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October 2012

The New Marine Harvest Flexible Benefits Program

In This Issue The New Marine Harvest Flexible Benefits Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 A Healthy Commitment to Aquaculture. . . . . 2 Ronita Prasad: From one Island Paradise to Another. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Duck!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Doctor Islet Wins Sterling Cup with a 1.197 EFCR!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Thanks for the Quarter Century Lex!. . . . . . . 4 Paws for a Cause. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Career EXPO 2012. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Welcome Back, Big Tree Creek and Dalrymple hatcheries!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Port Hardy Processing’s future fish grader?. . 5 Trevor Linden is welcomed in Quatsino. . . . . 5 Fun times at 12th Annual BC Aquaculture Golf Tourney!. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Over $15,000 Raised for Charity – YahHoo!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Did you Know? A duck’s quack never echoes, and no one knows why.

Trivia time! What is the world’s largest employer? Answer on Page 4

Comments about this Newsletter?

Please email comments, articles and ideas to Ian Roberts, Communications Manager at

By Dean Dobrinsky, Human Resources Director

In August, I told you that change was coming to our benefit program. Today, I can tell you more.

Our new Flexible Benefits Program was designed to reflect the fact that we are all different and have unique benefit needs. Our new program will provide you with some flexibility to choose the coverage that best meets your needs, your family’s needs, as well as your budget. In developing our new Flexible Benefits Program, we reviewed our program against the benefits programs offered by our competitors, either in the local area or in the same industry. Our new Flexible Benefits Program: •

Is competitive in the market place,

Is cost-effective and financially sustainable over the long term,

Forms an important part of your total rewards package, and

Allows you to tailor your benefits coverage to fit your own and your family’s needs.

Our new Flexible Benefits Program was built for us, by us! One question that I have been asked a number of times is “Will going to Sun Life reduce my benefits that I have today”. The easiest answer to that is maybe, but it will be your choice. Under our new Flexible Benefits Program, everyone will receive the same Company-paid core benefits which provide

comprehensive coverage including Employee Basic Life Insurance, Employee Basic AD&D Insurance, Short Term Disability Insurance and Best Doctors Services. Long Term Disability Insurance is also part of the core benefits; however, you pay the premium for this coverage so that any disability benefits you may receive will not be subject to income tax. This is not a change as you have always paid this premium. You will have three options (Bronze, Silver and Gold) to choose from for your Extended Health Care and Dental benefits. This Silver option is essentially the plan that you have today. Bronze gives you less benefits and more credits, Gold provides significant increases to prescription eyewear and orthodontics, but you will pay extra for this plan. You will also have the opportunity to purchase additional optional coverage (Optional Life Insurance and Optional AD&D Insurance) for yourself and your family. The Company will provide you with flex credits to help pay for these benefits. . Now you will see (if you look closely enough at the plan) that there are some differences that are designed to help us control our costs. Which in the long run help us to ensure that the benefit plan is sustainable. 1. There will be a limit on the dispensing charge that a pharmacy can charge. At time of writing this we were finalizing the amount (est. $11.00) which is around the typical rate charged in Campbell River. 2. Requirement to go to generic prescription drugs first. Example; Today a doctor can continued on page 2

A Healthy Commitment to Aquaculture

Novartis Animal Health, Victoria, PEI By Ian Roberts

Every farmer knows the key to success is keeping your animal happy and healthy. So it’s comforting for fish farmers to know that millions of dollars are being invested into research and development for that very purpose. Novartis Animal Health Aqua business, a business unit of Novartis Animal Health, is doing its part to help ensure that as aquaculture grows worldwide, it helps protect the health of farm-raised seafood. Compared to terrestrial animal farming and companion animals (pets), the investment into bioscience for aquaculture species has been relatively small. But as aquaculture continues to grow, so does the investment into understanding the challenges and solutions for fish health. This commitment was recently showcased at an open house at Novartis’s expanded 20,000 square foot R&D facility in Victoria, Prince Edward Island. “The Novartis Animal Health Aqua business is fortunate to be able to draw from the critical capacity of both animal and human health divisions and advance aqua research 2

