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NORTHERN BC Northern Markets to Outperform Southern

Wherever Business Takes You




Fort St. John | Prince George | Terrace | Vanderhoof

FBB Joining MNP Team

Chartered Professional Accounting Firm To Join National Accounting/Consulting Firm

BC Home Owners can appeal property assessments with PacWest 


INDEX News Update


Real Estate


HR 7 Digital Marketing


Sales 12 BC Business Success 13 Movers and Shakers 15 Opinion 18

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From left: Mindy Johns, Heather Hill (no longer with FBB), Lori Edinger, Will Hill, Annie Murray, Kane Fraser, Megan Tenning, Tanya Holte, Rachel Meldrum, Linda Geier, Ron Rasmussen


ILLIAMS LAKE – FBB Chartered Professional Accountants LLP will be merging with MNP on February 1. While FBB was looking to deliver more specialty services to their clients, MNP was looking to establish a presence in Williams Lake to serve clients in the

Cariboo Chilcotin region, and MNP is Canada’s fifth-largest national accounting and business consulting firm. FBB Williams Lake, at 336 Mart Street, is founded and operated by Kane Fraser, CPA, CA since 2014. The firm provides accounting, tax and business advisory services to a wide array of private

enterprises and agricultural clients and Indigenous organizations throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin region. Having been in public practice in Williams Lake for the past 15 years, Fraser says the time was right to make the change. “As business evolves and our cl ients’ needs become more

complex, I believe becoming part of a national firm with a local client service philosophy position will better serve our clients and position us all for continued growth and success,” Fraser explains. “By joining MNP we are adding more resources, more SEE MNP TEAM  |  PAGE 9

Liquid Capital Brings Much-Needed Funding to Resource Sector BC-Based Firm Attends BC Natural Resource Forum


RINCE GEORGE - With an upcoming surge of activity in Northern BC, Liquid Capital West Coast Financing Corp. is helping businesses take f u l l adva ntage of these new opportunities. On January 22-24, the Liquid Capital team attends 16th Annual BC Natural Resource Forum in Prince George, the largest

conference of its kind in the region. With upcoming projects like Site C and the Kitimat LNG facility, many of the region’s small and medium-sized businesses a re looking at gamechanging contracts. “At this conference, we’re looking to connect with growing companies that need capital,” says Stephen Ison, a Principal

with Liquid Capital. “Small businesses in general often finding themselves dealing with transactions or situations where they could do more business if they only had a little more leverage, and that’s where we come in.” According to Ison, standard bank lending lending criteria can prevent some companies from borrowing much-needed capital.

Flexible Financing That Grows With You Whether you’re a growing, new, turnaround or seasonal business, we have a creative financing solution for you. To learn more, contact Stephen Ison or Rebekah Hutchsion at 778.265.7990 or visit

“Banks lend by looking at the last couple of years, averaging it out, then lending around 10 per cent of gross revenue,” says Ison. “Our discipline is asset-based lending, which uses a different formula that can help some companies secure the capital they need without adhering to the SEE LIQUID CAPITAL  |  PAGE 14




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BC Province’s Tech Sector Leads Nation According to KPMG’s British Columbia Technology Report Card (Tech Report Card), BC’s tech economy is once again sitting at the top. The report rates the tech sector’s performance in the provincial and global economies, as well as its potential to grow. W hile the BC tech sector has enjoyed its overa l l ‘A’ status si nce 2014 when compared to other BC industries, this year’s report marks the first time it has earned an ‘A’ grade when compared to other provinces’ tech economies. BC’s tech sector is responsible for 7 per cent of the province’s economy and is ranked first amongst the province’s various industries in terms of growth. The last two years have seen the BC tech sector’s revenue increase by 11.9 per cent. The number of medium- to la rge-sized compa n ies based i n BC has also grown over the last two years. “I’m proud to see BC’s tech sector get a third straight A on economic outputs,” says Jill Tipping, President and CEO of BC Tech. “What an outstanding achievement for our industry and ou r com mu n ity! To rea lize ou r fu ll potential, let’s now turn that energy to growing our talent pool and supporting more BC tech companies to achieve scale-up success. Strong anchor tech companies at the heart of our ecosystem are extremely important to enrich the talent pool, create spinoffs, and provide proven pathways to scale.” With top performance indicators and consistent growth, the industry’s momentum is picking up, and not just in Vancouver. There is exciting regional growth across the Province. “The Okanagan tech sector has grown 15 per cent each year since 2013, and we’re now home to almost 700 techn ol o g y c o m p a n i e s ,” s a i d R ag hwa Gopal, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan. “This report card has lots of good news for BC.” Ma ki ng BC the best place to g row a nd sca le a tech compa ny has been the mission of the BC Tech Association since 1993. W hile its members focus on growing their businesses, BC Tech has been providing opportunities for industry members to collaborate, learn, and grow together.

i n Socia l a nd Pol itica l T houg ht; M.A. Contemporary Social/Political T hought and a B.A. High Honours/ Political Science. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, Dr. Thompson worked on post-secondary reform projects in Central Asia and the former Soviet bloc. He also held the position of Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at the University College of the North in Thompson Manitoba. “One of the things that brought me to BC was the u n ique natu re of the college system,” Dr. Thompson said. “It offers students, whom otherwise would not succeed in post-secondary education, an affordable access point. Colleges give students the opportunity to explore different fields, discover thei r passions a nd, i f necessa ry, to have a second chance.” Dr. T hompson has extensive postsecondary experience as an administrator and as a professor involved in developing programming for nontraditional students in non-traditional academic settings. “I love that CNC is a community college,” he said. “Whether a student is seek i ng upg rad i ng, prepa ri ng for a professional credential or certification, retracing for a career change, starting on a bachelor degree or just trying to figure out what you want to do with your life – we have a program for that.” Prince George

DAWSON CREEK/ PRINCE GEORGE Contractors Awards Announced The Deputy Minister’s Contractor of the Year Awards presented IDL Projects Inc. with the top award for grading for the Highway 16/Bunce Road to Blackwater Road four-laning project near Prince George. The work demanded a high degree of accuracy due to existing underground utilities and took place in one of the busiest corridors in the northern region of the province. T he top honour for paving in British Columbia was given to Peter Bros Construction Ltd. of Dawson Creek for its work on the Highway 97 CN railway tracks to K iskatinaw Bridge project near Dawson Creek. The 68-kilometre project was delivered on budget and on time and included incorporating 20 per cent recycled asphalt.



