground. Lizette Parsons Bell, Director, Stakeholder Engagement & Communications for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, explains. “Pipeline construction in the Greater Edmonton area begins at Trans Mountain’s Edmonton Terminal in Sherwood Park and extends to Highway 60 in Acheson. This section of construction will be about a $300 million project and SA Energy Group is the general contractor responsible for this spread. “The work will include approximately 50 kilometers of pipeline and 13 trenchless crossings that will use horizontal directional drilling methods. Trenchless methods are a key tool in the construction of major pipeline projects in urban and environmentally sensitive areas. They greatly mitigate impact to normal daily activities and traffic circulation patterns and minimize or eliminate ground disturbance.”





Bell continues, “We have also begun construction at our Edmonton Terminal, which includes the addition of four new storage tanks, four new pumps, connecting infrastructure and a new substation. This work will be undertaken by our engineering, procurement and contractor, Cord.” The Trans Mountain Expansion Project is expected to create around 15,000 construction jobs. As of September 30, 2019, the Project and associated contractors hired more than 2,200 people, including Indigenous, local and regional workers. Getting the Project launched faced obstacles, but Trans Mountain is determined to continue addressing concerns. “Open, extensive and thorough engagement along the pipeline and marine corridors has been an important part of the expansion. The input and feedback we have received has helped

shape our plans and create a safer, stronger Project,” says Bell. “For more than seven years, our teams have been having wide-ranging discussions with Indigenous groups, communities, landowners, stakeholders and others who have taken an interest in the Project. We’ve held information sessions, business readiness workshops, town halls, coffee chats and other face-to-face conversations. The Project has evolved substantially since 2012, so we’ve made it a priority to share information in a wide variety of ways. No matter how people want to receive information, we find a way to make sure they get it. We welcome the feedback and answer every Project-related question.” While Edmonton moves forward with its phase of the Pipeline, another company is making the news for continuing to show how technology is a key part of the province’s future in construction.

Over 35 electric power and telecommunications infrastructure services, performed by 11 companies, all encompassed within the Valard Group of Companies. We work with expert partners to seamlessly produce turnkey solutions for our clients. Through a single contract and point of contact, we can, collectively, put together a full service team to successfully deliver every aspect of a power project. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // FEBRUARY 2020



Late last year Mark Bryant, chief information officer, PCL Construction, was named the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) Canadian CIO of the Year. “The win goes to my team – as it would not be possible without them,” Bryant explained to Business in Edmonton magazine. “It is both critically important and essential for construction organizations to embrace digital change today to drive productivity and efficiency gains in an industry that has historically been laggard in digitization. We now operate in a global economy, and often there are new entrants seeking to disrupt or displace, so all companies need to find ways in which technology can deliver sustainable and lasting change to enhance their business. Failure to adapt to change and innovate will put us behind. We have a real opportunity to drive innovation from Alberta and extend it beyond our borders to the benefit of all Albertans.” He continues, “As one of the oldest industries in the world, techniques and practices used 100 years ago are still practiced today. By marrying sound business practices, change and technology together, we can fuse a new path forward that modernizes our industry. There is a lot of risk in our business and managing those technologies, so smart changes are key. A slow, steady and methodical means in enhancing our business with technology is the recipe to success and has served us well in the last few years as we continue to evolve to a future where technology use is inevitable to remain competitive.”

system. We also employ students in our buildings, civil and industrial lines of business, and our students are often a source of fresh thinking and ideas. We find our student program critically essential in contributing positively to the organization,” says Bryant.

Walking the talk, PCL is encouraging the next generation of builders to engage in industry-changing technology.

“Driving innovative change in the heart of Alberta and extending it across the geographies we work in is an exceptional feeling and source of great satisfaction. Where we can, we support using local Alberta technology companies and have partnered with a few like mcThings™ and AltaML Inc. We can, and are, inflecting positive change not only in Alberta, but across the globe, and that is something we can all be proud of.”

“PCL has a robust student program of which we are proud of in all of our office locations across the both the US and Canada, and we find it extremely valuable. Currently in our Business Technology department we have over 20 active students from many post-secondary institutions that enable us to deliver change, provide insights and keep us abreast of the latest ideas and thinking coming out of the school

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the headlines about Alberta’s economic woes, but don’t overlook the good news as well. The construction industry is expected to grow and there is a focus on training for local, skilled labour. The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project is underway. Technology is advancing the industry. In short, things are looking, and building, up.




2020 Board of Directors

Federal Budget 2020 – an opportunity to signal support for Alberta’s job creators

Board Executive

Chair: Bryan DeNeve Senior Vice President, Finance and CFO, Capital Power Vice Chair: Elan MacDonald Senior Vice President, National Client Development Global Public Affairs Secretary-Treasurer: Craig Thorkelsson Head of Tax, PCL Constructors Inc. Past Chair: Dawn Harsch President and CEO, ExquisiCare Senior Living and Care at Home Janet M. Riopel President & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Board Directors

Haydar Al Dahhan Principal/Electrical and Mechanical Engineer, Design Works Engineering and Inspections Ltd. Nathan Carter Vice President, Engineering, ATCO Natural Gas Sandy Jacobson Vice President, Richardson Executive Search Scott McEachern Vice President, Pipeline Control, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. Annemarie Petrov President and CEO, Francis Winspear Centre for Music Dennis R. Schmidt Principal, ALTURA Legal Advisory Jeffrey Sundquist Chief Executive Officer, EDC Environmental Group of Companies Inc. Dr. Jenelle Trenchuk-Saik President and CEO, Parker Ford and MacKay Specialty Opticians

By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce


lberta has faced a significant economic storm over the past five years, and our province’s job creators are working hard to find solutions to overcome the challenges we face. Albertans need to know that all orders of government are committed to working with us to identify critical factors and tackle them head on. In the upcoming federal budget, Alberta businesses are looking for policies that will help support and grow the economy in all areas. The Edmonton Chamber has identified four key issues affecting Alberta businesses that the government must meaningfully address in its 2020 budget.


Without new pipelines to tidewater and access to global markets, Canadians are forced to accept deep discounts on our high-quality energy products. This lack of market access continues to hinder our economic growth and potential, with Albertans bearing the brunt of these economic losses. In August, construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project finally resumed and has put more than 2,200 people back to work in BC and Alberta. Although Canada is at last making progress towards increasing its pipeline capacity, this milestone should not overshadow the challenges that remain. Completion of Trans Mountain is still a long ways off and, even then, the expansion of a single pipeline is not a silver bullet … it is but one of a number of actions that must be taken to meet our economic needs, and without strong affirmative action by the federal government it will do nothing to prevent similar delays and obstacles down the road.

Amin Samji Director, Member Services

Consider this: global demand for high-quality energy products like ours is expected to increase by 25% in the next 20 years. This means that if we cannot create a competitive environment that supports the responsible growth and development of Canadian natural resources, we risk losing market share to countries that have far lower environmental, ethical and human rights standards. The upcoming budget must invest in building and strengthening trade-enabling infrastructure and secure rights-of-way across the country to connect existing transportation and utility corridors. Creating a dedicated right-of-way from coast to coast to coast would remove the significant barriers that investors currently see for major infrastructure projects. It would bring enormous economic benefits to our competitive positioning worldwide if we removed these barriers.

Kevin Thomas Director, Operations


Edmonton Chamber Executive

Scott Channon Director, Marketing and Communications Brent Francis Director, Advocacy and Outreach Christen Rumbles Director, Finance


Edmonton Chamber of Commerce #600 – 9990 Jasper Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 1P7 T: 780.426.4620 | F: 780.424.7946

The Fall 2019 Economic and Fiscal Update indicated that Canada’s federal budget deficit is expected to rise to $26.6 billion by March 2020 – disappointingly, almost $7 billion higher than initial projections. The current trajectory of uncontrolled spending Continued on next page... BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // FEBRUARY 2020


and ballooning debt is unsustainable in the long term. That’s why the 2020 budget must contain a clear plan to return to balanced budgets. The absence of a plan to address the deficit undermines investor confidence and continues to hinder our country’s ability to compete globally. The federal government must demonstrate a commitment to responsible budgeting. Governments of all orders need to find ways to deliver services in a more cost-effective manner, and we hope that the upcoming budget will balance effective service delivery with spending restraint. By keeping spending increases below the rate of inflation and population growth, we can avoid future tax hikes or service cuts that would make Canada less competitive on the global stage.

succeeding in – the fields of their choice. These measures would go a long way towards correcting the existing misalignment between the skills workers have and those that employers require.