far beyond what could normally be achieved,” Jason Cleaversmith, Head of Novartis Aqua Health, PEI, explained at the open house in July. “The assistance of our larger company has helped advance our knowledge that not only provides effective aqua health products today, but will continue to underpin new products and technologies for the future.” This company has been a leader in the development of what we humans may take for granted, but fish certainly do not – vaccines. Vaccines are a success story for aquaculture and Novartis Animal Health continues to lead the way in developing this “highly effective preventive medicine”. In fact, salmon farmers in British Columbia (BC) are very aware of the benefit of vaccines. After the introduction of effective vaccines in the 1990s, fish health challenges have been drastically reduced. Curative medicine use has also decreased significantly – from 500 grams/tonne of salmon 15 years ago to less than 50 grams today. After a naturally occurring fish virus known as Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) had negatively affected a number of salmon farms in the mid 1990s and again in the early 2000s, Novartis responded quickly with a novel vaccine that helps provide farm-raised Atlantic salmon with protection. The APEXIHN® vaccine became available to salmon farmers in 2005 and Marine Harvest Canada was the first company to vaccinate 100% of its fish. In addition, Novartis Animal Health has developed new fish health management

tools such as “microdose” formulations and “nucleic acid” technology that further improve vaccine safety and effectiveness for fish. Given the importance of aquaculture to meet global demand for seafood and also reduce fishing pressure on wild fish stocks, it’s good to know that Novartis Animal Health is right there helping aquaculture continue its healthy growth. The New Marine Harvest Flexible Benefits Program continued from page 1 prescribe “Advil” (as an example), and the pharmacist will fill the prescription with “Advil” at $0.50/pill. On the new plan, ibuprofen is the generic of Advil, so the pharmacist will fill the prescription with ibuprofen at $0.11/pill. You get the same drug at a much lower cost to the plan. We have also improved certain areas: Short Term Disability plan to provide for 75% of your base wage for 17 weeks, an improvement from 60%. We have also improved the prescription eyewear levels. Increases for various accidental death and dismemberment situations (which we hopefully never have to deal with). In the coming weeks, we will be providing you with very specific details about the plan and the signup dates. Hopefully, once you get a chance to review the plan offerings you will be as excited about this new benefit plan as I am.

Ronita Prasad: From one Island Paradise to Another Ronita enjoys a variety of duties, including working the processing line and maintaining the plant’s strict cleanliness standards.

Ronita Prasad By Gina Forsyth

More than 5,000 miles from her native island country of Fiji, Ronita Prasad has built a fulfilling life on another island. As an employee of the Port Hardy Processing Plant on northern Vancouver Island for a decade,

“I love my job,” said Ronita. Her coworkers are a large part of why Ronita enjoys her work so much. She recalls the February 2003 fire at the processing plant and how everybody worked together to get the plant up and running again. “The teamwork was awesome”. She also appreciates the training opportunities at the plant, including the recent Brain Safe safety initiative and learning more about grading fish. Since 2010, Ronita has volunteered with the Canadian Cancer Society’s local Relay for Life, to help raise money to find a cure for


cancer. “I went door to door and before I knew it, it was 10 o’clock at night!” Ronita’s determination certainly paid off. When the results were in, she had raised $1,741 and landed in the Top 3 fundraisers for Port Hardy. Ronita and her family – made up of four brothers and one sister - moved to Vancouver when she was a baby. During her teens, Ronita lived in northern California, near San Francisco, completing high school in San Mateo. She made the move to Vancouver Island in 1987 after marrying Ron, who manages the Esso station in Port Hardy. They have two sons, aged 16 and 22.

Paws for a Cause

Marine Harvest Canada (MHC) was the proud title sponsor again this year for the 13th Annual Ducks Unlimited Golf Tournament held in September at Crown Isle Resort in Comox.

Fabian McCarty, Joel McGee, Dave Guhl and Gerry Burry are congratulated by Greg Sawchuck, Chairman of the Ducks Unlimited Comox Valley Chapter, for their 1st place finish

Despite the MHC foursome taking home top honours (again) this year, event organizer Barry McCombe says they are welcome back next year! Fabian McCarty also won the men’s longest drive after hitting a monster 290 yard drive into the wind. “As always the donations made to us by Marine Harvest are so very much appreciated, the monies going towards the maintenance of preservation of wetlands for our wildlife throughout Vancouver Island,” McCombe says.

