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Ian MacGregor

Reinvents Alberta (AND CHANGES THE WORLD)


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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 6 | Number 1


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  Alberta’s Credit Rating By Brock Harrison

 Balancing Alberta’s Budget is Relatively Easy By Colin Craig


 Edmonton Chamber of Commerce



Ian MacGregor Reinvents Alberta (and Changes the World) “We are a small company building a big thing.” By Nerissa McNaughton








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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 6 | Number 1





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J aehn’s Autobody Celebrates 60 Years

Alberta Independent Schools: Serving Students, Parents and Communities With private school directory


51 44 48

Putting the Work in Workout Are gyms the new hot spot for professional networking? By Ramona Korpan

Edmonton 2018:

An insider perspective on the future of the Capital City By Neriss McNaughton

Proposed Tax Act Changes: What we know so far By Brittany Da Silva




Business in Edmonton Inc.


Brent Trimming


Nerissa McNaughton

COPY EDITOR Nikki Gouthro


Jessi Evetts


Nancy Bielecki


FLEXIBLE. AFFORDABLE. CHOICE. Our cost control and plan management expertise means you can offer a group benefit plan that meets the needs of your employees at a price you can afford. Call us today for a confidential no-obligation quote or talk to your plan advisor. 780-498-8500 Prescription Drugs • Dental • Extended Health • Travel Coverage Life and Disability • Vision• Spending Accounts Critical Illness • Employee and Family Assistance Program

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Alberta’s Credit Rating BY BROCK HARRISON


f Equifax and TransUnion called you tomorrow to tell you they’d downgraded your credit, what would you do? Probably panic first, right? You’d break into cold sweats and start concocting worst case scenarios in your head of being unable to service your debt and what that would mean for your family.

• “Alberta’s projected deficits after (capital expenditure) over the next two years are among the highest of rated non-U.S. local and regional governments and, absent other measures, our expectation is that this will lead to further rapid growth in the province’s debt burden.” - Standard and Poor’s, May 26, 2017

Then you’d probably make a plan to avoid that fate. You’d start by taking a hard look at your monthly spending, deciding where you can cut back, considering supplemental income possibilities, and planning for how you can start repaying what you owe.

• “The province has yet to demonstrate real willingness to address the weakest budget outlook among all provinces. Alberta’s fiscal outlook remains the weakest among all provinces and risks remain tilted to the downside.” - DBRS, November 29, 2017

Such corrective action is survival instinct kicking in. You do what you have to do to stay alive. Or, if you’re business, to stay afloat. Unfortunately, this seems to be an instinct our provincial government lacks.

Translating the accountant-speak into plain English, Alberta’s borrowing is out of control, it’s fiscal framework is falling apart, and it currently has no plan to fix any of it.

On Nov. 29, credit rating agency DBRS announced it had downgraded Alberta’s credit rating for the second time in two years. Lest you think it was the work rogue creditors, two other major credit agencies - Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s - have also lowered Alberta’s credit score of late. Credit downgrades have almost become quarterly rituals in Alberta. Professional creditors who analyze the financial risk of lending massive sums of cash to governments are en masse raising the red flag on debt-plagued, cash-strapped Alberta. Just like a consumer or business credit rating, these downgrades will make it more expensive for Alberta to keep borrowing. Here is just a sample of some of the judgments these agencies have rendered on Alberta: • “The downgrade of Alberta’s credit rating, along with our negative outlook, reflects the province’s growing and unconstrained debt burden.” - Moody’s, April 25, 2016

Whereas most families and businesses confronted with failing credit and ballooning interest payments would do something about it, Alberta remains steadfastly committed to an utterly hopeless fiscal policy. After each of Alberta’s four credit downgrades since 2015, Finance Minister Joe Ceci has slapped down any talk of altering his fiscal course. Alberta’s deficit crested $10 billion this year and our debt load has reached a staggering $45 billion. By 2020, Alberta will be spending $2.3 billion on debt servicing alone - which will make interest payments the fourth largest government expenditure behind only health care, education, and social services. The pile of cash we’ll be lighting on fire will exceed what we spend on tourism, energy, and economic development combined. Credit agencies have repeatedly warned us that, at some point, this will catch up with us. Alberta is on a collision course with fiscal reality. It’s too bad our government wants to accelerate the impact.




Balancing Alberta’s Budget is Relatively Easy BY COLIN CRAIG


uring the 1990s, Ralph Klein scaled back spending by 20 per cent to balance the province’s budget. As a result, he paid off the province’s debt, reduced taxes and put Alberta in a position to create one of the strongest economies in North America. The “Alberta Advantage” he helped create contributed to a flood of talented workers, entrepreneurs and investment dollars. It’s time for Alberta to repeat what Klein’s administration did right and learn from his administration’s mistakes. Fortunately, the first step, balancing the province’s budget, is not as difficult as some claim. Premier Notley likes to leave Albertans with the impression that balancing the provincial budget by 2021 would leave government services in tatters and require “firing nurses and teachers.” Fortunately, analysis by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation shows that’s just not true. First, note this big-picture calculation – merely reducing Alberta’s per-capita spending levels down to the same level as British Columbia’s government spends per person would put our province in a surplus position. Clearly, the Alberta government is not so skilled at cost-effective service delivery. Our budget modelling shows that $700 million could be saved by reducing the size of the Alberta government’s ballooning workforce. Government documents confirm that every two years 12 per cent of the civil service will be eligible to retire. Thus, over a two-year period, the government could downsize by 10 per cent largely without requiring any layoffs. Best of all, we’ve exempted health care and education from a reduction in staff due to demographic shifts.

Next, reducing government employee compensation by 10 per cent could yield savings upwards of $2.6 billion. Given the layoffs and large pay reductions we have seen in the private sector, this too is a reasonable measure – especially when one considers the mountain of evidence that shows government employees earn significantly more than their counterparts in other provinces. Note that even with a 10 per cent reduction in pay, Alberta teachers would still earn more than teachers in Vancouver – a city with one of the highest costs of living in Canada. Eliminating handouts to businesses, spreading the province’s capital plan over a few more years and a five per cent reduction in non-salary spending could help the government save $4 billion and, combined with one per cent spending growth in future years, lead to a balanced budget by 2021. Best of all, our budget modelling eliminates the carbon tax immediately, maintains the small business tax reduction and very cautiously assumes provincial revenues will come in $2 billion lower per year than the province has budgeted. Once the budget is balanced, capping future spending for inflation and population growth would not only put the government in a surplus position and allow for debt repayment each year, the government could bring back our 10 per cent general business tax rate and 10 per cent personal income tax rate. No tattered services, no fired nurses or teachers – we just need leadership that’s willing to impose a healthy dose of restraint for a couple years. If we see such leadership, Alberta will be in a great position to lead Canada once again.









ith today’s competitive business environment, BY RICK TIEDEMANN – SR. HEALTHCARE bowls of DIRECTOR fruit inBUSINESS the staffDEVELOPMENT, room andCOPEMAN lunchtime yoga are no longer enough to attract and retain top talent. Companies wanting to recession proof their business musts be committed to keeping employees a business leader, are youtheir too busy to lookhappy after your and healthy beyond some perks. health? Have youtoken become okay with feeling just okay?

If so, Copeman Healthcare offers a solution that

“Having healthy employees is not a nice to have, it’s a need will address stress and wellness and support your long-term to have. With the complexities and demands of today’s ever business growth. changing business landscape, executive health is not a perk, it is an essential part of building a high performing leaderOften we tend to look after our businesses and employees ship team,” Tiedeman of Copeman better thansays we Rick look after ourselves. This canHealthcare. result in a gap

between organizational performance and the And it’s not just employees who benefitexpectations from comprehensive physical or psychological resiliency required achieve them. corporate wellness programs. Companies whotoinvest in these programs see an increase in employee productivity of 51% Reframingtoour thoughts on Leadership Wellbeing is essential according a recent Canadian medical study. in a dynamic business environment. Our organizations must

“In my more than 35negative years in health a corporate role, theresult highest defend against the impacts that from performing teams consistently have the healthiest members the stress of a competitive workplace. and the least amount of leadership downtime due to health issues,” says business Mr. Tiedeman. A few core principles exist within our collective

organizations that call for aenvironment new narrative around more Leadership Today’s high pressure work is placing Wellbeing. stress on high-performing individuals. The subsequent health impact of this stress diminishes the ability of business People as our #1 asset; leaders to stay focused and fully engaged in the business. We all recognize that people are the number one asset

So how do tremendous leading and progressive ensure that and have influence oncompanies the performance of an valuable humanItresources appreciating assets rather than organization. stands toare reason that organizations should depreciating assets? want this vital asset to appreciate rather than depreciate

through all business cycles.

One of the first steps is to place investments in healthcare programs to keep your people healthy, and to prevent losses Risk mitigation; in the event of an employee taking sick leave, or worse.

