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Pacific BioEnergy Corporation Signs Agreement With Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation RINCE GEORGE – What others saw as merely waste and industrial refuse, the visionaries who founded wood pellet manufacturer Pacific BioEnergy Corporation (PBEC) saw as an untapped opportunity. Today, thanks to a partnership arrangement with one of Japan’s most diversified and innovative corporations, this nearly 25 year old company will have the means to expand both its production and its marketplace for this innovative and increasingly in demand product. “In 1994 John Swan founded this company after recognizing the steps that were being taken in Sweden where they understood that fiber, wood fiber is a very high energy product. The world essentially ran on wood until they introduced coal in the 18th century. He began using the waste from the sawmilling industry to produce wood pellets – essentially starting the wood pellet industry,” explained Don Steele the Chairman and Chief

Executive Officer (CEO) of Pacific BioEnergy. “Today an international demand for this product has been established and our company was the first to take wood pellets and ship them internationally,

that was back in 1998. That first year we shipped about 10,000 tonnes from British Columbia to Sweden – essentially taking compressed sawdust and selling it to an international market. That was really the start of our

company’s growth.” Now serving a marketplace that spans Europe and all across Asia, PBEC sells more than 550,000 tonnes of its sought-after product SEE PACIFIC BIOENERGY  |  PAGE 16

Fairview Container Terminal Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary DP World Canada Is The Operator Of The Recently Expanded Container Terminal BY DAVID HOLMES

Canadian Publications Mail Acct.: 40069240

Don Steele (inset) is the Chairman and CEO of the Prince George based Pacific BioEnergy Corporation


RINCE RUPERT – A gateway to the world, a triumph of design and operational efficiency and a complex designed for the increasing demands of tomorrow, the Port of Prince Rupert’s Fairview Container Terminal recently marked its 10th anniversary – and as far as

the operators of the facility are concerned, they’re just getting started! “General port activity in Prince Rupert is obviously a major economic driver in the region, but specifically the Fairview Container Terminal has experienced very strong growth over the last 10 years. It is one of the fastest growing container terminals in North America and it’s a facility

that provides a lot of jobs in the community,” explained Brian Friesen, the Port of Prince Rupert’s Marketing Manager. Operated by DP World Canada, the Fairview Container Terminal received its first container vessel on October 31, 2007, and since then has become one of the key points of embarkation for goods coming into and out of the province from foreign ports, primarily

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those in Asia. The increasing demand for the services of the facility was the catalyst for a major expansion effort that wrapped up over the summer after more than two years of work. The so-called “Phase 2 North” expansion project increased the port’s yearly throughput capacity from 850,000 to 1.35 million TEU SEE FAIRVIEW  |  PAGE 7


2 NORTHERN BC Steady As She Goes In Northern BC The BC Northern Real Estate Board reports 3878 properties worth $1 billion sold through the Multiple Listing Service in the first nine months of 2017. At this time last year, 3834 properties worth $973.2 million had changed hands. As of September 30th, there were 4148 properties of all types available for sale through the MLS, down from 4519 properties at the end of September last year. “In many of the communities, sales statistics for the 3rd quarter are looking very similar to what we saw in 2016,” commented BCNREB President John Evans. In the Northern Region of the Board, sales activity in Fort St John is up over last year, and the number of active listings is down slightly. Recent seasonal layoffs at the Site C Dam have not yet shown an effect on the market. Work continues on many of the pipeline projects. In Fort Nelson, the sales have increased and the listings have slightly decreased. In the West, Prince Rupert sales and sales-dollar volume have increased slightly. Kitimat’s sales are slightly lower and inventory is down from last year. Sales and number of listings in Terrace have dropped only slightly this year compared to last year. In

Smithers, both sales and number of listings have risen, though there is still a supply crunch in residential detached housing. Overall, Smithers has seen steady demand throughout the year. In the South, Williams Lake had relatively no change in sales activity when compared to last September, though the number of listings coming onto the market has gone down slightly. 100 Mile House had a decrease in sales and number of listings year-over-year. In Prince George, there was an increase in sales activity and average sale price. There was no change in number of listings when compared to September 2016. Inventory is limited for residential detached houses.

QUESNEL Wildfire Economic Recovery Team Announced The City of Quesnel has recently announced that the Wildfire Economic Recovery Team is in place and ready to work. The team met today to review roles and begin planning their work in the months ahead. Their mandate is to determine the economic impacts of the wildfires on the North Cariboo, and to develop and begin early implementation of a plan for recovery. The North Cariboo team will be based in Quesnel but will



be tackling the impacts of the North Cariboo sub-region and will be travelling to outlying communities. Recovery funding has been provided by the Province of British Columbia to each sub-region and to the Cariboo Regional District, with each local government determining how to best utilize their funds. Recovery Managers in each sub-region will connect regularly to share their learning and approaches to recovery. An office will be set up in the new Spirit Centre at 246 St. Laurent Street in the coming weeks, providing a base for the team, and a location for people to access information about recovery efforts.

PRINCE GEORGE UNBC Places Second in Maclean’s University Rankings T he University of Northern British Columbia maintained its status among the top universities of its size in Canada, according to the latest rankings compiled by Maclean’s magazine. UNBC placed second in the Primarily Undergraduate category that includes 19 universities, marking the 10th straight year UNBC has finished in the top three. Mount Allison finished f i rst i n t he P r i m a r i ly


Undergraduate category followed by UNBC and Trent. “Sustaining this level of excellence requires the combined strengths of our faculty, students, staff, alumni, donors and supporters, working together to continually enhance the quality of our academic programming and research culture,” says UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks. “This ranking is another demonstration of how UNBC is inspiring next-generation leaders who are creating local solutions with global impact.” UNBC placed first in three of the 14 categories surveyed by Maclean’s, including the number of students who have won national awards. UNBC also received top grades in two categories devoted to how the university allocates resources, including the percentage of the library budget devoted to new acquisitions. UNBC excelled in the student to faculty ratio, the number of faculty members winning national awards and the amount of social science and humanities grants received. In the student satisfaction survey, Maclean’s once again gave UNBC top marks for the mental health services available on campus. Students also gave high marks to UNBC’s administrative staff, academic advising staff and the experiential learning opportunities. UNBC made gains in the national reputational survey of


university faculty and senior administrators, high school guidance counsellors and business people. “UNBC continues to educate, innovate and lead in Northern British Columbia, across the country and around the world,” says UNBC Board of Governors Chair Tracey Wolsey. “UNBC has repeatedly placed at, or near, the top of the Maclean’s rankings, a testament to the hard work and commitment of the entire UNBC family.” UNBC placed first in the Primarily Undergraduate category the past two years. Simon Fraser placed first in the Comprehensive list and McGill maintained its top ranking in the Medical Doctoral category.

PRINCE GEORGE Construction To Begin On New Bridge At Cottonwood Nature lovers and admirers of Prince George’s parks and green spaces will be the beneficiaries of a new foot bridge in Cottonwood Island Park. The City of Prince George has contracted the services of Nahanni Construction Ltd for the design and construction of a new bridge to replace the previous structure, which was washed away during the ice jam in the winter of 2007/2008.










“Prince George residents h ig h ly va lue t hei r city parks, particularly destination parks like Cottonwood,” says Engineering Assistant Michael le Morvan. “Replacing this bridge has been on our to-do list for a long time so we would like to thank residents for their patience and Council for providing the means to undertake the operation this year.” Construction will begin this month and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2018. The bridge will feature parallel, fabricated structural steel supports with a wooden deck and will be located in the northwest end of the park. Construction had to wait until the fall when water levels are low enough to allow the work to move forward. T he project budget is $369,000.

