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RINCE GEORGE – A total of 26 buildings from across northern British Columbia have been named Finalists for the 5th Edition of the Northern B.C. Commercial Building Awards, set for March 8 at the Ramada Hotel in Prince George. “This is the highest number of finalists we’ve ever had for the Northern BC Commercial Building Awards,” says Mark MacDonald of Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena, which organizes the event. “We had a record number of nominations for consideration, which speaks to the number of quality buildings that have been completed in the region over the past two years.” RE/MAX Commercial, MNP LLP and the Commercial Council of the BC Northern Real Estate Board are Gold Sponsors of the event, and Black Press is the Platinum Media Sponsor. SEE AWARDS | PAGE 11
In the 2016 edition of the Northern BC Commercial Building Awards, Northland Dodge of Prince George won the Retail category. Shown here is Andrew Adams, centre, of MNP LLP, presenting the Award of Excellence to Dealer Principal Kyle Bachman, left, and Jim Meier, right, of the dealership
Mike Richardson New President Of Truck Loggers Association Advocacy Group Celebrating Its 75th Anniversary
Canadian Publications Mail Acct.: 40069240
BY DAVID HOLMES
ICTORIA – Mike Richardson was elected President of the Board of Directors of the Truck Loggers Association (TLA) at its Annual Convention and Trade Show, held January 17 - 19 in Victoria. Hosted at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and
Victoria Conference Centre, the industry event also included the forest industry association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). This year was especially significant for the TLA as it also commemorated the industry advocacy and support group’s 75th anniversary as an incorporated entity. “The TLA came originally out
of a need for a few individual forestry companies to have a collective voice, in a forest industry that was much different from the way it is today,” explained David Elstone, the Truck Loggers Association’s Executive Director. “Back then there were many small companies that simply didn’t have the time to advocate a nd who operated ver y
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independently. But in time they realized that a collective voice would be needed to make changes and to address the issues of the day that were impacting the fledgling independent logging companies. The TLA is the result of that need as the industry transitioned from the days TRUCK LOGGERS | PAGE 6
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BC First Nations Government Internship Program A pilot project that supports First Nations government internships in northern BC just received a significant boost thanks to a partnership between Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Government of Canada. The Trust and the Department of Indigenous Services Canada have together committed $480,000 over the next three years to support First Nations Government Internships for First Nations and tribal councils located within the Trust’s service area. T he prog ra m is modeled a f ter the Trust’s successful Local Government Internship Program, and will see four 12-month internships available each year in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The internships pay the equivalent of $40,000 per year, and offer recent university graduates an opportunity to pursue fulfilling and rewarding careers in band or First Nations government administration. The pilot project was launched in 2017 between the Trust and Indigenous Services Canada and saw three interns successfully placed in host communities that included the Kitselas First Nation near Terrace, Skidegate Band Council on Haida Gwaii and the Tsilhqot’in National Government in Williams Lake. The goal of the program is to boost capacity in First Nations communities, support administrative excellence and create rewarding career opportunities for indigenous youth.
The program meets one of the Trust’s strategic goals to support investments in indigenous communities, and represents a 50-50 partnership between the Trust and Indigenous Services Canada, with each organization committing $240,000 to the project over the next three years.
PRINCE GEORGE Innovation And Economic Priorities In The North Northern Development Initiative Trust announced two new funding programs that will support innovation projects in traditional northern BC industries and key community-based strategic economic priorities. The Northern Industries Innovation Fund and the Strategic Initiatives Fund will provide up to $1.65 million annually in grant funding for projects throughout central and northern BC These funds are part of the Trust’s ongoing response to mitigate the economic impact of the mountain pine beetle epidemic, with priority given to projects within the regions and communities most impacted by the pine beetle and decreasing timber supply. Northern Industries Innovation Fund Following the success of the Forest Innovation Fund, Northern Development has restructured the program with a commitment of up to $750,000 annually to create the Northern Industries Innovation Fund and support innovation projects across a variety of northern industries. SEE NEWS UPDATE | PAGE 4
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The Northern Industries Innovation Fund will provide rebate funding up to $50,000 to a maximum of 50 per cent of a project’s budget for small and medium enterprises deploying innovative technologies in industries such as mining, energy, agriculture, aquaculture and forestry. By supporting applied research, the development of new or improved products /services and the testing of innovative equipment or technologies, the program will help the northern BC businesses improve their competitiveness, generate incremental revenue and create jobs. Eligible companies must be privately owned, incorporated, have less than 500 employees, revenues less than $100 million and be operating within the Northern Development Initiative Trust region. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the annual allocation for the fund is exhausted. For more i n for m at ion v i sit w w w. northerndevelopment.bc.ca/ northern-industries-innovation-fund Strategic Initiatives Fund The Strategic Initiatives Fund is a new proposal-based program that allows municipalities and First Nations to apply for grant funding to support significant projects that focus on long-term economic transformation and sustainability. T he prog ra m i s s upp or ted w it h a $900,000 commitment from Northern Development with grant funding only limited by the annual funds allocated to the program, up to 80 per cent of a project’s value. The program allows Northern Development to support strategic projects that may not otherwise fit into its suite of programs, but that are large in scale, regional in impact, enhance a community or multiple communities’ ability to overcome economic challenges and will result in incremental capacity or strategic economic infrastructure within a municipality or First Nation. Applications for the Strategic Initiatives Fund will be accepted until March 15th with funding decisions determined in April.
PRINCE RUPERT Port of Prince Rupert Ships Record Volumes in 2017 Cargo moving through the Port of Prince Rupert rose to a record volume of 24.1 million tonnes in 2017, anchored by 26 per cent growth in its intermodal container business and growth of dry bulk cargo volumes. Overall tonnage through the port was up 28 per cent from 2016, and exceeds the previous record high of 23 million tonnes set in 2013. “The increasingly diversified nature of the gateway, combined with terminal expansion and the introduction of new logistics services, is paying dividends to Canadians,” said Bud Smith, Chair of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “The Port of Prince Rupert remains well-positioned to accommodate growth of Canadian trade in the Asia-Pacific region, and we continue to advance expansion that will see us become Canada’s second largest port by volume in the next decade.” 2017 Terminal highlights include: DP World completed its expansion of the Fairview Terminal, increasing annual
throughput capacity by 60 per cent and enabling the terminal to move 926,540 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). Ridley Terminals, the bulk-handling facility specializing in the shipment of steel-making coal from Northeastern BC, saw total shipments rebound to 7.6 million tonnes, a 90 per cent increase over 2016 volumes. Westview Terminal, the wood pellet terminal saw a significant increase in biofuel volumes, up 22 per cent to 1.1 million tonnes, representing the export of nearly half of Canada’s entire wood pellet production. Prince Rupert Grain Terminal, handling the bulk grain saw a slight decrease of 6 per cent based on lower volumes of wheat, but exceeded a total of 5 million tonnes for the fifth straight year. Cruise passengers arriving at the Northland Cruise Terminal, more than doubled to over 16,000 visitors on 25 cruise ship visits. “The strength of the port’s performance last year is a further validation of the Port of Prince Rupert’s strategic advantages and the effective collaboration of our partners who operate the terminals, trains, trucks and other trade-related businesses across the northern corridor,” said Joe Rektor, Interim President & CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “The women and men dedicated to the safe and efficient movement of goods through the Port of Prince Rupert are in a class of their own, and remain a key reason why we’re growing trans-Pacific trade and helping build a better Canada.” The Port of Prince Rupert recently released a study that demonstrated the significant growth in economic benefits for Northern BC that have resulted from growth in trade volumes through the Port over the last decade. Key figures from the study include: An estimated $35 billion of trade is shipped through the port annually; over $1 billion in economic activity is generated annually in Northern BC and over 3100 full-time jobs are directly related to moving international trade, with an average wage of over $83,000.