Risk mitigation is an essential business practice. If people are

“Companies are paying enormous amountrisk for life intruly your number onean asset, then strategic mitigation should be The greater theofvalue of the health asset, the surance, butintentional. ignoring the importance preventing greater the should towards effort. problems in energy the firstthat place,” says be Mr.directed Tiedeman. “Dr. this Larry Ohlhauser said it best in his book, The Healthy CEO: ‘dead The primary CEOs don’t hitrisks theirassociated targets.’” with people assets are that they

In today’s more volatile business climate, companies are

the form of compensation, various formsdimensions of variableof engaging in base strategic risk mitigation in many pay, vacation allocations, theircorporate business. shares, But are car theyallowances, being strategic against risk with professional development allowances, travel upgrades etc. their executives? Streamlined leadership realize they are more Benefit differentials areteams an acknowledgement of thevulnerneed to able than ever to the increased possibility that they or one appropriately look after individuals who take on roles with of their colleagues may beand sidelined with a health issue.itThis escalating accountability responsibility. Therefore, is would causethat an immediate and dramatic shift of additionappropriate wellness differentials compensate leaders for al responsibilities already overstressed the higher levels oftostress they endure. colleagues. So businesses are recognizing they need to apply risk mitigation

Key-person roles; strategies to the health of their leadership teams. Leaders within organizations typically identify key Strategic and tactical leaders see the implementation of individuals who are vital to sustained business performance. health and wellness programs as an investment rather than a When individuals become unable to perform their role, financial burden. A comprehensive program helps compait’s imperative for the organization to fill this talent gap. nies avoida talent risk and place investments where they can Securing suitable replacement becomes a business priority driveresources maximum returns. and such as time and budget are often quickly redirected tostudy ensure that talent gapsthat areemployee promptlywellness addressed. A Canadian recently showed programs decreased disability costs by 36% and drug benefit

With these four fundamental business principles as a Board costs by 27%. And with fewer Workers’ Compensation backdrop, we now have the context required to discuss the claims, there is a decrease in insurance premiums. Compapersonal, professional and organizational value associated nies also experience enhanced company culture, increased with Leadership Wellbeing. Developing the appropriate retention, lower staff turnover, fewer sick days and increased framework from these principles ensures that your number productivity. one asset is appreciating, that you are taking steps to Healthy people are happy people. are you productive and minimize your risk for your peopleThey assets, are driving loyal. Andretention today, 61% of that 30-year-old believe their employee and rewardsCanadians are made in step with employer has an of obligation to assist them in maintaining a escalating levels contribution. healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to learn more about how you can Companies wanting to guide their business to success and implement a Leadership Wellbeing Program please contact profit need to invest in the health and wellness of their Rick Tiedemann at 587-402-1286. people. It shows a clear understanding of their priorities: a desire to attract and retain top talent.

retire early, leave to work elsewhere, or get sick and have to

Provocative statements likeand these are starting to be heard in pull back from their roles responsibilities. the business community, but more progress is still needed toResponsibility ensure that a company’s most valuable asset – its people – has its privileges stays protected. Virtually every organization has a menu of benefit

differentials that are associated with individuals taking on greater responsibility. These differentials may come in

TO LEARN MORE about Corporate

TO LEARN MORE about Health Programs, call 587-400-3889 Corporate Health Programs visit or visit



PCL Wins Ingenious Award The Ingenious Awards, hosted by the Information and Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), celebrates success through technology by recognizing Canadian companies in the public, private and non-profit sectors that use information and communications technology in solutionoriented, performance enhancing, and innovative ways. This year, PCL, was awarded an Ingenious Award in the large private sector category for its PCL Project Analytics. PCL is an Edmonton-headquartered construction company with branches across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and Australia. Together, the company is represented in 31 major centres, working in civil infrastructure, heavy industrial and buildings markets. At $8.3 billion in annual construction volume, PCL is the largest contracting organization in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The award winning initiative, PCL Project Analytics, is described by the company as “an innovative analytics/ dashboard solution that provides key performance indicators for cost, quality, scheduling, safety, and staffing (team) of a construction project. In addition, it solves technical challenges around data access, allowing for transparent discussions and measurable insight into how a project is progressing, leading indicators of any difficulties and successes.” PCL Project Analytics was used with great success during a joint venture project between PCL and Turner Construction during the Midfield Satellite Concourse North (MSC) project at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). One of the busiest airports in the world, LAX has been in operation since 1928, with the main terminal being later constructed in 1931. The MSC project is part of Los Angeles World Airports’ multi-billion dollar initiative to continually update, maintain and innovate LAX. The MSC project involves a central terminal processor, conveyance systems for passengers and baggage and new taxiways/taxilanes and

airport aprons. The changes mean greater flexibility and scheduling, better service and increased security for the patrons and staff of the airport. PCL is happy to report that the PCL projects analytics team was able to take a project that would usually take one year to build, the creation of the LAX Midfield Satellite Concourse KPI dashboard for Los Angeles World Airports, and complete it in just 40 days. Mark Bryant, chief information officer, PCL Construction, says, “We are exceptionally proud of the collaboration between our project and business intelligence teams. The power of the Project Analytics dashboard is that it generates a meaningful, collaborative and proactive discussion around adopting leaner construction practices. Most importantly, it is another innovative way in which we successfully realize the vision of our clients while maintaining full transparency and data security.” PCL celebrated the win at the awards presentation in Ontario, alongside five other Ingenious Award winning companies (Ontario MD, Cancer Care Ontario, Sensibill Inc., Lumo, and SOTI Inc.) and two individuals (Claudio Silvestri of NAV Canada and Bruce Ross of Royal Bank of Canada) who were presented with CanadianCIO Awards. You can learn more about PCL Project Analytics on their YouTube channel (video:, and you can also learn more about PCL by visiting their website at ABOVE: REDA MARIE RICAMARA-TALUSIG, BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE DEVELOPER; MARK BRYANT, CIO; RELATIONSHIP MANAGER BRIAN KMET; AND NATHAN WONG, BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE DEVELOPER. PHOTO SOURCE: PCL



Historical Housing Market


s we embark upon a new year, we like to look back and reflect on what has happened in Edmonton’s real estate industry over the past year, but it is even more insightful to look through a slightly broader five-year lens. Economic uncertainty still seems to be on everyone’s mind, which obviously impacted the market in 2017. Though it’s easy to get caught up in the month-to-month details, it’s also important to look at the multi-year trends to get a clear picture of the true stability of the Edmonton market. While 2017 felt like a roller coaster, in reality, the housing market remained relatively calm and stable. Last year looked a lot like 2015 and 2013 when it came to sales. Looking at those sales trends within specific categories, single family sales continue to be the cornerstone of the Edmonton real estate market. Moving forward, we will likely see similar strong activity in this category, despite the uncertainty from the upcoming restrictive borrowing rules. However, with condos, we see a bit of a different story. There is a large amount of inventory on the market, which is pushing sales and prices down. Duplexes and rowhouses continue to be strong sellers, as they offer a single family style homes with a condominium prices. Now, let’s talk prices. At the beginning of 2014, we reached an all-time high in housing prices, surpassing 2007. The prices moved at a steady upwards pace, and we continued to see the increases in 2015. Even as inventory began to build and demand decreased, prices remained stable. In 2017, we saw the highest in average sale prices over the past five years, but the increases are slow, keeping pace with inflation. In each of the housing categories, average and median prices are quite stable, with only condos decreasing slightly relative to previous years. While we are on prices, we’ve been seeing an interesting trend of the sale of luxury homes. The increase of multimillion dollar sales in Edmonton is definitely impacting our average price.

James Mabey, Chair, REALTORS® Association of Edmonton We had three properties sell between $3 and $3.5 million in November 2017. That’s a lot, considering we have only had seven properties sell for over $3 million on the MLS® System in 2017. In 2014, inventory was quite low, which meant multiple offer situations and buyers having to jump quickly if a property came up that met their needs. Since then, however, inventory has been increasing every year, which offers buyers plenty of choice on the market. Edmonton is still thriving and we have been able to weather the economic downturn better than other areas of the province. We expect our real estate market to continue to be stable as a result. There are a lot of exciting projects happening in and around Edmonton, and this city is still one of the best places in Canada to trade in real estate, with affordable housing prices that are below the national average.



Nelson Environmental Remediation and TerraTherm are set to Bring Thermal Remediation to Canada Late last year, American-based TerraTherm Inc. and Spruce Grove’s Nelson Environmental Remediation Ltd. entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU). Together, the two key industry players plan to bring proprietary thermal remediation technology to Canadian markets. TerraTherm, a subsidiary of Cascade Environmental, develops and implements thermal remediation of organic contaminates in subsurface source zones and in aboveground piles; they also provide advice, design, building and operational services for thermal remediation projects. The company partners with engineering firms, government agencies, corporations and property owners in order to achieve its goal of safe and effective soil remediation. TerraTherm is proud that its projects are conducted in neighbourhood-friendly ways, with minimal noise and dust. The company completes projects safely, on time and on budget. James Galligan, TerraTherm’s senior vice president of operations, notes, “This new partnership brings innovative solutions to the Canadian remediation market. The success of our continued international expansion is due in large part to the dedication of partners like Nelson. We choose only the most experienced remediation leaders to deliver our worldclass proprietary thermal technologies. No other thermal provider offers all mainstream in situ thermal remediation technologies as well as ex situ alternatives in-house.” Nelson Environmental is a wonderful MOU partner for TerraTherm because the local company is passionate about safe, effective soil remediation. Nelson is a Canadian pioneer in the field of soil remediation. Brothers Darryl and Warren Nelson founded Nelson in 1992 to diversify their family’s earth-moving company. Referring to themselves as “first generation dirt cleaners,” the brothers say they “Help Mother Nature by cleaning contaminated soil and contributing to a healthier earth,” and that Nelson is “the only company capable of delivering

thermal soil remediation under the conditions we operate in.” Those conditions include working on site with soil from 12 different time zones, from the Arctic region to the sunny tropics. If a location has dirty dirt, Nelson can clean it. The motto, “Clean Dirt, No Doubt!” motivates Nelson every day to use the latest, greenest technology to remediate contaminated soil. Jim Engdahl, Nelson’s recently appointed CEO, says “This is one of the first steps in my new role to diversify Nelson’s remediation technology offerings worldwide.” With the MOU in place, both companies will progressively help communities around the world have access to fast, reliable, on-site soil remediation. The comprehensive list of thermal technologies from Nelson and TerraTherm includes thermal conduction heating, electrical resistance heating and steam enhanced extraction. Also among the offerings is the exclusive (heated box) HB1110, a technology designed for on-site ex situ treatment of contaminated soil. Once rapidly treated by the HB110, the clean soil can be reused at the same site. To learn more about TerraTherm, visit To learn more about Nelson Environmental Remediation, visit You can also keep up with Nelson’s success stories and innovations on their Facebook page, @ NERGlobal. The companies list their projects from around the world at





When the city of Edmonton considers the future potential cost of new communities, they look at the full life cycle of infrastructure and the delivery of city services to these growth areas. Their model shows a revenue shortfall of $1.4 billion over the next 50 years. This is according to Don Iveson’s 2016 piece “Calculating Our Real Costs of Our Groth”. Based on his calculations, one has to ask the question, is higher density the answer? Or, whose taxes should be higher – those in the urban regions of the city or those in the suburban regions who create the added stress on city services? These are not easy questions. Our goal is to present more thoughts and ideas to continue this discussion as to how we can aspire to build better neighbourhoods no matter where they are built. Yes, higher density needs to be part of the overall conversation. Many people may not be aware that newer communities being built are denser than the neighbourhoods of the past (1950’s-1960’s). In fact, one hectare used to support approximately 10 houses while now you’ll see 20. Paul Cashman of The Canadian Home Builders Association brought up an interesting point about Edmonton employment. Many Edmonton employees work in the suburban areas or even outside in Nisku or Leduc, making the southern most Edmonton neighbourhoods ideal for commutability and raising a family. While higher density can solve some of the issues with urban sprawl, too much focus on this solution may limit choices that people actually want.