BC Partnership Brings High-Performance Building Education To Northeastern BC A partnership between industry groups, municipalities and First Nations is bringing outreach

and education about high-performance buildings to northeastern BC communities. Passive House Canada, the Real Estate Foundation of BC, the City of Fort St. John, the West Moberly First Nations, and the Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George have joined forces to provide courses and events for the public and construction industry about the Passive House high-performance building standard to northeastern BC communities. The Passive House Standard is the world’s most energy-efficient building standard. It requires up to 90 per cent less energy for heating or cooling, and leaves buildings comfortable and healthy throughout the year, regardless of the weather outside. Because the buildings are built to last, their maintenance and operating costs remain low over the long term. “P rojects a rou nd t he world show these buildings use so little energy and require so little maintenance, they end up costing significantly less than ot her bu i ld i ngs, wh i le also maintaining occupants’ comfort,” says Passive House Canada CEO

Rob Bernhardt. “Passive House Canada is excited to be working with our partners to bring courses and events to northeastern BC to show residents and communities how they, too, can benefit from Passive House buildings.” British Columbia’s new E nerg y Step Co d e a nd Ca nada’s new nationa l buildings strategy aim to make high-performance, energy-efficient buildings the norm by 2030. Dozens of Passive House buildings are currently in design or construction in British Columbia. Passive House projects in northeastern BC include the Fort St. John Passive House, the Doig River Community Church, and the West Mob erly F i rst Nat ion s Health Station. In addition, high-performance buildings are being planned to provide rental and subsidized housing units in the Fraser–Fort George Region. Passive House courses and events will take place during the coming months, and will focus on the benefits of these buildings to residents and communities. They will be offered to northeastern BC residents for $50, at special discount of nearly a $300 discount.



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n September 2017, Prince G eorge’s u nemploy ment rate was 5.7 per cent, a decrease of 0.4 per cent when

compared to the same month in 2016 when it was 6.1 per cent. T he unemployment rate was higher than the provincial rate of 4.9 per cent but lower than the national rate of 6.2 per cent. Prince George’s employment rate in September 2017 was 68.1 per cent, an increase from the same month last year when it

was 66.5 per cent. The employment rate was higher than the national rate of 61.6 per cent and British Columbia’s 62.0 per cent. To t a l e m p l o y m e n t i n t h e Cariboo Economic Development reg ion was 83,300 for September 2017. T his represented a net increase of 500 jobs

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when compared to the previous month. Both Wood Product Manufacturing and Paper Manufacturing saw the highest increases, adding 400 jobs. The highest decrease in jobs occurred in Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Rental and Leasing, with a decrease of 300 jobs. ••• 17 newly constructed single detached houses were sold in Prince George in September 2017 with an average sale price of $391,119. This is in comparison to 13  newly constr ucted si ngle detached houses sold in September 2016 at an average price of $453,084. All new housing sold were single family dwellings.  Home sales in Northern BC totaled 410 units in September 2017, an increase of 7.9 per cent from September 2016. The average price of homes sold in Northern BC was $262,345 in September 2017, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from September 2016. The dollar value of home sales totaled $107.6 million, up 7.6 per cent from the same month last year. ••• T here were 49 (18 SFDs, 31 multiples) total housing starts in Prince George during September 2017, compared to 21 (19 SFDs, 2 multiples) in September 2016. T here were 11 completions in September 2017, while September 2016 had 15. Across BC, housing starts decreased by 17.9 per cent, from 3,982 (1,118 SFDs) in September 2016 to 3,266 (1,116 SFDs) in September 2017. The total number of completions in BC i ncrea sed by 3 4.6 per cent, from 2,221 (819 SFDs) in Septe m b e r 2 016 to 2 ,9 9 0 (92 4 SFDs) in September 2017. ••• T he City of P ri nce G eorge issued 46 building permits valued at $8.42 million in September 2017, including $7.61 million in residential permits and $0.81 million in commercial permits; there were no industrial or institutional permits. This is a 55 per cent increase over September 2016 when 46 permits were issued at a value of $18.77 million. ••• The City of Prince George received 29 new business license applications and 4 renewal applications in September 2017. ••• 4 0,591 p a s s e n ge rs m o v e d t h rou g h t he P r i nc e G e orge International Airport in September 2017. This is an increase of 7.2 per cent over September 2016 when passenger volume was 37,911. Joanna Johnston is the Business Development Officer with Prince George



Star Candidate Watts Brightens Free Enterprise Prospects Celebrated Three-Time Surrey Mayor Enjoying Status As BC Liberal “outsider” BY MARK MACDONALD BUSINESS EXAMINER


he last time the BC Liberals went searching for a new leader, someone from the “outside” the party took the helm: Christy Clark, who led t he f ree enter pr i se coalition to a surprise victory over the NDP in the 2013 provincial election. Could it happen again? Three t i m e S u r re y M a yo r D i a n ne Watts and a lot of other people hop e so, b el iev i n g t h at her leadership of the BC Liberals c ou ld d i re c t ly ch a n ge outcomes i n her ow n backya rd, Surrey, which could mean certain defeat for the NDP-Green coalition. Wat ts i s u sed to w i n n i ng. She followed three productive ter m s a s M ayor of S u rrey w it h a v ictor y i n Sout h Surrey-White Rock in the last federal election, recently resigning as a Member of Parliament to contest the provincial leadership. Watts acknowledges that not being involved with the last BC Liberal government is positive. “It helps. I watched and saw the same thing all British Columbia saw – a party that had

Dianne Watts lost its ability to listen to British Columbians,” she says. “I enjoyed my work in Ottawa, b ut s e e i n g t h e B C L i b e ra l s lose 11 seats, 10 in the Lower Mainland, I knew that the best thing I could do was come home to BC and work to defeat this unstable coalition that is now governing our province.” Watts has 21 years of public service as an elected official on her resume, and her family has been in the manufacturing business for over 35 years. She was CEO of a Health Tech In novation Fou ndation a nd

Former Surrey Mayor and MP Dianne Watts on the BC Leadership campaign trail worked in the private sector for many years before deciding to run for public office. As someone that didn’t participate in the recent rend ition of the BC Liberals, Watts is viewed to have the best opportunity to restore a pro-business outlook to the provincial government. “I wa sn’t pa r t of t he l a s t BC Liberal government and I can tell you that as I’ve been

traveling across BC since declaring my leadership candidacy, I’ve heard over and over that British Columbians want a new voice and a new vision for our province,” she says. “I think that I can bring that new vision to our party.” Watts’ public service record is filled with accomplishments, i nclud i n g b ei n g n a me d t he fourth best mayor in the world by the UK-based City Mayor’s Foundation. As Mayor of Surrey, Watts led her Surrey First team to decisive electoral victories, including her last, which saw her earn 84 per cent of the mayoral vote. Under Watts, Surrey had the lowest residential tax rates and lowest business taxes in Metro Vancouver, with the city being named “best place in B.C. to invest” four years in a row. Surrey didn’t have a recess ion , wh ic h t h e re s t of t h e province and country endured following 2008, due in large part to policies Watts’ team implemented. “In Surrey I worked very hard to bring together a coalition of people from all parts of the political spectrum to work towards a common goal, to create a g reat city,” she states.

“We ach ieved it by work i ng together and bringing a common-sense approach to governing our city.” T h at i ncluded creat i ng a n E conom ic I nvest ment Z one that stabilized investor uncertainty, bringing forward a Capital Infrastructure Program and partnering with other levels of government to take advantage of the stimulus program. “We got things done, and we incentivized investment,” she adds. “I believe in government you lead by example, so we invested in the areas that needed investment – whether it was the new city centre, policing, infrastructure and our youth.” Wa t t s h a s b e e n t ra v e l i n g across the prov i nce sha ri ng her vision for what she’d do if elected Premier. “ I h a v e b e e n l i s te n i n g to British Columbians across our province and I know that people want to be heard and want to be part of a New Vision for British Columbia,” she states. “They want a leader who will use a common-sense approach to the issues facing our province and create an environment that will foster investment.” T he BC L ibera l leadersh ip vote is February 1-3, 2018.

YELLOW CEDAR LODGE RECENTLY WON THE TERRACE CHAMBER’S TOP HOSPITALITY AWARD “We’re told it’s a chance for them to step away from the pressures of their job and to take it easy for a little while.”