CNC appoints Vice President Academic

Marine Transportation & Support Services Joint Venture

The College of New Caledonia (CNC) is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Chad Thompson to the position of Vice President Academic. Dr. T hompson bega n h is ca reer at CNC in September 2012 as the Dean, School of University Studies and Career Access. He has filled the role of CNC’s Acting Vice President Academic since December 2017. “Dr. T hompson has shown exceptional aptitude as acting Vice President Academ ic th roughout the last year,” said CNC President Henry Reiser. “We’re honoured to appoint him permanently to the role.” He holds a Ph.D. Graduate Programme

Bridgemans Services Group LP ann o u n c e d t h a t Br idgem a n s M a r i ne Transport has entered a joint venture agreement with the Haisla First Nation that will enable the company to provide marine transportation solutions a nd support services i n the Douglas Channel and Kitimat region. The Bridgemans Kitimat Joint Ventu re w i l l help to st i mu late g row t h opportunities in the community and prov ide speci fic ma ri ne based employment for its members for decades to come. “A s a pa r tnersh ip g roup, we have a long history of successfully doing SEE NEWS UPDATE  |  PAGE 3




business with First Nations communities, and especially the Haisla Nation, w ith our large format Floatel solution in 2014. Our goals are always to prov ide tra i n i ng a nd advancement in Marine career opportunities and expand our fleet on the Douglas Channel,” said Brian Grange, P resident of Bridgemans. “This partnersh ip is a good exa mple, a nd one that I hope we continue to replicate with other coastal First Nations communities.” “We are extremely proud of this partnership with Bridgema ns, a nd cu rrently have a strong contingency of Haisla members working on the water w it h Br idgem a ns a nd i ntegrating with local project proponents,” said Crystal Smith, Chief Councillor of the Haisla Nation.” As industry ramps up in 2019, the business activity in our traditional territory w i l l d ra matica l ly i ncrease. T he Douglas Channel is our home and being a part of the ongoing marine based services and management of our waters is of great importance to our membership.” Bridgemans Services Group LP (BSG) is a global provider of f le x i ble, f u l l-ser v ic e floatel and marine transport solutions.

SMITHERS Culture Centre To Go Referendum Smithers City Council will go w ith a referendu m i n its request to borrow $1-million for the new l ibra ry/a rt ga ller y cu ltu re cent re located at Veteran’s Peace Park. The final estimate is $15.9-million. T hey w i l l apply for $12.87 2 f rom the I nvesti ng i n Ca nada Infrastructure Program, wh ich is a joi nt prov i ncia l / federal grant program. It offers 90 per cent of costs for proje cts of tow n s b et we en 5,000 and 25,000 in population. BC has $95-m i l l ion to share amongst the province. Because the ask is over $10-million, it will be subject to scrutiny from various levels of government. There will be $1-million donated by an anonymous donor with another $1-million to be fundraised. Cou nc i l d id not fe el t hey could do the project for less than $10-million. T he cost of the loan would mean a 1.14 per cent ta x increase or $15 for the average $277,000-assessed home.

NORTHERN BC Northern Health Board Changes Northern Health’s Board of

Directors recognized two retiring long-time members at its latest regular meeting held in Prince George this week. Di rector, Ben Sander from Daw son C re ek, a nd D i re cto r, M a u r ic e S q u i re s f ro m the Nisga’a Valley, have been m e m b e rs o f t h e N H B o a rd since 2012, and their terms expired December 31. Both were re c og n i z e d b y b oa rd c h a i r Col leen Nyce for ser v ice to health care in the North. “Ben and Maurice have made valuable contributions to the strategic direction of Northern Health over the past six years,” said Nyce. “We thank them for sharing their individual expertise and points of view for the benefit of health ca re in the North, a nd w ish them all the best as they retire from this service.” Dr. Nadine Caron, Associate Professor, UBC Northern Medical Program, Co-Di rector, UBC Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health presented an overview of the Northern Biobank initiative. The purpose of the project is to collect biological samples and clinical data from northerners, for use in clinical research. The Northern Biobank Initiative is a partnership of Northern Health, First Nations Health Authority, BC Cancer, Provi nci a l He a lt h Ser v ices Authority, Genome BC, UNBC, a nd U BC. T he project tea m has completed extensive consultations with First Nations communities in Northern BC, a nd is now mov i ng forwa rd with creation of a retrospective Biobank that will include approximately 1500 clinical sa mples from breast ca ncer patients across the north between 2002 and 2012. T he board received an update on Northern Health staff recruitment and retention, including new multi-media and bra nd awa reness strateg ies b e i n g e m p l o y e d to a t t ra c t skilled staff to the region. A new mobile-friendly careers website has lau nched, w ith a fo c u s o n i m p ro v i n g h o w Nor t her n com mu n it ies a re profiled in photos, videos, and employee testimonials. Following a recent meeting with Northern Health, LNG Canada has committed to engag i ng a nd consu lti ng w ith NH on various aspects of the Kitimat-based project, including management of the health service needs of its workforce du ri ng the ex pected 5-yea r construction period. Further meetings are planned for 2019.

PRINCE GEORGE New Elkscentre Flooring Made From Recycled Tires T i res that once traveled

along the road are now being t read upon as new f loor i ng in the City of Prince George’s Elksentre Arena thanks to an investment from the City of Prince George and grants from Tire Stewardship BC. The new cushioned flooring has been installed throughout t he A ren a’s wa l k ways, front lobby, skate shop, and d ressi ng, referee, a nd storage rooms. The City applied for and received a grant from Tire Stewardship BC to replace roughly 465 square metres of aging and damaged f looring

and installed f looring made out of 4.5 ton nes of r ubber from 670 recycled passenger veh icle t i re s. T he or i g i n a l f looring was installed when the ElkCentre was first constructed in 1976. T he recycled f loori ng i mproves the durability, shock a b s o r p t i o n , m a i n te n a n c e , a nd resista nce of the f loori n g at t he A ren a . T he E l kscentre, located in the Hart neighbourhood, hosts many tournaments, special events, a nd t ra i n i n g prog ra m s for figure skating, minor hockey,

3 ringette, lacrosse, and adult recreational leagues each year. The f loors are made from a product produced by a company called Dinoflex. Dinoflex f looring consists of up to 90 per cent recycled, post-consumer tire rubber. The flooring is made in BC from scrap ti res col lected from a rou nd the province by Tire Stewardship BC. The City applied for and received a $25,55 4 g ra nt from Tire Stewardship BC to cover up to 50 per cent of el ig ible costs for the project.


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Kitimat And Terrace See Increased Sales

Northern Markets Expected To Perform Better Than South


he realtor members of the BC Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) reported 5125 property sales worth $1.5 billion in 2018 through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), up from last year’s 4981 sales worth $1.3 billion. President Court Smith comments, “In the Board region overall, there was a 2.89 per cent increase in sales and a 10.32 per cent decrease in the number of active listings. Many communities, such as Kitimat and Terrace for example, saw increased sales year-over-year (59 per cent increase in sales for Terrace and 147.96 per cent increase in sales for Kitimat). Prince George saw a 10.37 per cent decrease in sales while some other markets had a slight decrease in sales. M a rket cond it ions i n BC Northern tightened and may move from a balanced market to a seller’s market over time. The Northern markets have not seen the same overall negative effects of the mortgage stress test as seen in the lower mainland; although, some individual buyers have been forced out of the market by the stress test which has made it difficult for them to buy.

