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APRIL 2015

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Blue Fuel Energy’s pet project could be a fossil fuel game changer BY JOHN MACDONALD


IDNEY - The world’s cleanest gasoline could be produced in British Columbia in a matter of years. S i d n e y-b a s e d B l u e F u e l Energy’s (BFE) is developing a process combining established and proven technology that converts natural gas into gasoline. The plan to leverage this ‘low carbon intensity gasoline’ in BC was birthed in 2008 by Juergen Puetter, a serial entrepreneur with a history of converting scientific innovation into profitable businesses. “The economics of the project are very compelling,” says Puetter. “This project is ideal for BC, and takes advantage of the low cost of clean electricity and the significant access to natural gas the province has.”


Blue Fuel President Michael Macdonald in front of a methanol plant he developed for Methanex, it is similar to what the Chetwynd project will look like.

Saanich company’s product success: SHOXSing

Coast Dynamics Group earning global reputation for innovative shock mitigation seating products


AANICH – Coast Dynamics Group’s i n novat ive shock mitigation seating tech nolog y is causi ng companies throughout the world to stand up and take notice. Paul Taylor and Ray Cao own the company which makes the product dubbed SHOXS, and his team have been producing industry-leading innovation since 2007. The company first got its start after one of Taylor’s connections in the marine industry,

SA FE Boats, a sked h i m to develop a sp eci a l i zed seating product for the US Coast Guard. They had been tasked with a refit of a large f leet of small cabin patrol boats, and the sta nda rd at the ti me for marine craft seating was truck seats, which had minor shock mitigation abilities that could not properly protect against the rigors of a high intensity marine work environment. Before the refit, coast guard sta f f reg u l a rly ex per ienced

injuries while on duty. When the refit was complete, SHOXS’ innovative design was deemed a success, a nd t he busi ness has been growing steadily ever since. Taylor credits their high level of capacity a nd k nowledge, along with a strong group of suppliers and partners, as reasons for the company’s success. “They are the best – the best in the world,” says Taylor of h i s te a m . “ We work re a l ly, really hard with the smartest

scientists on the planet to create the best possible products for our clients. “Our engineering team is very high caliber, ranging from PHDs to high level technologists” he adds, citing a willingness to invest in his employees as integral to the solid reputation the company’s products have earned. Taylor’s ba ck g rou nd i s i n m e c h a n ic a l d e s i g n , a nd he cites “a lot of real-life hands-on SEE A SHOXSING  |  PAGE 5

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2 VICTORIA City Purchases 812 Wharf Street A key inner harbor property changed hands on March 23, with the City of Victoria purchasing a property at 812 Wharf Street from the P rov i nce of British Colu mbia. T he loca l property houses the Tourism Victoria Visitor Centre as well as four other tenant buildings. The City purchased the property for nearly $8 million and is self-financing the purchase. City Council’s plan for the purchase indicates they will borrow the money from the City’s Building and Infrastructure Reserve Fund. The City will repay the fund, with interest, over 22 years from revenues generated from the building. T he City a nd the P rov i nce are said to be in the process of working through the final aspects of the transaction to ensure a seamless transition for tenants.

VANCOUVER ISLAND First Global Economic Report on Salmon Farming Released

Salmon farmers are producing 14.8 billion meals each year and creating 121,000 jobs around the world, according to the first socio-economic report on the salmon farming industry released by the International Salmon Farmers’ Association (IFSA). The report outlines some key statistics about the planet’s growing population, and the need to find innovative ways to feed the world. It also includes overviews of the industry for every country where salmon is farmed, as well as highlighting coastal communities that have been revitalized through salmon aquaculture. While British Columbia produces less than five percent of the world’s annual harvest, our farming sector is worth more than $1 billion to the provincial economy. The contribution also represents the provision of province-wide stable, good paying jobs in rural communities. According to the report, the global salmon industry produces $10 billion worth of salmon each year, creates 121,000 direct and indirect jobs, and stimulates economic growth in a wide variety of other sectors.

VICTORIA Vancouver Island Sustainable Agriculture Expo Approaching

APRIL 2015

Local food organizationss, Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR), FarmFolk CityFolk and the Island Chefs Collaborative (ICC) are joining forces to present “Get Ready, Get Local”, a new local food and sustainable agriculture expo for Vancouver Island. The event will showcase Island Foods, and the ranchers, farmers and fishers that produce it, alongside local food artisans, vintners, craft brewers, recognized chefs, culinary professionals and industry leaders including home food and garden professionals. Get Ready, Get Local seeks to address specific business needs of local producers and buyers through networking, marketing opportunities and targeted workshops. Get Ready, Get Local will also give the public a chance to “get local” with opportunities to sign up for a community-supported agriculture (CSA) box, familiarize themselves with their local farmers markets, or attend workshops on how to make the most out of local produce. This will include workshops on preserving the harvest, backyard chickens, edible landscaping and others. Get Ready, Get Local will be held on Saturday, April 18 at the Victoria Conference Centre. More information on the event can be found at getreadygetlocal. com.

VICTORIA Heritage Building Continues Transformation Construction conti nues to renovate and expand the heritage Janion building, a former hotel dating to 1891 that sat unattended for 35 years at Store Street and Pandora Avenue. V a n c o u v e r- b a s e d R e l i ance Properties is converting the bu i ld i ng la rgely i nto m i c ro-c o n d o s , s t a r t i n g a t $110,000. Currently, 117 of the 122 units have been sold. While Reliance is not publishing their costs for the project, they have been touted to be around $15 million. Reliance bought the Ja n ion for $2.49 m i l l ion 2012. It a lso bought Transport Canada land directly behind the building, creating a development site 59 feet by 302 feet long. Two-thirds of the units will be added to the rear side and north of the existing building at 16121614 Store Street. The ground floor of the heritage building is designed to be converted into commercial space. Most of the micro-units will be 250 to 350 square feet, but some condos will be up to 800 square feet, and amenities will include social rooms with kitchen facilities, kayak storage, a rooftop deck, workshop and gym.


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Greater Victoria Harbor Authority Hires new Chief Executive Tourism executive Ian Robertson has been hired as the new chief executive of the Greater Victoria Harbor Authority. Robertson will start his position on April 27. He is currently CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of BC, a position he has held since late 2013. Robertson’s past includes a ru n for a cou nci l seat i n the Va ncouver mu n icipa l election, finishing 11th in a race for 10 councilor seats. Robertson wa s prev iou sly elected a s a commissioner on the Vancouver Parks Board, serving from 2005 to 2011. He was chairman of the board and assisted with leading the recovery in Stanley Park after thousands of trees fell during strong windstorms. Robertson is also the former director of sales for the Rocky Mountaineer tourist train. A recruitment firm was used to search for a replacement for former CEO Curtis Grad, who left his position last year to head a new First Nations economic development company. While salary details are not being released, Robertson has been hired as a permanent employee and is not on a set-term

contract. According to the Port Authority, Robertson is willing to make a commitment of up to eight to 10 years. T h e h a rb or a ut hor it y i s a non-profit organization, with a n a n nua l operati ng budget of $9 m i l l ion. It i s resp onsible for some of the city’s key waterfront properties, includi ng Fisherma n’s W ha rf, the Causeway, Ogden Point, Ship Point, Wharf Street floats and the Johnson street marina. The authority also leases the CPR Steamship Terminal.

VICTORIA Quadra Street Condominiums on its way to Completion A 92-unit condo project on Quadra Street near Inverness Road called The Shire Condominiums was originally supp osed to b e completed t h i s summer. The site rests on the site of the old Holt house. Construction of five-storey Building A and six-storey Building B, nearing Mayfair Shopping Centre is set to begin by mid-March. Developers involved in the project include Jim McLaren, Dave Vidalin and Len Wansbourgh. According to a marketing agent on the project, the developers have just received their foundation report. Building C, akin to Building A is a five-storey structure that is expected to get underway three months later. One of the reasons for delay in construction was a redesign of the project to test prospective buyers’ interest in two-bedro o m o r t h re e-b e d ro o m o r two-bedroom plus den units. It turned out there was little interest due to a price point of about $500,000, necessitati ng a not her redesig n of t he buildings. Thus far, the first building’s 25 units have been sold, and eight of 34 have sold in the second building.

VICTORIA Victoria a Possible Contender to Host Commonwealth Games Thus far in the bidding process for hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games - Durban, South Africa is the only contender. Victoria has since been asked to enter the competition as an alternative host. Victoria last hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1994 and has since been asked by David Black to consider throwing its hat in the ring as an alternative host. Dav id Black made the suggestion to city council should if by some act of fate,


APRIL 2015

Durban were to end up unable or unwilling to proceed. In a letter sent to a number of Canada wide political leaders a s wel l a s loca l Cou nci l members, Black outlined three principal reasons to host the Games. He states the Games would have a beneficial effect on Victoria and BC’s tourism industry, that they would have a wonderful effect on morale and finally to spirit the next generation to pa r ticipate i n competitive sports. Victoria councilors have since asked for more information on costs and logistics before deciding their interest in supporting the bid. Council has asked staff to report back on financial implications. Mayor Lisa Helps w i l l a lso c o n s u lt w i t h c o u n te r p a r t s i n n e i g h b or i n g m u n ic ip a lities to check on the state of infrastructure and explore the possibility of putting in a formal expression of interest.

VICTORIA Fishing License Revenues to Directly Benefit Anglers 100 percent of revenue generated from fishing licenses will directly benefit anglers effective April 1, 2015, under an agreement announced between the Prov i nce a nd the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. Und er t he a g re ement, t he total amount to be transferred to the society for 2015-16 will be neig hbori ng $10 m i l l ion, marking an increase of about $3 million annually over what the society currently receives. Previously the society’s activities were focused primarily on stocking smaller lakes. With additional funding, the society will be able to work with provincial biologists to improve angling opportunities in small lakes, large lakes and rivers. T h i s i n c l u d e s a n g l e r a ccess to improvements, stock assessment top help i n form ma nagement decisions, a nd resources to enhance capacity for compliance monitoring and enforcement on both stocked and wild water-bodies. In 2003, the Province signed a 30-yea r contract w ith the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC to be a non-profit delivery partner with a mandate to conserve and enhance freshwater fishing opportunities in BC. The agreement is now amended to ref lect the additional revenue that will be directed to the society.

VICTORIA BC welcomes launch of Canada’s renminbi hub

The Province of British Columbia welcomes the official lau nch of Ca nada’s offshore re n m i n b i c e n t re , M i n i s te r of F i n a nc e M ichael de Jong announced. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China h a s been designated the official clearing bank for Canada’s offshore ren m i n bi ( R M B). T h e ba n k will clear and settle renminbi transactions between Canada and China directly in China’s payments system. The hub will support the increased use of R MB in trade, commerce and investment between Canada and China. For example, for BC firms doing business in China, using RMB can be more efficient and lead to improved trade terms that cou ld make BC businesses more competitive and able to expand market share. In June 2015, AdvantageBC a nd t he P rov i nce of Br it i sh C ol u m b i a w i l l c o-h o s t t h e Pacific Finance Summit: Canada’s RMB Advantage, to look at this major opportunity and outline how Canada’s financial sector a nd busi ness leaders can benefit from it. In Budget 2015, the Province com m itted modest suppor t to ensure that BC businesses a re equ ipped to u ndersta nd a n d u s e t h e re n m i n b i h u b. This includes working with the business community to promote the hub and its benefits, and continuing collaboration with industry and government partners. In November 2014, the federal government announced that Canada and China agreed on measures to establish Canada as a ren m i nbi hub for North A mer ic a . B r it i sh Colu m bi a has been col laborati ng w ith the Govern ment of Onta rio, AdvantageBC, the Toronto Financial Services Alliance and the financial services industry to promote the creation of a Ca n ad i a n ren m i nbi t rad i ng hub since early 2014. Creation of the hub recogn i zes t he i nter n at ion a l i mportance of the R M B and its increasing use in international trade. Designation of Canada as an R MB trading hub plays to BC’s strength as the Canad ia n prov i nce that has the most trade with China. In 2013, BC was the first forei g n gover n ment to i ss u e a bond in the renminbi market. In October 2014, B.C. issued a second bond – th is ti me a two-year bond – into the renminbi market, raising R MB 3 billion (approximately C$559 million).

VICTORIA Spring sales start early in the Victoria BC real estate market

T h e Victor ia Rea l E state Board released its report on real estate activity in the Victoria area for February 2015. 5 42 prop er t ie s sold i n t he Victor i a reg ion t h i s Febr ua ry, a 31.6 per cent i ncrease compared to the 412 properties sold i n the sa me month last year and a 54.4 per cent increase compared to the 351 properties sold last month in January. “The trees bloomed early in Victoria, and so did local real estate. Febr ua ry was a busy m o nt h w it h n u m b e rs c lo ser to wh at we wou ld ex pect to see in the spring season.” V i c to r i a R e a l E s t a te B o a rd P resident Guy Crozier says.

“285 single family homes sold over the course of the month. We ’ v e n o t s e e n t h a t m a n y si n g le fa m i ly home s sel l i n a Februa ry si nce 2008 when we tracked 295 transactions. T ho u g h b uyers a re a l re a dy i n spri ng pu rchase mode, t he a mou nt of ava i lable i nventor y may not be qu ite up to the pace. We conti nue to t ra c k t h e t re n d of h i g her year-over-year sales, and lower yea r-over-yea r active listings that we started to see in mid-2013.” T here were 3,480 active listings for sale on the Mult iple L i s t i n g Ser v ic e at t he end of February, 7.7 per cent fewer t h a n t he 3,7 70 act ive

3 listings in February 2014. The Multiple Listing Service Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core this time last yea r was $549,700. T he bench ma rk va lue for the s a m e h o m e t h i s m o nt h h a s increased by 1.33 per cent to $557,000. “ T h e B o a rd c e r t a i n ly a nticipated an increase in sales for spr i ng, but t he i ncrease we’ve seen exceeded my expectations,” President Crozier adds. “T he ea rly spri ng combined with available low interest rates will likely create more demand for Victoria real estate as the rest of Canada digs out from winter.”