Rustic Lodge Increasingly Serving The Business Community


ER R ACE – Already the destination of choice for regional visitors, outdoor enthusiasts and winter time heliskiers, the award winning Yellow Cedar Lodge is also quickly becoming the right choice for workshops and business retreats. While the Lodge has Internet access, located as it is in a secluded 30 acre wooded setting with dramatic views of the majestic Skeena River, it offers the perfect mix of amenities and remoteness to appeal to those who might opt to un-plug and then get down to business. “Increasingly we have a lot of companies coming out here to take part in retreats, dinner events, small workshops and activities of that nature,” explained the Lodge’s owner Simone Mattner. “For example people can come to town for work but they stay here, just to be away from their obligations and unwind. We also often host group events for businesses. These groups can have dinner, socialize afterward and just relax. We’re told it’s a chance for them to step away from the


Simone Mattner (inset) is the owner of the award winning Yellow Cedar Lodge which first opened in 2002 pressures of their job and to take it easy for a little while.” The winner of the Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce 2017 Business Excellence Award’s Tourism & Hospitality Excellence Award – the Yellow Cedar Lodge was originally opened in 2002 by Nikolaus Mattner, father of the current owner, as a small, rustic fishing lodge. But over the years the facility has evolved and expanded, with its now nearly legendary food and idyllic setting appealing to an ever wider and more diverse audience. One key ingredient in the evolution of the Yellow Cedar Lodge from a sportsman’s destination to a more sophisticated Bed and Breakfast type operation is its

extraordinary cuisine, thanks to the efforts of Red Seal Chef Kimberly Dignard. With the able skills of her relief chef Manuela Geier, the Yellow Cedar Lodge’s dining room has become a favourite haunt for Terrace area foodies. Noted for the excellence of its wine and food pairings, with all of its seafood options certified ocean-friendly by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program, the Yellow Cedar Lodge appeals equally to the palette of its guests as much as its secluded setting attracts those in need of a rustic retreat. The Lodge is the perfect meeting of elegance and the great outdoors in one cedar timbered package. With only 11 comfortable guest

Yellow Cedar Lodge won the 2017 Business Excellence Award’s Tourism & Hospitality Excellence Award

The Yellow Cedar Lodge is becoming widely known for the exceptional quality and variety of its cuisine rooms the Yellow Cedar Lodge never feels crowded, and if Nature beckons the banks of the flowing Skeena and the carefully manicured grounds are right at its guest’s doorstep. The

Yellow Cedar Lodge, an award winning hospitality destination, has grown and adapted over the years to satisfy the tastes and needs of its evolving clientele. “The dining room can be used for larger functions, while there are other smaller spots around the lodge. If visitors want to split up into little groups there are places for them to go. If the weather is nice our gazebo is also available for outdoor gatherings, so there are plenty of options,” Mattner explained.





RINCE GEORGE – Starting out as a basic welding shop more than half a century ago, Northern Dynamic Metalworks Ltd. has grown and expanded over the decades and today, thanks to having access to the latest in metalworking technology, continues to play a leading role in the region’s custom fabrication sector.

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“One of the things that sets our shop apart from most others is our state of the art water jet system.” STEPHANIE ARP OFFICE MANAGER, NORTHERN DYNAMIC METALWORKS

“One of the things that sets our shop apart from most others is our state of the art water jet system. We’re the only ones in Northern BC to have a system like this,” explained Stephanie Arp, Northern Dynamics Office Manager. Using streams of water under extreme pressure (up to 90,000 PSI), coupled with an abrasive particulate, this computerized cutting technology can slice through materials as thick as eight inches – leaving cuts that a re smooth a nd w ithout the scorching or discoloring other methods can produce. The water jet’s computerized controls also allow for the same cuts to be made time and time again with precision – making it the ideal tool when producing multiple copies of the same item. The water jet can be used to cut a variety of materials with equal ease, from all forms of metals to stone, plastic, foam and even leather.

The staff at Northern Dynamic Metalworks has the skills, training and experience to handle any fabrication job Stephanie Arp checks out Northern Dynamic Metalworks water jet cutting system which can cut virtually any material Currently located in a 20,000 square foot shop and office space at 5078 Hart Highway, Northern Dynamic Metalworks opened for business in 1965, with Herb Millar, one of the company’s original founders its present owner. Self-described as a one stop fabrication shop, Northern Dynamics is routinely involved in metalworking projects of all sizes and styles, from crafting custom truck bodies and f latdecks built to customer’s specifications, to small scale fabrication efforts. “As far as our water jet machine goes I’d have to say that we have a wide range of customers, from machine shops, manufacturing

plants and local mills. So we’re often involved in sub assembly work for them such as cutting parts,” Arp explained. “I don’t think a lot of businesses know that we actually have the water jet, even though we actually started using it about five years ago. In that time we’ve done a lot of work with it, but there are so many different applications there are many more projects we could undertake.” But Nor thern Dy na m ics is much more than its water jet technology. T he company is also equipped to handle a range of services including sandblasting, industrial painting, two to four inch pipe and tube rolling,

shearing materials up to half an inch thick, press brake materials up to half an inch thick and more. With a la rge shop space, a small but highly trained staff, access to the latest in fabricating technology and with a local linage going back more than half a century, Northern Dynamic Metalworks is equipped for the future to take on manufacturing projects both large and small. “We’ve had businesses come to us with something needing to be cut on the water jet that would otherwise have to be special ordered out of the region. But we have the tools and the people to do the job right here, that’s one of our biggest strengths,” she said.

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DP World Canada Is The Operator Of The Recently Expanded Container Terminal

The Phase 2 expansion of the Fairview Container Terminal was completed over the summer


(twenty-foot equivalent units) – a unit of measurement used in the transportation industry. In a recent media release Maksim Mihic, DP World Canada’s General Manager, said the expansion effort was needed to keep up with the expected demand for the services of the port in the immediate future. “Prince Rupert’s success has been driven by its unparalleled geographical position on the trans-Pacific trade route, its high terminal productivity, and its consistently low dwell

times that have been sustained despite our significant growth in throughput over the past two years,” he said. Forward thinking and flexibility are hallmarks of the Port of Prince Rupert, which actually consists of five separate terminals for ocean-going vessels. In addition to the Fairview Container Terminal, the industrial complex also includes the Northland Cruise Terminal (designed to accommodate cruise ships up to 300 meters in length), the Ridley Terminals (an export coal terminal), Prince Rupert Grain (for grain shipments) and the Westview Wood Pellet Terminal

which is a purpose built wood pellet export facility, the first of its kind in North America. Beginning life as a traditional break-bulk terminal, Fairview Terminal was later redeveloped to handle containerized cargoes, containers that typically arrive at the port on Canadian National Railway (CNR) trains. The multimillion dollar expansion includes the addition of a second berth and the installation of three new Malacca-max (a transportation industry term for the largest vessels capable of passing through the Strait of Malacca – a waterway separating Malaysia and Sumatra) dock gantry cranes capable

COSCO Antwerp was the first vessel to make a stop at the Fairview Container Terminal on October 31, 2007 of servicing the largest container vessels on the water today. “The story of converting what was a break-bulk terminal into a container terminal in a remote north coast location has been a pretty big deal. It’s proven to have been a very successful undertaking,” Friesen explained. “T he men a nd women who work at the terminal, the local ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) are a huge part of our success. Overall the Port of Prince Rupert employs directly and indirectly nearly 25 per cent of the community, and we keep getting busier. For example we’re on track to handle

approximately 900,000 TEUs in 2017, so DP World’s expansion of the terminal came at just the right time.” The Fairview Container Terminal was acquired by DP World in August, 2015. Presently the terminal supports nearly 800 direct jobs but has an economic impact in the region that extends far beyond its payroll. In addition to the second berth the port’s existing berth was extended 440 meters to a total berth length of 800 meters. Overall the terminal’s footprint has been increased to 32 hectares following the reclamation of 4.5 hectares of land.



