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Canfor Project Could Turn Waste Wood Into Crude Oil If Approved Pilot Plant To Be Built At The Intercontinental Pulp Mill
BY DAVID HOLMES
Regional Construction Company is a True One Stop Shop
RINCE GEORGE – Maximizing the use of the resource while minimizing
the waste has been a key part of the Canfor (Canadian Forest Products) business model right from the start. But a pilot project being envisioned for Prince
George will take that concept to a unique and unprecedented level in North America. If given the green light a $70 million facility to be constructed as
pa rt of the Interconti nenta l Pulp Mill will have the capability of turning wood waste into crude oil. “The technology takes biom a s s a n d c re ate s t h e r i g ht chemistry, pressure and temperature conditions to essent i a l ly accelerate n at u re. I n minutes we are creating conditions that nature takes thousands of years to develop, to allow for the conversion of biomass into conventional crude oil,” explained Martin Pudlas, Vice President, Operations for Canfor Pulp. F i r s t a n n o u n c e d i n Ju n e , Canfor, working with Licella, an Australian-based biofuel production company, is hoping to have the plant in operation by 2020, ma k i ng it the fi rst
News Update 2 Prince George 4 Terrace 5 Williams Lake 10 Movers and Shakers 11 Quesnel 13 Opinion 14
Canfor operates three pulp mills near Prince George, Intercontinental (left), PG Pulp (middle) and Northwood
Contact us: 1-866-758-2684
Economic Development Strategy To Be Presented This Summer
OUR 7TH YEAR
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SEE CANFOR | PAGE 13
City Of Dawson Creek Preparing For The Future
AWSON CR EEK – For Mayor Dale Bumstead t he key to t he City of Dawson Creek’s success a nd vibrancy is the diverse and expanding nature of its economy. Thanks to the launching of an in depth study of the community’s econom ic composition City Hall will soon have an important tool to help it guide the city through the 21 st Century. Orig i na l ly a fa rm i ng comm u n i t y, h o m e s t e a d e d b y European new arrivals in the i m m e d i a te p re-Wo rl d Wa r One era, the community has evolved over the decades, assum ing roles as a primary
The Mile 0 marker (with flags), the start of the Alaska Highway, is a famous local tourist attraction
transportation nexus, a forestry community and in more recent yea rs a hub for natu ra l gas ex ploration a nd development. Hav i ng such a d iverse a nd multi-tiered business struct u re t he lo c a l economy h a s rema i ned hea lthy a nd has weathered recent fisca l upheavals much better than other areas of the province. A primary goal of City Hall is to ensure the community continues to be successful and prosperous. To help identify issues, trends and to provide a general snapshot SEE DAWSON CREEK | PAGE 6
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2 PRINCE GEORGE Municipality Leads Canadian Mid-Size Cities in Economic Growth P ri nce G eorge w i l l see the st rongest econom ic g r ow t h among the seven cities covered in TheConference Board of Canada’s latest Mid-Sized Cities Outlook 2016. Following growth of 2.6 per cent last year, Prince George’s economy is forecast to make further gains over the next two years, with real GDP rising by 2.4 per cent this year and 2.8 per cent in 2017. Highlights ■ Prince George’s real GDP should grow by a healthy 2.4 per cent in 2016. ■ Multiple-unit starts in Prince George are set to hit a 20-year high in 2016, bolstered by the 173 unit RiverBend Seniors Community complex. ■ Employment in the city is forecast to grow by 4.5 per cent this year, following an 8.2 per cent decline in 2015. O n t he heel s of f ive ye a rs of g row th, output i n P ri nce George’s primary and utilities industry is projected to keep rising, albeit at a slightly cooler annual average rate of 2.6 per cent this year and next. Growth is being driven by stronger U.S. new home construction activity, which has generated higher demand for BC wood products. The local construction sector will also see strong growth this year. Multiple-unit housing starts are set to hit a 20-year high in 2016, boosted by the start of construction on the 173-unit RiverBend Seniors Community complex in April. On the non-residential side, much of the work on land clearing, road construction, and city servicing has already been completed on the $382-million Prince George Global Logistics Park, with spaces available for sale immediately. Currently, Inland Kenworth is constructing an 88,000 square foot building in the park that will be ready for occupancy this fall. Overall, construction output is expected to grow by 4.4 per cent this year. Thanks to the healthy local housing market, Prince George’s finance, insurance, and real estate industry is poised to expand by 5.6 per cent in 2016, making the sector this year’s growth leader. Although the remaining services-producing industries will post more moderate gains this year, overall output growth in the services sector is still projected to come in at 2.5 per cent. Following a steep 8.2 per cent decline in 2015, employment is expected to rebound this year and next, increasing by 4.5 per cent and by 2 per cent, respectively. This should allow consumer spending to maintain its
NEWS UPDATE positive momentum, with retail sales forecast to climb by 4.6 per cent this year. T he Mid-Sized Cities Outlook 2016 provides economic forecasts for seven cities that contributed financially to the research: Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie, Brandon, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, and Prince George. The report also includes historical economic and employment data for 31 mid-sized Canadian cities.