The upcoming budget presents an opportunity to review and revise Canada’s tax system. While the government previously introduced a number of smaller changes – including tax incentives for small businesses in 2018, and changes to personal income tax amounts in 2019 – an overhaul of the Canadian system is desperately needed.

The Economic and Fiscal Update referenced Canada’s record-high levels of labour participation and low unemployment, while acknowledging that these gains are distributed unevenly across the country. With 18,000 jobs lost across Alberta in November 2019 alone, boosting our labour participation rates requires more than just attracting job-creating investment – it means taking action to close the talent and skills gap.

Canada’s tax system is outdated and overly complex, burdening local businesses with unnecessary costs and hindering our attractiveness as a destination for foreign investment. The Alberta Government has already taken measures to cut corporate taxes as a way to create jobs and spur investment in the province. With a year of slower growth ahead, now is the right time to consider significant changes to Canada’s tax system. We urge the government to include tax measures in its first budget that reward risk, encourage investment, and support a thriving and entrepreneurial business community.

The skills gap continues to grow, with 68% of businesses across the country currently experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. Despite severe job losses suffered over five years of economic decline, 36,000 jobs remain vacant in Alberta owing to a lack of qualified candidates. With a population as highly educated and hardworking as Alberta’s, how is this possible?

With the release of its first budget, the federal government must send a powerful signal to Alberta businesses that it is taking meaningful action to reverse the effects of more than five years of hardship and struggle. Failing to do so will be a missed opportunity to show support for Alberta’s job creators and bolster the economies of our province and our country.

Clearly, much more needs to be done to ensure that workers have the skills needed to meet industry demand. The upcoming budget is an opportunity to help build the workforce of the future by investing in skills training and continuous learning for workers, developing consistent recognition for certifications across provinces, and removing the barriers that prevent workers from entering – and

Please take a moment to send us a note – your input makes our collective voice so much stronger!


Tell us what your business needs to see in the federal budget. We welcome your contact – email us at or call Brent Francis, Director Advocacy and Outreach, at 780-409-2614.

Members in this Issue Trans Mountain Canada INc. and PCL in Rebuilding: Construction’s Big Comeback on page 24 First Industries Corporation and Simson Maxwell in The Master of Business Administration’s Transformational Effect on page 37 Stream-Flo Industries Ltd. and CanTorque Inc. in A Look at the Current State of Manufacturing in Alberta: Industry Leaders Weigh In on page 40 Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP in Trust Funds 101: The Basics on page 44



Connecting you to the right people. It’s what we do.

Our members not only have access to a massive directory of contacts and discounts, but they’re also connected to a variety of networking and educational opportunities, and part of a strong collective voice to government. It’s the perks of being part of one of the largest chambers in Canada. Call us today at 780.426.4620 and become a member.

Atrium Digital Member Profile Chris Lawson, Principal/Co-Founder, Atrium Digital What’s your story? Today, organizations reach out to agencies seeking something different than what they actually need. Being a veteran Digital Marketing Agency for 20 years, we have been fortunate to work with nearly 2000 clients ranging from multi-national companies through to local start-ups. Although these organizations may be in search of an instant bump in leads, subscriptions, conversions, etcetera – their scalability is hinged upon the consistency of those wins. I have a deeply rooted passion to help clients strip away their preconceptions of what an agency and its process should be. It’s then we’re able to look at the core needs of their business models marketing program and implement a measurable data-driven marketing engine that accomplishes their goals. This clarity shows that their marketing needs then becomes an engineering challenge. The story of Atrium is found in this insight, evolution, and experience, all of which has led to becoming an agency that views marketing from an engineering lens. What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce? Edmonton is vibrant and growing. This is largely due to the forward-thinking business leaders represented by the Chamber. Although we operate globally, we also “think local” and are excited to build alongside like-minded organizations to continue the evolution of the city. What is one thing people are surprised to learn about your business? That’s easy! Clients are always impressed with the amount of data and reporting we use in our programs. This transparency, mixed with small insights, accumulate into actions that make for massive impact.



Chris Lawson, Principal/Co-Founder, Atrium Digital

Who is your ideal client? We typically partner with growth-driven marketing professionals and business leaders. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you overcome it? Atrium has not been immune to challenges like changing technologies and economies, but by focusing on the outcomes of marketing, as opposed to the services, we have been able to prioritize our staff, knowledge, and approach with adaptability in mind. This is exemplified with our Marketing Systems Engineering approach and business model. What is your favourite thing to do in Edmonton? As a musician and sports fan, it’s easy to get lost in music festivals and concerts plus the Oilers and Eskimos. If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be? With technology, the world becomes smaller every day and more full of knowledge. I would encourage our business community to experiment with non-traditional approaches which will require challenging current routines. The payoff will be global thought leaders in our respective industries.



Preferred Client Services Group Ltd. Member Profile Barbara Steckly, President, Preferred Client Services Group Ltd. What’s your story? Twenty-one years ago, as the sole employee, I started my bookkeeping company from my townhouse. I quickly saw the potential for growth and expanded the team. As business continued to boom, more living areas were converted to workstations, eventually filling the entire house! Eight years ago, we transitioned to a commercial workspace. “Making a difference counting the beans” is not only the tagline for the business – it’s our commitment. We provide competent ‘bean counters’ to clients, solving problems and providing timely and accurate information are key to our values. Our unwavering commitment to excellence is the same today as it was when I started the company. As such, happy client referrals have become a large part of our business growth. Depending on the season, we employ between 19 to 21 full-time staff. A large part of our business success comes from my commitment to our employees. I believe investing in training always pays dividends – “hire your people to fit the culture of your business, then use training to develop your peoples’ skills until they are at the top of their game.” This commitment to education extends to my clients. Helping business owners to understand their financial statements, cash flow, payroll requirements, GST filings, bank covenants, and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) issues is a bonus for any client. At Preferred Client Services, we have three major competitive advantages. First is our carefully recruited and highly trained team. Training is continually ongoing, and each bookkeeper strives to be the top of their field. Second is our proprietary management system that produces a unique blend of accuracy, speed, confidentiality, problem-solving, staff and client training, efficiency and sound business advice for our clients. And finally, something our clients continually appreciate – peace of mind. By assigning two people to each file, we can ensure that a bookkeeper who is familiar with the file is available at any time.



What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce? I enjoy the opportunity to exchange ideas with other entrepreneurs and learn how they continually create new ways to serve their clients and solve clients’ problems. What is one thing people are surprised to learn about your business? Often clients mention that they were surprised that we could teach them how to interpret their numbers in ways that enable them to make better business decisions. There is a sense of empowerment that comes from having a better understanding of their metrics and ratios in key areas of their business. Who is your ideal client? Every business in need of a bookkeeper is a potential client. Some of the most rewarding clients are the ones with compliance issues with the CRA – often their books are months or even years behind. Our team loves these challenges and with our repeat work with the CRA, they are familiar with us, which puts our clients’ minds at peace. Our clients are a wide range of businesses – from proprietorships to corporations with over 300 employees and revenues exceeding $10 million per annum. They all receive the very best we can give them; we are truly fortunate to have so many wonderful clients. If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be? In my opinion, taxes should be substantially decreased. Edmonton has to compete with other cities not only in Canada but also in the United States where taxes at all levels of government are much lower. Every week we lose businesses to other locations and too often the reason is excessive taxation.

Memberships that grow your business. It’s what we do.