DAWSON CREEK Tourism Dawson Creek Management Contract Awarded To Spectra Comcast Spectacor The City of Dawson Creek announced a new 5-year contract with Spectra by Comcast Spectacor for the operations of Tourism Dawson Creek. This contract will see Spectra take over operations and management of Tourism Dawson Creek, including the Alaska Highway House and the Visitor Information Centre. Tourism Dawson Creek is a year-round operation whose focus is to develop and diversify the opportunities for Dawson Creek, the tourism industry and its sectors from sustainable development and promotion of the industry. This includes creating year-round, memorable visitor experiences and the operation of the Visitor Centre and Alaska Highway House. “This is an amazing opportunity for our community as we have a company that has exceeded all of our expectations over the last ten years while managing the Encana Events Centre,” said Dale Bumstead, Mayor of Dawson Creek. “The Spectra staff including General Manager, Ryan MacIvor, SEE NEWS UPDATE | PAGE 5
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understand and work in tourism. We expect the opportunities for Dawson Creek and the South Peace region will flourish under this new contract.” “There is so much potential for Dawson Creek and the future of tourism,” said Spectra’s Ryan MacIvor, General Manager of the Encana Events Centre. “With our commitment over the next 5 years to the City of Dawson Creek, we expect Tourism Dawson Creek to continue to market the historic Alaska Highway as well as the many sport and event hosting opportunities that exist here!” Spectra took over the contract on December 31, 2017, from Northern BC Tourism Association. This contract provides the joint strategy of encouraging tourism in Dawson Creek through the Community Tourism Plan, the Tourism Dawson Creek Business Plan, the Visitor Information Centre, the Alaska Highway House and the annual Visitor Guide. The management contract for Tourism Dawson Creek between the City of Dawson Creek and Spectra by Comcast Spectacor runs through 2023.
TERRACE Mills Memorial Replacement Moves Forward The Province has approved the Concept Plan for the replacement of Mills Memorial and the Provincial Treasury Board has given permission to move forward with the business plan which will guide construction. For the North West Regional Hospital District Board, the replacement of Mills Memorial has been the number one priority project many years. The Board has been united in its desire to see services increased in our communities and to see the establishment of a Level 3 Trauma Center. Previously the NWRHD Board committed to funding the business plan 100 per cent upfront to move this project forward. Now the North West Regional Hospital District Board has unanimously committed to be a funding partner with the Province. The board will monitor this project closely and work with the Province and Northern Health for better health care for all residents. “It is so very important that our residents
can access health care close to home. The replacement of Mills Memorial will strengthen our existing medical facilities. The North West Regional Hospital District Board has been committed to this project and is pleased to be partnering with the Province to make it a reality,” said Harry Nyce, North West Regional Hospital District Chair. “The announcement is great news for Terrace and all of Northwest BC. We now have Treasury Board approval to proceed with the new hospital business plan and with the Northwest Regional Hospital District’s funding commitment we are one very important step closer to the construction of a new hospital in our community,” said Carol LeClerc, Mayor of Terrace.
BC Open for Business Awards Finalists Announced Small Business BC and the Province of British Columbia are proud to announce the communities who have made it to the finals of the Open for Business Awards. The communities selected have proven their support for their local small businesses by adopting the best businessfriendly practices in their region. The Open for Business Awards finalists are as follows: • Large Community Finalists - Campbell River, Penticton and Prince George. • Medium Community Finalists – Cranbrook, Kimberley and Salmon Arm • Small Community Finalists – Chetwynd, Lumby • First Nations - Nisga’a Lisims “The Open for Business Awards are an important opportunity to recognize leadership from municipalities and First Nations throughout BC that have created a more welcoming small business environment,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “This year’s finalists have demonstrated new and innovative ways of supporting small businesses and good jobs for British Columbians by improving services and reducing regulatory burden in their communities.” This year, 31 communities from across the province presented case studies on one of their initiatives to the awards judges for review to prove why their community is the best and most supportive of small business.
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NORTHERN INDUSTRIES INNOVATION FUND Up to $50,000 in grant funding to a maximum of 50% of the eligible project budget This program provides rebate funding for small and medium sized companies engaged in forestry, agriculture, mining, energy, oil and gas, manufacturing and supply chain activities related to these sectors. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. The program supports applied research and development, new or improved products and services and testing of innovative equipment or technologies to support capital investment decisions. #buildingastrongernorth
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You’re Invited To Celebrate The Best In Commercial Buildings Thurs. March 8
of the big timber barons to smaller, independent operators.” The origins of the Truck Loggers Association can be traced back to 1939 when small scale operators on Vancouver Island began to discuss their need to have a voice in industry and government decisions around forestry. The production pressu res created by the Second World War only added to those pressures, in part due to equipment and manpower shortages engendered by the war effort. The Truck Loggers Association of BC was officially incorporated in 1943. “The move from an age when ra i l wa s u se d to transport timber to that of mechanization in the industry was the catalyst that spu rred the development of the Association. People see the word ‘Truck’ in our name and think we’re truckers, but it’s really all about the mechanization of the forest industry, as steam went out and trucks and bulldozers and the other equipment common today were being introduced,” Elstone explained. The Annual Convention and Trade Show is one of the Association’s yearly h ig h l ig hts as it br i ngs together industry leaders, keynote speakers, a companion trade show highlighting new trends and products to support the sector, and the election of a new Board of Directors. T h e I m m e d i a te P a s t President of the TLA was Jacqui Beban, who was the Association’s first female President. Others elected to the Board in Victoria were its Vice President Bill Nelson a nd Di rectors Sig Kemmler, George Lambert, Tim Lloyd, Dave McNaught, Brian Mulvihill, Clint Parcher, Mark Ponting, Aaron Service,
Back in the day: the Truck Loggers Association came into being when mechanization began to dominate the industry
Mike Richardson was elected president of the Truck Loggers Association at its AGM held in Victoria Barry Simpson, Doug Sladey, Carl Sweet, Dorian Uzzell, Lawrence Van De Leur, Matt Wealick and Adam Wunderlich. W h i le its or ig i n s a re Vancouver Island based, the T r uck L oggers A ssociation currently has a membership of nearly 500 that spans the province and includes independent t i mb er h a r vest i ng contractors, independent sawmills, small tenure holders, industry suppliers and even some municipal governments. The TLA’s membership supports thousands of workers and its members, along with other independent contractors in BC, harvest
nearly 90 per cent of the t rees h a r vested i n t he province. To help commemorate its 75 th anniversary, the TLA produced a new book entitled: Timber Forever! - using the Annual Convention to formally launch the new publication. The historical retrospective was created to help tell the ongoing story of the province’s first and current ly l a rge s t log g i n g contractor association by detailing the activities and achievements of its 40 past presidents. Now into his fourth year as the T L A’s Executive Director, Elstone says the need for the TLA and its collective voice as an advocate for its membership is greater today than ever, due to a lack of contractor sustainability, changing market trends, an aging workforce and a host of other factors. “The TLA has been punching above its weight for the past 75 years. Independent timber harvesting contractors are the economic backbone of communities across BC and we’re making sure the voice in those communities is heard,” he said. www.tla.ca
The best new institutional, commercial, industrial building, multi-family and renovation projects located in Northern B.C., from 100 Mile House to Prince George, and from Fort St. John to Prince Rupert completed between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017 will be unveiled at the 5th Edition of the Northern BC Commercial Building Awards Gala Celebration Thursday, March 8 at the Ramada Hotel in Prince George. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to meet the people and companies behind these amazing projects!
