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NANAIMO Excalibur Homes wins coveted BBB Torch Award


Corfield Takes Helm At Nanaimo Port Authority New Chair Aims To Chart New Course For Downtown Nanaimo Boat Basin PAGE 14


COMOX VALLEY Comox Centre Mall, a once dated and half tenanted shopping complex is being rapidly transformed into a major retail and business hub

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ANAIMO – As the new Chair of the Nanaimo Port Authority, Dr. Michelle Corfield is determined to finish a job she helped start: Re-make the Nanaimo boat basin. In 2014, the NPA suddenly trotted out a plan for a Sidney-based company to take over and rebuild the downtown centerpiece, with virtually no input from stakeholders. Dr. Corfield led a coalition of concerned citizens that was successful in stopping the project in its tracks. It was a bold step forward, and the City of Nanaimo appointed Dr. Corfield as their representative to the NPA in 2015. A member of Ucluelet First Nation, where she has served as Chair of the UFN Legislature since 2011, Dr. Corfield is the first Aboriginal woman to lead a Port Authority in Canada. “My vision is to unite the community on things that matter on

the waterfront, such as the boat basin marina,” says Dr. Corfield. “That project is still my goal, but none of that can be done in isolation. We have to work together. “I am a collaborative team player, and I value those that are around me. I don’t make decisions without receiving lots of input, and I value the voice of the entire board.” The boat basin is an important focal point for downtown Nanaimo and the community, and is in need of an overall upgrade to serve existing and visiting moorage tenants. Dr. Corfield promises that whatever emerges through the revitalization process will be the result of making sure all affected parties have their voices heard and are involved. Dr. Corfield was elected by the board of directors to take the helm as former Chair Moira Jenkins has retired. Moving into the Vice Chair position is respected community leader Donna Hais, a former Chair of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and

New Nanaimo Port Authority Chair Dr. Michelle Corfield at the downtown Nanaimo boat basin General Manager and Partner at R.W. (Bob) Wall Contracting. Dr. Corfield notes that all members of the Board of Directors have

been appointed by various levels of government – federal, provincial SEE NANAIMO PORT AUTHORITY | PAGE 19

Collaborative Efforts Lead To Collective Real Estate Success Royal LePage’s Susan Forrest & Kevin Kittmer Form Successful Partnership


ARKSVILLE – A melding of two like-minded business philosophies, a collaborative joining of inter-related skills, the cooperative business relationship cultivated by Parksville realtors Susan Forrest and Kevin Kittmer has proven to be the winning formula for many of the duo’s clients. Operating in both the residential and the more complex arena of commercial real estate sales, the two sales professionals have developed a

local network system that has proven to be the right choice for many clients across the region. “While we both look after our own individual residential clients, we do help each other out whenever it’s necessary. But it’s when we’re working with a commercial client that our partnership really comes into its own,” Forrest explained. B ot h re a ltors work o ut of t he Royal LePage Parksville Qualicum Beach Realty office

located at 173 Island Highway West in Parksville, having full access to the expansive systems and resources developed through the Royal LePage franchise network. But as each realtor is essentially a business in their own right, the collaborative approach developed by Kittmer and Forrest adds an extra layer of skills and professionalism to every transaction. “While in a larger sales market commercial real estate is

typically a specialty area with realtors working exclusively on that one sector - in the Oceanside region there simply isn’t enough commercial work available to make it your sole vocation. You pretty much have to work in both sides of the industry,” Kittmer stated. For Forrest, working together allows the two sales persons to work more effectively and SEE FORREST & KITTMER | PAGE 13

2 NANAIMO Air Canada Announces Service To Toronto Nanaimo News Bulletin Residents of the Harbour City will soon be able to fly directly to Canada’s largest city. Air Canada has a n nou nced seasonal four-times weekly, non-s top ser v ic e f rom Nana i mo to Toronto’s Pea rson International Airport beginning June 21 and ending Oct. 08, 2018. The airline also annou n c e d n o n-s to p s e a s o na l s e r v i c e f ro m V i c to r i a to Mont re a l a n d K a m lo op s to Toronto. The new route will be operated by Air Canada Rouge, a lowcost subsidiary of Air Canada, a nd w i l l be served by a 136seat A irbus A319 configured w ith prem iu m economy a nd economy seating. Flights will occur on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The flight from Nanaimo will depart at 12:15 pm while the flight to Nanaimo departs Toronto at 9:30 am. Mike Hooper, the Nanaimo A irport president a nd ch ief e x e c u t i v e o f f i c e r, s a i d A i r Ca n ad a’s a n nou nc ement i s delightful, adding that the airport has never had regularly scheduled jet aircraft service before.

NEWS UPDATE “We’ve hosted [Boeing] 757’s on site before as charters but this is the first time we’re going to have scheduled jet service to anywhere in Canada,” he said. Angela Mah, spokesperson for A i r Ca nada, sa id tickets for f l ig hts on the new route a re ava i l a ble for p u rch a se. She said the decision to begin non-stop service to Toronto is due to increasing demand for f lights to Nanaimo and Vancouver Island. “It gives Ca nad ia ns a nd e v e r y b o d y e l s e t h e o p p o rtunity to get to Nanaimo with basically one f light less duri ng the su m mer,” Ma h sa id. “It’s great for tourism in the Nanaimo area and it’s something we believe there is good demand for.” To r o n t o ’s P e a r s o n I n te rnational Airport is Canada’s busiest airport and has nonstop f l ig hts to dest i nat ions a rou nd t he world i nclud i ng Africa, South America and the Middle East. Mah said the Nanaimo-Toronto route w ill benefit mid-Island travellers looking to connect onwards to cities i n Atla ntic Ca nada, eastern United States and beyond. “It gives people a more convenient option to get there,” she said. Air Canada’s announcement comes less than two months a f t e r We s t J e t a n n o u n c e d

year-round non-stop service from Nanaimo to Vancouver.

COMOX VALLEY Investment Company Adds Eighth Property Comox Va l ley-based RealStream Income Properties LP has added an eighth property to its portfolio and now stands at approximately $44 million i n tota l asset va lue. T he organization’s latest acquisition – the Law Courts Annex at 488 Albert Street in Nanaimo, BC – is home to three provincial government tenants includi ng Ser v ice BC Access Centre, Nanaimo Law Courts, and the Ministry of Children and Family Development. The head of RealStream’s acquisition team and the company’s co-founder, Jim Stewart said, “We have been pleased with the portfolio’s growth over the last few years and I think our investors have also been very happy as we have been outperforming our targeted returns.” The portfolio’s performance in the last year was 11.98 per cent a nd t he a n nu a l ret u r n since inception is compou nd i ng at 11.25 percent. “It is important to note that these annual returns are


net of our management fee,” added Mr. Stewart. “While past performance is no g ua ra ntee of f utu re perfor m a nc e, we fe el s t ron g ly that our attention to detail and our experienced management group will cont i nue to i nvest w i sely w it h a n e y e fo r b o t h s a fe t y a n d g row t h,” com mented Rea lStrea m co-fou nder, Richard DeLuca. To m a k e R e a l S t r e a m a ccessible to more fa m i l ies, the company has reduced the m i n i mu m i nvest ment f rom $10 0,0 0 0 to $50,0 0 0. “ We are excited about the success of RealStream in the first few years and we want to make this exciti ng i nvestment opportunity available to more local investors,” said Jonathan Veale, the third c o-fo u n d e r a lon g w it h M r. Stewart and Mr. DeLuca. RealStream was founded in 2014 to allow local people the opportunity to invest in a Vancouver Island-based portfolio of i ncome proper ties. Si nce Aug ust of 2014, Rea lStrea m has acquired two properties i n C o u r t e n a y, fo u r i n N anaimo, one in Kamloops, and the Timberline Village Shopping Centre in Campbell River. The RealStream portfolio is 100 percent occupied with 28 tenants and approximately 188,000 squ a re fe et of buildings.

COWICHAN VALLEY New Residential Care Facility Island Health and H&H Total Care Services Inc. (H&H) are work i ng together to bri ng a new residential care facility to Duncan. The facility will focus on improving seniors’ care capacity in the Cowichan Valley and on meeting the needs of complex care clients. T he new site will have 80 publicly funded beds a nd ei g ht pr ivate, complex ca re beds. T he u n its w i l l be g roup ed toget her i n neig hbourhoods with a home-like design. Each neighbourhood w ill have its ow n spa / bathing area, outdoor space, recreational area and quiet areas. All units will be single occupancy with a private ensuite bathroom that includes a sink, toilet and wheelchair accessible shower. One unit will be capable of ca ri ng for people with challenging behaviours who require a secure environm e n t to m e e t t h e i r n e e d s . For more than 25 years H&H has been a leader in creating senior living communities with “Hamlets” in British Columbia and SEE NEWS UPDATE | PAGE 3




Alberta. The “Hamlets” serve people with different care needs including seniors, dementia care and patients with acquired brain injuries. Island Health h a s worked w it h H & H over the past few years to place patients with significant complex challenges when suitable space was not available on the Island. T he new site w i l l b e c a l led The Hamlets at Duncan. Construction will begin March 2018 and is expected to be ready for residents in November 2019. T he or ig i n a l R F P for a new residential care facility was 40 to 60 initial beds with the capacity to add 20 future beds. “When we looked at population growth rates in the Cowichan Va l ley a nd factored i n construction costs and timelines, it was decided a larger centre from the onset offered greater value to the taxpayers who fund care and would better serve the community now and into the future,” said Tim Orr, Director of Residential Services.

VANCOUVER ISLAND MNP Expands Vancouver Island Presence MNP, Canada’s fifth largest national accounting and business consulting firm, announced that Hulko Cameron Wellburn LLP, a Victoria-based accounting firm, will merge with MNP, effective January 1, 2018. While Hulko Cameron Wellburn was looking to deliver more specialty services to the marketplace, MNP was looking to expand its presence and add more accounting and tax professionals in Victoria. MNP has 18 locations across BC with the firm’s strategic plan calling for continued growth in the province. “As we continue to grow our firm to serve the needs of this thriving region, we are excited to welcome a well-established accounting firm that shares our values and

client-centric approach,” said Darren T urchansky, M N P ’s Executive Vice President of the BC Region. “Since first opening in Victoria with a single team member in 2012, our office has grown rapidly to include a strong advisory practice, including team members specializing in public sector consulting, technology consulting, cyber security, and personal insolvency. Joining forces with Hulko Cameron Wellburn more than doubles our Victoria team and adds the experienced accounting and tax professionals we were seeking to complement our existing Victoria practice,” added Turchansky. T he fi rm consists of th ree Partners – Jim Cameron, Steven Wellburn and Sanci Solbakken, as well as one manager, 12 other accounting professionals, and two administrative staff. Founded in 1976, the firm has served the Victoria market for more than 35 years and continues today as a proactive, reliable, professional services firm, committed to giving the highest level of expertise and service to their clients. “Changing and dynamic market conditions are impacting the way businesses must operate – including our own firm,” explained Steven Wellburn, Managing Partner, Hulko Cameron Wellb u r n . “ We a re c ont i n u a l ly looking at new ways to help our clients achieve their goals, and one of our goals is to enhance our current service offerings across all of the key sectors in our local economy. By joining MNP we can add more local and national resources, more specialized services, and a broader range of industry expertise and experience, all of which will provide our clients with even greater value in the future. It’s a great example of how two firms can come together to give our clients the edge they need to stay competitive and overcome current business and industry challenges.”

Up And Running Parksville Qualicum News W hile the sun might not be making too many appearances lately, that’s not stoppi ng a new set of solar panels from collecting energy. Du ri ng its Nov. 28 reg u la r m e e t i n g , t h e S c h o o l D i st r ic t 69 (Q u a l ic u m) sc ho ol board got an introduction to Kwalikum Secondary School’s solar power system, which is now up and running. Jason Jackson of Hakai Energy Solutions, wh ich designed and installed the system this summer, made a presentation to the board on the 120 photovolta ic pa nels

secu red to t he roof of t he school’s southern building. A t a c o s t o f $1 45,6 87, t h e project c a me i n 10 p er cent u nder budget, a nd h as si x per cent more capacity tha n orig i na l ly esti mated, sa id Jackson. B e fo re t h o s e s av i n g s, t h e system was estimated to pay for itself in energy savings in 16 years, making an average of about $9,105 a year. The system will produce an e s t i m a te d 42 ,6 8 3 k i l o w a t t h o u r s o f e n e r g y p e r y e a r, sa id Jackson, or rough ly the equ iva lent of the a mou nt of energ y con su med by fou r average Canadian homes. T h e p u b l i c c a n s e e d a i l y,

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3 monthly and yearly how much e n e rg y t h e s y s te m h a s a bsorbed from the sun through a web page that also calculates the amount of CO2 emissions saved. As of Dec. 2, the system had collected 1,204 kilowatt hours of energy, 1,160 of which was collected in November. T he power collected by the system is either used for the school’s needs, or gets sent back into the grid, offsetting the school board’s hydro bill, Jackson told trustees. “The system is very durable and robust,” he said, adding it features various safety features, including an automatic shut-of f t r ig gered by a f i re alarm.




Nanaimo Manufacturer Wins Prestigious Provincial Export Award VMAC Global Technology Sells Its Vehicle Mounted Compressors Around The World


ANAIMO – VMAC Global Technology Inc., the designers and builders of a unique line of vehicle-mounted air compressors and other multi-power systems was one of eight winners (and one of only two based on Vancouver Island) at the recent 35th-a n nua l BC E x por t Awa rds held i n Vancouver. The awards were produced by Business in Vancouver magazine and were presented this year by the BC division of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) as well as the provincial government. The Nanaimo-based air compressor company won its award in the Manufactured Product’s category. “ T h e V M AC t e a m i s very honored to w i n th is awa rd, wh ich recog n i zes ou r orga n i zation for manufacturing high-quality products on Vancouver Island, which are exported around the world,� explained Tod Gilbert, VMAC’s Executive Vice-President.

VMAC Global Technology Inc. was originally founded in 1986, and produces a range of compressor products “VMAC is just one example of the opportunity that exists for British Columbia manufacturing, and we are proud to represent this important business sector. VMAC’s focus on our people, cultu re, com mu n ity a nd continuous improvement has helped us reinvest in

VMAC to ensure sustainable growth.� For Bruce Ralston, the provincial Jobs, Trade and Technology Minister the importance of the Export Awa rds is to recog n ize the efforts companies in the province undertake to market their products and services to off shore

markets – a challenge that can be overwhelming to some business owners. “VMAC is a real success story, a provincial compa ny t h at i s cu r rent ly marketing its product in something like 35 different countries including throughout North Ameri c a , Un i te d K i n gd o m ,


Eu rop e, New Z ea l a nd, Australia, and in the Middle East,� he explained. T he first BC Export Awards were presented in 1982 and were created at the depths of a major economic recession to help raise awareness and to recognize the contribution the manufacturing and service

sectors were making to the overall economy of British Columbia. “Since it was sta r ted more tha n 300 companies have been recognized, which is a tribute to the type of innovation BC companies are creating,� Ralston said. SEE VMAC GLOBAL | PAGE 5



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While British Columbia has a long and successful history of exporting raw materials and other resource based products such as lumber, pulp and paper the ma nu factu ring sector is a part of the economy that has on ly come to play a part on the global stage in recent decades. Ralston suggested that ma nu factu red exports account for something like eight percent of the provinceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but a percentage that has tremendous potential to grow in the future. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For rapid ly g row i ng

Bruce Ralston is the provincial Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology and a supporter of the BC Export Awards companies one of the obvious ways and most i mpor ta nt ways to expa nd is to establ ish a n ex p or t m a rket b eyond

Based in Nanaimo, VMAC produces a line of air compressors and vehicle mounted systems sold around the world

t h e b o u nd a r ie s of o u r country. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why these Export Awards are so important, in terms of recognition and in offering encouragement,â&#x20AC;? he said. V M AC desig ns a nd manufactures what are considered to be the most compact a nd power f u l mobile air compressors a nd mu lt i-p ower s y stems available anywhere. V M AC has ea rned a well-deserved reputation for its extraordinary build quality, durability and reliability in extreme conditions, among operators and fleet managers in the mobile mechanic, tire service, utilities, mining, oil and gas, and construction industries. For V M ACâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gi l b er t, one its greatest achievements, aside from prod u c i n g w o rl d l e a d i n g products, is to prov ide for the well being of its greatest asset, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s staff. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Improving the quality of life for each coworker and their fam ilies, and contributing to the local economy has been part of VMACâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s driving purpose for the past 30 years, and will continue to be as the company grows and thrives in Nanaimo, BC,â&#x20AC;? he said.