A big part of the equation comes down to affordability. People are going to go where they can afford to buy the Edmonton Real Estate they want. How are the incentivizes for living in suburban Edmonton exacerbating the urban sprawl concerns? We know the city currently offers a development incentive program for higher density neighbourhoods; but, what else can be done when it comes to increasing density and supporting people who want to move into higher density neighbourhoods? Could offering incentives to property owners in the form of partial or full tax exemptions, monetary grants, or density bonuses lead to motivating buyers to consider the core? We know the city has grand visions for Blatchford and the Quarters (including the 80 story Aldritt tower approval). How do we in the business community and as Edmontonians support economic growth, diversity, and building strong sustainable communities for now and future generations? What do you think? Find us online and let us know. Visit our blog to read more about our amazing city and for articles on the future of Real Estate. At TruHome we believe a home is more than a house. Shouldn’t the way you find it go beyond a basic search? Our tools and advisors utilize Open City Data to help you search neighbourhood amenities, commute times, school rankings, and crime stats, so you can find your TruHome. We’ll make sure you understand every step of the process, so you’re confident you’re making the right decisions.



Elisse & Caitlin focus on moving the real estate industry forward by improving client transparency and implementing smarter tools to solve decades old problems. These sisters are second generation real estate professionals born and raised in Edmonton. If you have any questions or just want to chat, don’t be afraid to get in touch. - The TruHome Team

Elisse & Caitlin are licensed Realtors with

I T ’ S T I M E T O T R E AT R E A L E S T A T E D I F F E R E N T LY 1.587.400.7653


Ian MacGregor

Reinvents Alberta


“We are a small company building a big thing.” BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON


or some people, retirement is a time to slow down and tinker with a hobby or two. You know, restore that classic car, write a novella, or take up knitting. Not so for Ian MacGregor. “I was in retirement and I didn’t like it,” says the chairman and president of North West Refining Inc. (NW Refining). “So I decided to do something. Before, my career was about making money and thinking about the future later. Now I wanted to do something that would make the world a better place. I wanted to improve Alberta in some way and make it better for the people that will come after me.” With that thought, MacGregor went full steam ahead into NW Refining, and into the one project that has the ability to completely redefine and maximize everything Alberta has to offer. It is the North West Redwater Partnership’s creation of the Sturgeon Refinery. To first understand the incredible impact this refinery is poised to have in, and beyond, the province, one must first understand the man who casually decided to change the world. Ian MacGregor was born in Alberta and was the first person in his family to go to university. “I took mechanical engineering,” he says dryly. “It was because I was good at fixing cars, and that’s what my mom

thought mechanical engineers did!” Oops. Well, it suited him anyway. MacGregor is a builder and tinkerer and he’s always creating something. During grad school, he came across some guys in the office that were looking to build a little machine – so he built it for them. Then he quit grad school and just kept building machines. Apart from one summer job, he always supported himself through the work he did with his own hands. “It’s too late to go and work for someone else now,” he laughs. “Albertans – we do our own work. We figure it out. We do it bigger and better. Life is a series of building things and having fun doing it!” He also has a fascination with ironworks. “Dad was in charge of selling scrap iron in his shop, so the owners of our local junk yards were trying to make friends with him. They let me take home whatever I wanted – a distributor, a speedometer – anything. I’d take it home and tinker with it, then get something else. As I got older, I picked up cooler stuff.” His “stuff” that he has collected over 30+ years is now one of the largest collections of early technology, including tools and machines from antiquity through the early years of Canadian history. It is all housed in a 20,000 square foot private museum. When he’s not collecting, tinkering with, and building machines, he rides his bike and spars weekly with a retired RIGHT: IAN MACGREGOR, CHAIRMAN AND PRESIDENT OF NORTH WEST REFINING INC. PHOTO SOURCE: PHOTO PROVIDED BY IMPACT CONSULTING







boxing professional – you know, as most retirees do—and when he’s not in the museum or biking to the boxing ring, he’s a little busy with the first $9.5 billion dollar phase of a bitumen refining plant that will be the first of its kind in the world to incorporate carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage as part of its design. “The Sturgeon Refinery is being built by a partnership,” MacGregor explains. “Fifty per cent by the company I started and 50 per cent by Canadian Natural Resources (CNRL). While I can only speak for my company, I know I could not have made it without CNRL’s support. I had the idea; CNRL thought it was a good idea. We are a small company building a big thing.” While many Albertans know that a large refinery is in the works in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, and that it means jobs for the recently recessed province, the scope of what is actually going on, and its implications, are massive. “What we make in Alberta is bitumen,” MacGregor explains. “It’s the lowest quality, lowest level of oil. We ship it away and it’s refined and made into diesel, then shipped again somewhere else. Because bitumen is really thick, we have to add hydrogen. This also adds a lot of CO2, and it’s problematic if you don’t do something with it. The thick bitumen is also difficult to get through pipelines, so it’s very difficult to ship. To ship one barrel, you have to add half a barrel’s worth of diluent – and we are short of diluent in Alberta. The province is actually shipping two barrels to get the equivalent of one barrel to market. “Let’s redefine! Let’s do things properly and deal with the issues! “If I make that same barrel into diesel fuel, I get a smaller barrel to market, but it’s worth 3.5 times as much! If I use my pipelines for diesel rather than for bitumen, I

can make way more economic value, and that is good for Alberta.” He’s not stopping there. Remember that pesky CO2? When the refinery captures the CO2, the product goes from having the highest intensity of that gas to the lowest. “We started another company called Enhance Energy Inc.” Enhance Energy Inc. is running the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL), which is currently the largest carbon capture and storage project in the world. “Old oilfield sites still have half of their oil in them but it won’t come out unless we do something different,” he explains. “We take the captured CO2 and pump it into the old sites as a liquid. The CO2 stays down and the oil comes out. We are going to use the CO2 from our processors in Alberta to make a new industry for the province, recovering oil stuck in old reservoirs in central Alberta. Alberta can get money for something that is a problem for everyone else in the world. Everywhere else, CO2 is an issue, but in Alberta, it’s a feedstock.” ACTL is built to handle 10-fold the capacity of the CO2 the Sturgeon Refinery can produce, which MacGregor says is like “taking every car in Alberta off the road” in terms in reducing by-product pollution. “I’m trying to create a ton of jobs,” he says earnestly. “We need these jobs. These are jobs that are technical, highly-skilled, and beneficial for the environment. We are making lots of margin in Alberta to pay for things like hospitals and schools. That’s what I can do to make the world a better place. “But we can’t fall asleep. We have to get moving on this. I’m frustrated because we have to move faster. Alberta has been good for so long that we are all living in a dream world. We need to use the tools we have for the future and use them intelligently.




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“When I started this, I thought, ‘If I can get Phase 1 built, other people will [continue to] build them. I’ll start the process; others will come.’ I believe Alberta is being overly lethargic. I don’t want to be thinking 20 years from now, ‘Why didn’t we do this when we had the chance?’ We are in a place where not doing things is not an option. I think to myself, ‘What does the world look like if I don’t build more refineries? Does that look good?’ If we don’t do this, it will be bad for us, but it doesn’t have to be. We need to choose. Pick the status quo, or pick the future.” You can hear and see the future right now. The Sturgeon Refinery is powering up, one machine at a time. “Seven thousand pieces of equipment costing more than $100,000 each,” sighs MacGregor. “It’s like 7,000 new BMWs showing up on your front door and making them all work. Every day there is a long list of problems we are solving. It’s easy to be critical in this phase, but it will work. Every other refinery ever built works. We will get there.” The Sturgeon Refinery is MacGregor’s biggest machine, one he spent a lifetime preparing for. “If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a hunter. You go into the forest because you love to hunt, not because you are sure there is food out there. If you are built that way, be an entrepreneur. If you like to know where your food is coming from, be a farmer. I like to hunt. If I have to starve to death sometimes, that’s okay.” The hunter is leading a team into the forest. Is he leading them blindly? “I don’t think I’m a very good leader,” he’s quick to admit, “but I care about what I do. I really care about it and trust others around me. We do the best we can. I’m not leading them. I’m with them. I walked around the plant today asking a lot of questions. Most people were surprised that I wasn’t in suit, but I don’t even own a suit!”

I’m with them, I’m in the moment with them, but I hate that work/life balance stuff because I think it is a bunch of nonsense! I look back and I raised a good family. They are all successful, but a career is fun, too. Go ahead and do it! Have as much fun as you can and don’t run away when there are problems. That’s where the real fun is!” MacGregor is determined to help as many Albertans as he can to have the type of fun he loves, and that’s why he and Canadian Natural are both huge supporters of Women Building Futures.

Certainly, he maintains his busy life by carefully sticking to a regime designed to maximize work/life balance... right? Not so much.

“Alberta has been bringing people here to do work for a long time, but we have half of the work force that doesn’t get to participate in the high value jobs,” he says of why he chooses to support this organization. “Let’s get women into the trades and making tradesmen’s wages. Women Building Futures is successful, so I try to help them with that.”

“I’m not balanced! I love doing things, and it’s hard not to do things 24 hours a day! I have a family and I love them. When

MacGregor is unstoppable in his desire to turn Alberta around, show the province how to fully take advantage of its ABOVE: PROGRESS ON THE VACUUM TOWER IN 2015. BELOW: A “BIG LIFT” MOMENT DURING CONSTRUCTION AT THE STURGEON REFINERY PHOTO SOURCE: NORTH WEST REDWATER PARTNERSHIP - STURGEON REFINERY




natural resources, and inspire as many people as possible to do the work they love.

and give a slight nod to the graduates of Women Building Futures as they march their skills into the workforce?