APRIL 2015

ENTREPRENEURS WIN BY GOING LOCAL Owners Alix and Chris Harvey are retired former educators, who after years of visioning, planning and researching,



he reality for most consu mers tod ay is t h at many of their day to day purchases come from somewhere quite far off. It’s tough for c on s u m ers to p u rc h a s e locally if there are limited apparent options for purchasing products made here in BC. On Vancouver Island, we import over 90 percent of ou r food a nd a la rge majority of consumer goods come from oversees. However, the Vancouver Island Green Business Certification has been able to work with some very successful examples of businesses putting “local” to the forefront. One example of a restaurant t h at h a s p ut s u s t a i n abi l it y a nd sou rci n g lo c a l ly to t he

went ahead and opened the businesses they’d dreamed of in 2013.

forefront is Fishhook (805 Fort Street). Kunal Ghose (founded Red Fish Blue Fish) has teamed u p w i t h H o o k F i n e Fo o d s entrepreneur Steve Kerr and opened t he loca l ly i n spi red Fish hook that serves both sit down and take away customers. You’ll find Fishhook tartines (amazing open faced French bag uette sa ndw iches), a w ide select ion of sa lads, soups and daily-produced pickles, all featuring a variety of sustainable, locally sourced and farm fresh ingredients. M a i nt a i n i n g O c e a n W i se, local and organic standards, Fish hook a lso of fers d a i r yf ree, wheat-f ree a nd mayofree alternatives, giving locals numerous healthy food options for lunch and dinner. Fishhook relies on locally sourced products from Saanich Organics, Irene’s Ba kery, a nd K id Sister ice crea m. T h is a l l must be work i ng because most of the time you’ll find a steady flow locals and office dwellers enjoying a scrumptious meal. You can usually get in and out in half an hour (even faster if you take it to-go) and all to-go products are 100 percent compostable. Fishhook is a member of the Food Eco District and is Vancouver Island Green

Business Certified (VIGBC) at the Gold level. I n t he re t a i l se c tor, t here are a lot of challenges sourci ng a nd sel l i ng loca l goods. However, on Haultain Street i n Victoria you ca n fi nd the Local General Store, masters of sourcing and selling local pro ducts. O w ners A l i x a nd Chris Harvey are retired former educators, who after years of v i s ion i n g, pl a n n i n g a nd researching, went ahead and opened the businesses they’d dreamed of in 2013. The result is a treat for anyone who walks by or i n the door. T he f ront of the store is g raced w ith a great selection of produce that is selected from loca l fa rms and producers. In fact, if you are there at the right time you m i g ht c atc h a lo c a l f a r m e r dropping fresh products off. Inside the store, you can grab a fresh coffee and snack or just like the general stores of days gone b y, t he L o c a l G enera l Store is packed w it h a huge va r iet y of item s i nclud i n g: g ro cer ies, g i f ts, hou sehold goods, toys, body products, beauty ca re, clea n i ng products and it’s all situated in the quaint 100+ year old Haultain Corners. Despite the old buildi ng L oca l G enera l Store a re

certified at the highest levelGreen by VIGBC. According to A lix, “We are not of a “100-Mile” philosophy in the purest sense. We now l ive i n a globa l ly i nterrelated environment, and only focusi ng on one’s ow n loca l wel l-b ei n g c ont ra d ic t s t he spirit of interconnectedness that has emerged over this past centu ry. “Loca l” for us a lso means respecting and wishing the best for local communities all over the world. To that end, our merchandise does include items from other parts of the world. O u r d i st r ibutors for these products have developed relationships with the farmers and producers in their sourced countries, and have assured that the wages a nd work i ng conditions are to the benefit of those communities.” Local General Store and Fishhook are both certified by the Vancouver Island Green Business Certification (VIGBC). You can find many more green certified businesses at Craig Sorochan is the Program Manager of the Vancouver Island Green Business Certification Program. He can be reached at


APRIL 2015

Business Development representative Bryan Wood, with coowners Paul Taylor and Ray Cao at their tradeshow booth

Coast Dynamics Group employees at head office.


training” as the driver behind his success. His professional career has been entirely in the Greater Victoria area, and he’s worked for major companies like Robotic Systems International, as a senior industrial designer in subsea work and industrial automation. He also spent time at ASA Automation Systems as a senior mechanical designer. Following nearly eight years as an independent contractor, he

was presented with the opportunity to develop the product that became SHOXS. Outside of the strong internal team, SHOXS external partners have also played a large role in their success. Due to the volatility of the military market, partnerships with suppliers, logistics companies and financial institutions have contributed heavily to the longevity of the company. “There aren’t many companies doing what we do. Effectively managing our supply chain, and


having businesses work with us on projects with unique constraints has helped us be successful,” notes Cao. 9 5 % o f S H OX S ’ b u s i n e s s comes from the military, search and rescue and law enforcement sectors, which utilize various cu stom i z ed version s of t he seating products. The company now serves 38 different territories and their respective agencies throughout the world, through supplying their products to boat manufacturers. They do not sell direct to the

agencies. Current organizations using their products include the United States Navy, Customs and Border Protection and Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, Canadian Special Forces, the Swedish Navy and Armada de Mexico. SHOXS is looking to grow their business in new areas through a product they’ve developed w it h Pola ris t h at w i l l h ave land vehicle applications. The significance of this is that the order volumes for land-based products are much higher than

marine orders. Other targets for the company include recreational vehicles, ships, passenger vessels, tugboats and buses. SHOX S a l so attended t h i s year’s Dubai International Boat Show to showcase its SHOXS 3000 product to prospective buyers. “Cl ients trust that SHOXS products will do exactly what we say they will, the products perform, and that’s what keeps our customers coming back,” says Taylor.

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APRIL 2015

TITAN OF THE FERRY SYSTEM The major routes are of significant importance to BC Ferries as they generate 65 per cent of all revenue for the ferry





C Ferries service is an essential part of many communities on Vancouver Island as well as along the coast of BC. It is vital not only to the residents’ quality of life but it also plays a role in the economic lifeblood of our region. However, of the 32 routes that service these communities, only four are categorized as major routes. But what exactly are the “major” routes and why are they so significant to both BC Ferries and Vancouver Island? The major routes include three routes from Metro Vancouver to Mid-and-South Vancouver Island as well as one route from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. The major routes are of significant importance to BC Ferries as they generate 65 per cent of all revenue for the ferry corporation. The four major routes combined also

generate 63 per cent of the total traffic. Further, 96 per cent of major route fares come directly from customers not government subsidies. The continued success of the major routes, underpin successful continued service to all other coastal routes. As major revenue generators, these routes support the rest of the system. The ability to cross subsidize (profits from one route subsidize losses on other routes) minor routes from the profitable major routes is essential. Some routes identified, like the northern routes, are unlikely to ever generate profits. However, we know that we need to continue service to these key areas of the province for the greater good of the entire province. That is why cross subsidization between major and minor routes is crucial to BC Ferries and those passengers who cannot afford exorbitant fares. BC Ferries is the economic gateway to Vancouver Island, moving people and transporting goods daily. Connecting Greater Victoria to the mainland of BC has never been as important from an economic perspective as it is today. As recently noted in the media, BC Ferries connects the two largest adjacent population zones west of Toronto. One would argue that this connection is not only of local and provincial

APRIL CHAMBER EVENTS • Wednesday, April 8 Industry Tour: BMW/MINI Victoria 8:00 – 9:00 am Location: BMW/MINI Victoria • Thursday, April 9 Prodigy Group April Mingle 5:00 – 7:00 pm Hosted by: Cascadia Liquor - Uptown • Thursday, April 16 April Business Mixer 5:00 – 7:00 pm Hosted by: Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites • Wednesday, April 22 Business Leaders Luncheon: significance but also national. As long as minor routes continue to be supported on the shoulders of major routes, we need to remember just how important those strong major routes are to the entire system. The continued success of the major routes is critical to the success of the entire system, without them the whole system will fall. That

Mike Corrigan, CEO of BC Ferries 11:30 – 1:00 pm Location: The Union Club of British Columbia • Friday, April 24 Business Leaders Luncheon: Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade 11:45 – 1:30 pm Location: Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina • Tuesday, April 28 April Member Orientation Appy Hour 4:30 – 6:30 pm Hosted by: St. Michaels University School is why it is imperative to support major routes in order to ensure a long-term sustainable coastal ferry system for everyone. Bruce Carter is the CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at bcarter@ or (250) 383-7191

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APRIL 2015

RELEVANT OR REDUNDANT? In my short time thus far with the WestShore Chamber, one role I’ve seen us playing on a daily basis is bringing people



JULIE LAWLOR T he other day, I attended a meeting where the WestShore Chamber of Commerce was described as “redundant.” I thought this was an interesting perspective, and new to this kind of organization myself, it got me thinking. There are any number of options out there for business networking, business advice and economic development and diversification, so what is the role of a present-day Chamber of Commerce? In my short time thus far with the WestShore Chamber, one role I’ve seen us playing on a daily basis is bringing people together. At our mixers and coffee mornings, people can of course come together and network in person. The feedback I get is that this is valued and useful for a number of our members – but not everyone attends these events. Another kind of support we provide is fielding queries from proprietors of businesses who are looking for a very specific item of support or advice. Given our wide-ranging network and knowledge, we can either find the answer or point them in the right direction. We are non-partisan and non-profit, which means that any money we make goes right back into the organization to further support our businesses and our community in general. My impression too is that Chambers also have gravitas because of how long we’ve been around – most people will have heard the term “Chamber of Commerce” even if they don’t know exactly what we do. The WestShore Chamber has been around (under a variety of names) since 1956, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has been active since 1925. The world has changed a lot since then, and it is of course the case that if organizations don’t change to meet it, they cease to exist. Another thing we find our members asking for is business advice over and above what they can achieve themselves through networking. This is never “one size fits all” as the advice requested is as individual as the business itself and the people who run it. Conversations I’ve recently been party to have included more than one query about micro-loans, and input into a member to member offer whose aim is to significantly increase business growth. It

is because we know that businesses are looking for support and advice that we are putting together a mentorship program to more formally connect those who have knowledge with those who seek it. It also gives us the chance to offer an avenue of professional development for our experienced business leaders. Working with other business people is one option, but so is participating in something like the Junior Achievement program (JA). JA is a non-profit organization that recruits volunteers from the business community to go into classrooms and deliver programs on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy; training our future business leaders starts here. Chambers of Commerce are member-based organizations. If we continue to provide relevant and useful support to our businesses and wider community, we will year on year gain more members than we lose and will continue to play an important role. If we don’t, we will become redundant. But in the vibrancy that is the West Shore in 2015, the WestShore Chamber of Commerce is anything but. Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at 250-478-1130 or craig@westshore.

Hilltop Professional Building is all in the family Duncan dentist builds commercial/residential building


UNCAN –Real estate runs in the Meiner family, so it’s not surprising that dentist Dr. Eric Meiner has added development to his resume by constructing Duncan’s newest commercial/residential project, the Hilltop Professional Building at 371 Brae Road. While Eric is building great smiles and healthy teeth, his mom and brother are involved in the world of real estate. Debbie Meiner, one of the Cowichan Valley’s most successful realtors and head of The Meiner Team at Re/MAX Duncan-Mill Bay that includes her other son, Darren Meiner, is selling the units in Hilltop, and provided input to Dr. Meiner during the construction phase. When asked why he decided to venture into developing Dr. Meiner replied: “Real estate and development has always been in the family with my mom’s business. I have been interested in development for some time so when my lease was coming up and it was time for my dental practice to move and expand, it was natural to develop a new space in a great location that would meet our long-term needs.” Having the right people for the right job is what made all the difference for Dr. Meiner, whose vision for building was to createa functional and enjoyable workspace while making people feel comfortable even during potentially uncomfortable situations. “We have commercial space on the first floor, our clinic and a denturist office on the second floor, and residential units on the third floor,” he says, adding the building features plenty of big windows and is close to downtown Duncan. The building is modern, but not over the top, he notes. Dr. Meiner and his knowledgeable staff offer a variety of dental services as well as a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The new building is an extension of his goal to provide a calming presence and modern more convenient technologies that are incorporated throughout the office. Hilltop was built by Elmworth Construction of Duncan and the dental office was built by Coastal Dynamics Construction, and Eric described both as having been a pleasure to work with. “I would highly recommend both and would use these companies again in future projects,” he says, adding Tina Moizer Designs also helped the project run smoothly. The vision came after the purchase of the lot. With a limited amount of bare land available in the city of Duncan, Eric jumped at the lot when it came up for

Dr. Eric Meiner in front of Hilltop Professional Building. sale. It then took the better part of two and a half years for the project to break ground. A lot of thought went into the building before construction and it has been well received. Extra parking off the street, heat pumps for heating and cooling, extra concrete between the floors for sound proofing, great location for city access a nd over-sized windows for great sun exposure are just some of the features. Hilltop is a great addition to the city and a compliment to the buildings around it. Debbie Meiner has consistently been a top female realtor, won many local and national awards and is a proud member of the Re/ Max Hall of Fame, and the latter designation distinguishes her as an elite in the entire real estate industry. She and her husband, a retired BC Hydro employee, had moved 17 times before settling in the Cowichan Valley, so she understands the stresses and challenges of buying and selling real estate. Debbie, who has been in the real estate industry for close to 30 years, was joined by her son Darren 10 years ago, as he decided to exchange his degree in Biochemistry for a chance to settle in the valley and specialize in working for buyers. “You can’t do a job well that you don’t love, and when you enjoying getting up and going to work it makes it easy,”Debbie commented. Other than selling the property, Debbie helped with general input and suggestions. “Eric hired the right people, Elmworth  Construction and Coastal Dynamics as well as Tina Moizer for design, so with the right people (and many others) the project went very smoothly,” she says. According to Debbie, t h e re s p on s e h a s b e en

overwhelming. The three top f loor residential suites were taken before the building was completed. The second floor is occupied and the ground floor com mercia l a rea has several parties interested, and they are hopeful it will be leased out shortly.  D r. M ei ner a l so pra c t ic e s dentistry part time in Ladysmith, although Duncan is home. “I grew up here and graduated high school here. We lived around the province growing up and this place just fits. My wife is from the Comox Valley so anywhere on the Island was an easy sell. I have never been one for the big city,” says Dr. Meiner. For Dr. Meiner, dentistry has allowed him to wear multiple hats throughout the day. He is health care provider, engineer, business owner, manager, etc. He enjoys that fact that it is a job that is always changing, evolving and is never boring. His greatest inspiration comes from his family, who have been a large influence in his life and continue to be. “We are all very close. My kids of course are part of that inspiration; my son is always wanting to build things and my daughter is quite the people person,” says Dr. Meiner. “With dentistry you are constantly learning and inspired by different people, but in particular Dr. Guild and Dr. Kirk were important influences early on in my dental career.” His best business advice? “Stay focused on your goals, be efficient with you time, and work hard. At times when you have multiple things going on it is hard not to get lost in the chaos,” he notes. “Being calm and focused really helps you get through the tricky situations.” Hilltop Professional Building is at 371 Brae Road in Duncan.