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s Ladysmith welc o m e s t h e h o l iday season with its popular Festival of Lights, an event that annually draws more than 30,000 people to the town, new economic development strategies and activities are also being illuminated. The Town of Ladysmith is set to partner with Economic Development Cowichan, Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, Ladysmith Downtown Business Association, the Stzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;uminus First Nation and Nanaimo Airport to create a over-arching economic development strategy for the town. The strategy, which is being supported by participating partners and facilities by Economic Development in collaboration with Island

Coastal Economic Trust, is aimed at setting priorities for achieving shared prosperity in Ladysmith. Du ri ng the past yea r, there has been no shortage of exciting activities in Ladysmith. The Town has worked in partnership with Stz-uminus First Nation to create a waterfront development plan that reimagines la nd use opportu n ities surrounding Ladysmithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Transfer Beach Park. The Stzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;uminus First Nation, through Coast Salish Development Corporation, is completing several infrastructure initiatives that will have a positive impact on Ladysmith, including the new Microtel Inn & Suites Hotel by Wyndam at Oyster Bay. The Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and the Ladysmith Business Development Association have worked collaboratively throughout the year to host professional development opportunities for local business owners, while Economic Development Cowichan is set to embark on a regional Industrial Land Use Action Plan that


will examine the future of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s industrial land base. Meanwhile, Nanaimo Airport is ramping up its expansion plans and attracting new commercial interest at one of BCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fastest growing airports. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a special time for our communityâ&#x20AC;? says Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, citing a 2017 award from the Canadian Planning Institute that cited the town for having the best main street in Canada. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The future will be even brighter if we can collaborate to identify priorities, create new opportunities for partnership, and enhance prosperity in the town and throughout the region.â&#x20AC;? The Ladysmith Economic Development Strategy is set to get underway in the new year, and will include opportunities for community and business leaders to share their ideas and insights. Amy Melmock is the Manager of the Economic Development Cowichan Valley Regional District. She can be reache at

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n s p i te o f a n i n c re a s e d focus on the overall health and wellness of employees, many efforts in this area remain concentrated on safety and security issues or traditional health concerns such as employee dental and drug plans. While these are all important aspects of your teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health and well-being, there are other areas that may not be addressed by basic healthcare or safety, and with some innovative thinking and a mini ma l a mou nt of i nvestment you can significantly impact culture, employee engagement and attendance. As the personal and professional lives of our employees

conti nue to i ntertw i ne a nd provide increased pressures and demands from all areas, it becomes more i mporta nt for employers to be aware of the ways they can support not only the physical side of employee good health, but also the emotional and social aspects. A formal focus on and implementation of employee â&#x20AC;&#x153;wellnessâ&#x20AC;? is a way of doing just that. The specifics of how your organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wellness Program is developed, implemented and promoted shou ld be unique and reflective of your culture. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rome was not built in a dayâ&#x20AC;? a nd neit her i s a n ef fect ive Wellness Program. Instead, lay i ng out a road-map that includes short and long-term initiatives, ongoing activities a nd i ncentives, a nd forma l supports (e.g., Employee Assistance Program) that will build momentum and integrate a feeling of wellness into the cultural fabric of your organization is the key to sustainability and success. Add itiona l ly, the i nput of employees is vital to building a wellness program that addresses the needs, priorities and interests of those who will participate â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including the dependents of your employees.

To that end, surveying team members to understand what they wou ld l i ke to have i ncluded in a wellness program is time well-served. Furthermore, employees remain vital to t h e p r o c e s s o f k e e p i n g things on-track, supporting initiatives and addressing ongoing and/or changing wellness needs and concerns, and as such, the development of a Wel l ness Com m ittee i s a necessary component of any wellness program. Although re q u i r i n g t he s up p or t a nd buy-in of senior leadership, this Committee will function most effectively as an employee-driven group with a significant amount of autonomy to make decisions and drive outcomes. Awa re n e s s a nd i mprovements in overall health and wel l ness w i l l on ly ser ve to benefit employees â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a nd i n turn the organization. W hy not start working on putting together something that works for you and your employees? You will not be disappointed in the results â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and neither will your team.


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Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Clothing Store Currently Operates Four Outlets In BC


OU RT ENAY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Whether for a formal occasion, in the office or at the work site, Jimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Clothes Closet has proven the right choice for menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clothing for nearly half a century. With its original outlet opening in Port Alberni nearly 50 years ago (the gold anniversary is in 2018) Jimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Clothes Closet now operates four stores â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Port Alberni, Courtenay, Campbell River, with its newest outlet opening in Prince George about a year ago. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Basically we carry everything from work wear to formal wear, including shoes and other accessories. Our slogan is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Denim to Suits for the Quality Manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; which pretty much sums it up,â&#x20AC;? explained Drew Bradley, Jimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s General Manager and the Manager of the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Courtenay store. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are quite literally a one stop shop for menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clothing. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d almost have to classify us as a large boutique style operation, catering to the varying needs of our male customers. We carry items for both the blue collar and the white collar, designed

From tuxedo rentals to carrying clothing lines intended for the worksite, Jimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Clothes Closet is a one stop shop for men from 19 to 85 and everyone in between.â&#x20AC;? Carrying a wide range of name brands, from Carhartt to Tommy Bahama and from Buffalo Jeans to Jack Victor Suits, Jimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Clothes Closet prides itself on understanding the needs of the clothes buying male public, offering guidance and information to make the clothing purchase process enjoyable and successful. The various outlets either provide in-house tailoring, or have relationships with local tailors to ensure the clothing purchases fit right

before the customer takes them home, as Bradley explained, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We employ only the very best tailors.â&#x20AC;? Understanding its market has always been a key to Jimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Clothes Closetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We essentially offer everything a guy needs. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a large boutique, specializing in medium to high priced, better quality goods. What it all comes down to is that over the years weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned that guys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want disposable clothing. They want quality, long lasting products and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the market weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always served,â&#x20AC;? Bradley said. Is further expansion on the horizon for this niche market clothier? According to Bradley nothing should be ruled out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Will we be opening another store in the future? We certainly wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rule it out, but only if the market was there and it made sound business sense. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d rather have four good quality stores than 10 that were not serving the market properly. Our focus has always been on quality products and quality service,â&#x20AC;? he said.




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NEW BOXWOOD ROAD LOCATION FOR SIGNAAGE Boxwood. Roger is excited about the move, and has purchased new sign making equipment to serve their growing list of customers. SignAge’s former location will become a storage facility for LaZ-Boy, as Windley Contracting is renovating the building, which also was the Nanaimo Daily News offices as well. *** There have been some big, good news announcements for downtown Nanaimo. The City has MARK MACDONALD issued a 10-year tax exemption to Peg Developments as it prepares oger McKinnon has moved to build a new Courtyard by Marhis SignAge business from riott hotel at 100 Gordon Street, McCullough Road to 103 Roger McKinnon next to the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Architect for the project is Turner Fleischer of Toronto. Island Creek Developments, led by Alvin Benjamin and Patrick Davis, will be building highs All Types of Custom Fabrication end condos at 91 Chapel and has s3TAINLESSAND Aluminum WELDING opened a presentation centre. Construction continues across s3HEET-ETAL&LASHING-aterials the street from Real Estate Webs#OMPUTERIZED WaTERJET#UTTING masters at 223 Commercial Street s3TRUCTURAL3TEELFabircaTION-aterials on a matching brick building for s2ETAIL-ETAL3ALESsTank Fabrication owner Morgan Carey’s growing company. R.W. (Bob) Wall Contracting is working on the project. MONDAY - FRIDAY 8:00 TO 4:30 *** A huge bouquet to Gordon Heys, the founder of Woodgrove Chrysler, for donating $2 milTOLL FREE 1-888-754-9711 Fax: 250-754-8913 lion to the BC Cancer Foundation to pay for a new PET/CT scanner. Now retired, Gordon’s sons now run the north Nanaimo dealership. *** Notary Public Tina Lloyd has moved her bu si ness to Pat Bekar’s office in University Village across f rom Starbuck’s. *** Tectonica We understand your unique business needs. Count on us to Management is building an make timely, locally-made decisions that help you grow your

addition to St. Peter’s Church on Machleary Street. ***

Several downtown projects demonstrate more optimism in Nanaimo



Business banking is about a shared perspective

Chris Erb Chris Erb of SupErb Construction continues to keep more than busy building for the GAIN Group on Vancouver Island. GA I N, which owns the Vancouver Island Motorsports Circuit next to Highway 18 towards Lake Cowichan, has plans to enlarge the vehicle circuit with more buildings, as well as a golf course and other recreational areas. SupErb is currently working on a new facility that will offer high-end Audi, Alpha Romeo and Maserati vehicle brands by the GAIN Group. *** MHR Cabinetry has moved beside National Car Rentals and Sales on Northfield Road. Island West Coast Developments is working on renovations at National. *** Caledonia Fire Protection has moved from Boxwood to 290 Fry Street. *** There’s a bit of a shuffling of spaces in the shopping centre on Terminal Avenue that houses Lordco and the Canada Post Office. Tax return firm H&R Block is moving to a larger unit in the centre. *** Vancouver Island’s first Sabzi Mandi Supermarket, a South Asian specialty store, has opened

in the former location of Buns Master on Bowen Road. The Nanaimo outlet is their eighth. *** Hey Beautiful has moved their nail and hair salon from 123 Commercial to 477 Wallace Street downtown. *** Driftwood Counseling is opening an office at 1881 Dufferin Crescent. Their head office is in Fort Langley, on the lower mainland. *** Falcon Equipment is building a two-storey building at 1965 Boxwood Road, and will be moving from their 1631 Harold Place site in South Wellington in 2018. Falcon has sales and service locations across Canada, and in the United States. *** A new smoke shop will be opening next to the Landlubber Pub Ltd. in Beban Plaza, which is home to Quality Foods. Grower Direct Florists, in the Northfield Road side of the shopping centre, will be re-branding to Ladybug Floral. *** The Cassidy Tempo near Nanaimo Airport will re-brand as an independent gas station sometime in the new year. *** Sports Clips will be opening in Rock City Plaza, which is home to Smitty’s Restaurant, as well as Jumping Jiminy’s Playground & Café. Mark MacDonald writes about business in Nanaimo. Tell him your news by emailing him at mark@

business. Talk to your local branch today to find solutions perfectly suited to your business banking needs.

%XVLQHVVH[DPLQHUFD %UHDNLQJ%XVLQHVV1HZV Jeremy Jones Sr. Account Mgr, Commercial Banking Nanaimo branch 6475 Metral Drive T. 250.390.0088 A CWB Financial Group Company


Jean-Marc Jaquier AVP & Branch Manager Courtenay branch 470 Puntledge Road T. 250.334.8888






can’t happen to your organization, think


t’s estimated that 55 per cent of orga n i zat ion s ex per ienced a cyber attack in the past year, many of which went undetected. Not on ly a re the th reats of cyber attacks rising, but so is the level of disruption and damage they cause. In addition to direct financial losses, the adverse impacts on an organization’s reputation and operations can be even more severe and long lasting. And it’s not just large corporations being targeted. “If you think it can’t happen to you r orga n i zation, th i n k twice,” cautions Ron Borsholm, B C L e a d e r, C y b e r S e c u r i t y Services for MNP. “Successful attacks have been made on small businesses, retail chains, post-second a r y educat ional institutions, not-for-profit organizations and even minor hockey associations. Hackers don’t discriminate.” According to Borsholm, spear phishing and ransomware are two of the most common cyber threats. Spear phishing is an em a i l-spoof i ng attack t h at ta rgets a speci fic orga n ization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to sensitive information. In one recent case, an organization lost significant money when the accounts payable clerk was targeted and a sked by em a i l to ch a n ge a vendor’s banking information. The criminals then sent fake invoices to the organization, which were paid using the altered banking information. I n a not her c a se, t he ch ief financial officer at a not-forprofit received an email that looked like it was from a bank the organization used. It asked her to update her user ID and password and in the rush of a busy day she quickly complied. A few days later, it was discovered that hundreds of thousands

Cyber Security

twice. Hackers don’t discriminate.” RON BORSHOLM BC LEADER, CYBER SECURITY SERVICES, MNP

Peter Guo, BC Leader, Enterprise Risk Services, MNP

of dollars had been stolen and wired out of their account. Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents users from accessing their computer system unless a ransom is paid. In most cases, users either click a n attach ment i n a n ema i l or a link on a webpage which leads to their systems being compromised. Borshol m reca l ls a sma l l

liquor store that recently fell v ictim to such ra nsomwa re. While the company was only asked for a ransom of $500 in bitcoin (which they paid), it cost more than 10 times the ransom amount to fully restore their computers to a secure state. To add insult to injury, the perpetrator sent the business owner an unofficial receipt thanking them for thei r “i nvolu nta ry purchase.” “Many of these organizations did not have sufficient internal controls in place such as policies, procedures and training to prevent this from happening,” says Borsholm. “Other organizations put controls in place, but then fail to test them to ensure they are working correctly.” For example, in another ransomware attack in BC the company discovered their computer backups had not been working. “Without any backups, the company was essentially left crippled w ith a tota l loss of over six months of operational and financial information until the ransom was paid,” says Borsholm. Orga n i zat ions who accept c re d i t c a rd p a y m e n t s f a c e

Ron Borsholm leads MNP’s Cyber Security practice in BC

another concern. Under their merchant agreement, they are required to be compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). “The PCI-DSS is a standard which requires a basic level of security and a lot of organizations aren’t aware of it,” Borsholm explains. “As a result, they don’t follow common security practices, which leads to potential credit card breaches.” Peter Guo has been working in IT security and audit since 1999 and is MNP’s BC Leader for Enterprise Risk Services. He says the first step in protecting your organization is to fully understand your specific situation. “Do you k now what you r critica l data is a nd whether that type of data is being targeted? Do you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your technology? What are the threats and what internal controls do you currently have in place?” Guo recommends a Maturity and Threat Analysis as a good starting point. This analysis provides the information you need to prioritize your risks and appropriately protect your

organization. Education across the organization is also critical through a formal and recurring awareness campaign. “Good cyber security isn’t just a matter of putting protective technology in place,” Guo emphasizes. “Threats and technologies constantly shift and people need to be constantly reminded to stay vigilant. As organizations change, people enter new roles and have access to different systems, information and data, they need to know what’s expected of them when it comes to cyber security.” MNP offers a wide range of cyber security services including Maturity and Threat Analysis, PCI Compliance consulting and audit, network vulnerability and penetration testing, and internal control assessments. In our increasingly connected world, cyber attacks are happen i ng w ith i ncreasi ng frequency and present very real risk for businesses of all sizes. If you’re not sure about your organization’s ability to withstand one, take action today to avoid a crisis and protect your company’s assets.