As a member of one of the largest chambers in Canada, you have access to a wide range of contacts, resources, policy representation, events, networking opportunities, discounts, and brand exposure that will help grow your business. Call us today at 780.426.4620 and start leveraging your membership.

Stay connected. Follow us and be up-to-date with events, policies, member news and more.


We’ve got room for you and up to 119 guests. It’s what we do.

Situated in the heart of downtown, the World Trade Centre Edmonton offers comfortable and convenient meeting rooms, conference spaces and temporary offices, in a beautiful historical building. Whether it’s a small or large board meeting, a presentation or luncheon, or a temporary workspace, we’ve got you covered. Book today at 780.426.4620 or



Transformational Effect


ducation is often a key factor in improving your prospects, for both your professional and personal life. If you are looking to take it to the next level in your business career, then obtaining a professional degree in the form of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) may be the boost you need. The MBA program requires discipline, investment and time; however, it is a transformative experience and instills skills and insights to further all aspects of your life. Describing the positive effects on his life completing the MBA program at the University of Alberta had on his career, David Leeworthy, president and CEO of First Industries Corporation, explains. “The program’s quantitative approach and small cohort structure created an environment that fostered strong analytics and constructive group dynamics while encouraging an entrepreneurial perspective. This toolbox of skills and perspectives was ideally suited for the roles that I have performed since graduating and is one of the main reasons I occupy the position that I currently hold. There was very little in the program that I have not used throughout my career.”

Talking about his experiences with the Athabasca University MBA program, Ryan Yamniuk, president of Simson-Maxwell, says. “The program has given me the tools and frameworks necessary to break down and tackle whatever complex problems and issues that I am faced with. Knowing how to evaluate,





formulate recommendations and, in turn, execute productive solutions, has proven to be invaluable each and every day.” Time management is another struggle in the business world; knowing when to prioritize tasks at work, yet still maintaining a balance with your personal life is tricky. Raj Dhunna, COO, Regency Developments points out, “The MBA program is definitely not for someone expecting to ‘skate on through’ as the workload was tough as any graduate program should be; it required heavy time investment. There was no easing into the program. I remember that first semester had a heavy course load from late August to December. This was where I really learned about time management and was forced to make wise decisions on the best use and focus of my time, which has been invaluable in balancing my personal family life and business life, as our company has four to six projects in various stages at any given time.” Dhunna continues, “This heavy workload also led to a pleasant surprise I did not expect going into the Alberta MBA program – being around fellow peers for the majority of our days during the entire first year allowed for the development of strong new personal friendships, several of which have turned into lifelong ones. This is something I did not expect to happen in my late 20s.” Amber Ruddy, director Western Canada, Counsel Public Affairs, had similar experiences in creating opportunities with connections made with at Queens University. “I am actively in the process of pursuing deals with my fellow classmates that will be win-win scenarios for our firms.” This describes another positive aspect to investing in an MBA program: improving your ability to network in order to build meaningful connections, both professional, and personal. Yamniuk explains it well when he says, “Having an MBA designation provides credibility among peers in the business community and has enhanced my networking skills, directly resulting in the ability to create and foster stronger business relationships.” Completing and MBA program doesn’t just give you the skills for networking though, it also opens up lifetime access to the alumni programs of the University you have chosen. Leeworthy notes, “The program’s influence does not stop at graduation. One of the strongest in Canada, the

University of Alberta Business Alumni Association continues to provide excellent networking opportunities, both professionally and personally.” While developing networking skills through an MBA program, communication is important. If you consider your





DHUNNA CONTINUES, “THIS HEAVY WORKLOAD ALSO LED TO A PLEASANT SURPRISE I DID NOT EXPECT GOING INTO THE ALBERTA MBA PROGRAM – BEING AROUND FELLOW PEERS FOR THE MAJORITY OF OUR DAYS DURING THE ENTIRE FIRST YEAR ALLOWED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF STRONG NEW PERSONAL FRIENDSHIPS, SEVERAL OF WHICH HAVE TURNED INTO LIFELONG ONES. THIS IS SOMETHING I DID NOT EXPECT TO HAPPEN IN MY LATE 20S.” communication skills to be lacking, then don’t let that discourage you from going for a MBA. Dhunna reveals, “My mindset going into the MBA program was one where I would challenge myself, take risks, work on my weaknesses and take advantage of all the growth opportunities provided by the program. My public speaking/communication skills were average when I entered, but after giving countless class presentations along with my newfound desire to be part of case competition teams, I learned how to strategize speaking points and how to quickly process information and speak in an articulate manner (e.g. during case comp Q&A rounds). The chance to learn from mistakes and honing this skill was a huge benefit for me as since graduating, and over the past decade, I have had numerous media engagements live on camera, on radio and in print.” Improving communication skills very often leads to an improvement of confidence, as Yamniuk points out. “The positive impact on my life after completing my MBA has been tremendous. It has heightened my self confidence in both my professional and personal life.” Ruddy makes an observation about confidence in young professionals. “There is a feeling that many young professionals describe as they move into senior level positions as: imposter syndrome. The MBA journey erodes those doubts and arms graduates with the skills they need to take their careers to the next level.” The most prominent reason for obtaining an MBA is advancing your career further than you could before. Ruddy continues, “The experience was enriching and provided a deep dive into all fundamental business areas. This propelled me into a new advocacy position – a government relations consultant for private sector clients and associations.”

Yamniuk has had very positive results as well. “Career advancement, post MBA, has been evident as I was recently appointed as president of Simson-Maxwell on January 1, 2017. I attribute a large part of my career advancement and success directly to the MBA program. It has truly inspired me to achieve more!” Dhunna says, “Regency Developments is a family owned and operated company. My parents took great risks immigrating to a new country (to Canada, which welcomed them in the early 80s) with little grasp of the English language and little money to start a new life. They started working the day after they landed, and they spent decades growing their family and businesses. The values that have been instilled in me – honesty, integrity, respect (our Regency motto) – and work ethic have all played a part in my journey of graduating with the MBA. More importantly, my MBA degree was a culmination of everything they had worked their entire young adult life for, to build a better life for their family. My MBA degree meant immense trust to my family in that I was ready to take on a significant role in growing our businesses for the future and making the everyday decisions with full autonomy. I was appointed COO about two years after I graduated in 2010.” He concludes, “I was asked to speak to a recent incoming class during orientation and I hope my message was a clear one: take full advantage of all the program has to offer, please do not just take the courses your good at. You must work on your weaknesses and make the mistakes. Take risks since the program will not punish you for them. Maybe it will simply be one bad grade, but it will allow you to grow on a personal level by leaps and bounds and prepare you for the real world.”






ata released in September 2019 shows a 2.8 per cent decline in (seasonally adjusted) manufacturing sales in July, following a 7 per cent contraction in June. Although the first few months of 2019 were optimistic, the manufacturing sector in July finished up a full 5.7 per cent lower than where it was in 2018. Behind these numbers are hardworking Albertans who are affected when issues like politics, and foreign relations affect their industry. Advocating for them is Alberta Enterprise Group (AEG), who seeks to influence and aid in the development of public policy, supporting market access for Alberta goods and services, interprovincial trade and cooperation and competitiveness. Today, several AEG members share the real-time effects of the changing state of the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturers’ Input Stream-Flo Founded in Edmonton in 1962, Stream-Flo Industries Ltd. manufactures wellheads, gate valves, check valves and surface safety valves for the oil and gas industry worldwide. Guy Mersereau, director of business relations says: “For the Stream-Flo Group, with 700+ in Edmonton, we have been able to maintain activity because we export to over 40 countries and therefore keep our machines reasonably busy. We have invested in new equipment and recently

opened a 40,000 square foot facility for rental of frac and remanufacturing equipment, reducing our cost and carbon footprint at the same time. “We manufacture wellheads, chokes and specialty valves, so the sharp reduction in wells drilled and pipelines built mean equivalent reduction and increased pressure on pricing for the little business that remains. “What the Federal Government does not realize is as we get pressured, we take our capital elsewhere and it will not come back. This is not our choice, but we have to develop our business to support our shareholders and staff. We have always been landlocked but in the past, the Provincial Governments have understood and tried to help. Policies from the Federal Government drastically impact all Canadians. “The Red Tape reduction is a good start at the Alberta level; we need the same federally and to find a way to get pipelines and LNG plants built. “Edmonton was a leading manufacturing centre and pushing out the middle class reduces the tax base and the standard of living for many other affiliated businesses.”