APRIL 2015

IT’S ALL ABOUT BUILDING COMMUNITY “We’re building this The Community Farm Store in Duncan is growing


UNCAN - The Community Farm Store in Duncan has one very simply mission: to save the planet. And it’s doing so, one meal at a time and one purchase at a time. “We’re here to provide organic, safe, real food to the community,” said store owner Nicolette Genier. “We have a pretty strong belief system. We see ourselves not as merchants but as educators. We’re building this business through a brand new economic equation that does not measure success by the money in the bank, but rather by the jobs it creates and the work it does in the community.” She added that she and the staff are passionate about what they do. “We are a very different business. Even though I’m an owner, it’s not being run to create a profit for any one person – it’s not for self gain. It’s about creating jobs and creating enlightenment and consciousness in our customers. The Community Farm Store had its beginning in 1993 in Glenora when biodynamic farmers Octavia and Christoff Altemueller opened a small organic grocery store offering fresh baked goods, homemade soup, locally grown produce, eggs, ch icken a nd wholefood groceries. Ownership of the store changed in 1999 when it was bought by Sue Wells and Susan Minette, who had been working at the store as the baker since 1997. In 2003 it moved to the restored Duncan Garage building in downtown Duncan. There it expanded to include an organic coffee bar and café. In the summer of 2004, Genier, a former employee, took over management of the grocery store, purchasing it some months later. After another expansion in 2006, the store finally had to move to much larger premises in its current location, growing from 2,000 to 10,000 square feet. Today the café and store

business through a brand new economic equation that does not measure success by the money in the bank, but rather by the jobs it creates and the work it does in the community.” NICOLETTE GENIER OWNER, THE COMMUNITY FARM STORE

are separately owned but remain sister enterprises. “We grew slowly, surely and sustainably,” Genier said. “We grew by meeting the needs of each customer that came through our door and that’s still our premise today. We’re also rather fond of saying, build it and they will come.’” She added that she and Minette are proud of what the store and the café have done. Not only are they thriving and attracting new customers every day, they are also changing the demographics of the community. “When an organic food store comes to a city centre, big or small, people who like organic foods start to move close by or they come to shop in town,” Genier said. “Part of our mission is changing the demographics of the communities we operate in so our next plan, after this nex t ex pa nsion of ou r ma i n store, is to open little satellite neighbourhood stores whose mission is entirely to be self-sustaining organisms who measure their success by the quality of the neighbourhood they are building.” A nd ye s, T he Com mu n it y Farm Store is expanding again. Demand for its product keeps growing. So does its contribution to the community. Today, the store employs almost 50 people and that number also continues to grow. Genier said that they

The Community Farm Store in Duncan employs almost 50 people CREDIT:CARA BJORNSON

at the store is GMO free and is ethically produced. She said that The Community Farm Store will not compromise its principles or sell out in any way to big business. The store works with 20 – 30 local organic farmers who it meets with annually. “A healthy community comes first,” Genier said, adding that she is looking forward to opening small satellite stores and working with people who are also passionate about making a difference in their communities.

“It h a s to b e a g ra ss roots t h i ng,” she sa id . “ We hop e to c h a n ge n e i g h b o u rh o o d s through these small organic food stores.” She added that thei r new store offers ma ny w a y s to b u i l d c o m m u n i t y. It o p e n s u p it’s m e z z a n i n e to community groups for all sorts of events ranging from drum circles to artisan markets and workshops. Shoppers are often treated to live music by local musicians during the d ay. A teaching kitchen and a co-operatively run healing centre is also taking shape. The Community Farm Store’s membership program recently saw its 5,000th member sign up, which Genier points out is pretty big in a small community like Duncan. “It’s really exciting. We want to be a model for businesses to do things in a new way. If you remove the need to make a lot of profits for investors and self gain, there are so many things that we can do that really will change the world.” The Community Farm Store is at 5380 Trans Canada Highway in Duncan.

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Store manager Tami Popp and owner Nicolette Genier are intent on building community CREDIT:CARA BJORNSON

believe that real food equals real people. The store is adamant about supporting local organic farmers, about selling food from farms, not factories. She said that she doesn’t really believe that people can own land – people are stewards of the land. The same is true of her business: she is a steward of it, much more than being an owner. People who work there are there because they believe in the mission of the store. Genier said that everything sold CONGRATULATIONS COMMUNITY FARM STORE


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In its new location The Community Farm Store has grown to 10,000 sq. ft. Credit:Cara Bjornson

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APRIL 2015

VIU MBA students shine The VIU team placed in the top 10 in annual MBA games BY GOODY NIOSI


A NA I MO - A tea m of 30 Master of Business Administration (MBA) students from Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo did the institution and the community proud this past summer. For the first time VIU sent a full team to the annual MBA games, held this year in Hamilton Ontario. There they competed with 780 students from across Canada in a number of disciplines including their school, sport and spirit skills. They were also judged on their ability to create a community of partners, inspire change and work together to leave a positive impact on individuals, businesses and communities across Canada. The sporting events included dodgeball, volleyball, basketball and water polo. The spirit section included engaging the community and raising funds for this year’s charity, Ronald McDonald House. They also competed in building a cardboard castle for children. The third part was a rigorous case study competition where they were given three hours to analyze an original case study and vie with the other schools

to analyze, solve the case and present a solution. At the end, the VIU team was rated in the top 10. MBA instructor Paul Kurucz said the experience was eye-opening for the students. “They got so excited about the potential they have for the future and they also saw the benchmarks that they need to work towards. They were pleased to see what the best of the best look like and now they have something to work towards.” The strategy presentation took place in Hamilton City Hall to the councilors, business people and economic development professionals. Despite the pressure, they did extremely well. “It made them aware of the impact and scope of what they have to do in order to be very successful,” Kurucz said. “I’m incredibly proud and humbled by their effort, dedication, commitment and by their success. VIU began offering its MBA program in 2001 as an MBA / MSclB, a dual degree program in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire, England. It is an intensive 14-month fulltime program that includes a four month internship and an Applied Business Project. Kurucz noted that the program is now full each year, which means that students have to be highly qualified to enter it, which

“It made them aware of the impact and scope of what they have to do in order to be very successful. I’m incredibly proud and humbled by their effort, dedication, commitment and by their success.”

VIU sent a full team to the MBA games this year


also means that the business community in the mid-island area has the opportunity to work with highly qualified interns. Most students are international, coming from China, Nigeria, I nd ia, Saud i A rabia, Russia and other countries around the world. Local students also attend. They come from fields such as finance, marketing and human resources. When the students graduate they are able to handle business projects, professional tasks and managerial roles.

“They set a professional benchmark that shows that they’ve got the academic rigor, the discipline, the critical thinking skills and the acumen move a business forward in its strategy and development,” Kurucz said. MBA program director Brock Dykeman said that the partnership with the business community is invaluable in the success of the program. “Internships are a big part of it but we’ve also developed relationships with employers here in Nanaimo and employers elsewhere. There have been some companies and non-profits that have hosted a lot of interns and they give the interns a good experience. Some of them are good

at giving them projects they can sink their teeth into and demonstrate some of what they have learned.” Kurucz noted that the business community also assisted with sending the team, headed by team captain Omar Karim, to the MBA games. “These students are incredibly eager to contribute to the Nanaimo business community in the form of internships,” Kurucz said. “They are anxious to help a company grow and we want to tie them in to the business community. At a very modest cost, businesses can access a student to work on something that will really give it a boost.”

APRIL 2015



COWICHAN CHAMBER NAMES BLACK TIE NOMINEES Approximately 36 percent of the nominations were in the Customer Service category – the original category upon which the Awards were founded 18


years ago.


- Erienne’s Shelby Jackson Stroud – or as she’s more commonly known, Shelby. Shelby and her human Gail Stroud volunteer for the PAWs for Stories reading program at local libraries. PAWs is a St. John Ambulance program. Events Manager Elizabeth Croft notes that not all nominees wish to be included in the list. “The most common reason is modesty. They do what they do because they want to make a contribution, not because they wish to be recognized. So, a few people will not see their nominees on the list.” Now that all the nominations are confirmed, and the Chamber

has collected further information from the nominators, it is time to select the Finalists in each category. Only the Finalists go forward to be eligible to win an Award. The Chamber will convene a Round Table Panel the first week of March to review the nominations and select three Finalists in each category. Each Finalist attends an interview with a panel of two judges. The Finalist interview scores and nomination scores are combined – the Finalist in each category with the highest score wins. The results are audited and sealed until the Black Tie Awards and Auction on April 11, 2015 at

Brentwood College School in Mill Bay, BC. The Black Tie Awards honour excellence and volunteerism and is the premier business recognition award event in the Cowichan Region. Tickets are $89 each, and available now via the Chamber’s website Awards night includes a Silent Auction. Kathy Lachman is the acting Economic Development Manager for Economic Development Cowichan, a division of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. She can be reached at 250-746-7880 ext 248.


h e D u n c a n C ow i c h a n Chamber of Commerce has released the names of the 2015 Black Tie Award nominees. The list of nominees can be viewed at www.blacktieawards. com. They received 135 nominations across eight categories. As per the Black Tie tradition nominations were open to the public, and both Chamber members and non-members were eligible. Approximately 36 percent of the nominations were in the Customer Service category – the original category upon which the Awards were founded 18 years ago.

We think it’s important to spend time in the field.

There are some “firsts” among the 2015 nominees. Two youth have been nominated: Jamie Bell was nominated in the Volunteer category for her work at the Cowichan Intercultural Society with the Tuesday Children’s Reading Camp and Zach Borkovic was nominated in the Customer Service category for his work at the Duncan Farmers Market. They have their first canine nominee

SAANICH COMMUNTY SHOWS PROGRESS Development activity in both Sidney and Central Saanich is stronger than it has been for several years



s the end of my term as President of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce draws near it’s appropriate to reflect on that which has transpired in the past year. After more than five years promoting the concept of workforce housing – before it was popular – one project has been built and another is underway in North Saanich. Further developments are on hold while the new North Saanich Council comes to grip with the challenges of developing a long term policy on higher density housing but we continue to be encouraged by the thorough discussion of this most important issue. Development activity in

Lending a hand for the environment. both Sidney and Central Saanich is stronger than it has been for several years and we’re excited to see the emergence of small and micro-units as another way to make housing affordable. And Visitor Services is on the m a rch. Morgan Shaw – ou r Visitor Services Manager - has launched an exciting new ‘outreach’ program that is taking ‘Visitor Services to the Visitors’ at major events like the Family Day Weekend celebrations. The Sidney Visitors Centre is seeing increased traffic that will grow even more as the new way-finding signage and ticket booth at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal

Recently, Canon employees across Canada participated in our Branch Out program, demonstrating our guiding principle of Kyosei - living and working together for the common good. Our employees generously donated more than 1,200 volunteer hours. We toiled in the soil removing 50 cubic metres of invasive plant species and planting 6,000 native trees and shrubs. But we didn’t stop there. We also planted another 14,000 trees as part of our partnership with Evergreen, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to urban greening. With Evergreen’s support, Canon helped green cities from St. John’s to Victoria. It was a great team effort that will provide oxygen for tens of thousands of Canadians and remove harmful carbon dioxide from the environment. The Branch Out program — and just one of the ways the environment is in the picture at Canon.

SEE SAANICH COMMUNTY  |  PAGE 14 00000 CANON Branch Business Examiner ad.indd 1

2015-03-23 3:53 PM


APRIL 2015

DISTINCTIVE CRAFT BEER A BIG HIT IN VICTORIA “We’re trying to create Category 12 Brewing is based in science and a love of beer


AANICHTON - Category 12 Brewing is one of the newest craft breweries to open on Vancouver Island – and it’s already barely keeping up with demand. The husband and wife team of Michael and Karen Kuzyk opened the doors to their new venture in Saanichton just before Christmas 2014 – and sold out of 6,000 litres of beer within days. Since then, they have been deluged with positive reviews from their many fans. “We’re really passionate about craft beer,” Michael said. “We’re trying to create really bold and tasty beer that provides a flavour experience that’s not middle of the road.” For those curious about the name, it comes from Michael’s scient i f ic backg rou nd. T he brewmaster has a PhD in microbiology and biochemistry. He a nd K a ren were i nspi red by names like District 9 and Area 51 and landed on Category 12. What clinched it was that abbreviated, the name is C12, which is Carbon 12 on the periodic table.

really bold and tasty beer that provides a flavour experience that’s not middle of the road.” MICHAEL KUZYK CO-OWNER, CATEGORY 12 BREWING

Jeff Kendrew (l) and Michael Kuzyk (r) are proud of Category 12’s taproom

“A nd that has been such a strong part of my research career that it just seemed like a natural fit,” Michael said.

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Starting their own brewery wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. The couple started thinking about the idea in 2010 and spent two years working on a business plan. But even before that, Michael had been home brewing for 20 years, starting as a grad student. When he began working at a software company in 2010 and not getting into the lab, he made his home brewing setup his laboratory. “My home brewing became the experimental element for me,” he said. “I just really got into that commercial process and the whole grain aspect of brewing and found it enthralling. I absolutely loved doing it.” At the same time, he and Karen travelled up and down the West Coast getting a first hand look at the craft industry in Washington, Oregon and California. When they started doing their market research in 2012, they were aware of the room for growth in B.C. “You could see the wave coming toward BC,” Michael said, adding that two months later the liquor control licensing branch allowed breweries to have tasting rooms where they could sell their products. That was good news. When Category 12 Brewing opened it was met with open arms, so much so that it had to shut down after Christmas until mid-January to get its stocks back up. “We’re very fortunate that we

Michael Kuzyk says that Category 12 is creating bold and tasty beer CREDIT: SPECIFIC MECHANICAL SYSTEMS LTD.

are nestled among an extremely appreciative audience for craft beers,” Karen said. “We’re getting positive reviews for beer that we like, and that’s a great feeling.” And that means making two distinctly different styles of beer. Karen is a fan of Belgian beer. “T he world of Belgian beer opened my eyes to what’s out there,” she said. “I’m extremely passionate about something I can truly believe in.” Michael, on the other hand, likes the true West Coast hoppy ales, so Category 12 makes that as well. The brewery’s Belgian is called Unsanctioned Saison while its West Coast ale is Critical Point Pale Ale. Those are Category 12’s year-rounders, though they like to have at least four beers on tap at the brewery. For instance, they launched a Black IPA and plan to continue offering something different throughout the year, including Transmutation, a Belgian Strong Specialty Ale being released soon, and a couple of new, weather-appropriate beers in late spring. “We are making things that we are passionate about,” Karen said. “We’re proud of what we make.” Michael added that the brewery’s beers are so unique and tasty that people in Vancouver have been asking for the product and Category 12 recently

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shipped its first batch to the Lower Mainland. “We built for expansion,” Michael said. “We like the concept of staying true to our ideals so there won’t be any unfettered growth. We want to get to a comfortable size and geographical expansion is one way to achieve that goal.” Craft beer aficionados will definitely help move that growth along. Michael noted that craft beer drinkers are always eager to try new beers and the quality of the Category 12 product is very high. Michael’s science background ensures quality control and batch to batch consistency. “It’s all meticulously thought through,” he said. “And I think that comes through in the reviews that we’re getting. And because they are more adventurous beers, they attract people who want to try what they have not had before.” Category 12 also has the only tap room on site in the Victoria area. On Saturdays, food trucks on site also add to the experience. And already, the brewery is distributing its product farther up-island. Michael and Karen have good reason for saying, “The future is bright.” Category 12 Brewing is at Unit C 2200 Keating Cross Road in Saanichton.

