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GOING COASTAL Powell River’s second life p.42

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UNDER FIRE Train Man Where will Mayor FORESTRY ADAPTS TO Doug McCallum WILLIE MITCHELL Surrey? p.32 p.94TRUEtake CLIMATE CHANGE REVEALS HIS NATURE p.30

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DIRECTORS EDUCATION PROGRAM

CANADA’S LEADING PROGRAM FOR DIRECTORS APPLY BEFORE AUGUST 29, 2019 FOR THE NEXT VANCOUVER OFFERING OF CANADA’S LEADING PROGRAM FOR DIRECTORS. “The ICD-Rotman DEP is academically rigorous and enlightening, with a format that was both engaging and allowed for terrific discussions. Perhaps the most important aspect was establishing connections with a group of likeminded individuals, many of whom are board colleagues today. I have found being a part of the ICD community particularly satisfying, and I would encourage all seasoned and emerging directors to make the DEP part of their personal development plan.” YURI FULMER, OBC, ICD.D CHAIRMAN, FULMER CAPITAL PARTNERS, BC FERRY AUTHORITY, BUYATAB ONLINE, UNITED WAY CENTRAIDE CANADA DIRECTOR, BLUESHORE FINANCIAL, BC ACHIEVEMENT FOUNDATION

The Directors Education Program (DEP), jointly developed by the Institute of Corporate Directors and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, is offered nationally at Canada’s top business schools. Since the launch of the DEP, over 5,500 directors have completed the program, taking the first step towards acquiring their ICD.D designation. ATTAIN YOUR ICD.D AND BE MORE EFFECTIVE AS A DIRECTOR.

CONTACT THE ICD AND APPLY TODAY. 1.877.593.7741 x230 education@icd.ca icd.ca/DEP

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contents

“Jimmy’s so ethical. It sounds like I’m biased–and actually, I am biased!–but he really is. Jimmy always says, ‘Try not to do anything we wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the paper’” –p.76

53

The Top 100 To celebrate the 30th annual event for our ranking of B.C.’s biggest companies by revenue, we hear from five businesses with all-star status by Peter Mitham, Richard Littlemore and the editors 69 Winners + Losers 76 Just Getting Started 81 Lord of the Rings 83 Machine Learning 85 Positive Coverage 87 Woodn’t It Be Nice? 89 Successful Bid

UP AND DOWN (Clockwise from top) Jimmy Pattison stayed the course, while Ledcor and B2Gold took different revenue routes

COVER TYPOGRAPHY: ALEX HARVEY-WICKENS; BOTTOM LEFT: COURTESY OF B2GOLD CORP.; BOTTOM RIGHT: CHRIS MEDLAND

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(contents)

32 A Simple Plan Now that Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum has won his old job back, many are waiting to see how his campaign pledges on transit, policing and development will play out in real life by Frances Bula

42 The Great Escape

Steven Brooks is just one of the Powell River residents helping turn the former mill town into an ideal alternative for those priced out of the Lower Mainland. Now the Sunshine Coast locale is more than just a tourist destination–it’s a place to build a new life by Fiona Morrow

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: ROBERT KENNEY; KARI MEDIG; JENNIFER KENNEDY

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94 Burning Questions Thanks to climate change, forest fires will only get worse in B.C. But there’s plenty we can do to make our timber supply and the communities that depend on it more resilient to catastrophic blazes, say foresters and others on the front lines by Andrew Findlay

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One of BC’s Fastest-Growing Environmental Firms Scientifically Defensible | Socially Responsible Our team of specialists offers the environmental monitoring and management expertise to solve the toughest regulatory and environmental problems. Visit ecofishresearch.com

The Informer

Q

17

10

TECHNOLOGY

Why one of Japan’s biggest IT firms settled on Vancouver as the launch pad for its global AI and quantum computing ambitions

18 GO FIGURE

With the province charging toward record electricity use this summer, we check the power supply

10

10

19 PROPERTY WATCH

Buyers have pulled back from the Vancouver condo market, leaving developers equally spooked

11

21 FIVE QUESTIONS

Alan Winter, B.C.’s first innovation commissioner, has a plan for drawing tech investment

23 POT SHOTS

11

11

Want to profit from THC? Cannabis ETFs could be a way in

25 ENTRY LEVEL

Hotelier Markus McRurie fights waves and fires on Tofino’s shore

27 INSURANCE

Vancouver homeowners can blame their spiking premiums on extreme weather everywhere

@ecofishresearch @ecofishresearch @ecofishresearchltd 8 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019

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(604) 608-6180 info@ecofishresearch.com MELISSA RENWICK

6/5/19 6:16 PM

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YOU’RE building THE FUTURE. We’re here to help. Quality Time 105 WEEKEND WARRIOR

patentable.com Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP

Melissa Tancredi and 1Selenia Iacchelli get down to business on and off the soccer pitch

107 ON TREND

Driving change in car services

109 INVENTORY

With help from these companies, pet owners can pamper their companions like never before

111 CARRY ON

The latest in airport shopping, plus travel tips from PICA’s Yves and Sylvia Potvin

113 ABOUT TOWN

Some beautiful mugs celebrate the Face of Today Foundation

114 IT’S A GOOD THING

Teara Fraser flies high with the country’s first airline owned by an Indigenous woman

Chatter 13 FEEDBACK

Liking the carbon tax?

14 EDITOR’S DESK 100 going on 30

JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 9

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Peter Legge

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nick Rockel CREATIVE DIRECTOR Catherine Mullaly MANAGING EDITOR Felicity Stone ASSOCIATE EDITOR Nathan Caddell

O.B.C.

DIGITAL AND PRODUCTION EDITOR Lynn Mitges DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR Stesha Ho

CSP, CPAF, HoF

PRODUCTION MANAGER Elaina Kohlhauser

SPEAKER I AUTHOR I CEO PHILANTHROPIST

MARKETING MANAGER Kaitlyn Lush MARKETING COORDINATOR Christine Beyleveldt PRODUCTION SUPPORT TECHNICIAN Ina Bowerbank DIGITAL COORDINATOR Theresa Tran

“The very best speaker we have ever had.”

IMAGING TECHNICIAN Mandy Lau ACCOUNT MANAGERS Mira Hershcovitch, Anna Lee HEAD OFFICE / SALES ENQUIRIES Phone: 604-299-7311 cwm@canadawide.com

Christy Murphy Senior Executive for Cactus Club Restaurants

Published by CANADA WIDE MEDIA LIMITED canadawide.com

Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker and Author

CHAIRMAN & CEO Peter Legge, OBC, LLD (HON) PRESIDENT Samantha Legge, MBA SENIOR VP OF INTEGRATION Brad Liski

The power of a

dream Your dream is still possible

VP OF CONTENT MARKETING Ryan McKenzie VP OF DIGITAL Kevin Hinton VP OF HR/ADMIN Joy Ginete-Cockle VP OF FINANCE Sonia Roxburgh, CPA, CGA EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Rick Thibert DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL Michael McCullough DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION Kim McLane

By the bestselling author of the power

to soar higher

PET ER LEG GE

DIRECTOR OF CIRCULATION Tracy McRitchie DIRECTOR OF SALES Brianne Harper MARKETING LEAD Chris Hinton

Speaking Topics

SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR Brian Fakhraie

■ Doing Business in Tough Times

ACCOUNTING Terri Mason, Eileen Gajowski

■ 7 Principles for Modern Leaders

Kelly Kalirai, Lori North

CIRCULATION Katie Gajowski, Rhiannon Jones,

■ Runway of Life: Take Charge and Live Your Dreams ■ The Power of a Dream

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO PETER LEGGE Elaina Kohlhauser BCBusiness is published 10 times a year by Canada Wide Media Limited, Suite 230, 4321 Still Creek Drive, Burnaby, B.C. V5C 6S7. Phone 604-299-7311; Fax 604-299-9188.

■ 16 High Performance Sales Habits ■ Character and Integrity – The Key Attributes to Success ■ 27 Success Habits of Highly Successful People Contact Elaina Kohlhauser to see if your event date is available 604.473.0332 • info@peterlegge.com

Mail Preferences: From time to time, other organizations ask us if they may send some of our subscribers information about products and services that might be of interest. If you prefer that we not provide your name and address, please contact us at the address listed above. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form—print or electronic—without written permission of the publisher. For subscription info, call 604-299-1023 or email: bcbsubscriptions@ canadawide.com. B.C. residents: to subscribe to BCBusiness for one year, send your name, address, telephone number and a money order or cheque for $26.20 ($24.95 + tax) to BCBusiness at the address above. Send change of address notices and covers of undeliverable copies to address above. ISSN 0849-481X. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40065475. Printed in Canada.

www.peterlegge.com 10 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019 PeterLeggeAd_BCB_2_3.indd 1

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(feedback)

Talk to Us Now

EMAIL bcb@canadawide.com WEBSITE BCBusiness.ca TWITTER @BCBusiness FACEBOOK BCBusiness

Poll Positions

I

n 2008, the B.C. government implemented the first broad-based carbon tax in North America, initially set at $10 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. As of this April 1, B.C.’s carbon tax rate is $40 per tonne, and it’s set to be capped at $50 per tonne by 2021.  Although a carbon tax may As a B.C. resident, do you support or oppose the current carbon tax?

not be a popular idea in many places, a poll conducted for BCBusiness by Mustel Group in May found that 49 percent of the 300 B.C. residents and 48 percent of the 300 business owners surveyed support the province’s carbon tax.  Overall, approval of the tax doesn’t differ significantly from region to region, says Mustel

DON’T KNOW:

15.8% SUPPORT: OPPOSE:

48.8%

35.4%

Do you think the B.C. government is being too aggressive, not aggressive enough or taking the right steps to offset carbon emissions produced by the province’s citizens and industries?

FROM OUR CELLAR TO YOURS

general manager Josh O’Neill, though people on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast are somewhat more in favour of it than those in the Interior (58 percent versus 39 percent).   There are also no notable differences between business owners and residents on whether the government should use regulation as well

55+: 28.9% 35-54: 33.0%

18-34: 38.1%

as taxation to discourage carbon use: 74 percent of the former and 70 percent of the latter oppose this strategy. On the other hand, O’Neill notes, “there appears to be some  generational disparity on this issue, with younger residents favouring more aggressive measures to reduce carbon emissions.” ■

As a business owner, to what extent, if at all, has the B.C. carbon tax impacted your bottom line?

43.3%

33% 3.3% Very positive impact

2.7%

5%

12.7%

Somewhat Somewhat Very positive negative negative impact impact impact

No real impact

Don’t know

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94 POINTS Beppi Crosariol, Globe & Mail

90 POINTS Rick VanSickle,

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92 POINTS Tim Pawsey,

Quench Magazine & HiredBelly.com

JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 13

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(editor’s desk)

Pushing 30

I

haven’t been in the job three years, but around the time you read this, BCBusiness will have celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Top 100 networking luncheon. Past guest speakers at the annual gathering are a who’s who of the province’s business leaders—among them Jimmy Pattison, skilfully rendered on page 76 by Richard Littlemore. At this year’s event, we were honoured to host another legend, Boston Pizza International owner and Dragons’ Den judge Jim Treliving. The Top 100 list of B.C.’s largest companies by revenue predates our shindig. But to help mark this milestone, we looked back at the ranking over the past three decades, identifying the 20 biggest businesses at five-year intervals. Besides Jim Pattison Group, several names kept popping up, among them Finning International, West Fraser Timber, WorkSafeBC

and what is now Telus. You’ll find the latest list and profiles of those Top 100 all-stars, which represent the B.C. economy in all its breadth, starting on page 53. As always, the Top 100 feature is a group effort. We couldn’t do it without researcher Peter Mitham, who patiently compiles the ranking, and fields our annoying queries, year after year. Thanks, Peter, and please join us again for the 2020 edition. For this issue, I was equally lucky to work with Frances Bula, whose portrait of Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum (p.32) raises important questions about the future of B.C.’s second-largest city. To some, McCallum is a strong leader who gets things done; to others, he’s an autocrat who could hold Surrey back. Either way, what will he do? Powell River can’t match Surrey in size, but the Sunshine Coast city two ferries away from the Lower Mainland is a contender. In “The Great Escape” (p.42), Fiona Morrow visits to find out why growing numbers of young and entrepreneurial British Columbians are making it their home. I’m a fan of Powell River, whose Townsite district has become a pit stop for me on kayaking trips to nearby Desolation Sound. Here’s hoping it becomes a destination for more investment, too. Speaking of Desolation Sound, a few summers ago I found myself paddling out of it in a thick haze of smoke from the province’s blazing forests. On page 94 (“Burning Questions”), Andrew Findlay asks foresters and scientists how we can help spare our woods from the ravages of climate change. I think you’d agree that wildfire season is one annual tradition we can do without.

Nick Rockel, Editor-in-Chief bcb@canadawide.com / @BCBusiness

CONTRIBUTORS

Veteran Vancouver business reporter Peter Mitham has been researching our Top 100 list (p.53) since 2006. Mitham says he enjoys the annual opportunity to touch base with some of B.C.’s biggest companies, and to hear their stories and perspectives on the economic state of the province. “I’ve communicated with some of the contacts for 20 years, making this one of my more meaningful projects each year.”

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After the 2008 financial crash, Abbotsford-based photographer Robert Kenney launched a design/build interior renovation business. Now he’s back behind the camera, too. When he shot Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum (“A Simple Plan,” p.32), the two had trouble finding each other, despite being on an empty plaza early in the morning. “Other than that, it was a breeze,” Kenney says. “He’s obviously done it before.”

yo

ac hig an so Gr Pe pe mi co be sta

ma pa IN SEPTEMBER

How B.C. women are fighting discrimination to break into the trades

14 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019

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PORTRAIT: ADAM BLASBERG

6/5/19 6:16 PM

Through C


+ THROUGHCONVERSATION

Jean-Paul Gravel, founder of ThroughConversation

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A happier, healthier, more creative you

ThroughConversation delivers an optimum tuneup for elite professionals

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s a highly accomplished individual, you aren’t the type to rest on your laurels. Even when you reach new heights, there’s always another star to shoot for. You strive for success in everything you do. But are you able to really enjoy the fruits of your labour? “What we often find with high achievers is that, when playing at a very high level, they have a lot of pressures, and their mind is constantly problemsolving, constantly going,” says Jean-Paul Gravel, founder of ThroughConversation Personal Development Inc., an elite performance training company. “So the mind gets wrapped up in myriad internal conversations. And like a computer that’s been overloaded, over time, the mind can start operating at suboptimal levels.” The demands of a high-pressure lifestyle may result in persistent negative thought patterns that can manifest in multiple ways:

you may feel as if your mind is always racing, that you can’t relax, that life is constantly gogo-go. You may be outwardly successful but feel unfulfilled on a deeper level. Even the most distinguished executives might crave things like greater mental clarity, more meaningful personal connections, stronger decision-making skills, an improved ability to communicate, and the chance to slow down and enjoy life without any guilt. Perhaps there’s also a desire to be a more inspirational leader. Gravel created ThroughConversation to help high-functioning professionals achieve more fulfilment and meaning in their lives. The company provides an exclusive training program for those who know they want to create better life and business opportunities for themselves and their families. ThroughConversation is just that: through conversation, it helps people absolve their limiting beliefs and see every facet of their life improve. It’s not about delving into your past but

rather a one-on-one experience to improve your performance, relationships, and mindset inside and outside of the C-suite. ThroughConversation is something that can help your mind be sharper while enhancing every single aspect of your life at the same time. Its methodology has been practised and proven over the last 15 years and has an impeccable track record. Through a total of 10 sessions lasting approximately 90 minutes each—with results typically experienced within one to two sessions—the program helps people become more effective at everything they do. “Essentially, what I do is delete some of the corrupt files within your mind, and then your mind starts working much more effectively, similar to what would happen with a real computer,” Gravel says. “When we delete the unnecessary and unhelpful subconscious conversations that are flooding your head in the background, you can be more focused and concentrate better. “Your mental capacity expands,” he adds. “With mental clarity, you’re better able to make decisions and generate better results with less effort.” ThroughConversation is the only personal-development company with more than five hours of video testimonials from medical doctors, top CEOs, and other accomplished individuals. (These, along with other information, are available at ThroughConversation.com.) As the company’s previous clients can attest, it does much more than help people take their professional success to ever-greater levels. “The program has you appreciate your life a lot more,” Gravel says. “You feel more fulfilled and more satisfied. “It’s like uncovering a version 2.0 of yourself; you’re better, happier, more effective, and more creative,” he says. “You’ll love life so much more.” ThroughConversation offers one-on-one personal development programs to those who want to improve emotional health, relationships and business performance. Visit throughconversation.com for more information or to watch clients’ video testimonials.

Created by BCBusiness in partnership with ThroughConversation

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2019-05-29 12:46 PM 6/5/19 6:16 PM


29 12:46 PM

(the informer) FUTURE PLANS Naoko Yoshizawa leads Fujitsu’s new outpost

Classical computers process information as binary digits, or bits. Data is encoded as ones or zeros by billions of microscopic on-off switches inside a chip. But quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits. Harnessing subatomic particles’ ability to exist in more than one state simultaneously, they can store far more information than just a one or a zero.

Local Intelligence

From a small Vancouver office, Fujitsu is laying the groundwork for its worldwide AI and quantum computing business. Why did the Japanese tech titan choose B.C.? by Dee Hon

F

ADAM BLASBERG

BCB_July_2019.indb 17

THE R ADAR

QUANTUM LEAP

TECHNOLOGY

ujitsu Intelligence Technology (FIT) operates from a modest space in downtown Vancouver’s Marine Building that masks the company’s global reach and worldchanging ambitions. Four engineers study flat screens on one side of the room, too busy for the moment to mind the Ping-Pong table or eat the snacks laid out on the small kitchen island behind them. You can stand in one spot for the whole office tour on this April afternoon, but these are early days. The venture opened its doors last November, promising to revolutionize the fields of artificial intelligence and quantum-inspired computing. Fewer than 20 people work in this room, but FIT is wholly

ON

owned by Fujitsu, a Japanese tech giant with 140,000 employees working with customers in more than 100 countries. “We look like a startup, but we’re not,” says FIT’s CEO, Naoko Yoshizawa. Indeed, Fujitsu is the largest IT services provider in Japan by revenue and the seventhlargest on the planet, with a workforce surpassing Microsoft’s 131,000. Fujitsu invested $6 million to establish FIT as its global AI headquarters. It aims to expand its head count to 200 by next year, after moving to a larger home nearby at One Bentall Centre. Fujitsu’s arrival in B.C. follows splashier ones in recent years by other technology multinationals like Microsoft,

Amazon.com and SAP. But Fujitsu is staking a particularly sizable chunk of its future on its Vancouver operations. It’s restructuring its global business, using FIT as a springboard and model. And it’s developing innovations here that aim to change the very nature of how people use technology for problem-solving. Canadian consumers might know Fujitsu for its laptops or the point-of-sale machines it provides to retailers like Lululemon Athletica. But FIT is pursuing enterprise customers with two potentially transformative technologies: AI, and a novel class of processors called digital annealers. The latter can achieve quantum-like computational abilities to solve

2

B.C. COMPANIES ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF QUANTUM COMPUTING TECHNOLOGY:

Vancouver’s 1QB INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES (1QBIT)

creates software to get the most out of different quantum technologies being developed by leading hardware companies Burnaby-based D-WAVE SYSTEMS produces the world’s first commercially available quantum computers, although their architecture makes them suitable only for certain types of problems SOURCES: 1QB INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES; “PHYSICS: QUANTUM COMPUTER QUEST,” NATURE, 2014

JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 17

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(the informer) GO FIGURE

Say Watt? B.C. is using more power than ever during summer—so as the province flips on the A/C, we break down the system that helps us keep our cool by Melissa Edwards

34%

of B.C. households used air conditioners in 2017, 3X MORE than in 2001 A/C accounts for about 20% of provincial power consumption, or 1,300 megawatts, on the hottest days of summer 26%

44%

B.C.’s electricity consumption by sector:

30% Industrial Residential

Commercial

7,800

megawatts Highest peak hourly summer power demand to date in B.C., set on July 30, 2018

problems too complex for the brawniest classical computers. Traditionally, Fujitsu develops its products and services in Japan, then distributes them to customers around the world. But solutions tailored for Japan’s business dynamics and culture don’t always translate well to other markets. So Fujitsu is moving to originate its technologies where its global customers are. That transition starts with FIT in Vancouver. “We’re taking major steps to expand globally and create core functions—core engineering functions, core executive functions—outside of Japan,” explains Dean Prelazzi, FIT’s vice-president and head of business development and marketing. “This is the first trial,” Yoshizawa says of the local organization. FIT’s core personnel—the company’s technical leads and Yoshizawa herself—are Japanese, so they and their families shipped their lives across the Pacific last year. It took serious commitment, so why did Fujitsu pick B.C. from a literal world of possible choices? Locating in Canada or the U.S. was crucial. “Japan is only 3 percent of the world’s AI market,” Yoshizawa explains. “Customers in Japan are still suspicious of AI.” She says the North American market for AI is 17 to 20 times bigger.

“Enterprises in North America are ambitious,” Prelazzi elaborates. “There’s a general early-adopter theme across a wide cross-section of companies in the enterprise scale.” Vancouver had become familiar ground after Fujitsu’s digital annealer business partnered with local software firm 1QB Information Technologies (1QBit) in 2017. The startup reached out to Fujitsu for processors that could run its specialized optimization software. “Our goal is being able to develop software for the next generation of hardware,” 1QBit co-founder and CEO Andrew Fursman explains. “We take a particular interest in quantum computing and the devices that have come under this title of quantum-inspired optimization.” Quantum computers— devices powered by quantum physics—may be years from being ready for widespread practical use, but Fujitsu’s digital annealer is designed to run quantum-inspired algorithms using semiconductor technology available today. Fujitsu and 1QBit began solving customers’ supercomputer-stumping problems well before FIT formally opened last fall. So the seed to choose Vancouver had already been planted by the time Bruce Ralston, B.C.’s minister of jobs, trade and technology, met with

Yoshizawa at a trade mission in Tokyo in January 2018. “We had a discussion about what they were doing, and we encouraged them to think about British Columbia,” he recalls. Fujitsu representatives made exploratory visits to Vancouver and had further talks with the federal and provincial governments. “There were no cash subsidies,” Ralston says. “They were attracted here by the merits of being in British Columbia.” Yoshizawa cites some of the same factors that have attracted other tech firms to move to the city: supportive federal and provincial governments, a strong talent base in AI and quantum fields, and a cost-competitive location that shares the same time zone as Silicon Valley. She and Prelazzi see Fujitsu’s toehold here growing into a driving force for the global company, and the heart of its AI and quantum-inspired businesses. Those technologies are poised to power leaps ahead in fields like pharmaceuticals discovery, transportation optimization, clinical decisionmaking and materials sciences. Yoshizawa and Prelazzi are excited for the future. “The potential for AI to help humanity across so many different areas is enormous,” Prelazzi says, beaming. “And quantuminspired as well.” 