are you FUTURE READY? In our increasingly connected world, security has become an urgent issue for virtually every company. How prepared is your organization to handle a cyber attack or data breach? Find out what you need to do to protect your revenue – and reputation – with MNP’s Cyber Security Health Check. Contact your local MNP Business Advisor or Ron Borsholm, B.C. Leader, Cyber Security Services at 778.350.3562 or





ORT ALBERNI - In a small tow n where ever yone knows everyone and wordof-mouth spreads quickly, integrity is essential. Thus the Alberni Auto Group’s quarter-century of success is a testament to the company’s personal values as much as its business acumen. A drive through Port Alberni produces evidence of the company’s success: multiple license plate holders displaying Alberni Chrysler or Alberni Toyota names and logos, demonstrating that the vehicles came from either of the company’s two dealerships. The same plate holders can also be spotted in other island communities. General Manager Shawn Elder reports customers making the drive to Port Alberni to purchase their vehicles, drawn by the company’s reputation for straight dealing. “When you live in a small town, you have to be honest with people and give them good products and good service. Otherwise, you will not survive because word will spread,” Elder said. Port Alberni is isolated enough to form its own market, although still close enough that residents could drive to other communities for major purchases like a vehicle. “People could drive to Parksville or Nanaimo to buy but they usually choose not to because they’ve experienced good value a nd good fol low-up ser v ice with us,” Elder said. Unlike city dealerships, Elder said his company works hard to keep in contact with customers and offer ongoing service. Plus, many clients are friends and neighbours. Elder notes that building trust i s esp eci a l ly i mp or ta nt for vehicle sales. Unlike other retail sales, where customers tend to trust pricing and products, vehicle sales are often regarded as an adversarial process, where

General Manager Shawn Elder consumers must be wary of the product and must barter on price. For many people, a vehicle is also their largest consumer purchase, adding to the stress. Located at 2555 Port Alberni Highway, Alberni Auto Group is friendly and low-key. “We try to make buying a vehicle as stress-free as possible,” Elder said. There are no high pressure sales, information is provided freely, prices are transparent, financing is available, and every customer receives extensive follow-up service and support. To ensure customers are happy with their purchase, Alberni Auto Group screens used vehicles to ensure only quality vehicles reach the lot. “I would buy any used car on our lot,” Elder said. “I know the vehicle has been checked and is safe.” Follow-up service keeps the veh icle m a i nta i ned i n good mechanical condition, further

The 18,500 square foot Alberni Toyota dealership was opened in 2011. Amenities include a new 5 car showroom, an expansive used vehicle lot shared with Alberni Chrysler, 10 bay service and parts department, on-site financing and indoor drive thru service reception ensuring customer satisfaction. Combining value and service has helped the company thrive. The Alberni Auto Group dates back more than 25 years and is now owned and operated by Dennis See and Albert See Jr. Alberni Toyota joined the group in 2008. Both dealerships share the used vehicle stock, which gives clients one-stop browsing. The Cap-It General Truckware outlet was added in 2011, offering pick-up canopies, tires, off-road, and camping supplies. Also part of the group are the Alberni Auto Spa, which provides on-site detailing services, the Pit Stop Café which features

home-made specials, and an on-site Beauty Salon – the first in-dealership hair and spa salon in Canada. The six businesses employ 50 people. The company also gives back generously. It is a popular location for fundraising car washes. There is an application form for donation requests on the website. The donations page lists at least 30 local organizations which have been supported by the Auto Group. Every Christmas the company plans a special project. Past projects have included sponsorship of complete Christmas celebrations for low-income families,

fundraising initiatives for local community services, and this year’s project – which is still under wraps as of this writing. The commitment to community combined with integrity, good service, and good products is key to the company’s success in a challenging market. Elder’s advice is to treat customers well, which starts with treating staff well. “If you treat your staff well, they will treat customers well,” Elder said. T hese cu stomers w i l l come back again and again, enabling a business to thrive even in a small town.

The Alberni Auto Group includes a complete service and parts department to help new owners keep their vehicles maintained

s ’ l e rg


Services Include: • Aluminum & Fibreglass Boat Painting • Automotive Painting • Windshield Repair & Replacement

auto collision

On behalf of everyone at Smythe, we congratulate Alberni Auto Group on 25 years of achievement and success! Proud partner of the Alberni Auto Group 201 - 1825 Bowen Rd | Nanaimo, BC | V9S 1H1 | 250 755 2111



advisory •


Phone: 250.724.3234 4780 Tebo Ave, Port Alberni



ISLAND AQUACULTURE PRODUCER A REGIONAL AND INDUSTRY LEADER Grieg Seafood Has Been Nominated For The Chamberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Community Spirit Award


AMPBELL RIVER â&#x20AC;&#x201C; In the midst of a controversial public salmon farming dispute, local producers like Grieg Seafood BC continue to have a positive impact on their communities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In BC we have about 125 employees working on Vancouver Island and area, with about 25 of them in our head office in Ca mpbel l R iver,â&#x20AC;? ex pla i ned Griegâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Managing Director Rocky Boschman. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The rest of our team is located either at our freshwater facility in Gold River where our hatchery is, or at about 14 different sea farm locations spread between the east coast of the Island and on the west coast of the Island. We also have farms in the inner Sechelt area and in Jervis Inlet on the mainland. So our presence has an impact on a number of different communities right across the region.â&#x20AC;? Grieg Seafood BC is the British Columbia division of Grieg Seafood ASA, one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading fish farming companies. Based in Bergen, Norway, the international enterprise, which specializes in the production of Atlantic salmon, operates facilities across Norway and in the Shetland Islands in the United Kingdom in addition to its expansive presence in BC. With a global workforce of more than 700 Grieg Seafood ASA has an annual production capacity of more than 90,000 tons (gutted weight) of Atlantic salmon â&#x20AC;&#x201C; fish of the highest quality served to customers from around the world. The parent company has been actively involved in salmon farming for more than a quarter century and is considered a

Griegâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farm raised Atlantic salmon is prized by chefs around the world and is served in some of the finest restaurants

The Grieg Seafood Senior Management team includes Boschman (center) and Marilyn Hutchinson (second from left)

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The effects of our business go far beyond the sea farms into all areas of the business community.â&#x20AC;? ROCKY BOSCHMAN MANAGING DIRECTOR, GRIEG SEAFOOD BC LTD.

Another day at the sea farm, a diver gets ready to enter the water at Griegâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Concepcion operation pioneer and a technological innovator in terms of developing systems and procedures for managing salmon production. â&#x20AC;&#x153;W hile Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve only been with Grieg for just over two years Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been involved in farming salmon in BC for more than 30. I came to this position with a fairly extensive background having worked with various other salmon farming companies, having held a number of different positions along the way,â&#x20AC;? he said. Grieg Seafood BC began its operations in 2000, entering the market by purchasing several farms located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, specifically at Nootka Sound and at Esperanza Inlet. The company continued its expansion by purchasing additional existing operations near the Sunshine Coast and in the Okisollo Channel near Sonora Island in 2007.

Presently the company maintains 22 licenses to farm Atlantic salmon with its employees working in more than a dozen, mostly rural communities on the Island, Powell River and Sechelt. Some of Griegâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farms are operated in First Nations territories either with formal long-term agreements in place, or Grieg is in the process of developing relationships toward such agreements. Permissions to operate from coastal Nations are critical components of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to open, respectful relationships with local First Nations. Working across such a large area, and having a direct impact on so many different communities, Grieg Seafood is very conscious of the importance of being a good corporate neighbour. Since 2012, Grieg Seafood

BC has contributed more than half a million dollars, primarily in various North Island communities, funds that have been

donated directly to foundations, local Legion Branches and numerous service clubs.









he A lberni Valley Cha mber of Commerce is once again pleased to host the annual #TryHomeFirst â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Shop Local Campaign. Our fifth year of the program which has seen significant growth and interest every year to date. Shop Local is a term that all communities grapple with not only during the Festive Season but throughout the year. We are no different. We want our local shoppers to understand the impact of shopping elsewhere yet we also understand that should â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; not do a good job then â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; have to understand that shoppers do have a right to ask for

proper service and quality products. O u r Bra nd - #T r yHomeFirst simply asks the shopper to do exactly that. Try home first. Give our businesses a chance and then if they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t satisfy then by all means look for alternatives. Frankly we think that we have an incredible menu of quality businesses in Port Alberni and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re convinced that people are now looking in their front yard at purchase opportunities. Our â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Shop Localâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; program is very unique in that it â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;rewardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; people for shopping locally. We are currently positioning to have similar results to 2016 whereby nearly 100 local businesses each contributed a $100.00 gift certificate to the program and we in turn purchased a $25.00

gift certificate for each big one received. We then visit each business, unscheduled, during the month of December at which point we approach a customer in the midst of making a purchase and we reward them for doing so via the $25.00 gift card that we have in hand. We then collect their name/contact information along with that of others nearby and then in early January we hold the draws for the distribution of our many $100.00 gift cards. I n 2016 we prov ided a local shopper with $2500. Worth of Gift Ca rd s, a not her won $2000. Worth, and we fol lowed that w ith a selection of w i n ners getting $1500., $1000., $500. And 23 others received a $100. Gift card. All of that for shopping local, for supporting Port Alberni business, forâ&#x20AC;Ś. Trying Home First. Bill Colette is the Executive Director at the Port Alberni Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at bill@




serendipitously timed visit to Winnipeg resulted in local resident, Shirley Whyte, attending a presentation by Shaun Loney, relentless social entrepreneur, author and community activist. On her return to Port Alberni, Shirley began talking up the possibilities of more social enterprise for our community, first with her church group, and then with others. They began distributing Shaunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book An Army of Problem Solvers then fund-raising to bring him here. Fast forward a few months and Shaun was here for three d ay s on a t i g ht ly-t i m e d schedule that had him

meeting with First Nations, people interested in starting a social enterprise, one such venture already up and running (CMHA Healthy Harvest Farm) and more. His public presentation attracted more than 150 people and his workshop the following day more than 60 participants. He encourages us to see where the opportunities are to disrupt the current approaches to poverty in favour of a solution. He showcases initiatives that have been pioneered in Manitoba and are spreading to other provinces. He talks about communities creating local food alternatives to begin to address health issues such as diabetes. He discusses enterprises that are installing energ y a nd water-sav i ng measures in apartments and homes to cut those costs and provide a return on investment to everyone involved through Pay As You Save financing. These initiatives are also putting people to work who are normally considered unemployable such as people just out of prison and drug addicts. His message includes the advice to understand what

the costs of some of the provincial, federal and municipal approaches to pervasive issues are, and how to access some of those funds to solve the problems instead of perpetuating them. He encourages us to advocate for social procurement where value trumps lowest cost and then advocates the use of a third party to review the initiative and present the evidence of its success. Often an inspiring speakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s message will stick for a day or three then slowly be forgotten as other matters become more pressing. However, the organizing committee and others who attended are working to ensure that our follow-up will strengthen or scale up the existing social enterprises, start new ones and lead to a new municipal social procurement policy in Port Alberni such as has already been adopted in at least three other communities on Vancouver Island. Pat Deakin is the Economic Development Manager for the City of Port Alberni. He can be reached at 250-720-2527 or

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Royal LePage’s Susan Forrest & Kevin Kittmer Form Successful Partnership “But it’s when we’re working with a commercial client that our partnership really comes into its own.” SUSAN FORREST REALTOR, ROYAL LEPAGE PARKSVILLE QUALICUM BEACH REALTY

Realtors Susan Forrest and Kevin Kittmer work together on commercial real estate projects

not just for a single transaction. That’s always the way to develop a real estate business for the long term,” Forrest explained. For Kittmer the business relationship is a winning proposition, for himself and for his clients. “I strongly believe in real estate as an investment vehicle for a lot of people. One of my motivations for being in real estate is to try and educate people about how powerful real estate can be as a wealth building tool for now and for the future,” he said. “I personally believe real estate is about the best investment a person can make, and working with Susan I can now help get that message out to a much wider and more diverse audience.” and



efficiently. “We specialize in completely taking care of our client’s needs, that’s really how it works. Whether it’s a piece of com mercia l la nd or a development or a mobile home or a multi-million dollar waterfront property – wherever we’re needed and can help, that’s where we’ll be,” she said. Both Forrest and Kittmer have been realtors for many years, but both have also transferred skills learned in their earlier careers into their current vocation, much to their client’s advantage. Forrest began her professional life in the hospitality industry while Kittmer entered real estate sales from a background in the aircraft maintenance field, specifically related to the servicing of helicopters. W hile seemingly unrelated to real estate marketing, her background in hotels and restaurants provided Forrest with a wealth of human relations and communications skills, while Kittmer’s technology-focused work history ably prepared him to f u nct ion w it h i n t he ever changing, online environment required by a modern real estate professional. The pairing of their

backgrounds, experiences and personal strengths has proven to be an asset for both business partners. “One of the main reasons I chose real estate was that I already had a personal interest in real estate investment, so I wanted to transition into something that would allow me to live where I wanted to live, enjoy my family time, and still work to help my community and clients,” he said. Realtors, by the nature of their profession have to be entrepreneurially minded, and the backgrounds and collective experiences of Forrest and Kittmer have helped to prepare them for the challenges and benefits of their new career paths. Today when working together to assist both residential and commercial clients, the pair (working alongside the individual teams and affiliates they have developed over the years) have the collective resources and talents to satisfy the real estate needs of any client. “W hile I have my own real estate team I never had anyone on my direct team that was as interested or as knowledgeable about commercial real estate as Kevin. We’re very much alike, he’s honest and he always thinks about developing clients for life,

We’ll be celebrating the very best in 2017 business on Vancouver Island on Jan. 25

And you’re invited to join us at Victoria’s Delta Ocean Pointe Resort!