Tickets are only $125 and are available through: www.businexxexaminer.ca/events .For information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Truck Loggers Association has a membership that numbers nearly 500, from communities across the province
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Professional Service Providers Key To Business In BC
Ongoing Education & Adherence To Standards Hallmark Of A Professional
Clients of professional service providers can be assured of an adherence to a set standard of conduct and ethics BY DAVID HOLMES
he near legendary oil field wildfire expert Red Adair is credited with saying: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.” But what separates a professional from an amateur? It’s the same distinction that separates a profession from a job. In today’s modern world the distinction between the two has become much more than a question of mere semantics – it’s the difference between an activity and a calling. While the two functions ultimately produce the same results, carrying out a specific task for which an individual is paid, a professional is typically expected to carry out that role in accordance with a pre-determined set of standards, rules or restrictions. PROFESSIONAL SERVICES | PAGE 8
Working with a professional assures the client that the service provided will be of a high and consistent quality
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“What separates a career from a job is that to be a professional you have to continually upgrade your education, and certainly education is a big part of the practice for any professional. Maintaining your educational standing is a big part of it, as is being required to adhere to a predetermined and recognized code of ethics in your dealings is another – whether you’re a doctor, an engineer or selling real estate,” explained Jim Stewart, the President of the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) Board of Directors. “The courts see REALTORS® as professionals in the same lens as they do lawyers, accountants and others. Following the precepts of your profession is essential – if you’re a lawyer and get called before the bar because of an issue you could be in trouble. Essentially any professional that violates their specific code could find themselves stripped of the right to practice their chosen vocation.” Traditionally in the western world professionals were limited to such noble callings as medicine, the law and the clergy. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia was first formed in 1886 with the stated goal of: serving the public through excellence and professionalism in medical practice. The Law Society of British Columbia has governed the province’s legal practitioners since 1869 with the goal of: protecting the public interest in the administration of justice by setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct for lawyers. PROFESSIONAL SERVICE | PAGE 9
Canada’s medical doctors are members of the Canadian Medical Association, with Dr. Laurent Marcoux its President
Herman Van Ommen QC is President of the Law Society of British Columbia which administers the province’s lawyers
For an individual to be classed as a professional they are typically required to be continually upgrading their skills
“Part of being a professional is recognizing that you’re going to be viewed as the best that you can be.” JIM STEWART PRESIDENT, BRITISH COLUMBIA REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION
Jim Stewart is the President of the British Columbia Real Estate Association which oversees the profession of real estate sales Doctors aren’t the only PROFESSIONAL SERVICES professionals expected CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 “The Law Society’s mandate is to protect the public. We do this by setting and upholding standards for the education, professional responsibility and competence of practicing lawyers,” explained Herman Van Ommen, QC, President of the Law Society in the Winter 2017 edition of the Bencher’s Bulletin – the Society’s newsletter. “Perhaps the most public-facing way we fulfil our mandate is through our Professional Regulation Department. The department handles complaints against lawyers, investigates possible lawyer misconduct and incompetence, takes custodianship of lawyers’ practices when they are unable to practice, conducts discipline cases and takes action against those engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. All of this work is integral to our status as a self-regulating profession.” Another factor that separates professionals from workers is the commitment to formal education that practitioners are willing to undertake – often entirely at their own expense. For example, to become a medical doctor in Canada an individual must be prepared to complete no less than eight years of undergraduate studies and medical school instruction followed by residency within a medical institution that could last for up to seven years.
to com m it to completing lengthy formal studies followed by practical internships or residencies. For example becoming an architect or a professional engineer in Canada will probably take the better part of a decade, with ongoing educational upgrading required to maintain professional certification. So what jobs are considered professions in modern society? Those vocations that operate under the aegis of an umbrella organization could be one benchmark, as is the required commitment to a stated code of conduct or ethics. But today any number of careers would be classified as being professions, including but not limited to: Science and engineering professionals, Physical and earth science professionals, Mathematicians, actuaries and statisticians, Life science professionals, Engineering professionals, Electrotechnology engineers, Architects, planners, surveyors and designers, Health care professionals, Medical doctors, Nursing a nd m idw i fery professionals, Traditional and complementary medicine professionals, Paramedical practitioners, Veterinarians, Other health professionals, Medical Assistant professionals, Accounting professionals and as mentioned earlier Real estate sales professionals. “Part of being a professional is recognizing that you’re going to be viewed as
the best that you can be. Because you’re a professional, you deal with your clients in a professional manner and you expect your peers to operate in the same way,” Stewart said. “If you do someth i ng wrong or in violation then your peers are going to call you out on it. Censure could come from any number of causes. It could because of unfair advertising, or trademark infringement, or it could even be how you treat other REALTORS®. There’s a reason why, in any profession, there are really good ones and those that are not so good.” How persons in professional vocations treat each other is another key element in identifying a professional from a worker. “Together, we must also define the kind of medical culture we want. How physicians support and treat their colleagues is more important than ever,” explained Dr. Laurent Marcoux, the President of the Canadian Medical Association in his January 2018 Presidential statement. “That’s why we’re launching a new Charter of Shared Values that will act as a resource to guide our interactions with one another. By the end of this year, we’ll also have achieved an international first: adding a brand new section on medical professionalism to our Code of Ethics.” Professional services and the practitioners that deliver them are vital components of the British Columbia economy and its business community. By being registered through sector associations, by unflinching adherence to strict codes of conduct and ethics and through ongoing education the province’s professionals are delivering services and products the equal to those provided anywhere in the world. “A lot of it all comes down to how you operate your business. If you don’t act like a professional, and deal with your clients in a professional manner you’re probably not going to have much of an income,” Stewart said.