Days last July with peaks over 7,000 megawatts: 14 Average from 2015-17: 8.7 AV E R A G E E L E C T R I C I T Y P R I C E S IN VANCOUVER, IN CENTS PER KILOWATT-HOUR, 2017

11.83 INDUSTRIAL: 7.05 RESIDENTIAL:

18 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019

BCB_July_2019.indb 18

READ THIS Is there a psychopath in your office? Paul Babiak and Robert Hare know

how to spot them, and a new edition of their 2006 book on the subject explains how you can, too. Hare, a UBC emeritus professor and creator of the standard tool for diagnosing psychopathy, and Babiak, an authority on corporate psychopaths, co-developed B-Scan 360, a research tool to measure this problem in the workplace. Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, on sale in August and updated with the latest scientific research, looks at psychopaths in modern corporations and provides tools to help employers manage them. HarperCollins Canada 416 pages, hardcover, $36.99 

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SOURCES: BC HYDRO, NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD, NATUR AL RESOURCES CANADA, CLE AN ENERGY BC

6/5/19 6:17 PM


PROPERTY WATCH

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Chilling Developments Weak condo sales have left Metro Vancouver builders and land brokers in a vulnerable spot. Avocado toast, anyone? by Steve Saretsky

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s the Vancouver housing market grinds to a halt, property developers are pulling back. Under the provincial Real Estate Development and Marketing Act, builders must sell about 60 percent of a project within nine months to obtain construction financing. Good luck making those numbers in today’s market. The presale absorption rate—essentially, how many condos sell in a given month— sank to just 20 percent in April, well below healthy levels. Nervous buyers have shifted to the sidelines, leaving developers in a cold sweat as marketing costs mount and profit margins shrink. There’s only so much avocado toast to give away, and right now, consumers are showing little appetite. The result is a development industry in retreat. In Metro Vancouver, builders have abandoned one out of every five condo units they sought approval for in 2016, Toronto-headquartered real estate services firm Altus Group reports. That’s largely thanks to the uncertainty surrounding a market where making a buck seems increasingly unlikely or simply not enough to offset the risk. Abandoned projects will probably sit dormant for the foreseeable future. The same sentiment is driving the commercial

property market downward. Metro Vancouver land sales plunged 50 percent yearover-year in the first three months of 2019, the slowest first quarter in more than half a decade. The bottom line: land and construction costs remain inflated despite the weakness in residential sales. This erosion in profit margins and the obvious downside risk are prompting developers to think twice.

No one should underestimate the significance of these events for B.C., where real estate and construction account for nearly 25 percent of GDP. With 9 percent of the labour force employed in the building industry, according to StatCan, if you’re looking for a catalyst to slow the provincial economy, this is it. Workers are scrambling to finish the record number of units under way, but once the backlog starts to ease, the pipeline looks pretty thin. In other words, expect less work for people in construction, many of whom migrated here for jobs. Then again, everything is cyclical. This slowdown will ease land, labour and construction costs, prepping the stage for the next upcycle. 

Not Buying It Vancouver condo presale absorption rate 100%

SOURCES: ML A ADVISORY, SARE TSK Y GROUP

75

megawatt-hours B.C.’s annual per capita electricity consumption in 2016

8th in Canada 9% LOWER

than national average In 2016, B.C.’s total energy demand was met by

69% 19% FOSSIL FUELS

12%

ELECTRICITY BIOFUEL (WOOD WASTE, ETC.)

17,701 megawatts 11% of Canada’s total electricity generation electric power producer in Canada, after Quebec, Ontario and Alberta

25

Metro Vancouver Q1 land sales 400

SOURCES: L AND TITLE AND SURVE Y AUTHORIT Y OF B.C., SARE TSK Y GROUP

300 200 100

2014

2015

2016

Capacity expected to be added when Site C comes online:

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2018

2019

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PROSPECTIVE GEOTHERMAL ENERGY SITES IN B.C.

ESTIMATED GENERATING POTENTIAL OF 1,000 TO 3,000 MEGAWATTS ESTIMATED CAPITAL COST FOR A 100 MW GEOTHERMAL PLANT $400 MILLION

JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 19

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(the informer) FIVE QUESTIONS

ALAN WINTER B.C.’s first innovation commissioner weighs in on how the province can attract investment, build anchor companies and create opportunity for everyone by Nick Rockel

1 What is your role? To be a champion for innovation in B.C. That means how do we get more investment, and it’s really through three different ways. It’s developing partnerships with the federal government, encouraging international investment here and making sure that from a provincial point of view, we’re investing in the right things. More specifically, the government established an innovation structure for the province: B.C.’s innovation commissioner, Innovate BC and the Emerging Economy Task Force, a short-term task force to report on what the emerging economy is all about. I’m also a board member of Innovate BC and the EETF. 2 During your first year as commissioner, you said that B.C. is at a crossroads when it

5. IF THIS PROVINCE GETS THINGS RIGHT ON THE INNOVATION FRONT, WHAT COULD IT BE LIKE IN 10 YEARS?

COURTESY OF ALAN WINTER

BCB_July_2019.indb 21

comes to innovation. How are we doing, and where should we go from here? B.C. has enjoyed the advantages of circumstance— abundant natural resources, an attractive geographic setting and favourable access to North American and Pacific Rim markets. But this can lead to competitive complacency, and lower investment in public and private innovation. With the global conditions of trade changing, we have a choice. We can wait and hope that commodity prices, construction and tourism have sufficient strength to maintain our prosperity, or we can invest in business innovation and cluster development across all sectors in B.C. that will enable sustainable and clean growth for the province’s traditional and emerging sectors. 3 When you led MPR Teltech from 1992-96, it spawned six spinoffs, including PMC-Sierra and Sierra Wireless. What steps can we take to build and attract more anchor companies with international clout? At MPR we had excellent talent, access to capital, and access to domestic and international markets through our ownership structure of Telus, GTE and others. Between us, we put in significant research and development, and we incubated

outstanding companies. Today, more than 50 significant companies trace themselves back to MPR. Looking forward, we need to value small, medium and large companies in the B.C. tech ecosystem. And to some extent, we need to open up industry and government procurement to companies in B.C. and bring in people who have international experience. To be an anchor company, you’ve got to have your own IP. You’re in the digital world, in the intangible world to some extent, and so you’ve got to develop higher-value products where you protect your IP. 4 Given that global capital moves so quickly and freely, how can B.C. stand out as an investment destination? If you look at the S&P 500, more than 90 percent of its value is in intangible assets, or knowledge. So investment follows talent in addition to traditional assets. In B.C. we can combine both, as we’ve seen with the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. In this globally competitive environment, B.C. is well positioned for investment because we have excellent talent, which is very attractive to global companies. But we need to encour-

age such investment to be put into areas that help develop the whole tech ecosystem, such as investment in R&D and in business units here in B.C.

APPOINTED

February 2018 PREVIOUS ROLES President and CEO, Genome

BC; founding president and CEO, New Media Innovation Centre; president, ComDev Space Group; president and CEO, MPR Teltech LAST BOOK I READ

Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson FAVOURITE CONCERT

Christmas carols at the Royal Albert Hall, London HOBBY

Sailing. Desolation Sound is a marvellous place GUILTY PLEASURE

Starbucks

If we get it right, in 10 years there are opportunities for everyone, and across all regions of B.C. We would have a sustainable, resilient economy, with the ability to invest in the social fabric of society. We would have a lifelong learning culture, enabling us to stay ahead of and benefit from technological advances. B.C. would be globally recognized for the successful development and deployment of products and services in the digital economy so that all sectors are tech-enabled, a strengthened economy through development of high-value products from our natural resource sectors, and as a leader in cleantech and clean energy exporting our services and products around the globe.  JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 21

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(the informer) POT SHOTS

Index Card If it feels like high time to buy into the cannabis market, ETFs could help you avoid the worst of reefer madness by Guy Saddy

S

o…you want to invest in marijuana stocks? Well, step right up and get in line behind the thousands of other equally excitable lemmings. Is that rude? Sorry. In truth, I understand. You’ve seen the crazy returns. You’ve suppressed pangs of jealousy while watching your neighbour, whose financial plan once consisted of recycling beer bottles and thinking magically, tool around the block in a brand-new Jag. You know the origin of this newfound wealth. And you want in. Yet how to access this world of opportunity? You could invest in specific stocks. But when you consider that “profitable cannabis companies” is just another way of saying “hen’s teeth,” you may want to think carefully about buying individual equities. In fact, you might want to spread your risk around. But how? Perhaps by opting for a cannabis exchange-traded fund (ETF). Before we go any further, a disclaimer: I am uniquely positioned to give financial advice. By this I mean that I am uniquely unsuited. At the risk of stating the obvious, taking financial advice from a cannabis columnist is like accepting medical treatment from a cannabis columnist. (You should probably know SUHARU OGAWA

BCB_July_2019.indb 23

that my management strategy for the common cold involves bloodletting with giant river leeches, then drilling a large hole in the patient’s skull to let the black humours escape.) So, you know, just don’t. When it comes to marijuana ETFs in Canada, you won’t be overwhelmed with choice. As of this writing, if you, um, weed out duplicate ETFs hedged to the greenback, there are really just six available, including two newbies that launched only in mid-April. (Both of the new ETFs focus on the U.S. market. Because neither has a meaningful track record, we’re going to ignore them for now.) But as with ETFs generally, all are not created equal, and significant differences in investment philosophies—passive versus active management, for one—have likely played a large part in their returns so far. When most of us think about ETFs, we assume that their intent is to track the return of its underlying index as closely as possible. Two of the four major ETFs, both

from Toronto-based Horizons Exchange Traded Funds, attempt to do this. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF, the world’s first cannabis ETF, tracks the North American Marijuana Index, while the Horizons Emerging Marijuana Growers Index ETF tracks the small-cap Emerging Marijuana Growers Index. Both are rebalanced quarterly. The other two established marijuana ETFs take an actively managed approach. Like all weed funds, the Evolve Marijuana Fund seeks to capture “long-term capital appreciation” by investing in cannabis companies and ancillary businesses—Shopify, for example, was among its top 10 holdings as of early May. The other actively managed pot ETF, the Purpose Marijuana Opportunities Fund, is similarly positioned, with exposure to cannabis producers, tech, media, real estate and other sectors. Unlike Horizons’ passively managed funds, these two ETFs don’t try to mirror the value of an index; rather, by actively adjusting the

contents and weighting of their holdings, they aim to outperform the relevant marijuana indexes, not just track them. How have they fared? As you might expect in a hypedup market where valuations swing wildly, the actively managed ETFs have done better overall. Of the two funds listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the passively managed Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF gained almost 20 percent for the 12 months ended May 22; the active Evolve Marijuana Fund, however, gained almost 70 percent during the same stretch. Compare this to the S&P/TSX Composite Index, which sputtered and coughed its way to a roughly 2-percent return. Double-digit returns make investors salivate. But like with the dot-com run-up and, more recently, the wacky bitcoin ride, the upside in marijuana investments is much more about potential and PR than it is about balance sheets. So as always, caveat emptor. That’s Latin. For “hen’s teeth.”  JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 23

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(the informer) ENTRY LEVEL

a day in the life

KING OF THE SANDCASTLE Hotelier Markus McRurie lives the good life (and helps others do the same) in Tofino by Nathan Caddell

G

etting to Tofino on wheels isn’t the easiest proposition these days. It depends on where you’re coming from, of course, and the obligatory ferry to Nanaimo will probably be part of the trip for anyone from the Lower Mainland. But those travelling to the town on Vancouver Island’s west coast by car will encounter a long, winding road (Highway 4) that—for the past year and until summer 2020—is under some pretty cumbersome construction. The province-mandated work began largely because of a 2010 incident that saw an ambulance carrying two paramedics drive over the edge. The upshot of that is an effort to widen the highway to create two full lanes, as well as blasting the bedrock above. And that means shutting down the thoroughfare for hours at a time. It’s something Markus McRurie is all too familiar with. The guest relations and marketing manager at Tofino’s Pacific Sands Beach Resort drives from Ucluelet (or “Ukie”) through the work zone every day. A Coquitlam native, McRurie has spent seven years on the Island, and even with the construction, it doesn’t seem like he’s in any hurry to get back to the city.

BCBUSINESS.CA

BCB_July_2019.indb 25

8 a.m. Days begin with a walk through the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet with his two dogs, an 11-year-old golden retriever and a one-year-old German shepherd. McRurie, who recently moved to Ucluelet from Tofino with his wife, Sammy, admits that the retriever was “not thrilled” at first. The relocation (it’s about a 35-minute drive) was more about the real estate prices than anything else. Buying a home was worth the construction trade-off, apparently.

10 a.m. McRurie started surfing around the same time he arrived in Tofino, and now it’s a part of his routine. Every morning he monitors the surf, and most days he’ll put on the wetsuit and get out there. It doesn’t hurt that Pacific Sands is 20 feet from the beach. “I try to get here as soon as possible, just so I can check the waves,” notes the 29-year-old, who’s much more likely to suit up in fall or winter, when the tide is rolling. “It’s very convenient working on the No. 1 surf beach in Canada.” No kidding. Pacific Sands straddles Cox Bay, so most–if not all–of its suites are right on the

beach, with fully equipped kitchens meant to make you feel at home on the waterfront.

12 p.m. It’s finally time to get to work for McRurie, who often pulls shifts from noon to 8. As the title suggests, there are two main components to his job: marketing and guest relations. When the counter is full with people checking in and out, he’ll emerge from his desk in the back to help, or to answer the phone. But on the marketing side, he’s often working on branding, scanning TripAdvisor reviews or putting together social media posts. Instagram is responsible for a sizable chunk of business (the hotel’s largest demographic is females aged 25-35), but with that comes the push for free rooms and perks from those with huge follower bases, in exchange for posting about the trip. “It’s about finding the authentic stories, and I think that’s where Instagram will succeed,” McRurie says. “I heard a funny saying: If they have the word ‘influencer’ in their bio, chances are that’s not a person you want to go with.”

Lunch

Though he tries to bring a packed lunch when he can,

McRurie finds it hard to resist the temptation to grab a bite at the hotel’s Surfside Grill. He’s partial to the restaurant’s salmon tacos. As far as other in-town options go, he recommends local favourites Wolf in the Fog and Shelter. Pacific Sands’ main rival, the Wickaninnish Inn, comes with a renowned restaurant, though McRurie considers it a “bit stuffy.” A little competition is healthy, right?

4 p.m. This is when McRurie usually has to come out from behind the curtain to help the desk, as check-in typically falls in the 3- to 4-p.m. time slot. On summer nights, it’s common to see about 60 arrivals a day, so it’s all hands on deck for the resort, which rakes in well over $1 million in revenue during those peak months. “At check-in, there’s the potential for people to say stuff like ‘Oh, this isn’t the room we booked’ or ‘I was hoping for a room a little closer to the beach,’” says McRurie, who acknowledges that guests are often bent out of shape from the drive, especially if they run into the construction. “That’s where I can help them out, smooth everything over.”

9 p.m. McRurie is also a volunteer firefighter for Ucluelet, so whenever he’s not at work, he’s on call. Still a rookie, he admits that calls are infrequent (usually around one every two days). When they happen, though, he’s ready to go. “A few days ago, there was a van on fire, and you get pretty excited when one of those comes through, because we don’t get to do that a lot,” McRurie says. “Nobody was hurt, luckily, but we got to put out a car fire and use all the toys we train with. I get pretty jealous when I’m at work and something cool comes in.”  JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 25

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+ HIGHARCHY BRANDS GROUP

The Future of Cannabis Higharchy is positioned to develop iconic brands

W

ith the legalization of cannabis has come an unprecedented opportunity: the development of a retail industry unlike anything North America has ever seen before, the birth of something entirely new. At the forefront of this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon is Higharchy Brands Group. The purpose-driven group provides strategic capital and advisory services to companies within the Canadian cannabis space. Its in-house retail brand, West Coast Cannabis Store (WCCS), is a name you’ll be hearing a lot in the future: they plan to open 16 retail cannabis lifestyle stores across Western Canada, with the first one launching this summer. And that’s just the beginning. “Higharchy not only invests in and supports their own brands, but, from a capital and advisory perspective, we’re also positioned to invest in other emerging iconic retail and consumer brands in Canada and the U.S.,” CEO and cofounder Matt Christopherson says. An example is a recent investment in Superette, one of 25 initial licence holders in Ontario and arguably the most unique iconic retail cannabis brand in

Eastern Canada, with its curated, customerfirst experience for cannabis users. “We’re a brand company with a foundation of highly original retail brands in Canada and an emphasis on investing and developing legacy cannabis brands in the U.S.,” Christopherson says. “We will be securing licensing agreements and meaningful early-stage positions in iconic cannabis brands in all major markets. The emphasis in the next while will be expanding the portfolio in the U.S. with strong emerging retail and consumer brands and multistate operators, then looking further into Europe and other markets.” West Coast Cannabis Stores will be unlike anything Western Canada has ever seen with respect to the retail experience for cannabis users. Empowerment and education will be at the heart of the customer experience, driving ongoing discovery of the plant itself and aiding customers with navigating the multitude of cannabis brands and retail products currently available. The stores’ locations are intentional, situated in smaller coastal and mountainous places like Tofino, Jasper, Fernie, Squamish, Powell River, and Trail, places where human connection is just as valued as the beauty of nature. “Smaller communities in B.C. are

very special places with long, established connections to cannabis,” Christopherson says. “We want to include these local communities in the design of our retail business. We want them to have a say. “Whether it’s a local artist or business down the street, we are bringing the community together to help create our retail business,” he says. “All connections start with a local spark. That’s West Coast.” Higharchy is not only creating a new business from the ground up but a distinct culture as well— one of authentic, transparent, and inclusive communication and collaboration among employees and partners. Whether in the boardroom or at the retail counter, the structure is genuinely Higharchy, not hierarchy: everyone is equal and victory is only achieved from the bottom up. Higharchy has a strong and experienced team to execute its ambitious plans. Its leadership has more than 30 years of involvement in the cannabis sector combined, and the group’s finance team is equally solid, possessing the insight and skills to make sound financial decisions. Formerly the vice-president of business development and a partner at Keirton Inc., Christopherson was involved in the growth of the globally renowned Twister Trimmer brand, the world’s fastest and most widely used cannabis harvesting machine. This provided him the platform to grow alongside the elite of the industry and work with the largest cannabis production facilities across Canadian, U.S. and international markets. Cofounder of Higharchy and strategic advisor Josh Ginsberg is a long-time entrepreneur with extensive experience in the U.S. cannabis industry, having cofounded the retail giant Native Roots, which has more than 750 employees across 22 locations. Higharchy is creating the future of cannabis. Combining good people and good values with great investments providing highgrowth brands and companies with boundless potential. “We help people and brands think bigger than they ever thought possible,” Christopherson says.  To find out more, visit www.higharchy.com.

Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Higharchy Brands Group

BCB_July_2019.indb 26 1 BCB-0719-Higharchy.indd

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UNDER WATER Events like the May 2017 Kelowna flood increase everyone’s insurance premiums

INSURANCE

Climate of Risk Facing an insurance hike that could be north of 25 percent, Vancouver condo owners are learning that they can’t escape the threat of catastrophic weather in a warming world by Richard Littlemore

T

he climate has changed.

In some corners, those may still be fighting words, but even if you’re not among the British Columbians who have endured extraordinary floods or fires lately, when you get your next quote on home insurance, you’re likely to find that years of stormy weather have combined into what is becoming an extremely costly trend. The immediate evidence comes in a note that Canada’s largest real estate insurance broker, Chicago-based ISTOCK

BCB_July_2019.indb 27

HUB International, circulated

recently to its Metro Vancouver strata corporation clients, warning that “you should budget for a 25%+ increase in insurance costs for 2019, possibly higher if your property has suffered losses.” Part of that increase can be blamed on the same problem attached to every pricy real estate story: mostly, it’s Vancouver. And even if the government has been successful in taxing real estate prices into retreat, construction costs in the big, expensive city have still risen between 7 and

15 percent in the past year. So, HUB says, rates will go up 10 percent to cover that risk. But the HUB memo blames the bigger increase on “catastrophic losses from weather related incidents.” As reported by the world’s largest reinsurance company, Munich Re, 2018 was the fourth-costliest year since 1980 for insured losses. And 2017, with hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, was the costliest. As a result, says Sarah Thompson, HUB’s B.C. vicepresident, marketing and real estate practice, “Many insurers have been paying out more than they were taking in.” Of course, insurers expect that to happen once in a while; they’re in the business of spreading out risk, and they recognize there will be bad years. But Thompson says, “When weather-related payouts are high three, four, five years in a row, it’s not just a shock loss, it’s a trend.” So, she adds,

“Companies are incorporating that risk into pricing because this is now the new norm.” Vancouver condo dwellers also have no protection from increased climate risk just because the storms, floods and fires have so far occurred somewhere else. Insurance companies bundle their policies together and sell them in blocks to reinsurers. (Munich Re and Swiss Re are No. 1 and 2 in the world; Lloyd’s of London is No. 6.) This, too, is a way of spreading out risk, which is a good thing. It means that a disaster like the Camp fire of 2018, which destroyed Paradise, California, and inflicted US$16.5 billion in damages didn’t bankrupt the local carriers, even though US$12.5 billion of that loss was insured. The good news, then, is that global reinsurers back up local companies in the event of concentrated disasters. The bad news is that a disaster anywhere in the world can JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 27

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PHOTO TANYA GOEHRING

therefore affect your insurance rates in already expensive Vancouver. Staring further down the good news/ bad news barrel, University of Calgary biologist Laura Coristine says, “You’re fortunate that you even get to carry insurance—some regions don’t even qualify now.” For example, the neighbourhoods in Ontario and Quebec that have endured so-called 100-year floods multiple times in the past few years won’t be able to purchase insurance coverage at any cost. Even in Vancouver, some would-be clients are finding themselves priced out of the market—or buying insurance that actually doesn’t cover very much, says Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC. As the region’s plentiful stacked, woodframe condo buildings grow older, Gioventu reports that many strata associations are having to file repeated insurance claims to repair flood damage from burst pipes; after which, those same stratas wind up facing deductibles of up to $100,000. Gioventu and Thompson also recommend that in this changed climate, every insurance purchaser should look particularly closely at the list of exemptions. “The carriers are really tightening up the terms,” Thompson says. This being the current circumstance, Coristine says we all would be better off economically if we spent more money trying to mitigate climate risk, rather than waiting to manage increasingly catastrophic expenses. Her argument has some appeal when you consider what a 25-percent increase adds up to, even in a single market like Vancouver. Gioventu says there are between 20,000 and 22,000 strata corporations in Metro Vancouver, ranging from duplexes to 800-unit complexes. That means there are roughly 600,000 units, for which insurance costs range from $550 to $950 each. Take an average premium price, $750, multiply it by 600,000, and you come up with $450 million. Tack on 25 percent and it’s a cool $112.5 million, or $187.50 for every strata unit in town. That’s the average likely increased premium—this year alone. And even without dipping into the very scary prospect of an earthquake, Gioventu says, “The last time there was a hurricane in Vancouver was 1964. With climate change, we might be due.” ■

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+ KNIGHTSBRIDGE CAPITAL PARTNERS INC.