Northern BC First Nations to Undergo Labour Market Study A new partnership between the Province and the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA) will study labour market trends and needs - including future LNG opportunities - for 10 First Nations communities in the region. The BC government is providing $320,022 to PGNAETA for the project, which will be completed in collaboration with the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Lheidli T’enneh Band, McLeod Lake Band, Nadleh W hut’en Band, Nak’azdli Band, Saik’uz First Nation, Stellat’en First Nation, Takla Lake First Nation, Tl’azt’en Nation and Yekooche First Nation, as well as additional communities who choose to participate. T he project is employ i ng a co-ordinator, a research assistant and field interviewers to gather information and develop a skills inventory, long-term approaches for Aboriginal labour force development, and a human resources strategy to meet the anticipated labour demand for skilled workers in the participating First Nations communities. They will do so by conducting interviews with major employers, small businesses and up to 1,000 First Nations community members to determine areas of interest for future skills development. The strategy will include current and projected labour market needs, information on the current composition of the Aboriginal workforce, identification of training and education needs and strategies to meet labour market needs now and in the future. It will also create Aboriginal human resource development programs within each community. The report will be complete in October and shared with the participating communities. Fu nd i ng for t he project i s provided through the Labour Market Partnership stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program. Labour Market Partnerships help local employers, employee and employer associations, and communities develop ways to deal with worker shortages or changes in the job market so they can prepare for the future. The Community and Employer
Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint a nd provides the supports people need to gain a foothold in the job market. Projects build on strong partnerships between industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them. To date, more than 1,000 job seekers benefited from work experience and over 200 projects have been funded throughout the province. The blueprint was launched two years ago to help British Columbians get the skills they need to be first in line for the almost one million job openings that are projected by 2024 and to re-engineer our education programs towards a data-driven system focusing investments toward training for in-demand jobs.
$4.3M for Skills Training Seats at College of New Caledonia Trades students at the College of New Caledonia (CNC) will benefit from provincial funding of $4.3 million for skills training in high-priority trades seats. T h e i n v e s t m e n t , t h ro u g h the Industry Training Authority (ITA), will fund 1,712 seats at CNC through to March 31, 2017, i n va rious trades, i nclud i ng welding, electrical, millwright, carpentry and heavy mechanical group trades. T he f u nd i ng is pa r t of t he ITA’s annual allocation to BC post-secondary institutions and training providers to run various training programs throughout the province. In response to the objectives outlined in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the McDonald Report, the B.C. government has worked in partnership with the ITA to begin building a demanddriven trades training system with funding aligned to specific high-priority trades. The provincial government invests more than $94 million annually in industry training through the ITA. The ITA leads and co-ordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system by working with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades.
FORT ST. JOHN Phase 2 of Site C Worker Lodge Completed on Time + Budget BC Hydro and its contractor, ATCO Two Rivers Lodging Group, have reached a milestone in the construction of the Site C worker accommodation lodge. The second phase of the lodge
– which adds 900 rooms and key amenities – has been completed on time and on budget. The Site C worker lodge is being constructed in three phases. The first phase, which was completed in February 2016, included 300 rooms and temporary amenity facilities. Phase two of the camp brings the total number of rooms to 1,200 and includes the full dining hall and kitchen, lounge and fitness facility. The final phase is on track to be completed later this summer when all 1,600 rooms will be available for Site C construction workers. ATCO Two R ivers Lodging Group was awarded the eightyear $470-million contract to complete the design, construction, partial financing, operation and maintenance of the worker accom modation lodge. T h is contract includes the creation of approximately 360 positions during the construction and operation of the lodge. ATCO Two Rivers Lodging is recruiting locally for these positions. Some of the ATCO workforce during construction and operations includes: maintenance technicians, carpenters, electricians, HVAC technicians, general labour, front desk clerks, cooks, general kitchen help, salad and sandwich makers, bakers and dishwashers. There are now more than 1,200 British Columbians working on the Site C project, according to BC Hydro’s latest employment statistics.
DAWSON CREEK Dawson Creek Launches ‘Kindness Meter’ Spare Change? Why not plunk it in an old refurbished parking meter! In April of 2016 the City of Dawson Creek, in partnership with TransCanada, launched the Kindness Meter Initiative. The K indness Meters, which were created from refurbished parking meters, are placed in four strategic locations around t h e c o m m u n i t y. E v e r y s i x months two new local community groups are selected from a list of applicants to receive the funds collected over the time period, and then TransCanada matches the funds collected to donate to each group. City staff successfully applied for a g ra nt from T ra nsCa nada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline project, which will carry gas from the South Peace to the proposed LNG Canada plant in Kitimat. This grant will provide $10,000 to match donations collected from the meters, thus creating an amazing partnership and opportunity for non-profit groups within our community. The two groups currently receiving the donations are South Peace Com mu n ity Resou rce
Society (SPCRS) and theDawson Creek and District Hospital Foundation, and the City will have a new draw from the applications submitted in December of 2016. When asked about the initiative this is what the two groups had to say.