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APRIL 2015

BEAUTY, COMFORT AND SECURITY FROM WIZARD SCREENS & MORE “We never convince people that they need our

Rapidly growing company is known for high quality retractable screens

product. We’re learning about what people need


ICTORIA - The name says it all: Wizard Screens & More in Victoria is an outdoor living solutions store that is enjoying unprecedented success. Why? Because it delivers on its promise of providing a high quality product that makes outdoor (and indoor) living far more enjoyable. Wizard Screens & More is best known for its RetractaView retractable screens. Owner Raymond Mew noted that it is probably the only company in Victoria that makes retractable screens from their components right on site. “In other words,” he said. “We are bringing in the cassettes, the screens and all of the components, and local Victoria employees are custom fabricating them to every application we put them on. Every home will have a slightly different door and height, and the quality, durability and longevity of a retractable screen depends on how they were made in the first place and the quality of the components. We control the process down to the smallest screw.” He added that, quite naturally, Wizard RetractaView screens come with a limited lifetime guarantee. If a handle should break, the homeowner can just walk into the store and pick up

and we’re striving to give them that.” RAYMOND MEW OWNER, WIZARD SCREENS & MORE

a replacement. Mew said that Wizard screens are simply top quality and after sales service is impeccable. Wizard screens have been available in Vancouver for more than 15 years. In 2005, an individual began servicing the Victoria market – that person is now working at Wizard Screens & More, bringing his years of expertise to the company. People who purchase Wizard RetractaView screens do so with a great deal of confidence, Mew said, noting that every screen is checked by the installer. The screens are not preassembled – they are custom every time. “If the screen was properly squared up on the roller tube and properly glued and checked up, it’s going to last,” Mew said. “I don’t know that anyone else in town is going to that kind of trouble.” He added that the main aluminum components are powder coated to match any décor. Douglas fir and cedar finishes are also immensely

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product is the VistaView screen that covers large openings that are being installed in more and more custom built homes. VistaView can cover openings up to 29.5 feet in width and 10 feet in height. The unique braking system also allows homeowners to stop the screen anywhere along its sewn in track. In addition, Wizard VistaView screens are available in regular or a stronger pet mesh. Another important part of the business is the fabrication of standard window screens, and patio sliding door screens, custom made to fit perfectly on windows and patio sliding doors. As well Wizard Screens & More will re-screen broken or torn screens, and carries a wide range of screen parts including clips and springs. Now in its third year, Wizard Screens & More is growing rapidly. It has expanded its space and has gone from a two-man operation to 10 employees. The company is an A+ member of the Better Business Bureau and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Recently the company has begun offering other outdoor solutions to its customers as well as screens. “Our customers wanted to know how they could shade the windows

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popular. Wizard RetractaView screens also offers different mesh options including a stronger pet mesh, a solar mesh and a very small mesh to protect against tiny insects. Simple, retractable screens are just the beginning of what Wizard Screens & More offers. In 2010 it introduced BC’s only security screen systems for doors and windows. These SecuraView screens consist of marine grade interwoven stainless steel mesh on a heavy-duty frame that is layered over doors and windows. A utility knife can’t cut through the screen and an intruder cannot break through it or jimmy it. At the same time the screens provide much needed ventilation. “It means people can open up their doors, let the breeze in and be protected,” Mew said, adding that business people also see the advantage of these screens for their stores, restaurants and offices. To better protect local shops and to complement their SecuraView screen systems, Wizard Screens & More also stocks and installs a broad range of steel security products, including foldable scissor gates to protect storefront doors and windows. Another newer and popular

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they had screened,” Mew said. “Or they have a cedar pergola – how do they shade it? Or how do they keep rain off it so they could barbecue under it? So we’ve ended up with a range of products that answer those requests.” Wizard Screens & More carries awnings from quality Canadian manufactures like Rolltec and Shade FX. Another popular product is their PolyAwn, a simple to install product to protect an outside door entryway from the rain. “We’ve chosen to be as local as we can,” Mew said, noting that he has also joined with Think Local Victoria. Mew’s company is also on the verge of broadening its scope of outdoor products to include standalone outdoor living solutions for homeowners and business owners, particularly restaurants with outdoor patios. Mew said that the future is very exciting. “We really believe in satisfying our customers’ needs. We never convince people that they need our product. We’re learning about what people need and we’re striving to give them that. I think that’s really what we excel at.” Wizard Screens & More has a dealer in Nanaimo and installer in Campbell River and on Salt Spring Island. Wizard Screens & More is at 493B Burnside Road East in Victoria.



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encourages those visitors to notice and spend time on the Peninsula. And possibly most exciting are the plans to re-open the Visitors Centre on the Pat Bay Highway. Long a seasonal satellite facility, Morgan and our Executive Director Denny Warner – with considerable support from our members - have developed a plan to move our Chamber offices to the site. We will have a year round presence and expect to see even more services offered from that location in the future making it a true gateway to the Peninsula and the Island. It’s also been a good year for our events. We’ve just completed another sold out Mayor’s Breakfast, held a very successful series of All Candidates meetings, had great fun at the Spirit of Spring and the best turnout ever for the annual Tour of Industry. And later this year we’ll be holding our first ever Tour of Tourism that will be an excellent showcase for the wonderful tourist attractions on the Peninsula. Yes it has been a great year. Membership is again growing, turnout at our Coffee Mornings and Mixers has been excellent, we’re expanding the benefits of Chamber membership and are more active than ever as the Voice of Business on the Peninsula. Yet as we continue to move from

SAANICH PENINSULA/SOOKE strength to strength it is important to pause and consider from whence that strength springs. Our member support has been heart warming – particularly considering the many challenges of the last few years – and many of our Directors continue to give generously of their time and resources. The Town of Sidney has been a stalwart supporter – recently renewing their $60,000 annual grant to operate the Sidney Visitors Centre. And so many others for whom we offer thanks every day. When I inherited this position over a year ago the future was a little grim and I wondered where we wou ld be twelve months hence. Thankfully some great people stepped up and together we made two very good decisions hiring Morgan Shaw and Denny Warner – two special people who share a vision for our Chamber and who are committed to realizing that vision. Years ago when I was studying Performance Management in Cambridge, Mass. I was reminded of the importance of hiring the best people you can afford, helping them to understand what was expected of them, doing what you could to remove obstacles to their progress - and getting out of their way. I’m glad I got out of their way. Ian Brown is President of Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

APRIL 2015




he Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce welcomes the responsibility that comes with being a high-profile agency in the community. Our partnership with the District of Sooke and other agencies is a reflection of our commitment to ensuring Sooke remains a desirable place to live and work while continuing to evolve. There are great opportunities in Sooke to diversify our workforce and businesses over the next several years and at the same time ensure the community enjoys broad benefits from our efforts. To that end, we have implemented a series of initiatives we believe will help us reach our community development goals. The term “community development” is recognition that economic development activities benefit the whole community and not just a narrow segment of it. Our community development initiatives include: a Newcomers’ Club and

relocation initiative, Town Centre Design Guidelines, a shop local campaign, community events and an adult education programme. These programmes touch on all 5 of the main thrusts of economic development including collaborative partnerships, strengthening the business climate, investing in infrastructure, new/existing business development and workforce development through education. The Sooke Region’s Newcomers’ Club, from a nucleus of 8, now has over 70 members and will exceed 100 by the end of the year. It is clear is that these new residents represent an enormous level of investment in their new community. We’ve estimated that these residents have injected over $16 million into our community in the form of real estate investment, home renovations and local employment. The Town Centre Design Guidelines are a collaborative effort between the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce and the District of Sooke and have resulted in guidelines designed to guide our downtown’s development. The shop local initiative, called “Better Buy Sooke”, includes a recognizable logo and a code of values with the ultimate goal of seeing Sooke’s businesses thrive while providing a broad mix of products and services the community needs. Our upcoming Business Excellence Awards Gala on April 11th is

a great example of how popular events help the Chamber fulfill its community service mandate while furthering our community development goals. Other events such as the annual golf tournament, Santa Claus parade and the recent “Celebrating Women in Business” event supplement our portfolio. Finally, the expansion of available adult education offerings in Sooke is a priority for us. Working with local organizations and a university, our goal is to have a range of courses available by the winter of 2015/2016. Undoubtedly, our talented Board of Directors has undertaken a full slate of community development initiatives this year. I am constantly impressed by the energy and dedication of our directors and I am amazed by what has been achieved in three short months. I look forward to updating you on our progress later in the year. The Sooke Chamber would also like to extend a warm welcome to new Chamber members; McDermaids, Wells Seaside Park, Jenkins Marine, Nexus Electric, Star Mobile Aesthetics, CloverCare Massage, Arbonne Independent Consultant, Authentically Nourished and Sooke Disposal. Sean Dyble is the President of the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce and the owner of 120 West Management Consulting.

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APRIL 2015

DIGITAL LITERACY FOR WOMEN Historically, women have had a strong presence in the communications and marketing fields in tech but have not been


programming related



well represented in fields.

hile the growth in the local technology sector has been healthy on all fronts, there’s a group in town doing great work to help infuse more women into this traditionally male industry. Historically, women have had a strong presence in the communications and marketing fields in tech but have not been well represented in programming related fields. Ladies Learning Code is a national organization aiming to help tip the scales to a more favourable balance. Ladies Learning Code was launched in Toronto as a series of workshops for women who wanted to learn to code and the concept has caught fire. In a few short years the program has come to operate in 19 cities in Canada and has helped over 10,000 learners with their workshops.

Clar ty. We have IT

Here i n Victor i a, a L ad ies L ea rn i ng Code chapter was started in 2013 by Erin Athene. Erin is a successful tech entrepreneur and an Executive in Residence at Accelerate Tectoria, the early-stage incubator program delivered by VIATeC. Erin and Ladies Learning Code hosted a ridiculously successful HTML & CSS workshop in October last year, which has led to a regular series of Meetups as well as a very successful Girls Learning Code workshop for girls aged 8-13. It’s impossible to ignore the pent up demand for this program and will be very exciting to see it continue to grow and progress. Anyone interested in learning more about the organization can find information at Those interested in checking out an event should visit the Ladies Learning Code Meetup page at www. / llcvictoria. Up to the minute information and discussion can also be found on Facebook at LLCvictoria. Rob is a Director at VIATeC and founder of PlusROI Online Marketing, a strategic web marketing firm. He can be reached at





pril 15 th , 2015 marks this year’s AGM for Think Local First Victoria. TLF, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting a local economy for Victoria, is approaching its 3rd year this April. Island Savings has just announced they will provide full sponsorship to TLF for 2015! A huge ‘shout out’ to Island Savings. “We’re all about local and the 10 percent shift. Just move 10 percent of your regular spending to local businesses and watch the impact on our local community. You’re not a bad guy if you shop big box, but with this small shift you now truly support and create sustainability for what makes Victoria unique” - Dr. Matthew Kittleson, TLF Board Member. TLF has more exciting news for this year’s AGM. They will be launching the Think Local First

Rewards Program. TLF Rewards, is an automated rewards program where customers earn merits when they shop in TLF businesses. Similar to air miles, it’s one card for all participating TLF businesses, based on the ‘Supportland’ technology out of Portland. The rewards you receive are not just for where you swiped your card, but will introduce you to the entire TLF community of wonderful local businesses! Katrina Scotto di Carlo of Portland (founder of Supportland) will be the featured speaker at the April 15th AGM. In addition to her exciting talk demonstrating the power of a community working together, she will be offering educational and instructional classes on April 16th on “How TLF works” for participating business, and “Why get involved?” for businesses that are looking to take their marketing to the next level. Free for TLF members, $20 for interested businesses and guests. Any ticket purchases will be put towards annual membership dues for new businesses. Find out all the information here at Gayle Robinson is president of Think Local Victoria and owner of Robinson’s Outdoor Store

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APRIL 2015

COAST ENVIRONMENTAL DOES THE DIRTY WORK “At the end of the day it Locally owned company makes a difference in island communities in many ways


ICTOR IA - It’s often a dirty job and sometimes smelly, but the people at Coast Environmental Ltd. are proud to do it. They know they are making a difference to their clients and in their communities. Coast Environmental is a diverse and growing, locally owned company with operations across Vancouver Island. Its core business consists of wastewater services, portable toilet and fence rentals, industrial waste management, soil remediation, and composting. For more than 50 years, Coast Environmental has been locally owned while growing its business all across Vancouver Island. It all began in the Cowichan Valley where it operated under a different name. It was the original company that brought porta-potties to Vancouver Island, back in those days weighing in at almost 400 pounds. In the years since then, it has grown from perhaps half a dozen employees to almost 100 focussing on both

feels good going home, knowing that we did something nice for the earth.” DAN LAZARO GENERAL MANAGER, COAST ENVIRONMENTAL LTD.