Court Smith, President of the BC Northern Real Estate Board Northern markets are expected to perform better than the markets in the southern parts of the province for 2019.” In the Northern Region of the Board, Fort St. John had an increase in the number of sales (455 sales in 2017 and 524 sales in 2018). There was a decrease in active listings (from 662 in 2017 to 544 in 2018). In Fort Nelson, the number of sales increased (from 53 sales in 2017 to 80 sales in 2018). In the West, Prince Rupert had

a slight decrease in sales (from 205 sales in 2017 to 195 sales in 2018). Terrace saw a significant increase in sales (from 239 in 2017 to 380 in 2018), and a decrease in active listings (from 196 in 2017 to 151 in 2018). Kitimat saw an increase in sales (from 98 sales in 2017 to 243 sales in 2018), and an increase in active listings (from 78 in 2017 to 110 in 2018). Smithers had the same number of sales as in 2017 (270 sales in 2017 and 2018), and a decrease in the number of active listings (from 152 in 2017 to 129 in 2018). In the South, Williams Lake had an increase in sales (from 469 in 2017 to 495 in 2018), and a decrease of one listing for the number of active listings (from 226 in 2017 to 225 in 2018). 100 Mile House had a decrease in number of sales (from 550 sales in 2017 to 538 sales in 2018), and a decrease in active listings (from 292 in 2017 to 283 in 2018). Quesnel had an increase in sales (from 345 sales in 2017 to 349 sales in 2018), and an increase in number of active listings (from 110 in 2017 to 124 in 2018). Prince George had a decrease in sales (from 1562 sales in 2017 to 1400 sales in 2018), and an

increase in active listings (from 4 48 i n 2017 to 462 i n 2018). The average price for a house

on acrea ge i ncrea sed (f rom $402,253 in 2017 to $451,945 in 2018).

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t’s that time of year when annual property assessment notice d isplaying 2019 property assessment

values and classification arrive. This year’s notices are especially important and deserve close inspection

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given the ongoing record increases in com mercia l, i ndustria l a nd i nvestm e n t p ro p e r t y a s s e s s m e n t v a l u e s over t he pa st yea r i n most a rea s of the province. It is from this estimation of commercial or industrial property assessment values that local governments and the Province will determine how much overall property tax is paid this year. The BC Assessment Authority is responsible for the annual valuation of almost 2,300,000 properties in B.C. with its 700 employees, but it remains the property owners’ responsibility to rev iew a nd appea l the notices to ensure they are fair and equitable. And what if someone doesn’t agree with the assessment value or classification? Perhaps they believe it’s too high, or in some cases, too low. Can anything be done about it? Yes, but appeals must be filed on or before January 31, 2019. T here is no fee to file an appeal at this first level of review. T i m D ow n , P re s id e nt of PacWe st Com m erci a l Re a l E st ate A dv i s ors , which specializes in annual property assessment appeal services throughout B.C., notes, “If an assessment is incorrect, the owner will be paying more property tax now and into the future, so they need to ensure that they have been assessed fairly and consistently. “Property taxpayers have a right to either the lower of the actual market va lue, or t he equ itable a ssessment value for their property,” Down adds. “It should be no higher than a similar, competing property in their taxing

jurisdiction. For example, a commercial property in a downtown location should not be assessed at a higher rate than a similar neighboring property.” Down believes the significant property assessment value increases this year will result in even larger inequitable increases for many property taxpayers if not carefully reviewed and challenged. Also, local governments are increasing property taxes to shore up funding for emerging social initiatives and strategies. These increases tend to place a higher burden of taxation on the non-residential taxpayer. Development land values and classification will continue to be an issue for property taxpayers with the BC Assessment Authority taking aggressive valuation and taxation policy positions in the application of higher tax classifications for mixed use developments and agricultural lands. BC Assessment Authority continues its trend to aggressively pursue assessment valuation policies and property tax classification initiatives through lega l cha l lenges that w i l l have long lasting impacts on all non-residential property taxpayers. It’s better to stay informed and vigilant these days, Down says, pointing out that property taxes, after mortgage a nd lease costs, a re the la rgest a nnual operating expenses for property owners. Once the appeal deadline has passed, property taxes cannot be appealed. He adds that property taxes go straight to the bottom line performance of all real estate assets.





Create an onboarding timeline and spread the activities out to provide the new employee the time to process and retain the information they have learned



any employers provide their new employees with an orientation to their new job and workspace. Unfortunately, an orientation often lacks the depth and strategic planning that an onboarding process offers. Onboarding is much more than just orientation – it includes the initial welcome, human resources paperwork, job understanding and expectations, and the tools the new employee needs to understand and assimilate themselves into the workplace culture. If this process is not done well, it can certainly contribute to negative productivity from the employee and increased turnover for the company. Here are some suggestions for managers or supervisors to consider when someone new joins their team: • Accepting a position is a huge commitment and can cause stress and anxiety. Be thorough and honest in the recruitment process and address questions before you make the job offer. • Take the time to make sure the work space is ready – check that the desk area has been cleaned, the phone is working and the computer is ready to go! • Notify the team of the new arrival and spend time with the staff who will be training new employees, being clear on what is expected of them. • Send a welcome email a few days before the new employee is to start that provides some basic information such as what time they are expected, where to park, who to ask for and a schedule for their first few days. • Spend time with your new employee and show them around the company where the washrooms are, where they eat lunch, where to find supplies and areas they will be expected to know. You might even take them outside the company and show them what amenities are nearby. • St rateg ica l ly i nt roduce t hem to


colleagues and schedule time with each to learn about the jobs that they do and how they fit in. Give them an org chart and maybe start with the departments they will be working with most closely so they have a better chance of associating names with faces and positions. • Be sure not to overload the new employee with information on Day One, or even Week One. Create an onboarding timeline and spread the activities out to provide the new employee the time to process and retain the information they have learned. • Schedule regular check-ins with the new employee. These meetings will help develop an open relationship and assist the employee in understanding the specifics of their role and responsibilities, such as how to properly complete key tasks, who to go to with questions, how to get approval for their work and how to make suggestions. If the fear of going through the search and recruitment process doesn’t motivate a company to properly onboard a new employee then the long-term cost savings should. It is an ROI that both the employer and employee will appreciate!