TERRACE City Unveils News Tourism Strategy Terrace’s new Com mu n ity Tourism Plan is now complete. The document outlines the goals and strategies that Kermodei Tourism Society (KTS) will lead in partnership with various organizations, to promote the local tourism economy. Kermodei Tourism is officially recognized as the tourism destination marketing organization for the Terrace region, and is also responsible for the daily operations of the Terrace Visitor Information Centre. A registered non-profit society, Kermodei Tourism is led by a Tourism Manager and is governed by a local volunteer board of directors. The Plan is a very important guiding document for KTS and the community, as tourism is a significant contributor to the local economy and an industry that employs many of residents either directly or indirectly. The development of the Plan was facilitated by Destination BC a nd led by K TS. Pa rticipating organizations included theCity of Terrace, the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, local tourism operators and accommodation providers. The plan identifies six main goals that the partners will work toward: ■ Define and leverage Terrace’s competitive advantage in target markets; ■ Increase the value of the Terrace tourism economy by achieving longer average lengths of stay and higher average spending per visitor; ■ Achieve growing occupancy levels and average daily rate for accommodators on a year round basis; ■ S u p p o r t t h e d e v e l o pment and reinvestment of capita l f u nd s i nto a compelling mix of visitor experiences, amenities, services and overall aesthetics that are also enjoyed by residents; ■ Generate employment and career opportunities, ■ Educate and communicate with the Terrace community to achieve their active support of tourism as an important economic and social contributor to quality of life in Terrace. This tourism plan replaces the 2010 Community Tourism Plan that was led by KTS. A community open house will be organized by KTS sometime this fall to share and discuss the plan.
CHRYSLER DEALERSHIP ONE OF THE LARGEST IN THE NORTH Northlandâ€™s New Facility Jokingly Referred To As the DodgeMahal
R I NCE GE ORGE â€“ For management, staff and cl ients a l i ke itâ€™s much more than a typical car dealersh ip â€“ itâ€™s the DodgeMahal! Northland Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ramâ€™s new dealership building is unique and downright spectacular. â€œT h is has to be the la rgest auto dealership in Northern BC. We operated out of a faci l ity before that was about 29,000 square feet, and one that we had completely outgrown. This new dealership is in excess of 63,000 square feet with 24 different bays counting detailing, so this is an incredible improvement,â€? explained Jim Meier, the Regional Controller for AutoCanada, owners of the dealership. More than a mere car dealership, Northland Dodge has a 19 bay service department capable of handling everything from the smallest passenger car to the largest commercial vehicle, with hoists able to lift up to 30,000 pounds. A total of 15 of the service bays are equipped with hoists capable of lifting up to 18,000 pounds. A significant local employer, the dealership has a staff of about 126. But the operation is far more than a sales and service centre. It also includes a two-lane express lube operation, a car wash and such unique extras as its own inhouse cafĂŠ for customers and staff. But the road to the opening of this spectacular structure was a long and complex one. Initial planning and design for the new showroom and service facility began about a decade ago, but only seriously got underway in 2011 when Northland began discussions with the City of Prince George. â€œIn 2011 we entered into discussions with the City as to the possibility of acquiring the piece of property that weâ€™re on now
Unlike at its old location thereâ€™s plenty of room for parking, both stock and for clients (Janice Gilbert/Shutterbug Shots)
The new dealership features more than 63,000 square feet of space (Janice Gilbert/Shutterbug Shots) (2844 Recplace Drive) as the site offered great exposure, highway frontage and a lot of other advantages,â€? Meier said. â€œT h is property was ow ned partially by the golf course and partially by the city so there were some hoops to go through. We had originally planned on building on a different piece of property that the company had purchased in 2006 but we decided there was a better opportunity for a more high profile frontage at this site.â€? Northland Dodge fine tuned its designs for the new complex in 2013, with ground breaking on the project beginning in the spring of 2014. All construction was essentially completed by the fall of 2015, with the dealership opening for business in September of that year. The new facility has proven so spectacular it won â€œRetail Project of the Yearâ€? at the 2016 Commercial Building Awards. T he award winning complex was constructed by IDL Projects Inc., a major privately owned civil and commercial construction firm with its head office in Prince George. IDL has worked on a vast number of commercial, industrial and institutional construction projects all across Western Canada and in the Caribbean. Projects the company has handled range from building bridges, to
constructing restaurants and office buildings. â€œThe project was certainly a major success for us and it was a pleasu re to work w ith the group we were working with,â€? explained IDLâ€™s Craig Cocker. â€œNorthland was involved in the project throughout the entire construction process. They provided valuable feedback which provided us with the opportunity to make immediate fixes to any issues that arose. Working with AutoCanada and the Northland Group helped to make this a very successful project.â€? A u n ique pa r t of the home grown f lavour of the Northland project is that a full 90 per cent of the actual construction was carried out by local tradespersons, a testament to the companyâ€™s desire to support the local construction industry. One of IDLâ€™s core business philosophies is to: Build Great Things, and with the completion of the project in 2015 the firm has done just that. â€œIDL were terrific to deal with. They were consistently professional in every aspect of the process,â€? Meier said. For Meier and all of the Northland Dodge management and staff there is a great deal of pride associated with the project. â€œWe try to be about the community as much as possible. Weâ€™re all passionate about giving back to the community. This region is
Proud to have worked with IDL Projects to provide landscaping services to this great project.