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From the Brink and Back Again Maynbridge Capital's asset-based lending can save businesses from bankruptcy

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hen it comes to debt financing in Canada, business owners traditionally have had two options: approach a conventional bank or a private lender. If they’re facing difficult circumstances or are on the verge of collapse, however, they often find themselves stuck. They may not qualify for lending from a bank, while a private lender’s high interest rates could push the business into bankruptcy. Owners may feel there’s nowhere to turn. Maynbridge Capital Inc., a member of Knightsbridge Capital Partners Inc., fills that gap and quickly has become the leading private asset-based lender.

Maynbridge’s founder, Dean Shillington, a business management graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and former GE Capital risk manager, is well suited for atypical financial circumstances. His unique experience in credit, risk, and business development lends itself to the specialized turnaround business strategies needed by his clients. Shillington is able to see past the numbers on the page. “Risk of foreclosure is the most significant stress of all to business owners and their families,” Shillington says. “As a debt lender, we are saving businesses from bankruptcy. We’re able to give these companies a workingcapital injection, breathing room in their debt

structure, and a runway to fix the problems in their business so they can become strong again. “Being from Saskatchewan, I’m preprogramed to cheer for the underdog, and that element is carried through in everything I do,” he adds. “When it comes to startups and turnarounds, I’m a big fan of businesses that don’t deserve to be in the situation they’re in.” Maynbridge works with businesses of all kinds across Canada, in projects ranging from $2 million to $50 million. Many are family businesses with committed management and a team that’s willing to work to achieve a successful turnaround and recovery. “You need to see the wood through the trees,” says Shillington, whose entrepreneurial spirit and affinity for new challenges are responsible for his recent acquisition of interests in Vancouver’s Caffè Artigiano and the newly formed CPL’s BC soccer team, Pacific FC. Working with community volunteer organizations, such as Little League Baseball in North Vancouver, further fulfills his seemingly insatiable appetite for improving organizations. “You need to prioritize your challenges and take them on one at a time. That’s the critical piece.” Maynbridge’s track record speaks for itself. Having launched in 2013, it has helped dozens of once-struggling companies. Businesses that align with Maynbridge’s and Shillington’s own values find further favour. “Increasingly, younger generations want to participate in a circular and socially responsible business economy and we’re cognizant of that, Shillington says. “Many Canadian businesses are starting to recognize this but need to adapt quickly or their overall success will be limited. “For the past six years, Maynbridge has been a game changer,” he says. “We think like entrepreneurs and business owners, and we help give businesses the tools they need to turn around: from the brink and back again.”  For more information about Maynbridge Capital Inc., please visit maynbridge.com.

Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Knightsbridge Capital Partners Inc.

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2019-06-04 6/5/19 6:17 8:13PM AM


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a Simple plan by FRANCES BUL A

photograph by ROBERT KENNEY

DOUG McCALLUM regained the Surrey mayor’s chair last fall by offering easy-sounding solutions when it comes to policing, transit and real estate development. The veteran politician says he’s changed along with B.C.’s secondlargest city, but is he the right person to lead it into the future?

O

On election night last October,

Doug McCallum did something no other mayor would dare to try in this region where belea beleaguered residents are wracked by angst over the cost of housing and seething with resentment toward developers and anyone they perceive as the 1 percent. The newly elected Surrey mayor dedicated a notable part of his victory speech to lavish appreciation for a prominent Surrey developer, would-be casino builder and con contributor of tens of thousands of campaign dollars over the years.

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TRAIN PLATFORM During his mayoral campaign, McCallum pledged to build SkyTrain instead of light rail from Surrey to Langley

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“I want to give thanks

to a person who is the reason I’m here today,” said McCallum, his voice straining as the then-74-year-old struggled to make himself heard over the raucous celebrations. “I’ve known him 40, 45 years. He worked with me tirelessly. Truly, he’s a friend of mine. I want everyone to thank very much Bob Cheema.” That’s pure McCallum, strolling nonchalantly through minefields where others fear to tread. During the campaign, the unassuming-looking candidate —balding, on the short side, with his rimless glasses and standard-issue suit jackets over open-necked, sometimes slightly wrinkled shirts—blew past opponents who dismissed him as a doddering senior citizen, talking over them in debates to drive home his simple, easy-to-understand points: Get rid of the RCMP. Get rid of light rail. Get development away from nice singlefamily areas and put it beside transit. Post-election, he brushed aside a TV news story about his tendency to live in a world of his own magical facts. And now he chugs on toward the two big projects he campaigned on almost exclusively. Those would be switching Surrey’s big new transit project from light rail to SkyTrain and shifting the city’s RCMP service to a municipal police force—two moves that have stirred up a lot of questions from both Surrey residents and politicians around the region about how doable or expensive those projects might be. For the more than half-million residents of B.C.’s second-largest and fastest-growing city, it’s been an unsettling time. Surrey, once a vast tract of farmland, has changed dramatically since McCallum was first elected to council in 1993. Then the population was just creeping past 250,000, threequarters of whom lived in single-family houses spread out along the city’s agricultural road grid. Barely more than a quarter were classified as “visible minority.” McCallum fit right in as mayor, with his pleasant house in Crescent Beach that he’d bought for a mere $80,000 in 1988, shepherding a suburban community that was primarily focused on cheap housing for families whose wage-earners were expected to commute elsewhere to earn a living. Many voters identified with him, a guy who had moved away from the city—he was a grad of Magee Secondary School in Kerrisdale—for a new life in the suburbs, a small-business owner with a modest home décor business in Richmond. Now this city with some spectacular views of mountains, ocean and river has become a different place. It’s as big as Vancouver was in 2011, edging toward 550,000, with six distinct neighbourhoods that range from mansion-prone South Surrey to a Downtown Eastside–like strip of despair BCBUSINESS.CA

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in Whalley. It’s one of the region’s prime landing spots for refugees and a home to never-ending development. And McCallum’s house is now valued at $1.5 million.

SURREY FIRST FINISHES SECOND Many people didn’t expect McCallum, who reigned as Surrey mayor from 1996 to 2005, to win last year, even though he’d won every election handily during that time on his no-tax-increases, keep-the-cityproblems-out-of-our-suburb platforms. But he’d been soundly beaten in 2005 by then– city councillor Dianne Watts. Watts went on to attract flattering attention with her plan to turn Surrey into a real city, with a downtown and fusion festivals and bike lanes. McCallum tried for a comeback in 2014 and failed. He only entered the 2018 race in mid-July, the day after former BC Liberal deputy premier Rich Coleman, who’d been courting his support, decided not to run, a withdrawal that came shortly after the first of B.C.’s money-laundering reports blew up in the media with accusations that the Liberals, with Coleman a key player, had allowed that mess to fester. To some observers of the campaign, McCallum seemed kinda old and out of it, repeatedly referring, in his sometimes quavery voice, to “Youber” (a mash-up of Uber, which he meant to talk about, and YouTube) and displaying other signs of a person occasionally living in the previous century. But he won his bid for a comeback—and a final act that could help erase his earlier defeats—thanks to what almost everyone describes as Surrey’s weird political landscape, where campaigns often seem to be

less about the issues than tribal alliances. As Jagdeesh Mann wrote in the Georgia Straight during the campaign, Surrey’s South Asian community has a complex dynamic. “There are many fragmented groups, and extended families who are often at loggerheads with each other, jockeying for influence in one form or another.” In that world, McCallum didn’t win by the landslide that he unfailingly suggests. He won largely because the party Watts had created, Surrey First, ripped itself in half, with three councillors leaving for a new party. The stake was even more firmly driven into the heart of the old Surrey First when Tom Gill, the councillor chosen as the mayoral candidate for Watts’ party, struggled with anonymous suggestions in flyers distributed around the city, as well as heavily negative coverage from the Punjabilanguage radio station that broadcasts from Point Roberts, just across the Canada-U.S. border. (McCallum got his share of backlash on social media, but it didn’t seem to stick.) But the mathematical reality is that McCallum only took 41 percent in a low-turnout vote, while most of the rest was split equally between the two Surrey First factions.

MEET THE NEW BOSS, SAME AS THE OLD BOSS? That’s all “whatever, it’s history” territory now. Now the biggest mystery for many in Surrey is what is going to happen in the next three years. Not only with McCallum’s two big projects—SkyTrain and police transition —which are increasingly mired in the kind of Gordian-knot complication that comes with trying to radically change the course of multibillion-dollar operations that involve the federal and provincial governments. But what is going to happen with the dozens of other city decisions that will inevitably land on his desk. Besides the political wrinkles, early public consultations showed that while Surrey residents appear to be enthusiastic about the switch to SkyTrain, they’re twitchy and dubious about the potential cost of redoing the police force. Now their city is led by the guy who picked a fight with the RCMP when he was mayor before because he didn’t like them making crime statistics public, adamantly opposed homeless shelters and never seemed to meet a development he didn’t like. That last topic is particularly key, as Surrey keeps pushing through dozens JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 35

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of development approvals a year. Mann notes that McCallum still gets a lot of support from local developers who flourished during his era. One controversial decision from that time: the sale of 250 acres in the new Campbell Heights business park for $35,000 an acre in 2002 to launch the project. (Two acres sold 15 years later for $3.7 million.) McCallum’s supporters say he will tackle Surrey’s biggest problems unstintingly. “He’s a strong leader, which Surrey needs. He gets things done instead of talking about it,” says new councillor Doug Elford. “And he’s certainly not as conservative as I thought he would be.” But even Elford admits that he doesn’t know who McCallum takes his advice from. Elford, who used to be a pillar of the political left in Surrey until McCallum recruited him in a last-minute move, is a manifestation of what appears to be the template for local political success established by Watts. That is: Form a party around yourself with the name Surrey in it (McCallum ran under the Safe Surrey Coalition banner from the 2014 race) and include the widest spectrum possible of candidates, even people who belonged to parties once opposed to yours. Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is another surprise ally. “I recognize in him somebody on a mission,” Stewart says. “He wants to get these two things done. So many politicians say things and don’t even

try to deliver. I feel a real deep dedication to his community.” As a result, Stewart has provided material help to McCallum, vocally backstopping him at TransLink over his decision to switch to SkyTrain and signing onto an agreement to support Surrey with its police transition. But McCallum is also generating waves of criticism, from community groups and former councillors but also from some of his own team. Many feel as though they got blindsided after the election by his quixotic decisions about a host of issues that no one had paid attention to during the campaign. Chief among the critics is Dianne Watts, watching from the sidelines as McCallum appears to be systematically dismantling many of her initiatives. He says he will shrink the scope of Surrey City Development Corp., which Watts had set up to enable the City to become a player in getting downtown developed—an agency that many Surrey developers didn’t like, although outsiders appreciated it. Since McCallum arrived, the City has pulled out of the health-tech innovation hub and the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership. He’s put several projects on hold, including an arts centre, a library, a community centre and an ice rink. And you get the feeling he’d like to tear down the expensive city hall that Watts got built, as her way of enticing development to Surrey City Centre. To Watts, it feels like a bad

flashback. “I do worry about the city,” she says. “We have come so far, and I do worry that we are going back in time.” Another dismayed watcher is Mike Bola, a young dad who is president of the Cloverdale Community Association. That’s the group that was dumbfounded to hear that, after its members had spent years lobbying to get new ice rinks, McCallum had decided to delay their project because he was apparently worried about how much debt the City was taking on. “I can’t wait till this four years is over,” Bola says. “We don’t know what will happen.”

BACK TO THE FUTURE Then there are those in the middle, who are simply trying to figure out what’s going on and are baffled by events so far. “We have no idea what his economic path forward is,” says Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman. “Before the election, Surrey was thriving, we had the health-tech district, we were the city to watch. There was so much excitement. Now it’s stopped.” Echoing some others, she says the mayor doesn’t seem keen on the public ambassador side of his job, declining most invitations. He also doesn’t appear interested in talking to those who disagree with him. “No one can really dialogue with the mayor,” Huberman says. “He will not listen to adverse opinion.”

SURREY BY THE NUMBERS

6

Communities in addition to City Centre: Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton, South Surrey and Whalley

517,887

Population in 2016, a 10.6% increase from 2011

695,580

Projected population in 2031

17,769

Licensed businesses in 2018 (excluding non-resident businesses)

33% Proportion of total

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Jobs per capita, well below Metro Vancouver frontrunners Richmond and Vancouver, tied with 0.60, and the region as a whole (0.45)

businesses in Newton, which has the highest concentration

$1.5 billion Total construction value of building permits in 2017

24% Proportion of total businesses that are in the contruction sector

18% Surrey’s share

of Metro Vancouver industrial land. 32% of that portion is undeveloped or vacant

SOURCES: STATISTICS CANADA, CITY OF SURREY

0.30

67.2%

9 million

Proportion of 2017 building permit values that were residential

Square feet of commercial and industrial floor space added from 2013-17

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Some of the most surprised by McCallum’s moves were his own councillors. The split started when a surprise budget went out to the public in December before councillors saw it, one that proposed several controversial cuts, as well as no funding for more police officers. Four of the city’s nine councillors, including three from McCallum’s party, voted against it. That 5–4 split has continued on other issues. All the signs are there that more turmoil is to come, since the three Safe Surrey Coalition councillors opposing him include former Liberal MLA Brenda Locke and former RCMP officer Jack Hundial, both of whom have strong followings and their own ideas about how to run things. Hundial, who has been particularly critical of McCallum, is pushing for public consultation on the cost and usefulness of switching from the RCMP to a municipal police force. Locke and Hundial, who had planned to run together before McCallum entered the race, recently spent an afternoon over soda waters at the new hotel across the plaza from city hall, talking about the strange and twisting journey Surrey politics is taking. They’re alarmed about McCallum’s statements that a changeover from RCMP to municipal police will be a snap, noting that Richmond decided not to transition its police force after an estimate showed it would cost $42 million. Hundial (along with the third breakaway councillor, Steven Pettigrew, who recently quit Safe Surrey) has asked for a public consultation on the move, something McCallum has said is unnecessary. Hundial is also pushing for an ethics commission and a land inventory, saying he wants the latter to ensure that city property doesn’t get sold off to pay for the expensive SkyTrain and police changes. But he and Locke are mostly worried about the big picture. “What’s driving me nuts is what is the future,” Locke says as city workers stroll past the hotel windows on their way home. “This is going to be the biggest city in the province, and I don’t see any vision for it.” Hundial, too, is dismayed that things seem to be settling into an oldtime status quo. “This city deserves a new type of government, one that’s not placating the same players.”

I BELIEVE IN DEVELOPMENT McCallum dismisses all of that negative thinking and those negative people. In an SOURCE: ELECTIONS BC

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hour-long interview in his fifth-floor office, which is remarkably generic (though with a gorgeous deck and view of the city-hall plaza) and free of visible personal mementoes, he shows off the kindly grandfather side of his personality that many have warmed to over the years. He talks with pride about his wife of the past two decades, Donna VanSant, a coach in the education sector, and his three children from his first marriage: two teachers and a B.C. Children’s Hospital nurse. He mentions walking his grandkids to school near VanSant’s house in Crescent Beach, where he now lives. He lights up as he speaks about how energized he’s been by his second crack at the job—something that others are noticing as well—getting in at 6 a.m. He wants to make Surrey a vibrant place that “shows how a large city can have many different cultures.” He says he now has a different approach to homelessness, after serving on the board of the Law Foundation of British Columbia. Because the foundation gives an annual grant to First United Church, which runs a homeless shelter at the church, he got a close look at the shelter’s operations. There, he says, he became convinced that you can’t push homeless people from one place to another to solve problems. “The homeless, where they locate, that’s their home. I said, ‘Let’s not try to move them; let’s make their home better.’” But he’s still a development keener. “I believe in development. It creates a huge number of jobs.” It just doesn’t belong everywhere. McCallum says he will let the people decide where it goes. He’s already told some big developers privately that they should stick to building close to transit and to areas already zoned for high density. As for who he really listens to, that’s still not clear. He’s always been close to key staffers—he was exceptionally tight with his previous city manager and relied on them to carry out his targeted list of must-do projects. For sure, he’s not listening to his subset of recalcitrant councillors. “Jack’s been a big disappointment to me,” McCallum says of Hundial. “But I’m letting it fly right now.” He has nothing to say about his friend Bob Cheema, brushing aside a question by mentioning that he has several strong supporters in the Indo-Canadian community. Cheema declined to be interviewed, saying he likes to be a private person. ■

Building a Following With a $1,200 cap on individual donations, several real estate developers gave as generously as they could to Doug McCallum’s 2018 mayoral campaign. Conspicuously absent from the public record was developer Bob Cheema, whom McCallum praised as a key supporter. In 2014, McCallum lost the mayoral race to Surrey First’s Linda Hepner. He reported raising $258,486.94 for that campaign, which relied heavily on donations from Cheema-owned companies Bill’s Development ($83,062.50) and Popular Group Investment ($21,000). TOTAL RAISED FOR THE 2018 CAMPAIGN: $241,983.11 TOTAL SPENT: $247,289.90 CONTRIBUTORS: 253 PROMINENT 2018 CONTRIBUTORS

Elizabeth Beedie, Ryan Beedie and Todd Yuen, all affiliated with Beedie: $1,200 each Dale Bosa, BlueSky Properties: $1,200 Eric Carlson, Allan Copping, Kevin Falcon and Rob McJunkin, Anthem Properties: $1,200 each Robert Dominick, Weststone Group: $1,200 Brock Dorward, Aspen Developments: $1,200 Kirk and Larry Fisher, Lark Group: $1,200 each Vaughn Hodson, Kater Technologies (ride-hailing startup backed by the Vancouver Taxi Association as a rival to Lyft and Uber): $1,200 Peter and Ronald Toigo, Shato Holdings: $1,200 each David, Mary and Peter Wesik, ParkLane Homes: $1,200 each JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 39

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BUILDING SITE Steven Brooks has revitalized Powell River’s Townsite district since buying an apartment block there in 2004

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the

great escape JUST A FEW YEARS AGO, POWELL RIVER WAS A DOWN-ON-ITS-LUCK MILL TOWN. NOW THE PICTURESQUE SUNSHINE COAST COMMUNITY IS ENJOYING AN ECONOMIC REVIVAL, WITH HELP FROM ENTREPRENEURS AND YOUNG FAMILIES FLEEING THE MAINLAND

by FIONA MORROW por traits by JENNIFER KENNEDY

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C

SHAKE AND BAKE Colleen McClean was a celebrated Vancouver chef before she took her talents to Townsite

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Colleen McClean stares at the ceiling where her vent fan should already be installed and

sighs. It’s just another in a long list of hiccups and delays that keep pushing back the opening date of her bakery, Hearth & Grain, in the recently launched Townsite Market; today’s problem was a permit that hadn’t arrived in time. But we’re in Powell River, population 13,000. Surely the permit process is easier here than in a city the size of Vancouver? McClean laughs. Powell River is booming right now, and there’s only one building inspector on staff. “Maybe I should drop by with some cookies,” she jokes.

Powell River is a community used to welcoming newcomers. Over the years it’s been a haven for hippies, draft dodgers and folks who yearn to live off-grid and under the radar. Its remote, picture-postcard locale on the edge of Desolation Sound has also long been a destination retirement spot. Now, however, it’s proving an attractive option for folks priced out by the affordability crisis on the mainland and looking to do business somewhere the margins seem more profitable. “Come for a visit, stay for a lifetime,” proclaim its marketing materials. And that’s exactly what people do. Back in December 2017, McClean— whose resumé includes stints at the legendary and since closed Vancouver restaurants Lumière and Feenie’s, as well as the Irish Heather (where she was executive chef)— was teaching me and a friend how to make traditional stollen bread. She had given up restaurant life in 2010 to become a chef instructor, but what had sounded like a fairly bold move at the time paled against the news she announced as we waited for our fruit-filled dough to prove. She was leaving town to open her own business, two ferry rides away on the far point of the Sunshine Coast. Fed up with sleeping at her sister’s place in Richmond while socking away money to fund a home purchase that wasn’t any closer to reality even after seven years of solid saving, she had decided to secure her pensionless future a different way. Likewise Paul Kamon, executive director of Sunshine Coast Tourism: back in 2011, he and his wife packed up their kids and hightailed it out of Vancouver, which had become too much of a struggle and increasingly unaffordable. Kamon—who was, and still is, one of the key people behind Vancouver Craft Beer Week—had visited a friend in Powell River and heard there was a brewery opening up. He saw Powell River as a place ready to be regenerated, and so when he was offered an entry-level job at BCBUSINESS.CA

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“MY UNDERLYING MANDATE IS TO REEL IN AS MANY OF MY FRIENDS AS I CAN....ALL INVESTMENT STARTS WITH A VISIT. GET PEOPLE HERE, LET THEM SEE HOW AMAZING IT IS, AND THEY’LL FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT WORK” –Paul Kamon, executive director, Sunshine Coast Tourism Sunshine Coast Tourism, he figured he had nothing to lose—not least when he found himself still able to afford a five-bedroom property on the water. Kamon is one of the city’s new breed of evangelists: “My underlying mandate is to reel in as many of my friends as I can.” He laughs, but his enthusiasm is sincere. “All investment starts with a visit. Get people here, let them see how amazing it is, and they’ll find a way to make it work. In the past, people would find work and build a life. Nowadays, people find a life and then they figure the work out.”

Location, location, location When Kamon first visited Powell River, he saw that a small Mexican restaurant with a house behind it was up for sale for a song: “I stood there and thought maybe I should just change gears and start selling tacos.” A fleeting notion for him, the taco shack became a catalyst for successful Powell River restaurant brand Point Group Hospitality. Sarah and Mike Salome had built their careers at Cactus Club Cafe, assistant managing front-of-house in downtown Van-

couver and working as a chef in Abbotsford, respectively. In 2012, a regular customer told Sarah he was looking for a husbandand-wife team to take over a business in Harrison Hot Springs. They decided it was time to go it alone, quit their jobs, put together a business plan and were all set to move when, three weeks before they were due to take over, the deal fell through. “We had no jobs, and suddenly no future,” Sarah recalls. “Mike’s parents had retired to Powell River about seven years earlier. It was Easter, and they invited us out for a visit to take some time to relax and consider our next move.” It didn’t take long: perusing a local real estate magazine on the ferry, the couple spotted a tiny box ad for a Mexican restaurant (the house was no longer attached), listed by the desperate-to-retire owner “for the price of an inexpensive used car.” They decided they might as well view it. “We looked at each other, and the butterflies started,” Sarah says. They quickly began asking questions of everyone they knew, and found out that the Mexican restaurant, La Casita, was something of a local icon. “We went straight back home, packed up our apartment in Maple Ridge and moved two weeks later,” Sarah recalls. Two weeks after that, they opened as Costa del Sol Latin Cuisine. “We thought, How busy can we be?” Mike says with a laugh. “We got our butts kicked. The second day a customer sitting eating lunch asked if we needed any help, and we hired her on the spot. She worked for us for five years.” Since then, they’ve had two children and opened the larger, modern casual Coastal Cookery in 2015 and, in 2017, an Italian restaurant, Culaccíno. Three restaurants on the main strip of Powell River is enough, Sarah says, but the plan is to keep growing, and for that they’re looking across the water at Campbell River. “We are really proud of the training we have brought to the business, and we have amazing staff who we want JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 45

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to keep, and for that we need to offer them opportunities to progress and move up.”