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ord of Mouth is the most powerful and highest converting referral that a business can receive. In today’s constantly changing digital landscape it’s impor ta nt to rea l i ze that Word of Mouth has expanded beyond personal conversations to nearly every digital platform. With 74 per cent of consumers now trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, it’s become critical for businesses to develop continual open lines of communication with their customers. According to Google, 9 out of 10 of local searches lead to action, with more t h a n 50 per cent leading to sales. If businesses have a good web presence, customers will go to them rather than the competitor. Once they’re i n the store, 79 per cent of customer use their smartphones inside to look at reviews or compare prices and 74 per cent of them end up making a purchase. Those numbers alone make the opportunity clear: online reputation management is essential for your business to get consumers in the door to make the sale.

Today, consumers are pushing out a company’s reputation and image collectively by providing real-time feedback through online review websites, social media, forums and other platforms. I f t h e r e ’s a n o n l i n e source and a consumer can say something about a business on it, then it is a platform where your business’s reputation should be monitored and managed. W hether a business chooses to manage their reputation online or not, con su mers a re ta l k i ng

about their favourite and not-so-favourite places to pu rch ase. I f a compa ny si mply ig nores their reputation online, the consequences can be detrimental. Un m a n a ged negat ive responses can create an angry mob mentality and bad word of mouth spreads like wildfire. W hile a business may not realize how exactly one instance can affect their online reputation, it is possible that only one negative post on a highly ranked site can actually be what shows up near the top of a search results page when a consumer searches for that business’s name. Your business’s reputation can be affected at any time on just about any source across the web. You can use products (SaaS), services (outsource services) or people (outsource or hire a digital marketer) to cut down on your reputation management time expenditure. Even if your business is regularly tracking feedback on social media, there may be sources that your busi ness is u nawa re of such as a new review site from a listing that your business never knew that existed. To learn how your organization can generate reviews from previous customers, manage existing reviews, induce new customers to review, and generate new sales from individuals looking at those reviews, email john@ for more information.




specialized services and a broader range of experiences, all of which will allow us to provide our clients with even greater value.” D a r r e n T u r c h a n s k y, M N P ’s E xecut ive Vice President of the BC Region, notes: “MNP has 19 offices in B.C, including our four northern BC locations; Prince George, Vanderhoof, Terrace and Fort St. John. We have been looking for like-minded firms to build on our strategic plans for growth in central and northern BC. Williams Lake is an important service hub with m a ny of t he b u si ness, retail, medical and government services for the Cariboo Chilcotin region. We are excited to welcome FBB and look forward to working together to meet the needs of local clients and the community.” Fraser says one of the deciding factors in joining MNP was its relationshipbased culture.


“As business evolves and our clients’ needs become more complex, I believe becoming part of a national firm with a local client service philosophy position will better serve our clients and position us all for continued growth and success." KANE FRASER FBB WILLIAMS LAKE, FOUNDER

“MNP offers the best of both worlds—the resources and services of a national firm together with the culture, personalized approach and community commitment of a local office,” Fraser says. “I know joining MNP will be a good fit for our clients and our team and we are excited about the future.” MNP credits its mergers and acquisitions, organic growth, value-added services and values-led culture for helping the firm repor ted ly become the highest year-over-year

g row t h rates of a ny of Canada’s top accounting firms. “To maintain our culture, we have been very strategic about who we invite to join our team,” said Turchansky. “With Kane and his team, we are thrilled to be joining forces with a firm that shares our entrepreneurial approach to doing business and our commitment to supporting the needs of both our clients and the local community. It’s a great fit.”


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PRINT Strong Print and Signage Industry Crucial Business Success

Print and Signage Innovation Continues, Everyone Benefits


ri nt a nd sig nage a re everywhere. From the colour and logos on your take-out espresso cup, to the shrink wrapped transit bus you went to work on this morning, to the logos on the computer you worked on all day – somewhere down the line a designer and a printer played pivotal roles in making your day better informed and more enjoyable. The industry is one of the most technologically advanced sectors in Canada. Under the umbrella of print we find digital printing, forms, bank notes, magazines, newspapers, stationary and screen printing to name a few. There are also the sub sectors such as pre-press, design, direct mailing, bindery work and delivery. SEE PRINT  |  PAGE 11

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Those in the field have b e e n c h a l l e n ge d to b e creative and attentive to emerging technologies, to move from standard onedimensional print products to learning the world of digital, staying abreast of new printers which have changed from mammoth machinery to smallish specialized machines able to construct 3-dimensional products. The latter allows the creation of a 3D printed complex object from a digital file. Especially useful in prototypes, architectural models. With the recent oversaturation of the digital advertising markets, many companies are finding it more and more difficult to get their message heard. With a majority of North A mer ica n s u si ng t hei r phones for communication, information, direction, and more, the digital sphere is posing a challenge for companies seeking to attract new clientele and increase brand recognition. Far from becoming obsolete, print marketing is proving itself as an important vehicle for companies who seek to stand out. More companies are tu rn i ng back to f lyers, brochures, and direct mail campaigns to seek out new business. Additionally, improvements in technology are re s u lt i n g i n new way s of integrating print and digital marketing, allowing businesses to target new business more effectively, with greater precision. The Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) describes its mission ‘as an association is to strengthen and support the continual advancement of the printing industry across Canada’. They provide a national voice

Richard Kouwenhoven is the Board Chair of CPIA and President & COO of Hemlock Printers and ‘a connection point for regional print associations, sector associations and print-focused postseconda r y educationa l programs’. This is increasingly important in an industry that is constantly changing. CPIA restructured in 2018 that unified key industry stakeholders across Canada. Members of the CPIA within this new structure consist of six regional print associations and one supplier association. Richard Kouwenhoven of Hemlock Printers, CPIA Board Chair says, “On behalf of the CPIA Board, I am excited to share this important step for a renewe d C PI A . We h ave received many positive responses from industry stakeholders who support th is new i n itiative a nd we will be taking careful steps to help build a foundation that enables the CPIA to carry out its mandate well into the future. We look forward to the work ahead and welcome ideas and input from industry stakeholders as we chart a new course for the Association.”

Recent employment statistics i nd icate that the nation’s print industry employs over 50,000 people in 6,000 different businesses, making it the fourth-largest manufacturing employer in Canada. With over 6,000 British Columbians in the indust r y, orga n i zat ion s l i ke PrintForward have been created to speak on their behalf. PrintForward is a trade association that aims to promote and advance the best interests of the printing industry, particularly in BC and Western Canada. It is described as “a recognized voice of the printing industry and provides its members with one of the most dynamic partnership arrangements of any association in North America.” This arrangement gives members access to resources including membership i n P r i nt i ng I ndu st r ie s of America, prem iu m m em b ers h ip i n W h, and access to resources through association membership i n t he B C A l l i a nc e for Manufacturers.