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TICKETS NOW ON SALE Tickets ($125 each) available at: or call: 1-866-758-2684 Ext. 120 Proudly sponsored by

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Nanaimo’s Excalibur Custom Homes is the creative force behind some spectacular single family homes

Nanaimo Builder Wins Coveted BBB Torch Award


ANAIMO – To Gary Richardson the owner of Excalibur Custom Homes Ltd., being nominated for the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) prestigious Torch Award is as great an honour as winning. To him it’s proof that he and his team have been doing the job right. But he does admit that winning is a pretty good feeling too. “While we have been nominated

for a Torch Award before this is the first time that we’ve won, it’s the sort of honour you get by having people nominate you, people who think enough of you to go to that much trouble which is a really good feeling,” he said. Presented at a gala celebration held November 3 at the Union Club in Victoria, Excalibur Custom Homes won in the ‘Contractors – General’ category, one of 13 separate awards presented that night. Organized each year by the Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island, the Torch Awards have been created to encourage and support ethical business practices among

Congratulations to Excalibur Custom Homes on receiving a Torch Award

CE Spray Foam Solutions Inc. 10221 McDonald Park Rd. Sidney, BC V8L 5X7

Office: 778-426-0888

its membership. The Torch Award is the highest honour the BBB can present to a business or nonprofit organization and being a recipient means the winner not only believes in the high standards promoted by the BBB, but also consistently acts on them and continuously integrates them into daily practices – a philosophy that has been at the heart of Excalibur Custom Homes’ successful business model since it opened a dozen years ago. “To win a Torch Award is beyond having great construction ability. It’s about serving the customer right at every stage, the same people who in turn nominated us for this honor. People made unsolicited nominations that allowed us to win this award and I want to make it clear that they know I’m grateful and appreciative,” Richardson explained. “The Chief of the Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department, Ron Gueulette, along with Deputy Fire Chief Garry Hein were just two of the people who wrote in. I also want to thank Jolynn Green from Community Futures for nominating us as well and I really want to thank Allan and Donna Farris from Departure Bay Service – their letter was actually read out at the presentation which was very special and touching.” While Excalibur Custom Homes

Proud to be a part of Excalibur Custom Homes’ growth & success 250-751-1108

The crew at Excalibur Custom Homes have experience working on both commercial and residential projects has operated as a corporate entity only since 2005 (being incorporated in 2009), Richardson himself has been actively involved in residential construction and general carpentry since he was 16 in his native Port Alberni. His first construction experience involved

working for a friend of his father, mixing concrete, helping to build decks, building railings and a variety of other tasks – basic skills that laid the foundation for a multi-faceted construction career SEE EXCALIBUR | PAGE 15



Excalibur Custom Homes has built some of the finest single family homes in the Central Island region


Wooden trusses are common in Excalibur homes, reflective of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love of natural materials

that now spans decades. Later going to college he originally found work as a marine mechanic, but the satisfaction of building things with his own hands, of seeing a project transform from a concept to reality encouraged him to return to his construction industry roots. Over the years he honed his craft, trying his hand at a number of different aspects of the field in order to learn the construction industry inside and out. After stints in framing, concrete work, siding, plumbing, electrical, masonry and installing hardwood floors, he decided to use his hard won knowledge and experience by assisting others with the process of creating new spaces for their homes and businesses. The end result was the launching of the now award-winning Excalibur Custom Homes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While our focus remains high quality single family homes (as much as 75 per cent of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current workload) in reality we do and have done a little bit of everything. We work where weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re needed and where it makes sense for us,â&#x20AC;? he explained. Working primarily across the Central Vancouver Island region, from the Comox Valley to the Cowichan Valley (with the occasional project in his home town of Port Alberni), Excalibur Custom

Homes has been involved in a number of different commercial, retail and multi-family construction endeavours since it was first founded. These larger scale projects are in addition to its expanding portfolio of extraordinary custom homes. Over the years the firm has built everything from restaurants for both Wendyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and the White Spot chains, to taking over and successfully finishing a 45-unit apartment complex in downtown Nanaimo. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We built the offices for Community Futures here in Nanaimo, and we were very happy to be involved in building the new Cranberry Volunteer Fire Hall, which turned into a terrific project.

Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why both the Fire Department and Jolynn Green of Community Futures nominated us for the award,â&#x20AC;? he said. The Cranberry Volunteer Fire Hall was a major project for Excalibur and a huge source of pride for the company. The $1 million plus job essentially involved a complete rebuild of the aging structure, adding to both its functionality for the firefighters and to its importance to the local community as a whole. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Garry Hein, in his nomination letter to the Better Business Bureau, said that we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just rebuild the fire hall, we rebuilt the whole SEE EXCALIBUR | PAGE 16


Proud to support Excalibur Custom Homes. Best wishes for continued success!



Excalibur is especially proud of the work it did rebuilding the fire hall for the Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department


community. So the whole community in the South Wellington area is pretty happy with the hall as it is now essentially a community focal point, a community hall – all while being a pretty fun job to do,” Richardson said. “The volunteer firefighters work very hard and it was a real privilege to be working with those guys. We’ve very happy with how well it all turned out.” Despite work i ng on the

occasional commercial, retail or multi-family project the bulk of Excalibur Custom Homes’ efforts are residential renovation assignments and the construction of high end single family homes. “It’s fair to say that upwards to 75 per cent of our work involves single family homes. In the last year there has been a bit of variety, between things like Community Futures and the Fire Hall, but certainly most of what we do involves residential properties,” explained Richardson’s wife and business partner Nelda Richardson.

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“I think one key part of the success of the business has to be our willingness to diversify, to be able to go from a commercial job to a residential job without missing a beat. It’s all about quality and taking the care to do the job right, and that’s the same regardless of the client – whether for a business or a homeowner.” Having grown up in the construction sector, having extensive hands’ on experience in virtually every aspect of the trades allows Richardson to transition seamlessly from one assignment to the next, another of Excalibur’s forte’s. “I’m lucky as I don’t have to leave my trades to switch to a commercial job. The same trades follow me over there that I use with a residential job,” he explained. Excalibur Custom Homes, like many builders has a small but focused team of construction experts, typically about seven, that are involved in all of its projects. In addition to its in-house staff the firm works with a core of trusted sub trades, specialists in their individual vocations that play key roles in all of its assignments. By working with the same tradespersons and sub contractors over long periods a bond of trust is developed that is seemingly unique to the construction industry.

CongratulaƟons Excalibur Homes!

Quality designs and materials are used throughout an Excalibur home, both inside and outside the home Richardson knows what his sub trades are capable of, and his contractors understand what is expected of them in terms of skills, professionalism and deportment in return. That level of understanding allows him to take on projects without worrying about the results – all parties involved know that quality, customer care and clear communication is at the heart of any Excalibur project. “The trades are incredibly important. We’re still using the same ones we always have. I know they’re there for me, sometimes on short notice, not due to a lack of planning but because something unforeseen has shown up,” he said. One part of the Excalibur team of contractors is the firm’s default designer Nanaimo’s Grebco Design Group, the creative vision behind many of Excalibur Custom Home’s outstanding projects.

“They are very knowledgeable about structural matters, having worked I believe with a number of truss manufacturers in the past so they really know how things work, which is a huge help to us,” Richardson said. “The nice thing, right from the beginning, is that it’s very cost effective to not have to make any changes on the job site. That’s one of the real values of having a well planned project. We take great pride in providing planning that works from start to finish. If we had to make changes on-site because of bad planning that would increase the costs, and impact the building schedule but with Grebco’s planning we simply don’t have to deal with any of those costly mistakes.” By planning out every detail of SEE EXCALIBUR | PAGE 17

Congratulations to everyone at Excalibur Custom Homes. We are proud to be a part of your homes, and look forward to working together in the future Rich Hunter, Sales & Design


164 West Is. Hwy | Parksville, BC | 250-951-0509




a project beforehand costs can be kept down, and building timetables can be more easily met. “I’ve had finishers tell me they like working for us as we don’t have to ask them to do things twice, or change our minds halfway through a project. By having a plan and sticking to it, it makes life easier for everyone, from the customer right down to me,” he joked. Another important Excalibur supplier is Atlas Truss, one of the custom builder’s key suppliers of roof trusses and other quality building materials. Having worked with Excalibur Custom Homes for many years Atlas has become a major contributor to the company’s projects, a partnership the company doesn’t take lightly. “Excalibur is one of our longtime, most loyal customers. We certainly have become one of Gary’s go-to suppliers, a relationship that is very important to us,” explained Gurmit Dhaliwal, Atlas Truss’s General Manager. “Gary is a very important customer and we certainly appreciate all of the loyalty and support he has shown us over the years – in many ways our relationship with Excalibur goes beyond being a mere supplier to one that is more like a partnership. In all of our business

One hallmark of an Excalibur home is the use of such natural materials as stone and wooden timbers


The gymnasium at the Cranberry fire hall has become an extremely popular place in the local community

An Excalibur home is a complete home, with quality craftsmanship found both inside and out

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Open and bright floor plans are another common feature found in an Excalibur custom built home

A new and interesting niche market for Excalibur Custom Homes is the creation of customized property gateways


it out. We’re going to do the first package in our home and if we like it that could become a standard feature.” While he doesn’t market himself as a Green Builder (a term he thinks is often over used and not fully understood) energy efficiency and environmental sensitivity have been core parts of the Excalibur Custom Homes business model from the very beginning. He was pioneer in the use of spray foam insulation, which is an approach that adds both improved thermal efficiency and increased structural support to any project – commercial or residential. The Cranberry Fire Hall is a good example of this approach, with the foam having added dramatically to the structural integrity of the building. “Everyone is talking about the new BC Energy Step Code for home construction but we’re already building well above that right now. The required entry point is Level One, and we’re currently building our projects at about Level Three,” he said. “It’s all about our using quality products in the build, hot water on demand, spray foam, triple pane windows and all of the other things that we’re already doing. That’s what makes us an energy efficient builder, not just calling ourselves one. I’ve always said it, why wouldn’t I build an energy efficient home? It’s what we do all of the time.” T ha n ks to t he beauty of


dealings Gary and everyone at Excalibur is professional, respectful and just generally a great bunch of guys. We’re proud to be part of their success and look forward to continuing to work with them in the years ahead.” As a Vancouver Island native Richardson has respect for the environment and the beauty of the Island – an appreciation that is reflected in many of Excalibur’s projects. A use of stone, natural woods, a conscious use of the landscape and the site itself if possible and other considerations go into any Excalibur job. In addition the company does far more than

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new builds, as renovation assignments (which can be as complex as new construction in some cases) are frequently tackled, including specialty items such as gateways and other features that require that unique Excalibur touch. “We’ve done quite a few custom gates and entranceways in the past year as well. That’s something that’s a little different but it’s also a custom job that allows for creativity and individuality,” Nelda explained. “It provides the opportunity to design, to receive input from the property owner and in the end to give them something that helps to set their home apart from all the other homes. That’s become a fairly interesting little niche that’s come along.” For Richardson providing the customer with bonus features like ponds, entranceways and other unique features are part of the complete service his company provides its customers. “They can get the full package. To build on that concept we’re actually looking at becoming an appliance dealer as well. We’ve been asked to go to Vancouver to check out some European appliances that we might want to include in our homes,” he explained. “These are fantastic, state of the art systems. If we like what we see we might be able to equip our custom homes with a complete appliance package as well. We’re going to go over there and check

We are proud to congratulate Gary and the team at Excalibur Custom Homes t: 250.758.0138 w: a: 2520 Bowen Road Nanaimo BC

Vancouver Island, and the skyrocketing prices of land in the province’s major centres, Richardson anticipates the Central Vancouver Island region will experience significant growth in the future. He also anticipates that this expanding population base will require quality housing in which to live, offering new opportunities for Excalibur. “The local market has been phenomenal and I expect it to get even busier. A lot of people are saying that Nanaimo and area could become the next Kelowna, so we’re expecting to keep busy,” he said. While central Island land costs are relatively value priced when compared to the Lower Mainland, the nature of the land that is available requires a builder with knowledge of the area, such as Excalibur. “There’s not a lot of easily buildable land left, so when you’re dealing with a complicated property you need to have an experienced, knowledgeable builder who can give consideration to all of the challenges that come from dealing with the slopes, drainage issues and other factors,” Nelda explained. Looking toward the future Excalibur Custom Homes anticipates a busy spring, with four custom projects already on the books for 2018, projects which could take up much of the company’s energies next year. “It may not be everything we do, but you want to give the customers your full attention

so those jobs will certainly take up much of the year,” she said. For Gary, Excalibur has kept busy not by just doing great work, but by putting the customer first in all things. “I like to put myself in my customer’s shoes. I always treat my customers the way I would want to be treated. I think that’s a big part of why we’ve done as well as we have. We’re lucky in that we don’t have a huge overhead, we don’t have a big office or a large staff to take care of so we’re able to pass a lot of that onto our clients,” he said. Substance over show, being able to deliver on all promises, whether the project is a small renovation assignment or a full scale commercial project has kept Excalibur Custom Homes at the forefront of the local construction industry for a dozen years. It’s a business model the company has no intention of changing in the future. “It’s not about seeing how much we can make. It’s always been about doing it right, standing behind everything we do and being upfront about everything from the get go,” he said. “It’s not about putting on a big show, or having a big office downtown. It’s about being able to deliver what the customer wants in the best way possible. That’s why we’re having repeat and referral business. I never want to be the one-hit wonder - I want to be here for the long haul.”

“CongratulaƟons Gary” Very proud to be a small part of the Vision you Create! Honesty, Integrity and Quality Workmanship

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New Chair Aims To Chart New Course For Downtown Nanaimo Boat Basin NANAIMO PORT AUTHORITY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

and municipal – and have been vetted through a stringent process that included in-depth interviews and background checks of all nominees. “Every one of these Directors come to the NPA with sterling reputations in their fields of expertise, whether that be community organizations or businesses, and have been appointed to bring their best to make the NPA the best it can be,” says Dr. Corfield. “They are not volunteers, and they step forward because they believe they can make valuable contributions to benefit their community.” Dr. Corfield is excited about projects the NPA is currently working towards. “We’re looking for opportunities that include such things as expanded maritime security and international trade,” she notes. “It will be exciting to watch the future unfold with our existing and potential projects. “We’re going to re-market and rebrand Nanaimo to attract international recognition.” Dr. Corfield founded Corfield & Associates in 2006 to provide consulting and project management services to First Nations, individuals, and organizations working with and for First Nations. She also operates Hyistuup Harvesting, a seafood harvesting company, and served on the board of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia for six years, is the Executive in Residence for an Executive Business program at Simon Fraser University, and is one of the founding partners and designers of

the BC Multi-Sectoral Leadership Initiative Ahp-cii-uk. Michelle has served on the boards for more than 11 organizations and societies and until recently held the position of Vice-President for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. In addition, she holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Management from the University of Phoenix, a Masters of Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University, and B.A. in First Nations Studies from Vancouver Island University. “Most people who know me say that I’m always going to be honest, and I’m never going to color outside the edges,” she says. Dr. Corfield sees other modes of transportation as vital to the further growth of the properties directed by the NPA, noting the Board is looking forward to seeing Island Ferry Services start their planned downtown Nanaimo to downtown Vancouver foot passenger ferry service, hopefully in 2018. “Nanaimo is positioned to realize new economic opportunities, and as such, we have to have the necessary transportation infrastructure in place,” she says. “Which could mean everything from increased passenger ferry service, increased flights, or rail. Rail is an important factor in this city’s infrastructure development, and will continue to be. It’s a safer way to deliver products.” “I will be talking to Ottawa regarding our rail system,” she adds. “I’m all about engaging governments, and I think that’s one of the skill sets I bring to the Port, with all the governments I’ve worked in and with, on different levels.”

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Commercial Insurance: Special Products For Special Needs The Insurance Needs Of Business As Varied As The Businesses Themselves BY DAVID HOLMES


ny insurance is quite literally protection against the unknown challenges of the future. But for a business, commercial insurance could be the difference between the enterprises’ survival and its closure. In many ways commercial insurance is one of the most important investments a business owner can make at any stage of a company’s development – from start up to conglomerate. Tailored to meet the specific needs and to address the unique requirements of the sector the business is in, quality commercial insurance can protect a firm from severe financial loss in the event of a fire or other natural calamity. It can also be the difference between going under and staying afloat in the case of damages or a lawsuit. It’s always important to

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Insurance can be tailored to the match each business, depending on the individual need or sector be knowledgeable of the different types of commercial insurance available and to always work with a reputable agent to create the most appropriate policy for each business. “From the stand point of licensing there is no differentiation between those who sell insurance to individuals and those who sell insurance products to business.