“Chances – you are in the best place in the world to take them!” he says to his fellow Albertans. “People will give you a hand up every time. There is an entrepreneurial environment here and a lot of opportunity. You can have a dream here, and you get to pursue it.”

Of course not. He doesn’t slow down long enough to reflect.

Does MacGregor pause to look back over his life and all that he has accomplished – and is poised to accomplish? Did he think that one day he would be spearheading a project worth billions in dollar value, and even more in future economic value? One that would revolutionize the province and turn our greatest resources into something even more stable and sustainable? Does he think of the impact he would have on the environment by changing the way we ship oil and by capturing and using up CO2? Does he solemnly raise a glass

“I don’t think about anything except what I’m working on in the moment,” his laugh at the suggestion of quiet moments of reflection is long and loud. “It’s been a series of different things over the course of my life. I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. I try not to make them twice.” It’s not a bad philosophy, and one that has certainly worked for him thus far. So what comes next for the man who is determined to change Alberta, and the world? “I’d like to build two more phases of the refinery. Then I have ideas for doing something new.” We’ll stay tuned, MacGregor. We’ll stay tuned.









arents are naturally concerned about how well their children do at school and about the quality of education. Schooling is a highly-formative experience and convincing parents of the value of a specific school may prove to be challenging among the wide range of options. This article explores independent (private) schools as one such option in Alberta’s diverse education landscape.

Independent School Enrolments In a 2016-17 provincial system of 704,890 students, 29,418 (approximately four per cent) attended independent (private) schools. Another 6,189 attended community-based private ECS sites (kindergartens) where about 70 per cent of the students have special needs. Some international, First Nations and non-resident students are also educated in independent schools. As an aggregated group, the population of students is approximately five per cent of the education system as a whole. Most of the independent schools enrol less than 200 students per site with a handful teaching over 700 students. The Calgary area is home to approximately 40 independent school authorities.

Board Structures The most distinctive feature of independent schools, similar to charter schools, is that they are generally single-site operations under the supervision of a small board. Each independent school operates with a specific vision and mission that may vary according to the type of education programming. Boards may be elected or appointed and teachers are hired directly. Since different governance models are practiced and most management is site-based, independent schools do not have



large centralized offices so they tend to not get bogged down in bureaucracy. Decisions can be made more expeditiously and effectively. The schools acquire additional services as required by contracting and collaborating with other local agencies. There may be various support committees to assist in managing all the services and facilities. If a school is not responsive, and parents and students are not satisfied, it will likely fail as parents leave.

Teacher Qualifications Teachers in independent schools hold the same professional certificates as their public school counterparts. Teaching standards are subject to provincial regulation managed by Alberta Education’s Teacher Certification Branch. Teachers are evaluated externally by competent individuals appointed by the registrar in order to qualify for permanent professional teaching certificates and their teaching practice is governed by provincial legislation.

Accountability of Independent Schools All community-based private ECS (kindergarten) operators and all independent schools operate as not-for-profit agencies under the Societies Act of Alberta. They must report accordingly to Alberta Education using the same accountability pillars as do public schools but with additional requirements for monitoring, external reporting and teacher evaluation. Standards of accountability generally parallel public schools, which are available on the Alberta Education website. Government-collected data reveals that independent schools are safe and caring institutions that are responsive to parents, and do a good job of preparing students for life after high school.


Independent School Economics Considerations In keeping with the 1998 Private School Funding Task Force, Alberta independent schools receive part of the funding public authorities receive per student. Currently, private school funding is limited to a maximum of 70 per cent of the instructional and plant operations and maintenance (POM) funding envelopes provided to public authorities. Independent schools do not receive funding for a number of funding envelopes available to public authorities, including: class-size reduction dollars, technology enhancement funding, transportation grants and capital (school building) funds. In addition, independent school teachers do not benefit from the $2.2 billion government provided to the Teachers’ Retirement Fund to cover pension plan shortfalls. Milke (2015) recently pointed out that independent schools have saved government some $750 million over the past five years. Milke uses a comparison that a student in the public system costs taxpayers $10,874 in comparison to $5,150 for a student in the private system. It could be argued that tuitions paid by independent school parents make more dollars available to public schools. Special needs students may qualify for additional grants. Some specialized schools, termed designated special education private schools, may only admit students requiring specialized supports but their non-special education funding is like that of the other independent schools. No independent school receives funding for capital expenses so a modern facility with specialized theatres or playing fields is not built using taxpayer money. Independent schools charge tuitions in order to pay for the remaining costs of operating the school. Tuition fees will vary considerably depending on the kind of capital investments for buildings, teacher/student ratios, extracurricular program activities and other program enhancements.

Current Environment For more than 100 years, Alberta has been well served with a pluralistic system of education. In keeping with the province’s heritage and values, conscientious objectors, minority groups and people from multiple backgrounds have settled in the area without having to extinguish their foundational identities. One criticism of independent schools is that they do not allow everyone to attend. Public schools select students based on geographic location, specific program types and needs of the student, and sometimes gender. Not every student can enrol in any school. A universal education system that is genuinely inclusive must allow some parental choice so that parents can make positive choices for the sake of their child. In that sense, Alberta’s aggregated, pluralistic educational system is in fact very inclusive, and independent schools play a key role in complementing the provincial system. Arguments opposing independent schools are nothing new. Opponents often fail to consider the significant contributions independent schools make to society and ignore the fact that the primary beneficiaries are children. At the end of the day, all students in both public and independent schools are provided a government-approved education through a curriculum that meets Alberta’s expectations. Independent schools are not a “private” matter; they provide a public function by delivering on educational outcomes through not-for-profit institutions that are approved by and held accountable to the public interest. From the perspective of parents, primary concerns usually revolve around how well their child is doing. They want to know their child is in good hands, and that the school has their best interest at heart. They need assurance that the situation at school is working. In a child’s 13 years of education, each day counts. For more information, visit the Association of Independent Schools & Colleges (AISCA) at AISCA represents approximately 90 per cent of Alberta’s publiclyaccredited independent schools as well as 65 per cent of the private early childhood services programs.



individuality the engine for accelerated education 780-455-8344

age. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explor


elping our children gain competence with the tools they need in the information age provides them with the confidence to share their natural talents and become valued members of our communities. Literacy is the spark. With literacy and technology, there are no limits to learning. With literacy, expression can flow, collaboration radiates, and the future is bright. Our early literacy program is one of the hallmarks of Progressive Academy. In a warm, rich environment, students as young as three learn that reading is key to their everything.

For a child who can read well, the world is open. At Progressive Academy, education is not restrained by time, but accelerated by students’ demonstrations of competence. Building on their own successes, our students take on increasing responsibility for their own learning: by Grade 4 we often see competencies far exceeding strict grade level; by Junior High, students are expected to also demonstrate their skills through internship experiences, which help them cultivate their interests and gain a better understanding of the real world awaiting them. In ultimately marrying their interests in learning with what they need to be learning, the students’ own hunger for answers puts them in gear, and propels them—their intentions and ambitions fuel their progress. Students at Progressive Academy learn to recognize and leap barriers in their pursuit of knowledge, and eagerly tackle the most difficult problems to find the answers they need. Creativity and innovation abound, producing competence, not just in passing tests, but in researching topics and presenting results, in collaboration and in leadership. That competence is the key to learning for the future.

Education is not restrained by time, but accelerated by students’ demonstrations of competence. Our students dive wholeheartedly into learning the sounds of the English language through songs and games, then abruptly, voraciously take up reading everything around them. On the way home from school, street signs suddenly mean something, parents can no longer spell secrets and just like that, young learners are empowered to start their own searches using computers.

Preschool, Full Day Kindergarten, Elementary, Junior High.

outstanding students. outstanding results.

re. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. explore. engage. create. e


Columbus Academy Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 6770 129 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5C 1V7 Phone: (780) 440-0708 Fax: (780) 440-0760

Coralwood Adventist Academy

Headway School Society of Alberta

Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 35-55517 Rge. Rd 240 N.W. Sturgeon County, AB T0A 0K5 Phone: (780) 454-3672 Fax: (780) 488-3672

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 10435-76 Street NW Edmonton, AB T6A 3B1 Phone: (780) 461-7683 Fax: (780) 485-0507 Website:

Edmonton Islamic Academy

Kindergarten to grade 12 12218-135 St Nw Edmonton, AB T5L 1X1 Phone: (780) 454-2173 Fax: (780) 455-6946 Website:

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 14525 - 127 Street Edmonton, AB T6V 0B3 Phone: (780) 454-4573 Fax: (780) 454-3498 Website:

Covenant Canadian Reformed School ECS, Grades 1 - 6, Grades 7 - 9, Grades 10 – 12 3030 Twp Rd 615A County of Barrhead, AB T0G 1R2 Phone: 780-674-4774 Fax: 780-401-3295 Website:

Dante Alighieri Italian School K, Grades 1 - 12 c/o Archbishop O’Leary High 14230 – 133 Ave Edmonton, AB T5L 4W4 Phone: (780) 474-1787

Devon Christian School Preschool to Grade 9 205 Miquelon Avenue West Devon, AB T9G 0L8 Phone: (780) 987-4157 Fax: (780) 987-3323 Website:

E2 Academy 14907 45 Ave NW Edmonton, AB T6R 2V4 Phone: (780) 966-1419 Website:

Edmonton Academy Grade 4 to 12 Unit 2, 810 Saddleback Road, Edmonton, AB T6J 4W4 Phone: (780) 482-5449 Website:


Edmonton Bible Heritage Christian School

Hillcrest Christian School

Living Waters Christian Academy ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 5 Grove Drive W. Spruce Grove, AB T7X 3X8 Phone: (780) 962-3331 Fax: (780) 962-3958 Website :

MAC Islamic School Accredited

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 10306 - 102 Street Grande Prairie, AB T8V 2W3 Phone: (780) 539-9161 Fax: (780) 532-6932