The company started with portable toilets – and still supplies them today solid and liquid waste. General manger Dan Lazaro pointed out that not many companies do both – and Coast Environmental does it from its head office in Victoria all the way to Campbell River. It has offices and yards in Victoria, Duncan, Chemainus, Nanaimo and Courtenay. Major growth for the company began about a dozen years ago, growing from a portable toilet and septic company when it acquired Coast Septic Services. Coast Septic Services primarily handled porta-potties, grease traps, septic tanks and catch

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Coast Environmental cleans catch basins in parking lots, car washes, etc. basins. Since then the company has expanded its services to handle solid as well as liquid waste. In 2013 Coast Environmental acquired Active Industrial in the Cowichan Valley that handled roll-off bins for waste from demolitions and renovations. That added about 400 roll-off containers to Coast Environmental’s inventory. It also

meant that the company acquired a recycling and waste transfer facility in Duncan. “That fit in well with our composting facility and 45-acre property in Chemainus,” Lazaro said, noting that the eco-park composts all the curbside organics for the Cowichan Valley Regional District combined with yard and garden waste. That property also

Providing quality construction service for over 30 years Roll Off Bins • Temporary Fencing • Soil Mart Storage Containers • Slinger Services

contains a soil remediation facility. The company’s newest endeavour is a recycling and waste transfer facility in Nanaimo. “Those waste transfer facilities are where our business has grown,” Lazaro said. “Where people are doing renovations or yard clean-ups, we drop off a bin SEE COAST ENVIRONMENTAL  |  PAGE 17

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APRIL 2015

Coast Environmental composts kitchen waste, which is then shipped to garden centres up and down the island


into. They may do a renovation where they’re getting rid of a brick fireplace and gutting a downstairs. They throw all that material into the bin. When it gets to our place, we dump it on the ground and we have people physically sort out recyclables: two by fours, concrete rubble, metal – we segregate all those

Congratulations Coast Environmental

materials and recycle them.” He noted that 70 – 80 per cent of all the material it receives is recycled. He said that in total the company handles so much waste annually that it would fill roll-off trucks parked bumper-to-bumper from Mill Bay to Ladysmith. Where that image is really impressive is in knowing that the SEE COAST ENVIRONMENTAL  |  PAGE 18

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APRIL 2015


great majority of that waste does not go into the landfill. The company recycles more than 35,000 tons per year. Food waste that is composted is shipped to garden centres across the island. T he company’s wastewater division includes portable toilets and temporary fencing. Coast Environmental supplies most of the major events on Vancouver Island that need portable toilets and security fencing. Lazaro pointed out that septic work represents only about 50 per cent of the company’s business. The other half is non-sewage related material such as car wash waste, grease traps, catch basins and, as Lazaro said, “All the other stuff that people forget about.” That material goes to SPL Wastewater, where it is treated, cleaned and discharged into the sewer system. Coast Environmental also has a vacuum truck division, where trucks empty out septic tanks, holding tanks, restaurant grease tanks, car wash catch basins, parking lot catch basins and more. The company owns almost 40 vacuum trucks and about 150 total pieces of equipment. Co a s t E nv i ron m e nt a l h a s grown into a large company, and it does have competition on the

The company’s 40-odd vacuum trucks handle septic systems and more island. However, Lazaro said that the company continues to attract clients for a number of reasons. “I think that our edge is that we started as a very small, local company. We focus on maintaining a small company mentality, which is customer service first and reputation above all else. Whether you’re dealing

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with an individual at their home or with a large firm, it’s critical that they know that we put them first and that we’re local. W hether we’re dealing with someone in Victoria or Campbell River, we try to maintain that small company attitude – we really do put customer service first.” He added that management and staff take enormous pride in what they do. The company culture includes respect for the environment as well as respect for staff, customers and communities. The company believes in integrity and ethical business practices. It also believes in making a positive contribution to the environment with the goal of providing sustainable waste management solutions by diverting from local landfills all reusable waste materials and recycling them into alternate materials, processing them into renewable energies or manufacturing them into compost. “At the end of the day it feels good going home, knowing that we did something nice for the earth,” Lazaro said. “We cleaned up the storm water going into the




ocean; we cleaned up our ground water; we recycled all these bins of waste that would have gone into the landfill – there’s a positive feeling to that.” He also pointed out that the company believes in its employees, many of who have been there long-term. As an island owned company, Coast Environmental is also committed to investing into the local communities where it does business. The company believes that strong communities promote social and economic development that benefits everyone. Lazaro said that non-profits often hold large events to raise funds – and those events invariably need portable toilets and fencing. Coast Environmental does as much as it can, helping out up to a dozen non-profits every year with deep discounts or even with free supplies. In the past, the company has contributed to: • SunFest Country Music Festival (Cowichan Valley) • Comox Air Show (Comox Valley) • Rock the Shores Music


Congratulations to Coast Environmental on your continuing success and growth on Vancouver Island.

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Festival (Victoria) • Vancouver Island Music Festival (Comox Valley) • Dragon Boat Festivals in various communities • Easter Seal’s 24 Hour Relay for the kids (Victoria) • Brentwood College Rowing Regatta (Cowichan Valley) • The Filberg Festival (Comox Valley) • Islands Folk Festival (Cowichan Valley) • Tall Tree Music Festival (Victoria) • Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay (Comox Valley) • Victoria Highland Games • Ford World Men’s Curling Championship (Victoria) • World Youth Cl i mbi ng Championship (Victoria) • Rifflandia Music Festival (Victoria) • Subaru Western Triathlon Series (Victoria and Cowichan Valley) • The Great Canadian Beer Festival (Victoria) • L e u k e m i a – L i g ht t h e Night Walk • Power To Be Adventure Therapy Society In the immediate future, Coast Environmental plans to focus strongly on the northern part of the island and grow its operations in solid waste recycling in that area. “And we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing,” Lazaro said. “One of the things that has made us so successful is our people. In the companies that we have acquired, most of the people are still with us. We really focus on making sure that companies we may potentially acquire are not only a good fit operationally but also culturally. I love what we do and that passion is shared by all our managers.” Coast Environmental Ltd. is at 2673 Sooke Road in Victoria.


APRIL 2015


“I believe we have the social licensing aspect of the project in spades,” he added, referring to the recent overwhelmingly positive reception the project received from District of Chetwynd residents and the surrounding northern BC community. He contrasted Blue Fuel’s positive experience with the current challenges being faced by natural resource projects such as the Trans Mountain and Northern Gateway pipelines. “We have been working on obtaining this license from the area for eight years,” he added, with the company having gained public support from both Chetwynd and the City of Dawson Creek, along with a memorandum of understanding with the West Moberly First Nations. “Blue Fuel Energy will be an excellent corporate citizen and this project will be a huge asset to Chetwynd and Dawson Creek. We welcome the opportunity to work together to facilitate sustainable development,” said Mayor Merlin Nichols, District of Chetwynd. The project consists of two separate plants on a 1,055-acre site. The natural gas to gasoline plant is called Sundance Fuels. The first to be built will be Blue Fuel Energy’s natural gas to gasoline plant, currently in the permitting stage, with construction expected to begin in

Juergen Puetter, Chairman and CEO of Blue Fuel Energy 2016, depending on funding availability. BFE is seeking $50 million to advance to the next phase, and would like to maintain control of the project following the investment, as well as to keep the primary investment Canada-based. Construction completion is expected in 2019. The second plant to be built will be Canadian Methanol’s natural gas to methanol plant, with construction expected to start about a year and a half after completion of

the Sundance project, sometime between 2017-2018 with completion coming in 2020-2021. Puetter has had several previous successes in business, including Bionaire Inc., Hydroxyl Systems and Aeolis Wind. Aeolis will play a role in supporting the BFE project by supplying wind-generated electricity that will further reduce the carbon intensity of the gasoline. Electricity from Aeolis wind farms, and other renewable electricity from BC Hydro, will be used to power electrolyzers to produce

hydrogen and to operate the plant. The hydrogen will be combined with carbon dioxide and natural gas to produce syngas, which is then converted to produce methanol. The methanol will then be dehydrated to create dimethyl ether (DME). Finally, the DME will be dehydrated to produce gasoline. Bridging the gap between renewable energy and fossil fuels is important to the BFE team. When completed the project is expected to produce what they term the “least carbon intensive gasoline in the world”. Their focus on reducing the carbon footprint doesn’t end with gasoline conversion, as the project also plans on distributing waste heat from the plants to greenhouses to be co-located on the Sundance site. The project will also provide an alternative way of using BC’s abundance of natural gas. At the moment, the allure of liquefied natural gas exports has companies investing in pipelines and refinement factories, which has created significant controversy throughout the province. However, BFE’s project would not require new transportation infrastructure, since the proposed site would have rail access to transport their product from the facility. Currently, fuel distributors in BC and several other west-coast jurisdictions must comply with their respective low-carbon fuel standards, which, according to Puetter, provides BFE with a

19 competitive advantage. The company’s Blue Fuel Gasoline will exceed low-carbon fuel standard requirements, while competing products have to be modified in order to meet them. Further, the renewable elements of BFE’s gasoline don’t draw from food sources, compared to existing gasoline pools that are blended with corn-based ethanol in order to comply with regulations. California and Oregon have similar standards in place, and Washington is planning on following suit in the near future, meaning that BFE’s market will not be limited to just BC. At full production, the facility is expected to produce almost one billion liters of gasoline per year, which is approximately 20% of the gasoline consumed in BC, but only around 1% of what’s consumed in the west coast jurisdictions with low-carbon fuel standards. BFE will use 130 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, and 150 megawatts of electrical energy as inputs to generate the 1 billion liters. Of those 150 megawatts, 50 will be used for the electrolysis process, and 100 will be used to run the plant. Recently, Michael Macdonald, formerly senior vice president, global operations, at methanol giant Methanex, joined the BFE team. Macdonald brings 30 years of industry experience to the project.

GETTING IT RIGHT, RIGHT AWAY An assignment of rights from the inventors would have been so simple when they were partners.



ver a year ago I wrote about getting it right, right other words, making sure that all the legal documents are in place to ensure that you own what you think you own and you can obtain patent protection for what you own. I’m writing about the same topic today, because I have again seen a lot of avoidable mistakes. What I am going to tell you is not legal advice – just observations from someone who has seen the same mistakes occurring time and time again. I recently saw a partnership go sideways. Not a week later, I was in a meeting with another partnership. When the partners were questioned about the

compa ny st r uctu re, I P ownership, buy-sell agreements and the like, they responded that they trusted each other absolutely and completely – like brothers. They were in it together for the long term and were not concerned. I cringed. Maybe it all will work out well, but times change. The partners may well stay friends, but one might have to move away or may not have the necessary cash flow to continue being part of the company. After all, getting a company up on its feet and running usually takes an infusion of cash and/or living on beans for a while. In the case of the failed partnership, there were contractual agreements between the partner’s consulting companies that included an IP clause. However, there were no assignments of rights from the inventors to either

their consulting companies or the partnership. This is not an insurmountable problem, but nor is it clean. An assignment of rights from the inventors would have been so simple when they were partners. The two do not want to work together, but there are no clauses to guide them in splitting up the company, or for one partner buying out the other. I am also working with a partnership that has struggled along for a few years. I am sure they have both eaten a lot of beans and put in many very long hours. They are confident in each other’s commitment and contribution. But, they are also confident that they have good legal agreements to cover off each and every eventuality. It cost them money when they had very little, but the money spent on a good corporate commercial lawyer was well worth it. Not lega l adv ic e, b ut something to think about. Anne Flanagan is the principal at Alliance Patents. She can be reached at anne.flanagan@

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APRIL 2015

AGRICULTURE & AQUACULTURE Land and sea produce a bounty for BC Production is up for agriculture and aquaculture BY GOODY NIOSI


tatistics show that Vancouver Island has a three-day supply of food – and farmers are doing their best to change that. I n the forefront of the movement is the Southern Vancouver Island Direct Farm Market Association (SVIDFMA). Farmers like association president Dan Ponchet often farm year-round, sell their produce at farm markets or from the farm gate. Ponchet noted that more and more people are looking for farm fresh produce rather than processed foods found in grocery stores. “I think that people want to see where their food comes from,” he said. “And they want to know what’s in their food. They’re thrilled to get something that’s fresh and local. That kind of food means a lot more to people and I think that’s why we’re being supported by a lot of the local population.” He added that farm markets are not only busier than ever but they’re growing in number. Some farm markets, like his own farm, are also open all year. He said that local farms are good for the economy. They employ people, often year round, and local farmers also buy locally, everything from seeds to all their local household and farming needs. If there is any one thing standing in the way of even greater expansion of fruit and vegetable fa rms, it’s the cost of la nd. Ponchet noted that he only owns five acres of his 50-acre farm, leasing the remaining 45 acres. Although he makes a good living – and many farmers do – it can be hard for a young person to get a foot in the door. “I wish there was a way to make it easier for young people,” he said, adding that young people also have to know that during the growing season, they can’t expect any time off and they have to be prepared to work very hard. “I still really enjoy it,” he said. “Some people can do well if they want to but in those first years you have to be motivated – forget about everything else. You have to be dedicated, but it’s also satisfying and it can be rewarding in many ways.” According to the BC Salmon

“I think that people want to see where their food comes from. And they want to know what’s in their food. They’re thrilled to get something that’s fresh and local.” DAN PONCHET PRESIDENT, SOUTH VANCOUVER ISLAND DIRECT FARM MARKET ASSOCIATION

Kevin Boon says there is much more capacity for beef ranching in BC

Lisa Stewart says the salmon farming industry is hoping for more growth

Farmer’s markets are becoming more popular on Vancouver Island Farmers Association, aquaculture, and specifically salmon farming, is the second highest valued agriculture product in British Columbia after dairy. Salmon is also BC’s number one agricultural export product. Lisa Stewart, communications officer at Creative Salmon Company Ltd. in Tofino said that while her company accounts for a very small piece of the salmon farming pie, the industry as a whole has changed and grown, with industry certifications becoming more important. Creative Salmon is celebrating its 25th anniversary – and it has always done things differently. It has always farmed indigenous Chinook salmon and put its

focus on natural and sustainable farming methods. In May 2012 the Canadian General Standards Board published the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standards. In Dec. 2013, Creative Salmon was certified organic. But that is not the on ly certi fication available. “Having a third party certification has become very much a part of the industry,” Stewart said. “The other salmon producers in British Columbia are Atlantic producers and they have all been pursuing certifications of their own – Best Aquaculture Practices, for one.” For Creative Salmon, growth will be moderate and controlled, she said. The larger producers

are hopeful that they too will be allowed to grow in the future. But even small growth will make a big difference. Stewart said. “They’re hopeful there will be some movement – and if there is, I think the projection for growth would be about two or three new farms per year, but even that can have a really significant job spinoff plus economic benefits.” She added that organic certification is new. Creative Salmon is still the only certified organic salmon farm in the province. However, with the United States about to publish its organic aquaculture standards, the demand for organic salmon is likely to grow – and that too, will bring change to the industry.

APRIL 2015


Creative Salmon is the first salmon farming company in BC to achieve organic certification T he latest repor t from the International Salmon Farmers’ Association (IFSA) shows that salmon farmers are producing 14.8-billion meals each year and creating 121,000 jobs around the world. According to the report, the global salmon farming industry produces $10 billion (USD) worth of salmon each year and stimulates economic growth in a wide variety of other sectors. Gail Shea, Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, said the ISFA report marks a significant milestone in the development of the salmon farming industry. “This report confirms Canada’s aquaculture industry has come of age. It illustrates the critical importance of salmon farming globally and how Canada’s coastal communities are uniquely positioned to benefit. Our government is proud of our commitment to grow the aquaculture industry sustainably and create much needed jobs in rural, coastal and Aboriginal communities.” said Shea.