Sil Industrial Minerals In operation since 1971, Sil’s diverse business lines support the energy, industrial and recreational markets in Canada, and is the nation’s largest frac and industrial sand producer. Marlea Sleeman, president, says:





“While the manufacturing sector may appear healthier than some other sectors in Alberta, it is in part reflective of the existing investment in the manufacturing facilities from which corporations fare best to continue operating in favour of relocation to other more attractive jurisdictions. However, it has not been without significant challenges compared to the same opportunities in other jurisdictions within North America, including unattractive headwinds such as: • Challenges raising capital • High transportation costs for both input materials and delivery of finished products, reflective of Alberta’s landlocked position • Challenges and delays obtaining municipal or other regulatory approvals • High cost of labour and difficulties accessing specific skilled labour • Delays in accessing new utility services to support expansion

CanTorque Inc. Founded in 2000 by Colin Livingston, CanTorque offers a full line of bolting tools, sockets, accessories, pumps and calibration equipment. Livingston says: “Edmonton is home to a world-leading manufacturing base. If a product can be conceived, it can be fabricated. We are fortunate to be supported by world-class material suppliers allowing rapid turn around, but as a province and as a nation we are sending a very poor message around the world. In my travels the comment that I receive more than any is: why can’t Canada develop its resources? “Canada is regarded as a world leader for environmental energy production. We are also highly regarded for our standard of living. The blockades to our energy industry do not make sense abroad and it’s all but ceased foreign investment. “As an Edmonton-based manufacturer I’d like to see more incentive for Canadian companies to use Canadian made products. Far too often we see construction sites being built with tools and equipment moved from the US or overseas.”

• High total tax obligations “The manufacturing sector appreciates the value of the swift amendments completed under the new administration, which are starting to address some of the headwinds identified, and manufacturers look forward to seeing the value created to Albertans as they take advantage of action plans which will be derived from the Province’s collaboration with industry as part of Bill 4 (Red Tape Reduction Act), and tax breaks which will be offered by municipalities as recently enabled by Bill 7.” Sleeman says going forward the manufacturing sector would like to see: • Legislation that creates municipal accountability for their roles as stewards of economic growth in Alberta • Removal of duplication of jurisdictions in order to reduce costs and delays associated with Red Tape • Significant amendments to protect the right to develop Alberta’s resources, including but not limited to sand and gravel, minerals, metals, energy, and agriculture, together with appropriate policy to protect the economic structure of such development • Legislation that supports development wherein proponents can mitigate science-based concerns raised by regulatory agencies or concerned stakeholders

Argus Machine Co. Ltd. For more than 60 years, major oil corporations, wellhead manufacturers, and service companies have used Argus Machine’s products. Kris Mauthe, president and CEO, says: “The Alberta manufacturing community is diverse in its capabilities, supporting all facets of our economy from oil and gas production, mining, and agriculture through retail and nanotechnology. Generating a 3:1 multiple in economic impact for every revenue dollar, manufacturing brings prosperity to Alberta like no other industry. “With a full four years since investment began to pour out of the province and our country, due to declining commodity prices, implementation of the carbon tax and loss in political confidence, there has been a significant shift in the manufacturing landscape. Organizations that lacked geographic diversification, ability to embrace technological advancements or adapt in challenging times have closed their doors for good. Numerous organizations with satellite facilities in Alberta, have chosen to retract their operations to more stable and favourable jurisdictions. “The Edmonton area offers opportunity for those that remain and encourages a culture that embraces change, invests in its future and reaches broader geographic markets.




Recent retraction of the carbon tax offers a tremendous boost to competitiveness, alongside innovation and research initiatives. Bringing confidence back to the industry spurs investment and renewed optimism to the entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans.”

Universe Machine Founded in 1965, Universe Machine provides services and products to many industries including oilfield, mining, and forestry. Ron Feigel, business development, says: “Since our business was founded in 1965, Universe Machine has faced several economic downturns, but the current one, stretching from 2015 to now, ranks among the most difficult. “We have heard, repeatedly, from customers and vendors that the damaging policies of our provincial and federal governments over the last four years have deeply hindered business recovery in Alberta. Unless our governments, at every level, are more probusiness, it is unlikely investment dollars will flow back into Alberta to strengthen our companies, create long-lasting jobs and boost our flagging economy. “Effective government should manage our country’s finances and resources wisely rather than continuously raising taxes, should remove hindrances for business rather than adding red tape, and should help unify the country rather than creating policies that tear the provinces apart. “Provincially we are pleased with our recent change of government and are much more hopeful that the UCP will help remove roadblocks, support businesses, encourage investment and help Albertans move forward! “We must all be aware that reducing the output of oil from Alberta does not reduce the amount of oil consumed around the world. The USA and Middle East will gladly meet the world market demand for more oil. If Alberta, an ethical and innovative clean energy leader, was allowed to produce more oil, the wealth generated would fund research leading to even cleaner energy alternatives and would also continue supporting our high standard of living in Canada.



“Our manufacturing costs have increased due to rapidly rising taxes, including the carbon tax. In the past, Universe produced large batch parts, but many of those parts have shifted to being produced in Asia where emission standards are lower. This movement in production results in loss of jobs for Canadians and more emissions per part being produced, therefore taxing carbon is making things worse in the world and not better.” Universe adapts to the changing economy. Feigel explains, “Focus has been on remaining lean and efficient, and staff have been more willing to adjust their expectations and be flexible by filling various roles or positions as we navigate through this downturn. Universe has also taken the opportunity to invest in research and development. We have increased the number of apprentices we train and offer more opportunities for staff to learn new skills and grow within the organization. “While we happily acknowledge our local Western Canadian customers and markets that supported and helped build our business, Universe Machine has found it important to focus on developing a global presence and international customers.” Universe Machine is optimistic about, and continues to invest in, Alberta’s future. “We are feeling more positive that the worst of this Alberta recession is behind us and excited to add more efficient manufacturing capability. Our brand new Hyundai CNC horizontal boring mill will be used on a wide variety of larger, precision machining work required for both new parts manufacturing and repair/modification services.”

The Path Forward Alberta’s manufactures have always risen to meet their industry-specific challenges and will continue to do so as they face issues with changing political leadership, climate change, and foreign relations. Despite it all our manufacturers have something that will see them through anything: the determination, expertise, innovation, and optimism to succeed. It has been, and always will be, the Alberta way!


to our valued partners for supporting us in the January 2020 issue of Business in Edmonton. On behalf of our clients, we appreciate your collaboration and kindness in helping them live their best life with Capital Region Housing.

10232 - 112 Street NW, Edmonton T5K 1M4 Ph: 780-420-6161 • Fax: 780-426-6854





ccording to Clifford Lachmansingh, national lead, private trust, MD Financial Management, trusts offer some clear advantages in terms of planning and security. “Life circumstances change,” Lachmansingh says. “Incapacitations and major events, such as death, are traumatic enough for families. Loved ones are left with many responsibilities at a highly emotional time of their life. This is why planning ahead with an estate and trust strategy can help minimize stress while ensuring loved ones will be looked after in the future. A trust describes a relationship where one party, the settlor, passes property to another party, the trustee, to manage assets for a third party, the beneficiary. From a Canadian estate planning perspective, trusts are typically used for protection, asset management and security for your loved ones.” He continues, “Trusts can be established at any time. A trust established during your lifetime is referred to as an inter-vivos (living) trust; a trust that arises on the death of the settlor is called a testamentary trust. Trusts can be used for a variety of situations and purposes. Some forms of trusts are most effective for high net worth individuals and families, though, so it is important to consider the specific circumstances. It is critical to get proper estate planning, tax and legal advice before considering or utilizing such a solution.” Henry Villanueva, legal council, MacMillan Estate Planning, agrees. “Trusts are created for various purposes and they apply to various income levels. From my

experience, trusts are more suited for families with a net worth in excess of 1 million dollars; however, if your main concern is to protect certain assets, regardless of their value, a trust may be worth setting up.” “To build an effective trust and draft customized solutions for families,” Villanueva explains, “we take into ABOVE: CLIFFORD LACHMANSINGH, NATIONAL LEAD, PRIVATE TRUST, MD FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.




“LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE,” LACHMANSINGH SAYS. “INCAPACITATIONS AND MAJOR EVENTS, SUCH AS DEATH, ARE TRAUMATIC ENOUGH FOR FAMILIES. LOVED ONES ARE LEFT WITH MANY RESPONSIBILITIES AT A HIGHLY EMOTIONAL TIME OF THEIR LIFE. THIS IS WHY PLANNING AHEAD WITH AN ESTATE AND TRUST STRATEGY CAN HELP MINIMIZE STRESS WHILE ENSURING LOVED ONES WILL BE LOOKED AFTER IN THE FUTURE. consideration, among others, the following factors: the parties involved – who will be the settlor, trustee, and beneficiaries; the purpose of the trust; successor trustee issues; governance clauses and restrictions; powers of trustees and variations, or whether the trusts can be amended in the future. “Families often dread trusts as being complicated, and they are apprehensive that maintaining a trust may be difficult and costly. Note that trusts may be as complex or as simple as you set them out to be. Maintenance costs usually entail banking fees for the trust’s account and yearly T3 tax return

preparation fees. The trustee may also charge a fee for acting as such, but usually this is a family member anyway. Bookkeeping is usually not too much of a concern since the trust is not an active business and there are only a few transactions to record.” “Trusts are a valuable tool that any individual can deploy regardless of their income, age, complexity of financial situation, or asset base,” say Martha Moen, head of trust; and Diane Tom, VP, business relations and initiatives, Concentra Bank. “It’s important to note that some Canadian trust companies require minimum asset levels to be a client, however, there are accessible companies, such as Concentra Trust, with no asset minimums and trust services that are open to all.” Since “a trust is a method of holding and protecting assets,” Moen and Tom point out, it “can be used for many purposes, such as providing a gift to a minor, ensuring appropriate care and financial security of a spouse or disabled child, supporting philanthropic objectives, supplementing retirement benefits, or holding assets such as cottages and private businesses that are to be managed over the course of multiple generations.” Moen and Tom also note that there are many benefits: trusts avoid probate or double probate, offer creditor protection, preserve confidentiality/privacy, provide protection against possible will challenges, preserve disability benefits and support incapacity protection, enable a dependant’s relief claims, simplify estate administration and enable continuity post death. “The real advantage of a trust,” they emphasize, “is that you can be very creative in setting up what the trust will be used for and how it will work. The trust can pay lump sums to beneficiaries based on key milestones, it can expand or narrow its uses through different triggers, and it can be




designed in a specific way to best serve its overall purpose. The creative possibilities are endless! And yes, if you even want to have a hamburger delivered every day to the beneficiary for the rest of his or her life, you can do that too!” There are also several tax advantages involved in setting up a trust. Maya Claire Gordon, partner; and Bethany Schatz, lawyer, Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP, list income splitting, capital gains, and estate freezing as the key tax advantages involved in establishing a trust. “Some other advantages and reasons for creating trusts include looking after children and disabled dependents,” they add. “Trusts can ensure that disabled dependents receive suitable care and have sufficient resources available to them after you die. In fact, if you have a family member on Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), putting assets into a trust can protect AISH entitlement, due to legislative changes that took place in 2018. Trusts also enable you to provide gifts to minor children or grandchildren, which can take care of the minor during the trust’s existence and enable the trustee to pay out the remainder of the trust at an age when the child is more responsible. You can also increase the age of payout past the age of majority (18) to an age where you feel the child is best suited to receive a large amount of funds.” Gordon and Schatz continue, “The main benefit to creating a trust for a child is to ensure that the property is managed responsibly and isn’t wasted. It allows the parent to determine the terms under which the child will receive the property (amounts, age restrictions, purposes, etc.), and to appoint a person with the necessary financial acumen to handle the property. A potential downside is that a trust limits the child’s autonomy and decision-making authority. The trustee is the one that determines how the property will be managed and distributed, which some children can find restrictive.” “For minor beneficiaries in a will,” they add, “a testamentary trust is always recommended. Minors are not entitled to inherit property, so if the will doesn’t have a trust, the Office of the Public Trustee will hold the property until the minor beneficiary reaches the age of 18.”



There are a few alternatives to trust funds for those who are looking to share their wealth responsibly with their children. “You can open up a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). Some benefits include tax-free investment earnings and government contributions through the Canadian Education Savings Grant. You can also contribute to your children’s Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs). Some benefits include tax-free investment earnings and tax-free withdrawals. You can make inter-vivos gifts to your children while you are still alive. Gifts may be most helpful in certain stages of your children’s lives, such as when they are in postsecondary education, starting their careers, or growing a family of their own.” Rick Harcourt, a family business successor with Capital Estate Planning Corporation and board member of the Family Enterprise Xchange suggests another alternative for business owners who are concerned about the complexity of a trust – or in the event that their level of assets may not warrant it. “They could arrange to have the assets in their estate purchase an annuity that would pay out regularly to their children over the course of their whole lives. While this may not have the same tax advantages as a trust, it is much simpler to set up. There are even some life insurance policies that can be set up to pay out as an annuity rather than a lump sum of cash. This can be really helpful, especially if business owners are concerned about the effect on their heirs of having one large lump sum paid out all at once – and then nothing ever again.” One final thing to note, stress Gordon and Schatz, is the importance of the trustee: “The trustee owes certain duties to the beneficiaries as a fiduciary. Some of these duties include: complying with the trust agreement established by the settlor (inter-vivos trusts) or the will (testamentary trusts), managing the trust property solely for the benefit of the beneficiaries, acting impartially between the beneficiaries, acting honestly and discharging duties with a level of ordinary care and prudence, keeping a proper account of the trust property and providing information to the beneficiaries.” “It’s important to carefully consider who to appoint as trustee,” they conclude, “and whether a corporate trustee is appropriate.”





or up-and-coming businesses, finding solid investors is incredibly important. Since getting started is one of the hardest parts of running a business, receiving support in the form of investor capital can make all the difference. Furthermore, investor-business relations can

be beneficial for both parties, since the business and the investor (hopefully!) each make money in the end. However, even though finding investors is important for businesses that hope to succeed, some entrepreneurs have trouble finding initial investors, or struggle to maintain investor



What can a financial advisor do for you? Whether you’re conquering the world on your own, raising children or caring for extended friends or family, life can be busy. It is said that “life happens while you’re busy making other plans,” and a year can seemingly go by in the blink of an eye. You’re working hard and making money, but is your money working for you? Working with a financial advisor can help make some of your questions and worry disappear, help you develop your personal financial plan, and give you more time to do the things you love.

What does a financial advisor do?

Providing peace of mind

Building a relationship with a trusted advisor is like adding a supporting cast member to your family team. They’re your trusted professional that is dedicated to understanding what’s happening in the market and the economy, assessing how those changes can affect your portfolio and proactively make recommendations to help you stay ahead.

Trying to make sense of where to invest your money in a world that’s constantly changing can leave you feeling frustrated and confused. Adds Gee, “A lot of our job is to help filter out the noise. We do our research and talk to our clients about what does and doesn’t affect them in understandable terms. We can help calm our clients’ fears and help them make decisions about where to put their money.”

They’ll work with you to build a financial plan and can help you make appropriate adjustments as your life situation changes. In short, they carefully listen to your goals and continuously carve the best path to help make them happen.