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Sweeping BC Real Estate Services Act Amendments Set For June 15 Roll-Out
ending changes to the BC Real Estate Services Act are going to dramatically impact how REALTORS® conduct business in British Columbia. Scheduled to come into effect June 15, 2018, the changes are being introduced with the stated goal of providing additional consumer protection by eliminating limited dual agency and by placing other restrictions on the province’s real estate sales professionals. “Dual Agency is essentially what it means when a REALTOR® represents both the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction. This change will affect the customer’s ability to have the representation they want when making the sale,” explained Jim Stewart the President of the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA). “You may have known and worked with a REALTOR® for years, you may
have completed half a dozen transactions with them over the years, but once the changes have taken place that Agent can put your home on the MLS® system (Multiple Listing Service) but cannot sell your home, which is causing concern for some clients.” The changes are being introduced by the British Columbia Superintendent of Real Estate Michael Noseworthy, and were drafted in part as a response to a real estate sales practice referred to as shadow flipping. Limited primarily to the Lower Mainland, shadow flipping was possible because of a loophole in the Real Estate Services Act that allowed brokers to resell a property multiple times before a deal closes - profiting from each transfer by using the assignment clause written into sales contracts. The pending changes are among the strictest set of rules governing the real
estate profession anywhere in Canada, if not in North America. “In reality this was rolled out without a lot of consultation with the industry, and it certainly had a political aspect to it when it was first introduced,” said Randy Forbes, General Manager of the 460 Realty Group. When first put forward, the changes to the Act were set to be introduced January 1, 2018 – but had been delayed – first to March and now to June 15. Stewart and the BCREA would like to see the implementation delayed until the end of the year, to allow time for discussion and the training materials to be created. “We’re urging our membership to participate in a letter writing campaign to their local MLAs to try and push this back to the end of the year to give us time to essentially re-train everybody,” he said. www.recbc.ca & www. bcrea.bc.ca
IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH AT WORK
MENTAL HEALTH DEREK SIENKO
ith February being recognized as “Psychology Month” I wanted to bring attention to the topic of psychology in the workplace, specifically psychological health and safety. I asked my colleague, Dr. Merv Gilbert to provide his insight on the topic. Dr. Gilbert has worked as a psychologist for over 30 years and has helped development of programs including Guarding Minds@Work, Antidepressant Skills@Work and Psychological Health and Safety: An Action Guide for Employers. W hy is Psychological Health and Safety at work important? In this era of increasing workplace pressures (increased competitiveness, a faster pace and labour shortages), many organizations are responding by
nurturing their most important asset – their employees. A psychologically healthy and resilient organization is one that has a clear purpose, is forward thinking, has an environment characterized by support, trust, and open communication, and employs people who are proactive, collaborative and care for themselves and others. They select and train their employees, at all levels, to exhibit and sustain these capacities. They develop and implement programs and policies that encourage involvement, balance, health and safety amongst all their staff. They are proactive in promoting psychological and physical wellness and have services in place to address and support employees experiencing ill-health. They constantly evaluate their efforts and are constantly seeking best, or better, practices that are informed by good evidence. What are the common concerns? A negative workplace environment contributes worker stress and strain, which in turn contributes to such mental health problems as depression, anxiety and substance misuse. While the employer is not in a position to identify disorders, these issues often show up in such lagging indicators as absenteeism, turnover, disability
rates, accidents/injuries or increased benefits utilization. On the positive side, psychologically healthy work pl a c e s h ave b e en shown to have increased staff productivity, engagement and retention. What are the steps that employers should take to have Psychological Safe Workplace? Increasingly, Canadian organizations understand this. But many employers are not sure how to build such an environment before first answering several key questions: What are the potential actions I could take? Which actions are most relevant to my organization? Which are feasible in terms of cost and resources? The National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, launched in 2013 outlines the steps necessary to create a Psychological Health and Safety Management Systems including commitment, planning, implementation, evaluation and sustainability. For more resources / information and to register for our upcoming webinar on Psychological Health and Safety, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Derek Sienko, CEO of Diversified Rehabilitation Group Inc. can be reached at 250-860-2868
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AWARDS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
The Northern BC Commercial Building Awards were held in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. The Judges’ Choice winner for best overall entry in the 2016 event was the Calvin Kruk Centre for the Arts in Dawson Creek. “These Awards are designed to bring out the people and companies behind the buildings that are so important to each community, and celebrate their ideas and hard work,” adds MacDonald. “It’s in these buildings that people work, play and learn. They’re focal gathering points everywhere.” A team of independent judges is adjudicating the Finalists based on seven questions: Does it complement the surrounding properties and area? Is it esthetically pleasing? Are there unique architectural features? What is the level of finish (choice in construction materials)? Does it answer a specific development need within the community? Does it contribute to a healthy, sustainable community? Does it have a ny env i ron menta l ly friendly or green elements for possible consideration? Fol low i ng is a l ist of Fi na l ists, by community: Fort St. John * BCGEU Area Office, 10147 100th Avenue. Owner: B.C. Government and Service Employees Union. Developer: KKBL No. 605 Ventures Ltd., Architects/Designer: Studio B Architects, General Contractor: Wales McLelland. * Birch Tree Building, 10019 103 Avenue. Owner/Developer: Lumex Investments, Architect/Designer: Burgers Architecture, General Contractor: Kalmar Construction. * Cambridge Estates, 11703 – 102nd Street. Owner/Developer: Western Canadian Properties Group Ltd., Architect/Designer: Bi-Coastal Architecture Ltd., General Contractor: Western Canadian Construction Ltd. * Cornerstone Townhouses, 10115-10121 97 Avenue. Owner: Mike and Kim Zinck. Developer/General Contractor: Northern Legendary Construction Ltd., Architect/ Designer: Kervin Home Design. * Fort St. John Plaza, 9203 100th Street. Owner/Developer: Crombie REIT, Architect/Designer: Neoteric Architecture Inc., General Contractor: WL Construction Ltd. * Greenview Townhomes, 10904 102 Avenue. Owner/Developer: Western Canadian Properties Group Ltd., Architect/ Designer: Bi-Coastal Architecture Ltd., General Contractor: Western Canadian Construction Ltd. * Hudson Condos, 10307 112 th Street. Owner/Developer: Western Canadian Properties Group Ltd., Architect/Designer: Lovick Scott Architects. General Contractor: Western Canadian Construction Ltd. * Olios Pizzeria, 9016 100 Avenue. Owner: Olios Pizza Ltd., General Contractor: Haab Homes Construction. Dawson Creek * Gateway Industrial Park, 780 Highway 2. Owner/Developer: 780 Hwy 2 Properties Investment Ltd., Architect/Designer: Design Works & Inspections, General Contractor: Northern Legendary Construction Ltd. * North Peace Savings & Credit Union, 11040 8th Street. Owner: North Peace Savings & Credit Union, Developer: BOSA FOX Investments Partnership, Architect/Designer and General Contractor: NewGround.