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Northlandâ€™s new dealership was designed to feature natural light (Janice Gilbert/Shutterbug Shots)
Room to roam, the new dealership building more than twice the size of the old one (Janice Gilbert/Shutterbug Shots) what has allowed us to do what we do here as far as having this magnificent building,â€? he said. â€œItâ€™s the people in the community and the region who have supported us. We try to stay community focused and community based. Now to serve our
customers even better, we have this new facility, which we hope will provide them with an even more favourable experience.â€? To learn more please visit the companiesâ€™ websites at: www. idlprojects.com and www.northlanddodge.ca
‘THE BIG SQUEEZE’ A COMMUNITY AFFAIR
PRINCE GEORGE CHRISTIE RAY
ost work pl aces foster team-based relationships, but there is something incredibly special about engaging as teams within your community. On August 3 rd , our Chamber participated in ‘The Big Squeeze’ event orga n i zed by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Prince George. T he event b u i ld s f r iend ly competition among businesses and organizations who work to create the best lemonade and serve it at individual lemonade sta nds th roug hout the city. T here a re two troph ies (a nd associated bragging rights) up for grabs: 1) for the best tasting lemonade, as deemed by a panel of judges, and 2) for the tea m wh ich ra ises t he most m o n e y. A l l d o n a t i o n s h e l p
ra ise f u nds that go towa rds proactive mentoring programs in Prince George. T h is yea r, ou r tea m d id n’t just come up with an amazing Watermelon Mint Lemonade recipe but we upped the ante by producing a trailer for a fictitious su m mer blockbuster movie: “The E-lemon-ator”. The movie trailer, uploaded to YouT ube ( https://youtu. be/4q8kjq_GiaA), spurred the competition and helped create a stream of friendly banter on social media in the days leading up to The Big Squeeze event. It took only 4 hours to raise $ 61 25 b e t w e e n t h e 15 p a rticipating businesses and orga n izations! T he weather was su n ny a nd wa rm wh ich made for excellent lemonadedrinking conditions. Customers pulled up in vehicles to our ‘drive thru’ while others ordered lemonade for the whole office. This is such a fun annual event and we are already making plans for next year! We’d like to thank some the a mazi ng Cha mber members who donated door prizes and suppl ies to suppor t ou r Big Squeeze efforts: Midway Purnel ( P G), M R M I K ES Stea khouse Casual (PG), Pine Centre Ma ll, Centra l BC R a i lway &
Forestry Museum, Barkerville Historic Town, and Wendy’s Restaurant (PG). As for upcoming events, the nex t big focu s for ou r tea m is the Business Excellence Aw a r d s N o m i n e e s L u n c heon taking place on September 15 at the Coast Inn of the North. T h is event w i l l offer guests a chance to meet Prince George’s best in business! This yea r we received more tha n 110 nominations so the room w i l l be packed w it h excited nom i nees, thei r friends a nd families. Attendees w i l l sha re the room with our fabulous nominees and be among the first to hear who has made it to the f i n a l s i n each of t he eleven award categories. The top four nominees from each award category will move forwa rd to the voti ng rou nd and will be highlighted at the Business Excellence Awards Gala on October 22nd. Those interested in tickets may call our Chamber at 250-562-2454 or register online at www.pgchamber.bc.ca.
Christie Ray (right), Chamber CEO, demonstrating her superior chalk art skills, with Erin Tulle (left), Office Administrator and Bookkeeper. PHOTO CREDIT: PRINCE GEORGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Christie Ray is the CEO of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at christie.ray@ pgchamber.bc.ca.
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INVESTMENT IN BC’S NORTHWEST STRONG DESPITE DELAYS IN MAJOR PROJECTS
TERRACE BRIAN DODDRIDGE
edia sources are qu ick to poi nt out t he d i sappoi nt ment rega rd i ng t he del ayed f i n a l investment decision (FID) of LNG Canada’s $40 Billion export facility in Kitimat. And yet many businesses and residents in Terrace maintain a positive and optimistic economic outlook. A City led business survey completed in early 2016 showed that 57 per cent of randomly surveyed businesses in our community have either experienced steady business or have grown over the past year and 50 per cent expect growth over the next year. Whether this expectation is derived from the bel ief that a posit ive F I D w i l l be m ade or not, local investors are not sitti ng back a nd wa iti ng for major projects. Although un-
“A City led business survey completed in early 2016 showed that 57 per cent of randomly surveyed businesses in our community have either experienced steady business or have grown over the past year.”