CONSTRUCTION Provincial Construction Industry Working In High Gear Industry Leaders Concerned About Ongoing Shortages Of Skilled Workers

The construction industry is involved in projects of all sizes, from small local initiatives to the biggest mega projects BY DAVID HOLMES


f you’re working in the construction industry in British Columbia then no one has to tell you how busy things are. According to statistics released by BuildForce Canada (formerly known as the Construction Sector Council) British Columbia is among the provincial leaders in terms of construction industry employment, a trend that is envisioned as continuing until 2021 and beyond. The industry-led organization states in its ‘2017 National Summary’ that at present construction activity in Canada is expected to edge slightly higher

throughout the year and into 2018. This is following a number of small declines recorded during the past two years. The industry organization also forecast that growth in the sector Canada wide will be uneven as many construction markets across the country continue to move in different directions, with British Columbia being one of the nation’s bright spots. One of the catalysts for this heightened level of activity in the industry is the catalog of infrastructure projects announced by the recently elected provincial government, which according SEE CONSTRUCTION  |  PAGE 10

to the Honorable Bruce Ralston, the provincial Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology (and MLA for Surrey-Whalley), is only the beginning. “The provincial construction sector is doing well, in the election campaign we committed to a vigorous program of public infrastructure, many of those progra ms a re u nderway and there will be more announced in the months and years to come. So what that means is there will be a need for more workers,” he stated. While not restricted solely to the construction industry, the general trend of an aging workforce with fewer new people

Chris Atchison is President of the British Columbia Construction Association, a group with more than 1,500 members

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The construction industry in BC directly employs more than 225,500 people, working for 23,000 companies


entering the trades is having a noticeable effect on the industry. In essence there is more work today (and envisioned for the future) than there are people to carry it out. I n t he B u i ld Forc e Ca n ad a rep or t it wa s s t re sse d t h at sustaining the nation’s workforce capacity might present an escalating problem in light of Canada’s aging workforce. The report went on to project that more than 20 per cent of Canada’s workers are expected to retire over the next decade which will only make the problem worse. The issue impacts all sectors of the economy as Canada’s population growth slows and fewer youth are available to

enter the workforce, construction must compete against other industries that are facing similar demographic challenges. T he British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) is the construction industry’s umbrella organization, advocate and champion. It is composed of four different regional construction organizations: the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA), the Southern Interior Construction Association (SICA), the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) and the Northern Regional Construction Association (NRCA). The group is also the industry’s link to the national advocacy body the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). The BCCA’s President Chris Atchison says helping its more

There are presently more than $71 billion worth of construction projects underway across British Columbia

An industry with a future, one problem construction is facing is locating a sufficient number of skilled workers than 1,500 member companies find their next job is a primary role for the organization. “A big issue for us of course on any

construction project is that we want to make sure that procurement is fair, open and transparent,” he said.

“We want to make sure that there is education around best SEE CONSTRUCTION  |  PAGE 12




The British Columbia construction sector employs more than 225,000 workers in communities around the province


practices in procurement. So that our members not only have a shot at getting the job, but in the case of large public infrastructure projects that the money that is being invested on behalf of the taxpayers is well spent, with competitive and innovative ways

to put forward good projects so that there are enough bids going in on these opportunities to make things competitive, productive and resilient.” Productivity in the BC construction industry is certainly the order of the day. In the BCCA’s ‘Fall 2017 Stat Pack’ report the organization stated that at present there were more than $71 billion worth of construction

projects underway in the province, with the present industry consisting of more than 23,000 companies employing more than 225,500 workers. “The health of the industry in BC is exceptionally strong right now in all regions of the province. We can gauge it on the pressures that are placed on the skilled workforce and the demand for skilled workers and

even general labourers in some cases to do the work,” Atchison said. “So the health of the industry is very strong and we’re gauging that from the information we’re getting from our members who are saying it’s hard for them to find the skilled workforce that they need – and this is in a time when British Columbia has been the benefactor of a slowdown in

the Alberta economy, where a number of skilled trades people, those who can serve the construction industry, have moved west to help fill some of the job shortages.” BCCA’s report suggests that in the British Columbia construction industry there could be more than 14,000 construction SEE CONSTRUCTION  |  PAGE 13


Building Opportunities

Networking Advocacy Training Project Services Member Discounts

Northern Regional Construction Association Has Served The Region Since 1970


RINCE GEORGE – An advocate and champion for Northern British Columbia’s construction industry, the Northern Regional Construction Association (NRCA) has been serving the north for nearly half a century. The non-profit industry association was originally founded in 1970. “The NRCA represents the largest geographic area in the province, and is in essence the voice of construction for our membership, which includes about 275 member firms all across our region. We go from Williams Lake all the way up to the Yukon border, out to Haidi Gwaii and across to the Alberta border,” explained Scott Bone, NRCA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “Our mandate is to represent our industrial, commercial and institutional members – general contractors, professional engineers, local governments and groups such as that.” T he N RCA operates as the

regional companion organization to its provincial counterpart, the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA). This construction industry umbrella group in turn liaises with the industry’s national entity – the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) to present a unified voice and a common platform across the nation. The construction industry is a major component of the economic mix in the north, both through direct employment and by its local purchasing power. Recent provincial statistics suggests the average staff count for the Association’s member companies tops the 20 mark which makes construction firms some of the region’s top employers – especially in the smaller communities. “It’s literally the case that our membersh ip is bu i ld i ng the north. We represent companies that are involved in construction of institutional facilities such as city halls, fire halls and government buildings. Our members are also heavily involved in infrastructure improvements such as highway paving, and in industrial development including mine construction – essentially everything but residential construction,” Bone said. I n add it ion to its ongoi ng

advocacy work two of the main focuses of the NRCA are to assist its membership locate and acquire jobs, while promoting the construction trades as a career option for the next generation of industry leaders. Creating an environment where fair and open procurement processes are in place is one of the Association’s key objectives. “We work with public owners and our members to begin training and awareness around publicsector procurement, obligations and processes. This effort enables public sector agencies to become an ‘owner of choice’ providing positive returns in increased competition on projects and promotes positive relationships between the contracting community and public owners,” he said. With a general aging of the population, including within the NRCA’s membership, the need to recruit to fill present and future staffing shortfalls is also of paramount importance to the Association. The NRCA actively participates in promotional and awareness programs in schools and local communities to showcase the benefits and opportunities of a career in the construction trades.




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One ongoing goal of industry is to encourage more young people to consider construction as a career choice


job vacancies by 2026, despite the average wage of a construction worker in the province being in excess of $58,000 per year. For Ralston the energized nature of the current provincial construction marketplace is part of the reason for the present labour shortage. “There is a challenge in a very hot construction market, like in Victoria, to si mply f i nd enou g h people. Employment in the sector can be up and down, peaks and valleys, so some of the programs the government has in place are desig ned to help when they are in the valleys. But at the moment the industry is doing well,” he said. “As ma ny of the construction businesses are small businesses the reduction of the small business ta x a n nou nced i n the budget has been well received as well, which could stimulate hiring.” For Atchison a key to a

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“There is a challenge in a very hot construction market, like in Victoria, to simply find enough people.”

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Bruce Ralston is the provincial Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology and a strong advocate for jobs training vibra nt a nd ex pa nd ing provincial construction industry in the future is ongoing skills training a nd conti nu i ng efforts to present the career potentials of the industry to those just entering the workforce. “ We w a n t t h e c o n struction industry and t h e t ra d e s , a s w e l l a s

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the advanced education system and the Industry Training Authority (ITA BC) to be all pulling in the sa me d i rection. Working together to achieve the best results for the workers that we’re going to require to continue to build BC going forward,” he said.

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While the construction industry in general has slowed in some parts of Canada, the BC industry remains very active



MAINLINE PLUMBING & HEATING: SERVING THE REGION SINCE 1977 Prince George Company Involved In Both Commercial & Residential Projects


RINCE GEORGE – From its distinctive and elegant showroom where customers can check out the latest in heating and plumbing products, to its more than 40 years of outstanding service to the greater Prince George region, Mainline Plumbing and Heating has become a local industry leader – and as far as its owners and staff are concerned - its story is just getting started! “While we’ve been the owners for the past 10 years Mainline Plumbing and Heating can actually trace its roots back to 1977 when a couple of brothers launched what turned into a very successful plumbing and heating company,” explained company co-owner Valerie Marsh who also serves as Mainline’s Manager and Marketing Director. Changing hands a number of times over the years the firm was acquired by the husband and wife team of Brian and Valerie Marsh in 2007, making this year a double anniversary for the company – the 40th year since launch and 10 years under the firm’s current management. Coming originally from Ontario where Brian Marsh worked as a gasfitter for a major energy company, the Marsh family moved to Prince George region in 2006 to be closer to family and to explore business opportunities in the region. “I had some family out here so we talked about moving out to see what it would be like to work here,” she said. The process of moving to the city occurred in stages with Brian coming to the area in September 2006 to become the new manager of Mainline Plumbing and Heating, while Valerie and their children moved to the region in December of that year. By 2007 Brian Marsh and a business partner had acquired the firm from the previous owner, with Valerie