* Ron Pettigrew Christian School, 1761 110 Avenue. Owner: Dawson Creek Community Christian Education Society. Architect/Designer: EFG Architects, General Contractor: WL Construction Ltd. Prophet River * Prophet River School, Prophet River First Nations Reserve, Mile 232 Alaska Highway. Owner: Prophet River First Nations, Architect/Designer: DNA Architects, General Contractor: Kalmar Construction Ltd. Chetwynd * AIM Trucking Warehouse, 4536 44th Avenue. * Hub Insurance/North Access Revitalization Project, 4624 North Access Road. Owner/Developer: Alda Development & Leasing Ltd., Architect/Designer: Force Engineering Group Inc., General Contractor: J. Berg Contracting. * Lake View Credit Union, 5060 Access Road N. Owner: Lake View Credit Union, Architect/Designer: Force Engineering Group Inc., General Contractor: Hegge Construction Ltd. Prince George * Bettulla Burning Pizzeria, 1253 3rd Avenue. Owner/Developer and Architect/ Designer: Nancy O’s Restaurant Group Inc., General Contractor: Datoff Bros. Construction. * CrossRoads Brewery, 508 George Street. Owner/Developer: CrossRoads Brewing Ltd., Architect/Designer: Daryl Leiski, General Contractor: Youngstown Developments. * Magnolia Gardens on the Park, 2055 Ingledew Street. Owner: PRP Holdings Ltd. and 09999942 BC Ltd., Developer: 0999942 BC Ltd., Architect/Designer: GBL Architects, General Contractor: PRP Holdings Ltd. * Northland Nissan, 1995 20th Avenue. Owner: Northland Nissan. Developer: Nissan Canada Inc., Architect/Designer: Kasian Architecture, General Contractor: IDL Projects. * Ridgestone Villas, 6798 Westgate Avenue. Owner, Developer, Architect/Designer and General Contractor: NewRock Developments. * University of Northern British Columbia Residences, 3333 University Way. Owner: University of Northern British Columbia, Architect/Designer: HCMA Architects, General Contractor: IDL Projects. Quesnel * WestPine Recovery Project, 300 Carradice Road. Owner: WestPine MDF, Developer: IQ Engineering, Architect/Designer: Sunds Fibretech, General Contractor: Allied Blower. Williams Lake * Cariboo Fire Centre, 3020 Airport Road. Owner: Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resources, Architect/Designer: Stantec Architecture Ltd., General Contractor: Lauren Brothers Construction Ltd. Smithers * Mainerz, 1165-1167 Main Street. Owner/ Developer: Mainerz, Architect/Designer: Heritage Technical Service Ltd., Kilb Designs, General Contractor: Gus Poirier Construction. Prince Rupert * Ashley Homestore Prince Rupert, 150 1st Avenue West. Owner: MFL Investments Ltd., Architect/Designer: Boni Maddison Architects, General Contractor: Marcan Construction Ltd. * The Argosy, 985 3rd Avenue West. Owner, Developer, Architect/Designer and General Contractor: Richard Haley. Tickets to the event are $125 and are available through www.businessexaminer/ events. For information, contact Mark MacDonald at email@example.com
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PATHFINDER ENDEAVOURS WAS CREATED TO SUPPORT INDUSTRY Resource & Asset Management Firm Has Evolved With The Changing Marketplace
R I NC E G E ORG E – For the provincial economy to grow and flourish there is an ongoing need for industry and development. For Rick Matthe, co-founder of natural resource and asset management company Pathfinder Endeavours Ltd., it’s all about ensuring that any industrial development proceeds in a manner that is sustainable, operating within the letter of the law and economically viable for the client. “We began by working in the forest industry more than 20 years ago, initially because of the devastation caused by the Mountain Pine Beetle. We worked in many First Nations communities for example operating FireSmart programs and with other issues related to forest health. At the time we operated more as a forestry contractor, but now we’ve evolved into other sectors and have taken on more of a consultancy role,” Matthe explained. Co-founded in 1997 by Matthe who is an Environmental Professional (EP), his wife Dana Evaschuk RPCA (Registered Professional Consulting Archaeologist) and his brother Jamie Matthe FT (Forest Technologist), Pathfinder Endeavours offers its clients a multi-faceted approach to asset management that is both cost-effective and dramatically reduces project management costs, complexity and timelines. The firm’s innovative approach has helped to make it a finalist for a Small Business BC Award as one of the province’s Top Five best employers. “As our forestry business began to scale back we started entering the oil and gas field early this decade, helping the sector with such things as herbicide application on the well leases, pipeline inspections, providing a valve
The team at Pathfinder Endeavours has worked with a wide range of firms since the company was launched in 1997 maintenance program aimed at extending the life of valves along a pipeline and other duties. In fact most of the clients we had when we first entered the sector around 2002 we still have,” he said. Pathfinder Endeavours past and present client list reads like a Who’s Who of the province’s industrial leaders including BC Hydro which has just awarded the firm a large contract to work on the massive Site C hydroelectric project. A partial list of its other clients include Pembina Pipelines, Canadian Forest Products, Fortis BC, Ikkuma Resources, Ducks Unlimited, the
Congratulations to Pathfinder Endeavours on being recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers! 2559 Queensway Street, Prince George
Department of National Defense, ATCO Electric, CN Rail, Painted Pony Resources, Progress Energy, Pacific Natural Gas, Talisman and others. “Working in the oil and gas sector we help our clients manage their pipelines by providing a well maintenance program, we continue to carry out pipeline inspections, we still do a little herbicide application for them and other things. What’s different about us is that our job is to make the plan to hire the folks who come in to cut down trees, or re-slope this, or re-shape that. By SEE PATHFINDER | PAGE 13
Pathfinder Endeavours was recently awarded a contract from BC Hydro to work on the massive Site C project
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Often working in remote locations, the Pathfinder Endeavours crews frequently have to fly to their worksites
A repeat customer for Pathfinder Endeavours is BC Hydro, having worked for the electric corporation numerous times
PATHFINDER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12
allowing us to look after the site the client is free to focus on their business,” he said. “We go out into the field and we look at the site and ensure the client stays within the boundaries of the legislation. That they are operating within the law. We’re
looking at all of the things that industry can impact, which for a pipeline could include streams and water courses. Making sure there are no leaks, that the pipelines are properly protected, properly signed and things of that nature.” Pathfinder Endeavours is also actively involved with BC Hydro and has been responsible for creating inventories and building work plans for vegetation management across 75 percent of the transmission lines in the province. Other services it regularly provides includes site management planning, spill contingency planning, herbicide application, access management, public consulting, capital project support, wildfire asset protection duties and more. Keenly aware of the ever changing marketplace, in recent years Pathfinder has also expanded into providing electrical services for an expanding list of residential, commercial and industrial clients. For the future, thanks in part to the slow resurgence of the Western Canadian oil and gas sector, the company anticipates becoming increasingly active in that industry. “We’ve been able to adapt and change as the marketplace has changed, that’s what has kept us going all these years. Opportunities have changed, the economy has changed and as a company we’ve been able to change right along with it. That flexibility has always been one of our greatest strengths,” Matthe stated. www.pathfinderltd.ca
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Indigenous Monitor Pilot Project: A Partnership With The National Energy Board
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DMONTON – In what is believed to be a first in Canada, a First Nations monitoring team is being trained to accompany National Energy Board (NEB) Environmental Inspectors as they conduct compliance inspections along the leng th of the Trans Mountain pipeline. While the work of this initial collaborative effort will take place in Alberta, the prototype concept could be adapted in British Columbia as this, or any other pipeline development occurs. Referred to as the Indigenous Monitor Pilot Project, the undertaking is the results of collaboration between the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee (IA MC), the National Energy Board and the Paul First Nation Industry Relations Corporation (PFN-IRC). The Paul First Nation is located west of Edmonton. “As far as we know this is the first formal program to work with any regulator that I’m aware of, and this is an area that I work in actively and have for several years. This is the first program with regulators taking out Indigenous members on a systematic basis outside of North of 60,” explained Ray Cardinal, the Indigenous Lead on the pilot project. The work of this inaugural team will focus on the socalled Spreads 1 and 2 of the Trans Mountain pipeline in Alberta. Spread 1 of the Trans Mountain pipeline corridor extends from Edmonton to Edson, Alberta, while Spread 2 will run from Edson to the border of Jasper National Park. A total of 18 potentially affected First Nations communities within Alberta will have an opportunity to identify and train qualified Indigenous monitors to participate in the pilot project. “This is the initial pilot project but I’m assuming as the work progresses other monitor teams could be established. Right now we’re still determining what the process will look like, what sort of requirements people would need to have to be in the field to provide critical feedback but also to work
Paul First Nation member Vince Rain takes part in a recent joint training exercise with NEB Environmental Inspectors
NEB Environmental Inspectors and a crew of Indigenous Monitors went to the pipeline on Buck Lake Reserve in December safely,” Cardinal said. At present the Indigenous Monitors are expected to participate in 20 NEB compliance inspections. A key anticipated project result would be a report of recommendations that will guide the ongoing development of Indigenous Monitors. “Prior to going out there will be some joint training between ourselves and the NEB. We’ll be going over regulatory processes, regulatory training in addition to joint training to provide Indigenous concerns to the NEB Inspectors to facilitate a sharing of ideas, concerns and processes before actually going into the field,” he said. “We would be going out with the NEB, documenting our concerns and then collaborating with them at the end in terms of writing reports and ensuring that First Nation concerns are included within the larger NEB process. It will involve participation prior to, during and after the actual inspection in addition to the report writing phase. Our group will be involved throughout the whole process from start to finish for each inspection.”