But to succeed in the commercial insurance sector the individual sales person will likely have a specialized knowledge or interest,” explained Gerald Matier the Executive Director of the Insurance Council of British Columbia, who retired from his position at the end of last month. “Quite often a person will enter the field, selling home and

auto insurance for example and then work their way to marketing products tailored for commercial customers. Most of the training involved in providing commercial lines of insurance comes through work experience. Like in everything else you start small and work your way up.” The Insurance Council of British Columbia was created under provincial statute to be the primary regulator regarding the distribution of insurance products in British Columbia. Everyone involved in the profession, from an insurance salesperson to an adjuster, must be licensed through the council in order to sell insurance products. In addition the Insurance Council also handles any complaints or concerns from businesses or the public regarding the sale of insurance in the province. SEE COMMERCIAL INSURANCE | PAGE 21




“Most will focus in on one


specific area, typically The Insurance Council represents approximately 38,000 licensees (including about 1,000 adjusters) in the province, a group of practitioners roughly split evenly between life and general insurance salespersons. The Council also licenses the insurance agencies, the businesses in the province that employ insurance salespersons. “There are agencies in the province that do specialize in specific niche markets. If you were to walk around your neighbourhood you’d likely find two or three agencies, whether privately owned, through a chain or through a credit union or other institution. Most will focus in on one specific area, typically homeowner insurance, but they will also handle some small commercial work, such as with smaller storefronts,” Matier explained. “Typically it’s the larger firms, those with operations across the province and even beyond BC, that will more likely have the expertise to address the insurance needs of a larger commercial business.” Another reason an insurance broker might focus on a specific commercial insurance niche is a personal interest or earlier career background. “It can be simply that the salesperson has an interest or a love for the subject matter – such as the aviation or the marine sector. Their personal history with the

homeowner insurance, but they will also handle some small commercial work.” GERALD MATIER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INSURANCE COUNCIL OF BC

business, or their individual interest may direct them toward that part of the profession,” explained Chuck Byrne, the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Insurance Brokers Association of BC (IBABC). The IBABC is the organization that in essence serves as the voice of the general insurance brokerage industry in the province. “Pretty much every insurance broker begins their career learning the ropes as a general insurance broker, but say they’ve loved airplanes their entire life, or boats, or trucks – that personal interest could in time motivate them to focus in on that specific niche,” he said. “There are many very successful brokers in the province who have grown their careers by following their hearts in this way. It’s really as individual as the firms they represent.”

The IBABC represents more than 870 property and casualty insurance brokerages across the province, firms that in turn employ more than 8,400 people in more than 140 communities in BC. Commercial insurance is crucial for businesses of any size – from sole proprietorships to the largest of firms. Products of this type protect business owners from commonly experienced losses including property damage, theft, liability, as well as employee injury. With adequate insurance, companies can more easily recover from these types of losses. While not having adequate coverage will leave an enterprise at serious risk should the worst happen. In general terms there are three main types of commercial insurance currently available. They are typically divided between liability insurance, property insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Liability insurance protects companies from damage a business inflicts on a third party. Property insurance covers damages to property within an individual place of business, such as fire or flood damage. Workers’ compensation insurance protects a business, should one of its employees become injured while on the job. To be fully prepared for the uncertainty of tomorrow every business has to be certain the coverage they have is adequate and appropriate for the industry they are in. “Obviously the needs of a business

operating in an office is different from a commuter airline, and different yet again from an industrial client such as a sawmill. It all comes down to working with their broker to ensure they have the right insurance and adequate coverage,” Byrne explained. For Matier the success of the relationship that a broker and their

21 client develop is one built on trust and openness. “It’s all about being upfront. Tell your salesperson all about your business, its risks and its specific needs. That’s the only way to ensure you end up with the right coverage. Ultimately that is what you want to achieve,” he said. or

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Nominations Flood In For BE Awards Over 150 Nominations Submitted From All Across Vancouver Island


IC T O R I A – O v e r 15 0 compa n ies h ave b een nominated - one of the largest ever numbers received - have been submitted for the 18 th Annual Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards. “We were expecting a large nu mber of nom i nations because it’s been a good year for business on Vancouver Island, so we’re not su r pr i sed, but we’re ver y pleased w ith the response,” notes Mark MacDonald of Business Examiner, which coordinates the annual celebration of the best of the best in Vancouver Island business, to be held Jan. 25, 2018 at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria. Black Press is a Platinum Sponsor of the BE Awards this year, and RBC Royal Bank and Grant Thornton are the event’s Gold Sponsors. “As has been the norm, the nominations are virtually split between south of the Malahat, throughout greater Victoria, and north of the Malahat, all t h e way to Por t H a rdy a n d

Tofino and Ucluelet on the West Coast.” Finalists will be announced prior to Christmas. T here will be 17 Categories this year: ■ Automotive (car and truck dealerships & fleet sales) ■ Construction / Development/Real Estate ■ Entrepreneur ■ Food & Food Production (a g r icu lt u re, se a fo o d , fo o d products) ■ Green & Technology ■ Health Care ■ Hospitality ■ Industrial Manufacturer

■ M a n u f a c t u r e d Wo o d Products ■ Ocean Products ■ P rofession a l ( lega l, accounting, insurance, coaching) ■ Constr uction / Development/Real Estate ■ Retail ■ Small Business (under 20 employees & under $1 million in sales) ■ Tourism ■ Trades (automotive repair, plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc. ■ Business of the Year (over 50 employees & over $1 million in sales). The nomination deadline was December 1. Tickets to the event are $125, and it typically sells out early, so tickets can be purchased through There are still a few category sponsorships available for the event. For more information, contact MacDonald at 1-866-758-2684 ext. 120 or email:

Lack of Inventory Continues to Drive Housing Market


he Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that single-family home sales last month dipped by seven per cent from October but rose 23 per cent from November 2016. Last month, 426 properties sold on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) System compared to 346 one yea r ago a nd 458 in October. Inventory of single-family homes decreased by 13 per cent month over month and four per cent from one year ago. Although the supply of single-family homes for sale has been steadily rising each month since VIREB hit a historic low of 859 in December 2016, inventory dipped in October and once again in November. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that the housing market in BC is thriving due to strong economic fundamentals, such as robust retail sales, job growth, and population growth. British Columbia’s economy continues to lead the country, with GDP in 2018 expected to hit 3.8 per cent. Government policy decisions, including slightly higher interest rates and the new mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20), could affect the housing market in 2018, but it is too early to say in what way. Introduced by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial

Institutions (OSFI), Guideline B-20 – which takes effect on January 1, 2018 – extends the requ i rement for a mor tgage stress test to all home buyers, even those who have more than 20 per cent as a down payment. However, some mortgage lenders – including credit unions such as Vancity, Coast Capital a nd Prospera – do not come under OSFI’s jurisdiction, as they are provincially regulated by the Financial Institutions Com m ission. Un l i ke ba n ks, which are federally reg ulated, credit unions in BC are not required to “stress test” their mortgage applicants. Therefore, buyers ca n get a mortgage with a credit union and income-qualify at the rate they will be paying, which may give them more purchasing power. But they would still have to pass the usual debt-service tests. Don McClintock, VIREB President-Elect, reports that sales are still brisk throughout the V I R EB a rea. L ack of i nventory continues to drive home sales, and there are no apparent signs of buyer fatigue. However, multiple offers have decreased slightly in some markets, which could be good news for buyers. “It’s emotiona l ly d ra i n i ng when you continue to find, and then lose, the perfect home in a mu ltiple-offer situation,” says McClintock. “Buyers will

certainly welcome any relief on that front.” However, the VIREB area is still a sellers’ market, notes McClintock, which makes this an optimum time to sell. In November 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the V IR EB area was $463,200, up 17 per cent from o n e y e a r a go. ( B e n c h m a r k pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) The benchmark price of an apartment last month rose to $274,100, up 26 per cent boardwide from the previous year, while the benchmark price of a townhouse was $359,200, a 21 per cent increase from November 2016. The November 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home i n the Ca mpbel l R iver area was $366,300, an increase of 18 per cent over November 2016. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price hit $467,200, up 21 per cent from last year. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $410,700, an increase of 15 p e r c e nt c o m p a re d to November 2016. Na n a i mo’s benchmark price rose 14 per cent to $ 497,200 wh i le t he Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 16 per cent to $525,600. The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $252,700, up 18 per cent from one year ago.


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n the Comox Valley, the upgrade to the Comox Valley Regional District water system is one of the largest water projects on the agenda for BC, as part of a province-wide effort to bring all drinking water systems to current standards. While the provincial Ministry of

Health sets drinking water quality policies, each regional health authority works with communities to achieve those objectives. The current treatment project design will feature a filtration plant combined with chlorination. The construction project is expected to cost $110 million and will include five major pieces of infrastructure: 1. A new deep-water intake in Comox Lake built a kilometre off shore and 30 metres below low-lake level; 2. A new raw water pump station on the shore of the lake; 3. A 2.5-kilometre pipe that will transport the water uphill to the site of the new water treatment plant; 4. A new filtration plant building, including offices for water treatment staff; 5. A five-kilometre pipeline to deliver treated water to the

base of the BC Hydro penstock, connecting with the existing system. The Comox Valley is the only community of its size in BC that does not have a secondary form of treatment. A new system will bring the Comox Valley water system in line with other communities across BC. Construction of the new water treatment plant is scheduled to begin in 2019 and will be fully operational by 2021. ■■■ Medical cannabis producer Santè Veritas Therapeutics is currently in talks with City of Powell River and Catalyst Paper Corporation for expansion as it continues to convert a building on Ash Avenue into a medical-marijuana growing facility. Santè Veritas has indicated it will exercise its option to purchase the former mill administration


entertainment on the weekend were limited. “The whole motivation behind this is that I have a couple of teenagers,” said Brown. “In the past, I’d say, ‘why don’t you guys go out and do someth i ng?’ a nd they’d say ‘but dad, there’s nothing to do.” Spaces VR founder Matt Adamson’s interest in VR started roughly two decades ago when i nt roductor y system s were introduced in the late 1990s. “T he idea that you can put yourself in the computer and it wou ld generate a n a lternate reality blew me away. It grabbed me,” he said. A fter 15 years working as a financial translator in Japan, Adamson came back to the Comox Valley to launch his V R business this year. “This became part of the plan of moving home. I’d been in Japa n for 15 yea rs. Com i ng home and doing this was all part of it,” he said. While the facility is currently open, Adamson says Spaces VR will hold a grand opening on Dec. 2. He said the first few weeks of business have shown there is a demand for VR in the Comox Valley. “A lot of people have been com i ng i n on the weekends and tons of people have been coming back,” he said. “The amount of return customers is really encouraging. “For a soft open, the response has been very good.” VREX is located at the intersection of Anderton Road and Guthrie Road, behind the Tim

to be completed i n Ja nua ry, 2018. The company is planning a public information session in December so the community can learn more about its plans. Health Canada is expected to provide the license as soon as February, 2018. This project is expected to create up 50 to jobs at the facility. Clarice Coty is the editor of Building Links. Contact: clarice@ or find Building Links on Facebook at

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Virtual Reality Comes To The Comox Valley Comox Valley Record video gaming revolution is underway in the Comox Valley. Two virtual reality gaming centres opened for business last month. VREX opened in Comox on Oct. 27 and Spaces VR opened in Courtenay two days later. Modern VR gaming systems fe a t u re a h e a d s e t a n d t wo h a nd held c ont rol l ers. T h e headset simu lates a stereoscopic 3D env i ron ment a nd the handheld controllers allow users to interact with their surroundings through hand gestures. It’s ga m i n g on a level fa r more i m mersive tha n traditional console or computer systems. “When you put that [headset] on, you’re not here anymore. You’re in the VR world,” said VREX founder and owner James Brown. Both facilities in the Comox Valley feature similar games and simulators. Players can visit the Acropolis in Athens, sho ot dow n spacesh ips, or use a virtual bow and arrow to protect their castle from being besieged. All in less than an hour. For Brow n — who u sed to work as a carpenter before a back i nju r y forced a ca reer change — the decision to open a VR facility in the Comox Valley was born out of a life-long desire to own a business and a love of technology. But mostly, he said, it was through having two teenaged sons who felt their options for

building that is currently being renovated, and has approached the city to buy additional property for construction of another 50,000-square-foot building. T h e c o m p a n y h a s a l s o a pproached Catalyst about purchasing additional surplus land. Santè Veritas signed a memorandum of understanding with the city in 2013 that included provisions for the company to lease the former Catalyst administration building. The company is spending between $6 and $7 million on the building’s conversion which is expected

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MAJOR UPGRADE ENHANCING THE COMOX CENTRE MALL Shopping Centre Renovation Project Hoping To Stimulate Business Sector


OMOX â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not too far off the mark to describe the $4.5 million commercial / retail development currently taking shape in downtown Comox as a Phoenix. Today a once dated and half tenanted shopping complex is being rapidly transformed into a major retail and business hub. Beginning as a strip style shopping centre in the 1960s, the Comox Centre Mall is being transformed into the new commercial heart of the seaside town, and could serve as a catalyst for further economic development in Comoxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downtown core. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This was definitely an older mall that had become somewhat orphaned over the years, it had become dilapidated and was in need of major refreshing,â&#x20AC;? explained David Coon, a developer and Partner in Comox City Centre Retail Ltd., the shopping centreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current owners. â&#x20AC;&#x153;About a year and a half ago my partner Keith MacRae and I saw that it had been put up for sale. So we went to have a look at it and thought that redeveloping it offered a great opportunity. This was due in large part to the growing market here in the Comox Valley. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a lot of migration to the region, specifically from the Lower Mainland, Victoria and even from Alberta, so redeveloping the mall, making it a viable and appealing shopping centre offered an opportunity we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to pass up.â&#x20AC;? There are three main communities in the Comox Valley, the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Three Câ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with the largest of the three Courtenay, traditionally being the Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main retail and service centre. But if Coon and his partners have their way the Town of Comoxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s retail star could start to rise once this newly reinvigorated shopping complex fully opens for business

The brand new Dollarama store is one of the additions to the extensively renovated Comox Centre Mall next spring. While the Village of Cumberland has always served as a bedroom community and distinctive tourist destination in the Valley, the mainstay of the Town of Comoxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local economy has for decades been its proximity to Canadian Force Base (CFB) Comox, and the facilityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shared airport. While CFB Comox continues to be a vital economic player, local entrepreneurs recognize the value of having a healthy and diverse business community. A revamped and reenergized mall in the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downtown core could help to spark a commercial Renaissance in Comox, as other local business owners would benefit from any increased visitor traffic to the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s city center. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are a number of key anchor stores at the mall which allows us to build from there, starting with Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Your Independent Grocer, which is a Loblaws store. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a

Rexall Drugs, the BC Liquor Distribution Branch and the Comox branch of the CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce) so by having such good and long term tenants we have a tremendous opportunity to build on that foundation, adding new tenants as the renovation work completes,â&#x20AC;? he explained. In its final version the Comox Centre Mall will feature about 100,000 square feet of business and retail space â&#x20AC;&#x201C; divided between the mall itself as well as a companion three-storey office structure and a new stand alone building also under construction. The development of the project is being overseen by the Calgary-based Centron Construction Group, which is also a partner in the mallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ownership. A major developer and construction firm with a portfolio of projects ranging from malls to office buildings to multi-family residential housing developments, this is the first time the

Centron Group has worked on Vancouver Island. But according to Centronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Executive Vice President, professional engineer Richard Heine, this may not be the corporationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last Island undertaking, thanks in large part to the quality of the local building trades it has contracted to work on the project. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Centron is a 50 per cent owner of the mall and as weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a developer as well we do a lot of our own projects. But we also work as a contractor to third parties as well as provide a range of construction management services, so youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have to say we carry out a number of different functions,â&#x20AC;? Heine explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never worked on Vancouver Island before we have completed projects in Vancouver, in the Interior and in Northern BC. Working on such a diverse group of projects we have to rely on local contractors to do much of the on-site work and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been very pleased with the quality

and skills of the many local contractors that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve hired for this project.â&#x20AC;? Starting out as a strip mall, the Comox Centre Ma l l was expanded on over the decades in a sort of haphazard fashion, without a clear goal or final vision, which creates some special challenges for the designers and builders involved in the project. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In reality weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re actually reducing the final square footage of the mall itself, but it creates exterior entrances for all of the tenants which will be of benefit to the mallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stores, it will be simply easier for their customers to get to them,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The existing structure was ab out 105,000 squ a re fe et, mostly a single level but with a three level office component. So basically we demolished and removed about 20,000 square feet of the mall and are now creating a new storefront in a sort of SEE COMOX CENTRE MALL | PAGE 27




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This rendering shows the new and greatly improved business centre portion of the mall, complete with elevator

â&#x20AC;&#x153;So we went to have a look at it and thought that redeveloping it offered a great opportunity.â&#x20AC;? DAVID COON PARTNER, COMOX CITY CENTRE RETAIL LTD.