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hen you look at the things you want a nd how you’d like your life to be, if you had to guess, what is standing in your way? Let me go back a couple of steps. What do you want to be doing in sales monthly a year from now? You have a goal, don’t you? It’s written down, isn’t it? And you have a date when you want to accomplish it, right? Well if you don’t, you’ll now take some time and write those goals down, as specifically as you can. And you’ll put




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control of your destiny. When you own the responsibility for your production, your goal accomplishment, and your achievements, you no longer have anyone else to blame for your lack of achievement. Tape your goals to your mirror where you’ll see them every morning and every evening. At the same time you can say hello to the person who is responsible for making them happen. Copyright 2018 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved. John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at, toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit www.glennon.sandler. com



a date by when you want to make it happen. What is it you want? A family vacation to Disney World, an earlier retirement, financing your kids’ education, house renovations? If you can dream is it possible you can work to make it happen? Okay now . . . Take a look at where you want to be in twelve months. Take a look at where you are now. What’s standing in your way from making it happen? What do you need to overcome, start doing better or what do you have to stop doing to accomplish these goals? Let’s not get confused about lots of hard work or the market, the competition or the economy. Let’s focus on what we can control— mostly the behaviours you do every day, every week and the attitudes and beliefs that guide your actions. When you take control of your behaviour you take


ales and customer service have an opportunity for symbiosis that is often not utilized. This failure arises from a lack of communication or infighting. Setting up communication channels between sales and customer service helps prevent inter-company resentment and sets positive customer experience as the shared team goal. Our company recently experienced the poor customer experience that comes when sales and customer service are not trying to work in each other’s best interest. Our office manager, Lisa, was alerted to a problem with our website. Lisa called our hosting company’s account manager who transferred her to customer service’s technical support. Lisa was assured it was a simple fix. After a short wait for technical support, Lisa relayed the problem. Customer service attempted a few fixes to

no avail. Customer service then told Lisa that the problem was due to an external issue that was not supported without a higher service tier and that our account would need to be upgraded. Customer service transferred Lisa back to sales. Sales looked at the issue and said that customer service was wrong as the item in question was their service and fell within our current agreement. Lisa was then returned to the customer service agent that told her, “the sales rep doesn’t understand the technology”, and told her that she needed to speak to him again to get the issue resolved before further support could be offered. Not wanting to be bounced back and forth further with conflicting information, Lisa worked with our web developer to circumvent the problem rather than correct the host’s issue. Keeping customers happy is a team effort for sales and customer service professionals. If the sales team and customer service teams establish open lines of communication, they can share valuable information that will help them keep customer satisfaction high. Sales people should alert the customer care team about new clients or changes to client delivery including suggestions on how to serve that client most effectively. This should happen

proactively, independent of a problem, but is essential if a client raises a problem and the issue is actively under the process of being resolved. In return, customer service professionals should keep the sales team aware of what aspects of the product or service are most helpful to customers and used most often. If problems arise in the account, the customer service team should have a process to alert the sales reps on complaints, intended resolutions, broken customer commitments, or termination of contracts or services. Most importantly sales and customer service should work behind the scenes so that customers are not subjected to internal problem solving, or worse infighting. That just exacerbates the problem that the client experienced in the first place. Sales and customer service need to have one another’s back and present a cohesive experience to clients. Any internal friction or communication needs should be dealt with directly, efficiently, and behind the scenes. Lucy Glennon specializes in customer service training and recruitment and hiring. She can be reached at 866.645.2047 or lucyg@ or at the HireGuru.




Fresh Idea Grows into CrossCanada Success Story Fresh is Best is award-winning powerhouse

Family based, the Fresh is Best team includes (left to right) Kade, the son of cofounders/owners Colin and Lisa McGaffin, and daughter Maizy BY VALORIE LENNOX


A MLOOPS - It all started with a fresh idea. Two decades ago, Lisa Graham-McGaffin and Colin McGaffin decided to eat healthier. One of their goto favourites for potlucks was a picante style salsa that evoked a fresh salad transformed into a dip. Based on the tastes Lisa had discovered on travels in South America, it was a s u re h it a mon g t hei r friends. “You should sell this,” friends said. So the couple fine-tuned their recipe, drawing on C ol i n’s e x p e r t i s e a s a graduate of the TRU chef program. Colin chopped and mixed while Lisa packaged a nd label led thei r unique salsa as Fresh is Best for the Kamloops Farmer’s Market. All fresh and combined in a specific order to optimize the mingled flavours, the salsa was not cooked, nor canned, and had no preservatives. Just 12 FRESH chopped vegetables and herbs in every salsa. It was fresh a nd thei r farmers’ market fans declared it the best. Necessity forced the addition of a second product: home-made tortilla chips. Commercial chips were too salty for sampling the fresh salsa. So they made their own sampling chips. Again: fresh. C u s to m e r s l o v e d t h e chips and wanted to buy them. “So the next week, we started shoving them in a bag.” Drawing on Colin’s bakery department experience, they picked a bread bag with a clear “window” that displayed

the multi-coloured chips inside. Every bag had a mix of yellow corn, jalapeno and chili chips, with the flavou ri ng ba ked i nto the chip, not just dusted on top. Customers loved the festive colours and dubbed them the ‘Christmas Chips’. When the market closed for the season in October, Fresh is Best customers wouldn’t let the sales stop. Enthusiastic customers t racked t he McGa f f i n s dow n. “T hey were just knocking on our door,” Lisa recalled. Clearly, they had a winning product. Their business was growing beyond the Farmers Market and overnight use of friends’ commercial kitchen for production. So they leased a 1200 square foot commercial kitchen/production space. Over the next few years, pieces fell into place: local deli Fratelli Foods stocked their products, followed by Coopers grocery stores, a smaller regional chain. Then the provincial and national chains came knocking: Save on Foods, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Urban Fare, Choices, Whole Foods, and London Drugs, Real Canadian Superstore picked up the products this past year. “It’s a grassroots success story,” Lisa observed. “The growth has always been very organic but we’ve been able to make sure every move we made was right and at the right time and in the right direction.” She still remembers the e a rly ye a rs w h e n t h e y would sell some salsa, use the money to buy more ingredients, and make more

salsa to sell. Repeat. The operation now fills an 18,000 square foot production space. They employ 40 full-time staff. The Fresh is Best brand can be found in grocery stores across Canada, in the company’s factory store in Kamloops and in the Vancouver outlet on West Broadway. In 2018, they expect sales will surpass $6 million. Two years ago they added Fresh Is Best Taco Shells to their product line up and are about to launch a Non – GMO Certified line of Stoneground Yellow Corn Chip along with a food service line featuring FIB BULK Salsa Fresca and FIB BULK Tri Flavor and Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips. To help t he c ompa ny expand while still maintaining the integrity of the Fresh-Is-Best brand, they focussed their energies on product quality, op erat ion a l ef f icienc y and overall sustainability. Enter Patrick O’Sullivan as Operations Director in 2016 who brings a wealth of experience in food processing and manufacturing internationally. Much of society has now caught up with their commitment to clean food, so Lisa sees Fresh is Best distributed throughout North America one day. Their initiative is being recognized. They received the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce 2018 Manufacturer Award; 13 meda ls from the Sovie Awards in Alberqurque, New Mexico; and recently saw their product on the Big Bang TV show and featured in Western Grocer Magazine. L ea r n more at https://