It’s not just the demand for salmon that is growing – there is also a growing demand for beef. BC may not be the largest cattle growing province in the country – in fact, it accounts only about five per cent of the the national herd – it is an industry that is on the move and one that plays a big role in the BC economy. Kevin Boon, general manger of the BC Cattlemen’s Association, said that most of the herd is located north of Kamloops and is divided between more than 11,000 producers. Due to BSE (mad cow disease) the herd diminished considerably starting in 2003 but has been growing again and thriving. An economic impact analysis done in 2010 estimated the direct and indirect economic impact of cattle ranching in BC at $660 million. However, Boon pointed out that in the last few years prices have almost doubled. “As an estimate – and this is nothing more than an estimate – I would say that we contribute

more than a billion dollars into the economy,” he said. “And the other really important part is that we utilize a lot of crown land for our grazing purposes. Of the agricultural land available for production, we use about 85 per cent.” He added that that land is shared with forestry and mining companies as well as with guide outfitters. It is estimated that a growing world population means food producers will have to double their output by 2050. Boon said that BC cattle ranchers are well positioned to make an enormous contribution. The land that is used for cattle ranching, particularly on the sides of mountains, can’t really be used for anything else. Boon also noted that the cattlemen are working with the forest industry to avoid clear cutting. Selective logging is far more conducive to foraging for cattle. In 2005 the breeding cattle herd in BC numbered 320,000. Today that nu mber is dow n to 200,000,meaning there is

Salmon Farming is the second highest valued agricultural product in BC

significant room for growth. Three other things point to a growing future for BC cattleman. “Our cold climate really helps in livestock production because it kills a lot of the bacteria so we can raise very healthy cattle at a lower cost with less medications. We have the availability of water and that is probably our most valuable resource. And one thing that is important to British Columbians: ranching is the one stable in rural BC. It keeps our towns and small cities going. Mining and lumber will come and go. Ranching and food production has been there for 150 years and will remain there and that’s what adds the stability to

21 rural BC. Farther south in the province, rural BC is doing very well in the tree fruit business. The re-plant program was announced this past fall by the BC Fruit Growers Association and the provincial government. The program supplies $8.4 million over seven years to re-plant old orchards to high density high value crops. In an area that might have yielded 35 bins an acre, 50 bins will now be harvested. Association president Fred Steele said that the tree fruit industry is worth $550 million to the economy in direct and indirect business – and that number is set to increase. Cherries are becoming a huge export to China and other countries in Asia. Steele noted that the association owns a company called Summerland Varieties that partners with government, private i ndustries a nd the resea rch stations to handle propagating and intellectual property rights around the world. “Most people don’t realize that 80 per cent of all the new commercial varieties of cherries being grown around the world come out of Summerland,” Steele said, adding that the association is not resting on its successes. It is now working on finding programs that will help farmers plant new trees on bare ground. He also pointed out that another reason Okanagan fruits are in such high demand is the low use of pesticides and its integrated pest management programs. “Optimism is infectious,” he said. “The industry has come together. We’re working together with the cherry growers and the co-op packing houses. We’re working for the good of the industry – there are a lot of things that we can do.”


APRIL 2015

BOWCEY CONSTRUCTION REVITALIZES VICTORIA’S HERITAGE Victoria construction and renovation company survived the recession to develop a restoration specialty


ICTOR I A - Her itage Houses in Victoria are s p e c i a l , a n d B owc ey Construction Ltd. sets the clock back with restorations that retain historic character. Founded in the midst of economic upheaval, the well tested Victoria company has become a Vancouver Island leader in new construction, renovation and character restoration. “In Victoria there are many older ch a racter homes t h at define the city. A lot of them are getting replaced by modern houses at the expense of Victoria’s heritage,” says owning partner Chris Lacey. “We do around 50 percent new construction, and 50 percent renovation a nd restoration. The restoration aspect of our work is growing and core to our portfolio. With the involved nature of the work, even a limited number of restorations demands a significant investment of time,” owning partner Eric Bowes points out. Trained in business and trades at Camosun College, Lacey and Bowes worked at the same company and went into business together once that job finished. “We met t h roug h ou r ca rpentry work at Pacific Diamond Developments out of Victoria. I started my apprenticeship at Farmer Construction in 2001, and went to Pacific Diamond in 2003. Chris joined in 2004, starting and finishing his apprenticeship,” says Bowes. “After we finished working there in early 2008, we sought work out together, k now i ng we would be in demand as Red Sea l ca r penters. We h ad a n opportunity to work with the developer of a large subdivision but we had to start a company in order to be hired. “ Bowcey was borne with merely the tools in the back of our truck. We waited three months before paying ourselves.” I n b u s i n e s s , re l a t i o n s h i p building in challenging circumstances is vital and opportunities can return in a full circle. “Unfortunately for us, or so it seemed at the time, the 2008 recession h it a nd we h ad to look for other opportunities. But oddly enough, our old boss from Pacific Diamond Developments was doing a three unit form and character renovation and wanted us to be his new crew,” says Lacey. “That was really how we got i nto cha racter restorations.

Partner Eric Bowes

Bowcey Construction restores heritage buildings to their former glory. Here, a new foundation is poured for a 100 year old Victoria home

Partner Chris Lacey

“In Victoria there are many older character homes that define the city. A lot of them are getting replaced by modern houses at the expense of Victoria’s heritage.” CHRIS LACEY OWNING PARTNER, BOWCEY CONSTRUCTION LTD.

Through this change of course we d iscovered that we rea lly l i ked th is work a nd k new that th is f ield wou ld be ou r specialty.” T he efforts bu i lt on themselves when a now recent client drove by and hired the team to take on the restoration of a yellow character house downtown. “ We work h a rd a nd create quality new homes and restored properties. We have never had an unsatisfied customer,” says Lacey. “G oi n g for wa rd , we wa nt to build on our reputation for attention to deta i l a nd passion seeing a quality finished result.” Bowcey Construction Ltd. is at 406 - 364 Goldstream Ave in Victoria Visit and Facebook - Bowcey Construction Ltd.

After Bowcey Construction has finished restoration, the end result is a work of art


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Victoria, BC


Congratulations on your continued success

Chris and Eric, it's a pleasure to work with you guys!

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APRIL 2015

MPC CONSULTING IS A GLOBAL FORCE “In this field of industrial Sidney engineering company focused on design/build of automation systems

automation, there are not a lot of people who know what they’re doing


I DN EY - Judg i ng by its track record, MPC Consulting Ltd. in Sidney, is arguably one of the most highly respected engineering firms in its particular field in the world. MPC Consulting is more than an engineering company – it is also a design/build firm with a focus on industrial automation control systems and SCADA systems (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition). What sorts of industries does MPC Consulting undertake projects in? “Everything,” said company founder and president Paul Bulmer. “Automation is everywhere. Every single industry uses automation, so we could be working on a wastewater treatment plant or a gas refinery or building automation: we work in nearly every single industry out there; we’ve even worked in the explosives industry. And we are currently working on one of the world’s largest SCADA systems in the Middle East called Education City.” Education City is a massive project in Qatar encompassing not only education facilities but also a golf course, hotels, a conference centre, equestrian centre, R&D facilities and much more. It is, in fact, a genuine city. Building began in 2000 and is projected to complete in 2030. MPC Consulting is providing consultancy services for industrial controls for the utilities, building automation systems, energy management, HV SCADA and a one million point SCADA system to monitor all site-wide facilities. This will be a fully integrated Smart City. These systems will service approximately 200 buildings spanning over 16 square kilometres. MPC Consulting has completed projects in Canada, the United States, Korea, Greece, Colombia and elsewhere. Currently MPC is opening a satellite office in Qatar that Bulmer said would surpass the Sidney office in growth in a very short time. Bulmer said it was no coincidence that his company has worked on prestigious international projects. Canadian engineers have a stellar reputation everywhere in the world, and few engineering companies take on complete design/build challenges in the automation field. Bulmer incorporated the company in Vancouver in 1991. Back then he basically provided consulting services. “I believed there was a better way of executing projects than the way engineers were doing things back then,” he said. “Plus

– and I wanted to provide a better service for all aspects of the project. And that’s what our company does.” PAUL BULMER FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, MPC CONSULTING LTD.

I wanted to do complete design and build. Normally you have an engineering company involved in a project and a contractor who builds and installs it; and then there’s a control panel shop and a systems integrator and instrumentation contractor – there are all these different parties and I wanted to have a company that did all of that so that the client deals with only one entity. In this field of industrial automation, there are not a lot of people who know what they’re doing – and I wanted to provide a better service for all aspects of the project. And that’s what our company does. We really know what we’re doing and we execute things properly.” The Education City clients, the Qatar Foundation, d id a worldwide search to hire MPC Consulting. Bulmer’s company had built an enviable reputation by then, executing automation projects in China, Colombia and Greece and completing projects closer to home as well. In 2000, looking for a more desirable location for his office, Bulmer and his family decided to move the company to Sidney. Today the engineering company owns and operates its own control panel fabricating shop as well. It employs almost a dozen people in Sidney and is currently building an engineering team at its Middle East branch in Doha Qatar. T he company provides detailed engineering, specification, purchasing and complete programming (logic and graphics) of entire industrial control and SCADA systems. It also installs and provides maintenance services afterwards. MPC will produce all required engineering documentation and drawings (to ISA standards) to accompany the control system. MPC Consulting can also troubleshoot and provide a complete solution to get systems back to optimal efficiency. It can also evaluate existing systems and upgrade them to the latest technology to increase product quality and yield, and decrease costly downtime. In

Paul Bulmer is growing his company in Sidney and with a satellite office in Qatar its subsidiary company, Custom Panel Shop, it designs and builds custom electrical control panels for any application. Bulmer said that his enthusiasm for the work his company does has not wavered over the past 24 years that the company has been in existence. “We get to provide complete design/build services. When you actually design and build something and you go out in the field to commission the systems, you see your mistakes and you have to fix them and you learn from those experiences, so that’s one of the aspects of design/build I really like.” He added that the technology his firm works with is on the leading edge and constantly changing. The control systems are the brains of the industrial plant – this makes them the critical component and working with the brains never gets dull. “It’s a very critical part of any industrial plant,” he said, adding that the biggest challenge now is not about any particular project, but about controlling growth for his company so that it continues to do the superior work it is known for. MPC Consulting Ltd. is at 23 – 2075 Henry Avenue West in Sidney.

As a design/build company, MPC Consulting has the ability to do it all

Education City is a massive MPC project in Qatar where the company has set up a satellite office


Webster Benefit Consultants




Andrew Webster

MPC Group Insurance Broker


APRIL 2015

IWCD expands by opening an office in Victoria Local island company is well known for quality commercial projects BY GOODY NIOSI


ICTORIA - After making its mark in Victoria for the past decade from its headquarters in Nanaimo, Island West Coast Developments Ltd. (IWCD) opened a local office at the corner of Fort and Vancouver Streets at the beginning of this year. Operated by company president Greg Constable and branch manager, Reid Longstaffe, the office is already busy with a number of projects. “We wanted a permanent presence in the city,” Constable said. “We felt it would be good to set the stage with our own branch office so that we could better service our existing clients and position ourselves for growth. So far we have been receiving a very positive response and good reviews from the Victoria development community.” He added that the company’s past track record has helped it to be received as it is. IWCD is known across the island for quality workmanship and for delivering on project timelines within budget. “There was room for another high quality contractor in Victoria,” Constable said. “And quality is what we do best. We also think there is an opportunity here.” Over the years IWCD has redeveloped a large portion of the Langford strip malls. It has also built the West Shore Town Centre addition addition (Best Buy and CIBC), the North Saanich Fire Hall and the Dave Wheaton Chevrolet dealership. “We’re also excited to build on our talented crew,” Constable said. “We’ve got about 20 local employees and by having a presence in Victoria we can grow by adding to the talented team we already have.”

The Green Rock liquor store in Nanaimo is a recent IWCD project Another recent announcement from IWCD is its recognition as one Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the second year in a row. Established in 1993 and sponsored by Deloitte and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canada’s Best Managed Companies is the country’s leading business awards program, recognizing excellence in Canadian owned and managed companies with revenues over $10 million. The Best Managed designation symbolizes Canadian corporate success: companies focused on their core vision, creating stakeholder value and excelling in the global economy. Only 50 companies are named each year, often with only two or three coming from British

IWCD has been doing business in Victoria for a decade

“We felt it would be good to set the stage with our own branch office so that we could better service our existing clients and position ourselves for growth.” GREG CONSTABLE PRESIDENT, ISLAND WEST COAST DEVELOPMENTS

Greg Constable (l) is presented with the Best Managed award by Deloitte coach, Todd Ponzini Columbia. Speaking about the award, Constable said, “We’re ver y excited about that – an island company getting recognized nationally two years in a row. It is a testament to the dedicated team we have and to the products we deliver. I believe that one of the things we’re proud of is that it’s not just the recognition of a best managed company but of how IWCD achieved getting recognized through our employee programs and through all the different programs and with all the different plans we have initiated over the years.” Employee surveys are sent out each year to gather information about what works and what doesn’t for them and the company. Those reports are compared every year and studied with an eye to making improvements. Educational opportunities are offered

for ongoing training to employees. Communication is key and employees are kept up-to-date on company happenings via a quarterly newsletter. Management also practices corporate responsibility astutely, staying abreast of its markets and gauging progress. “Each quarter the management team sits down to ask ourselves if we are on track for the goals we set,” Constable said. “Being part of the Best Managed Companies program makes you a better managed company continually. The benchmark has been set high. We are always asking ourselves how can we be better? To maintain our standing, we have to reapply annually. It forces us to think outside the box and to stay on top of what we are doing.” The award puts IWCD on a par with companies like A&W, White Spot, Harbour Air, and Houle