Still a work in progress, the final touches to the renovation of the Comox Centre Mall are expected next spring


horseshoe shape that allows the tenants to have their own exterior entrances. The renovation will create a centre that is much more user-friendly with parking that is located closer to the actual stores.â&#x20AC;? With a budget of about $4.5 million, and with much of the work being carried out by employing local sub trades, the Comox Centre Mall has proven to be a major boon to the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s building sector. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re using all local trades on the project, with the possible exception of some specialty items that are from out of town. But things like mechanical, electrical, drywall, aluminum windows, the structural steel, the concrete, asphalt paving, all the site servicing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all the major trades are

local hires. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have to think that a project like this would come as a major shot in the arm to the local building sector,â&#x20AC;? Heine said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have also been told that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

currently the largest dollar value construction project currently underway in that area right now, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bound to be having a positive impact on the local


economy.â&#x20AC;? Starting back in the 1960â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the Comox Centre Mall essentially grew in three stages, starting out as a small strip mall, but gradually taking on the form it had when the new owners acquired the property about a year and a half ago. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the previous owners put in the three storey business component they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t put in an elevator, only stairs, which is an oversight weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re remedying with our redevelopment,â&#x20AC;? Coon described. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The office component has basically sat vacant most of its life but now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already fully leased and occupied because weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve put in an elevator. Each office takes advantage of the views of the harbour, have balconies

and other features. The tenants include Langille & Co., Inner Strength Acupuncture and Royal LePage so weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very happy with the results.â&#x20AC;? By reenergizing Comoxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main downtown shopping centre other local businesses could also benefit â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which is one positive spinoff benefit of the project. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We certainly expect the mall to serve as a sort of catalyst for other business growth in the downtown. The mall will be a driver for bringing other businesses into that area and that canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t but help. The whole idea is that local shoppers will be able to stay home, keeping their retail dollars in Comox without having to go elsewhere to do their shopping, which is a benefit for the entire community,â&#x20AC;? Heine said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With it being located right in the very heart of the Town of Comox this project is a real stimulus for other developers, such as for residential projects, who might want to build their projects around it. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned that just to the north of us a residential project with something like 40 to 80 units is going in directly behind the mall, so it could also encourage other local development,â&#x20AC;? Coon said. The Comox Centre Mall is a benefit for the local community on a number of different levels. From turning a fading shopping centre into a modern retail destination, as a major boost for the local building sector and as an inspiration for future development in the Townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downtown core. While something of a leap of faith for its owners when the project began, the revamped mall has proven itself to have been a sound business decision. For Coon redeveloping the centre was a business opportunity that was simply too good to not take advantage of. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we purchased it we recognized that we had good anchor tenants, so we decided to demolish parts of it that were dated and underused and build new,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The old Fields store had sat vacant for years for example, so now in its place thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a brand




Rexall Drugs and the local BC Liquor Distribution Branch outlet are two of the mall’s main anchor tenants

Natural materials and extensive glazing are hallmarks of the design the new owners of the mall are featuring


new 10,000 square foot Dollarama which just opened. This redevelopment is more than just updating an old building. We’re putting frontage onto Comox Avenue, we’re building a 4,600 square foot free standing building that will feature four retail units, features that are all tied in architecturally to create something new and exciting.” The development of the revitalized Comox Centre Mall has also inspired the operation’s main anchor tenants to undertake their own individual renovation efforts. For example the Rexall store has announced a planned expansion and renovation, CIBC recently completed a major renovation to the branch while the BC Liquor Distribution Branch will be adding coolers for beer and

wine sales to its product line – investments in the future of the mall’s success and a testament to the value its tenants place in it. While new elements of the mall project are continuing coming online, the final stages of the project are expected to be wrapped up by late spring 2018. “Ask any REALTOR® and they’ll tell you that Comox is the number one choice for new arrivals moving to the area.” Coon said. “By taking the steps that we’ve done and are continuing to do we’ll be offering more services and helping to provide those new arrivals with the things they’ll need in their new home. You won’t need to shop elsewhere if everything you need can be found right here at home.” and

In its current incarnation the Comox Centre Mall will feature convenient exterior access to its many tenants

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Campbell River Receives Awards for Three City Videos


AMPBELL RIVER â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The City of Campbell River has been recognized with two videographer awards of distinction for At Your Service, Campbell River and Our Forests, Our People, Our Future. A third video, Work Where You Love to Live, received honourable mention. T h e a w a r d-w i n n i n g videos were judged in the international Videographer Awards program directed by communication professionals. Approximately 14 per cent of entries received awards of distinction for exceeding industry standards. A ll three videos were recognized in the local government category, and the City of Campbell River award of distinction honours are listed on the website ( â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once again, the City has been honoured for tremendous achievement in developing videos that the judges confirmed deserve industry- wide recognition,â&#x20AC;? says city manager Deborah Sargent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We sincerely appreciate and thank our partners in these video productions.â&#x20AC;? At Your Service features newer and long-term employees from across City departments talking about their commitment to their work and the Campbell River community. Launched in 2016, the video production was led by Julie Douglas, the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s communications advisor, working with Greencoast Media. Launched in spring 2017, Our Forests, Our People, Ou r Futu re was spea rheaded by the Campbell Riverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Forestry Task Force. The video highlights the importance and influence

At Your Service features newer and long-term employees from across City departments

Resolving Conflicts for Over 20 Years

talking about their commitment to their work and the Campbell River community

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Disputes are Costly & Exhausting 5IJOL0VUTJEFUIF$PVSUT GPSCVTJOFTT MBCPVS EJWPSDFTFQBSBUJPO of the forestry sector on our community and was completed with the support of local businesses including: Holbrook Dyson Logging, Strategic Natural Resource Consu lta nts, Homa lco Forestry, Western Forest Products, Capacity Forest Management and North Island Employment Foundation Society. The Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic development officer and communications advisor worked with Tremain Media to produce the video. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A nu m b er of p e ople participated in this testimonial-based video, which introduces just a few of the many people who make the forest industry in our community the vibrant, economic driver that it is,â&#x20AC;? says economic development officer Rose Klukas. Work Where You Love to Live made its debut in January 2017. Led by the economic development officer, with support from the communications advisor, the video was produced by Tremain Media. A complement to the 24page online Community

Profile launched at the same time, the video showcases people who have invested in Campbell River by opening local businesses. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Seei ng t hese p eople talk about their reasons for investing here promotes Campbell River as a location that combines global opportunities and except ion a l qu a l ity of life,â&#x20AC;? Klukas says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The video highlights the natural beauty and the range of amenities in our community, ones often found in much larger centres.â&#x20AC;? View all three videos on the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s YouTube channel. A link is available on the homepage of the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website ( The Videographer Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. Judges are industry professionals who set standards of excellence and look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.




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Imagine an older woman, struggling with arthritis or incontinence having to climb to the top of a bunkbed at Samaritan House. Or laying down on the only available floor mat between the washer and dryer. For her, homelessness is not a choice.

HOPE CAN’T WAIT. YOU CAN HELP. USE YOUR VOICE Spread the word about this important

community project.

Most nights we’re over capacity. In August, women seeking shelter were turned away 111 times, forcing them to find shelter in unsafe places. We’ve run out of room and are running out of time!

USE YOUR TALENT Let us know if you have a skill or talent


your financial contribution.

More Room for Hope is a $2 Million campaign to renovate and expand the existing Samaritan House to more than twice its capacity. We break ground next April with completion in spring 2019.

that would be helpful to our campaign.

USE YOUR TREASURE Make a meaningful difference with

USE YOUR HEART When you see a homeless woman, offer smiles instead of distance, and kindness instead of judgement. And remember, “there but for the grace of God, go I.”







ALBRITE LIGHTING STORE HAVING PRODUCT LINE ENHANCED “It all comes down to being able to offer our

Local Lighting Supplier To Be Converted Into Full Line E.B. Horsman Outlet

Victoria area customers a wider range of products.” TYSON CARVELL


IC T OR I A – A lbrite Lighting has been a major supplier of commercial, institutional and industrial lighting products across Western Canada for nearly 50 years. Today, thanks to its acquisition by electrical distributor E.B. Horsman & Son, Albrite Victoria customers will soon have access to an even broader range of products and services. “It all comes down to being able to offer our Victoria area customers a wider range of products. We are excited to upgrade our Victoria location of Albrite Lighting, which will start 2018 by being transformed into a co-location which will include Albrite Lighting product offerings and E.B. Horsman’s the full line of electrical solutions,” explained E.B. Horsman’s Vice President of Marketing Tyson Carvell. Before joining E.B. Horsman & Son, Albrite Lighting focused on providing lighting and energy management products to customers throughout the province. Today Albrite is a BC Hydro Powersmart expert and stocks a wide


Already an E.B. Horsman division, the local Albrite Lighting store is having its product lines enhanced range of lighting products from trusted manufacturers, such as Philips Lighting, Cooper Lighting, Hazlux, Emergilite, Edwards and Federal Signal ensuring its customers receive great value and reliability. The evolution of the Victoria branch into a full line E.B. Horsman operation will provide both Albrite and E.B. Horsman customers with easy access to a wider range of top quality electrical products, including those produced by industry leaders such as Siemens, Thomas & Betts, Leviton, Stelpro, IPEX, Southwire and Rittal. The goal is to deliver a seamless experience that ensures customers always leave satisfied and with the complete scope of products they need. Albrite and E.B. Horsman share

a philosophy that emphasizes customer service and innovative products. E.B. Horsman’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tim Horsman said “At a time when the lighting industry is going through an unprecedented transformation, I am excited to be involved in re-launching both the Albrite Lighting Division to BC and evolving our Victoria location to better serve both the E.B. Horsman and Albrite customer base,” Horsman explained that the Albrite division will continue serving the provincial marketplace by focusing on key markets such as national accounts, retail, property management, hospitality, seniors’ living / extended care, institutional buyers, design firms and architects.

“Our Victoria team is excited to be taking part in the transition and we look forward to a prosperous future serving E.B. Horsman and Albrite customers,” Carvell explained. “Our renovation is underway and we will re-launch in Victoria with a full complement of electrical products early in 2018. We are already getting fantastic feedback from our electrical contractor base, excitement is brewing!” The expansion of the product lines to be carried in the Victoria location will provide the local marketplace with access to some of the best electrical products available anywhere. The two firms also put a great deal of energy into being good corporate citizens. For example,

E.B. Horsman has been a major supporter for the BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH), having raised more than $800,000 for the charity. In 2016 EB Horsman & Son partnered with the Beads of Courage program, bringing a new form of support to families and children fighting Cancer at BCCH. Whether launching new scholarship programs, raising money for those impacted by BC Wildfires or supporting the Lower Mainland Food Drive, the E.B. Horsma n & Son a nd A lbrite teams are always driving a socially responsible mission. E.B. Horsman’s company motto is: Helping Communities Thrive Since 1900, so Albrite’s evolution will help fulfill that goal in the Victoria region. w w w.ebhorsma a nd

FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER CELEBRATES SUCCESSES OF LOCAL RESTAURANTS “Vancouver Island north ITS-Food Says Island’s Top Restaurants Becoming Increasingly World Class

of the Malahat is growing up from a food services point of view.”


ANAIMO – The bar of excellence for Vancouver Island based restaurants keeps going up – just ask professional food photographer Tim McGrath. The owner of, McGrath has worked with restaurants, food stores and assorted hospitality industry clients for the past decade on projects ranging from menus and cookbooks, to social media marketing campaigns in addition to traditional magazine and newspaper advertising. One of the trends he’s noticed is that the quality and the sophistication of Island eateries keeps getting better, to the delight of foodies everywhere! “Vancouver Island north of the Malahat is growing up from a food services point of view. Island restaurants are creating items that compete with the best anywhere, and that trend is only expected to grow as times goes on,” he said. One example of this increasing level of skills and talent is Nanaimo’s Ryan Zuvich, the Chef at the city’s Hilltop Bistro. He


garnered for his restaurant a bronze medal in the recent Gold Medal Plates competition, a national culinary event that serves as a fundraising for the Canadian Olympic Foundation. “He came in third place in BC in the Gold Medal Plates competition which is exceptional. That means there were only two restaurants in the competition that beat him in the province – showing just how good regional restaurants are getting,” McGrath said. He also points out the skills and quality of all aspects of the hospitality and food services sector on the Island are also on the rise – including the local craft breweries. McGrath said Nanaimo’s White Sails Brewing had its Snake Island CDA (Cascadian Dark Ale) dark beer crowned Best Canadian and Best World Black IPA (India Pale Ale) while the brewery’s

Vancouver Island’s top restaurants and food services providers are starting to receive international recognition

Nanaimo-based Tim McGrath has been working as a professional food photographer for more than a decade

Mount Benson IPA took home the Canadian Gold Medal at a tournament held in London, England last August. I n add it ion Por t A lber n i’s Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company was declared Brewery of the Year at the recent BC Beer Awards, while the Twin City Brewery in Port Alberni took home a second place in the British Bitter category for its Tickity Boo British Pale Ale at the same competition. “Air Canada’s enRoute Magazine conducts an annual review of the best restaurants in the country with the Villa Eyrie Resort near Victoria coming in

the top 10 in the country. This achievement is part of an overall trend where Island restaurants keep getting better, and are starting to get the recognition they deserve,” he said. McGrath speculates that the cost of owning and operating an eatery in the province’s major centres is becoming prohibitive, with local patrons benefiting from the move to the new Island locations. “The culinary scene north of the Malahat is changing significantly, and for lovers of fine dining the opportunities just keep getting better and better,” McGrath said.

Once only found in major centres, Vancouver Island is now the home to many award winning restaurants



ULTIMATE HOCKEY FAN’S DREAM: OWNING A HOCKEY TEAM “I came close a couple Vancouver Lawyer Wes Mussio Is The New Owner Of The Nanaimo Clippers

of times to making a purchase but it just never gelled, but with the


ANAIMO – For Wes Mussio, the new owner of the Nanaimo Clippers, it’s a hockey fan’s ultimate dream – owning your own team! Officially taking over ownership of the Junior “A” team November 8, Mussio is no stranger to hockey team ownership as he had previously been the owner of the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s (PJHL) Junior “B” Delta Ice Hawks. “We had actually finalized the deal September 27 but it took that long for the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) to decide if I was worthy of being the owner. I had owned the Ice Hawks but decided to sell it as I wanted to buy a Junior “A” team and the Pacific Junior Hockey League has a rule that says that you can’t have ownership in both the BCHL and the PJHL at the same time as they viewed it as a conflict,” Mussio explained. The Clipper’s new owner is the Managing Partner of the Vancouver based law firm of Mussio Goodman, a litigation firm focused on personal injury claims, ICBC claims and estate litigation. The firm currently maintains offices in Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna and Vernon, but will be opening a new outlet in Nanaimo December 1, which provides Mussio with one more reason to make frequent trips to the Harbour City.