“We have a huge pride in our amazing team, the skills and quality they bring to the job.” VALERIE MARSH CO-OWNER, MAINLINE PLUMBING AND HEATING

buying out their business partner in 2009 turning the firm into a wholly family-owned enterprise. “Mainline Plumbing and Heating is today a 100 per cent family owned business. Even with our team, I do most of the interviewing for new employees as I’m sort of the Mom of the house. We have a huge pride in our amazing team, the skills and quality they bring to the job, how well everyone gets along, it’s a great experience and it’s also a huge part of the company’s success,” she said. Located at 3658 Opie Crescent, Mainline Plumbing and Heating provides a full range of plumbing and heating services for both residential and commercial clients. This includes everything from routine household plumbing tasks to the installation and servicing of air conditioning and air filtration systems, hot water tanks, tankless water heaters and even fireplaces – including gas, wood and wood pellet types. T he company has a staff of about a dozen and can provide 2 4 hou r emergency ser v ice anywhere within the greater Prince George region, thanks to the firm’s fleet of eight service

Valerie and Brian Marsh are the owners of Mainline Plumbing and Heating, acquiring the firm in 2007

Lilly Marsh, the daughter of Mainline’s owners Brian and Valerie Marsh, demonstrates the latest Traeger wood fired grills vehicles. Having the staff to carry out the servicing of the products the company sells is only part of the story. Due to the ongoing

introduction of new products, and a general increase in the sophistication in the products Mainline Plumbing and Heating

sells, there is a need for continual training and updating of the team’s skills and expertise. For Valerie Marsh, ensuring that her staff is equipped to deal with any challenges they may face, means the company has always had a focus on providing ongoing education. This desire to remain at the forefront of the industry has been another of Mainline Plumbing and Heating’s keys to business success and longevity. “At Mainline we are always educating our staff on the new products that fit the scope of our work, which in turn allow us to be better prepared as we move forward into the future and beyond. The leading manufacturers that we work with are coming out with new products all the time. As such it is imperative that the Mainline Plumbing staff stay on top of everything new. How else can we be prepared to work with our clients today, and tomorrow?” she explained. “We are constantly updating our employees on the newest products as they become available. We don’t just sell ‘products lines’ - we also provide full and worry free service of everything that we sell. But that doesn’t mean we can only work on the things that we sell directly to our clients. In addition to being able to service our own items, our team can also work on those the customers have purchased elsewhere. Our people need to be up to date and knowledgeable about all of the products that are available in today’s plumbing and heating world. That’s why ongoing training is so important to us.” One of those innovative products is the Traeger line of woodfired grills, a unique alternative to gas or charcoal fired grills now being offered exclusively by Mainline Plumbing and Heating. “We’re very excited that Mainline also carries the extensive Traeger Grill line and all of the complementary specialty products available to add to your grilling experience. If you are a grilling enthusiast, and Prince

We are proud to support Mainline Plumbing as you celebrate 40 years in the business.


We are proud to support Mainline Plumbing & Heating as you celebrate 40 years! 1596 Quinn St S | Prince George, BC | (877) 563-1771 |

3670 Opie Crescent, Prince George, BC

(250) 564-8814



Located at 3658 Opie Crescent Mainline Plumbing and Heating and its staff provide 24 hour emergency service George is certainly a city that enjoys a good barbecue, then stop by Mainline and learn how to cook using wood, you will definitely taste the difference,” she said. Using clean and convenient wood pellets as an energy source, Traeger grills are electric and are controlled by a simple threeposition switch. Operating much like a pellet stove, the grill has a rotating auger that feeds the wood pellets from a hopper into the fire pot, where they are lit by an igniter rod. The grill’s electric fan stokes the fire while simultaneously distributing the heat and smoke throughout the unit, using the

smoke to enhance the flavour of the meals cooked. Traeger grills are easy to use and allow even the novice to cook like an experienced outdoor chef. Traeger produces models to match any budget, and as Marsh says: “Cooking with wood really does taste better!” As any long time resident can attest to, global warming is real and as a result recent changing climactic conditions have now made residential air conditioning increasingly attractive for local homeowners. Providing the installation and servicing of household air conditioning is an increasingly important market now being regularly served by

Mainline Plumbing and Heating. “When we purchased the company a decade ago its focus was primarily on new installs – such as with furnaces, fireplaces, hot water tanks and other items. Over the years we’ve expanded into air conditioning, as that was one of Brian’s fortes when we lived in Ontario, where he worked for a leader in the province’s air conditioning sector. The extensive air conditioning experience he learned there, he’s now using for our Prince George customers,” Marsh explained.

Mainline Plumbing carries and services the American Standard line of heating and air conditioning systems. “American Standard Air Conditioning helps families feel more comfortable and breathe easier in their homes, with low-cost operation. They design high-quality, trouble-free products and systems - systems that families like yours can depend on for years to come,” she explained. While the firm’s workload currently remains about 70 per cent residential in nature, Mainline

Mainline Plumbing & Heating’s staff are as skilled at gas fitting duties as they are with routine plumbing

Congratulations on your first 40 year


We look forward To 40 more years of working with you!

Not just plumbers, Mainline Plumbing and Heating has many years experience installing gas fireplaces

1733 S. Lyon Street Prince George, B.C. V2N 1T3

Plumbing is becoming increasingly active in the region’s commercia l m a rketplace. L oca l restaurants for example are a key part of its ongoing commercial effort with Mainline Plumbing looking after all of the plumbing and gas needs of this new and expanding client base. Yet another excellent example of Mainline Plumbing’s commercial experience was the work the firm carried out at the massive Inland Kenworth building, which represented a major undertaking for the company. This extensive project saw Mainline look after all of the plumbing and heating requirements of this impressive 100,000 square foot service dealership, clearly demonstrating that Mainline can work on projects of any scale, from a single home, to a major industrial development. “We’ve also developed some amazing partnerships with new home builders, such as Copper Falls Custom Homes, Alair Homes, Bullzi Construction, Rise Construction and others. We enjoy the opportunity to work on custom homes because of the unique chance they present to showcase our work,” she said. “We really take a lot of pride in our work and the relationships we’ve built with these custom home builders. It’s something that is very important to us – and will become even more important in the future.” Looking toward the futu re Mainline Plumbing anticipates becoming increasingly active in the commercial market, while expanding on its custom new home projects. With a skilled team, long term name recognition and exemplary customer service Mainline Plumbing and Heating anticipates continued growth as it embraces new markets and opportunities as they arise. “We never want to compromise our team by over-extending them. We want to hire our employees for the long term we’ll not take on a job that means we have to hire people and then let them go when it’s over, that’s simply not how we operate,” Marsh explained.

Congratulations Mainline on reaching this milestone of 25 years.

250.277.1961 | 130 - 1990 Ogilvie St, Prince George, BC V2N 1X1




Pacific BioEnergy Corporation Signs Agreement With Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation PACIFIC BIOENERGY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

annually. To expand on both its production capability and its market share, PBEC announced recently that it had formed a partnership arrangement with the Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, one of that nation’s largest business groups with a vast and diverse portfolio of industrial holdings all across the globe. Over the summer Sumitomo acquired a 48 per cent equity interest in PBEC, while at the same time Pacific BioEnergy acquired a 34 per cent minority interest in Pacific BioEnergy Limited Partnership (PBLP), the Prince George manufacturing facility, from its’ European partner giving it 100 per cent ownership of the production facility. “Our plant is in Prince George, that’s where we started the business and where we produce the product. Chetwynd and Fort St. John are joint ventures with Canfor where we take care of the waste material from sawmills in the area. In Prince George we acquire additional fiber by recycling slash piles in what is essentially a secondary harvesting system,” he said. “This material is gathered up, pre-processed in the field and then broug ht i nto the pla nt where it is processed into a usable

Wood pellets, an energy source created by processing sawdust and other wood wastes, is now a sought after product

The Sumitomo Corporation’s Katsunori Takamitsu is one of the Directors on the PBEC Board

“Like a form of gleaning our system recovers this fiber and produces a product that is typically used in power plants.” DON STEELE CHAIRMAN & CEO, PACIFIC BIOENERGY CORPORATION