APRIL 2015

IWCD is well known for high quality commercial, industrial and institutional projects Electric. Constable said that education, training and developing new systems are paramount to the company’s success. “We are constantly evolving our management team. We learn from our mistakes and we learn from what we do right.” He added that corporate culture is also key. “The only way you’re going to have great people working for you in a management world is if you have great corporate culture. You have to let managers make decisions. Anyone who is very qualified is not comfortable punching a time clock, so we have a very good corporate culture that puts our top people in charge.” Another factor essential to IWCD’s success is great customer service. Constable said that customer service is more than just staying in touch and keeping the client informed. It starts when a client calls with a job to be done. “We take it from there all the way to the end of the project,” he said. “We run design; we run development; we work with our design team including architects and engineers to make sure everything is done the way the client wants it – and then we complete the project. We’re not just builders – anybody can build a building: that’s actually quite easy to do nowadays. It’s designing and putting it through the steps and processes to get it through approval.” It’s IWCD’s attention to every detail of the building process that has also won it countless awards over the years from the local Chamber of Commerce as well as the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. IWCD provides design-build,

general contracting and construction management services for commercial, industrial, infrastructure, and institutional projects across Vancouver Island and, by client request, on the Lower Mainland. Since 1986, the company has established itself as the largest, most successful commercial design-build construction company in the mid-Island area. An entrepreneurial spirit and the emphasis it puts on innovation, balanced by strategic decision-making and the ongoing dedication and commitment of its employees has driven IWCD’s growth. It has developed strong relationships with both its clients and its sub trades. The company is a member of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA), and is both COR certified through the BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) and Contractor Check certified. Recent and current projects include: • A Search and Rescue building in Port Hardy. • Galaxy Motors in Courtenay • Kiwanis Village, a 32- unit patio home site in Qualicum Beach • A community centre for the Snuneymuwx First Nation in Nanaimo • A redesign of a mall on Metral Drive in Nanaimo • T he Green Rock l iquor store on Dufferin Road in Nanaimo • A retrofit on exterior finishes at Peter Baljet in Duncan • A reservoir in the District of Saanich

IWCD recently opened an office in Victoria at the corner of Fort and Vancouver Streets • A variety of retail facelifts in Langford When Constable founded the company, he had only recently graduated from high school but had already been working with his father for a couple of years on residential projects in Whistler and on Vancouver island. His company built about 200 homes before switching to commercial, industrial and institutional work. Then, as now, the company grew on its reputation for delivering quality workmanship. “I had lots of breaks,” he said. “A lot of people in the community knew me and knew of our work – they knew that we would never leave a job without ensuring the

quality. That’s key.” He added that his standard is a new car: people don’t expect scratches or dents in a vehicle fresh out of the showroom. “We reflect that same attitude to the way we leave our buildings. We’re proud of that. We do a very good job and we know the industry.” He said that the next step is to build on the past. IWCD has grown steadily and sustainably – and Constable said that pattern will continue. “I’d like to stay at the current pace for the next two years. We want to grow our Victoria and the Vancouver Island clientele.” He noted that the company is

regularly asked to work in Vancouver and that may well be the next step. IWCD currently works on the Lower Mainland a couple of times every year by client request. “In the future, we could possibly look into the Vancouver region,” he said. “But I’m happy servicing the island and focusing on our new commitment to Victoria.” He added that true to the company’s tag line and the success that IWCD has enjoyed, “Anything is Possible.” Island West Coast Developments Ltd. is at 2214 McCullough Rd. in Nanaimo and at 1031 Vancouver Street in Victoria.



APRIL 2015

$14.5-million debt. Victoria’s Kyle Nelson has received the 2014 College Co-op Student of the Year award from the Association for Co-operative Education in BC and the Yukon.

To get in Movers and Shakers, call Thom at 250-661-2297 or email July 1 will see Victoria Airport passengers paying an extra $5 each, for a total of $15 for airport improvement fees. Local artist Richard Hunt has created his third coin for the Royal Canadian Mint, titled ‘Mother Feeding Baby’. Attorney General Suzanne Anton has introduced legislation that will eventually make it mandatory for people to take claims and minor strata disputes of less than $10,000 before an online Civil Resolution Tribunal. The tribunal is expected to launch sometime this year. Victoria could be among the first cities served by budget airline Canada Jetlines if financing can be arranged to allow the service

to begin in late summer. Jetlines is negotiating with four groups, representing Canadian and international interests, to line up around $50 million in financing. Pacific Sky Aviation, a sister company to Viking Air, has hired Mauro Pezzetta as its general manager of training and simulation. The new Twin Otter training centre will be built over the next 18 months, offering technical and flight training, as well as taking off and landing on water simulations. Us discount footwear giant DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse is opening its first location in BC, setting up shop in Saanich in the former Michaels arts and crafts location. The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board has recognized Ray Francis of Cumberland’s Coast Realty Group as its Realtor of the Year. The board has also welcomed Barry Clark as its newest honorary member. Marine Harvest Canada’s Marsh

Bay farm is the first salmon farm in North America to earn certification from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. Victoria native Jody Thomas has been named the newly appointed head of the Canadian Coast Guard, and is the first woman to hold the top job. Victoria city council is reconsidering an application by owners of the Wave condominium on Yates Street to replace the failing tile mosaic with a painted version. Owners have asked that council consider painting as an alternative, as retiling would be too expensive, estimated to cost around $650,000. Coastal Community Credit Union will open its newest location in Goldstream Village on May 4. The City of Victoria has agreed to pay $7.98 million to the provincial government for 812 Wharf Street, home to Tourism Victoria’s Visitor Centre, Milestones restaurant, and two other tenants. The Victoria Residential Builders Association is accepting entries for its 2015 Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence (CARE) Awards. The entry deadline is June 1.

Thom Klos

Senior Marketing Advisor

PUT YOUR COMPANY IN THE SPOTLIGHT In the life of every business, certain events always stand out: • A grand opening • A brand new building • Completing a major project • Landing a major contract • Celebrating a milestone anniversary Spotlights are your opportunity to spread the word about your firm to the entire Southern Vancouver Island region. Contact me today to have your business featured in our publication.

To market your firm in the Business Examiner contact Thom Klos at 250-661-2297 or

Hutcheson & Co., Chartered Accountants LLP, has congratulated Tina Sharma and Delaney Walls on earning their CPA, CGA designations. The firm has also announced the appointment of Ammo Baines as its new partner. The Canadian Real Estate Association has predicted that the impact of declining oil prices on consumer confidence in some provinces will push down Canadian home sales by 1.1 per cent this year, to 475,700 units countrywide. However the BC average home price is expected to grow 3.4 per cent in the upcoming year. Developer Leonard Cole has proposed to tear down a row of aging rental properties for a new commercial-residential project in Cook Street Village. Five Greater Victorians have been named winners at the third annual Vancouver Island Top 20 Under 40 business awards. Winners included: Christina Kashmir Dhesi of Colliers International, Jason Cole of Power To Be Adventure Therapy, Matt Peulen of Metropolitan Capital Partners and Canadian Lighthouse Capital, Rahim

Khudabux of Max Furniture, Stew Young Jr. of Apline Group. Saanich councilors have approved a plan by Whole Foods Market to build a 40,000-square-foot grocery store at Uptown shopping centre. Revitalization of the Belleville Street Terminal and easing the Colwood Crawl have been named among the priorities listed in the province’s new 10-year transportation plan. Victoria’s Irish Times pub has been named among the top 10 best Irish pubs outside of Ireland. Hayes Stewart Little & Co., Chartered Accountants congratulated Kendra Bajkov, Jonathan Kasper and Jessica Venables on successfully writing the 2014 Uniform Final Exam for the Chartered Accountants of British Columbia, and Charity Holling for qualifying as a Certified General Accountant. The top automotive salespeople of the month for the Greater Victoria region have been announced, and include: Nathan Forbes of Harris Auto, Don Rusk of Jim Pattison Toyota, Joe Halasz of Pacific Mazda, Jeff Guerin of Wheaton, David Vollet of Audi Autohaus, Sandi Hester of Volkswagen Victoria, Matt Kennard of the Porsche Centre, Adam Mikasko of Three Point Motors, Matthew Traynor of BMW Victoria, Roland Whittall of Volvo, Chris Hoeg of Wille Dodge, Justin Stacey of Jenner, Jim Galand of Campus Honda, Roland Buehler of Campud Infinite, Nelson Chan of Graham KIA, Frank Pecorelli of Capmus Nissan, Bob Gardner of Saunders Subaru, Nick Lee of Campus Acura, Danny Usher of Galaxy Motors. Victoria clothing retailer Still Life for Him has relocated to a larger storefront at 560 Johnson Street, from its former location at 551 Johnson Street. Shoe retailer Keith Gage-Cole has moved Heart and Sole from the Rockfort Junction on Cook Street to a new, larger location at 1023 Fort Street. Ulla restaurant has transformed into Olo. Still located in its Fisgard Street location, the restaurant sports new hours, a new menu and a new approach in its Chinatown storefront. Contech Enterprises of Victoria is in bankruptcy after one of its major creditors blocked a proposal that would have dealt with its

ReMax Alliance has announced its sales leaders for the month of February, which includes: Karen Love, Ron Neal, Robyn Wildman, Chris Cochrane, Fergus Kyne, Mark Salter, Laura Godbeer, Alex Burns, Lynnell Davidge, Manpreet Kandola. CHEK News anchor Jim Beatty will be leaving his position in the corporate sector. Madone Pelan has been named the new senior sales manager at Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Saanich-based technology company Questner Tangent has signed a longterm agreement as a global supplier for Alstom Transport, a French transportation giant operating in more than 60 countries. The International Garden Tourism Network has named Victoria as Garden Destination of the Year. Steve Drane has sold his HarleyDavidson dealership after 41 years in the business. Steve Drane Harley-Davidon will now be known as Barnes HarleyDavidson after being sold to the Langleybased Barnes family. Discovery Honda has welcomed Luke Cross to its team as its newest Salesman. Jim Pattison Toyota Duncan congratulated Steve Reiffenstein on being named 2014 Salesman of the Year. The dealership has also welcomed the addition of Quinton Darnell to its team as Sales Manager. ReMax of Duncan-Mill Bay has announced its top producing individual realtors and top teams for 2014. The top three individuals were Mette Hobden, Pierre Campagne and Cordell Ensign, and the top 3 teams were the Kim Johannsen Team, the Cal Kaiser Team and the Debbie Meiner Team. The Mortgage Centre has announced the opening of a new franchise at 4-1400 Cowichan Bay Road. Engel & Volkers has announced that it will be opening locations across Vancouver Island, with shops in the Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Victoria. The City of Duncan has been recognized for its financial reporting for the third consecutive year, receiving the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers’ Association of the United States and Canada for the year ending Dec. 31, 2013. Royal LePage Duncan Realty congratulated its top producers for the month of January, which


APRIL 2015

included: Elizabeth Biberger, Brian Hebbert, Meredith Hood and Kenton McNutt. Paris Styling Group, located at 10680 Station Street, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Farm Table, a culinary partnership between Providence Farm and Vancouver Island University, has opened for business at 1843 Tzouhalem Road in Duncan. The restaurant is the new teaching dining room for the VIU culinary program. Duncan Realtor Jason Finlayson has been named the new Vancouver Island Real Estate Board President for 2015. Victoria Specialty Hardware & Plumbing Ltd., located at 477 Boleskine Road, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. BMO Bank of Montreal has announced the appointment of Julie Shepard as its new Branch Manager, James Bay branch. The Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has announced the upcoming reopening of the Pat Bay Visitor Centre, as well as the subsequent move of the Chamber office to the Pat Bay location. Mercy Ships Canada has announced that Chelsea Kanstrup will be leaving the team after 3 years to focus on her local film company Paper Hearts Films. Mercy Ships has welcomed the addition of Jane McIntosh as Donor Relations Coordinator and Andrea Gilbert as Donor Services and Database Coordinator. Custom Safety has moved to a new location at 3214 Douglas Street. Lifetime Networks has honoured Maximum Express as its Business of the Year at its Annual General Meeting on March 11.

MacCosham Inc., a locally owned moving company servicing Victoria since 1986, has been awarded the Atlas Van Lines’ National Government Services Quality Award for 2014.

that the government will no longer cut off welfare payments if parents go back to school or enter a training program. The change will cost the government $24.5 million over five years.

Spank It Sports, a sporting goods store specialized in soccer, rugby and volleyball merchandise for 34 years, is closing its doors.

The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the following businesses as its newest members: McDerMaids Ltd., Wells Seaside Park Ltd., Jenkins Marine Ltd., Nexus Electric Inc., Star Mobile Aesthetics, CloverCare Massage, Arbonne Independent Consultant, Authentically Nourished, Sooke Disposal Ltd.

The new Michaels store at Uptown shopping centre celebrated its grand opening March 20.

Hannes Blum, chief executive of Victoria-based, has resigned from the online book marketing company effective at the end of May.

The Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia has announced that Ian Robertson, CEO of TIA BC, will be leaving the association effective April 17 to take a position as CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. The GBC Golf Academy at Olympic View has announced that Lori Hamstra of Hamstra Golf will be joining its team of Academy Instructors. Pemberton Holmes has welcomed the following agents to its team of real estate professionals: William Nikl, Denise Tutte, Diane Andrews, Sandra Carswell, Vera Wilson, Richard Hajdu, Philip Rooke, Jason Finlayson, Jackie Wood, John Finlayson, Grant Scholefield. Nicon Developments Ltd. of 2922 Allenby Road in Duncan has welcomed Nadine Gendall to its team as its new Marketing and Sales Manager. Gendall will be overseeing the company’s new division, Nicon Homes. Victoria-based itgroove has welcomed Alec McCauley to its team. Social Development Minister Michelle Stillwell has announced

Michelle and Bob Wells of My Tech Guys in Comox were finalists at the CAFÉ Vancouver Island FEYA Awards held at the Uplands Golf Club in Victoria in February.

A large influx of cash will help Victoriabased Media-Core nearly double its staff this year and expand its reach around the world. A $4.5 million investment from Vanedge Venture Partners has allowed the cloud-based educational video platform company to increase its staff to as much as 35 from 20, and establish more customers around the world.

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC will now receive 100 per cent of the revenues generated from fishing licences, according to the provincial government. Malcolm Barker, vice-president and general manager of Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd., owned by

27 Seaspan Shipyards, has announced his retirement, effective sometime within the next few months. The Italian Bakery on Quadra reopened after a fire in January that caused extensive damage. Second generation owners Alberto Pozzolo and Janet Cochraine have made improvements to the building. The CVRD has obtained the legal services of Stewart McDannold Stuart for the provision of local government, law and legal services and Sheen Arnold McNeil for the provision of labour law legal services. Origin Bakery has been honoured as the best employer in BC. The gluten free bakery is located at 1525 Pandora and owned by Tara Black and Marion Neuhauser.