Clippers everything came together.” WES MUSSIO OWNER, NANAIMO CLIPPERS

“I’ve always loved hockey and way back when I was younger I played some pretty high level hockey, going on to play Division One at the top of the Commercial League in British Columbia for many years. But at some point, like when you reach 53 and you realize you can’t play with the 18 year olds anymore, I decided it was time to move on to ownership or management,” he said. In addition to his playing career (primarily as a Defenceman) Mussio also had a lengthy involvement with the Burnaby Winter Club and Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association (PCAHA), serving with the group for more than five years in a variety of different capacities before acquiring the Ice Hawks and now the Clippers. “I realized, when owning the Junior “B” Ice Hawks that you’re always going to be second fiddle to the Junior “A” teams. So I thought the best thing for my hockey resume would to become involved in the top level, and the Clippers proved to be just the right team,” Mussio explained. “Nanaimo is a terrific hockey

The Nanaimo Clippers were founded in 1972, and play with the British Columbia Hockey League

Wes Mussio is the Managing Partner of the law firm Mussio Goodman, which just opened a Nanaimo office town and the team is an awesome investment so my wife Penny and I are very excited about it. We’ve seen three games together so far, but there are going to be a lot more as we’re buying a house in Nanaimo, and with the opening of our law firm’s Nanaimo office I’ll have plenty of reason for coming over. I don’t want people to think I’m going to be some kind of absentee owner, we intend to become active parts of the community, on and off the ice.” Founded in 1972 by Cliff McNabb, the Nanaimo Clippers have been entertaining local hockey fans for 45 years, and under its new ownership the team promises to make the experience even better. While continuing to play at the city’s Frank Crane Arena, Mussio says there are plans in the works to enhance the experience for the fans, through some strategic investment at the Beban Park facility. “Some of the things we’re looking at include changing around some of the video equipment to produce better results, updating the score board and other things along those lines to make the experience more enjoyable for the fans,” he said. While a self described extreme hockey fan, Mussio also realizes that while many young players have dreams of eventually making it to the National Hockey League (NHL), for most that achievement will forever remain beyond their reach. With the interests of the players in mind, he is a staunch advocate of the notion that playing hockey and higher education should be mutually inclusive.

Wes Mussio became the Nanaimo Clipper’s owner on November 8. He’d previously owned the Delta Ice Hawks “Contrary to some schools of thought I believe in school first, and hockey second. It’s a case of building lives not hockey careers. When I was a player I was fortunate enough to have people who convinced me that playing college hockey after junior hockey was the best way to go,” he said. “I had a bunch of buddies who went onto the NHL from my hockey team via the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) route and that is something that I still strongly believe is the better approach. There are going to be those who will be great NHL picks without having to go to school but there are a ton of guys who need a college degree, ideally get to play some pro, but ultimately to use their college degree to develop a career beyond hockey.” Working in conjunction with David LeNeveu, the Clipper’s President, Governor and a member of the ownership group (as well as a former Clipper and NHL star), Mussio looks forward to helping the local hockey club as it grows, attracts new fans and continues to be a part of the city’s sports scene in the years to come.

“David will essentially be the face of the club. He has had a terrific amount of experience, including his time in the NHL, so he’s a true hockey guy who will do tremendous things for the club,” he said. For the new owner the chance to acquire the Nanaimo Clippers was an opportunity that was simply too good to pass up. “I had been looking for a Junior “A” team for about two and half years. I had retired from playing hockey but still wanted to remain heavily involved in the sport. I came close a couple of times to making a purchase but it just never gelled, but with the Clippers everything came together,” Mussio explained. “Nanaimo is one of the top hockey towns in the province so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to bring more kids onto the NCAA career path and hopefully into the NHL. The goal is to sit there one day watching a game and say ‘hey, that guy played for me’ – that’s the most important thing, to give back to hockey and of course to have fun.”



WHO IS SUING WHOM The contents of Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Suing Whom is provided by a third-party resource and is accurate according to public court documents. Some of these cases may have been resolved by publication date.

CLAIM $ 10,355 DEFENDANT Brightpath Early Learning Inc 2900-550 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Burnaby Blacktop Ltd CLAIM $ 59,726

$ 6,284

CLAIM $ 25,096

DEFENDANT Gavin Rahim Consulting And Holdings Ltd 1-505 Fisgard St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Merchant Capital Group LLC CLAIM $ 26,875

DEFENDANT Mike Seargeant Enterprises Ltd 225 Vancouver Ave, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Northern Savings Credit Union CLAIM $ 968,942

DEFENDANT All Type Drilling Inc 1501-1625 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Admiralty Leasing Inc CLAIM $16,529

DEFENDANT Camosun Properties Ltd 30 Front St, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Boyle, Matthew CLAIM $ 28,280

DEFENDANT Great Canadian Casinos Inc 1055-1500 West Georgia St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Orr, Shaun Michael CLAIM $ 35,176

DEFENDANT PGH Consulting Services Ltd 201-467 Cumberland Rd, Courtenay, BC PLAINTIFF Kitasoo Band Council CLAIM $ 27,765

DEFENDANT Ankido Holdings Ltd 3875 Hammond Bay Rd, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Cuisine Kingdom Catering Ltd Claim $32,206

DEFENDANT CR Trailers D-2231 North Island Hwy, Campbell River, BC PLAINTIFF Walker, Jeremy CLAIM $ 25,216

DEFENDANT Great Canadian Gaming Corporation 1055 West Georgia St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Ashton, Brent CLAIM $ 35,168

DEFENDANT Pure Body Health 1-505 Fisgard St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Merchant Capital Group LLC CLAIM $ 26,875

DEFENDANT Bradshaw Construction 1995 Ltd 921 H Canada Ave, Duncan, BC PLAINTIFF Bob Thomson Construction Inc CLAIM $202,471

DEFENDANT Dominion Lending Centres 111-20434 64th Ave, Langley, BC PLAINTIFF Devlin, John CLAIM $ 8,444

DEFENDANT John Reed Plumbing 1919 Dogwood Dr, Courtenay, BC PLAINTIFF Kitasoo Band Council CLAIM $ 27,765

DEFENDANT Brandt Tractor Ltd 1600-925 West Georgia St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Vandekerkhove, Allen

DEFENDANT Eagleye Residential Services Ltd 4599 Chatterton Way, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Centra Windows Inc CLAIM

DEFENDANT Miglia Holdings BC Ltd 204-655 Tyee Rd, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Business Development Bank Of Canada

DEFENDANT Reign Construction 5-3255 Rutledge St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Gullens, Dawn CLAIM $ 23,672 DEFENDANT Rock Steady Restorations Ltd BOX 1124, Ladysmith, BC PLAINTIFF Coast Environmental Ltd CLAIM $ 10,521

33 DEFENDANT Secord Investments Ltd 201-2377 Bevan Ave, Sidney, BC PLAINTIFF 460448 BC Ltd CLAIM $ 7,676 DEFENDANT Servall Data Systems Inc 11304-154 ST, Edmonton, AB PLAINTIFF Lancaster, Graham CLAIM $ 29,500 DEFENDANT Soho Computer Services Ltd 204-655 Tyee Rd, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Business Development Bank Of Canada CLAIM $ 50,965 DEFENDANT Sooke Harbour House Inc 1528 Wiffin Spit Rd, Sooke, BC PLAINTIFF SHH Holdings Limited CLAIM $ 683,327 DEFENDANT Wales McLelland Construction Company 885 West Georgia St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF R C Roofing Ltd CLAIM $ 6,186

Beware the 12 SCAMS of CHRISTMAS 1 ) Look-Alike Websites - When stores sell out, you may find the items online on different websites than the official retailer’s. Remember, it’s easy to mimic a real website. Some sellers will take your money and run, leaving you without the gift or money to buy it elsewhere. 2) Social Media Gift Exchange - Purchasing one gift and receiving 36 sounds like a great deal, but this seasonal scam is actually a pyramid scheme, which is illegal. Rosalind Scott, BBBVI President & CEO

3) Grandparent Scams - Seniors should be cautious if they get a call from a grandchild claiming to be in an accident, arrested or hospitalized while traveling in another country. Never send money unless you confirm with another family member that it’s true.

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4) Temporary Holiday Jobs - Retailers and delivery services need extra help at the holidays, but beware of solicitations that require you to share personal information online or pay for a job lead. Apply in person or go to the retailers’ main website to find out who is hiring. 5) Free Gift Cards - Pop-up ads or emails offering free gift cards are often just a ploy to get your personal information for identity theft. 6) Unusual Forms of Payment - Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay for holiday purchases using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, third parties, etc. These payments cannot be traced and cannot be undone. 7) Fake Shopping Notifications - These can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer to steal your identity and your passwords. Don’t be fooled by a holiday phishing scam. 8) Phony Charities - Everyone is in a generous mood during the holidays, so scammers take advantage of that with fake charity solicitations in email, on social media sites, and even by text. Research charities on and with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) before donating. 9) Letters from Santa - Several trusted companies offer charming and personalized letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information from unsuspecting parents. Check with to find out which ones are legitimate. 10) E-Cards - Electronic cards can be great fun, but be careful. Two red flags to watch out for are: the sender’s name is not apparent; or you are required to share additional information to get the card. 11 ) Travel Scams - With busy holiday travel, bargains may be tempting. Be cautious when booking through online ads, never wire money to someone you don’t know and ask for references. 12) Puppy Scams - Be very careful buying pets online, especially during the holidays. You may get a puppy mill pooch with problems, or you may get nothing at all because it was a scam.

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CAMPBELL RIVER Hengel Denture Clinic welcomes Rachael Hengel as its newest Denturist in the practice, at 100-1260 Shoppers Row. Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Chef Chris Purvis of Sporty Bar & Grill, named winners of the Best Food in the 2017 Business Excellence Awards, prepared the menu.

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Brent Borg has been appointed Fire Chief at the District of Port Hardy’s recent council meeting. Gavin Texmo is the new Deputy Chief, Justin Reusch captain in charge of training and Adam Harding will hold position of lieutenant.

NORTH ISLAND Hats off to Port McNeill businesses, who have presented the “Parade of Trees” this Christmas season, with donations going to Kids in Motion. The event continues until December 22 and invites people to vote by donation for their favourite tree. Chris Callanan from NIEFS (North Island Employment Foundations) was the guest speaker at the November Port Hardy

Western Forest Products ann o u n c e d t h e c l o s u re o f i t s Englewood logging train, Vancouver Island’s last rail logging operation. Mike Coulter, president of the Campbell River ATV Club, gave a presentation at Port Alice’s council meeting, outlining the potential for off-road vehicle tourism on the North Island. Coulter discussed an inter-community trail, which would enable riders to journey from community to community on their off-road

Campbell River Investors Group office welcomes Kelvie Peniuk as their newest consultant in the office. River City Medical Clinic is expanding. The additional clinic space is on the main level of the Real Canadian Superstore, next to the pharmacy. The official opening was December 1. Century 21 Arbutus Realty has moved to 561A-11th Avenue.

on Middle Point Road. Campbell River Downtown BIA recently published a character map of downtown which highlights businesses and local sights. The group is co-chaired by Lisa Whitmore of Signature Oil and Vinegar and Wise and Wonderful Toys, and Heather Gordon

35 Murphy of Rain Coast Musical Theatre School. The Strathcona Regional District Board of Directors has elected Michele Babchuk as its chair, and Brad Unger as its Vice-Chair for 2018. Babchuk and Unger replace SEE MOVER’S AND SHAKERS | PAGE 36


Technology Advisory

Riptide Marine Pub in the Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Island Funeral Services has added Danny Munroe to its team as their newest licensed Funeral Director. A development permit has been issued to Baymore Enterprises of Kamloops paving the way for a building to be constructed for the commercial cultivation and processing of medical marijuana

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outgoing Chair John MacDonald and Vice-Chair Jim Abram. The Board also voted to approve a letter of support regarding the Tlowitsis Nation’s Addition to Reserve application for 630 acres of land located in the district.

COMOX VALLEY The former Billy D’s Pub and Bistro, now known as High Tide Public House, has recently completed renovations. The eatery now features modern interior décor and an expanded menu. Two Eagles Lodge B&B has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award, recognizing hospitality excellence. The award is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide, and recognizes establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on Ken Petersen joins Kit Taggart at Innovative Pressure Systems as office manager. AnMarcos Furniture & Mattress is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. The business is at 102-364 8th Street in Courtenay. SpacesVR, Courtenay’s first

MOVERS AND SHAKERS virtual reality gaming lounge, celebrated its grand opening December 2. They are at #6 468 29th St.

part of the North Island Hospitals Project, which includes a 95-bed facility in Campbell River.

Odyssey Computers at 780 13th Ave celebrates 30 years in business. Partners Don Andrews, Sue Johnson and Dave Shook have five qualified technicians servicing the north island.

True Grain Bread celebrated its grand opening as Courtenay’s newest bakery, located at 445 10th Street. This is the third location across British Columbia for the business, with other locations in Cowichan Bay and Summerland.

Coastal Community Credit Union has been named the Best Financial Institution in the Comox Valley for 2017 in the Readers’ Choice Awards. North Island College has teamed up with McDonald’s Restaurants to allow employees to obtain up to 24 credits or 8 classes worth, towards a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. They must complete all of the management training modules offered by McDonald’s to qualify. The agreement is being implemented this fall. Courtenay City Council has approved a one-time lump sum contribution of up to $135,000 to Project Watershed to help restore the former Field Sawmill site. The name of the site will be Kus-kus-sum, in reference to the First Nations village that once sat across the river. The Comox Valley Campus of the North Island Hospital celebrated its official opening in November. The 153-bed facility is

Vancouver Island’s Office Outfitters™

Finneron Hyundai congratulated Glenice Neal on achieving Salesperson of the Month for October.

PARKSVILLEQUALICUM BEACH Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort earned an award for Lodging and Accommodation at the 2017 EcoStar Awards in November.


former Wembley Road location. Oceanside Dental has welcomed Dr. Blerina Muzina to its team of professionals, located at 175 Corfield Street. The construction of the 28unit Kingsley Manor affordable housing project is expected to be completed in mid-January of next year. The overall cost of the project is $5.5 million. It is the first project in BC to receive funding through the Government of Canada Social Infrastructure Fund, to increase affordable housing for seniors. The Parksville and District Historical Society has closed the Parksville Museum indefinitely. Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce has opened nominations for their annual Business Achievement Awards. Seacliff Properties has begun work in the Fairwinds Landing site in Nanoose Bay. The lot will be developed into a 39-unit condominium building.

M&N Mattress Shop received two accolades at the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Awards, receiving the Customer Service TORCH Awa rd – Va ncouver Island, and the People’s Pick TORCH Award.


The Salvation Army is in the process of moving its administration offices to Memorial Avenue in downtown Parksville. The food bank will remain at its

Coulson Ice Blast has been recognized by Research and Development Magazine, when Coulson’s IceStorm90 was named one of the most technologically significant new products of the

year at its 55th annual awards show. The R&D Awards recognize the most promising new products, processes, materials or software developed throughout the world and introduced into the market in the previous year. Valley Dental welcomes Dr. Kenneth McCracken a nd Dr. Janet Carson to the practice at 101-4115 6th Avenue. Harbourview Collision has added Sarah LaRose as its first female technician to apprentice. Five Star Tattoo Company has opened a new private studio at 2507 9th Avenue. Owner Shelley Neuwirth has been in business in Port Alberni for 12 years. The West Coast General Hospital Foundation has officially opened its coffee kiosk, which was made possible by a $65,000 donation from the Italian Canadian Society. District Acquisition Corporation is in the process of purchasing the former Alberni District Secondary School property, and is proposing to develop the now vacant lot in multiple phases. The first phase of their proposed project involves a single family residential subdivision along 16th Avenue and an apartment building at the corner of Burde SEE MOVER’S AND SHAKERS | PAGE 37






Street and Anderson Avenue. Wynans Furniture & Upholstery is celebrating its 62nd anniversary, located at 4573 Merrifield Street.

benefit of present and future generations. Governed by a board of directors, the organization raises and administers funds to support community-based salmon restoration activities. Dr. Kenneth McCracken and Dr Janet Carson have joined Valley Dental at 101-4115 6th Ave. Marion Ensign has opened Art of Pressure at 4782 Redford after relocating from her downtown Victoria clin ic she had been operating for 16 years. She offers foot care, reflexology and massage. Dentist, Dr. Farid Nikfar is now working with Dr. R. Nystrom at 4115 6th Ave.