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product. Otherwise this material would either be left on the site to rot or to be burned as slash. Like a form of gleaning our system recovers this fiber and produces a product that is typically used in power plants to generate electricity.” The Sumitomo Corporation partnership agreement will allow PBEC to expand its production capability, and ideally allow it to

reach more markets with a high energy product that is more environmentally benign than coal. Since 1994 Pacific BioEnergy has exported approximately 3.5 million tonnes of wood pellets to markets in Europe and Asia. This equates to more than $600 million in sales. With Sumitomo’s investment PBEC intends to intensify its’ activities in this new industrial sector. “We ultimately want to expand our business. This partnership will allow us to expand our existing facility and add new facilities. It will also essentially allow us to help reduce particulate matter in the air by helping to eliminate the need to burn slash piles, producing a usable and saleable product in the process. It’s really a winwin for everyone,” Steele said.



oo many small business owners won’t be. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business fewer than half of small business owners have a succession plan. Without one your business may be ill-equipped to carry on once you decide to turn over the keys or if you’re faced with a serious illness or injury. Succession planning is about d evelopi n g a f ra mework to transfer ownership of your enterprise while maximizing its value, minimizing disruptions, and reassuring customers and employees. It’s an important task to manage properly, especially if you’re relying on wealth from your business to secure your retirement. The following steps should be front and centre when creating your plan: I d e n t i f y y o u r s u c c e s s o r. Whether you opt to sell your business to a third party, or prefer to keep it in the family, with business partners, or key employees, ensure your chosen successor has adequate resources to purchase

Overestimating what your business is worth can put a crimp in your plans if the final sale figure comes up short of your expectations

the business and the skills to manage it. Map out your strategy and

communicate it. Establish milestones and timelines for what needs to be done. Remember to involve outside experts like lawyers, tax specialists and financial advisors early on. Succession shouldn’t be a secret. Getting the commitment and support of management, staff, and family can help move things along more smoothly. Do a realistic valuation. Overestimating what your business is worth can put a crimp in your plans if the final sale fig ure comes up short of your expectations. Consider bringing in a business valuation professional to look at your operation objectively and determine a realistic asking price. Guard against the unexpected. Death or incapacity could be devastating to your business. Make sure you have the proper insurance and contingency plans in place if the worst should happen. Revisit and revise. Succession planning isn’t a single event- it’s a process. Revisit your plan and revise it as needed. Just like your business your succession plan will be unique. At Northern Savings, our Financial Services experts will work with you to focus on what’s important, for your enterprise and your future.



and build a new bridge. The project is estimated at $369,000 and is scheduled for completion by spring of 2018.

Terrace The Regional District of KitimatStikine has been named as the winner of a Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Community Excellence Award. The district won for the category of Leadership & Innovation, Green Initiatives, for their Terrace Area Integrated Solid Waste Management Program. The awards are held annually to celebrate the accomplishments of municipalities and regional districts as they strive for excellence in service to their communities. An Andre’s Electronic Experts location has opened up in Terrace at 4716 Keith Avenue. The location offers various electronic appliances, and is one of twelve service locations in the province. Brandon Merritt has joined the management team at the MNP Terrace office, offering customized solutions to small and mediumsized businesses. After 17 years in operation, owners Boota and Diljit Uppal will close the doors of Sears Hometown in downtown Terrace. The closure is a result of Sears Canada’s countrywide liquidation of all stores and assets, and will take into effect at the end of December. The trades building at NorthWest Community College is well underway with its renovations process. A two-storey glass entrance that extends 35-feet further than the previous walls, opens a new student common area with seating areas, tables, and a renovated café and bookstore. The renovations also feature glass wall between workshops and classrooms, further structural reinforcement, an electrical system overhaul and a new dust extraction system. The project has received $18.4 million from both federal and provincial governments, with the NWCC and private donors providing nearly $200,000, and is scheduled for completion by August 2018. The BC Rural Dividend fund has awarded funding to three local initiatives: $40,000 for the City of Terrace, $100,000 for the R.E.M. Lee Theatre Alive Society, and $210,000 for FPInnovations (Skeena Sawmills). The provincial government funding allotment goes towards helping rural community economies and towards job-creation. Twilight Spas & Pump Supply has entered their 22nd year in business in the community. They are located at 4704 Keith Avenue. has named Terrace among their Top 10 Best Mountain Towns in Canada. The city received second place in their list, which also included two other BC places: Sun Peaks and Courtenay. New McDonald’s Canada Franchisees, Shane and Sasha Doodson have moved to Terrace and have


taken over from former Franchise Owners, Shauna and Richard LeBlanc. The Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of this year’s Business Excellence Awards, at their Gala on October 14th. The 2017 winners’ list features: Janine Wilson – Volunteer of the Year Award; Yellow Cedar Lodge – Tourism & Hospitality Excellence Award; Caiden & Austin Owens of Chill Soda Shop – Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award; BruceJack Mine – Resource Industry of the Year Award; RCMP – Newsmaker of the Year Award; Suzanne Raposo and Edwarda deViveiros with Delicious Favourites – Home Based Business Award; Tracey Davidson of Volunteer Terrace – Executive of the Year Award; Chris MacPherson of Thornhill Meat Market – Most Valuable Employee Award; Terrace Little Theatre Society – Contributor to the Arts Award; Hothouse Restaurant – Customer Service Award; Thornhill Meat Market – Business of the Year Award; and Thornhill Volunteer Fire Department – Community Impact Award.

Prince Rupert Don Holkestad has joined the board of directors for CityWest, after having served as CEO of the company. Holkestad served with the company in telecommunications for 33 years, and as CEO for four years; his position on the board became effective on October 16th.

ask questions and raise concerns about the project proposal, which is an ‘Adamantium proof’ concept which would see an off-shore facility brought to Prince Rupert to enable cargo ships to refuel on the North Coast instead of the West Coast. Serge Bisson is the president, with Mathew Trickey is vice president of the Wolverine Terminals’ marine fuel service project. The project proposal is aiming to gain regulatory approval by the middle of next year, and is projected to be operational by the middle of 2019. The ThriveNorth competition program, run by non-profit initiative Futurepreneur Canada, has received $348,300 in funding from the provincial government. The competition is geared toward business owners from ages 18 to 39 years old, where they receive career mentoring and winners receive up to $10,000 for their business venture. With the funding, ThriveNorth will continue to operate in the Northwest of the province, while aiming to expand to the Northeast. Chances Prince Rupert celebrates its 10th anniversary in operation this year, at their location of 240 1st Avenue West. For the fifth consecutive year, Edward Jones has been ranked number 1 for investor satisfaction by J.D. Power, a global marketing information services establishment. The company conducts a J.D. Power Canadian Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study annually across North America, and has consistently recognized the firm for their excellence in service.

Williams Lake Don Holkestad, CityWest Ridley Terminals is joined by new chairperson, Michael McPhie, serving a five-year term. McPhie served as the managing director for JSD Gold Ltd., and executive chairman for IDM Mining Ltd., as well as founder and CEO of Falkirk Resources Consultants Ltd. Local resident, Irene Mills, was recognized by Canadian Blood Services with a Living Organ Donor Award, after she donated her kidney to a complete stranger. The national award honours great acts of kindness in organ donation. October 17 marked the first open house and public engagement effort for Wolverine Terminals, held at the Crest Hotel. Attendees were given the opportunity to th

Interior Health has announced construction on new residential care facility, Cariboo Place, has begun. The facility will replace the former Cariboo Lodge building on Fourth Avenue, and will feature 70 publicly-funded care beds and two private pay beds. The facility aims to provide assisted living to seniors, including those living with dementia and other health concerns. Vantage Living Inc. is overseeing the project’s construction, while partnering with Kasper Development Corporation throughout its development. The facility is anticipated to open by next winter. Tara Sprickerhoff has joined the staff at the Williams Lake Tribune as their newest reporter. Sprickerhoff grew up in Williams Lake, and has spent the past six years working in various places – including Ghana with Farm Radio international.