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APRIL 2015

WHO IS SUING WHOM The contents of Who’s Suing Whom is provided by a third-party resource and is accurate according to public court documents. Some of these cases may have been resolved by publication date. DEFENDANT Advanced Property Management Inc. 5463 Headquarters Rd, Courtenay, BC PLAINTIFF Normand Cote CLAIM $58,820 DEFENDANT Bietel Contracting 1527 Juniper Dr, Campbell River, BC PLAINTIFF Normand Cote CLAIM $58,820 DEFENDANT Black Creek Auction Mart Ltd. 8571B Reinhold Rd, Black Creek, BC PLAINTIFF Caroline Lakeland CLAIM $9,033 DEFENDANT Cellular Baby Cell Phones Accessories Specialists 6th floor 844 Courtney St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Fido Solutions CLAIM $309,345

DEFENDANT Coastal Construction Ltd. 1986 Mills Road, North Saanich, BC PLAINTIFF Shibusa Pond & Landscape Services Ltd. CLAIM $12,000 DEFENDANT Condor Properties 200-931 Fort St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF KWMM Investments Inc. CLAIM $7,596 DEFENDANT Double T Developments 547 12th St, Courtenay, BC PLAINTIFF Emile Bernard CLAIM $21,120 DEFENDANT Emerald Isle Plumbing and Heating Ltd. 201-467 Cumberland Rd, Courtenay, BC PLAINTIFF McLeod Construction Management Ltd. CLAIM $18,979 DEFENDANT Habitat Natural Cleaning Services 15-1594 Fairfield Road PLAINTIFF Warren Dick CLAIM $7,733 DEFENDANT

Hemsworth Master Builders Inc. 6-7855 East Saanich Road PLAINTIFF Gwendolyn Page CLAIM $158,496 DEFENDANT Island Dream Builders 40 Cavan Street, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF 0885538 BC Ltd. CLAIM $774,905 DEFENDANT Lucy’s Place Café Ltd. 26 Bastion Square, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF 1005649 BC Ltd. CLAIM $25,366 DEFENDANT Marmak Dental Ceramics Ltd. 111 Wallace St, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Coast Realty Group Ltd. CLAIM $25,256 DEFENDANT MOH Vehicle Sales and Rental Inc. 32-1400 Alberni Way PLAINTIFF Melody McNaughton CLAIM $25,216 DEFENDANT Naked Naturals Whole Foods Ltd. 201-156 Morison Ave, Parksville, BC PLAINTIFF Isabella De Rooy


CLAIM $25,196

CLAIM $11,487

DEFENDANT North and South Saanich Agricultural Society 1528 Stelly’s Cross Rd, Saanichton, BC PLAINTIFF Kevin Davenport CLAIM $19,423

DEFENDANT St. Troy Resources Inc. 200-1808 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF National Leasing Group Inc. CLAIM $45,028

DEFENDANT Palladian Developments Inc. 210-3260 Norwell Rd, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF 0852148 BC Ltd. CLAIM $8,072

DEFENDANT Top Quality Painters Ltd. 104-9717 3rd St, Sidney, BC PLAINTIFF General Paint Corp CLAIM $21,965 DEFENDANT Triple Bar Holdings Ltd. 1986 Mills Rd, North Saanich, BC PLAINTIFF Shibusa Pond and Landscape Services Ltd. CLAIM $12,000

DEFENDANT Palladian Developments Inc. 210-3260 Norwell Rd, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Modern Aluminum and Vinyl Products Ltd. CLAIM $9,078

DEFENDANT Victoria Tank Service Ltd. 3rd Floor 612 View St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Gavin Edwards CLAIM $25,216

DEFENDANT Quantotech Solutions 4th Floor 1007 Fort St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Gaia Photonics Inc. CLAIM $25,216

DEFENDANT Whites Diesel Power and Marine 2-2705 North Island Highway, Campbell River, BC PLAINTIFF David Troy CLAIM $6,205

DEFENDANT Robson Roofing and Contracting 66-3560 Hallberg Road, Ladysmith, BC PLAINTIFF Ian Mchale

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APRIL 2015 A division of Invest Northwest Publishing Ltd. Head Office 200 - 3060 Cedar Hill Road, Victoria, BC, V8P 3Y3 Ph: 1.250.661.2297  Fax: 1.250.642.2870 Toll free: 1.866.758.2684 Website:

PUBLISHER/EDITOR |  Lise MacDonald, SALES |  Thom Klos –, Josh Higgins –, Joanne Iormetti – WRITERS |  Goody Niosi, Julia MacDonald, Christopher Stephens, Ezra MacDonald



opping-up government wages & benefits costs taxpayers $20 billion per year; Urban transit workers in BC make 37% more, one of highest gaps in country. If you work in the private sector, you’re making up to $8,500 less per year, and working up to six hours more each week, than someone doing the same job for the government. This is one of several key findings from the latest Wage Watch report released today by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), pointing to a huge wage and benefits advantage for public sector workers over their counterparts in the private sector. W hen salaries, benefits and working hours are factored in, the average federal, provincial or municipal employee makes 1837 per cent more than someone doing the same job in a private business. Canada Post workers and federal government employees are the biggest beneficiaries. Urban transit in BC also had one of the biggest gaps in the country, with workers making 25.6 per cent

more in salaries than their private sector counterparts, and 36.7 per cent more in salaries and benefits. The report compares private sector employees to those at various government employers, and offers clear solutions to close the earnings gap between these workers, such as capping taxpayer-funded contributions to government pensions.

when it comes to setting the publ ic pol icy agenda i n th is country,” said Ted Mallett, chief economist and vice-president at CFIB. “Public sector earnings have been allowed to drift well above market-tested norms, and cash-strapped governments are looking for ways to invest in infrastructure and other priorities. Closing the gap is not just

Public sector salary and benefits % advantages over private sector, Canada

Public sector salary and benefits % advantages over private sector, British Columbia

Salaries only -BC -Vancouver -Victoria Salaries & benefits - BC - Vancouver - Victoria

Federal Government

Provincial Government

Municipal Government

Education Institutions

Healthcare Institutions

Urban Transit Authorities

5.8 2.1 10.0

2.0 0.3 8.1

6.8 5.6

2.9 0.8 3.6

-0.6 0.2 -1.1


20.7 16.5 25.5

17.4 15.3 24.3

16.7 15.4

17.9 15.4 18.6

13.9 14.8 13.3


* salaries only are adjusted for occupation, age, education ** salaries and benefits include pensions and working hours

If government workers were paid at the same rate as their private sector equivalents, taxpayers would save $20 billion each year. “The public-private wage gap is the elephant in every room

what’s fair, it’s what is needed.” Ba sed ch ief ly on Nat ion a l Household Survey (NHS) returns from 2011, the findings represent average full-time employment earnings for more than 7.2 million Canadians. Occupations that

don’t exist in both sectors are excluded. In British Columbia, it was pretty much the same story as the national picture: a continued and substantial gap in salary and benefits in favour of public sector employees, even after adjustments for differences in occupational mix, age, and education. “It comes down to a basic issue of fairness. Since these jobs are supported by taxpayers, it is completely appropriate to ask questions about these salary and benefit gaps, and the impact on the public purse’, said Laura Jones, Executive Vice-President

for CFIB. “This is particularly true since people in the Metro Vancouver region are voting, as we speak, in a plebiscite to add a new municipal sales tax to pay for infrastructu re. Yet, even a sma l l narrowing of the compensation gap over time could produce savings that would completely nullify any arguable need for new tax revenues”, concluded Jones. CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.




osses say ‘Go’; Leaders say ‘Let’s Go’. T hat’s one of the best descriptions of leadership I’ve ever heard, boiled down into one sentence. It says everything about what good leadership is, and should aspire to. It’s not about telling people what to do – it’s showing and demonstrating what should be done - so that others come along for the journey. There is perhaps no place where this is more important than in the corporate world. The adage: “Do as I say, not as I do”, works as effectively at home as it does

at the office, which is to say, it doesn’t. People are looking for leaders who lead by example. One of the benefits of entrepreneurial start-ups is that the person who starts a company has obviously had a vision they’ve had the courage to follow to implementation, taking the necessary risks along the way. During the journey, the leader has had to do a number of tasks as revenues rise and staff are added, giving them first-hand experience of what is required. Then, when employees come on board, they can be shown how the owner wants it done, and, of course, add their own expertise to the process once they’ve grown accustomed to - and appreciate - the corporate structure. In business, it is the leaders’ job to set the vision for the company and chart the course. Obviously mission statements are important. They are, in their most productive forms, collaborative efforts with staff and other team members. But before it gets to that point, the leader has to

decide that this course of action needs to be taken, and sets the parameters for the exercise. It is, after all, his or her ‘baby’. Once the vision is established, then it is the owner/president/ manager’s job to stay the course, and repeat the vision often so that everyone on the ship remembers what the purposes and goals of the company are. That’s easy to do when things are going well, but much tougher when storms arise within the firm, or in the economy. It’s in difficulty that the strength of the vision is tested and steeled. In other words, when things are at their darkest, vision and level-headed leadership are the most vitally important. Successful business owners recognize the importance of having a positive mindset. Although when things look bleak some may view having a “glass half-full” outlook as unrealistic, it is exactly that mindset that will ensure the team stays engaged until the company successfully navigates rough waters.

A friend often explained his vision of leadership with respect to results: W hen there is success, good leaders share the credit. When there are mistakes, they own them and take responsibility. Sharing the credit is a wise recognition that company success is due to the sum of its parts, and team members will appreciate not just the acknowledgement, but also the humility of a leader who knows he/she wouldn’t be where they are without the hard work and input of others. Some may doubt the validity of shouldering the blame for problems created by staff, but there are some very positive benefits for doing so. Firstly, staff respects the fact that the leader/ owner takes responsibility for the error, and shields them from exposure. Really, this should be the case – the buck has to ultimately stop at the one who signs the cheques. Secondly, customers and clients respect the owner/leader for standing and being accountable

– and for doing what needs to be done to make it right. We’ve all had situations where we’ve purchased goods or services and something has gone wrong. How annoying is it when the company representative gives an explanation that justifies their actions, yet doesn’t present an offer to “make things right”? It’s amazing how fast we can “put the fire out” by quickly asking the complainant: “What can I do to make it right?” It’s disarming and engaging all at the same time, and the answer is, almost always, a reasonable request. The ensuing positive, satisfying solution to a happy, satisfied client can sometimes be more valuable in terms of good will than the original transaction itself. Leadership, obviously, starts at the top. An investigation of any solid, successful company will reveal great ownership and ma nagement, wh ich a lways translates into happy, productive team members carrying out their responsibilities the same way.

SUBCRIPTIONS  |  $45 PER YEAR (12 ISSUES), $80 FOR 2 YEARS (24 ISSUES), SUBSCRIBE ONLINE: WWW.BUSINESSEXAMINER.CA. DISTRIBUTION: FOURTH WEEK OF EACH MONTH VIA CANADA POST AD MAIL. The publisher accepts no responsibility for unsolicited submissions. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. Produced and published in British Columbia. All contents copyright Business Examiner Victoria, 2014. Canadian Publications Mail Acct.: 40069240


APRIL 2015



The ‘duty of honest performance’


n November 13, 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada published its decision in Bhasin v. Hrynew. This case has attracted attention as it has created a new “duty of honest performance” which applies to contracts undertaken here in Canada. There is now a new legal duty of honest performance that applies to all contracts. This duty requires all parties to a contract to be honest with each other in relation to the performance of their contractual obligations. You cannot lie or mislead the other party about your contractual performance. For example, if you are asked how far along you are in the production of a customer’s product, and you lie about it, causing a loss to the customer; you may be liable for damages. If you are asked if you are going to renew a lease as may be allowed in its terms, and you lie about it, you may be liable for damages. There remains a fundamental commitment in the common law of contract on the freedom of contracting parties to pursue their individual self-interests. But it is tempered by a requirement to act

James A. S. Legh, Partner with Stevenson Luchies & Legh in good faith. Some may suggest that this duty of good faith will affect everyday commerce and cause uncertainty. However it should be the opposite. You might still expect some lack of candour in commercial settings and we understand that other people will have interests different from our own. Now you can expect that there will not be (at least in the performance of a contract which is different from the negotiation of the contract), blatant steps by those you have contracted with to undermine your interests. We must all perform our contractual duties honestly and reasonably and not capriciously or arbitrarily. T he principle of good faith

requires that when one is carrying out his or her own performance of a contract, they should have appropriate regard to the legitimate contractual interests of their contracting partner. The idea of “appropriate regard” for the other’s interests will vary depending on the context of the relationship. It does not require that you must act to serve the other’s interests in all cases. It merely requires that when working within a contract, a person cannot seek to undermine those interests in bad faith. The common-law legal system had historically been uncomfortable with imposing a requirement of good faith, instead embracing a theory of “freedom of contract.” Parties are free to enter into any contract they desire by mutual agreement, and are free to break their contracts – if they accept the legal and financial consequences. This new duty of honest performance is now a general doctrine of contract law and imposes a minimum standard of honesty in contractual performance. It operates irrespective of the intentions of the parties. Parties are free to contract out of the requirements of the doctrine, so long as they respect its minimum core requirements. However it may be hard to convince people that they should sign a contract when one of the terms is that the other side is not

required to be honest with you. There can be an even higher duty of good faith in certain types of transactions. This generally applies in situations where there is unequal bargaining power, or a special relationship of dependence. Provincial and federal legislation has established a duty of good faith or fair dealing in areas such as franchise agreements and labour law. Insurance contracts impose a duty of “uttermost good faith” to disclose all material facts. Where a fiduciary relationship exists between the parties – a relationship of trust, such as between a real estate agent and a client – the law imposes a high standard of care and loyalty, regardless of what a contract might say about the relationship. In Bhasin v. Hrynew, the Supreme Court of Canada has stated that a duty of good faith applies to all contracts, even ordinary ones which do not fall into any special category. The factual situation in Bhasin v. Hrynew illustrates the nature of the duty that applies. An investment services company (Can-Am) attempted to force a merger of two of its retail agencies which Bhasin did not want to occur. Can-Am repeatedly misled Bhasin and responded equivocally when asked whether the merger was a “done deal”, while at the same clearly


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planning to merge the agencies. The contract for Bhasin’s agency would renew automatically unless notice was given by either party not to renew. Can-Am then gave notice that they would not renew. Can-Am was found to have acted dishonestly with Bhasin throughout the period leading up to its exercise of the non-renewal clause with respect to its intentions and was liable for damages calculated on the basis of what Bhasin’s economic position would have been had Can-Am fulfilled its duty. In general, this duty of honest performance should not be a surprise. The sort of behaviour which will breach this duty would probably be seen as objectionable and dishonest in a commercial setting. Sometimes, however, the best business decision will not be seen as perfectly “honest” by everyone affected by it. If you find yourself unsure whether taking an action would be considered a breach of your duty of honest performance by a court, this is an indication that you should proceed with caution. In making an unpleasant business decision, you should consider all the consequences, both personal and legal. A legal advisor will be able to help determine whether the proposed action may constitute a breach of contract, and can advise on possible legal consequences and ways to reduce your risks.

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Business Examiner Victoria - April 2015  

Featuring the latest business news and information for Greater Victoria, including Sidney, the Saanich Peninsula, Langford, Colwood, Sooke a...

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