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with experience developing advanced training and leadership development programs as well as leading the growth and health of the business in Western Canada. Hutchison brings a background in entrepreneurship, project management, business strategy and corporate communications both in the private and public sectors. “What we offer our clients is so much more than money,” says Ison. “Between the two of us, we have a wealth of knowledge that a l lows us to offer insightful advice to each client. We’re highly service oriented, highly responsive, and we solve a lot of problems for people. We’ve saved some people from significant pitfalls, and we’ve helped people

re a l i z e l i fe-c h a n g i n g opportunities.” The principals have the direct ability to pull the trigger on funding quickly. They are owners who participate in fundings themselves, and are invested in supporti ng cl ients a nd developi ng en rich i ng relationships. Both owners have deep ro o t s i n N o r t h e r n B C and the Interior. Hutchison’s family was one of the orig i na l settlers of Clearwater, and they look forward to visiting the region each year. “We visit the area at least three times a year, and always look forward to coming back,” says Ison. “We have a close connection, and we have family and friends that we visit.”


MOVERS AND SHAKERS operational in March, according to director of operations Gene Field. An investor in Kamloops has indicated interest in helping the company start up. Community Futures will match the funds supplied by the investor and BDC will provide two thirds.



Terrace Library has released a mobile app that was operational on January 22nd. This allows members to manage their accounts from their smartphones. The CloudLibrary app, was created by Bibliotecha Ltd.

Williams Lake Indian Band will be moving into their newly purchased building on Yorston Street April 1 after some renovations. It will house their natural resource management, economic development and lands departments. It was previously the location for FYidoctors who relocated to Prosperity Ridge at the end of October.

PRINCE RUPERT The City of Prince Rupert has notified the public of a recent cannabis retail application. Early in January, the city recieved an application from The High Culture Shop Inc. for a retail cannabis sales license. The proposed location is in the 1100 Park Avenue block in the downtown area. Council will hear feedback and RCMP/Fire Department recommendation at its regular council meeting on January 28. In late December, AltaGas Ltd. announced the graduation of 11 students from the AltaGas Operator Training Program, the first Gas Process Operations program delivered by Coast Mountain College in Prince Rupert and Terrace, British Columbia. AltaGas, in collaboration with Coast Tsimshian communities and Coast Mountain College, developed the AltaGas Operator Training Program curriculum to provide First Nations and local residents with the technical skills needed to apply for entry-level positions at AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal once it becomes operational in early 2019. The program curriculum consisted of Gas Processing Operations levels A and B, an online program provided by the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, safety certificate courses provided by Metlakatla Coastal Training Centre, Essential Skills Training, and a visit to an AltaGas facility to see first-hand the work done in an operations facility. Coast Mountain Colleges’ mobile training aids, funded by Western Economic Diversification, provided an additional measure of hands-on technical training to students in the classroom.

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Northern Health has two First Nations representatives appointed to the board, according to Ministry of Health. Alfred Adam, co-founder of Burns Lake Law Centre and Chief for 17 years of Lake Babine First Nations, was among those named. He was also elected six times as Commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission. He will be joined by Patricia Sterritt, a member of the Gitga’at Tribe of Hartley Bay and John Kurjata from Dawson Creek. The Deputy Minister’s Contractor of the Year Awards presented IDL Projects


Inc. with the top award for grading for the Highway 16/Bunce Road to Blackwater Road four-laning project near Prince George. The work demanded a high degree of accuracy due to existing underground utilities and took place in one of the busiest corridors in the northern region of the province. The top honour for paving in British Columbia was given to Peter Bros Construction Ltd. of Dawson Creek for its work on the Highway 97 CN railway tracks to Kiskatinaw Bridge project near Dawson Creek. The 68-kilometre project was delivered on budget and on time, and included incorporating 20% recycled asphalt. Rebecca Sinclair and Gordon Plewes of Raymond James haved moved offices to SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS  |  PAGE 16


Tsilhqot’in Community Radio has a new location in their newly renovated space in the first block of Third Avenue North. They have more than a doezen repurposed computers for training as well as two recording booths. RNG Radio is currently streaming online and through two off-air radio stations with music and language lessons. They hope to have four other communities on board by March. Realm of Toys, owned and operated by mother and daughter Jazmyn and Joan Douillard, are in the top 10 in two categories in the BC Small Business Awards. Winners are to be announced February 21st at the Vancouver Convention Centre. They are in the catagory of Best Company and Premier People’s Choice Award. Mt. Timothy Ski Area has a new local ownership group. All existing assistants have been sold to KevLar Development. Future resort development will follow master development plan from 2009 according to the group. The ski hill celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. On January 7, Imperial Metals Corporation announced that it will be suspending operations at the Mount Polley mine, located to the east of Williams lake. Citing declining copper prices, the company will shut down at the end of May.

PRINCE GEORGE Merritt Shuttle Bus Service will provide service to Prince George when it becomes

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Trench Brewing is a finalist in the BC Small Business awards in the Premier People’s Choice Award category. They are located at 399 2nd Ave. The City of Prince George is offering three grant programs: The Community Enhancement Grant, the myPG Community Grant and the Celebrate Prince George Community Grant provide non-profits with fi na ncia l assista nce to launch ideas, events and other projects. The deadl i ne for these g ra nts is March 15th. For more information about the grants, visit the Prince George website. College of New Caledonia is celebrating their 50th Anniversary by dedicating $100,000 towards 94 student entrance awards for the 2019/2020 academic year. Domestic students who apply for credentialed programs at any of CNC’s six campuses during the commemorative 50th year (fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters) will automatically be entered for a chance


to receive a n ent ra nce award. Pend i ng the approva l of City Council, Prince George could be home to the second brick-and-mortar BC Cannabis Store. T h e f i rs t b r i c k-a n dmortar location opened in Kamloops in October 17, the day pot was legalized in Canada. Up until now, private stores have popped up in Kimberley and Vancouver, w ith the province applying to open two more government stores in Kamloops. T he proposed store in Prince George would be located at 120 6565 Southridge Ave. After two years in Prince George, Onyx Stone and Custom Cabinets has purchased a new 8,500 square foot building on Fourth Avenue. Due to rapid expansion for the company’s services, they have purchased a new machine for their counters. They currently employ 14 full time and three part time staff, who install cabinets and counters.