It starts with trust Your money is a personal matter and establishing trust with your advisor will give you the confidence that you’re headed in the right direction. Says Michael Gee, Senior Financial Advisor with ATB Wealth, “We don’t treat our clients as numbers, but as individuals, each with hopes, dreams, worries and questions. Each client relationship is unique, and we take your best interests to heart.” At the end of the day, you don’t want a one-size-fits-all solution as your financial plan; you want to be heard and understood, with a strategy that’s right for you and your family.

Having a trusted expert working for you means less time trying to make sense of investor jargon and market turmoil – your advisor will make sure you have the information you need to know, letting you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat with a team ready to back you up.

With you in good times and in bad Like any strong relationship, you should feel comfortable being open and honest with your financial advisor, and if you don’t, it might be time to look for a new one. Says Gee, “I never want my clients to feel embarrassed about any financial challenges they might be facing. I want to be an extension of their family team, giving them straightforward advice in a way that’s easy to understand.”

FPO - Low res photo Michael Gee, ATB Wealth Sr. Financial Advisor.

What you should bring to the table

The Takeaway

Working with a financial advisor is a two-way partnership. They’re getting your money working for you and helping you stay on track with your financial plan, but it’s important to understand your role in the relationship, too. Says Gee, “My best client relationships are built around open communication, sharing honest opinions, providing a forum to speak freely and mutual respect. When those things are all in place, we can put a great plan into motion. My clients feel like they don’t have to worry about their money, and I have the great satisfaction of playing a role in their success. It’s win-win.”

Working with a financial advisor can help free up time so that you can focus more on your family, business, social endeavours and chasing your dreams. A financial advisor should be someone you feel you can trust to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, help you make a financial plan and develop strategies to help get your money working for you. When you work with your financial advisor, you’ll feel that your money is in good hands and you can check one more thing off your to-do list. Relax, breathe. Your financial advisor is looking out for you!

Visit or call 1-888-282-3863 to learn more about how our team of experts can help you reach your financial goals.

ATB Wealth consists of a range of financial services provided by ATB Financial and certain of its subsidiaries. ATB Investment Management Inc., ATB Securities Inc., and ATB Insurance Advisors Inc. are individually licensed users of the registered trade name ATB Wealth. ATB Securities Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.


interest over time. In order to shed some light on the process of finding, maintaining, and benefiting from investors, Business in Edmonton magazine contacted two well-known companies to provide their unique perspectives, based on their experiences, on what it takes to attract the capital small businesses need.


TIQ Software


TIQ Software’s goal is to help companies make the employee onboarding process more engaging and effective. They do so by providing companies with software that gamifies the employee onboarding process.


As Jason Suriano, founder and CEO of TIQ Software puts it, the company is attractive to investors because it represents “a small group of automated enterprise software products that have been classified as the ‘future of work.’” Scrapping the redundant process of going through online courses during the onboarding process, TIQ Software’s gamified onboarding software presents employees with playable tasks and other gamified elements that make the process more engaging and enjoyable. By making the process more interesting and rewarding, TIQ Software ensures that employees enjoy the process and pay attention to the details more, resulting in a higher rate of effectiveness on all objectives. In addition to this, the software tracks the status and progress of the player over the course of the onboarding. This allows companies to easily see where their onboarding needs improvement.


In order to continue growing and attracting investors in the future, TIQ Software is actively building toward a seed round investment—that is, an investment or series of investments that essentially “plant the seed” for a company’s future growth and development—by midway through 2020. Furthermore, they also hope to continue attracting investors by expanding the company’s software offerings across all of Canada and into the United States. Like many entrepreneurs, Suriano knows that finding investors can be difficult, especially early on. Nonetheless, he does have advice for small companies that have been struggling. In his words, “The key [to attracting investors] is to focus on building a great product, a stable of reputable



KEY [TO ATTRACTING INVESTORS] IS TO FOCUS ON BUILDING A GREAT CLIENTS, AND TO CONTINUE WORKING WITH YOUR CLIENTS TO CREATE CASE STUDIES THAT PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCT.” clients, and to continue working with your clients to create case studies that promote your product.” Suriano believes that Startup Edmonton—an organization that actively works with and helps tech-enabled companies in the city to develop and succeed—has been instrumental for his company’s success. He explains, “Initially when we were looking for a flexible work space for our remote workforce, Startup Edmonton provided the best mix of company support services and a workspace for our team to use as needed.” By providing Suriano and his team with company support services, as well as a great workspace, Startup Edmonton greatly assisted TIQ Software in its earliest stages, and Suriano believes Startup Edmonton will continue to be an instrumental part of their future success as well.

Three Knights Investments Inc. Three Knights Investments Inc. is a company that mentors entrepreneurs and assists them with investing. They focus their investments in the home improvement market through


their group of companies at Mosaic Home Services Ltd., which works to launch franchise locations for each of their seven independent brands across the country. Three Knights is also active in the commercial construction market through their investment in Downright Demolition Ltd. Three Knights focuses on working with businesses that are seeking growth and that are comfortable with change and working in dynamic environments. As Steven Knight, creator of solutions and opportunities, states, “If an organization has dedicated and passionate people in positions that impact change, it can overcome any challenge.” If they can tell early on that a company is unwilling to change, or that they will make the process an uphill battle, Three Knights will most likely decide against working with that company, while leaving them with the knowledge that change is actually necessary for growth. The businesses that Three Knights work with are a good fit for investors since they already possess the qualities necessary to succeed, but simply need mentorship and assistance to do so. Therefore, even if businesses have underperforming revenue, Three Knights will help them if they are filled with passionate people who have the right ideas. This gives the investment and mentoring firm a lot to work with in expanding a business’ client base, without losing focus on what made the business stand on its own in the first place. Once Three Knights has agreed to assist with a business’ growth, that business can expect the investor to be very involved in their day-to-day operations. They mentor business owners according to each entrepreneur’s specific strengths and weaknesses, creating an environment where everyone can work effectively. By helping the entrepreneurs running the business to understand their pain points, identify opportunities, and achieve their growth goals, the investors allow the decision makers in the business to spend time on

what they are passionate about. This has resulted in massive growth for the businesses in which Three Knights invests. According to Knight, providing mentorship is just as important as providing capital to emerging businesses. He points out, “Owning and running a business is a stressful, lonely endeavor, and it’s our mission to make sure the people we partner with aren’t alone.” However, many businesses still forget to ask, “who is going to buy this?” If businesses cannot adequately explain to investors who is going to buy their product, those investors will most likely go with a different company that can. Therefore, Three Knights Investments Inc. pushes entrepreneurs to learn and develop the skills necessary to thrive as a business. By focusing on identifying who their customers are, who else is in their market, how much they can sell their product for, and how many units they can move, businesses can be very successful, according to Knight.

On the Road to Success Despite working at different companies, with different goals and focuses, both Jason Suriano and Steven Knight recognize how important it is for emerging companies to receive investor support. For TIQ Software, the great support that Startup Edmonton provided them with in their earliest stages has been instrumental in helping them to succeed. For Three Knights Investments Inc., while capital investment can be very helpful for a company, proper mentorship and assistance is equally important in helping an up-and-coming company succeed. As we move further into 2020, Business in Edmonton magazine would like to wish all the startups and small businesses in our city success in the future, no matter what direction you wish to take.