million overhaul that will improve the look a nd f u nction of the facility. There are also plans by a private developer to install a new fiber-optic cable network that will dramatically i ncrease I nternet speed a nd will enhance connectivity for local businesses. Although our community is dependent on world markets to see large-scale resource sector g row th, we a re u n iquely positioned both demographically and geographically as the “hea rt of the Northwest” to take advantage of a variety of
opportunities in manufacturing, forestry, tourism, retail, a nd t he ser v ic e a nd s upply industries. Over the next one to two years nearly 700 acres of the Skeena Industrial Development Park will be developed by its current owner for leasing by businesses currently established in the Qinhuangdao Economic and Technological Development Zone of China. The City plans to host an investor tour for this project later in 2016 and is supportive of companies as they proceed with analysis
of business opportunities. Business owners are continuing to choose Terrace. W hen t h i s s t ron g, lo c a l d evelopment is occurring within the broader context of challenging energy and metal market conditions it is clear that Terrace has a unique advantage worth exploring. Brian Doddridge is a Communications and Business Development Intern at the City of Terrace. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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Ryan Hales and Erin Reimer One of the many different in-progress projects currently in development in Terrace. PHOTO CREDIT: CITY OF TERRACE
doubtedly project delays have tempered enthusiasm, many proponents are continuing to advance projects in the Terrace area. Fo r c o m m e rc i a l d e v e l o pment two new large hotels are bei ng constructed, creati ng job opportu n ities as wel l as prospects for hosting largescale events. A new 7-Eleven and gas station is being built on H i g hway 16 a nd a home improvement outfit on a busy t horou g h fa re i s a l so u nd er construction. For residential construction,
two high-end townhouse projects have been undertaken in recent months, one of which has already completed and is currently selling units. To supp or t t he g row t h we’ve ex per ienced over t he past several years, the City is continuing to make strategic investments in its infrastructure. Two large road replacement projects are underway, updati ng some of the City’s water and sewer lines as well as repaving worn roadways. T he City-operated Aquatic Center is preparing for a $4.3
MNP congratulates Erin Reimer and Ryan Hales on their appointments to the Partnership. Born and raised in Terrace, B.C., Ryan and Erin offer strategic local insight backed by the expertise and capabilities of MNP’s national network of professionals. Serving a wide range of clients including private and public sector organizations and First Nations, they deliver clear, straightforward business advice to help our clients succeed. With 18 locations across B.C., MNP is the only national accounting and business consulting ﬁrm with an ofﬁce in Terrace – and the entire Skeena-Northwest region. We continue to deliver the industry-leading people and the results you need to be successful. Contact: Ryan Hales, CPA, CA at 250.635.4925 or firstname.lastname@example.org Erin Reimer, CPA, CA at 250.635.4925 or email@example.com
OFF THE COVER
DAWSON CREEK CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
of the health of the local business community the council recently initiated work on an economic strategy for the city. “Part of our overall Strategic Plan for the community is to develop an Economic Development Strategy for the city. We have since hired a company out of the Lower Mainland (Vann Struth Consulting Group Inc.), a consulting group, to assist us with some of the ground work to do that,” he explained. “We will be engaging with different community groups and business sectors to assemble some of the analytical data needed for us to understand what components are important to our community for future economic development.” The study is currently underway and once completed and compiled the results will be presented to City Council, providing the raw data to help it develop a plan for future growth. “Once you have a strategy, that in turn defines what structure you’re going to need in order to proceed with any key objectives identified,” he said. For Bumstead the findings of the economic strategy will influence all aspects of the local community. “One of the things that will happen with a study like this is that the findings will impact the Chamber of Commerce, the
Now an art gallery, this Dawson Creek grain elevator is a testament to the area’s agricultural past tourism sector, in essence it will impact all the various groups and sectors within the community.” Named after the watercourse that runs through it (in turn named after surveyor George Mercer Dawson who led a team through the region in 1879) Dawson Creek today covers an area of
A natural gas wellhead such as this one is a new marker for Dawson Creek’s economic future
about 24 square kilometers and has a population of just over 11,500. Incorporated as a village in 1936, it officially became a city in 1958. A railway terminus and major highway junction, the reg ion’s fa r m i n g c om mu n it y helped it f lourish in the 20 th
The Economic Development Strategy will help in the planning of Dawson Creek’s future growth
The oil and gas that will be produced in the Montney Formation gas fields will travel to market by pipeline
Century as a key distribution point for locally grown crops. During World War Two the community was the starting point for the famed Alaska Highway, built by wartime pressures to aid in the shipment of material northward as part of the North American war effort. The findings of the Economic Strategy to be presented this summer will guide the community in prioritizing its future development efforts. “Dawson Creek began as an agricultural community but over the years transitioned into transportation, forestry and tourism. But now natural gas is really transforming us like never before,” Bumstead said. “From that perspective we really have to do the work now to determine what it is we really need to do to ensure we encourage, enhance and build the economic opportunities needed for our
community and region to grow – that’s what it’s all about now.” The development of the Montney Formation gas field holds the promise of enhancing the community like never before. Earlier studies have shown the formation has the potential to contain as much as 449 trillion cubic feet of marketable natural gas, 14,521 million barrels of marketable natural gas liquids and some 1,100 million barrels of oil. Being in proximity to such a resource the community it ideally situated to service the find as it is developed. “The Montney gas field that we’re sitting on is really transforming us. The Strategy will help provide us with the long term view we’ll need to ensure our community will be strong in the future,” he said. To learn more please visit the city’s website at: www.dawsoncreek.ca
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AIRPORTS Bc Air Traffic Numbers Stimulate Growth And Expansion Marketplace Optimism, Increased Capacity And Reliability Are Key To Increased Use Of Air Travel BETH HENDRY-YIM
urging numbers of airline passenger traffic in BC has stimulated growth and expansion in major airports across the province. The reason for the increased use according to Lindsay Cotter, manager of marketing and communication at Prince George Airport (YXS), could be stronger marketplace optimism, while Mike Hooper of Nanaimo’s YCD believes that part of it could be due to major improvements in capacity, reliability and safety.