City planning In his office at city hall, Scott Randolph, director of economic development and communications for the City of Powell River, tells me that local real estate agents have posted banner years for 2016 through 2018, with well over 50 percent of sales to buyers from outside the city. The value of building permits doubled from 2017 to 2018, and elementary school enrolment (perhaps the true test of a community’s sustainability) increased from 2,054 in 2016 to 2,278 last year. This growth didn’t happen by accident, but—like the city itself—was created by design. Townsite, a planned community that provided workers for Western Canada’s first pulp and paper mill, founded in 1908, was the first settler development in 46 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019

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THE AGE BALANCE OF MIGRANTS SLOWLY STARTED TO SHIFT, AND IN 2018, HALF OF ALL NEW RESIDENTS OF POWELL RIVER FELL INTO THE MORE YOUTHFUL CATEGORY, WITH THE OTHER HALF MADE UP OF TRADITIONAL RETIREES. PEOPLE ARRIVE FROM ALL OVER, WITH MOST INCOMING FROM THE SQUAMISH-TO-HOPE CORRIDOR Powell River (named in the 1880s for B.C.’s then–superintendent of Indian Affairs, Israel Wood Powell, after his travels up the coast). For decades, the mill (in its heyday, one in 25 of the world’s newspapers was printed on its paper) was a huge economic driver for the city and its main source of steady employment. Townsite was classified as a National Historic District in 1995, but that same decade saw the beginning of the mill’s decline, and in 2012, it was downsized to a

fraction of its former glory. With layoffs and natural retirement, that cut Powell River’s tax revenue for the year in half. The industry that once employed more than 3,000 now paid salaries to roughly 350. The city was moribund; it desperately needed an injection of new life. In 2014, Powell River launched the Resident Attraction Campaign, a proactive measure designed to draw young families, telecommuters and others under 45 to relocate there for employment or to

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SUNSHINE COAST TOURISM. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: CHRIS THORN, ANDREW STRAIN, GEOFF TOMLIN-HOOD,

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start small businesses. The incentives were significant: the opportunity to purchase a house for a fraction of Lower Mainland costs (prices have since risen, but this spring, three-bedroom single family homes still averaged about $250,000 to $300,000); a $17-million investment by Telus Corp. in fast-connectivity fibre optics that makes working remotely much easier; strong employment prospects in tourism and health care; a community that punches above its weight in cultural opportunities; and, of course, easy access to some of the province’s most beautiful scenery, including the Sunshine Coast Trail. The age balance of migrants slowly started to shift, and in 2018, half of all new residents of Powell River fell into the more youthful category, with the other half made up of traditional retirees. People arrive from all over, with most incoming from the Squamish-to-Hope corridor. (Randolph tells me that Squamish alone lost 40 families to

Powell River last year, pushed out by rising costs and changing demographics as Vancouver commuters trade off between the daily drive along the Sea-to-Sky Highway and the lower home prices to be found farther north.) The campaign found its groove in social media, where the city leveraged the enthusiasm of locals into influential shares in significant numbers across personal and professional networks, with videos of recent arrivals enthusing about their new lives.

Market forces One name that comes up again and again when talking about the regeneration of Powell River, and specifically Townsite, is Steven Brooks. A senior computer programmer and analyst with 30 years of experience consulting, building and overseeing the mainframe architectures of Crown corporation and provincial ministry

CHRIS THORN X 2, MAYA TREUHEIT, ANNIE SCHROEDER, ANDREW STRAIN

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POWELL TO YA (Clockwise from top left) Attractions like shops on Main Street, the Sunshine Coast Trail, the Patricia Theatre, Base Camp café and Townsite Brewing are making Powell River hard to leave

As of Aug. 29th, 2018

systems, Brooks fell in love with the neighbourhood two decades ago while looking around for real estate investments. Five years later, he bought a derelict apartment block in Townsite, gradually moving out the drug addicts who had taken up residence as the area became more and more rundown. He’s been splitting his life between his West Vancouver home and Powell River ever since, but with the opening of the market, he’s now almost full-time in Townsite, living in a mock Tudor heritage building erected by the Bank of Montreal. He leases out the ground level of the former bank to a yoga studio/gallery space at the front, with 32 Lakes, a coffee roasting company started by transplants from North Vancouver, Margot and Nathan Jantz, renting the back. Brooks lives upstairs in the airy, beautifully preserved former bank manager’s residence. “This one was a present to myself,” he says, smiling. After Brooks began renovating the JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 47

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apartment block, he bought the historic post office building. When two local women, Michelle Zutz and Karen Skadsheim, fed up with drinking Labatt and Lucky Lager (craft beer was nowhere to be found), asked him if he’d consider opening a brewery there, Brooks didn’t just say yes, he asked if they needed help with a business plan (they did) and seed money (yes again). “Steve is the perfect angel investor,” Zutz says. “We didn’t know anything about making beer, but that didn’t put him off.” They hired Belgian brewmaster Cédric Dauchot, widely considered one of B.C.’s best beer makers, and poured their first growler in 2012. As the popularity of craft beer exploded, Townsite Brewing has been not only successful as a business but a driver of tourism to Townsite. Brooks is hoping his most recent purchase will prove the venture to solidify Townsite’s renewal: a site dating from 1941 that originally served as a shopping hub for the once-bustling community. The renovated and rebranded Townsite Market officially opened last December, though some parts were still under construction, including K-Lumet, an employment and training social enterprise that began in Europe and will employ workers with intellectual disabilities to make fire starters from recycled material. Another section still to be finished is the Innovation Hub, something that Brooks, economic development head Randolph and Sunshine Coast Tourism’s Kamon are excited about. A year ago, they identified new residents who were working remotely

ANOTHER SECTION OF TOWNSITE STILL TO BE FINISHED IS THE INNOVATION HUB. ONCE COMPLETE, THE 1,000SQUARE-FOOT HUB WILL PROVIDE HOT DESKS AND OTHER NETWORKING AND COLLABORATIVE OPPORTUNITIES, WITH THE MISSION TO EXPAND THE CITY’S CREATIVE ECONOMY for the tech sector in areas as diverse as the film industry, non-profits and global e-commerce. With funding from the Island Coast Economic Trust, they set up the Powell River Creative Economy and Innovation Initiative, holding meet-and-greets and brainstorming sessions at Brooks’s home, looking for ways to make connections and spark ideas. Once complete, the 1,000-squarefoot hub will provide hot desks and other networking and collaborative opportunities, with the mission to expand the city’s creative economy. Walking through the market, Brooks introduces me to the retailers—offering everything from fruit and vegetables to essential oils and herbal teas, artworks

Stay With Us PROVING THAT YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN, THIS POWELL RIVER NATIVE HAS TRANSFORMED A LOCAL HOTEL INTO A COMMUNITY GATHERING SPOT

The Old Courthouse Inn

JP Brosseau was born and raised in Powell River, and he couldn’t get away from the place fast enough; growing up gay there was a miserable experience. He landed in Cold Lake, Alberta, where he met and lived with his now-husband, Kelly Belanger. The pair dreamed of opening a hotel and restaurant

DARREN ROBINSON/SUNSHINE COAST TOURISM; COURTESY OF JP BROSSEAU

BCB_July_2019.indb 49

to furniture and fashion—many of them new business owners, and most of them women. He’s kept the rent and overheads low in an effort to help these small businesses establish themselves. If Townsite Market is a passion project for Brooks, he’s surrounded by equally committed entrepreneurs, like Paula Ansell, an Australian whose Just Soul Food booth is bedecked with the prettiest (and tastiest) raw, vegan, sugar-free treats you’ve ever seen (and is already selling 1,000 pieces per week); and Kajal Kromm, a former White Spot server, who moved from Vancouver with her family in 2015 to give her kids a childhood full of fresh air. She opened an esthetician business in the market because she wants to “give back, and help make people feel good about themselves.” Back in Vancouver, I hear that the venting is finally in at Hearth & Grain, and Colleen McClean is in the final push to open her doors. She says the move was down to more than knowing she would likely never own a home in Vancouver; she also had no hope of starting her own business. Kamon got her to visit Powell River, but it was Brooks, she says, who convinced her to take the leap, even offering a low-cost rental in his apartment block to ease the transition. “I don’t think that I would have moved here if Steve hadn’t been such a great guy and been so supportive of me and the entire project,” McClean says. “He’s the real deal.” ■

on a beach in Mexico, JP Brosseau (right) and but on his way to husband Kelly Belanger spend a few months in the sun looking for bustling breakfast meeting place; a good spot, Brosseau he supports and mentors LGBTQ brought Belanger to Powell River to meet his mother, Edie Rae. youth; and he’s developed strong Belanger fell hard for the bonds with local First Nations. place and, noticing that the Old He plans to build small individual Courthouse Inn in Townsite was housing units for the elderly on up for sale, somehow persuaded an unused parking lot behind Brosseau to return to build a busithe inn. “Older queer people and ness in his childhood home. Indigenous folks don’t necessarily Twenty years later, feel comfortable in a general care Brosseau has made himself facility,” Brosseau explains. “I central to the community: in want to offer them an inclusive Edie Rae’s Café, he’s created a alternative.” –F.M. JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 49

6/5/19 6:20 PM


YOU ARE ALRE ADY B E AU T I F U L COMING SUMMER 2019

E VA L I N A B E A U T Y. C O M C R U E LT Y A N D PA R A B E N FR E E

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Part-time studies for full-time ambition. UBC Sauder’s Professional MBA program allows you to keep your job and study part-time over 24 months. Gain the business skills you need to fulfill your ambitions and elevate your career. Learn more and read Nina’s story at challenge.sauder.ubc.ca/pmba

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ON A ROLL Paper Excellence Canada Holdings grew thanks to its recent takeover of rival Catalyst Paper

Wheeling, Dealing–and Worrying Global connections have made B.C.’s biggest companies more resilient, but not smug by P E T E R M I T H A M

COURTESY OF PAPER EXCELLENCE CANADA HOLDINGS

BCB_July_2019.indb 53

T

rade deals and rumours of trade wars; rising interest rates and tighter government regulation— such was the year in business across B.C. as the 100 biggest companies by revenue kept expanding, evolving and broaching new markets in 2018. “Right now, the economy is pretty strong,” says Ken Peacock, chief economist with the Business Council of British Columbia. “But more and more, there’s this sense of cracks

emerging, and it’s all centred around these competitiveness challenges and concerns.” While businesses such as Avigilon Corp. and Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust were acquired and left the list, B.C.’s Top 100 companies also did their share of takeovers. In one of the most significant deals of 2018, Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corp. announced the purchase of fellow Richmond rival Catalyst Paper Corp., closing the merger this spring.  The combination of Goldcorp and U.S.-based Newmont Mining Corp. also closed earlier this year, and a regional headquarters of Newmont Goldcorp Corp., one of the world’s biggest gold miners, will be in Vancouver. BID Group, a supplier to the forest industry (see p.89), and beverage maker Mark Anthony Group made strategic acquisitions, while Victoria-based Longview Aviation Capital Corp.—owner of Viking Air—bought the Dash-8 program and the de Havilland trademark from Quebec aerospace continued on page 61 JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 53

6/5/19 6:20 PM


B.C.’S BIGGEST COMPANIES BY REVENUE COMPANY

STATUS

Rank Rank 2018 2017

REVENUE (BY FISCAL YEAR) 2018 ($000)

2017 ($000) 13,304,000

8 5.5

% change

1

1

Telus Corp.

Public

14,368,000

2

2

Teck Resources

Public

12,564,000

11,910,000

3

3

Jim Pattison Group

Private

10,600,000

10,100,000

5

4

4

Finning International

Public

6,996,000

6,256,000

11.8

5

5

BC Hydro and Power Authority

Crown

6,237,000

5,874,000

6.2

6

8

West Fraser Timber Co.

Public

6,118,000

5,134,000

19.2

7

7

H.Y. Louie Co.

Private

5,560,000 e

5,400,000 e

8

6

Insurance Corp. of British Columbia

Crown

5,442,000

5,020,000

9

12

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

Public

5,350,075 c

4,157,468 c

3 8.4

11

First Quantum Minerals

Public

5,138,746 c

4,298,366 c

19.6

11

14

Methanex Corp.

Public

5,094,494 c

4,025,660 c

26.6

12

9

Canfor Corp.

Public

5,044,400

4,563,300

10.5

13

13

Best Buy Canada

Private

4,129,396 c

3,764,641 c

9.7

14

10

Goldcorp

Public

3,928,562 c

4,445,108 c

–11.6

15

16

BC Liquor Distribution Branch

Crown

3,498,000

3,332,000

16

15

Westcoast Energy

Public

3,473,000

3,407,000

17

18

Lululemon Athletica

Public

3,432,544 c

3,044,427 c

18

17

British Columbia Lottery Corp.

Crown

3,267,132

3,143,877

3.9 37.6

19

23

Premium Brands Holdings Corp.

Public

3,025,800

2,198,300

20

London Drugs

Private

2,575,000 e

2,500,000 e

21

25

HSBC Bank Canada

Public

2,264,000

2,070,000

–1

28.7

10

20

1

5

5 1.9 12.7

1

3 9.4

22

22

Teekay Corp.

Public

2,212,742 c

2,441,799 c

23

21

Ledcor Group of Companies

Private

2,200,000

2,500,000

–9.4 –12

24

27

Interfor Corp.

Public

2,186,567

1,990,106

9.9

25

26

Catalyst Paper Corp.

Private

2,000,000 e

2,000,000 e

26

19

WorkSafeBC

Crown

1,995,000

3,295,615

–39.5

0

27

NR

Univar Canada

Subsidiary

1,850,000 e

1,780,000

3.9

28

30

South Coast B.C. Transp. Authority (TransLink)

Crown

1,849,203

1,688,399

9.5

29

29

GFS British Columbia

Private

1,800,000 e

1,750,000 e

2.9

30

32

Kal Tire

Private

1,700,000

1,550,000

9.7

31

31

Futura Corp.

Private

1,605,000

1,560,000

2.9

32

58

B2Gold Corp.

Public

1,587,312 c

829,386 c

91.4

33

38

Turquoise Hill Resources

Public

1,528,955 c

1,220,398 c

25.3

34

60

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

Public

1,516,003 c

1,261,189 c

20.2

e=estimate; c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017); NA=Not Applicable/Available; NP=Not Provided; NR=Not Ranked

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e

NET INCOME (BY FISCAL YEAR)

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

2018 ($000)

2017 ($000)

1,624,000

1,578,000

2.9

3,145,000

2,489,000

26.4

NP

NP

NA

232,000

216,000

7.4

SECTOR

OWNERSHIP Major shareholder/ % stake

% change

Rank 2018

Darren Entwistle

Telecommunications

1

Donald Lindsay

Natural Resources

Jim Pattison

Diversified

3

Scott Thomson

Mfg. & Transport

4

China Investment Corp./10.4

2

684,000

684,000

0

Chris O’Riley

Utilities

Province of B.C./100

5

810,000

596,000

35.9

Ted Seraphim

Natural Resources

Ketcham Investments/10.7

6

NP

NP

NA

Brandt Louie

Retail

Louie family/100

7

–1,325,000

– 612,000

NA

Nicolas Jimenez

Finance

8

Jon Feltheimer

Entertainment

9

613,644 c

19,219 c

– 658,216 c

–310,365 c

NA

Philip Pascall

Natural Resources

852,550 c

531,127 c

60.5

John Floren

Mfg. & Transport

M&G Investments/16.5

11

439,000

203,900

115.3

Don Kayne

Natural Resources

Jim Pattison Group/49

12

NA

Ron Wilson

Retail

Best Buy Co./100

13

David Garofalo

Natural Resources

First Eagle Investment Management/4.3

14

Blain Lawson

Retail

Province of B.C./100

15

NP 5,375,859 c

NP 854,479 c

1,119,600

1,083,000

689,000

–1,559,000

335,148 c

441,633 c

3,092.9

529.1 3.4 NA –24.1

Timothy Curry

Natural Resources

Calvin McDonald

Retail

Jim Lightbody

Tourism & Culture

10

16 17

1,400,487

1,339,035

4.6

Province of B.C./100

18

98,000

80,500

21.7

George Paleologou

Mfg. & Transport

NP

NP

NA

Brandt Louie

Retail

H.Y. Louie Co./100

20

718,000

668,000

7.5

Sandra Stuart

Finance

21

–102,667 c

–212,030 c

19

NA

Kenneth Hvid

Mfg. & Transport

22

NP

NP

NA

Dave Lede

Real Estate

23

111,678

97,153

15

Duncan Davies

Natural Resources

24

NP

NP

NA

16,000

1,406,175

–98.9

Edward (Ned) Dwyer

Mfg. & Transport

25

Anne Naser

Finance

26

NP

NP

NA

Mike Hildebrand

Mfg. & Transport

185,470 NP

96,243

92.7

Kevin Desmond

Mfg. & Transport

28

NP

NA

Danna Dunnage

Mfg. & Transport

29

NP

NP

NA

Robert Foord

Mfg. & Transport

NP

NP

NA

Amar Doman

Mfg. & Transport

Amar Doman/100

31

Clive Johnson

Natural Resources

Fidelity Investments/13.9

32

Baillie Gifford/11.1

34

58,463 c

79,950 c

–26.9

510,861 c

144,051 c

254.6

157,435 c

97,792 c

61

BCBUSINESS.CA

BCB_July_2019.indb 55

Ulf Quellmann

Natural Resources

Ravi Saligram

Natural Resources

Univar/100

27

30

33

JULY/AUGUST 2019 2018-05-24 BCBUSINESS 11:2355 AM

6/5/19 6:20 PM


B.C.’S BIGGEST COMPANIES BY REVENUE COMPANY

STATUS

Rank Rank 2018 2017 35

33

Mercer International

REVENUE (BY FISCAL YEAR) 2018 ($000)

2017 ($000)

% change

Public

1,457,718

1,169,145

24.7

36

37

Taiga Building Products

Public

1,450,985

1,106,211

31.2

37

55

Seaspan Corp.

Public

1,420,516 c

1,079,557 c

31.6

38

35

Pacific Blue Cross

Private

1,394,602

1,361,916

2.4

39

41

Canfor Pulp Products

Public

1,374,300

1,101,900

24.7

40

43

CanWel Building Materials Group

Public

1,291,295

1,135,950

13.7

41

39

OpenRoad Auto Group

Private

1,262,387

1,212,874

4.1

42

NR

Timber Investments

Private

1,250,000 e

43

68

Great Canadian Gaming Corp.

Public

1,221,000

NP

NA

614,300

98.8

44

49

7-Eleven Canada

Subsidiary

1,200,000 e

1,000,000 e

20

45

42

Western Forest Products

Public

1,196,700

1,143,400

4.7

46

50

Inland Kenworth

Private

1,188,082

952,846

24.7

47

40

FortisBC Energy

Subsidiary

1,187,000

1,199,000

–1

48

46

Hardwoods Distribution

Public

1,134,267

1,045,840

8.5

49

24

Maxar Technologies

Public

1,102,641 c

2,118,276 c

– 47.9

50

47

Charlwood Pacific Group

Private

1,050,000 e

1,030,000

1.9

51

44

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp.

Public

1,028,801 c

1,094,999 c

–6

52

54

Canaccord Genuity Group

Public

1,022,877

879,546

16.3

53

45

Pan American Silver Corp.

Public

1,016,470 c

1,060,733 c

– 4.2

54

48

Oppenheimer Group

Private

1,015,588

1,012,943

0.3

55

NR

Longview Aviation Capital Corp.

Private

1,000,000 e

NP

NA

56

51

Providence Health Care

Private

927,046

915,774

1.2

57

53

British Columbia Ferry Services

Crown

899,018

859,283

4.6

58

59

Northland Properties Corp.

Private

850,000 e

800,000 e

6.3

59

62

Imperial Parking Corp.

Private

844,796 c

822,077 c

2.8

60

57

Creation Technologies

Private

842,205 c, e

831,104 c, e

1.3

61

28

Motion Industries (Canada)

Private

809,813 c, e

753,188 c, e

62

52

Sierra Wireless

Public

793,602

690,727

7.5

63

66

Sunrise Farms

Private

788,000

668,000

18

64

36

BC Housing Management Commission

Crown

782,092

1,342,874

– 41.8

65

34

Polygon Family of Companies

Private

777,000

1,385,000

– 43.9

66

NR

Concert Properties

Private

748,926

174,399

329.4

67

67

Aritzia

Public

743,267

667,181

11.4

14.9

e=estimate; c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017); NA=Not Applicable/Available; NP=Not Provided; NR=Not Ranked

CANADIAN-MADE, GLOBAL SUCCESS

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nge

NET INCOME (BY FISCAL YEAR) 2018 ($000)

2017 ($000)

128,589

70,483

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

SECTOR

OWNERSHIP Major shareholder/ % stake

% change 82.4

David Gandossi

Natural Resources

Peter Kellogg/35.4

Rank 2018 35

20,267

– 4,186

NA

Trent Balog

Mfg. & Transport

36

361,239 c

227,563 c

58.7

Bing Chen

Mfg. & Transport

37

–14,241

14,028

NA

John Crawford

Finance

184,400

57,800

219

Don Kayne

Natural Resources

Canadian Forest Products/54.8

38 39

30,015

28,805

4.2

Amar Doman

Retail

Amar Doman/17.6

40

NP

NP

NA

Christian Chia

Retail

Brad Thorlakson

Natural Resources

42

Rod Baker

Tourism & Culture

43

NP

Retail

44

41

NP

NP

NA

239,800

85,700

179.8

NP

NP

NA

69,200

73,600

–6

Don Demens

Mfg. & Transport

NP

NP

NA

Bill Currie

Retail

189,000

185,000

2.2

Roger Dall'Antonia

Utilities

Fortis/100

47

32,159

29,954

7.4

Rob Brown

Natural Resources

Arbutus Distributors/20

48

75,319 c

NA

Daniel Jablonsky

Science & Tech.

NA

U. Gary Charlwood

Real Estate

Randy Smallwood

Natural Resources

–1,637,765 c NP

NP

Letko, Brosseau & Associates/17.9

45 46

49 Charlwood Pacific Group/100

50

74,933 c

638.5

17,077

43,186

–60.5

Dan Daviau

Finance

52

15,602 c

157,119 c

–90.1

Michael Steinmann

Natural Resources

53

553,413 c

51

NP

5,202

NA

John Anderson

Mfg. & Transport

54

NP

NP

NA

David Curtis

Mfg. & Transport

55 56

– 4,719

–11,072

NA

Fiona Dalton

Health Care

73,435

91,965

–20.1

Mark Collins

Mfg. & Transport

NP

NP

NA

Tom Gaglardi

Real Estate

NP

NP

NA

Ty Stafford

Real Estate

NP

NP

NA

Ashley Dafel

Mfg. & Transport

NP

NP

NA

Dermot Strong

Mfg. & Transport

–24,610

4,518

NA

Kent Thexton

NP

NP

NA

35

199

–82.4

NP

NP

NA

237,925

96,209

147.3

57,093

– 56,109

NA

57 Gaglardi family/100

58

Birch Hill Equity Partners/NP

60

Science & Tech.