AURORA INDUSTRIES: A Clear Difference and a Safer Choice The high altitude window washing company is changing and challenging safety standards - By Nerissa McNaughton


urora Industries is a high altitude window washing company unlike any other in Edmonton. Owner Radoslaw Kaczmarek and his team are passionate about educating clients, policy makers and industry professionals about the difference between rope access and the bosun chair – differences that mean life and death on the job. What began as a home business with Kaczmarek and a business partner grew to a training and operational facility with a staff of 20, a branch in Vancouver and work on notable buildings like EPCOR Tower, Edmonton Tower, Rogers Place, and many other flagship buildings in Edmonton. He cites the growth as the result of setting solution-oriented values from the start that focus on people and purpose over profits, and using rope access instead of the bosun chair. The bosun chair was invented in the early 30s and is considered an outdated method across Europe, which has strict regulations for high rise window cleaning. While the bosun chair is still used in North America and a few developing countries, rope access is quickly becoming the preferred method for high altitude work. “If you see someone on the bosun chair, you think it’s the same as rope access, but it’s not,” says Kaczmarek. “The swing stage and the chair fall under the same OHS Code; rope access has its own code because the level of training and differences in safety is huge. You can be certified to use a bosun chair in one day or even online. For rope access, you need a week of practical and theory training (forces, angles, maximum loads) plus practical training. To


go from a level 1 to a level 2 you need 1,000 hours on the ropes in addition to coursework and difficult exams. High altitude window washing attracts adventure seekers, but the training and practice required for rope access attracts those that are serious about the job, safety and quality.” He continues, “The bosun chair has many challenges with safety but rope access has a system with builtin controls that allows you to save yourself or your teammate (rope access operators always work in pairs), if something goes awry. “We want the high altitude washing community and those that use high altitude contractors to be aware of the difference because it all comes down to safety. The industry needs to change, and we are pushing for that change by demonstrating best practices. It’s cheaper to use and train washers for a bosun chair, but it’s not safer.” Aurora Industries maintains CORE certification and invests heavily in its employees, hiring and training them as opposed to hiring freelance contractors for jobs, to ensure that the team has the highest and most consistent level of training and while working cohesively together on site. “Our safety protocols are not just for show. When there is a problem on a high altitude job, it’s too late. So, we prevent the problems before they happen,” Kaczmarek says. The best practices of Aurora have made it the fastest growing high altitude window washing company in the

Owner Radoslaw Kaczmarek

region – a feat obtained in just five short years. Aurora is pleased to continue growing locally and in the Vancouver market. Plans are underway to open in Calgary during 2020 and later, a branch in Toronto. “We are not ‘window washers,’ we are rope access technicians specializing in window washing,” concludes Kaczmarek. We are here to make a difference in the industry. We want high altitude washers to have safer working conditions and those that hire them to have the resources to make educated choices.” Kaczmarek thanks his past and present business partners, Aurora’s hardworking team and clients for the company’s growth and success. Learn more at or call 1-866-7AURORA.

Fianna Capital would like to congratulate Aurora Industries on 5 successful years in business! Email: Phone: (780) 621-3358 AURORA INDUSTRIES | CELEBRATING 5 YEARS

Celebrating 115 Years


orwood Foundry Limited is a 100 per cent Canadian owned metal casting specialist operating outside of Edmonton, Alberta. We have been in business for over 100 years and are proud to be one of the oldest foundries in the country. We manufacture products for many industries: construction, agriculture, forestry, and the oil and gas sectors, and pour quality custom castings as well. Norwood Foundry supplies municipalities with a variety of castings; keep an eye out for our logo on maybe a manhole cover or light post the next time you are on a walk in a city in Western Canada! Since day one we have been committed to following the best and safest business practices, and this will always be a top priority for us. We take pride in our work and take pride in serving Canada. We first opened our doors for business in 1905 in the downtown Edmonton neighbourhood of Norwood. In 1974, we relocated all manufacturing and administration operations to the Nisku Business Park just


outside of Edmonton. This plant has modern, state-of-theart technology that has come a long way since the first days of operation. Since the early days, Norwood Foundry has sponsored local sports teams and other local initiatives. We have and will continue to partner with the Cross Cancer Institute for special events, raising funds to support Canadians living with cancer and fighting for a cure. We are always interested in hearing about ways to get involved in our community. Norwood Foundry also has employment opportunities available for anyone, able or differentlyabled, who wants to join our team. The future of Canadian manufacturing lies in the hands of the younger generations. Norwood Foundry is grateful for the opportunities we have to work with the University of Alberta and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), educating students about the foundry business.

YOUR CASTING SPECIALISTS SINCE 1905 We have been able to provide hands-on education in our plant about metallurgy (the study of metallic elements) and recycling programs targeted at reducing commercial ecological footprints. Working with molten metals involves science, years of accumulated knowledge, and creativity. Producing a quality metal casting requires the use of pure ingredients held to the highest standards. At Norwood Foundry, we are able to recycle and reuse damaged and excess metal by melting it down and using it to make new castings. It does not matter where the scrap metal originally came from; we are able to extract and safely dispose of unwanted materials in the metal, so the finished product is pure and meets our customers’ standards of their individual castings. We use a mass spectrometer to ensure each pour is free from any unwanted elements or compounds. Quality control is extremely important to us and is something we will never compromise. Norwood Foundry has been building Edmonton, Alberta and Canada in the literal and figurative sense for more than a century! We have employed thousands of Albertans over the years and are proud to be celebrating 115 years in business because of our great team and strong core values of quality and integrity. Norwood Foundry stands for buying and supporting local and holding ourselves to the highest standard. At Norwood Foundry, we never cut corners. We never compromise on quality. When you want ethical ferrous or non-ferrous products that are made in Canada, you can always rely on Norwood Foundry. Thank you so much to all our customers who have supported us for all these years and to our team of staff who work hard to uphold our values every day. Learn more at and find out more about our team by following Norwood Foundry on Facebook and LinkedIn. Nisku Head Office & Plant 605 - 18 Avenue Nisku, Alberta T9E 7T7 Ph: 780-955-8844 | Toll Free: 1-800-232-7205


CHS Benefits Consulting Group Makes a Difference for Companies of All Sizes Carl Shields, Leslie Gauchier and Graham Shields.

Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt

By Nerissa McNaughton


hen companies are looking for benefit plans for their employees, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of technical jargon, projections, introduction rates, and paperwork. With CHS Benefits Consulting Group, however, the process starts and continues with personal interaction, customized plans, and someone on your side every step of the way. Carl H. Shields founded CHS Benefits after a 30-year career with Canada Life’s group division. He operated as an independent broker from 1994 to 2008, and was then joined


by his son, Graham Shields, who had run his own business for 16 years. Leslie Gauchier, Carl’s daughter, joined the company in 2015. “We are a family consulting firm dedicated to working with employers and their employees on a hands-on personal basis,” says Carl. “CHS has grown rapidly over the years and we are pleased to work with companies and organizations ranging in size from two to 500 employees. We have worked with a number of our clients for more than 25 years.”

“In Edmonton it is about business, but also doing things the right way,” cites Carl. However, “I wish every company knew how good and knowledgeable we are about the benefits business.” Companies that provide benefit plans enjoy healthier, happier employees. Having the means to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing means more productive staff.

primarily part-time employees often struggle to find group coverage through large branded agencies, CHS Benefits is happy to design plans for companies of any size.

“Employers benefit by having a group plan because their employees don’t have to worry about what happens if they or a family member becomes sick or disabled,” notes Carl.

“We are able to offer this high level of service because we work so well together as a family operation,” smiles Carl. “The most rewarding thing for me is the fact that I can work with my son and daughter everyday, and that the three of us can continue to work with employers and have close relationships that we have developed over a long period of time with clients.”