Amelia Bearhart, Prince George’s airport mascot has become so popular that we are getting requests for her to appear at events
Due to mountainous terrain Prince Rupert Airport is located on an island five nautical miles by ferry, from the city.
Prince Rupert Airport invested $19 million in renovations and upgrades to its facility CREDIT:RICHARD REED & SON
CREDIT:RICHARD REED & SON
CREDIT: PRINCE GEORGE AIRPORT
LINDSAY COTTER MANAGER MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION PRINCE GEORGE AIRPORT
Though fluctuations in numbers from month to month occur, the general consensus across BC’s larger airports is that more people are taking to the air as a fast and easy alternative for traveling across the country and to international destinations. Fred Legace, general manager of Kamloops Airport (YKA), said that air travel got more affordable in his community with the introduction of New Leaf Travel, a low cost carrier with biweekly flights between Kamloops, Edmonton and Victoria. “We are seeing retirees from across Canada, settling in Kamloops and regularly flying back to visit family as well as family coming to visit Kamloops.” He added that being able to offer New Leaf as an alternative opens up opportunities for those that may not have considered flying. Although he explained that traffic numbers showed a 3 per
Lindsay Cotter said that increased passengers numbers could be due to marketplace optimism
Original post and beam structure from 1961 at YPR stayed, but everything else was replaced CREDIT:RICHARD REED & SON
cent increase, the number was skewed by what he called the ‘Fort McMurray Effect’. “We have quite a few people who live in Kamloops and work up north. We’re just starting to see that traffic growing again. Those lower numbers were balanced by our incredible winter snow season. We saw people flying in from places like Australia, New Zealand and the United States, taking advantage of the low dollar and ski conditions. Sun Peaks had its best season ever.” He a d d e d t h at b e c au s e of projected i ncrea ses i n pa ssenger numbers the airport is
concentrating its efforts on efficiencies and an improved customer experience. “We’re putting $3.5 million into reconstructing an apron, currently out of service, to allow larger aircraft, like the Q400, more space for parking.” In addition, he said that YKA has added more food services, modernized the waiting area and redid the front entry landscaping. At YXS, Cotter said its focus, after last year’s record breaking numbers, is through community outreach and finding ways to connect with its community as a great corporate citizen. It
recently, launched a new website with better tracking options and a virtual tour of the airport. It also saw the introduction of a marketing campaign unique to airports in North America by creating a mascot, Amelia Bearheart. Celebrating the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and an iconic animal symbol of the north, Bearheart, the brain child of Cotter, is part of YXS’ desire to improve passenger experience and build brand awareness in a unique, engaging, energetic way. The results far exceeded expectations. “We wanted to increase our exposure in the public eye by having Bearheart attend special events and greeting passengers on a regular basis. She has become so popular that we are getting requests for her to appear at events.” On Vancouver Island, Victoria International Airport (YYJ) and (YCD) are continuing to see passenger numbers climb and are marking out long term goals to accommodate its steady growth. “After 32 months of consecutive growth at the YYJ we are working hard to meet the demand for expanded facilities.” said James SEE AIRPORTS | PAGE 8
8 AIRPORTS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7
Bogusz, vice president operations and development. Last year, the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) announced its plans for a 10 year, $160M phased capital program to expand its facilities and meet the growing demands of the community. The VAA is currently expanding its main apron, that serves over 1.7 million passengers, to provide additional aircraft parking and allow for expansion of its lower passenger departure lounge. Sensitive to environmental matters, and the apron expansion, VAA will also include
a new glycol (aircraft de-icing fluid) capture area. In addition, enhancements to the main customer parking lot are underway and include the addition of electric vehicle charging stations and 325 new spots being paved in the long term lot. YYJ is also celebrating new air service. In April, Delta Air Lines began service to Seattle 3 times per day and New Leaf will be welcomed on July 30 when they commence non-stop service to Kamloops and Winnipeg. Hooper said that, Nanaimo airport’s 20-year plan is also a reflection of its substantial growth and includes an approximately $43 million expansion that will