Brandes Partners/10.1

62

Peter Shoore

Mfg. & Transport

Shoore Family/100

Shayne Ramsay

Real Estate

Neil Chrystal

Real Estate

Brian McCauley

Real Estate

Brian Hill

Retail

59 61 63 64 65 Telecommunications Workers Pension Plan/50

66 67

MBA • Bachelor of Commerce • BA in Business Communication • Associate of Arts Study on campus or online • ucanwest.ca

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B.C.’S BIGGEST COMPANIES BY REVENUE COMPANY

STATUS

Rank Rank 2018 2017

REVENUE (BY FISCAL YEAR) 2018 ($000)

2017 ($000)

739,288 c

534,869 c

% change

68

72

China Gold International Resources Corp.

Public

38.2

69

65

Powerex Corp.

Subsidiary

710,000

675,000

5.2

70

87

BID Group

Private

700,000

400,000

75

71

NR

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment

Private

680,243 c, e

621,770 c

72

79

Conifex Timber

Public

669,900

469,700

9.4

73

69

Alpha Group

Private

625,000 e

600,000 e

4.2

74

76

Eldorado Gold Corp.

Public

594,747 c

508,280 c

17

75

71

Shato Holdings

Private

575,000 e

550,000 e

4.5

76

73

Vancouver Airport Authority

Private

565,144

530,620

6.5

77

81

Raymond James

Private

547,560 c

460,594 c

18.9

78

70

SSR Mining

Public

545,069 c

582,777 c

– 6.5

79

75

Vancouver City Savings Credit Union

Private

538,969

538,935

80

63

Capstone Mining Corp.

Public

538,865 c

559,010 c

–3.6 33.9

42.6

0

81

91

Super Save Group

Private

518,000

387,000

82

96

Aquilini Investment Group

Private

500,000 e

500,000 e

82

64

Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corp.

Private

500,000 e

500,000 e

0

84

78

Nature’s Path Foods

Private

490,000 e

475,000 e

3.2

0

85

93

Paladin Group of Companies

Private

466,000

381,000

86

83

Carter Automotive Group

Private

465,000 e

450,000 e

22.3 3.3

87

80

Mountain Equipment Co-op

Private

462,445 e

454,840

1.7

88

88

Coast Capital Savings Credit Union

Private

439,220

348,250

26.1

89

90

American Hotel Income Properties REIT

Public

438,673 c

394,398 c

11.2

90

84

Windset Farms

Private

435,000 e

425,000 e

2.4

91

86

Corix Group of Companies

Private

417,900

400,200

4.4

92

NR

British Columbia Investment Management Corp.

Crown

416,563

313,536

32.9

93

89

VersaCold Logistics Services

Private

400,000 e

396,465

0.9

93

96

Bosa Properties

Private

400,000 e

375,000 e

6.7

95

92

FortisBC

Subsidiary

391,000

381,000

2.6

96

NR

First Majestic Silver Corp.

Public

389,914 c

327,621 c

19

97

98

Dueck Auto Group

Private

380,000 e

370,000 e

2.7

98

99

Golden Boy Foods

Private

375,000 e

365,000 e

2.7

98

100

Mark Anthony Group of Companies

Private

375,000 e

360,000 e

100

NR

Westshore Terminals Investment Corp.

Public

363,369

330,031

4.2 10.1

e=estimate; c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017); NA=Not Applicable/Available; NP=Not Provided; NR=Not Ranked

Earn an online MBA from Vancouver’s business-focused University.

CA

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nge

NET INCOME (BY FISCAL YEAR) 2018 ($000) –26,241 c

2017 ($000) 116,966 c

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

SECTOR

OWNERSHIP Major shareholder/ % stake

% change NA

Liangyou Jiang

Natural Resources

Rank 2018 68

NP

NP

NA

Tom Bechard

Utilities

BC Hydro and Power Authority/100

69

NP

NP

NA

Alistair Cook

Natural Resources

Highland West Capital/NP

70

– 84,505 c

NA

Tony Santo

Tourism & Culture

71

17,000

NA

Kenneth Shields

Natural Resources

72

NP

NA

Fred Kaiser

Mfg. & Transport

73

NA

George Burns

Natural Resources

74

NP –7,100 NP – 491,888 c

–27,774 c

NP

NP

NA

101,729

88,603

14.8

NP

NP – 40,167 c 80,581 –30,549 c

90,014 c 91,783 71,533 c

Peter Toigo & Ron Toigo Real Estate Craig Richmond

Mfg. & Transport

NA

Paul Allison

Finance

NA

Paul Benson

Natural Resources

–12.2 NA

75 76 Raymond James Financial/100

77 78

Tamara Vrooman

Finance

79

Darren Pylot

Natural Resources

80

NP

NP

NA

William Vandekerkhove Natural Resources

NP

NP

NA

Francesco Aquilini

NP

NP

NA

Brian Baarda

Natural Resources

NP

NP

NA

Arran Stephens

Mfg. & Transport

84

NP

NP

NA

Ashley Cooper

Science & Tech.

85

NP

NP

NA

Bill Mitchell

Retail

86

–7,683 e

14,574

NA

David Labistour

Retail

87

82,099

58,526

40.3

Calvin MacInnis

Finance

88

NP

NA

John O’Neill

Real Estate

89

NP

NP

NA

Steven Newell

Natural Resources

90

NP

NP

NA

Gordon Barefoot

Utilities

91

NP

2,442

NA

Gordon Fyfe

Real Estate

NP

NP

NA

Douglas Harrison

Mfg. & Transport

10,823 c

NP

NP

NA

50,000

50,000

0

–264,535 c

– 69,179 c

NA

81

Real Estate

Colin Bosa

Real Estate

Roger Dall’Antonia

Utilities

Keith Neumeyer

Natural Resources

82 Paper Excellence/100

Province of B.C./100

83

92 93 94

Fortis/100

95 96

NP

NP

NA

Moray Keith

Retail

96

NP

NP

NA

NP

Mfg. & Transport

98

NP

NP

NA

142,049

110,080

29

Anthony von Mandl

Tourism & Culture

William Stinson

Mfg. & Transport

99 Jim Pattison/34

100

CANADIAN-MADE, GLOBAL SUCCESS

BCBUSINESS.CA

BCB_July_2019.indb 59

JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 59

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CONGRATULATE AND RECOGNIZE YOUR NEW TALENT WITH

FINANCIAL SERVICES RANK

COMPANY

co REVENUE 2018 ($000)

REVENUE 2017 ($000)

1

Insurance Corp. of British Columbia

5,442,000

5,020,000

2

HSBC Bank Canada

2,264,000

2,070,000

3

WorkSafeBC

1,995,000

3,295,615

4

Pacific Blue Cross

1,394,602

1,361,916

5

Canaccord Genuity Group

1,022,877

879,546

6

Raymond James

547,560 c

460,594 c

7

Vancouver City Savings Credit Union

538,969

538,935

8

Coast Capital Savings Credit Union

439,220

348,250

9

Central 1 Credit Union

282,637

207,942

10

Hub International Canada West

270,307

254,292

c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017) Revenue is by fiscal year

MANUFACTURING + TRANSPORT RANK

This is your organization’s opportunity to feature new appointments to the largest audience of influential business leaders in British Columbia.

COMPANY

Finning International

6,996,000

6,256,000

2

Premium Brands Holdings Corp.

3,025,800

2,198,300

3

Catalyst Paper Corp.

2,000,000 e

2,000,000 e

4

GFS British Columbia

1,800,000 e

1,750,000 e

5

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

1,516,003 c

1,261,189 c

6

Longview Aviation Capital Corp.

1,000,000 e

7

Creation Technologies

842,205 c, e

831,104 c, e

8

Motion Industries (Canada)

809,813 c, e

753,188 c, e

9

Alpha Group

625,000 e

600,000 e

10

Nature’s Path Foods

490,000 e

475,000 e

@BCBUSINESS

NP

e=estimate; c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017) Revenue is by fiscal year

TECHNOLOGY + SCIENCE RANK

604.473.0366 sales@canadawide.com

REVENUE 2017 ($000)

1

COMPANY

For more information, contact:

CANADA WIDE MEDIA

REVENUE 2018 ($000)

REVENUE 2018 ($000)

REVENUE 2017 ($000)

1

Telus Corp.

14,386,000

13,304,000

2

Maxar Technologies

1,102,641 c

2,118,276 c

3

Sierra Wireless

793,602

690,727

4

Paladin Group of Companies

466,000

381,000

5

Westport Fuel Systems

350,206 c

298,461 c

6

Stemcell Technologies

200,000 e

175,000 e

7

Hootsuite Media

194,355 c, e

8

Ballard Power Systems

125,146 c

157,505 c

9

Absolute Software Corp.

121,306 c

118,446 c

10

Vecima Networks

78,104

71,460

NP

e=estimate; c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017) Revenue is by fiscal year

60 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019

BCBFiller1/3Vertical_as.indd 4 BCB_July_2019.indb 60

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This pdf was created with the pdf/x-1a setting for final print production.

© Grizzard 2016

print quality

BCBUSINESS.CA

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MAKE A LIVING EDUCATION FOR A BETTER WORLD

RW

giant Bombardier. Such deals will boost corporate revenue and job opportunities in Canada’s hottest labour market. B.C.’s unemployment rate ended 2018 at 4.4 percent, Statistics Canada reports, lower than anywhere else in the country, and remained so through the first quarter of this year. That strong showing came even as regulations tightened and fears grew about the policies of the province’s NDP government, hitting its stride after a full year in power. “Canada is starting to garner a reputation as a place that’s very difficult to get anything accomplished, particularly on the landbase,” says Peacock, noting that the issue isn’t restricted to B.C. Government measures designed to limit speculation and curb house prices catered to public concerns, but developers hit the brakes and real estate investment began to flag. Demand remained robust, according to Toronto-based real estate services firm Altus Group, resulting in the second-best year on record for investment sales in the Lower Mainland, but rising rates, trade worries and provincial policies weighed on activity. Total investment dropped 15 percent from a year earlier, to $12.5 billion, as developers hit pause on residential projects. Peacock says mining could be next in line for investment to cool. The fledgling cannabis sector—simultaneously hailed as the next big thing in the run-up to the legalization of recreational sales last October and the biggest threat to foodproducing land after foreign ownership— is already being reined in. The federal and provincial governments declared pot a legitimate crop but denied it the financial support available to other farm products. Meanwhile, legal cannabis sales— projected to total $1.5 billion this year nationally, according to a recent report by U.S. market intelligence firms Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics—have yet to place the likes of Delta greenhouse vegetable grower Village Farms International and startups Sunniva, Tilray and Zenabis Global in the Top 100. Challenges at home and trade uncertainties didn’t dampen the province’s entrepreneurial spirit, though. The top companies in the province form a cohort that’s more resilient than those of the

AK

continued from page 53

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GET UP-TO-DATE BUSINESS NEWS DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

NATURAL RESOURCES RANK

COMPANY

REVENUE 2018 ($000)

REVENUE 2017 ($000)

12,564,000

11,910,000

1

Teck Resources

2

West Fraser Timber Co.

6,118,000

5,134,000

3

First Quantum Minerals

5,138,746 c

4,298,366 c

4

Canfor Corp.

5,044,400

4,563,300

5

Goldcorp

3,928,562 c

4,445,108 c

6

Westcoast Energy

3,473,000

3,407,000

7

Interfor Corp.

2,186,567

1,990,106

8

B2Gold Corp.

1,587,312 c

829,386 c

9

Turquoise Hill Resources

1,528,955 c

1,220,398 c

10

Mercer International

1,457,718

1,169,145

c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017) Revenue is by fiscal year

REAL ESTATE RANK

INCLUDES: •

REPORT CARD

COMPANY

REVENUE 2018 ($000)

REVENUE 2017 ($000)

1

Ledcor Group of Companies

2,200,000

2,500,000

2

Charlwood Pacific Group

1,050,000 e

1,030,000

3

Imperial Parking Corp.

844,796 c

4

BC Housing Management Commission

782,092

1,342,874

5

Polygon Family of Companies

777,000

1,385,000

6

Concert Properties

748,926

174,399

7

Shato Holdings

575,000 e

550,000 e

8

Aquilini Investment Group

500,000 e

500,000 e

9

American Hotel Income Prop. REIT

438,673 c

394,398 c

10

B.C. Investment Management Corp.

416,563

313,536

822,077 c

e=estimate; c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017) Revenue is by fiscal year

Last week’s hits and misses

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP

Most and least expensive homes sold in B.C.

10 THINGS you didn’t know

about prominent business leaders

BCBUSINESS.CA | @BCBUSINESS

CHARITIES RANK

ORGANIZATION

RECEIPTED DONATIONS 2018 ($000)

RECEIPTED DONATIONS 2017 ($000)

1

Audain Foundation

80,433

50,272

2

University of British Columbia

62,502

34,036

3

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation

47,023

44,539

4

Vancouver Foundation

37,065 e

29,567

5

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

33,731

33,873

6

BC Cancer Foundation

32,537

32,706

7

St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation of Vcr.

26,217

16,582

8

Power to Change Ministries

23,284

22,505

9

United Way of the Lower Mainland

19,384

19,628

10

Union Gospel Mission

18,347

14,970

e=estimate Receipted donations are by fiscal year

62 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019

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not-so-distant past, when revenue was closely linked to local spending. The 30th anniversary of our Top 100 event gives us an opportunity to weigh how the list has changed over the past three decades. Gone is the preponderance of players rooted in the local and regional economy: Pacific Brewers Distributors and grocery counterpart Kelly Douglas & Co., retailing giant Woodward’s Stores, and food processors Dairyland and Lucerne. Gone, too, are larger resources companies that proved attractive targets as globalization swept the commodities sector: Cominco, Fletcher Challenge, MacMillan Bloedel and Placer Dome have been replaced by Teck Resources and West Fraser Timber Co. (see p.87). Those two companies remain cornerstones of the top 10, alongside Telus Corp. (see p.81) and one of the list’s most resilient businesses, the highly diversified Jim Pattison Group (see p.76). Outside of Crown corporations like WorkSafeBC (see p.85) and retailers, geographic diversification is a hallmark of the Top 100. For the most part, the biggest businesses on this year’s list thrive thanks to activities beyond the province’s borders. Finning International (see p.83) supplies heavy equipment to projects around the world, while outward-looking fashion and food companies include Aritzia and Nature’s Path Foods. Gateway Casinos & Entertainment’s plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange mark a rare initial public offering by a B.C. company, more than a decade after the financial crisis and the IPO s of the mid-2000s. Meanwhile, companies from Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers to Windset Farms have struck deals that allow them to succeed globally from a base in B.C. It’s a visible sign of an economy that continues to attract talent, thanks to flexible immigration policies and an enviable quality of life. Technology companies in particular find B.C. a convenient place to set up, giving them access to a talented workforce within a short distance of other West Coast tech hubs. Housing costs may be high, but the other factors more than make up for it. “The quality of life is great, which means we can attract the best global talent, and local talent wants to stay here BCBUSINESS.CA

BCB_July_2019.indb 63

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and grow,” says Jill Tipping, president and CEO of the BC Tech Association. “A strong talent pool is the key thing tech companies need to thrive. So while everything isn’t perfect, B.C.’s strengths more than offset the challenges for tech companies and workers.” But the cost of housing—and real estate in general—should sound alarm bells for policy-makers. Although an exodus of com-

panies is unlikely, the long commuting times required to find affordable digs for living or work could end up giving other jurisdictions an edge. “A lot of companies in many ways are more resilient, but I would add a caveat,” the BCBC’s Peacock says. “Yes, they may be more resilient, but I don’t think that can result in any sort of complacency.” ■

RETAIL RANK

COMPANY

REVENUE 2018 ($000)

REVENUE 2017 ($000)

10,060,000

10,100,000

1

Jim Pattison Group

2

H.Y. Louie Co.

5,560,000 e

5,400,000 e

3

Best Buy Canada

4,129,396 c

3,764,641 c

4

BC Liquor Distribution Branch

3,498,000

3,332,000

5

Lululemon Athletica

3,432,544 c

3,044,427 c

6

London Drugs

2,575,000 e

2,500,000 e

7

OpenRoad Auto Group

1,262,387

1,212,874

8

7-Eleven Canada

1,200,000 e

1,000,000 e

9

Aritzia

743,267

667,181

10

Carter Automotive Group

465,000 e

450,000 e

e=estimate; c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017) Revenue is by fiscal year

TOURISM + CULTURE RANK

COMPANY

REVENUE 2018 ($000)

REVENUE 2017 ($000)

1

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

5,350,075 c

4,157,468 c

2

British Columbia Lottery Corp.

3,267,132

3,143,877

3

Great Canadian Gaming Corp.

1,221,000

614,300

4

British Columbia Ferry Services

899,018

859,283

5

Northland Properties Corp.

850,000 e

800,000 e

6

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment

680,243 c, e

621,770 c

7

Vancouver Airport Authority

565,144

530,620

8

Mark Anthony Group of Companies

375,000 e

360,000 e

9

Black Press

361,000

371,000

10

Coast Hotels

254,200

259,200

e=estimate; c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017) Revenue is by fiscal year

DISCLAIMER BCBusiness prepares the Top 100 list using various sources, but it makes no representation regarding the completeness, accuracy or timeliness of any information presented.

64 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019

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+ BURNABY HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

Rhinology: the Hidden Expertise at Burnaby Hospital The hospital is a hub for endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery

Dr. Casey Manarey in the operating room

S

ome see Burnaby Hospital as a small community hospital, but the facility does more than remove tonsils and gallbladders. Many are surprised at the full extent and complexity of services performed there. Burnaby has one of the busiest emergency departments in the entire province, and a full roster of fellowship-trained, surgical sub-specialists using the latest in technology and techniques to perform remarkable and sophisticated surgery. And the hospital is quite the hub for endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery in particular. Dr. Casey Manarey is one of only four Rhinologists in British Columbia who exclusively perform endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery. Using an advanced imageguided navigation system—one of only two of its kind in western Canada—Manarey treats patients with chronic sinus disease, a condition he compares to congestive heart failure in terms of the amount of suffering an afflicted patient can experience. The navigation system uses an

electromagnetic field to pinpoint the location of surgical instruments and displays the information on a preloaded CT scan, so the surgeon always knows exactly where he is operating. Using an endoscope, images from inside the patient’s nose are displayed on two high definition 4K monitors. “That’s how we’re operating. Unlike abdominal surgery for example, where you’re making a big incision and you’re looking in, we’re using an endoscope and instruments that allow us to never actually see what we’re cutting, except on the screen,” says Manarey. Like most equipment in a modern medical setting, the navigation system and monitors do not come cheap, with a price tag of about $300,000. But without question, the benefits of the technology outweigh the cost. “It allows us to do a very thorough and detailed surgery. The precision of the equipment helps us to be safely aggressive, so we can effectively get all the disease out and reconstruct the drainage pathways of the sinuses, while minimizing any risk of complications—such as unintentionally

breaching the skull base, which can cause a leak of spinal fluid, or breaching the bone separating the eye from the nose, which if not dealt with can lead to blindness.” The technology at Manarey’s disposal, along with his unique specialized training, allows him to achieve better outcomes than would otherwise be likely in 80 percent of his cases. As a result, patients suffering from a terrible quality of life are coming from all over the province to benefit from the services offered at Burnaby Hospital. “What we’re doing isn’t just a slight improvement in how a person is feeling; this is a total lifestyle change. We see people come in with chronic sinus disease – they look tired, they look depressed, they have been suffering for years. After we operate, they can breathe better, they’re able to sleep, they regain their sense of smell—they’re almost like a brandnew person and they’re incredibly grateful for what we’re able to do for them. They tell me it has changed their life.”  View exclusive video of Dr. Manarey’s endoscopic surgery at bhfoundation.ca/news.

W L

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by

Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Burnaby Hospital Foundation

CO

BCB-0719-BurnabyHospital.indd 1 p68-75_Winners+Losers_July-August.indd 68

2019-06-04 6/6/19 7:58 1:11AM PM


TOUCH THE SKY(TRAIN) Concert Properties’ Burquitlam development sits next to rapid transit. The City of Coquitlam will foot half the bill

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Winners + Losers From real estate shortfalls to sandwich gains, here are some of the companies on our list that saw the biggest revenue swings in 2018 by Nathan Caddell

COURTESY OF CONCERT PROPERTIES

BCB_July_2019.indb 69

Concert Properties REVENUE CHANGE: 329.4% NET INCOME: $237.9 million NET INCOME CHANGE: 147.3% The largest developer of rental housing in Western Canada had a busy 2018. At home, it bought an eight-storey building currently occupied by the Canada Revenue Agency in Vancouver’s False Creek Flats neighbourhood, not far from Concert Properties’ own headquarters. The company also scooped up a massive Toronto development site at Bloor and Sherbourne streets. And it worked with cities like Victoria and Coquitlam to develop entire blocks. In Coquitlam, the local government is paying for half the deal, which will see more than 2,700 residential units close JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 69

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METAL SHOP B2Gold’s Fekola

Mine in Mali beat expectations

to the Burquitlam SkyTrain station. The almost-finished Victoria project, launched in 2014, will come in at 113 homes.

Great Canadian Gaming Corp. REVENUE CHANGE: 98.8% NET INCOME: $239.8 million NET INCOME CHANGE: 179.8% The Coquitlam-based casino owner’s B.C.related revenue dipped slightly in 2018, to $355 million. But Great Canadian Gaming more than made up for that loss with gains

at its Ontario operations, which raked in $731 million, dwarfing 2017’s $124 million. The company’s Ontario branch accounted for 60 percent of its 2018 revenue, way up from 20 percent the previous year. (B.C. shrank from 58 percent to 29.) That was mostly thanks to a couple of huge deals, including the purchase of seven gambling facilities in the Greater Toronto Area, plus the opening of a casino in Peterborough.

B2Gold Corp. REVENUE CHANGE: 91.4%

NET INCOME: $58.46 million (converted from USD) NET INCOME CHANGE: –26.9% On the whole, gold had a tumultuous 2018, starting out strong and dropping hard before a modest recovery. But that fluctuation didn’t stop Vancouver-based B2Gold from having a big year, producing 51 percent more of the precious metal than it did in 2017. The firm’s Fekola Mine in southwest Mali outpaced expectations in its first full year of operation, while the

BIGGEST REVENUE GAINERS [BY PERCENTAGE] RANK

COMPANY

REVENUE 2018 ($000)

REVENUE 2017 ($000)

% CHANGE

1

Concert Properties

748,926

174,399

329.4

2

Great Canadian Gaming Corp.

1,221,000

614,300

98.8

3

B2Gold Corp.

1,587,312 c

829,386 c

91.4

4

BID Group

700,000

400,000

75

5

Conifex Timber

669,900

469,700

42.6

6

China Gold International Resources Corp.

739,288 c

534,869 c

38.2

7

Premium Brands Holdings Corp.

3,025,800

2,198,300

37.6

8

Super Save Group

518,000

387,000

33.9

9

BC Investment Management Corp.

416,563

313,536

32.9

10

Seaspan Corp.

1,420,516 c

1,079,557 c

31.6

c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017) Revenue is by fiscal year

COURTESY OF B2GOLD CORP.