DC Mini Storage partners, Dean Walsh and Pat Howard has signed on a neighbourhood dealer with U-Haul Company (Cana) Ltd. They will offer U-Haul trucks, trailers, moving supplies, towing equipment and boxes. Le’s Family Restaurant c elebrate s 30 ye a rs of cooking up business. Le Nguyen and his wife Tracy run the restaurant.

FORT ST. JOHN The City of Fort St. John has launched a new website. Learn more at www. The completely redeveloped website has a number of improvements and new features that provide more information to users in an easy to understand manner. Pending approval, NortherRiver Midstream plans to begin construction on the Tupper West gas plant expansion with hopes for completion for fall of 2020. The project includes a new booster compressor station SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS  |  PAGE 17




situated 25 km north of the Tupper West site and an electrical transmission line to power the facility.

QUESNEL Long Table Grocery is up for an award with Small Business BC in the Category of Best Community Impact. They support over 40 Cariboo region small vegetable farms, cattle ranches and fo o d pro ce ssors. T hey have established a Pay-itForward program in which customers can purchase local food for families in need.

SMITHERS Plaid People Music, owned by Sandra Smith was a recipient of a grant from Amplify BC Music Company Development program. The grants ranged from $5,000 to $75,000 and fund 50 per sent of projects, such as upgrading studios, purchasing record-pressing equipment and developing special software.

T he Nor t h M atters, a natural resource industry lobby group, is looki ng to sta r t a Sm it hers area chapter. The group was founded in Kitimat, andheld a meeting at the Sunshine Inn in Smithers to introduce the organization and gauge interest in creating a board for the proposed Bulkley Valley chapter. About 50 attendees were present to hear Share BC founding director Steve Simons, The North Matters chair Dave Johnston from K itimat, local meeting organizer Dennis MacKay, and Share BC chair, retired forester and former Lytton mayor Chris O’Connor make their case.

KITIMAT Civeo Corporations donation of 12 acres of land was the critical piece needed for a Dementia Faci l ity project to move forward. The Kitimat Valley Housi ng Society’s b u s i n e s s plan has worked in conjunction with Northern Health and Kitimat Community Services Society,

now to be forwarded to Northern Health’s senior management and board. The dementia home is the society’s first project. The Society President is Doug Thomson. Construction has begun on the Haisla Health Centre located on Owekeno Street in Kitamaat Village. The centre will allow for extra services such as a telehealth room, a room for physiotherapists and dentists, and a community kitchen. The new Health Centre is funded by Haisla Nation Cou nci l, Fi rst Nat ion s Health Authority and Indigenous Services Canada with expected completion of next winter. The results of a recent audit of Skeena Sawmills showed five cutblocks in the Kitimat area were in n o n-c o m p l i a n c e w i t h prov i nci a l reg u l at ion s govern ing silv icu ltu re. The non-compliance issues were related to the planting of seedlings outside the allowable elevation zone. T hese Forest P ractices Board findings were the only faults discovered in a random audit last summer.

Prince George 2018 Building Permits Beat Previous Record By 26 Per cent


R I NCE GEORGE T he tota l va lue of bu ild ing perm its issued in Prince George in 2018 reached an all-time high of $186.38 Million, surpassing the previous high mark of $147.88 Million set in 2007 by nearly $ 40 M i l l ion – a 26 per cent increase. The value includes a record amount of private sector investment, wh ich at $156.53 Million, represents about 84 per cent of the total and passes the previous record of $121.6 Million set in 2016 by nearly $35 Million – an increase of 29 per cent. Residentia l bu i ld i ng permit values also set a new record at $114.37 Million breaking the previous all-time record of $76.42 Million in 2017 by about $38 Million, a per centage increase of 50 per cent. In total, the City issued 438 residential building permits, which include permits for renovations and new construction. In total, the number of building permits issued rose from in 455 in 2016 to 515 in 2018, and the number of new multi-family permits rose from one in

2016 to 33 in 2018. Last fall, the City annou nced t h at t he tota l value of permits for 2018 had a l ready broken a nu mber of a l l-ti me record s even t hou g h t he yea r wa s not yet complete. Traditionally, the value of building permits is an important measure of economic progress. A h ig h nu mber i nd icates an increase in construction activity and related employment, as well as other direct and indirect economic benefits. The top 10 projects for 2018 in terms of building permit value are as follows: New construction of Kel ly Road Secondary School: $28,322,950;


Pa rkade nex t to City Hall: $12,927,973; Apartm ent b u i ld i n g i n College Heig hts (Bu i ld i ng B): $6,700,000; Apa rtment building in College H e i g h t s ( B u i l d i n g A ): $5,855,000 Renovation at UHNBC: $5,200,000; Federated Co-Operatives Ltd. New Bulk Plant (BCR Industrial Park): $3,500,000; Addition to Show Lounge at Treasure Cove Casino: $3,000,000; New multifamily development (3rd Ave): $2,600,000; New mu lt i-fa m i ly developm e n t ( Va n i e r D r i v e ) : $1,600,000 and N e w s i n g l e-f a m i l y dwel l i ng (West): $1,571,596.

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Warning: not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers must be at least 12 years old and tall enough to grasp the hand holds and plant feet firmly on the floor. All SxS drivers should take a safety training course. Contact ROHVA at or (949) 255-2560 for additional information. Drivers and passengers should always wear helmets, eye protection, protective clothing, and seat belts. Always use cab nets. Be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Never drive on public roads or paved surfaces. Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. Check local laws before riding on trails. ATVs can be hazardous to operate. Polaris adult models are for riders 16 and older. For your safety, always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing, and be sure to take a safety training course. For safety and training information in the U.S., call the SVIA at (800) 887-2887. You may also contact your Polaris dealer or call Polaris at (800) 342-3764. ©2017 Polaris Industries Inc.