Jim Carr is the federal Natural Resources Minister and is a supporter of the Indigenous Monitor Pilot Project For Cardinal one pleasant result of the group’s efforts has been the positive response they have received from the National Energy Board itself. “We’ve gotten very good support from the NEB Inspectors in helping to develop this process. I would like to say that I’ve put a lot of time and effort into developing this, but the NEB has also put an equally large amount of time into the project as well. It has been co-developed and the NEB has been 100 percent supportive,” he said. www.iamc-tmx.com
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
TERRACE The provincial government has announced that Terrace will soon be getting a new hospital, replacing Mills Memorial Hospital. The announcement approved the project to move to the business plan phase, which will take between a year and 18 months to complete. The new hospital will be designed to better meet the future needs of patients, and will be funded in partnership with the North West Regional Hospital District. The City of Terrace’s plans to convert the previous Terrace Co-op location on Greig Avenue into a substantial parcel of land for sale, and a smaller parcel for community use, received a number of federal “green” grants in the sum of $134,000 for their project proposals. While the grants helped them to get their environmental clearance from the BC Government, the city is currently waiting on the province to sign off on details for the provisional sale of a significant piece of property to Superior Lodging, and to provide a certificate of compliance. The Terrace Chamber of Commerce celebrates 90 years serving in the community this year. The University of Northern BC (UNBC)’s Terrace Campus recently hosted the 11 th annual Quantum Leaps Conference, which aimed to help young women from grades 10-12 be inspired by local women who are successful in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries. The conference was held in partnership with Northwest Science and Innovation Society (NSIS), a local nonprofit organization. After just one year in operation, the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan, headed by the BC Ministry of Transportation, has seen approximately 5,000 passengers use their service for travel between northern communities – branding it a success. Rio Tinto has pledged renewed support of $450,000 over three years for a breakfast program for students at Skeena Middle School, Parkside Secondary, and Cassie Hall Elementary schools. The funding goes through Breakfast Club of Canada, who facilitates the programs in the schools. Technicon Industries has advanced as a finalist for the Small Business BC Awards category of Best Apprentice Training. Award winners will be announced at a gala on February 23 rd in Vancouver.
PRINCE RUPERT The Great Bear Natural Medicine Clinic, run by Dr. Kyli Seier DC and Dr. Taylor Seier ND, is new to the area and now open to accept patients. The clinic is located at 133 9 th Street. The North Pacific Cannery recently completed a $1.4 million project – their
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WILLIAMS LAKE Tammy Watson has started up a charitable initiative called 100 Women Who Care in the Williams Lake area, which aims to give back to the community. The Williams Lake organization is part of a network of more than 350 other chapters across North America. Each quarter of a year, every member of the group will donate $50, which will pool together and go towards one of three suggested local charities. March 1 st will mark their first meeting, taking place at CJ’s Southwestern Grill. A concept plan for the redevelopment of the Cariboo Memorial Hospital has been approved to advance to the business plan phase. The concept plan was financed by the Regional Hospital District, and the business plan phase will center on estimating project costs and how services will increase in the updated facility. Plans feature an approximate 40 per cent increase in overall space from the existing hospital. SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS | PAGE 16
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MOVERS & SHAKERS
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MOVERS & SHAKERS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15
Ken Day, Manager of the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest, has chosen to retire after 31 years in the position in Williams Lake. February 16 th marked his last day on the job, with Stephanie Ewen coming in to replace him as Manager.
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The Williams Lake Association for Community Living has plans to begin construction on a 39-unit affordable housing complex by this spring. The project is roughly estimated to cost $8 million, and will have ten units allocated for Community Living and Canadian Mental Health Association clients. Xat’sull First Nation recently held a by-election, which saw Andrea Gilbert voted in as Chief. Chief Gilbert will serve in place of former Chief Donna Dixon, who stepped down in the summer due to health concerns. Gilbert formerly worked for the Soda Creek Indian Band, and has served in a variety of different roles in her community.
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A lot on the southeast corner of Foothills Boulevard and North Nechako Road is being eyed for a 64-lot subdivision development. City Council issued preliminary approval for the rezoning of the property, affecting an 11.4 hectare
area of the gravel pit site where the lot is situated. The rezoning application was made by L&M Engineering on behalf of 406286 British Columbia Ltd. A new partnership has launched between Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Government of Canada, which aims to support First Nations Government Internships for tribal councils and First Nations in Northern BC. Together, they have pledged $480,000 over three years to support the program, which follows the model of the Trust’s Local Government Internship Program, and will feature four year-long internships available in each year from 2018-2020. Those who wish to apply for the program may do so through Northern Development Initiative Trust’s website. The BC Government has allotted $6.45 million towards the development of six forest sector projects within the province. The funding will focus on promoting innovation and diversification within the sector, and will support the work with Indigenous communities. The projects include: Pacific Bioenergy Prince George Limited Partnership, which will receive $3.19 million in funding to implement a Biomass Enhancement System; Structurecraft Builders Inc. will receive $1.93 million towards a Dowel Laminated Timber production project; the Tsay Keh Dene CHP Biomass Energy initiative will receive $25,000 for assessing whether bioenergy will be feasible to decrease the community’s dependence on diesel fuel for heating; Gitxsan Development will receive $1.165 million to begin scans and activities to bring the Gitxsan community into participation with major resource projects; and Kwadacha First Nation will receive $143,000 for their two projects. Both the College of New Caledonia (CNC) and University of Northern BC (UNBC) will receive provincial funding to expand their respective technologist programs and engineering degree programs. CNC will receive $250,000 to cultivate a new civilengineering technologist program, while UNBC will receive $400,000 for their SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS | PAGE 17
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MOVERS & SHAKERS
MOVERS & SHAKERS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16
new civil and environmental engineering degree programs. As of January 8 th , the Prince George Chamber of Commerce has appointed Todd Corrigall as their new CEO. Corrigall joins Chamber President, Corey Naphtali in leadership, bringing with him an extensive background in government relations, policy development, leadership, and communications. UNBC is now one of five other institutions in Canada that has been appointed to a “Digital Technology Supercluster” group, which provides access to $950 million in funding from the federal government, to be matched by industry. Institutions within the supercluster each focus on different research. The supercluster initiative was founded by partners: Microsoft, Telus, Canfor, Teck, Shoppers Drug Mart, Providence Health Care and Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia – UNBC, Simon Fraser University, UBC, University of Victoria, BCIT, and Emily Carr University.