BCB_July_2019.indb 71

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Do. Make. Innovate. Reinvent the Future.

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at New York Institute of Technology’s Vancouver Campus / Energy Management (M.S.) / Management (M.B.A.) / Finance (M.B.A.) / Information, Network, and Computer Security (M.S.) / Instructional Technology, Educators (M.S.)

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TO

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SAFETY FIRST WorkSafeBC was long the subject of NDP gripes against the former Liberal government, but it’s unclear how much has changed since the switch

Masbate Mine in the Philippines achieved record annual production.

Premium Brands Holdings Corp.

in $960 million. At one point in 2018, its stock price reached a five-year high.

Super Save Group

REVENUE CHANGE: 37.6% NET INCOME: $98 million NET INCOME CHANGE: 21.7%

REVENUE CHANGE: 33.9% NET INCOME: NP NET INCOME CHANGE: NA

Nearly 10 years ago, food manufacturing and distribution specialist Premium Brands Holdings acquired SK Food Group, which supplies Starbucks with its breakfast sandwiches and wraps. As a result, the Richmond-based outfit enjoyed massive growth. In 2018, publicly traded Premium Brands, which owns names like Freybe Gourmet Foods and Grimm’s Fine Foods, again set its sights on gobbling up other businesses, acquiring 12. Those purchases cost $753 million, but the company estimates that, prorated over the year, they would have brought

Mobster movies have taught us to raise an eyebrow when a waste management operation gets a huge influx of revenue, but Super Save Group came by the increase honestly. The privately held Surrey-based company’s good fortune appears to be tied to the province-wide construction boom. After all, the business also rents out portable toilets, garbage bins and fences. Oh, and high gas prices probably didn’t hurt Super Save’s propane sales, either.

TOP: ISTOCK; FREYBE GOURMET FOODS

BCB_July_2019.indb 73

Polygon Family of Companies REVENUE CHANGE: –43.9% NET INCOME: NA NET INCOME CHANGE: NA For last year’s top revenue gainer on our list (with a

whopping 138-percent increase), something had to give. Though the Vancouverbased real estate developer is privately owned, it seems obvious that government efforts to curb housing prices have taken hold. The third-biggest revenue loser, down 41.8 percent, fellow property developer the BC Housing Management Commission, suffered a similar fate—it was the No. 2 gainer last year.

WorkSafeBC REVENUE CHANGE: –39.5% NET INCOME: $16 million NET INCOME CHANGE: –98.9% Before it took over government in 2017, the NDP spent years railing against the way Christy Clark’s BC Liberal administration treated WorkSafeBC (see p.85). It’s not clear if the workplace insurer has made any radical changes since the provincial election, but in fiscal 2018 the agency suffered a revenue dive linked to investment income. Markets delivered a modest 2.1-percent increase for WorkSafeBC, which is solely funded by employer premiums and returns from those premiums. By contrast, investment income grew 10.5 percent for the 2017 fiscal year. JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 73

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NET INCOME CHANGE: 529.1%

QUITE THE SPILL The George H. Ledcor sank in the Fraser River carrying 600 litres of diesel fuel

The US$10-billion acquisition of Vancouver-based Goldcorp by Colorado’s Newmont Mining Corp., which closed this April, grabbed headlines. Equally eye-popping was Goldcorp losing close to US$4 billion last year due to non-cash impairment—which it said represents the difference between the book value of its shareholders’ equity and the Newmont offer. Revenue fell by about US$400 million.

SSR Mining REVENUE CHANGE: –6.5% NET INCOME: –$40.17 million NET INCOME CHANGE: NA

Ledcor Group of Companies REVENUE CHANGE: –12% NET INCOME: NP NET INCOME CHANGE: NA For the second year in a row, Ledcor Group lands in the losers’ column. In 2017, the problem was uncertainty surrounding Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which the Vancouver-headquartered conglomerate was contracted

to work on. This time, it’s a victim of the real estate crunch and new taxes. Though primarily a construction business, Ledcor also has its fingers in the forestry, mining and transportation industries, among others. The last one grabbed headlines this year, when one of its tugboats sank in the Fraser River with 600 litres of diesel fuel.

Goldcorp REVENUE CHANGE: –11.6% NET INCOME: $5.38 billion

Vancouver-based SSR enjoyed a decent year when it came to stock price, but overall revenue dipped in fiscal 2018, mostly because the miner produced more gold than it sold in an uncertain market. Another setback: lower production at the Chinchillas Mine in Argentina, a silver, lead and zinc operation where the company has a 75-percent stake. In particular, silver mining plunged to almost half its 2017 output. ■

BIGGEST REVENUE LOSERS [BY PERCENTAGE] RANK

COMPANY

REVENUE 2018 ($000)

REVENUE 2017 ($000)

% CHANGE

1

Maxar Technologies

1,102,641 c

2,118,276 c

–47.9

2

Polygon Family of Companies

777,000

1,385,000

–43.9

3

BC Housing Management Commission

782,092

1,342,874

–41.8

4

WorkSafeBC

1,995,000

3,295,615

–39.5

5

Ledcor Group of Companies

2,200,000

2,500,000

–12

6

Goldcorp

3,928,562 c

4,445,108 c

–11.6

7

Teekay Corp.

2,212,742 c

2,441,799 c

–9.4

8

SSR Mining Inc.

545,069 c

582,777 c

–6.5

9

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp.

1,028,801 c

1,094,999 c

–6

10

Pan American Silver Corp.

1,016,470 c

1,060,733 c

–4.2

c=converted from USD at 1.2957 (2018) and 1.2986 (2017) Revenue is by fiscal year

CHRIS MEDLAND

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BUY AND HOLD The conglomerate that Pattison launched in 1961 remains B.C.’s biggest private company by revenue in our latest Top 100 ranking

ALL-STARS Jim Pattison Group

Just Getting Started

Almost six decades into his business career, Jimmy Pattison shows no sign of stepping away from the diversified multibillion-dollar empire he built. What keeps him going? (Hint: It isn’t yachts and vacation homes) by Richard Littlemore

76 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019

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COURTESY: JIMMY PATTISON GROUP

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I

t’s always risky to judge

a book by its cover—or a man by his plaid jacket. But everything you need to know about 90-year-old Jimmy Pattison is evident, instantly, in the grip of his handshake. You know what handshakes are like. Some are too weak, some too strong—some people hold on way too long. And, among men over 80, even the most robust usually offer something tentative—fragile bones wrapped in papery skin you wouldn’t dare squeeze. But the five-foot-six-inch Jimmy Pattison still takes your hand with the strength and confidence of a 32-year-old car salesman. The grasp is rock solid—not a hint too pushy—and the minute you feel it, you know two things absolutely: first, you could do a deal with this man; and second, he’s in amazingly good health. We’re looking out from the 18th floor of the Shaw Tower on Cordova Street, admiring Vancouver’s harbour and the North Shore Mountains from the head office of the Jim Pattison Group (holding steady at No. 3 on this year’s Top 100 list). The reception room is like a cluttered study, filled with the awards Pattison has won, the books people have given him and, in the corner, models of every private aircraft he’s owned since he brought the first Learjet to Canada in 1969. When I mention his age, he shrugs and says: “Ninety. Well, I never thought about it, but it showed up.” And it’s barely slowed him down. “I travel all the time in my job,” he says. “Nothing’s really changed for me. I try to work some part of every day. I come in early in the morning, and I go home a bit earlier than I used to—at 5:15 or 5:20.” Every night he’s in town, Pattison says, he takes his wife, Mary (née Hudson), out to dinner. They met at Bible camp when they were both 13 and have been married for 68 years. So, seriously, nothing’s changed. Yet the private conglomerate that Pattison began to assemble in 1961 with

,

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the purchase of a General Motors Co. car dealership (“a two-car showroom and a three-pump gas station”) now employs 46,000 people in 541 locations around the world and reported revenue of $10.6 billion in fiscal 2018. There’s no making sense of Pattison’s mix of businesses. In addition to the car lots (25 locations, 12 brands, 24,000 vehicles sold in 2018), he owns grocery stores (Save-On-Foods, Buy-Low, Quality Foods), coal terminals (Westshore), radio stations (Jim Pattison Broadcast Group), sign companies (Pattison Outdoor Advertising) and theme parks (Ripley Entertainment). And befitting a company that also owns the Guinness World Records operation, every Pattison asset comes with a superlative. His massively expanded Canfor Corp. (No. 12 on this year’s list) is now the largest global producer of sustainable forest products. Canadian Fishing Co. annually harvests more than 100 million pounds.

NO MATTER WHO IT IS, YOU PHONE BACK Asked what ties all these operations together, Pattison says only, “One thing’s led to another.” He seems to be the polar opposite of the modern corporate raider, the type who snaps up companies, strips their value and sends all the jobs to China. Rather, Pattison Group president and COO Glen Clark says that Jimmy’s strategy is: “Buy, keep management and grow the company. We’ve been successful with that. We buy good operating businesses and try not to sell too many.” Besides, Clark says, “We like the diversification. At any given time, one or two companies might be going through trouble; diversification gives us strength.” And as Canada’s second-largest privately held company, Clark says, they get to make, and stand by, long-term decisions. “Being

JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 77

UP

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private gives us the ability to look beyond the next quarter.” Clark, who was B.C.’s New Democratic Party premier from 1996 to 1999, says Pattison is also an exemplary boss. “He’s patient, disciplined. He gives everyone a chance to do well. That’s why our average length of service is so high.” This wasn’t always the Pattison reputation. Paul Grescoe, the as-told-to writer behind the 1987 book Jimmy: An Autobiography, confirmed then (and now) that, as a young entrepreneur, Pattison regularly sacked his poorest-performing salesman. (As Grescoe says, “They were all men in those days.”) But both Grescoe and Clark defend the practice, saying you’re not doing a failed commission salesperson any favour by keeping them in a job that will never pay. They say that Jimmy wasn’t punishing underachievers, he was doing them a kindness. This, then, gets to an interesting aspect of Canada’s fifth-richest man (Forbes says he’s worth $7.7 billion): Jim Pattison has no critics. Actually, that’s an overstatement. For example, there are many who resent the breadth of his influence in the B.C. fishery. But unlike most business moguls, Pattison has no horde of angry detractors waiting by the phone to say uncharitable things. David Baines, the retired Vancouver Sun columnist who for decades tracked bad behaviour in the B.C. business community, says Pattison has escaped criticism on two counts. First, because the Pattison Group is privately held, “It’s very difficult for outsiders to scrutinize his deals.” Second, Baines says, Jimmy “always returns reporter phone calls. Reporters feel flattered when the top guy responds.” Glen Clark (who’s also excellent about returning calls), says that’s true: “It’s a rule in our office: no matter who it is, you phone back.” But Clark offers another explanation for Pattison’s resilient reputation. “Jimmy’s so ethical. It sounds like I’m biased—and actually, I am biased!—but he really is. Jimmy always says, ‘Try not to do anything we wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the paper.’ He has a strong sense of values.”

THE POWER OF GIVING This certainly seems to be expressed in Pattison’s philanthropy. The Jim Pattison BCBUSINESS.CA

BCB_July_2019.indb 79

Foundation gives away millions—or tens of millions—every year. For example, in 2018, the foundation committed $75 million to the new St. Paul’s Hospital and $50 million to the now-state-of-the-art Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon, where he was born. In the late 1990s, he gave what was then a head-snapping gift of $20 million to prostate cancer research in Vancouver, and he used that donation to leverage so much additional health-care money out of the provincial government to accelerate construction that the main building of Vancouver General Hospital is now known as the Jim Pattison Pavilion.

Really, it’s difficult to get Jim Pattison to admit that anything gives him as much of a thrill as just turning up for another day at the office. (“I like what I do. I don’t consider it work.”) When I ask Pattison if these gifts gave him particular pleasure, he says, “Well, no. We’ve always—as most businesses do— given money to different causes.” But this may reflect modesty more than disinterest. As Grescoe reported in the Pattison biography, from his earliest days as a door-to-door garden seed salesboy in East Vancouver, Pattison has tithed: he’s given 10 percent of his income to charitable causes. But Clark says the boss doesn’t go looking for credit, even if other people insist on putting the Pattison name on libraries and buildings he has supported. Really, it’s difficult to get Jim Pattison to admit that anything gives him as much of a thrill as just turning up for another day at the office. (“I like what I do. I don’t consider it work.”) One of his most famous indulgences is the 150-foot yacht Nova Spirit, which he bought in 1999 for US$25 million.

If you stand close to the window, you can see it from the Pattison Group reception room, though Pattison himself is not one to gaze longingly at the view. “I don’t go out on the boat very often. We use it for entertaining customers, suppliers and special guests. But I don’t use it personally.” And, to be clear: he doesn’t fish. He also doesn’t spend much time at the Rancho Mirage estate near Palm Springs that he bought in 1995 from Frank Sinatra. As with the boat: “We have meetings there. We bring customers there.” A cynic might wonder if Pattison is defending the tax deductibility of a holiday asset, but Grescoe says it’s a fair characterization of Jimmy’s passions. “The only extracurricular activity I ever saw that gave him pleasure was the trumpet. He really loved playing, and he was good. If he was going to take over someone’s company, he would take them out for a cruise and play the trumpet.” As we are nearing the end of the interview, I ask Pattison about his plans for the future, to which he answers—without a hint of irony—“Oh, we’re just getting started.” Asked whether he’ll ever retire, he fairly snaps: “I hope not.” Then, as I am about to leave, Pattison says, “Wait, you haven’t met Maureen,” and he turns us toward the office of Maureen Chant, the woman who has been his executive assistant for 56 of his 58 years in business. Chant is famous as Jimmy’s gatekeeper, a second and highly trusted set of eyes and ears. In a senior management group that is otherwise exclusively male, everyone acknowledges that she has always been the No. 2. Sitting in her office, which is tucked in behind the reception area, Chant exudes confidence and efficiency, somehow appearing both warm and brusque at the same time. As we step through her door, she already knows who I am and why I am here, and she asks immediately if I got everything I needed. I say yes and ask: Is she ever going to retire? Chant pauses and looks to Jimmy, as if to check for an update, and then she says: “I hope not.” As mentioned, the Pattison Group is a private company: you can’t buy shares. But if you could, I’d suggest that it would be on everybody’s “buy” list—as a longterm hold.  JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 79

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ALL-STARS Telus Corp.

Lord of the Rings As group president and chief corporate officer Josh Blair can attest, telecom titan Telus has hardly been phoning it in b y N i c k R o c k e l

W

e know,

we know— you want an update from Telus Corp. on the delicate situation with Huawei Technologies Co., its key supplier for nextgeneration 5G wireless. But first, let’s hear it for Telus, which again claims the No. 1 spot in the Top 100. As of May 31, the Vancouver-based telecommunications giant’s stock had hit an all-time high of $50.79. Since 2000, its 490-percent total shareholder return had outstripped that of its peers and the S&P/TSX Composite Index, which gained 205 percent during the same period. Back in 2000, Telus had 4.3 million customers and $6 billion in annual revenue; customers now number 13.4 million, and the telecom posted close to $14.4 billion in revenue for fiscal 2018. Group president and chief corporate officer Josh Blair has spent most of his career with the business that began its B.C. life in 1904 as British Columbia Telephone Co. and now employs about 58,000 people worldwide. “There’s been great leadership courage to transform the company from a very small regional player to a world leader when it comes to many metrics, and to have our business operate now all across Canada, and in many cases on a global basis,” Blair says. Three years after Blair joined BC Tel in 1995, it merged with Edmontonbased Telus Communications. Former Telus chief executive Brian Canfield launched a national expansion taken global by Darren Entwistle, who became president and CEO in 2000 and stepped down briefly this decade before returning to the helm.

Today the company is much more than a telecom provider. As group president, Blair leads and supports business areas such as Telus International and Telus Health. The former, which has about 32,000 team members in 12 countries, provides back-office, IT and other services to Fortune 500 corporations. “We’re leveraging technology and information to deliver better health outcomes for less money spent in Canada,” Blair says of Telus Health. For example, this division is behind the federal government’s electronic prescribing service, which aims to save billions by reducing the estimated 50 percent of prescriptions that don’t get filled or followed. Telus may be an international player, but it hasn’t ignored its own back yard. From 2000 through 2021, the company will have allocated $55 billion to technology and operations in B.C. Since 2013, Telus has spent roughly $2 billion to connect 1 million homes in 52 communities of all sizes throughout the province to its PureFibre network. “If you look at every other vertical, from health care to the energy sector to the forestry sector to tourism, all of them rely on having a good telecom infrastructure in order for them to be successful,” says Blair, who has an electrical engineering degree from UVic.

A practitioner of what it calls social capitalism, Telus also gives generously. In B.C. alone since 2000, its employees and retirees have contributed some $170 million and 700,000 days of their time to charities and community groups. OK, but what’s happening with Huawei and 5G, which promises to be up to 200 times faster than LTE wireless networks? At press time, President Donald Trump had blacklisted the Chinese telecom, citing threats to U.S. national security. The company’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, remained under house arrest in Vancouver, facing extradition to the U.S. If Canada bans Huawei, Telus and rival BCE might have to shell out upward of $1 billion in total to remove its equipment, according to the Globe and Mail. “We anticipate that it will take some time for decisions on 5G infrastructure to be reached,” Blair says. Unlike the U.S., he adds, countries in Europe and elsewhere have taken the view that no matter where a supplier is from, industry must test its technology with government to prove that it’s safe and capable for 5G networks. “We’re proponents of that approach, too, and I think it’s a good thing for Canada to take our time and learn from what the rest of the world is doing, because it’s not a decision that needs to be rushed into.”  JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 81

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ALL-STARS Finning International

Machine Learning

Under Scott Thomson, Finning has ushered the trucks, power systems and other heavy equipment it sells into the digital age—and taken steps to reduce its environmental impact b y N i c k R o c k e l

I

t sounds

old-fashioned, but Finning International got to be the world’s largest dealer of Caterpillar equipment by building relationships. The company kicked off its global expansion in the 1990s, after moving into Alberta to supply the oil and gas industry. In Chile, president and CEO Scott Thomson notes, Vancouverbased Finning saw an opportunity to follows its customers in mining. To drive growth there and in Europe, where it’s now the Caterpillar dealer for the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland, Finning relied on locals rather than expats, Thomson says. What can Canadian companies with international ambitions learn from that experience? For Thomson, it’s about being “willing to take the risk and then also growing the talent in those geographies you’re in to expand the business.” California transplant Earl Finning took a risk back in 1933, when he launched his heavy-equipment sales and service company during the Great Depression, in then-obscure Vancouver. Publicly traded Finning International, which turned 85 last year, now has some 13,000 employees in Canada, Europe and South America. It also returns to No. 4 in the Top 100, with $6.9 billion in revenue for 2018, a gain of almost 12 percent. Thomson himself is a local, but you wouldn’t know it from his resumé. The Kelowna native earned an MBA at the University of Chicago, becoming a New York– and Toronto-based VP for Goldman, Sachs & Co. before leaving investment banking to spend five years with Bell Canada Enterprises, where his roles included executive

VP, corporate development. From 2008 until he took charge of Finning in 2013, he was CFO of Calgary’s Talisman Energy. Since he arrived, Finning has focused on three things, Thomson says: improving its relationships with customers; building a diverse, talented team; and boosting operating performance. “Every metric has improved in this business,” he adds, citing customer loalty, employee morale and the FinningCaterpillar bond. “The talent base that we’ve attracted, retained and developed is as diverse as it’s ever been.” Thomson also oversaw the launch of the Finning Digital division in 2016. Building that side of the business has meant hiring talent such as data analysts, engineers and PhDs to work with Finning’s traditional employees. The company has already digitally connected 70 percent of its machines, with a goal to reach 80 this year. “My view is, where the value is going to be is in the data that comes off the iron and the insights that you can provide,” Thomson says. “If we can combine our equipment knowledge, our knowledge of the customers’ operations and digital analytical abilities to provide insights, we’re going to provide a better outcome for the customers, and that will mean a win-win.” Looking ahead, Finning is investing in technology to improve the employee and

customer experiences and create a sustainable cost structure, Thomson says. It’s also deeply involved in the Site C dam and the LNG Canada liquefied natural gas project. The latter could be worth $500 million to $700 million for Finning, which will supply engines for fracking and gas compression, plus equipment for earth moving and pipeline construction. Cost structure is one thing, but how env i ron ment a l ly sustainable is the heavy-equipment business? Finning has begun confronting that question with its annual sustainability report, whose second edition appeared in April. “What we’re trying to do here is take a long-term sustainable growth view,” Thomson says. “If we’re going to do that, we have to address some of these issues around climate change, around sustainability in general.” To that end, the newest Caterpillar equipment is much more fuel-efficient, Thomson explains. Finning has an Edmonton facility that last year remanufactured some 10,000 parts for customers, reducing waste by making their machines last longer. Thomson says the company is also cutting its greenhouse gas emissions, which fell 4 percent in 2018. “When we talk to our employees, one of the things they’re most proud of working at Finning is the approach we’re taking to sustainability.”  JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 83

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ALL-STARS WorkSafeBC

Positive Coverage Around for more than a century, the workplace insurer is changing with the times, says new CEO Anne Naser b y F e l i c i t y S t o n e

I

t’s no secret that

the leaders of large businesses tend to be men, and those on our list of B.C.’s top 100 companies by revenue are no exception: the number of women CEOs can be counted on one hand. WorkSafeBC, however, has had two: Diana Miles, president and CEO from 2014 to January 2019, and Anne Naser, who assumed the same role in June. Both women had occupied previous positions at the provincial agency: Miles as senior vice-president, worker and employer services, and Naser in senior leadership posts since 1998, most recently as chief information officer from 2009-18. The latter went to British Columbia Investment Management Corp., as senior VP, information technology, before her recent return to the WorkSafeBC roost. The Workers’ Compensation Board of B.C., known as WorkSafeBC since 2005, first made the BCBusiness Top 100 list in 1988, when we began including Crown corporations, but the organization has been around since 1917. That year the provincial government passed the Workmen’s Compensation Act mandating employer-funded no-fault insurance to indemnify injured workers. In return, employees lost the right to sue employers for job-related accidents and illnesses. Today, Richmond-headquartered WorkSafeBC serves some 2.4 million workers and 238,000 employers, and its revenue has grown from about $570 million in 1987 to nearly $2 billion in 2018. It tends to be positively perceived, scoring well in our annual ranking of B.C.’s Most Loved Brands. “Awareness and understanding are strong drivers of corporate reputation and corporate trust,” says Mike Rodenburgh,

executive vice-president for Western Canada with Ipsos, which conducts brand research on behalf of BCBusiness. “British Columbians know that WorkSafeBC is there as an organization to help them when an unfortunate mishap happens on the job. That in itself is a positive message for both the employee, that they’re covered, as well as the employer.” WorkSafeBC’s Naser agrees. “When workers are injured, we need to ensure they have the supports they need to recover, including compensating them for wage loss and returning them to their work and their life,” she notes. “We also need to keep rates stable for employers while maintaining funding levels that ensure the long-term health of the system.” Naser points out that WorkSafeBC is participating in two reviews: an assessment of its actions following the Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills sawmill explosions in 2012 (a report is to be delivered to B.C.’s attorney general in mid-July) and a broader analysis of the compensation system. “We look forward to any opportunities they provide to make workplaces safer and to better serve injured workers,” she says. When B.C. passed the Workmen’s Compensation Act in the early 1900s, working conditions in the province’s core industries—fishing, forestry and mining— could be extremely dangerous. Vancouver Island’s coal mines were considered the

most hazardous in the world, according to WorkSafeBC. Today the organization’s officers conduct more than 40,000 workplace inspections a year. WorkSafeBC is taking a more risk-based, data-driven approach to identify and focus attention on industries with the highest rates of serious injury, and is pursuing health and safety initiatives in areas like oil and gas, fishing and agriculture, Naser explains. On the other hand, she observes, employ ment is evolv ing away from a traditional industrial model. This creates new challenges, from changing health and safety risks to a growing focus on work-related mental illness and issues such as bullying and harassment. As workforces become increasingly diverse, there’s a need for services that respect cultural and language differences, as well as for educating employees about their rights. Older workers sustain different kinds of injuries and tend to have more complex recoveries. Employment relationships are also changing: employees often have flexible arrangements through contract or freelance work that may involve several firms. WorkSafeBC must keep pace with the times, Naser says. “To be truly innovative, I believe we need to collaborate effectively with all of our stakeholders: workers, unions, employers, industry associations and other safety organizations.”  JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 85

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ALL-STARS West Fraser Timber Co.