Kindergarten to grade 8 11342 127th Street Edmonton, AB T5M 0T8 Phone: (780) 453-2220 Website:

Edmonton Khalsa School

Inner City High School

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 4504 Millwoods Road South Edmonton, AB T6L 6Y8 Phone: (780) 450-8753 Fax: (780) 461-6927 Website:

Grades 10 - 12 11205 – 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5G 2A4 Phone: (780) 424-9425 Fax: (780) 426-3386 Website:

Maskwachees Cultural School

Elves Special Needs Society

Ivan Franko Ukrainian School

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 10825 - 142 Street Edmonton, AB T5N 3Y7 Phone: (780) 454-5310 Fax: (780) 454-5889 Website:

Grades 10 - 12 17711-89 Street Edmonton, AB T5Z 0A7 Phone: (780) 476-7529

ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 8 2215 - 17 Street Edmonton, AB T6T 1J1 Phone: (780) 440-1195 Fax: (780) 490-4410 Website:

Kneehill Christian School

Morinville Christian School

Gabriela Mistral Latin American School Pre K, K, Grades 1 – 9, Adults 9359 - 67A Street Edmonton, AB T5J 2N9 Phone:780-914-6574 Edmonton, AB T6B 1R7

German Language School Edmonton K-6, Grades 7 – 12, Grades 10 - 12 7608-154 Street Edmonton, AB T5R 1R7 Phone: (780) 435-7540 c/o Rio Terrace School Preschool,

Harvest Baptist Academy ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 26404 Highway 16, West Spruce Grove, AB T7X 3H5 Phone: (780) 960-0235 Fax: (780) 960-9235


Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 P.O. Box 370 Linden, AB T0M 1J0 Phone: (403) 546-3781 Fax: (403) 546-3181

Lakeland Christian Academy K, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 P.O. Box 8397 Cold Lake, AB T9M 1N2 Phone: (780) 639-2077 Fax: (780) 639-4151

Living Truth Christian School ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10-12 Box 89, Mirror, AB T0B 3C0 Phone: (403) 788-2444 Fax: (403) 788-2445 Website:

Grades 10 - 12 P.O. Box 960 Maskwacis, AB T0C 1N0 Phone: (780) 585-3925 Fax: (780) 585-2080

Meadows Baptist Academy

Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 10515 100 Avenue Morinville, AB T8R 1A2 Phone: (780) 939-2987 Fax: (780) 939-6646 Website: morinville-christian-school

Nebula Academy Preschool to Grade 5 12023 81 Street Edmonton AB T5B 2S9 Phone: 780-761-0250

Norwood Chinese School Kindergarten to grade 12 11124-130 St Edmonton, AB T5M 0J2 Phone: (780) 908-6406 C/O Westmount School


Parkland Immanuel Christian School ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 21304 - 35 Avenue N.W. Edmonton, AB T6M 2P6 Phone: (780) 444-6443 Fax: (780) 444-6448 Website:

Peace Hills Adventist School ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 R.R. 3, Wetaskiwin, AB T9A 1X1 Phone: (780) 352-8555 Fax: 780-352-8540 Website:

Phoenix Academy Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 6770 129 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5C 1V7

Polish Sienkiewicz School in Edmonton Grades Kindergarten to grade 12 P.O.Box 78076 RPO Callingwood Edmonton, AB T5T 6A1 Phone: 780-454-0205 and 780-439-5916 Fax: 780-439-5916 Website: Accredited Heritage Language School

Progressive Academy Full-Time early childhood program for 3 – 5 year olds, Pre-school, Grades 1-9, Special Interest Programs Grade 10 – 12 (Robotics, Outdoor Education, International Study Tour, Class of One), Out of school care 13212 - 106 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5N 1A3 Phone: (780) 455-8344 Fax: (780) 455-1425 Website:

Rimbey Christian School Fingerprints, ECS, Grades 1-9 P.O. Box 90 Rimbey, AB T0C 2J0 Phone: (403) 843-4790 Fax: (403) 843-3904 Website:

Russian Educational Centre Grades 10 - 12 9566 – 101 Ave Edmonton, AB T6K 3H6 Phone: (780) 966-7157

Slave Lake Koinonia Christian

The Chinese Cultural Promotion Society Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 P.O.Box 32, Main Post Office Edmonton, AB T5G 2G9 Phone: (780) 485-9718 Email:

K, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 328 2nd St. NE Slave Lake, AB T0G 2A0 Phone: (780) 849-5400 Fax: (888)881-0428

Thomas More Academy

Solomon College

Waldorf Independent School of Edmonton

Grades 10 - 12 Suite 228, 10621 - 100 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 0B3 Phone: (780) 431-1515 Fax: (780) 431-1644 Website:

Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 6770 129 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5C 1V7 Phone: (780) 430-6969 Fax: (780) 431-9627 Email:

ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLING The Banff Hockey Academy Grades 7 – 12, Box 2242, Banff, Alberta T1L 1B9 Phone: 1-888-423-6369 Fax: (403) 760-0868 College bound hockey athletes

ECS, Grades 1- 5 7114 98 St, Edmonton, AB T6E 3M1 Email: Website:

South Side Christian School Kindergarten to grade 9 P.O. Box 219, Red Deer, AB T4N 5E8 (403) 866-2266 Website:

SML Christian Academy ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 5014 - 53 Avenue Stony Plain, AB T7Z 1R8 Phone: (780) 963-2715 Fax: (780) 963-7324 Website:

SCcyber E-Learning Community Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 200, B102 – 5212 48 St. Red Deer, AB T4N 7C3 Phone: (403) 872-0487 Website:

Tempo School ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 5603 - 148 Street, Edmonton, AB T6H 4T7 Phone: (780) 434-1190 Fax: (780) 430-6209 Website:



Golfer’s Paradise Resort Property Lot 6, Wilderness Club golf course 2,082 sq ft | Three bedroom New construction This home is located within the gates of Wilderness Club, Montana’s number one rated golf course. Constructed of Montana wood and stone, it’s a part of the natural landscape. Enjoy quiet evenings on your private patio with views of the mountains, golf course, pond and forest. There is no better place to relax with your loved ones, maintenance-free and surrounded by endless recreation.

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Moving forward with focus on results

2018 Board of Directors Board Executive

Chair: Len Rhodes President & CEO, Edmonton Eskimos Football Club Vice Chair: Dawn Harsch President & CEO, Exquisicare Inc. Treasurer: Bryan DeNeve Senior Vice President Finance & CFO, Capital Power Past Chair: James Merkosky Partner, Tax Services Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP

Board Directors

Dr. Glenn Feltham President & CEO, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Crystal Graham Partner & Licensed Interior Designer, Kasian Architecture Interior Design & Planning Ltd. Elan MacDonald President, Impact Consulting Scott McEachern Vice President, Engineering & Projects, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. Dennis Schmidt Legal Counsel and Associate Development Manager Alldritt Land Corporation LP Craig Thorkelsson Head of Tax PCL Constructors Inc. Liza Wold Partner, Miller Thomson LLP Dr. Janelle Trenchuk-Saik President & CEO, Parker Ford and MacKay

Chamber Executive

Janet Riopel President & CEO Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Tim Ferris Director, Member Services Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Ian Morris Director, Organizational Excellence Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Danuta Woronowicz Director, Advocacy and Outreach Edmonton Chamber of Commerce


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

By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO


anuary is a time of transition at the Edmonton Chamber. It’s an exciting time as we introduce our new Board of Directors and sit down as a team to analyze the opportunities that lie ahead. We dedicated much time in the latter part of 2017 towards developing a new strategic plan—a plan that will guide us into the new year and beyond. It will assist us as we redouble our efforts, ensuring that we are focused with laser-precision on meeting the needs of our members. We’ll be celebrating the entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders of our business community and welcoming our 2018 Board Chair, Len Rhodes, at our annual Chamber Ball on January 27. The Chamber Ball is also an opportunity to celebrate the many accomplishments we enjoyed in 2017 under the capable leadership of our Board Chair, James Merkosky, and to bid a warm farewell to outgoing board members Bill Blais and Alyson Hodson. These two dynamic individuals will be greatly missed, as their passion and dedication to the Edmonton Chamber and the business community made them huge assets to our endeavours. As well, we look forward to welcoming a new small business member to our Board, Dr. Jenelle Trenchuk-Saik, from Parker Ford & Mackay Specialty Opticians. At the Edmonton Chamber our members come first, and we know that in 2018, you expect results—concrete, tangible outcomes that drive growth, health, and sustainability over the short and long-term. In 2017, we worked to deliver results by focusing our advocacy work on issues that would impact the ability of business to succeed. Some highlights: Proposed federal corporate tax changes In summer 2017, the federal government announced a tax plan that would have led to: - Higher taxes for companies that employ family members; - Higher taxes on passive investment income made within a business; and - Higher capital gains tax when selling a business to children, making it more difficult for entrepreneurs to keep a business in the family.