DAWSON CREEK The Dawson Creek Art Gallery has hired on a new executive director, Marsha Stewart. Stewart is originally from Ontario with a professional background in nursing; she spent time in Nunavut learning how to make mittens, and cultivated involvement and appreciation for art therapy.
Marsha Stewart, Executive Director, Dawson Creek Art Gallery On February 23 rd , Dawson Creek will see a Beer, Bacon and Bands event, hosted at the Encana Events Centre. The event will feature local food and beverages, with the feel of a traditional beer fest, with live entertainment to enjoy. In April, a Junior Dragon’s Den competition will be held in Dawson Creek, which will allow young entrepreneurs from grades 7 to post-secondary to pitch their business ideas to a panel of live ‘dragons.’ The competition gives opportunity to win prizes, cash, and a shot at competing in the provincial championships for Junior Dragons Den. Provincial championships will take place in Trail, BC, on May 5 th . The Northeast Regional Community Foundation will make available grants of a maximum $1000 to registered charities situated in Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Pouce Coupe, Hudson’s Hope and Taylor. Applications for funding can be made through the community futures website, and the deadline for submission is March 30 th . Northern Dental has moved their operations to a new location in Suite 20210312 12 th Street, next to the Orthodontist.
FORT ST. JOHN On February 28 th , the Northeast B.C. Resource Municipalities Coalition will meet in Fort St. John for a forum focused on forming an energy plan for the province. David Keane, President of BC LNG Alliance, will be the keynote speaker of the event, which will provide industry leaders with an opportunity to help inform the future of the energy sector in BC.
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The BC Government has announced plans to implement an 8 per cent sales tax in addition to a 3 per cent hotel tax on home owners and tenants who rent their homes on Airbnb. As a result, the anticipated revenue from these new taxes are estimated at $16 million for the BC and $5 million for local municipalities; the provincial revenue will go toward affordable housing initiatives.
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Progress Energy Canada has chosen to sell their oil and natural gas assets located in Deep Basin, Alberta, to enable them to focus on operations in BC. Profits from their sale will go towards expanding the company’s natural gas assets in North Montney, BC.
QUESNEL The Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre fitness room may soon be in possession of a ‘paramill’ machine, which is a treadmill for wheelchairs. The Quesnel Accessibility and Inclusion Committee has requested $8,000 for the equipment, and the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee has agreed to provide funding if necessary. The committee is, however, still searching for other funding, and may not need the support of the Joint Planning committee in the end.
On February 17 th , the Wells International Gourmet Ski event will be taking place, organized by Kate Sulis and team. The annual event will feature skiing around the Cornish Mountain and meadow trails, as well as gourmet food stations where attendees will sample foods and dress up in entertaining costumes. The night will end with desserts, a prize ceremony, and a film festival, all while raising funds that will go towards the completion of trails on Cornish Mountain. The City of Quesnel has proposed plans for a two-day forestry sector think tank event, in partnership with the University of Northern BC, the Wildfire Recovery Team, and College of New Caledonia. The session would take place late next month, and would focus discussions on the future of the local forest industry. Plans are in place for a Highway 97 north-south interconnector in the City of Quesnel. The route proposal was put on display to the public by the City and the Ministry of Transportation, and the cost is estimated at $275 million. Included in the cost are two new bridges proposed for construction within the route, which would cost between $125-150 million. The provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has recognized SNC Lavalin for their work on the Highway 97 North project in Quesnel. The engineering and construction firm received an award for design and contraction preparation for roads during the Deputy Minister’s Consulting Engineering Awards ceremony, which took place in Vancouver. SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS | PAGE 19
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WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO BE ‘OPEN FOR BUSINESS’
hile the voting public may ingest placeboes when a government claims it is “open for business”, business just sits back and waits. Words mean little if there is no action, and investors and entrepreneurs tend to survey the situation in front of them before deciding to inject hard earned dollars into an environment. They vote with their feet, demonstrating their decisions by how they move, where they move, and how quickly. Or if they don’t. “Open for business” has become a political buzzword used by every politician these days, and we are witnessing the latest with Premier John Horgan touring Asia declaring that under his government, BC is, truly, “open for business”. Non-business people who don’t understand what that really should mean, seem puzzled if business
doesn’t respond appropriately to such cute words of flirtation. “What more do you want? Didn’t you hear what they said? They want business.” But what politicians say and what the business community needs are worlds apart. Open for business means making it easy to do business, and providing an opportunity for free enterprisers to see a profitable future from their hard work and investment. To simplify, what business wants is this: Eliminate unnecessary regulations and obstacles to getting ventures started, and favourable taxation. That’s it. That’s all. Anything outside of those boundaries is political-speak and isn’t what any business owner/investor is looking for. And if they don’t find it in one jurisdiction, they move elsewhere. That’s why certain communities in BC thrive and prosper, no matter what the larger economic forecast is. Langford and Surrey didn’t actually have a recession during the 2008 downturn because their political leadership decided to do something proactively and make their cities more welcoming. They eliminated costly, and unnecessary development cost charges, and builders moved their projects within those civic boundaries. When first elected in 1993, Langford
Mayor Stew Young promised building permits within a week – and delivered. He’s been re-elected ever since, and Langford continues to grow, and grow. Chopping DCC’s and introducing tax breaks for developers as the recession broke, kept developers investing – knowing that the cycle would eventually end – and people working. In Langford, and Surrey. Several years back, Langley produced a building permit for a highend automobile dealership in one week. As a result, there’s not just one, but several beautiful vehicle buildings in the east end of the city, bringing jobs and yielding long-term taxation into civic coffers. Communities that really want investment do what is necessary to get that investment. Those that don’t want investment put up barriers, red tape and, yes, excessive taxation to make sure it doesn’t happen. It’s a mystery why politicians and bureaucrats don’t get this: That these “customers” who inject millions just to get their buildings built, yield many thousands of dollars annually once they are built, for many years to come. Since commercial/industrial tax rates are higher than residential, it allows any city to function better fiscally, while avoiding having to reach out to their other main source of revenue – homeowners, who are also voters – for more money.
The public decries the ever-increasing cost of housing, and politicians wring their hands and promise to find a solution through regulation and subsidization. There is one simple solution to a situation that boils down to supply and demand. Increase supply. Build more homes and dwelling places. By increasing supply, demand will be satisfied and at some point satiated, and the result will be lower prices. That may not make sense to antidevelopment voices that pique the interest of candidates, or not what they want to hear. But it’s the truth. As reported in the Financial Post, on Jan. 17, Apple Inc. announced it will pay about $38 billion in taxes on hundreds of billions of overseas dollars, plus spend tens of billions on domestic jobs, manufacturing and data centers in the U.S. in the next few years. It will also create 20,000 new jobs and make capital expenditures of $30 billion over five years in the U.S. Jobs. Investment. Tax revenue. Why? Because the U.S. has drastically lowered its tax rates, thus demonstrating it is truly “open for business”. Speaking of Horgan’s overseas jaunt, one might view it as damage control. After not one but two major Liquid Natural Gas projects, one on Vancouver Island and the other major one in northwestern BC collapsed once the
GreeNDP stole power, Horgan is now saying they want it – but with new conditions. Conditions the industry and investors reject, by the way. There were two customers already here and ready to move forward with LNG. Why did they leave? Wouldn’t have anything to do with the GreeNDP’s incessant threats of increased regulation, taxation and general disdain for resource-based wealth, would it? Mark it down: There won’t be any further LNG development in BC while the GreeNDP forms government. Why? Because of the same reasons the other groups that were here left: Endless regulation and the “promise” of punitive taxation – clear signs these parties don’t want that industry here. And the political dance continues, with Green leader Andrew Weaver threatening to bring down the NDP government if LNG proceeds. Crocodile tears. He knows LNG isn’t going forward under this regime and their stipulations, and won’t bust up the coalition until the only evident thing Green wants is accomplished: Proportional representation. Open for business? Here’s the simple recipe for any government: Reduce taxation, strangulation by red tape regulations, and developmental delays. Anything else is just empty words.