Woodn’t It Be Nice?

Ted Seraphim may be leaving B.C.’s largest forestry company by revenue after 22 years, but he thinks the Top 100 mainstay still has room to grow b y N a t h a n C a d d e l l

D

espite having

spent a good chunk of his career with Vancouver-based West Fraser Timber Co., Ted Seraphim calls himself a “shorttermer.” That’s because after six years in the CEO chair, he’ll be retiring this summer. The man Seraphim succeeded—Henry (Hank) Ketcham, the son of Pete Ketcham, who started the company with his two brothers in Quesnel back in 1955—held the position for 28 years. Still, Seraphim has seen plenty of changes since he moved to the forestry products outfit as vicepresident, pulp and paper sales, in 1997. The UBC commerce grad and CPA had about a dozen years’ experience in forestry with nowdefunct Fletcher Challenge Canada before joining West Fraser. The latter was still mostly a B.C. company then, with a few interests in Alberta and about 3,000 employees. The business he will leave behind— No. 6 on the Top 100 list, with revenue of more than $6 billion in 2018—has 47 mills between B.C., Alberta and the southern U.S., and just under 9,000 staff. “I joined the industry because I love B.C. and wanted to make my career here,” says Seraphim, who came to the province from Montreal at age nine. “As a British Columbian, I think it’s pretty impressive that the two largest lumber companies in the world, West Fraser and Canfor, are based in B.C. We’ve really grown, but our bases are still in B.C.” At the same time, he notes that it’s tough to see the B.C. industry’s expansion continuing as it has. That’s why West Fraser has diversified and will keep doing so: at

21, the company’s U.S. mills almost double those in its home province. “We’re dealing with the mountain pine beetle issue, and the industry’s going to get smaller in B.C.,” Seraphim says. “We see more growth opportunities in

the southern U.S. because that industry’s quite fragmented—many small owners and not too many large companies. We’re actually the largest lumber producer in the U.S. South.” West Fraser has mills in eight U.S. states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, and Texas), and Seraphim has publicly said that President Donald Trump’s tariffs haven’t harmed the company’s stateside work. He’s more concerned with the pine beetle wreckage, plus the wildfires that have curtailed B.C. and Alberta operations. But he

also recognizes that the industry is cyclical. “Last year it was really strong, and this year it’s quite poor,” Seraphim says of forestry in general. “We try very hard to be low-cost, and when you’re in a business with tough down cycles, being lowcost is important. We don’t take on too much debt, so we can manage through the downturn.” West Fraser’s sawmills are probably the world’s most technically advanced, he adds. “We invest a lot of capital in our mills.” That goes for B.C., too, he insists, even with the somewhat unfavourable outlook: “We’ve been able to make enough money throughout the company so that we could reinvest in B.C. in the hard times,” says Seraphim of the $600 million or so the company has allocated to the province over the past five years. “And we know that good times will eventually come again in B.C. We’ve been at this for almost 65 years; we just know we’re going through a very hard period now.” Of course, that’s not really his problem anymore. Current president and COO Ray Ferris—who’s been with the company about as long as Seraphim—is taking over the reins as CEO. Although Seraphim will stay connected to the Vancouver business world as a board member of Finning International (see p.83), he’s excited to explore his home province. “I’ve spent most of my career travelling, almost 35 years of constant travel; I think it’s time to step back and enjoy life outside of work,” he says. “I’m still going to travel a little bit, but I want that travel to be in B.C. I want to enjoy the province a little more.”  JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 87

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SPARKS FLY BID Group is a one-stop shop for companies in the forestry sector

Successful Bid

Prince George–based forestry services provider BID Group has climbed up the Top 100 in recent years, powered by a flurry of acquisitions by NATHAN CADDELL

PHOTOS COURTESY OF BID GROUP

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ID Group made its Top 100 debut

last year, at No. 87. The company has proven that wasn’t a fluke. This time around, BID —a turnkey supplier to the wood-processing industry—moves all the way up to 70th. Its 75-percent revenue jump, to $700 million, is the fourth-highest such gain on our list. What’s the secret to BID’s recent success? Well, though the company was launched in 1983 by the family of chair emeritus Brian Fehr and became known for providing a wide range of services to the forest products industry, 2006 marks the beginning of its steady rise. That’s when BID turned toward strategic acquisitions aimed at diversifying its offerings, starting with DelTech Manufacturing, JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 89

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“Unlike others, we don’t really have a structured corporate office. Basically, our geographic footprint is wherever you see trees grow”

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—Steven Hofer, senior vice-president, operations, BID Group

“hit the ground running right away, versus trying to figure out what we’re going to do with the asset,” Hofer explains. That’s made a big difference in the way BID operates, but also in how it’s seen from the outside. “We’re now known as the go-to provider for system controls and optimization, and our turnkey solution offering is a major differentiator between BID and any of our competitors,” says Hofer of the services the company provides for the forestry industry, which include engineering, project management, installation, startup and aftersales support. It’s no secret that many B.C. wood products companies have gone through tough times in the province lately, mostly thanks to wildfires and the mountain pine beetle. “You can see it in the financial results of West Fraser and Canfor and Interfor that running sawmills in B.C. is a difficult business today,” Hofer says. Still, BID keeps moving the needle. Or, rather, the wheelbarrow. ■

PHOTOGRAPHY BY TANEANE TWELE

GET THE LATEST BUSINESS NEWS DIRECTLY TO YOUR DOORSTEP

a Prince George– headquartered specialist in forestry energy solutions. Such takeovers have only become more of a priority in the past 10 years. It’s fun to imagine Fehr and president and CEO Alistair Cook as players on a Monopoly board gobbling up properties— you’d have to imagine they’d be the wheelbarrow, right?—but things are a little more complicated. The company prides itself on smart, timely moves. One of those (and probably the biggest in its history, though privately held BID doesn’t disclose deal terms) was the takeover of Comact, a Quebecbased designer and manufacturer of woodprocessing equipment, in 2013. There have been a host of acquisitions since, including three purchases last year alone. Steven Hofer, senior vice-president, operations, describes BID as a very lean organization. “Unlike others, we really don’t have a structured corporate office,” says Hofer, who works out of Bellingham, Washington. “Basically, our geographic footprint is wherever you see trees grow.” To that end, the company has regional offices in Prince George (where it’s incorporated), Washington State, Montreal and South Carolina. Hofer estimates that about 35 percent of BID’s 1,800 employees are in the U.S. A couple of hundred ply their trade in B.C., with the balance in Quebec. That flexibility of location is a positive, but it also comes with hurdles, especially for a business that’s constantly buying new brands. “When you go through such a period of rapid growth and expansion, the real challenge and opportunity is around how well we have integrated our acquisitions,” Hofer says. “So we spend a lot of time developing that front-end integration plan to ensure that when we do an acquisition, we have a plan of how we’re going to integrate it into our company. It’s not just the equipment. It’s the people, it’s the systems, it’s the technology.” As a result, the company can

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McQuarrie


+ MCQUARRIE

Don’t Wait Until Something Goes Wrong

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Legal Risk Mitigation can save you thousands

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY TANEANE TWELE

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Doug Conolly and Dan Moseley head up McQuarrie’s Legal Risk Mitigation Team

L

ike waiting for the other shoe to drop, Doug Conolly and Dan Moseley, partners in the commercial litigation group at McQuarrie, have lost count of the people who launch or expand a business—but haven’t assessed how it could leave them vulnerable to legal problems. “It’s almost inevitable that down the road, we learn they’re embroiled in some kind of dispute—which in some cases goes to court and costs thousands of dollars,” Conolly says. Moseley adds, “Employee termination and human rights issues

he

are minefields, and such disputes can be particularly nasty—plus damaging to one’s reputation.” Even though business owners risk legal exposure from contracts, partnership agreements, compliance, and a host of other elements, they generally consult a lawyer only after something has gone wrong or when liability or conflict is imminent. That’s why McQuarrie has launched a new Legal Risk Mitigation (LRM) team, which spans multiple practice groups to provide a comprehensive view of one’s business. One way this team works with clients is by conducting a risk

audit that can uncover potential legal threats and formulate solutions. “An audit can be as simple as an hour-long conversation, if it’s the case of someone starting up a business,” says Moseley. “The process becomes more involved with established companies, but the point is by spending a few thousand dollars on this form of risk mitigation, you could be saving tens or hundreds of thousands in regulatory fees, contract expenses and legal fees.” Even if a client already has a legal department, McQuarrie can work with a client’s in-house counsel to ensure the company is compliant and operating with

lower risk. It does so by first identifying and quantifying the legal framework that applies to all business activities; then identifying non-compliance or risks and their potential impact; and finally applying policies, contract rewrites, consulting, and other strategies. Conolly stresses that at its essence, risk mitigation is far simpler than one might think. “Our mantra at McQuarrie is, ‘Get it in writing’,” he says. “This may sound obvious to anyone who has entered into a business arrangement, but many partnerships, joint ventures, corporations, and other ventures are undertaken without the proper documentation.” Even though the advantages of dealing with McQuarrie’s LRM team are numerous—including the fact that the Surrey-headquartered company is the largest full-service law firm outside of Vancouver— Moseley admits it’s still a challenge to persuade business owners to undertake risk mitigation when starting fresh or when everything is running as it should. But he points out that no owner operates in a vacuum, and it’s incumbent on business owners to mitigate risks—for the sake of staff, directors, shareholders, and the health of the business itself. “So I would urge entrepreneurs operating in any field, who haven’t already done so, to seek our advice before problems arise,” he says. And make risk mitigation an integral part of their business. ■ McQuarrie is a multi-practice, Surreybased law firm that serves the needs of businesses, individuals and institutions in the Lower Mainland and throughout B.C. McQuarrie Hunter LLP 15th Floor, Central CityTower, Suite 1500 13450 102nd Avenue, Surrey, BC V3T 5X3 604.581.7001 mcquarrie.com

Created by BCBusiness in partnership with McQuarrie

CA

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INDEX COMPANY

RANK 2018

7-Eleven Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alpha Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . American Hotel Income Properties REIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aquilini Investment Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aritzia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B2Gold Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC Housing Management Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC Hydro and Power Authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC Liquor Distribution Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Best Buy Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BID Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bosa Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . British Columbia Ferry Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . British Columbia Investment Management Corp. . . . . . . . . . . British Columbia Lottery Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Canaccord Genuity Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Canfor Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Canfor Pulp Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CanWel Building Materials Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capstone Mining Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carter Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Catalyst Paper Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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44 73 89 82 67 32 64 5 15 13 70 93 57 92 18 52 12 39 40 80 86 25

Charlwood Pacific Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . China Gold International Resources Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Coast Capital Savings Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Concert Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conifex Timber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Corix Group of Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Creation Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dueck Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eldorado Gold Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finning International . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . First Majestic Silver Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . First Quantum Minerals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FortisBC Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FortisBC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Futura Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gateway Casinos & Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GFS British Columbia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Goldcorp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Golden Boy Foods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Great Canadian Gaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H.Y. Louie Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hardwoods Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HSBC Bank Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Imperial Parking Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inland Kenworth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Insurance Corp. of British Columbia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

50 68 88 66 72 91 60 97 74 4 96 10 47 95 31 71 29 14 98 43 7 48 21 59 46 8

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Interfor Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jim Pattison Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kal Tire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ledcor Group of Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . London Drugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Longview Aviation Capital Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lululemon Athletica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Anthony Group of Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maxar Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mercer International . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Methanex Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Motion Industries (Canada) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mountain Equipment Co-op . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nature’s Path Foods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Northland Properties Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OpenRoad Auto Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oppenheimer Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pacific Blue Cross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paladin Group of Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pan American Silver Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Polygon Family of Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Powerex Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Premium Brands Holdings Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Providence Health Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

24 3 30 23 9 20 55 17 99 49 35 11 61 87 84 58 41 54 38 85 53 83 65 69 19 56

Raymond James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Seaspan Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Shato Holdings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Sierra Wireless . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 South Coast B. C. Transportation Authority (TransLink) . . . . . . 28 SSR Mining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Sunrise Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Super Save Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Taiga Building Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Teck Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Teekay Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Telus Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Timber Investments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Turquoise Hill Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Univar Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Vancouver Airport Authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Vancouver City Savings Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 VersaCold Logistics Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 West Fraser Timber Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Westcoast Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Western Forest Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100 Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Windset Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 WorkSafeBC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

A GREAT STEAK STARTS WITH A GREAT STEAK

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Burning questions AS B.C. BRACES FOR WHAT COULD BE ANOTHER RECORDBREAKING FIRE SEASON, THE FOREST INDUSTRY AND COMMUNITIES ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE DEVASTATION ARE SEEKING WAYS TO MAKE THE PROVINCE’S WOODLANDS MORE RESILIENT TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Erik Leslie remembers walking through the woods along the west

arm of Kootenay Lake in July 2017 and feeling the snap and pop of dry brush underfoot. “We had a wet fall, winter and spring, and then we didn’t get a drop of rain after June 15 until mid-August,” recalls Leslie, manager of the 11,300-hectare Harrop-Procter Community Forest near Nelson. At the time, he was halfway through implementation of a five-year pioneering climate change adaptive forest management strategy that emerged from the West Kootenay Climate Vulnerability and Resilience Project, a provincial government study of climate change impacts on the region. Of the three climate models the researchers used to forecast conditions, even the most optimistic scenario showed that by 2050, summers will be between 3 and 7 C warmer and 30-percent drier, resulting in a threefold increase in forest area burned on average. The study served as a call to action for forest management professionals like Leslie. /// b y A N D R E W F I N D L A Y /// p o r t r a i t b y K A R I M E D I G

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HOT MESS Harrop-Procter Community Forest manager Erik Leslie sees first-hand the effects of climate change

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WOODLOT WISDOM West Fraser Timber’s Jeff Mycock stands in a healthy logged forest, which combines open pockets with trees left growing around them

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The Harrop-Procter initiative is meant to be a climate change adaptation blueprint for land man-

agers. Largely funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, a non-profit that supports economic, environmental and social projects in the Columbia River region, it includes a range of forward-thinking forest management adaptations. Among them: forest fire fuel reduction, fire guard development, and replanting cut and burned areas with a mix of more fire-resistant species like Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and even deciduous trees with little commercial value, such as trembling aspen. Then on July 27, 2017, after six weeks of rainless, hot, drought-like conditions, lightning struck the HarropProcter watershed, putting the 600 residents of this ferry-access-only community on edge. “All of a sudden I was thrust into the frontlines of fire suppression,” says Leslie, who would spend two months fighting the resulting blaze. “It was like we were in the crosshairs of climate change.” By the end of September, a quarter of the watershed had gone up in flames in an inferno that consumed 3,000 hectares of forest. Similar scenes played out across B.C., from the Kootenays to Williams Lake. The 2017 fire season set new records, costing the province more than $500 million in suppression efforts and some 1.2 million hectares of burned forest and grasslands. Then came 2018, another recordbreaking season that swept across the province like a runaway train. By late August of that year, fires had consumed almost 1.3 million hectares, while more than 500 continued to burn. At times, Prince George, Port Alberni and other communities endured air quality that rivalled Beijing’s on a bad day.

Fighting fire with fire The obvious takeaway from these back-toback devastating seasons is that B.C. faces a future of increased forest fire frequency and intensity. But a growing number of land managers and foresters are starting to look beyond that truism by calling out another uncomfortable truth: conventional forestry has not only compounded the risk of forest fires, it also isn’t nearly dynamic enough to address climate change’s toll on forest health. “The question is, how are we managing our forests in light of climate change? I really don’t think we’re ahead of the game on this,” says Jeff Mycock, chief forester for B.C. operations with West Fraser Timber Co. B.C.’s biggest forestry company by revenue, West Fraser Timber (see p.87) employs more than 3,200 people in the province and owns close to 50 mills and plants throughout North America, BONNIE GRENON/THROUGHOUT TIME PHOTOGRAPHY

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“HOW ARE WE MANAGING OUR FORESTS IN LIGHT OF CLIMATE CHANGE? I REALLY DON’T THINK WE’RE AHEAD OF THE GAME ON THIS....THE PARAMOUNT MESSAGE IS WE NEED A CLIMATE- AND FIRERESILIENT FOREST RESOURCE” –Jeff Mycock, chief forester, B.C. operations, West Fraser Timber Co. including nine in the Cariboo that were directly hit by the 2017 and 2018 forest fire storms. “We are looking for ways to create more stability and resiliency in the forest resource and less wobble in the natural disturbance wheel,” Mycock says. The fire season of 2017 caused a major wobble. Roughly 1 million hectares of forest were impacted in the Cariboo region, which includes the Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House timber supply areas (TSAs). The annual allowable cut (AAC) in the Quesnel TSA will drop from its current 2.6 million cubic metres to 1.45 million in the next few years, according to an analysis by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. The B.C. government is still assessing losses from the 2018 season, but it estimates that as much as 300,000 hectares of the provincial timber harvesting land base could be affected, with undetermined impacts on the AAC. That’s why Quesnel-based Mycock’s immediate concern post-fire was keeping

mills supplied with timber. West Fraser has struggled to expedite recovery of firedamaged wood, he says, largely thanks to the unprecedented scale of the 2017 fires. The even larger burned area from 2018 has underscored the need to act fast to “change our management paradigm across all aspects of fire management, from preparedness to recovery,” Mycock explains. He has bigger-picture concerns these days, though. A lack of dynamic landscape silviculture regimes and decades of fire suppression in forest ecosystems that are naturally dependent on fire, combined with a lack of controlled burning in forest management practices, have resulted in an unnatural landscape susceptible to disease, pests and catastrophic high-intensity burns. For example, close to West Fraser’s core base of operations, the 1996 CaribooChilcotin Regional Land Use Plan designated about 460,000 hectares of Interior Douglas fir forest to be managed for mule deer winter range, leading to a harvesting reduction of as much as 30 percent in some places. At the same time, this conservation-based managed forest has been hit hard by insects. In 2017, the reported area impacted by Douglas fir bark beetle was 70,000 hectares, according to the Ministry of Forests. But that’s minuscule compared to the devastation caused by mountain pine beetles: some 730 million cubic metres of pine (equal to 730 million telephone poles), or 54 percent of the province’s merchantable pine, has been killed by this voracious insect, the Forests Ministry reports. Pests are a natural part of forest ecology, but it’s widely accepted that climate change and forest practices focused on putting out fires while not managing for landscape diversity have put our timber supply JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 97

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in a perilous position. That’s why Mycock believes it’s time to rethink how we manage the landscape by reintroducing fire and fire resilience, and implementing forest management regimes that include a more diverse range of species when possible, create firebreaks in some areas and maximize timber yield in others. Not just because the province can’t sustain the cost of $500-million fire seasons year after year; he thinks the long-term health of the forest sector and our communities depends on it. “The paramount message is BLAZING TRAIL that we need a climate- and fireForest fire smoke on resilient forest resource, and Mount Shanks in we currently don’t have it. We Kootenay National Park have been observing increasing forest mortality with a limited ability to act due to barriers created by the current regulatory Grey, black and dead regime, while at the same time watching the forest fire risk increase,” Mycock says. Last May, while the Interior recovered from “B.C.’s forest management approach has the previous summer’s fires and prepared evolved through static set-asides for the for 2018’s, the City of Quesnel, the Unimultiple values and interests on our pubversity of Northern British Columbia and lic land base.”

Up in Smoke B.C.’S FIVE WORST FIRE SEASONS SINCE 1950, BY SQUARE KILOMETRES BURNED 15,000

12,000

12,161

12,985*

9,000

8,560 6,000

4,831

3,000

0

1958

1961

3,692 2014

SOURCES: BC WILDFIRE SERVICE, CBC NEWS AS OF AUGUST 29, 2018

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2017

As of Aug. 29th, 2018

2018

the College of New Caledonia co-hosted the Future Forestry Think Tank. This gathering brought industry, government, funding organizations and research institutions around the same table to explore how Quesnel and its surrounding forests could be used as a model to seek ways to adapt forest management and address the challenges of climate change. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of forests to this community of about 10,000: eight local mills churn out everything from dimension lumber and plywood to oriented strand board (OSB). Quesnel lives and breathes through the vitality of the forest sector, but residents have seen the rolling plateau west of the city and the Fraser River decimated by fire and pests. “Basically, our message is that we are facing a very uncertain future in the forest industry if status quo forest practices remain in place,” says Mayor Bob Simpson, who was acclaimed last September to another four years in office and chairs the think tank. “We’re working on getting approval to use this land base as a pilot project for developing forest practices that build resiliency into the forests of the future. It might mean there is less commercial fibre available, but with the goal of creating a more stable and sustainable supply.” To add weight to their cause, Simpson and his colleagues enlisted advice from Paul Hessburg, an influential Washington State–based scientist with the United States Forest Service who specializes in climate JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 99

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change and forest health. Hessburg’s May 2017 TED Talk, “Why wildfires have gotten worse—and what we can do about it,” has been viewed more than a million times. Since the first meeting in 2018, Simpson says the group has made progress. In January, the City of Quesnel hired a full-time forestry initiatives manager who got to work on a plan aimed a fire-proofing the city and treating roughly 400 hectares of interface forests that abut communities. Rethinking forest management on a landscape level with ecological resilience at the core of all planning will require hard work and a longterm commitment. “We are in agreement that this is a conversation that has to happen,” Simpson says. “The alternative is grey, black and dead.” When contacted by BCBusiness, the Office of the Chief Forester said the ministry is taking the issue seriously and developing “guidance material on how to consider climate in land use decisions” through the Future Forests Ecosystem Initiative. In an email response, the office referred to the recently announced climate-based seed transfer guidelines and species selection tools “aimed at incorporating knowledge of changing climates and the need for forest adaptation” as an example of efforts being undertaken.