We called on local businesses to join the national protest against these tax changes. We, in partnership with other Chambers of Commerce and business organizations across the country, spoke forcefully and persuasively about how detrimental these changes would be to all private business owners. Continued on the next page... BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JANUARY 2018


The many thoughtful, detailed responses our members provided showed the federal government how hard the changes would have hit business owners and their families. This national protest got results. The federal government revised its proposals and reduced the small business tax rate. We will remain vigilant in 2018 to ensure the remaining tax changes won’t unfairly target business. Cannabis Legalization Since it became clear that the federal government intended to legalize cannabis, we’ve been working tirelessly to ensure all levels of government understand the potential benefits and risks of legalization. The Edmonton Chamber has developed policy papers, attended consultations, and shared our opinions widely with all orders of government and the public. We know that entrepreneurs are ready, willing and able to take on the risks and rewards associated with developing this new multibillion-dollar industry. So it was gratifying when, in November, the Province of Alberta announced its plan to adopt a private retail model for selling cannabis. This is the model the Chamber urged government to adopt—a model that lets business do what it does best. As we continue on the path to legalization in July 2018, the Chamber will work to ensure that any harmful impacts and costs of legalization are minimized and that the economic benefits are maximized. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) When the renegotiation of NAFTA began in 2017, we knew that the Edmonton Chamber had a role to play. We sent letters to over 90 Chambers of Commerce across the U.S.

emphasizing the overwhelming benefits of Canada-U.S. trade. We also encouraged the Edmonton business community to reach out to their U.S. customers, suppliers, and partners on NAFTA’s critical importance, so they could speak to their legislators about how vital the trade agreement is to the success of their businesses. While the fate of NAFTA remains uncertain, the $1.3 trillion in annual trade that NAFTA represents is crucial to the economic health of both our countries. Whatever the outcome on NAFTA, we must move forward with determination to strengthen our trading relationships, nationally and globally. We simply cannot achieve results like these without the strength and support of our dedicated Board of Directors and policy committees. And we owe so much to you— our valued members. Our sincere thanks as we ramp up to what will surely be another interesting and challenging year. In 2018, the Edmonton Chamber will continue to bring our calm approach, a clear vision, and a balanced perspective to each and every issue we take on. Be assured that we will continue to effectively work with youto amplify your voice—the voice of business—at every opportunity, in order to provide an exceptional experience for members and bolster Edmonton’s competitive environment. The Edmonton Chamber would like to hear from you. What issues and priorities are top-of-mind for you and your business in 2018? You can contact us by email:

Members in this Issue KPMG in Proposed Tax Act Changes: What we know so far on page 48 World Health Edmonton, Powerhouse Gym and BNI Alberta North in Putting the Work in Workout on page 39 ATB Financial in Edmonton 2018 on page 44



AMVIC Licensed

Cookie Love Member profile Mike Stone, Owner What’s your story? Almost 10 years ago, my wife Iva and I acquired a stall at the Downtown Farmer’s Market one Saturday, hoping to sell some cookies we made from home. The market was small then, but as it turned out we didn’t even have enough cookies to make it until noon that day, we sold out. After five successful years at the Downtown Farmer’s Market, we had an opportunity to build a little bakery on 124 street in the Glenora building. We jumped in with both feet, not exactly sure what we were doing or getting into. It has been quite a ride and a heck of a learning curve since then. Fast forward to 2017 and we are settled into our new downtown cafe/bakery. I think we have weathered the storm pretty well and continue to fresh bake a range of delicious, choice cookies right here in Edmonton. What are three things people are surprised to learn about your business? 1. We have been in business for almost 10 years, albeit in a few different forms. 2. Despite the rising costs, we always bake using real vanilla, butter and top quality chocolate. 3. Our most popular cookie, by far, is the Triple Chipper. A soft vanilla based cookie with Callebaut milk, dark and white chocolate. What do you think is the biggest issue impacting Edmonton’s small businesses at this time? There are a few that’s for sure, but one that I think is ongoing is the challenge of getting our (collective) name out to the markets. It’s toughest for the Mom and Pop’s to get the marketing right, or even have the time to look into it, not to mention the costs associated. What has been your biggest challenge in the last 12 months? From a personal perspective, it has been



Mike Stone, Owner

tough to keep a positive attitude, continue to move forward, and most importantly motivate our staff. For the business, it has been to (re) build the corporate side of our business. As companies slowly start to spend money on their customers and staff, we need to ensure we have solid connections in place. What’s your secret to keeping your employees engaged? I like to think we are a pretty close group, and we can have dinners together and go to movies. They do see how hard we owners work and how much we actually care for them. We are very fortunate to employ the great staff we have.

Do you have a personal mantra? Keep moving forward. Because sometimes you just want to quit. As a new Chamber Member, what have your first impressions been? Since we’ve become members, the Chamber has reached out to us a number of times regarding different events. That is pretty cool. Our Chamber mandate is to create the best environment for business in Edmonton. If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be? Wow. I’d like to see the City really promote small business. I understand they do some of that but there is much more that can be done.

What is your favorite thing to do in Edmonton? Go running on the great trails AND finding those great new local restaurants. Apple or android? Android right now Your most favorite place in the world? Jasper. Pyramid Lake is beautiful any time of year. Coffee or tea? Beer actually. To learn more about Cookie Love and their delicious range of cookies, please check out

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Midwest Pipelines Inc., Trans Mountain Expansion Project’s (TMEP) major Edmonton and Yellowhead contractor spoke to guests about potential business opportunities associated with the pipeline’s construction.

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An Evening of Brilliance


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The venerable Edmonton Oilers ‘Hall of Fame’ room, normally only accessible to players and the media, provides an inviting welcome as you kick off your ‘Evening of Brilliance’.

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Putting the Work BY RAMONA KORPAN







f there is one characteristic that defines today’s young professionals, it’s the fact that they are always on.

Work-life balance has morphed into something much less defined than it has been in the past—gone are the days of working nine to five, locking up, and heading home for the night, leaving the office at the office. Mobile email access keeps the office in your pocket, and for young entrepreneurs, a constant social media presence can be a necessary part of building a brand.


It should come as no surprise then, that places and activities that were once thought of as personal have become fair game for business development. The latest frontier? The gym.


The gym and the office do have somewhat of a history of entanglement. Many professionals use their lunch hour to work out, and many gyms partner with organizations to offer corporate discounts. It’s a symbiotic relationship that many are now taking to a new level.


For the past two years, World Health, an Alberta-based gym, has hosting an event at Edmonton Small Business Week targeted to those who want to take the “work” in “workout” to another level. Networking with a Kick is a fitness class that doubles as a networking opportunity. “We partnered-up with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce (ECC) to host Networking with a Kick (NWAK) to end Small Business Week on a healthy note,” explains Bobbie Gaw, promotions coordinator at World Health Edmonton. “The idea for the event came out of a brainstorming session between World Health and the ECC last year. The ECC wanted to create unique opportunities for Chamber members to showcase their business and services to the other chamber members. At the same time, World Health was working towards educating Edmontonians on the importance of pursuing a healthy lifestyle and being their primary resources for their fitness journey.” “The goal of NWAK was for Chamber members to step-out of their comfort zone, into their workout gear, and network,” Gaw continues. “It was a daunting challenge, but participants raved about how much fun they had. During lunch, they spoke about how the workout was the icebreaker as they literally leaned on one another and laughed their way through planks.”





Though NWAK is explicit in its dual intent, networking has been happening organically at gyms across the city. Gaw describes it as an increasingly common occurrence, which is perhaps a little surprising “because gyms have a reputation for being an intimidating place.” But when you dig into it, it does make sense. Gyms attract the goal-driven, the ambitious, those looking to advance and improve. It’s no surprise that a person who holds these personal values would approach their professional life with the same drive. Pat Stride is the executive director of the Alberta North chapter of BNI, a marketing organization that specializes in creating and encouraging networking opportunities. She sees another pattern that may be driving the desire to make business connections at the gym. She feels that today’s work habits might not be conducive to good old-fashioned networking, leading younger professionals to look for those opportunities in unorthodox places. “More than ever before, young professionals can be branded as being the digital generation. That can mean missed opportunities,” she explains. “Getting out and networking gives them access to a wide range of professionals from a wide resource base, who can become not only potential business connections, but also information, support and referral networks.” Stride also sees the gym networking as the new version of an old strategy. “For many, the gym can be today’s

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version of the golf club,” she says. “Lots of business has been created on the course.

Mind Your Manners However, is the gym a good—or appropriate— place to network? According to Bradley Finnegan, a sales representative at Powerhouse Gym, it’s all fine and good as long as long as you follow a few basic etiquette rules. “It is only a problem if you are hogging the equipment, discussing work matters while there are people in line to use it,” he says. “But as far just chit-chatting during a workout, or sitting down in the cafe afterwards, no one can really be angry with you about how you choose to spend your time in the gym.” Caution should be taken when approaching someone aggressively or unexpectedly. “Obviously some people would prefer not to be approached while exercising,” he says. “It is usually their break time and it distracts them from their goal of actually getting in a workout.” Stride agrees, and stresses the value of using discretion to make a good first impression when it comes to fostering business relationships at the gym. “Don’t overstep and interrupt a serious workout with an eager ‘Hi it’s great to meet you’,” she warns. “Watch for cues and indications that someone is open to speaking before approaching them. Look for a common ground to start a conversation – handing over a business card might work well at a designated networking function, and less well at the gym.”

Closing the Deal As with any business transaction, success isn’t a guarantee. Not everyone will be interested in your attempts to add them to your business network, and some might be downright offended by the interruption. If you want to add someone to your business network while they’re pumping iron, you will have to approach them strategically. According to Finnegan, your success might come down to clever targeting. “I think the best way would be to take a look at the businesses in the area, and view that as the main indicator for which employees use that facility,” he says. If you are unsure if you should approach someone, don’t be

“I THINK THE BEST WAY WOULD BE TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE BUSINESSES IN THE AREA, AND VIEW THAT AS THE MAIN INDICATOR FOR WHICH EMPLOYEES USE THAT FACILITY.” ~ BRADLEY FINNEGAN afraid to call on gym staff for assistance. “Talk to the person working at the front desk, and perhaps some of the gym’s personal training staff,” he says. “They are the ones who would do the most socializing with the clients.” Stride agrees. “My best advice is to ask for an introduction,” she says. “If you know someone who knows the person you want to meet, ask them to introduce you. Be aware, that if they do, their reputation is on the line. Be respectful. Let the person know why you want the introduction and be sure to build their reputation in the process.”





Of course, by virtue of probability, you are most likely to make a connection in a larger, more social setting. “You could also join some of the group classes offered at the facility and try to make connections with people that way,” suggests Finnegan. “As well, most gyms have social media outlets and websites where clients can post any questions, comments and concerns, and you could potentially use that as a platform to make connections.”