UNPLUGGED FROM THE REALITY OF OUR ENERGY NEEDS
f you ever wonder how academics and activists combine to end up utopian, anti-poor and antimiddle class all at once, look no further than calls for savings and pension divestment from Canadian oil and gas companies. One academic from Toronto’s Ryerson University wrote of how “we are facing an impending disaster” from fossil fuels. The professor had several demands: That companies “reduce their carbon footprint to net zero” or be forcibly wound down. If they don’t voluntarily commit economic hara-kiri, towns and cities must even more massively subsidize green industries to put hydrocarbon industries out of business. Finally, a demand that the Canada
Pension Plan drop its oil and natural gas holdings. That last idea isn’t as unthinkable as it should be: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this month that he would direct the city’s five pension funds to dump US$5 billion worth of fossil fuel investments, which he boasted will be the biggest municipal divestment in the U.S. so far. Calls to kill off carbon-based energy investments are also pushed by the more extreme voices in some environmental groups. One duo claimed (incorrectly) that “The end of the fossil-fuel era is on the horizon.” Such woolly thinking, a perennial problem in human societies, is evident in the notion that Canadians can just cut off one of the country’s comparative economic advantages, oil and gas. And then replace it, and the many products for end-use consumers, with solar, wind and other costly alternatives. Reality check: Most alternative green energy, like wind and solar, is inconsistent in terms of power production, requiring conventional backups fuelled by fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Nor are other alternatives such as biofuels and batteries yet capable of replacing, for example,
the jet fuel necessary to fly airplanes or the diesel that trucks use to transport food, medicine and consumer goods. Anyone who believes the end of fossil fuels is near is not operating in the realm of reason. It’s why the International Energy Agency wants more renewable and other alternative energy, but is realistic that oil and natural gas consumption will rise for decades. The IEA forecasts a 30 per cent rise in energy demand between now and 2040, the equivalent of adding another China and India to the global demand curve. The IEA predicts the world will consume 105 million barrels of oil daily in 2040, up from an average of 96 million barrels daily in 2016. It also predicts natural gas consumption will rise dramatically. For instance, natural gas demand in China is forecast to triple between now and 2040. Even California Gov. Jerry Brown, a champion of green energy, has continued to encourage oil and natural gas development. That’s why California remains the third-largest oilproducing U.S. state. As 60 Minutes noted in a recent profile of Brown, “he refuses to curb oil production until there’s a viable alternative.” Sure, one could demand that governments just enlist consumers and
taxpayers in ever-more subsidies for alternative energy efforts. Yet most renewable energy, from wind to solar, is already heavily subsidized, and remains unreliable and expensive to end consumers. For example, Ontarians between 2006 and 2014 spent $37 billion on above-market-price subsidies to providers of wind, solar and other energy alternatives. To produce even more will be additionally costly. Also, as I detailed in my recent report Corporate Welfare Cash for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, alternative energy is already much more subsidized in Canada than is oil and gas. (That noted, oil, gas and renewable energy companies alike should be cut off from taxpayerfunded subsidies; that would help even the playing field among all potential energy suppliers.) Lastly, the notion that building subsidized wind turbines and solar panels in Canada can replace the jobs, incomes, exports and tax revenues of a long-profitable sector is folly. From Newfoundland to northern British Columbia, there are 300,000 people directly employed in the oil and gas business with 650,000 spinoff jobs. Oil and gas products represent $136 billion in exports to the United States and $22 billion in
annual tax revenues to governments. And that brings us back to advocacy against investment in the energy sector, the so-called divestment movement. In a rebuke to the divestment demands, Quebec credit union Desjardins Group recently ended its moratorium on pipeline project financing. Depending on where Desjardins goes on a more general social and environmental framework, that decision could be positive or merely a prelude to antienergy investment decisions. Meanwhile, calls are growing for the Canada Pension Plan to be divested of energy investment. If that happened, a useful investment criteria - returns - would be sacrificed to anti-reality advocacy. Plus, Canadian employment and income would be reduced by such a decision. It would harm the middle class and the poor. That’s the problem with anti-consumer and anti-empirical advocacy dreamed up in academia and furthered by reality-blind activism. Ideas have consequences, especially bad ones. Mark Milke is an author, an independent policy analyst and contributing writer to Canadians for Affordable Energy.
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MOVERS & SHAKERS
MOVERS & SHAKERS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17
The College of New Caledonia (CNC) Quesnel campus will soon receive a new boiler and expanded facility for their Power Engineering course. The BC Government will contribute funds toward the expansion, which is expected to be completed by September 2019. Currently, the Power Engineering program is suspended in Quesnel as the current boiler is not the appropriate size to serve the program. The course is being offered in Prince George, however, with reserved space for six Quesnel students for this coming fall. CNC has also announced plans for a new healthcare assistant program, which would have space for 16 students and is anticipated to begin in September. A new board has been named for the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce for 2018: Julia Dillabough is President, with Michelle Daniels is Past President, Tracy Bond is First Vice President, Wendy Hepner is Second Vice President, Ryan Broughton is Treasurer,
and Jillian Stockburger and Lori Carifelle have both newly joined the board as Directors.
show was completed, the 160-page diary and other works were available for purchase.
Pioneer Log Homes of BC, founded by Byran Reid Sr., created the world’s fastest motorized log car, which was auctioned off and sold for $350,000 USD in Scottsdale, Arizona. Proceeds of the sale were donated to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Yellow Ribbon America in Southern California, and the Boot Campaign in Texas, to honor military veterans.
Tourism numbers in 2017 for the town of Smithers showed a twenty-five per cent increase when compared to 2016. More than 4,400 people from around the world, within the country, and within the province visited Smithers last year.
SMITHERS The BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) reported that more than 230 units were sold across Northern BC already in 2018, signaling a twentyone per cent increase in home sales from this January compared with January 2017. The Smithers Art Gallery held their first exhibit of the year, entitled The Nature Diary Show. The exhibit ran from January 23-26 th , and featured 66 art pieces by 36 different local artists. After the
Moricetown’s Esso gas bar has been renamed to Kyah Food and Fuel. The gas bar is owned by Witset First Nation, who have also recently renamed their village, dropping the name Moricetown. The name change was approved by the Witset Development Corporation Board, and all businesses within the community will soon change their names to accommodate the Kyah theme. Tourism Smithers Society is the new name chosen for the town of Smithers’ destination marketing initiative. The new society with its organizational structure was created to replace the Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association, which dissolved on December 31 st .
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Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena includes business news from Fort St. John and Dawson Creek to Prince Rupert and Kitimat, and from 100...
Published on Mar 11, 2018
Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena includes business news from Fort St. John and Dawson Creek to Prince Rupert and Kitimat, and from 100...