As Alberta continues to face skilled labour shortages, employee retention is more important than ever. Group plans are important tools in attracting and retaining top talent. CHS Benefits also provides group savings plans, enabling employees to feel much more optimistic about their financial futures. The challenge in providing group benefits is that no two companies are the same. CHS rises to this challenge every day by customizing plans among their product offerings of life, disability, critical illness, health and dental insurance; registered pension plans, RRSPs, and TFSAs. In addition to scalable plans, CHS Benefits offers something invaluable: product knowledge. Carl, Graham and Leslie know their product offerings inside out, and they ensure that each client fully understands their benefits packages. There are no surprises when a claim is made; clients have complete confidence in their plan and their plan provider. To truly understand the needs of each company’s long-term goals, and to accommodate for growth, succession, and all the other changes that come with company ownership, Carl, Graham, and Leslie work one-on-one with their clients. There are no middle-managers or assistants. Just personal interaction to make sure each client gets the best benefit plan for the employer and the employees. Being such an agile firm certainly has its advantages. While smaller companies of two to five employees, or companies with

CHS Benefits is a firm believer in Edmonton’s business community and enjoys giving back to causes such as Alberta Special Olympics, Recreation for Life Foundation, Effort Society, and many more. “In Edmonton it is about business, but also doing things the right way,” cites Carl. However, “I wish every company knew how good and knowledgeable we are about the benefits business.” As a smaller firm up against the likes of national insurance and group benefits corporations, it’s easy to turn to a brand name before realizing the agility and personal service of a local familyrun firm. One only needs to look to CHS Benefits’ decades long service record and outstanding reputation to realize that the personal touch is the best way to go when it comes time for employers to develop long-term benefit plans for their companies and their employees. With more than 25 years of service behind the firm, CHS Benefits looks forward to continued growth through the many referrals the firm receives from happy clients. Learn more about CHS Benefits and how group plans can benefit you and your employees by visiting


3175 Manulife Place 10180 - 101 Street Edmonton, AB T5J 3S4 Carl H. Shields – 780-415-5759 | Graham H. Shields – 780-415-5754 | Leslie Gauchier – 780-415-5769 |

David Kwok, VP operations, engineering; Ian Park, director, projects; Ken Blake, president, ONEC Construction Inc.; Shaun Jones, business manager for U.S. operations; Denis Wiart, CEO and Jerome Radawetz, VP operations, construction.

ONEC Group of Companies Celebrates 20 Years Engineer. Construct. Complete. By Nerissa McNaughton


ounded in 2000, ONEC Group of Companies is the agile and innovative choice for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services in Western Canada and now in the Western United States. Its purpose is the continuous improvement of industrial facilities through maintenance and capital projects by delivering on projects that improve efficiencies, encourage expansion, reduce emissions and promote safety. ONEC | 20 Years | 1


David Kwok, VP operations, engineering and Richard Holley, operations manager, projects.

“When the company we were working for was purchased by a larger corporation, five of us eventually left to found ONEC,” explains Denis Wiart, CEO. “We liked being a mid-size company because smaller is naturally more agile. You can make your own impact in the market. This was our vision. We like to use words like nimble and agile when describing ourselves.” Wiart is the only member left from the start-up phase of ONEC. “The rest retired or moved on. Over the years we’ve added excellent new partners,” he adds, nodding to the group around the table. That group includes David Kwok, VP operations, engineering; Richard Holley, operations manager, projects; Ian Park, director, projects; Shaun Jones, business manager for U.S. operations; Ken Blake, president, ONEC Construction Inc. and Jerome Radawetz, VP operations, construction. ONEC | 20 Years | 2

“A smaller company is more enjoyable, more fun,” agrees Park. “Less red tape and far more effective.” The agility of the company enabled it to move confidently into services most needed in the industry. Blake explains, “In 2004 we added our construction services to our core engineering services. That really changed the direction of the company.” Wiart nods, “When we started we were engineers engaged in managing construction, but we weren’t doing the fabrication or installations, so we added mechanical construction as well. Then in 2008, we added scaffolding. In 2010, it was electrical.” ONEC kept adding services to their roster, including insulation, survey and logistics – but services were not the only aspect of expansion. ONEC also increased its number of employees from 150 to 300 in one year and began growing geographically as well.

A recent staff survey indicated that the team enjoys the people at the firm the most; while a client survey revealed that clients appreciate ONEC’s accountability. Clients and staff also welcome ONEC’s dedication to innovation and technology. “We expanded into the United States in 2018 and have plans for an increased presence south of the border,” says Jones. It was also the year ONEC moved into the Kitimat, British Columbia market. Wiart explains, “What spearheaded our growth over the last two years was our uniqueness in having all of these services under one roof. When we get a project, we can complete the entire thing. There are larger competitor firms that can’t do that. We are small, but we are diverse.” Jones agrees, saying “ONEC has a certain magnetism when it comes to opportunities. It’s not just the services we provide, but also the fact that we are open to change and growth.” One ongoing change in the industrial sphere is the move away from coal. Holley weighs in. “When it comes to the shift in the industry from coal to gas, we’re helping clients make the transition and meet their emission targets while sustaining operations to keep running, but with better environmental impact.

This also helps maintain local employment; instead of shutting things down, people get to keep their jobs.” ONEC’s dedication to improving the EPC/EPCM space extends into education. “Our success depends on people,” Kwok explains. “So, we get involved in the University of Alberta’s (U of A) career day, meeting the new work force and encouraging people to join us as co-op students or employees.” He continues, “We also work closely with the U of A to set up open houses for engineering students where 15-20 students visit our office and talk with the team to understand what we do day to day. We give them some real insight into this career path.” “We are a great place to work because we are open for business!” exclaims Wiart. “People bring their talents to ONEC and we help incubate a team around that talent. In the last year we’ve brought in entire teams such as insulation, logistics and surveying. This is why we’ve grown, bucking the trend in the province. We have an energy and openness that stakeholders like to see.” Blake agrees, “We are always promoting talent and adding complimentary services. It’s being that one-stopshop that has made ONEC successful. We offer all the services needed for a project instead of just contracting them out.” A recent staff survey indicated that the team enjoys the people at the firm the most; while a client survey

Congratulations ONEC on your 20th anniversary! We are proud to be part of your team and wish you continued success.

Providing experience and quality with fast turn-around times since 1978.

ONEC | 20 Years | 3

revealed that clients appreciate ONEC’s accountability. Clients and staff also welcome ONEC’s dedication to innovation and technology. “Laser scanning is a function of the design aspect that has helped to grow ONEC,” notes Holley. “It takes a real-time 3D scan of existing structures that is input into a model.

Congratulations ONEC on your 20th Anniversary!

It’s a great tool for minimizing conflicts and reducing interferences on site. We started this in 2018. It’s been very popular on coal-to-gas projects and in midstream.” Park adds, “We also have the ability to include this service for projects designed by other firms. On a recent one we did a virtual walkthrough with the contractor and were able to avert some interferences. The client was very happy to see this before construction happened, at which time the cost to address the issues would be much higher.” ONEC is also involved in the evolution of sustainable technologies. “We are supporting one of the biggest solar projects in Alberta with various services. ONEC had to adapt the technology to meet Alberta’s requirements. We have engineering, surveying, fabrication, and site installation work on the project,” says Wiart. ONEC is focused on industry improvement and is also focused on the communities in which it operates. In addition to supporting charities such as Little Warriors, United Way’s Engineering Day of Caring, Waverly School, and more, one of its key strategies is Indigenous partnerships and engagement.

Our sincerest congratulations to the ONEC Group on Celebrating 20 Years! We wish you many more years of continued success.

North America’s Premier Freight Network 780-612-0081 | Robert Kowton


Integrity • Commitment • Passion

ONEC is proud to be recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the past few years, to be an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year provincial finalist in 2017 and to earn a spot on the Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies PROFIT 500 list in 2016. With rapid growth continuing and a future full of possibilities, the management team at ONEC thank their past and present employees, clients, vendors, and families for the role they have played in the company’s success. ONEC looks forward to a full and promising future that sees continued expansion into the US and BC markets. Learn more online at, and @onecgroup on Facebook.


Congratulations ONEC on your 20th Anniversary! We wish you many more years of continued success. 13015-163 Street NW, Edmonton T5V 1M5 Ph: 780.447.1308 • Fax: 780-.447.2145 ONEC | 20 Years | 4


3821 – 78 Ave, Edmonton AB, T6B 3N8 | (780) 440-0400

SERVPROÂŽ Edmonton Southside

780-784-7777 Independently Owned and Operated






Your Commercial Loss Experts

24 Hour Emergency Services

Like it never even happened.ÂŽ



Stollery Children’s Hospital PICU

At PCL Construction, we believe that whether on a jobsite or in our community, together we build success. We share the Stollery Children’s Hospital vision to help kids get the care they need and deserve. We continue to build and support the Stollery as it helps write new chapters in the hospital’s world-class success story.

Watch us build at

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.