Throwing money on the fire However, government policy can be slow to adapt. Among industry professionals, there’s a sense of urgency today that didn’t exist five years ago. Still, it’s not like climate change and forest health is a new topic. In 2016, the then–BC Liberal provincial government created the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia (FESBC). As of this May, the FESBC had doled out $182 million to 174 projects across the province with a range of goals. Among them: improving low-value forests and supporting the use of fibre from damaged stands, enhancing wildlife habitat and preventing urban interface fires like the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park fire, which forced the evacuation of 27,000 people and destroyed 239 homes in Kelowna. Last September, the province also launched the Community Resiliency Investment program, which has a $60-million budget to help First Nations and local governments reduce fire risk around their communities. 100 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019

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Timber! AS A PROVINCE-WIDE EMPLOYER AND A SOURCE OF GOVERNMENT REVENUE, THE B.C. FORESTRY INDUSTRY PUTS UP SOME SOLID NUMBERS

140,000+ Forestry jobs in B.C.

40%+

Proportion of those jobs located in the Lower Mainland/ Southwest

1/5

Local jobs generated by forestry in the Cariboo, Northeast, and North Coast/ Nechako regions

$12.9 billion

Forestry’s direct, indirect and induced contribution to provincial GDP in 2016

$2.5 billion Provincial tax paid by the industry in 2016, versus roughly

$1.4 billion in federal tax

But in some ways, the funding is a drop in the bucket. Lori Daniels, a professor with UBC’s department of forest and conservation sciences, has estimated the cost of fireproofing 900,000 hectares of forest within a two-kilometre radius of B.C. communities at about $3.5 billion (more than twice the annual operating budget of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development).

As far back as 2010, the federal government gathered specialists from relevant agencies to produce the report Climate Change and Forest Management in Canada: Impacts, Adaptive Capacity and Adaptation Options, which highlighted the challenges facing land managers. “We’ve developed our institutions and polices over many decades based on the assumption of a static climate,” says Tim Williamson, a resource economist with the Canadian Forest Service who contributed to the study. “The impacts of climate change on forests have been recognized, but climate change hasn’t been formalized in forest policy and management tools.” Edmonton-based Williamson agrees with West Fraser’s Jeff Mycock that what’s needed is a much more dynamic and collaborative management approach. Yet dig deeper into forest policy and management in this era of climate change, and the complexity of the task quickly becomes evident. Tongli Wang, a research associate at UBC’s department of forest and conservation sciences and associate director of the Centre for Forest Conservation Genetics, says there’s a cruel irony when it comes to climate change and forest health. Forests have been singled out in the battle against global warming for their important carbon sequestering function, most recently at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. But rising temperatures are eroding their resilience in a big way. Wang’s research focuses on giving land managers and foresters tools to bolster forest resilience in a changing climate. For example, he’s working on more-refined models that provide climate data for specific locations that will in turn help in tree species selection. Wang is also assessing and cataloguing the status of more than 40 native tree species in B.C. “Forest genetic conservation is facing a serious challenge under climate change,” he says. “We need to assess [species’] protection status, assess their risk in future climates and develop genetic conservation strategies considering climate change.” For foresters like Mycock and Erik Leslie, the 2017 and 2018 forest fire seasons have put a big exclamation mark on the need for a provincewide paradigm shift in forest management. One thing’s for sure: a walk in the woods is much different now than it was before B.C.’s forests started feeling climate change strike like a match to an open gas can. ■

SOURCE: BRITISH COLUMBIA’S FOREST INDUSTRY AND THE REGIONAL ECONOMIES, PWC CANADA

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JUST FOR KICKS After work, Tancredi (left) and Iacchelli play for the North Shore Renegades

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On the Ball Workshop Performance Clinic owners and former pro soccer players Selenia Iacchelli and Melissa Tancredi still take the field by Felicity Stone

W

hat happens when two medical professionals meet on the soccer pitch? For chiropractor Melissa Tancredi and physiotherapist Selenia Iacchelli, the outcome was co-founding a Vancouver clinic. The pair first got together as members of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team in 2015, but they already knew each other by reputation. “The soccer world’s very small,

MELISSA RENWICK

BCB_July_2019.indb 105

especially on the national team,” Iacchelli explains. Tancredi says, “We’d heard of each other, and we’d talked and whatever, and then finally we met in Vancouver,” where the national team is based. The conversation bounces back and forth between Mel and Sel, as they refer to each other, like a verbal passing drill. Though Tancredi grew up in Ancaster, Ontario, and Iacchelli is from Edmonton,

they have a lot in common, including Italian heritage. Tancredi recalls, “When we first met, we were talking about our family, and she was like, Yeah, my dad’s from Ascoli Piceno, and I’m like, My dad’s from Ascoli Piceno.” “Tiniest town,” says Iacchelli. “Even Italians don’t know it.” “We’re kind of paisans,” remarks Tancredi. “We’re probably related.” Both got into soccer as children, joined provincial teams in their teens, attended American universities on sports scholarships and played professionally. A three-time Olympian, Tancredi graduated from Indiana’s University of Notre Dame in 2005 with a

Melissa Tancredi and Selenia Iacchelli launched the Workshop Performance Clinic at Vancouver’s East Georgia and Main streets in January, but they’d dreamed about it for years. “We always knew the exact clinic we wanted to build, and it’s because of our careers as athletes,” Iacchelli says. “We had a concept in our mind, and now to see it come to fruition is pretty amazing,” adds Tancredi. As well as chiropractic and physiotherapy, the six-member team offers registered massage and shockwave therapy, dry needling, and personal and sport-specific performance training. Clients range from elite and amateur athletes to parents with neck or back problems from carrying their kids.

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BCBUSINESS

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(quality time) BA in pre-medicine and anthropology. After being treated by a chiropractor for Achilles tendon problems in her senior year, she was so intrigued that she did her thesis on the subject and obtained her doctorate of chiropractic from Missouri’s Logan University in 2014. She began practising two years later, once she’d retired after competing in the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics. Inspired to become a physiotherapist because of treatment she’d received for numerous soccer injuries, Iacchelli got her master of physiotherapy from the University of Alberta in 2012, after graduating with a BSc in nutrition, exercise and health science from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. U.S. educational institutions that get federal funding are required to provide as much money for

women’s as men’s sports programs, “so you can just imagine our facilities and our equipment and the support we got,” Iachelli says. Tancredi credits her parents for encouraging her to go to school in the States. “My life would have been so different,” she observes. “At that time, that’s where the national teams were pulling from. That’s where the exposure was: you’re on TV, you’re all over the media.” Both now play soccer recreationally for the North Shore Renegades in the premier division of the Metro Women’s Soccer League. Iacchelli joined in 2015 and persuaded Tancredi to enlist two years later. “I waited a year [after retiring] and then, peer pressure,” Tancredi says. Tancredi is a striker, a position she had always played until tearing her anterior cruciate ligament right before college.

Although recruited as a forward, because the injury slowed her down she played her college career as a centre-back before gradually moving back up the field. By 2008, she was a striker again— her favourite position “by far,” she confirms. “Very glamorous.” Iacchelli is a midfielder. “I never changed positions,” she says. “I was always attacking-minded.” There are two practices a week, which they tend to skip, and a game on Sunday. “It’s recreational, but it’s not,” Iacchelli explains. “Everyone who plays in premier league has played soccer at a high level, whether a little bit professionally, in the Canadian college system or in the States. That’s why we get our fix—we love the game still, so it’s good enough to be competitive, but it’s not too much of a commitment.” 

AFTER HOURS

Play Time Bard on the Beach is in full swing, celebrating its 30th season. Shakespeare in Love, based on the original screenplay for the 1998 film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes, runs until September 18, and a Wild West interpretation of The Taming of the Shrew barrels along until September 21. All’s Well That Ends Well, set in India, ends August 11, followed by a modern version of Coriolanus until mid-September. Vanier Park, Vancouver Tickets start at $26; 50-percent discount for youth

The Beat Goes On For 40 years, the annual Kamloopa Powwow has celebrated the Secwepemc people’s culture and heritage. The colourful mix of storytelling, food, song and dance in traditional regalia attracts performers, craftspeople and spectators from all over North America. Dancers and drummers compete for thousands of dollars in prizes in categories that include Chicken, Fancy Feather, Fancy Shawl, Grass, Jingle and Traditional. Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Powwow Grounds, Kamloops; August 2-4 $10 per day, $20 weekend pass 

106 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019

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Creature Comforts From bowls to beds, dog and cat owners can pamper their pets with options designed and even made in B.C. by Felicity Stone

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Environmental planner Teresa Waddell launched ecoDaisy in 2012 to combine her passion for dogs with sustainability. Frustrated by how quickly her coonhound Daisy’s beds deteriorated, she set out to produce one from entirely upcycled materials. Her orthopedic beds are handmade in Cumberland on Vancouver Island, using brand-new pillow-top foam from major mattress manufacturers with a waterproof liner. The durable cover fabrics include luggage material and fleece from recycled pop bottles. Three sizes, online and at select pet stores, $90-$168

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In 1986, when Larraine Lamb’s vet suggested that raising her cat’s food dish might relieve its vomiting, she improvised with a dessert bowl on top of a plant pot. Two years later, she began producing raised stoneware dishes for friends and family in her White Rock garage.

Teckelklub (German for “dachshund club”) products have been designed and sewn in Vancouver since 1998. Unable to find waterproof jackets for his own dachshunds, company president Andrew Kurkowski started with dog coats. There are now 16 models, plus half a dozen beds and blankets, including the Soho Burrow Bed, but Kurkowski remains committed to manufacturing locally and not using PVC fabrics or environmentally unfriendly processes. Online and at select pet stores, beds $32-$110

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By 1992, Classy Cat and Dog Raised Dishes sales launched online. Now living in Ladysmith, Lamb has outsourced to a Taiwanese company that manufactures dinnerware for humans. The porcelain pedestal bowls come in four sizes and are certified free of cadmium and lead. Online, US$25$37; U.S.-made stoneware options are pricier

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Based in Halfmoon Bay on the Sunshine Coast, user experience/user interface designer Tina Ng and carpenter/signmaker Jeremie Laguette launched Howl & Home in late 2016. They create minimalist, functional pet furnishings, including boxes for storing poop bags, and plan to introduce dog beds, but their primary products are eating stands handcrafted from sustainable pine with bowls from a Halfmoon Bay ceramist. Online, $140-$240

Cloverdale resident Shalla Black has sewn since she was a kid, so when she couldn’t find collars and leashes to fit her dogs’ personalities, making her own was a natural solution. Given her experience in fashion retailing and as a veterinary assistant, the next logical step was going into business. Since 2012, Danes & Divas has been crafting dog harnesses, collars, leads and accessories from a broad range of fabrics and German-made hardware. Buckles can be engraved to ID the wearer without a jangly tag. Online, $9-$50, engraving extra

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Travelling in South America, cat lovers Jackson Cunningham and Vanessa Koo were appalled at how homeless felines were mistreated there. Then they adopted a rescue cat in Vancouver and discovered the ugliness of most cat furniture. The result: Tuft + Paw, launched in January 2017 near Railtown to provide attractive, environmentally conscious designs while helping homeless cats by donating items and funds to animal support organizations. The company started out reselling imported items but is now developing its own, with six in the works. The litterbox enclosure, which includes an integrated hidden shovel and hinged front for easy cleaning, is available this summer. Online, about $400 JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 109

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Buy Before You Fly With help from innovative retail and tech-enabled convenience, airport shopping raises its game by Charlene Rooke TERMINAL VELOCITY

Passing through Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) a few years ago left me agog at the retail therapy I’d been missing: an outlet of cheap-chic Dutch department store HEMA, a Suitsupply custom-tailoring shop and the Gall & Gall liquor store, where I scored a rare bottle of German Monkey 47 gin. Another terminal to shop: Melbourne (MEL), which recently debuted its elegant T2 Luxury zone, with a dozen premium stores from Armani and Bally to Ferragamo and Tiffany. BEST IN THE U.S.

USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards calls a postrenovation Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) its favourite spot for American airport shopping, with nods to Orlando (MCO), where Disney and Universal Studios stores mix with

HAVING A BALL Yves (left) and Sylvia Potvin at the El Cardonal golf course in Baja Mexico, where Yves got a hole-in-one

Lush Cosmetics and HarleyDavidson-themed boutiques; and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW), with airport firsts like an Estée Lauder Beauty Boutique and a combo Wall Street Journal– Starbucks store. In Canada, a top stop is Halifax Stanfield (YHZ), where the Liquid Assets store showcases the best of Nova Scotia’s local wine, beer, spirits and ciders. ROBO SHOP

Tech vending machines, like the Best Buy kiosks peddling headphones and Fitbits, are everywhere. Newer to airports are cosmetics vending units, such as the pink-canopied Benefit Cosmetics ones now in Canada, or the Sephora

TRAVEL WALLET Canadians are the ninth-highest-spending duty-free and travel-retail shoppers in the world, according to a recent survey by Swiss firm M1nd-set for Travel Retail Business, dropping US$100 to US$150 per visit (just a little more than Japanese consumers). Outspending us are travellers from: TOP: COURTESY OF YVES POTVIN

BCB_July_2019.indb 111

and Honest Co. boxes selling U.S. traveller lifelines. Uniqlo machine-dispenses wardrobe essentials at a dozen terminals, including Oakland (OAK), where lightweight down vests vend to Silicon Valley denizens. At some U.S. airports, old cigarette-style SouveNEAR machines offer local makers’ work, from handmade chocolates to jewelry and art. And if you find yourself in need of a drink on your travels, you could do worse than run into a Moët & Chandon vending machine like the one at the Pendry San Diego boutique hotel, which contains an interactive photo booth in addition to offering splits of champagne.

In the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts’ buzzing Blue Hat Bistro, coproprietor YVES POTVIN is foaming his own cappuccino. The food legend founded his global plant-protein empire from Vancouver, and since selling it in 2014, he’s now disrupting culinary education. “For us, the school was a way to get back to giving locally,” he says. But he still travels extensively: as his wife, PICA co-owner SYLVIA POTVIN, quips, “We travel for food.” Chicago, where one of their kids is in university, means Macauinspired cuisine at Fat Rice. A Burgundy wine journey, a Tanzania safari and “one of the best fish experiences we’ve ever had” at an ordinary-looking spot in Bukchon Hanok village in Seoul are among recent favourites. A big world map inside the cooking school has red pins stuck in locations where its alumni work. Aspirations for PICA are also globally inspired. West Coast culinary experiences take after exploits the Potvins had in Vietnam and Thailand. “We’re teaching students about entrepreneurship, too,” says the man who put veggie dogs on street carts everywhere. And also about community, through projects like helping Syrian refugees explore creating a catering business. That makes the Potvins’ day jobs akin to one big travel adventure. “When you travel, you discover the culture through food,” Yves says. “You interact with people, and you connect.” 

• China • South Korea • United Arab Emirates • Hong Kong • Brazil • Russia • U.K. • Switzerland

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+ GTEC HOLDINGS LTD.

Cannabis Economics The market is evolving, and it’s the premium product that’s most in demand

PHOTO COURTESY GTEC

GTEC uses purpose-built, indoor growing spaces and experienced staff

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any baby boomers clearly recall the days of the “dime bag” — a time when they typically had no idea where their cannabis came from, nor what kind of pesticides or growing methods were used, or even what strain they were purchasing. Today’s marijuana aficionados will tell you that not all cannabis is alike. Many local dispensaries and Health Canada “Licensed Producers” or LPs are selling mostly greenhouse-grown cannabis, cultivated rapidly for the highest possible yields by large-scale producers. Often, the supply of this product exceeds the demand. However, there is a new breed of conscientious grower that is producing small-batch, premium-quality, handtrimmed cannabis grown in purpose-built facilities. There’s an emerging demand in the marketplace for this premium-quality artisanal

Kelowna-based GTEC, a vertically integrated, socially conscious company operating across all major sectors of the country’s cannabis industry, is one of them. “The province used to be home to three companies targeting the premium indoor cannabis market, but they were all acquired by larger corporations,” explains Singhavon. “However, the big boys can’t produce the same premium quality because it needs to be grown in small batches under optimal conditions.” Singhavon says that when cannabis is produced indoors under stringent, controlled methods, it provides greater control over environmental variables, such as light, temperature, irrigation and nutrient levels — thus producing a bud that delivers superior visual appeal, flavour and aroma. “There is technology out there that calculates in real time issues such as the temperature of the plant, so if it gets too hot, it can be remotely dealt with,” Singhavon adds. “Within a very short time frame, GTEC Holdings has demonstrated our ability to produce, market and distribute a premium cannabis product with a robust sightline into future sales.” 

product, driven both by consumers looking for an affordable indulgence, as well as those seeking superior functionality associated with optimal cannabinoid and terpene profiles. The cannabis marketplace has already changed dramatically since Canada legalized recreational consumption in October 2018. More and more investors want to capitalize on its success. And its phenomenal popularity is only going to rise. According to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, the Canadian legal cannabis market is expected to reach $5.2 billion in sales by 2024. Discerning consumers can not only pick and choose which strains they prefer but also the growers they want to support. Norton Singhavon, founder and CEO of GTEC Holdings, says there is only a handful of growers in British Columbia dedicating themselves to offering consumers exceptional, high-quality, optimally cured, small-batch craft cannabis.

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(quality time) ABOUT TOWN with Paul Duchart

Face of Today Gala Dominion Building, 2017 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, May 11, 2019 Kasondra Cohen-Herrendorf celebrated the 10th anniversary of her Face of Today Foundation and launched the Cohen Centre for Social Enterprise at her family’s Dominion Building

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Survey Says...

Our unscientific poll of random partygoers at the bash THIS MONTH’S QUESTION:

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6

How do you support charities?

15% 10%

1. Craig Kielburger, co-founder, We Charity, outside the Cohen Centre for Social Enterprise, a sanctuary for at-risk 2. Marlene

55%

20%

youth in Vancouver providing access to fitness, nutrition and counselling, as well as music and art programs

Cohen, Cohen family matriarch; Kasondra Cohen-Herrendorf, founder, Face of Today; and Jacqui Cohen, president

3. Amanda Lau, committee member, Face of Today, and personal trainer, 4. Brent Davis, associate, ZLC Financial; and Sam Heller, executive director, Hillel BC 5. Justus Parmar, managing director, Fortuna Investments; and Elisia Friedman, market specialist, Tom Ford Beauty 6. Sean MacLachlan, manager, transaction advisory services, EY,

Attend fundraising events

and board member, Face of Today; Michelle Mills, athlete/trainer; Anna Nicol, UBC student; and Shane MacLachlan,

A mix

and CEO, Army & Navy Department Store

Better Bodies Health Solutions; and Steve Kipp, principal, Kipp Design + Build

associate, investment banking, Canaccord Genuity 

Direct contributions Volunteer

JULY/AUGUST 2019 BCBUSINESS 113

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6/5/19 6:26 PM


(quality time) IT’S A GOOD THING

As Far as the Eye Can See How a trip to Africa—and an indomitable spirit—helped Teara Fraser to launch a pioneering new airline by Matt O’Grady

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rowing up in northern B.C., Teara Fraser had a rather limited horizon. The family bounced from town to town, and her single mother from job to job (her Métis father died when she was three). Fraser left Quesnel for Vancouver at age 20—with no high school diploma, little money and even fewer prospects. “I said to myself, If I stay in this small town, with life the way it is, what possible opportunities can I make for myself?” Arriving in the big city, Fraser took on a variety of entry-level jobs as an administrative assistant and then became a Save-On-Foods clerk. Along the way, she had two kids, all on her own. The hand-to-mouth struggle grew more daunting. “When I look back, it’s hard to believe how you can make things happen,” says Fraser, founder and CEO of Iskwew Air, Canada’s first 100-percent Indigenouswoman-owned airline, from her home in Delta. One day, as she approached her 30th birthday, Fraser came upon a book while searching the self-help section of Chapters. “The book’s advice was to write yourself a list of the things you wanted to do in your life,” Fraser recalls. “The first thing I wrote was ‘Go to Africa.’ I’d never been anywhere.” She saved for almost a year, and then, in October 2001, took off for five weeks in

Africa (leaving her children, then two and seven, with family). It was there—on an aerial tour of the Okavango Delta in Botswana—that she realized she wanted to be a pilot: “I suddenly wanted to know everything about what was in the cockpit, to touch everything, to know how everything worked.” Within a year of returning to Vancouver, Fraser had obtained her commercial pilot’s licence. From there, her career took off. Fraser worked for a handful of small charter operators and piloted for Terracebased Hawk Air. By 2010, she had saved enough money to launch her first business, Kisik Aerial Survey. “At that point, I’d decided I’d made lots of sacrifices with my family, and I didn’t want to be away as much,” Fraser says. She ran Kisik for six years before selling the company in 2016. Fraser contemplated leaving the industry post-sale, but ultimately decided she still had fire in her belly. “When I look at Kisik and what made that succeed, I lead differently,” she says. “I build a place where people want to work, where people are invested.” This March, Iskwew Air made its inaugural flight out of YVR’s South Terminal. So far, the charter operation has been a modest affair—just one plane, a Piper Navajo, and four employees (including

FLYING HIGH Fraser’s Iskwew Air started operating out of YVR this year

Fraser and her daughter, Kiana Alexander)—though Fraser has ambitions to expand the focus and seize upon the burgeoning Indigenous tourism market. “People are interested in an authentic experience that connects them with the land and the history of that land,” she says. Iskwew is the Cree word for woman—and for Fraser, the time is right for female entrepreneurs: “The world needs more matriarchal leadership. More women in leadership. And leadership from an Indigenous world view, where our leaders are connected with what matters.” She tries to nurture that leadership through the Raven Institute, an organization she runs with Kiana to help develop teams and organizations from an Indigenous perspective. And as if those two enterprises weren’t enough, this spring Fraser launched Give Them Wings, a not-for-profit program that introduces Indigenous youth to potential careers in aviation. “What I want to be able to do is liberate possibilities for others, like I did for myself,” she says. For the next generation of Indigenous Canadians, she hopes, the sky will be the limit. ■

State of the Nations A 2018 survey of Indigenous business owners in B.C. by Vancity, done in partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, included these findings:

90%

MORE THAN OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS SAID THEIR OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL TO DATE, WITH

58% CALLING

THEM “EXTREMELY” OR “VERY” SUCCESSFUL

More than 40% said their business had clients in other Canadian provinces and territories during the past year, while 20% said they had clients outside Canada and the U.S.

B.C. ranks 2nd among the provinces (after Ontario) for number of self-employed Indigenous workers, accounting for 21% of the national total

INDIGENOUS TOURISM–RELATED BUSINESSES IN B.C. INCREASED 33% BETWEEN 2014 AND 2016

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©2 114 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2019

BCB_July_2019.indb 114

SOURCE: FIRST PEOPLES, FIRST BUSINESS: INDIGENOUS ENTREPRENEURS AND RECONCILIATION IN B.C.

6/5/19 6:26 PM


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Date: May 2019

Studio Docket: 31018319-5P

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Profile for Canada Wide Media

BCBusiness Top 100 - July/August 2019  

Our annual ranking of B.C.’s biggest companies by revenue features analysis of the forces and trends shaping the province’s business environ...

BCBusiness Top 100 - July/August 2019  

Our annual ranking of B.C.’s biggest companies by revenue features analysis of the forces and trends shaping the province’s business environ...