Tara Sprickerhoff, Williams Lake Tribune Victor and Lyda Sharman, owners of the Williams Lake Tim Hortons, have donated $3,639 to the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association, as part of their Smile Cookies charity campaign in September. The staff at Cariboo Dental Clinic welcome Dr. David Kang to their team, located at 121 North First Avenue. Four Winds Driving School is a new Aboriginal-owned and operated business venture, recently opened in Williams Lake by Shea and Kerry Chelsea. The school is located at 77B Second Avenue North, featuring a classroom, and will soon have a driving simulator. Paige Mueller has joined the news team at the Williams Lake Tribune as a new reporter. Mueller earned her journalism degree at Carleton University, and also has a background in documentary and film production. The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) has welcomed John MacLean as their new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), a position which took effect as of October 2nd. MacLean formerly served as a corporate officer and most recently served as the CAO for the Kootenay Boundary Regional District; he will be taking over from outgoing CAO, Janis Bell. The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) ranked second for the Primarily Undergraduate category of Maclean’s Magazine’s ratings of the top universities and colleges in Canada. This marks the 10th consecutive year that UNBC placed in the top three. Lynda Colgate has joined the realty team at Sutton Cariboo Realty, located at 232B 3rd Avenue North.

Prince George The City of Prince George announced that the works of local artist, Elmer Gunderson, are now on display throughout Cottonwood Island Park. Gunderson has carved eight new designs into the bark of trees along the park’s trail as part of an initiative by Jeff Elder of the Prince George Heritage Commission, and the Railway and Forestry Museum. The City’s Community Enhancement Grants funded the project, and the project received help from Papyrus Printing Ltd. A new project has launched at Cottonwood Island Park, as the City of Prince George contracted Nahanni Construction Ltd. to design

Jim Zhang and Jessica Chen have opened up a brand new business venture, Better Home Decoration & Gift, at 1367 4th Avenue. The couple previously ran a furniture store in Dubai for 15 years before coming to Canada. Advertising campaign, Move Up Prince George, received a Marketing Canada Award at the Economic Developers Association of Canada’s 49th Annual Conference. The campaign ran across Canada for the purpose of recruiting and attracting others to move to the Prince George area. The Salted Cracker, owned by Michael Pockett, has opened up a fourth location at 3337 8th Avenue, near Spruceland Mall. The franchise offers fresh, delicious soups and sandwiches to customers. A Budget Brake and Muffler location has opened up in Prince George. Owner Mike Godfrey has worked as a heavy-duty mechanic in the city for 12 years before opening the venture at 1795 Victoria Street. The Conference Board of Canada has released another positive MidSized Cities Outlook report for the Prince George area. After making 2.2 per cent growth from 2012-2016, there is a forecasted GDP growth of 1.5 per cent in 2017, and 1.8 per cent next year, which sits at the top of the national rate. Winners have been announced for this year’s Business Excellence Awards, hosted by the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. The awards ceremony was held at the Prince George Playhouse, on October 21st, and showcased a variety of impressive local businesses: The Little Dillers – Hell Yeah Prince George Ambassador Award, sponsored by Pacific BioEnergy Corporation; Play Grounds Café – Environmental Awareness Award, sponsored by EDI Environmental Dynamics Ltd.; Prince George Public Library – Community Impact Award, sponsored by Prince George Airport Authority; MP Makeup Artistry – Service Excellence Award, sponsored by Pine Centre Mall; Frozen Paddle – Micro Business of the Year, sponsored by Telus; Northern FanCon – Tourism and Hospitality, sponsored by Tourism Prince George; Canadian Tire – Outstanding Corporate Culture, sponsored by Canadian Western Bank; Eoin Foley of Betulla Burning & Nancy O’s – Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by KPMG; Prince George Diaper Service – Innovator of the Year Award, sponsored by Heather Sadler Jenkins; Tim Bennett of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Prince George – Business Person of the Year Award; and Play Grounds Café – Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Waste Management of Canada Corp. SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS  |  PAGE 19


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PUBLISHER | Lise MacDonald SALES |,, WRITERS | Beth Hendry-Yim, David Holmes, Kristin van Vloten




u r i ng t he l a st federa l election, now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sloughed off several comments suggesting that corporations existed only to assist business owners in avoiding paying tax. T h at was d ropped i n t he midst of endless promises of “sunny ways”, accompanied by Trudeau’s other, inflammatory class-warfare adjectives like “income sprinkling”, “tax loopholes” and not-so-subtle suggestions that the “rich”, aka business owners, need to “pay their fair share”. Such populist, provocative ph rases appea led to L ibera l supporters. But few believed Trudeau’s corporation statement would become the platform f rom wh ich a n a l l-out attack on small and mediumsized busi nesses wou ld be l a u n c h e d . It h a s, a n d t h e n some. The Liberals have apparently

scaled back their plans somewhat, if one is to believe the almost daily re-announcements. It remains to be seen how much change will actually take place to the ill-conceived plans, or if this is yet another smokescreen to confuse the masses while the federal government attempts to slip through the most draconian corporate tax increases this country has witnessed in a century. So, what are corporations all about? Ta x dodge veh icles? Hardly. They were set up as retirement funds for small business owners, as an incentive to encourage people to take risks as they provide a better future for themselves and their families. Imagine how government employees would react if their pensions were hacked to pieces. T hey’d be horri fied. T h is is what the Liberals tax scheme is doing while tackling corporations – attacking the financial future of business people. Demonizing something before taxing it is an effective political ma neuver. People sh rug but don’t complain when they have to pay so-ca l led “si n ta xes” on cigarettes and tobacco, for exa mple. Wa nt more money out of the oil and gas industry? Demonize it and make it seem evil to voters, who will almost demand punitive taxes be implemented to stop resourceex t ract i n g, “e a r t h end i n g”

companies. And there we have it: The justification of a carbon tax. W h e n t h e c l o u d s o f go vernment begin to hover over one particular industry, they should be afraid, and get prepared for the impending deluge of taxes that is about to drench them. Governments play a long end ga me i n th is rega rd, pigg ybacking off a social narrative rehe a rsed stead i ly t h rou g h e d u c a to r s , H ol l y w o o d a n d traditional media. Movie after movie depicts big business in the worst possible ways, as prof it-hu ng r y cor porat ions who don’t care for any employee or environmental concern, a s t hey ch a se t he a l m i g ht y buck. B u t t h i s n e e d s to b e s a i d a s pl a i n ly a s p ossi ble: It i s not business owners who are greedy. Governments are greedy. Governments are the ones who ref use to rest ra i n their insatiable thirst for more tax revenues to pay for a public service that now makes, on average, 20 per cent more in wages and benefits than those in the private sector. And by the private sector, we mean the jobs that pay for those services in the first place. As Trudeau trumpets his socalled defense of the middle c l a s s – w h i c h , b y t h e w ay, never did better than under the

previous government – does he not realize that many small business owners are indeed the middle class? A thoug htf u l, even-keeled friend tossed th is l i ne out a while ago, and it stuck with me: “Socialism is theft”. Stark, but true, isn’t it? Although some of the principles of socialism may be virtuous - i.e. helping those that cannot help themselves - the very essence of socialism is taking from those who ‘have’ - those that work – and distributing it to those who ‘have not’ because they either don’t or won’t work. A s o n e f r i e n d s a id : I f t h e government keeps taxing the ‘haves’ and giving to the ‘havenots’, what will they do when the ‘haves’ leave? And by the way, if socialism is so great, why isn’t every person in a communist country wealthy, instead of only those at the top? Just asking. . . So when it comes t i me for millionaires Trudeau and beleaguered Finance Minister Bill Morneau to wrestle businesses to the ground with “welldeserved” punitive taxes, the chorus of Canadians who don’t understand the challenges of business cheer and chime in with “it’s about time”. Except it’s nothing but a big smoke screen. As the Trudeau govern ment’s never-end i ng s p e n d i n g s p re e c o n t i n u e s ,

f a r, f a r a b o v e p ro j e c t i o n s , unabated, the realization has come that there isn’t enough money com i ng i n to pay for what they’ve ordered. Thus the attack on “bad, bad business”. The never-in-business-forh i m sel f T r udeau suggests that business owners are “tax cheats” who find “loopholes” to “sprinkling” money around to avoid Revenue Canada. His devious choice of words is deliberate, without question. W h i le doi ng so, he ref uses to acknowledge that business owners must - and do - abide by the legal rules laid out by all levels of government. The taxation rules by which Canad ia n busi nesses have been governed since 1972 took six years to plan and consider before implementation. T r u d e a u’s d ra m a t i c t a x “plans” were concocted behind t he scenes by “ bu reaucrats gone wild”, in mere months. At last report the federal government received 21,000 responses/objections to the plans – and left itself less than a week to “consider” them all. Which of course they have not. Greedy business? Hardly. It’s time the federal government looked in the mirror and rea l i zed that as they va i n ly point the accusatory finger of “g reed” at busi ness, there’s three fingers pointed directly back at themselves.