Beyond Business Perhaps the best part of a gym partnership is that it doesn’t have to start or end with business discussions. According to Gaw, these relationships often end up running deeper, turning into legitimate friendships. “It’s incredible to watch

relationships flourish in our clubs,” she says. “What begins with a crooked smile and question like ‘Will you spot me?’ or ‘Have you taken the 6:30 p.m. Zumba class before?’ often turns into a group with a committed daily fitness routine. These like-minded individuals support and encourage one another to wake-up for the 5:30 a.m. class, add another set of plates, or sign-up for their first half-marathon.” If you’re still feeling a little shy about approaching the potential Procter to your Gamble at the gym, not to worry. World Health and the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce are looking to provide another opportunity to work on your network and your fitness. “Networking with a Kick was an incredible success,” says Gaw. “We’re looking forward to working with the Chamber on making it bigger and better for 2018.”







ell, that was an interesting year. While 2016 had Edmonton facing the reality of its ties to the price of a barrel of oil, 2017 was all about recovery and moving forward. When the economy heads south in the Capital City, it affects every industry, not just oil and gas. No industry operates in a vacuum – the issues that affect one affect us all. The good news is that Edmonton has always been, and always will be, durable and resilient. We learn from the past and we always greet the future with optimism. From plans to diversify the city’s interests to building on with what makes us so great, here are ways some of Edmonton’s industries are gearing up for 2018.

The Financial Sector Dave Mowat, president and CEO of ATB Financial, says “the financial industry is changing quickly with new financial technology companies (fintechs) entering the market to compete with the more traditional banks. At the same time, customers’ expectations are changing as well, and companies like ours are moving as quickly as we can to introduce new tools and technologies so that customers will be able to meet pretty much all of their banking needs on their mobile device. Add in new advances in artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain, and you’ll quickly understand that our business is changing at a pace we’ve never seen before.” Mowat is excited about the future of finance. “The new tools and technologies we’re introducing are amazing. It’s stuff people wouldn’t have thought possible in the past, like using Facebook Messenger as a virtual assistant to help with all your banking needs, or experimenting with

Pepper, our robot, to provide information and answer questions from customers. “Alberta is a place for entrepreneurs, and we’re working with them, side by side, to help them start and grow their businesses. As Alberta’s economy steadily improves, we’re looking forward to doing even more business with Albertans, no matter what their banking needs might be. “Edmonton is a great community. It’s a place where people believe they can get things done, as long as they’ve got a great idea and the energy and perseverance to make it happen. It’s a great place to do business, and that’s at least partly because it’s a great place to live and work and raise families. Great communities and great business go hand in hand in Edmonton!”





The Fitness Sector Jessica Zapata, co-founder of Infinite Fitness, has seen the city’s active side evolve over time. “The fitness industry has evolved a lot in the 15 years I have been in the industry, and I would say the biggest challenge for 2017 is the abundance of options for consumers in the Edmonton area,” she notes. “Some options are great, but there are a lot of options capitalizing on fads that are not always in the best interest of the consumer. It has become the entertainment industry versus the health and fitness industry.” In response to this trend, Zapata plans to “be more vocal (and join those that feel the same way) about putting the health and wellness needs first for our consumers. Fitness can be fun and effective and safe!” She concludes, “I love the community that Edmonton has. There is a tribe for everyone, you just need to put yourself out there and find your fit!”

The Non-profit and Charitable Organization Sector Sheldon Oleksyn is the executive director of the registered charity Sport Central, which makes resources available to assist disenfranchised children in sports in Edmonton, as well as in central and northern Alberta. Oleksyn notes that the downturn was a hard time for nonprofits. “[We had to respond] creatively to the continuing Alberta economic downturn and the effect it had on our funding streams. Our strategy was to reduce expenses, find more volunteers, and secure new sources of funding. Sport Central, in particular, lost approximately $55,000 in annual revenue through the sale of parking spots for over 200 events at Rexall Place (now Northlands Coliseum). We worked hard to replace that revenue through grants, corporate partnerships and by building our signature fundraiser, the Mark Spector Golf Classic.” However, he’s optimistic about the year ahead and looks forward to, “Growth in financial support for the charitable





sector as the economy rebounds, and recognition for charities like Sport Central who have achieved excellence in cost efficiency and levels of impact. For every $1 donated to us, we turn that into $10 (retail value) of sports equipment that we send out to children in need. Not many charities can show this extent of investment return year after year!” For Oleksyn, there’s no place like home! “This city has long been a ‘City of Champions.’ When Edmontonians see a need, they rally, organize and get the job done. The first food bank in Canada was born here, the first North American version of the Fringe Festival started in Edmonton, the first Outdoor Classic hockey game, Sport Central (first charity of its kind in North America), the Hockey Helps Kids program, the Edmonton Protocol for Diabetes treatment, and on and on. Edmonton is a very creative and innovative community that is willing to explore ideas and solutions for challenges that many others avoid. We experiment and try things, without fear or blame, with the goal of achieving great things together for the benefit of all. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

The Oilfield Equipment Supply Sector Of course, the hardest hit when oil takes a tumble are those working for the energy sector, be it in manufacturing, production, shipping – any company with ties to oil. Ron Feigel, business development, Universe Machine Corporation, explains, “Our biggest challenges in 2017

were adjusting to low commodity prices, sporadic work and tighter margins. Increasing our difficulties were the ongoing headwinds provincial and federal governments created with increased taxation, regulatory changes and not supporting or enabling wise utilization of Alberta’s abundant natural resources. “The International Energy Outlook 2017 by the US Energy Information Administration shows that the next half century, like the present, is likely to still be heavily reliant on fossil fuels, and it would be prudent to shape energy policy with this in mind if we are to ensure secure, reliable and affordable energy for the world’s increasing population.”





WHAT I ALSO APPRECIATE IN EDMONTON IS THAT THERE STILL SEEMS TO BE A FAIR BIT OF MUTUAL RESPECT, TRUST AND COLLABORATION. ~ RON FEIGEL What he loves about Edmonton sums up the confidence all sectors have in the city’s future.

He has that optimism that is so particular to Edmonton, though. “It’s great to see some improvement in our industry over the last six months or so, and we are hopeful that these improvements will be sustained in 2018,” Feigel notes. “It does look like supply and demand for oil and other natural resources will continue to balance out in 2018, and we are confident our industry will not only survive, but thrive as businesses continue to adapt and governments change or adjust for the better. In the meantime, Universe Machine will continue to run lean and efficient, innovating, diversifying and keeping our expectations reasonable.”

“Edmonton is known as a blue collar service center that designs, manufactures and repairs all kinds of things,” Feigel praises. “Perhaps not widely recognized are how many amazingly talented, humble and innovative people we have who are inspiring to work with! Many world leading products and inventions encompassing numerous industries quietly came to life here. It is likely that our harsh environment, cyclical economy and multicultural diversity challenge individuals and companies to become resilient, more creative and willing to work together. What I also appreciate in Edmonton is that there still seems to be a fair bit of mutual respect, trust and collaboration. With small businesses here especially, it seems easier and quicker to get things done, and deals can still be closed verbally or with a handshake.”







he Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has been exclusively devoted to the needs of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) since 1971. The organization got its start when John Bulloch read a white paper proposing a 50 per cent tax hike for Canadian small businesses. Bulloch was infuriated. He wrote a stern letter to the finance minister and took out ad space to have it published. Support poured in from around the nation. Thanks to one man that stood up for SMEs, and the support he rallied, the proposed tax changes were withdrawn, and the CFIB was born. CFIB fights on behalf of SMEs for better taxes, laws and regulations. The organization provides resources for business



management and savings for members on essentials, such as marketing, banking and freight. Now, CFIB finds itself on very familiar ground. When proposed sweeping tax reform was announced during the summer of 2017, it included changes that would have a drastic, negative effect on small businesses. “When the changes were proposed, CFIB read through them and pushed back to make sure the interests of small businesses were protected,” says CFIB’s Amber Ruddy, director of provincial affairs, Alberta. “The federal government has made adjustments to temper their proposals, but entrepreneurs are still troubled about the negative effects the revised proposals will have on small and


“CFIB WANTS TO CREATE A POSITIVE CLIMATE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF BUSINESS OWNERS, AND TREATING ENTREPRENEURS LIKE EMPLOYEES DOESN’T INSPIRE BUSINESS CONFIDENCE.” ~ AMBER RUDDY way to put through the biggest tax reform we’ve seen in decades. It is clear that the federal government is trying to raise revenue. Their definition of fighting for the middle class is forgetting that small business owners make up the middle class. Removing rewards for being a business owner is not inspiring people to create jobs. CFIB wants to create a positive climate for the next generation of business owners, and treating entrepreneurs like employees doesn’t inspire business confidence.” medium-sized firms. There is still significant red tape being added that will make things more complicated for small business owners.” One of the challenges many SMEs took issue with was the implication that private business owners were gaming the tax system and using loopholes to create enormous profits while evading taxes. That notion, as any entrepreneur can readily prove, is very far from the truth. Most SMEs are not the burgeoning empires with offshore accounts and lavish family trust funds that the government is hinting at. According to Key Small Business Statistics (June 2016), there are 169,305 private businesses in Alberta, of which 165,792 employ less than 100 people. Just 437 employ more than 500 people. SMEs are largely your non-chain restaurants, boutique retailers, fabrication and machining shops – they are run by your friends, your neighbours and people just like you. In the eyes of the government, however, SMEs appear to have Trump-like power and resources. “The government’s tone was not effective,” Ruddy agrees. “Treating small business owners like tax cheats is not the