Dave Ashcroft (centre left) and Isaac Desprez teamed up with SPCA volunteers Sheila (left) and Pam in support of our furry friends at the Paws for a Cause event

Marine Harvest barbequed salmon burgers were a big hit at the annual Paws for a Cause event held in Campbell River in support of the BC SPCA. MHC offered to double every donation for each salmon burger which resulted in a total of about $1200 for the SPCA. 3

Thanks for the Quarter Century Lex!

Friends of Lex gathered in September to celebrate her retirement

It’s rare nowadays for anyone to work at the same career and with the same company for a decade, let alone a quarter of a century. But for the past 25 years, Alexis Gagne has committed every working hour to a career that focused on fish processing and logistics. Lex was first hired by Dale Blackburn at Sea Farm Canada (eventually becoming Marine Harvest Canada) in January 1987 as a part-

time receptionist/secretary/bookkeeper, but “I never did work part-time,” Lex says with a chuckle.

Northern, to Walcan, to Brown’s Bay, to Englewood and now Port Hardy Processing Plant.

Back in 1987, Dalrymple hatchery was just being built and Soderman Cove farm site was already stocked with salmon. “When Soderman fish were ready for harvest, I followed them to Great Northern Processing in North Vancouver where they were processed,” Lex recalls, “and that was the beginning of my career in processing and logistics.”

“Wow, how things have changed!” Lex reflects.

As part of the team that developed the “Sterling” salmon brand, Lex is proud of the accomplishments made in producing a brand name that is known for its high standards. She also saw the start of the filleting program which initially started up at Aquatec Seafoods in Comox. From Great

Lex recalls many great people who mentored her along the way, including Blackburn and John Lawrie. “I’ve really enjoyed all the people I’ve met and worked with along the way and the good times that we’ve shared,” Lex says, proudly. “I think that is what I will miss most of all, the people.” So what does retirement look like for Lex? Simple, she says. Grandkids, gardening and “doing all those things I never got done while working!”

Doctor Islet Wins Sterling Cup with a 1.197 EFCR! Congratulations to the staff at Doctor Islet for achieving the lowest EFCR (economical feed conversion ratio) of the 2009 S0 / 2010 S1 year class. It has been eight years since a Broughton area farm site has won the cup, but Gordon Bach and his crew pulled it off this year! The area aims to keep it now that they have it, but there will be some stiff competition out there for the next win! L-R: Dave Emmerson, Len Wells (crouching down), Teddy Scheck, Gordon Bach, and Tom Teschuk. Missing from photo is Phil McLellan.


Answer: United States Department of Defense—as of August 2012

Welcome Back, Big Tree Creek and Dalrymple hatcheries! Marine Harvest is hosting an exhibit at the North Island Career Expo 2012 on October 26th – so drop by and say ‘hello’! It’s being held from 9-5 at the Port Hardy Civic Centre.

Just like a famous rap star who can’t decide on a name (P Daddy, Diddy, Doody?), Big Tree Creek and Dalrymple hatcheries have now settled on the original branding. The new (old) sign at Big Tree Creek hatchery was raised with celebration by staff in September.

Fun times at 12th Annual BC Aquaculture Golf Tourney!

Port Hardy Processing’s future fish grader? Welcome, Carter Steven Boguski-Grant, born July 7th, 2012 6lbs 1oz to proud parents Kadeem Boguski-Grant and Amber Wright and very proud grandparents Gary Boguski and Dev Grant.


Over $15,000 Raised for Charity – YahHoo! The Marine Harvest barbeque salmon event trailer was a real hit this summer. It was active at events in the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Port Hardy and Port McNeill and helped raise

over $15,000 for many worthy charities and societies. Much deserving thanks to all the hardworking MHC staff who volunteered their


time to set up, cook and/or serve and a very special thanks to each of the thousands of happy customers who enjoyed every yummy bite and kindly donated to each worthy cause.

Marine Harvest Canada Wharfside newsletter October 2012  

October 2012 issue of news and information about Marine Harvest Canada - a salmon aquaculture company in British Columbia, Canada.