n a recent commentary i n the Financial Post titled “Misleading the Middle Class,” Simon Fraser University professor Rhys Kesselman criticized  ou r analysis of how federal tax policy changes have increased the amount of income tax paid by middle-class families. Prof. Kesselman doesn’t contest, ref ute or d i sprove our tax analysis but rather—in

parroting the Trudeau government’s talking points—conflates taxes and transfers, and completely misses the point of what our analysis set out to do. If you have not followed this d e b a t e , h e r e ’s s o m e q u i c k b a c k g r o u n d . O n t h e c a mpaign trail and since coming to power, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his finance minister, and other federal officials have repeated ly cla i med that the government cut income taxes on middle-class families. As just one example, the federal government’s first budget decla red “the govern ment cut taxes for middle class Canadians everywhere.” As part of an organization focused on measuring the effects of government policy, my Fraser Institute colleagues and I set out to test this specific claim to see if, in fact, the government lowered income taxes on

middle-class families. We found this wasn’t the case for the vast majority. W h i le the govern ment d id reduce the second-lowest persona l i ncome ta x rate (from 22 per cent to 20.5 per cent), it also eliminated a number of tax credits (provisions in the tax code that reduce a person’s income taxes, if they qualify), thereby increasing income taxes for Canadians who previously claimed such credits. Specifically, the government eliminated the income-splitting tax credit for couples with young children, the children’s fitness tax credit, the public transit tax credit, the education tax credit and the textbook tax credit. When all the income tax changes are considered, 81 per cent of middle-class families pay more in personal income taxes now because of the Trudeau government’s tax changes.

W hen confronted w ith our findings, the government did not dispute them. Instead, it shifted the goal posts and tried to dismiss them by saying the analysis didn’t account for the enhancement made to the Canada Child Benefit, a government tra nsfer progra m. A nd now, Prof. Kesselman is parroting the government’s response. As Canada’s Research Chair in Public Finance, Prof. Kesselman should know better. Taxes and transfers are not the same thing. Cutting taxes leaves Canadians with more of their own money. Increasing transfers gives Canadians more of other peoples’ money. There is a significant difference. A nd more i mporta ntly, we focused on taxes because the government’s claim, which it repeats over and over again, was that it cut income taxes on the middle class. By now invoking

increased transfers, both the government and Kesselman implicitly acknowledge the validity of our results. All of this emphasizes the importance of our analysis, which brought key evidence to bear on what was a cornerstone commitment of this government to cut income taxes on the middle class. A nd this evidence has helped Canadians understand the reality of Ottawa’s tax changes, which run contrary to the government’s rhetoric. T h e go v e r n m e n t h a s n o w changed its messaging on this i ss u e. Yet P rof. K e ssel m a n tried to dismiss our study with the same erroneous criticism. That’s disappointing, and does a disservice to readers and Canadians more generally. Charles Lamman is Director of Fiscal Studies at the Fraser Institute.

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The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions has chosen to fund an internship with the Prince George Chamber of Commerce for the second year in a row. The internship position provides advice to businesses on how they can reduce their carbon footprint, and boost environmental and social responsibility.

Dawson Creek Tate Creek School is soon to become the Tate Creek Community Centre after a vote was held in favour of the project. The school had been purchased by the Tomslake and District Recreational Commission, who has plans for a $90,000 renovation, funded by annual improvement tax. Lux Cleaners Ltd., at 1444 102 nd Avenue, celebrated their grand reopening on October 19th. The business continues to offer pick-up and drop-off service, laundry services, wet cleaning, and walk-off mats cleaning and rentals. Brogan Safety Supplies is a brand new business at 1629 – 96th Avenue, near the Husky Gas Station. The venture celebrated its grand opening on October 25th. Denee Renouf is a new Archivist who now works with the South Peace Historical Society. She is the

first hire that the society has made and will oversee the collections at the DC museum and the society’s archives. The Encana Tower natural gas processing plant near Dawson Creek has started operations early and under budget. September 30 th marked the start of production and it aims to work up to a projection of 200 million cubic feet per day.

Fort St. John Mike Whalley, managing director for the North Peace Regional Airport, run by Vantage Airport Group, has resigned his position after ten years of service. Gord Duke has been named as the airport’s new managing director, beginning his responsibilities immediately. A design study is scheduled to be conducted by the Peace River Regional District for two regional parks: Blackfoot and Montney Centennial Regional Parks, to assess strengths and weaknesses and whether improvements are needed. The Regional District will have a booth available from November 5-11th at the World U17 Hockey Challenge, as well as public meetings from the 14-16th to gather input. The former ABC Thrift Shop has re-opened after a change in operations. Action BC has changed the operation of the thrift shop to the Northern Environmental Action Team (NEAT), and the venture is


now called the NEAT Finds Thrift Store.

River Chevrolet – Business Person of the Year.

wood in institutional, industrial, and commercial construction.

A primary liquor license has been approved by Fort St. John City Council for the Canadian Brewhouse restaurant, to enable a switch from a food primary to liquor primary service. The locations hours will remain the same and service will go on as usual.

This year’s Tim Hortons Smile Cookies sales totaled $5,200 in Quesnel’s two locations. Proceeds were donated to the Child Development Centre, who plan to use the funds for a Youth in Action initiative.


Beard’s Brewing, a craft brewery owned by Steven Beard, will release their first beer, the Red Beard red ale. The establishment aims to sell local products, and will focus on brewing ales as their primary form of beer at present.

Quesnel The Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce extends congratulations to all nominees and winners of the 2017 Business Excellence Awards. This year’s winners are: Julie’s Edible Bouquets – Home Based Business of the Year; Long Table Grocery – New Business of the Year; Mama C’s Gifts ‘n’ Giggles – Customer Service Award; Quesnel Pet Safe Coalition – Community Spirit Award; Debbie Knabke of Quesnel Pet Safe Coalition – Employee of the Year; Rocky Mountaineer Quesnel Station – Tourism Excellence Award; The Occidental – Community Inclusion; JD Meats – Business of the Year Under 10 Employees; Work BC/ Quesnel Employment Services – Business of the Year Over 10 Employees; and Shane Thon of Fraser

Joe Hart, owner of Icon Homes in Quesnel, was appointed as the new president of the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) of Northern British Columbia. Hart began serving on the executive board last year and will serve in his position for a two-year term. The College of New Caledonia (CNC) Quesnel’s Industry Training Centre has announced that they are offering two new training certifications. The institution is now certified through Ives & Associates to offer students Aerial Boom Lift, Scissor Lift, and Class 7 Rough Terrain Forklift & Tele-handler Operator training. Additionally, CNC now offers a new Minor Wound Care course, through the British Columbia Forestry Manufacturing Advisory Group (MAG), for those who have completed their OFA level 2 and 3 certificates. Wood Works has presented the City of Quesnel and Cariboo Regional District (CRD) with an award for the use of wood in their joint building, the West Fraser Centre. The national Wood Works campaign highlights and promotes the use of

Two Northern BC First Nation bands, the Skin Tyee and Nee-TahiBuhn Indian Bands, have received over $481,000 in funding from the provincial government to support trades training in their areas. The funding will go towards offering welding, carpentry, cooking, land stewardship, surveying, driving, craft construction, security, and business administration. The Town of Smithers has revealed a new, 47-car parking lot on Second Avenue, in between Main Street and King Street. The car lot features the town’s first electric vehicle charging station, a touch-free pay option, new street lights, and a newly paved ground surface. The $236,000 project was funded in part by the Regional District of BulkleyNechako (RDBN), who awarded a grant of $75,000 for the project. Newpro (Northern Engineered Wood Products) has received approval to become a wood pellet manufacturing plant. An amendment was approved by the provincial Ministry of Environment for their emissions permit that allows the change. Newpro provides about 30 local jobs, and their switching to become a pellet plant will reduce needs for slash pile burning through the reusing of wood waste.

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Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena - November 2017  

Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena includes business news from Fort St. John and Dawson Creek to Prince Rupert and Kitimat, and from 100...

Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena - November 2017  

Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena includes business news from Fort St. John and Dawson Creek to Prince Rupert and Kitimat, and from 100...