She notes that opening a private business is incredibly risky, and there should be rewards, and incentives, for those who are creating jobs and opportunities for other Canadians. The government has now reinstated its promise to move small business taxes down to 9 per cent, but there are still measures in the tax package that business owners are not excited about. CFIB isn’t giving up. There is an “Act Now” button on their website ( for business owners who are looking to join the fight. “We are going to keep going until small business owners are heard,” notes Ruddy. Greg Gartner, director of Canadian Tax Law in Moodys Gartner’s Edmonton office, also explains how the proposals on small business taxation are a definite attack on private businesses (small businesses), rather than public corporations (large businesses). Concerning the passive investments issue of the proposed tax plan, Gartner explains, “The tax on passive assets is the biggest differentiation between private and public corporations. The new taxation regime attempts to penalize





current investment income earned on assets, which were formerly subject to tax at the small business rate. As public corporations do not have this ‘small business deduction,’ they will not be affected.” When it comes to implementing changes that would make this tax plan more feasible, Gartner believes that the proposals that have been withdrawn by the Liberal Government were actually based in sound tax policy. “The proposals that attacked the conversion of dividend income to capital gains had a sound policy basis in preserving integration (that a dollar of income earned through a corporation would be taxed the same as a dollar of income earned personally),” says Gartner, “However, the legislation was so poorly drafted and over-reaching (putting uncertainty into many ordinary, commercial transactions) that the Liberals were forced to withdraw it.” Moving forward, Gartner says, “Our firm has been advocates that these proposals should be withdrawn in their entirety, and that consultations take place nationally to simplify the tax system for small business.” He believes that simply trying to patch these proposals is not enough, and a rewrite is needed. Gartner goes a step further, suggesting, “We can expect legislation on the passive income proposals to be introduced in the next Federal Budget in March 2018. Every business person should be involved and lobby on behalf of a reversal of these proposals. They will be complicated and pervasive, and will directly affect Canada’s competitiveness in attracting entrepreneurial capital.” Deborah MacPherson, CPA, CA, CFP, a partner and a tax business unit leader at KPMG, provides an accountanting perspective. “The government has already scrapped two entire sections of their original proposal, due to the feedback that they have received from Canadians,” she notes. “For the other two sections: one, they are promising more guidance; the other, they are providing relief without a lot of details at this point.” Within the government’s original tax proposals, there were four major topics of change, which included:



income splitting, lifetime capital gains exemption, “antisurplus stripping” rules, and passive investments held in a corporation. The two sections that have since been scrapped surround the lifetime capital gains exemption and “anti-surplus stripping” rules. However, the provisions surrounding income splitting are still a part of the new tax proposals. As it stands now, the provisions regarding passive investments held in a corporation are still going forward, and are included in the revised versions of the proposal. The federal government has suggested some relief in the form of grandfathering existing investments held inside a corporation, as well as a safe harbour threshold for new investments before the new rules would apply. The government has promised more details surrounding this topic in the next federal budget. “Even with the changes, these proposals are extremely farreaching and will have a significant impact on the economy,” says MacPherson. “They’re proposing a total overhaul on how private companies are taxed.” The issues surrounding passive investments held in a corporation are especially concerning, as this topic does not seem to be receiving the attention that it deserves, considering the impact that the new proposals will have on small businesses. “Rather than saying something like, ‘This is really complicated. What we’re proposing represents a major change to our tax system. Let’s pull it back and take the time to study this properly,’” MacPherson says, “they are trying to push these tax proposals through quickly without considering the all-round impact.” She also notes that companies throughout Edmonton should begin doing what they can now, to prepare for the changes that this tax proposal may bring. “Make an appointment with a tax advisor,” says MacPherson, “To get snippets of information is not going to be helpful. Sit with someone who understands the new rules, methodically go through the proposed changes against your situation, and see where you’ll be impacted.”

Best-in-Class Customer Service for

More than Half a Century by Nerissa McNaughton


vehicle collision is the last thing anyone wants, but it does happen. Even the most careful drivers are impacted by distracted drivers and icy road conditions. When your car is damaged in a collision, there is a shop in the city that has been keeping Albertans on the road for more than half a century: Jaehn’s Autobody. That’s a name that goes handin-hand with quality service and care. Here’s why. Company owner Bruce Rutter purchased Jaehn’s Autobody in 1990. At that time the shop was located on the south side and was growing fast, with an expansion to the facility and two estimating bays. “That was basically as much as you could put on that land,” laughs Rutter, but it wasn’t enough to handle the demand for high-quality, customer-focused autobody repair, so Rutter built the west end location in 2000. Focusing on their location

Bruce Rutter, owner

on the west side, Rutter eventually closed the south side, amalgamated most of the staff, and continued to grow from the new location. Jaehn’s Autobody | 60 years 51

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Jaehn’s estimators, (front to back) Erkan, Heng and Cameron.

“We’ve got all of the aluminum repair equipment. We’ve got all the measuring systems. We are totally equipped for any kind of collision,” he smiles. “Our mission statement is important,” Rutter continues, “Jaehn’s aims to be the supplier of choice for Albertans requiring autobody repair solutions. We undertake to offer automotive owners first class service, materials, and workmanship. Our employees maintain a high level of interpersonal and technical expertise, and they are our strongest recourse. We maintain a clean and safe work environment and treat people in a friendly and courteous manner. “Jaehn’s Autobody’s central focus is the customer, who is our reason for being in business and whose confidence and trust we constantly strive to gain and maintain. We aim to understand the needs and expectations of our customers, and to perform our jobs to meet those needs and expectations every time.” Rutter wants all Jaehn’s Autobody’s clients to feel confident in the safety and durability of the company’s work. “We ensure properly repaired and restored vehicles to Alberta drivers from a provincially certified autobody facility,” he stresses. “The company exercises quality control throughout its operations to provide a first-rate finished product. Tools, equipment, and workmanship, which meet or exceed federal, provincial, and local legislation, are used to achieve this goal. “Autobody repair is multi-disciplinary in nature, and the various aspects of repair and restoration require skilled work for which only Alberta-licensed autobody technicians and apprentices are employed. A high level of commitment is required from all employees.” The company has refined its procedures to ensure the highest level of workmanship and customer satisfaction. Rutter informs, “A definite procedure is followed from the time a damaged vehicle arrives at the shop until repairs are completed. Customer relations are an important part of the process: during reception, the estimate, the delivery, and the follow up.

“We offer a smoke-free, comfortable environment for customers, and we require our employees to be clean and tidy at all times. We maintain a clean and orderly parking lot, building entrance, reception area, estimator’s desk, and storage areas.” Jaehn’s Autobody cares about the employees as much as it cares for its customers. “All our employees take reasonable care while working to protect their own and other workers’ health and safety, along with the health and safety of clients and visitors on company property. They take responsible precautions to avoid any form of damage or wear to customers’ property.” The outstanding corporate culture is achieved through what Rutter considers the most important aspect of success: communication. The way he sees it, effective communication is achieved when three main areas are addressed: clarity, attention to the message, and consistency.

Celebrating the


“Clarity,” he points out: “parties must use mutually understood language. Inattention to the message: people often don’t really listen to what is being said. Misinterpretation of information received: miscommunication between the estimate and the customer may result in poor understanding of what is wanted, what is advisable and what is required. Clear communication: both written and verbal are as important among Jaehn’s employees as they are between employees and customers. Consistent documentation: specific direction is required to move smoothly through the entire repair process.” How has this focus on customer service and corporate culture worked out for Jaehn’s Autobody? Ask their 11 Consumer Choice Awards, all won consecutively. Not bad for a company that went from six employees when Rutter bought it to the 24 it has now. The shop’s work ethic also makes it a favourite location for insurance referrals, a fact of which Rutter is justifiably proud.

Your Edmonton European Auto Repair Specialists

Congrats Jaehn’s Autobody on your 60th anniversary! South Side: 8105 Argyll Rd NW, Edmonton, AB • Phone: 780.469.0075 West End: 15820 111 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB • Phone: 780.733.0075

Congratulations! To Jaehn’s Autobody on 60 Years of Outstanding Collision Repairs!

For 60 years, Jaehn’s Autobody has been serving the Edmonton market with integrity, class, and superior service. Carlson Body Shop Supply is proud to have partnered with and supplied Jaehn’s for many of those 60 years with the very best products, to achieve the very best results. Jaehn’s Autobody | 60 years | 3

“[I love] working with the insurance companies, the owners of the vehicles, and getting everything done and seeing that customer happy. Our relationship with the insurance industry is important because we do it [autobody work] better and the customer is happy. The insurance companies like to send their customer here.”

Jaehn’s Autobody grew with Edmonton, and it is now a fixture in the ever-changing city. It has kept pace, and at times set the standard, for auto repair services as vehicles evolved over the years, and the company will continue to be a leader in providing the highest standard of customer and employeefocused service in the industry.

Jaehn’s Autobody’s interests extend far beyond the clean and efficient location on the west end. Numerous charitable organizations, such as The Edmonton Police Foundation, The Edmonton Firefighters Society, The Salvation Army, Cross Cancer Institute, University Hospital Foundation, and more, have benefited from the company’s generosity.

Rutter is very grateful to the staff, clients and vendors he interacts with every day, and also to Carlson Body Shop Supply from whom Jaehn’s sources paint, training, and equipment. He looks forward to either opening another Jaehn’s location or expanding the current shop to keep up with the steady and growing demand.

Rutter enjoys giving back to the community that has been so supportive of Jaehn’s Autobody, and he loves living in the city, citing “the four seasons, even winter!” as a highlight of being an Edmontonian. Winter is when he gets to snowmobile, but during the warmer months, he also enjoys travelling, hiking, and boating. He keeps sharp with four workout days a week, showing the staff that work/life balance is important for success at and away from work.

“Everything here is accomplished by working collectively, from the reception to the estimators,” he says, crediting employees like Erkan, Heng, and Cameron in estimating, Dale in parts, and foreman Derek as key players in the company’s smoothly running operations.

Congratulations Jaehn’s Autobody on your 60th! We are proud to be a part of your success. 11204 170 St NW • (780) 466-8300

He smiles as he concludes why Jaehn’s Autobody does what it does best: “Our customer is the only reason we are in business. That’s a huge factor that some people just don’t get, but for us, it’s the most important thing.”

17935 - 107 Avenue NW 780-481-1200 Mon - Fri 7:00 to 5:30; Sat 9:00 to Noon

Sheppard Insurance Service & Risk Management Congratulates Jaehn’s Autobody on 60 years of outstanding service to their Clients. Unit 118, 14315 - 118 Avenue • 1-800-663-2242 Jaehn’s Autobody | 60 years | 4


At Alberta Sound Construction and Management, we consistently bring extraordinary quality and the highest standards to our projects.

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6235 Wagner Road, Edmonton, AB T6E 4N4 tel: (780) 430-9353 • fax: 780-430-9392

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At PCL, we firmly believe that quality health plays an important role in the success of our company. We recognize that health and wellness is more than just physical and nutritional health. A healthy work environment is needed for everyone to be able to build a successful career. Watch us build at

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