see a larger boarding lounge, improved security line for checking baggage and carryon luggage, increased car rental space and paid parking lot area and a larger apron. “We are still getting record breaking passenger numbers month after month,” he pointed out, adding that in three years, numbers went from 1 million passengers to 2 million. “Our demographic includes a significant amount of international students attending Vancouver Island University, and business people who live here while working elsewhere.” Rick Reed, general manager of Prince Rupert Airport (YPR) said
Cutline:Prince George airport’s mascot, Amelia Bearheart, has been a hit at the airport and special events CREDIT:PRINCE GEORGE AIRPORT
A 25,000 square foot warehouse is 60 per cent occupied by Rosenau Transportation Ltd. CREDIT: PRINCE GEORGE AIRPORT
PRINCE GEORGE PRINCE GEORGE WILLIAMS LAKE
that although passenger numbers have consistently sat at approximately 65,000 for the past decade, those numbers will change when an announcement is made in September concerning LNG. “When the LNG plants go in our passenger numbers could increase to over 300,000,” he said. YPR is ready for the increased traffic, it’s just invested $19 million into restructuring the airfield, asphalt apron and taxi way, as well as completely revamping
the air terminal. “The original terminal was built in 1961,” Reed said. “It needed a redo. We saved the post and beam, but redid everything else, including electrical and plumbing.” As the gateway to the north, YPR has direct and connecting flights to Vancouver and like airports across BC is prepared to continue helping its passengers see the world and serve the business community.
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TASEKO MINES TAKES STEPS TOWARDS DEVELOPING NEW PROSPERITY MINE
WILLIAMS LAKE CLAUDIA BLAIR
elcome to our new members: Curlew Here-
fords, D&S Electric Ltd., Elegant Event Rentals & Planning Company, Fortis BC, and Likely Lodge y y y The Tourism Discovery Centre has been undergoing a massive redo
as contractors are making it look like brand new again. Thank you to everyone for their patience as we move to the half way point in this exciting project. The difference looks stunning as the west side is finished and we have received very positive feedback from locals and visitors alike who drop in with their friends and family. y y y On July 20, Taseko Mines of Vancouver said that the BC Environmental Assessment Office is proceeding with Tasekoâ€™s request to amend the environmental assessment certificate for the New Prosperity gold-copper project 125 km southwest of Williams Lake. In addition to this undertaking, Taseko will be filing a Notice of Work (NOW) with the Ministry of Energy & Mines which will allow the Company to gather information to advance mine permitting under the British Columbia Mines Act. Taseko looks forward to working
with the six local Tsilhqotâ€™in First Nation bands as represented by the Tsilhqotâ€™in National Government on the consultative and substantive aspects of the NOW as per the terms in the 2012 settlement agreement. New Prosperity is the largest undeveloped gold/copper porphyry in North America and contains 11 million ounces of gold and four billion pounds of copper and, when in production, will produce 250,000 ounces of gold and 110 million pounds of copper annually for 20 years. y y y Numbers at the Visitor Centre for the past few months is way up compared with the last two years. US travel is up significantly; international travellers have varied and recently travellers from countries such as Sweden and the Czech Republic have been enjoying the city and area. Hats off to all the businesses and
volunteers who have helped make many events a success these past few months. The largest events other than the Williams Lake Stampede were the Shriners in May and the Elders Gathering in July. These events showcased our community and brought in many people who may not normally have planned to visit. Many other events of varying sizes all contribute to making Williams Lake & area a fantastic place to spend some time learning about us. y y y It seems like yesterday that we just had our board elections but they are held annually the last Thursday of October, only 3 months away. We are always on the lookout for members to step up and get involved with the Chamber. Please give us a call if you are interested and we would be happy to provide you with more information about being a director and answer any questions you might have.
We invite members and guests to attend our General Meeting luncheons the last Thursday of each month. Note there isnâ€™t any meeting in August or December. Chamber meetings offer businesses the opportunity to meet other businesses. Please RSVP by the last Tuesday to 250-392-5025 or email visitors@ telus.net. Make sure your contact information is up to date; visit the Williams Lake & District Chamber of Commerce websites at www.williamslakechamber.com or tourismwilliamslake.com. Our websites also promote local and regional events encouraging visitors to come and play in the area and may increase their length of stay. There is no cost to list your events on our website.