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PUBLISHER | Lise MacDonald EDITOR | Robert MacDonald SALES |,, WRITERS | Beth Hendry-Yim, Robert MacDonald, Kristin van Vloten, Val Lennox​




upply and demand. These are the two basic e s s e n t i a l s re q u i re d to understand economics. If both supply and demand are up, the economy is brisk. If both are down, the economy slows. If supply is up and demand is down, prices drop. If supply is down and demand is up, prices rise. It’s a real-life teeter-totter, something that even kids at the playground get before they jump on. All politicians should be mandated to enroll in a required cou rse that ma kes it crysta l clear how fundamental these two words are when dealing with anything regarding the economy and government finances. It is painfully obvious that the current edition of government in this province, the GreeNDP axis, just doesn’t get it. The most glaring example is

their sha mefu l treatment of the real estate and development industry. They’ve crimped both ends of the hose, by introducing punitive taxes that have scared off foreign buyers and purchasers of second homes and artificia l ly decreasi ng dema nd, while at the same time their municipal farm teams thwart development of new product at the civic level, decreasing supply. Sensing a slowdown in the market, otherwise eager sellers decide to stay put and keep what they have, further limiting the number of options for buyers. The foreign buyers tax affects everyone in the real estate market, as sellers of properties to foreigners can downsize and purchase less expensive properties lower in the market, bank the rest and retire, and so on . . . It’s a n i ncred ibly juven i le attempt for the GreeN DP to ach ieve t hei r stated goa l of making housing more affordable, a nd it has made absolutely zero impact. Thus far, it has only increased the cost of housing. Not only that, but housing that lower income individuals could normally afford, na mely apa rtments, is slow coming to market, due to ever-increasing development regulatory obstacles. Developers who have the

wherewithal to build such projects have been taking a hard second look at doing so, due to the GreeN DP’s i ntroduction of the new “luxury taxes” that aim directly at individuals who might want to purchase units for rental and secondary income. W hen the GreeN DP went ahead with its ill-advised secondary residence taxes in the fall, several larger rentalbased projects were immediately shelved on Va ncouver Island and in the Okanagan. To summarize, the GreeNDP policies have drastically reduced sales and simultaneously driven up prices. With no more affordable housing on the immediate horizon. Another factor that must be i ncluded is the federa l gover n ment’s ch a n ge to mor tgage qualification rules that have made it much tougher for first-time buyers to get into the market. It has reduced their pu rchasi ng power by 20 per cent, and those buyers typically target the less expensive end of the market. Call it a government trifecta: O ttawa ta rgets f i rst ti me buyers, Victoria takes aim at out-of-prov i nce pu rchasers and investors, and municipal governments everywhere make it increasingly difficult to increase the amount of supply.

Sales numbers plummet. The numbers don’t lie. Victoria Real Estate Board figures show sales of properties dropped 20 per cent in 2018 from 2017 – to 7,150 properties sold from 8,994 the year before. In December 2018, 375 properties sold – 18.8 per cent less than the 462 sold in the same month in 2017, and 24.7 per cent less than November, 2018. The benchmark value for a single family home in Greater Victoria rose 3.2 per cent to $858,600, from December 2017 to December, 2018. Year-end statistics from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board show sales decreased 19 per cent in 2018 from 2017, including a whopping 24 per cent in Nanaimo and Port Alberni/ West. Single family home sales slid 48 per cent. At the same time, prices rose 10 p er c ent ye a r over ye a r, ju mpi ng 26 per cent i n Por t Alberni West alone. The average sa les price for 2018 was $512,005, up from $465,036 the year before. The volume of sales and increase in prices took place in every city and region. Whilst the GreeNDP bruised i t s e l f w i t h m u l t i p l e b a c kslaps while trotting out preC h r i s t m a s b u d ge t re s u l t s ,

surely there must be someone, somewhere in the government that recognizes that real estate and development has been the mainstay of the provincial economy for over a decade. Obviously not. While the NDP’s typical class warfare-style governance takes aim at those that “have”, i.e. rea ltors, developers a nd i nvestors, it really has its most negative i mpacts on those they feign to help – those at the lower end of the market and renters. High income individuals and companies are better situated to ride out a downturn in the market, and besides, the hikes in taxation that adds to the cost of the end product is borne by the purchaser. Even though the NDP’s polic i e s a re c l e a rl y m i s g u i d e d and ill-conceived, they have thus far only served to pump the bra kes to slow the ma rket, instead of bringing it to a screech ing halt. But it has carved some serious flesh from the province’s golden goose the real estate and development industry - with its tinkering of supply and demand. It’s a terrible pity that those on the government side of the leg islatu re appa rently ca n’t recognize the damage they’ve done yet.



First Nation community about 70 kilometres southeast of Prince Albert, Sask., hopes to generate profit within five years from a private MRI clinic. The James Smith Cree Nation could create what would be the province’s first private-pay MRI facility. This became possible when the Saskatchewan government passed legislation in 2016 allowing for such facilities as a way of decreasing wait times. A Regina Leader-Post news story from 2016 points out that

the Saskatchewan Medical Association opposed private MRI facilities, while some doctors continued to refer patients to out-of-province MRI clinics for needed tests. For Indigenous communities, such businesses could generate new revenue streams. While this would help medical patients of the com mu n ities a nd the province, it could also tap into the lucrative medical tourism industry. The Medical Tourism Association says that “Medical tourism is where people who live in one country travel to another country to receive medical, dental

and surgical care while at the same time receiving equal to or greater care than they would have in their own country, and are travelling for medical care because of affordability, better access to care or a higher level of quality of care.” First Nations could expand beyond MRI services into other diagnostic services and elective surgeries, such as knee and hip replacements. Many First Nations are exploring the economic opportunities created by legal cannabis. However, some Indigenous communities aren’t as enthusiastic about this market or are concerned about the ill effects on their communities, which are already dealing with addiction problems. Allowing for-profit medical services on reserves could also help First Nations develop economic opportunities outside of the problematic casinos and VLTs. The distinct legal situation of

First Nations could make these opportunities possible. James Smith isn’t the first Indigenous community to explore delivering private health services to Canadians. Westbank First Nation, near Kelowna, BC, planned a high-end private health-care facility of about 200,000 square feet and 100 beds in its first phase. Chief Robert Louie told Windspea ker i n 201 2: “It w i l l be equivalent to a private hospital. The centre will provide all the services of a typical health-care institution without the emergency department, obstetrics unit and psychiatric ward. “The private clinic will provide major organ surgeries, joint replacements and cosmetic surgeries. It’s pretty wide open as far as a hospital goes,” Louie said. Hea lth Ca nada sa id that such a private hospital would be allowed only if it catered to non-Canadians. Some constitutional experts said the proposal would test

Indigenous self-government. Louie claimed the band didn’t require approval from Health Canada to build and operate a private hospital on their land. Unfortunately, the hospital was never built. Louis, who was the driving force behind the project, was defeated in the 2016 election. T he federa l a nd prov i ncia l governments need to work with Indigenous communities that want to provide medical services to other Canadians. The MRI clinic at James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan needs to be replicated across the country. First Nations deserve more opportunities to develop revenue outside of gambling and cannabis. At a minimum, Indigenous communities should be to allowed to take advantage of the medical tourism industry. Joseph Quesnel is a research fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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Business Examiner Peace Cariboo - JANUARY 2019  

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

Business Examiner Peace Cariboo - JANUARY 2019  

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