Kayla Wells Trends Design is pleased to announce that Kayla Wells has joined their team as its newest junior stylist. T he Port Alberni Canadian Mental Health Association has achieved national accreditation from the National Standards Program of Imagine Canada, confirming the quality and reliability of the organization. The Pacific Salmon Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The foundation is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to salmon conservation and restoration for the

TOFINOUCLUELET O cea n O ut f itters re c eive d an award for Climate Action at t he 2017 E coSta r Awa rd s in November. The Vancouver Isla nd EcoSta r Awa rds recognize outstanding environmental achievements and leadership by businesses, organizations and individuals. These awards are given to local champions of initiatives, projects and innovations that contribute to a vibrant future i n w h i c h c o m m u n it i e s a n d ecology prosper.

T h e Tof i no Consu mers Co-operative Association has achieved the best relative financial performance in the Federated Co-op Limited network of 200 Co-ops across Western Canada. This is the second consecutive year that the Tofino Co-op has achieved this status, which is percentage based irrespective to size. Longstanding Tofino campground Poolesland is up for sale. Owner Michael Poole is offering the property for around $2 million, with plans to invest half the proceeds into the continuation of local habitat stewardship project. Tourism Tofino has earned an award for a marketing campa ig n, w i n n i ng Destination Canada’s Explore Canada Best Med ia Itinerary Award. T he award was in recognition of its ‘Endless Summer’ media invitational event from 2016, to help and inspire travel writers to promote Tofino’s offerings internationally. Pacific Coastal Airlines has announced a daily afternoon service between Vancouver and Tofino, beginning April 3. The 45-minute flight will operate seven days a week. In honour of its fifth anniversary, the West Coast Multiplex Society will be distributing a

West Coast Multiplex survey, both online and in the mail, that lays out designs as well as anticipated costs for phase one of the project; an ice rink. The rink is a proposed full-size ice-hockey sheet estimated to cost between $14 million to $18 million. Construction costs are expected to be paid through donations and grants, however the 2012 referendum allows up to $450,000 of the annual operating costs to come from property taxes. T h e H u u-ay-a h t G ro u p of Businesses and Best Western Tin Wis Resort have been recognized at the BC Aboriginal Business Awards for outstanding achievement.

37 chefs from all over BC, winning the bronze medal with his dish highlighting mid-island farmers and producers. The Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society and Mount Benson Senior Citizens Housing Society are seeking development permits for projects that would boost the number of independent living units for seniors in Nanaimo by more than 200. The society plans to build its first affordable housing complex for seniors on Buttertubs Drive, which will be a six-storey, 150-unit building. The project could begin next spring, with construction taking two years.

NANAIMO The City of Nanaimo has received a development permit application calling for the construction of a 186-square-metre one-storey Triple O’s drive-thru restaurant at Country Club Centre. The proposed restaurant’s building design would conform with the company’s other locations, and would include an outdoor patio. Chef Ryan Zuvich of Hilltop Bistro and La Stella Trattoria recently competed in the Gold Med a l Pl ates Comp et it ion. Zuvich competed with nine other

Al Tully Al Tully has announced his retirement from Community Futures Central Island after six years SEE MOVER’S AND SHAKERS | PAGE 39



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or those of us who have children, we’ve likely learned the hard way, that the statement “don’t do what I do; do what I say” just really doesn’t work. In reality, our actions carry far more weight than the words we’ve chosen. That also extends to government. As we listen to federal and provincial governments trumpet, in varying forms, that they are “pro-business”, “open for business” and “supporters of small business”, it takes a while for the verbal haze to dissipate and reveal the real substance behind the rhetoric. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, furtherto-the-left than the NDP in some cases, somehow avoided making the business community cringe prior to the last federal election. Business was jolted awake by the nightmarish, punitive attacks on corporations

– aka owners’ retirement plans – and a mass outcry from coast to coast has caused the Liberals to back up. Sort of. Well, who knows if they have, or how much. We really won’t know until the dust settles following weeks of backpedalling by Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Here in British Columbia, the NDP has started their “we’re open for business” lobby both near and far, attempting to assuage the genuine fears of what a pro-union, anti-free enterprise government typically brings to any jurisdiction in which they hold power. While business hopes the GreeNDP coalition’s claims are true, they know full well that it’s what they do on the ground that matters, not what comes out of their mouths. After watching NDP leader John Horgan rag-doll former Premier Christy Clark in last spring’s election debates, constantly interrupting her, insulting her and calling her integrity into question, if I squinted, I’m almost sure we were watching departed labour boss Jack Munro in televised union negotiations. Clark’s major accomplishment was defeating the NDP in a shocking vote four years previous. Her only other lasting legacy may still remain, if Site C dam is given the green light to complete by Horgan. That Clark may have pushed the project past the point of no return

reminded me of former Premier Bill Bennett telling me that he signed all the contracts for the Coquihalla Connector from Merritt to then-Westbank, now West Kelowna before he left office because he knew whoever would come behind him would, or at least could, cancel the project. I have said for years that Site C dam was the simplest decision in the province, as putting another structure on the twice-dammed Peace River would produce negligible environmental impact while providing long-term economical electricity for a growing BC. Yet the NDP continues to play political football with the issue. Will they, won’t they? Should they, shouldn’t they? And it’s exactly this public debate that creates what business abhors the most: Uncertainty. Horgan may think he can have his cake and eat it too, by allowing the completion of Site C, yet using it as his personal punching bag. Yes, they allow it, but they didn’t really want to. They “had to”, to avoid millions of dollars in remediation costs and lawsuits from companies that have geared up for the project, only to have it pulled from under their feet. And lost jobs, of course. The NDP rank and file could be satisfied with a “we had no choice” but to allow it to complete, and a “we tried”, but it just wasn’t economically feasible.

If Horgan takes that route and damns Site C’s completion with faint praise, that is also a major statement to business, which watches the performance and asks: “Why would I put major investment into a region where decisions like this are so politicized and unwanted?” Petronas pulled out of Northwestern BC’s pursuit of Liquified Natural Gas, almost as soon as the GreeNDP stole power in Victoria. Why? Because they listened to both parties’ panning of the LNG industry and their promises of increased taxation and regulations. So while the GreeNDP says they support the industry on their terms, industry looks at those terms and recognizes they are unworkable. The politicians, again, are able to say they are “open for business”, while at the same time impose restrictions and introduce handcuffs that make it impossible to do business. The GreeNDP states they are “pro small business”, and “proved” that by introducing a small reduction in the small business tax. That is on profits, by the way, which becomes instantly more difficult to retain because those same small businesses are about to get whacked by the government’s dogand-pony province-wide “consultation” march towards the $15 per hour minimum wage. While it is true that politics makes strange bedfellows, I will never

understand how big, non-government, largely resource-based labour continues to blindly pay the freight for the NDP, and manages to somehow co-exist with the all-extractionof-resources-is-evil Greens. The NDP’s continual war against “big business” and corporations demonstrates an uncanny ignorance of who actually is affected by such ideological reasoning. It’s not just trades workers who are paid very well by big business, who don’t have jobs if big projects don’t proceed. It’s also small business, many of those who earn their livings by providing goods and services to those bigger companies and projects. Who, by the way, can only pay less to their workers because of smaller revenues, which makes it harder for those employees to buy houses, vehicles and holidays. The GreeNDP’s solution? Hike the minimum wage, making small business – who are the ones that pay minimum wage because that’s what they can afford. And the small business owner either tries to raise prices to hike revenue, or cut costs by scaling back hours for workers or hiring less. That’s the real world, ladies and gentlemen. But at least the politicians can say to their supporters that they’re “pro-business”. Only time will tell, as it always does, that their actions show otherwise.





t’s an old joke: Why did God create economists? To make weathermen look good. At times like this, nothing could be closer to the truth (full disclosure, we’re economists). Statistics Canada recently released its August economic growth numbers. They show that the economy contracted. Lo and behold, economists and the media reacted immediately. “Canada’s shrinking economy signals slowdown could be worse than feared,” proclaimed the National Post website. “Canada ‘back

to reality’ as economy contracts,” declared the Globe and Mail. Economists were quoted in various articles, including one high-profile economist who said: “The run of amazing Canadian economic data is officially over, with growth coming back to reality in a hurry.” Just last month, however, the same media and economists were hyping Canada’s economy. “Canada’s economy steamrolls ahead - 4.5 per cent annualized rate of expansion,” said the Globe and Mail. “Canada’s economy blows away forecasts with 4.5 per cent growth,” said the National Post. “The hits just keep coming for the Canadian economy,” said the same high-profile economist. “Even the naysayers will struggle mightily to find fault in this rock-solid report.” Consider us the naysayers. Our Troy Media commentary in early September noted: “While these headlines may leave Canadians feeling optimistic, they’re not an accurate depiction of the state of Canada’s economy. And, worse, they mask serious economic storm clouds on the horizon.”

As we noted, economists and the media were using Statistics Canada’s “annualized growth” number - they took one good quarter of economic growth (1.1 per cent in the second quarter of this year, March to June) and assumed the economy would keep growing at the same rate. Nary was an analysis made about the underlying conditions in Canada that either facilitate economic growth or detract from it. That’s what economists and the media should have been focused on. The hard reality is that private businesses and international investors have lost confidence in Canada as a competitive place to do business. That’s been true for some time. According to data from Statistics Canada, investment by private businesses in plants, machinery and equipment has plummeted from $232.5 billion in 2014 to $197.3 billion in 2016, a decline of 15.2 per cent. Investment is expected to continue to decline this year and next. Even business investment in the much-promoted high-tech sector

is down almost 13 per cent since peaking in 2012. Businesses, entrepreneurs and international investors have lost confidence in large part because the federal government and numerous provincial governments (particularly Ontario and Alberta) have busily implemented policies that discourage investment, entrepreneurship and economic growth. Significant increases in personal income taxes for skilled, educated workers and business owners have occurred in Ontario, Alberta and at the federal level. And British Columbia’s new government is expected to follow a similar path. Ottawa is also mandating carbon pricing (through taxes and regulations) by all the provinces, even as other nations either cancel their plans or outright eliminate programs (see Australia). The federal and many provincial governments are also neck-deep in deficits with mounting debt, which implies even higher taxes in the future. Additional regulations for doing business have been imposed by

the federal government and many provinces. These regulations come when Canada is already uncompetitive, ranking 22nd on the World Bank›s most recent index of the cost of doing business. These governments have made it more expensive to do business in Canada and they’ve reduced the rewards for success by increasing taxes. It’s no surprise that the economy is slowing down. Economists and the media should have seen the writing on the wall, instead of pumping sensational growth numbers. Forget the headlines and comments on our recent economic growth, good or bad. All Canadians ought to be deeply concerned about the medium- and long-term economic outlook for our country. This is especially true at a time when emerging policy reforms in the United States could further harm Canada’s competitiveness and economic interests. Niels Veldhuis and Jason Clemens are economists at the Fraser Institute.

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with the organization. Tully joined the Board of Directors in 2011, where he headed up the Governance Committee. He spent two years as Chair and this past year as Past Chair. Bruce Williams and Amanda Wilson have moved on from their careers in broadcasting to start Spark - a company focused on strategic planning and partnerships, local engagement and marketing for Vancouver Island businesses and not-for-profits. Spark is a consultancy team with a broad reach of contacts across Vancouver Island. The organization also offers training in public speaking, branding, social media and fundraising strategies and reputation management. Avison Young has sold the two-building apartment complex at 380 and 400 Third Street. The buildings have a total of 69 rental units, and were listed for $6.7 million, with a combined assessed value of just over $5 million. The Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) elected four new members to its Board of Directors at its annual general meeting. They include Stuart Cuthbert of McGregor & Thompson, Mark Liudzius of Kinetic Construction, Chris Lyons of Omicron Construction and Kate Ulmer of Harold Engineering. Ulmer is also Chair of VICA Women in Construction, and Lyons is Past Chair of U40 Victoria. isition Audiam, tly lity to be tifying the ect

Congratulations to Pheasant Hill Homes Ltd. for winning the Technology Excellence Award at the 2017 EcoStar Awards in November. The Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors gave three readings to a new bylaw to establish a regional economic development service to provide funds to the Vancouver Island Film Commission (INfilm). Once approved, the RDN will enter into a three-year agreement with INfilm to provide funding of $50,000 to promote the region as a prime location for film, television and commercial productions. CN Rail, the largest railway company in Canada, plans to hire 600 employees in Western Canada. The company has seen growth in its business with more demand in coal, Canadian grain, containers and frack sand. Nanaimo City Council has approved a 10year tax exemption for a hotel project next to the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. The revitalization tax exemption agreement is for PEG Developmentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 100 Gordon Street. The tax exemption is valued at $450,000 per year. The District of Lantzville has named Neil Rukus as the second-ever paid part-time fire chief for Lantzville Fire Rescue. T he Regional District of Nanaimo Recreation and Parks Department has been awarded $74,160 to help support a number of initiatives aimed at improving accessibility and opportunities for physical activity. The District of Lantzville has created an economic development strategic plan and community branding select committee, with the purpose of providing

input, feedback and helping to formulate an economic development and community branding strategy. Committee members are Wendy Campbell, Doug English, Darwin Mahlum, Deb Melertchuk, Ronnie Jackson, Sarah Wallbank and councillor Will Geselbracht. Snuneymuxw First Nation, with funding from the First Nations Health Authority, are ready to break ground on a $3 million facility thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s designed to include services including a drop-in medical clinic, pharmacy, lab and dentist office, that could be open to the general public. Plans also include a special room for elders, a community health space and a multi-purpose room for play therapy. The facility will be located adjacent to MacMillan Road.


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Moira Jenkins has resigned from her position as chairwoman of the Nanaimo Port Authority board of directors, effective November 22.


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Adeleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hair Salon celebrated the grand opening of its new location at 10874 Grandview Road in Saltair.

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Mikaela Alldred is the new manager at the Chemainus & District Visitor Centre.

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Chemainus Family Dental welcomes Dr. Reeti Soni as the newest addition to its office at 2849 Oak Street.



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Steeples Housing Society is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The facility includes 16 units, providing subsidized housing for seniors and people with disabilities who require assistance to maintain independence, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need 24-hour care. Workers at the Crofton pulp mill have agreed to a new four-year contract with Catalyst Paper.

COWICHAN VALLEY Coastal Offices has opened its second location, at #103-255 Ingram Street in Duncan. The facility offers two floors of offices, co-working space and a boardroom.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Pacific Industrial & Marine won the Community Leadership Award at the 2017 Ecostar awards ceremony. They specialize in marine and bridge construction. The Cowichan Valley Regional District Board elected Jon Lefebure to serve a fourth consecutive term as its Board Chair and Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District Chair. Director, Ian Morrison, was elected to serve as Vice Chair. Canada Avenue Health Professionals, located at 55 Canada Ave has opened its doors. It is a multi-disciplinary health and rehabilitation team consisting of Mark Bhopal, Dr. Julian Wynne-Smith, Johanne Tomio, Diana Sharpe, Jasmine Rose Oberste, Joan Astren and Kim Mccullough. Island Savings has won the Big Brothers Big Sisters Community Partnership Award that acknowledges generosity and community leadership. It was one of three national awards granted annually.

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Encouraging Healthy Postures


height adjustable desks offer easy to use, intuitive controls to quickly change between sitting and standing positions.

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#104-335 Wesley St Nanaimo BC V9R 2T5 P. 250.741.8996


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Business Examiner Vancouver Island December 2017  

Featuring the latest business news and information for the Cowichan Valley, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni, To...

Business Examiner Vancouver Island December 2017  

Featuring the latest business news and information for the Cowichan Valley, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni, To...