Claudia Blair is the Executive Director of the Williams Lake & District Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTEGRIS CREDIT UNION SERVING THE NORTH FOR 70 YEARS Prince George Branch Incorporates New Integris Professional Centre
RINCE GEORGE â€“ Integris Credit Union, in all of its previous iterations, has been successfully serving the financial service needs of the residents of Northern British Columbia for seven decades, and there are no signs itâ€™s slowing down any time soon. The opening of the award winning Prince George branch is further proof of the Credit Unionâ€™s commitment to the north. â€œIntegris Credit Union is actually the amalgamation of three different credit unions,â€? explained Brenda Astorino, Integrisâ€™ Vice President of Operations. â€œOriginally it was the Prince George and District Credit Union and Savings which is 65 years young. But about 10 years ago we amalgamated with Nechako Valley Credit Union and Quesnel and District Credit Union to form Integris.â€? The Integris Credit Union currently operates seven branches, from Fort St. James in the north to Clinton in the south. The new Prince George branch (Integrisâ€™ second largest) was a finalist for â€œRetail Renovation Project of the Yearâ€? at the 2016 Commercial Building Awards. This exceptional facility was the result of a complete renovation to an existing strip mall building, which was transformed into a modern facility which vastly improves the streetscape of one of the busiest intersections in Prince George. Essentially a complete rebuild,
The new Prince George branch was a finalist in the recent 2016 Commercial Building Awards t h e o r i g i n a l s t r u c t u re w a s stripped down to three walls and a partial roof before work began on the new branch. Partially as a tribute to the regionâ€™s forest industry, the new structure integrates an extensive use of wood on both its exterior and interior, offering customers a warm and comfortable venue as well as a huge source of pride for the Integris membership. â€œO u r la rgest bra nch is the Vanderhoof location (opened six years ago) which is two stories and much larger. The renovation of the Prince George branch was completed in October 2015,â€? Astorino explained. â€œWith this branch weâ€™ve created what we call the Integris Professional Centre. This is the first time weâ€™ve tried to create something like this. In a nutshell this branch is far more than just a financial institution.â€? Un l i ke w ith the Cha rtered Banks, which are in essence major corporations, often with global connections, Credit Unions are more locally focused. Owned by their customers, the strength of the Credit Union movement
rests with the support and pride of ownership of its membership. As a Professional Centre the Prince George branch was created to provide a full range of services not typically found in a local credit union outlet. â€œThe whole idea of the Integris Professional Centre was it becoming a one stop shop for all financial services. You can come in and do your regular banking. You can do your insurance and financial planning. We also have a lawyer on-site and weâ€™re currently looking to have an on-site Chartered Accountant,â€? Astorino said. â€œBy creating a Professional Centre, we wanted to create a place where you can go and get all of your professional needs done in one stop. This centre was designed from the start to be people friendly. It was about the conversation, it wasnâ€™t just a place where you go to cash a cheque. This is the place where you can go to have an actual conversation with somebody about your needs. It was never intended to be some cold, grey institution.â€? Unlike in a traditional bank,
In a great location, the new outlet saw the siteâ€™s original structure torn down and completely rebuilt where customers have to queue up to be served by the next available teller, at the Professional Centre, clients can choose from a variety of comfortable seating, grab a coffee from the coffee bar and wait for the teller to come to them, not the other way around. â€œInstead of that typical across the counter transaction the â€˜teller podsâ€™ allow the teller to come out, greet the member, bring them over, stand beside them to have them sign something if they need to. It was just more conducive to a conversation than what was done before,â€? she said. For the future Integris anticipates continued growth, with a current staff count of about 235 between the seven branches and the organizationâ€™s corporate office likely to grow in the coming years. â€œWeâ€™re going to continue to grow because relationships and communities are what weâ€™re all about. Regardless of any expansion our focus is going to remain on being an actual Credit Union, which is all about cooperative values and giving back to our communities,â€? Astorino said.
â€œWeâ€™re all about ownership. Thatâ€™s what we did; we bought a building and built a branch. Itâ€™s not a lease; we wanted to have a physical, concrete commitment to the community. Weâ€™re putting a foot on the ground and letting people know that weâ€™re here to stay.â€? To learn more please visit the credit unionâ€™s website at: www. integriscu.ca
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Westbank First Nation Setting Torrid Pace Chief Robert Louie Leads Wfn To Economic Development Success And Prosperity BY MARK MACDONALD Business Examiner Thompson Okanagan
EST KELOWNA – Westbank First Nation has become a beacon to First Nations in Canada. It has a vibrant, growing economy, headed by strong commercial and residential construction, directly attributable to the introduction of Land Title Insurance. Forestry operations. The restoration of a sockeye salmon fishery from Okanagan Lake. Two under-development wind power generation stations. The possibility of a private health care facility. All this without having a completed treaty with federal and provincial governments. Like most things in life, strong leadership spawns success. The transformation of West Kelowna is a shining example of that, as it has everything to do with Chief Robert Louie and his team of councilors. A University of Victoria law graduate, Louie’s first tenure as Chief ran from 1986-1996. He has served in the position continuously since returning to office in 2002. While disappointing, the 1996 electoral defeat allowed Louie time to work Key, transformational legislation affecting First Nation management that has allowed WFN to propel forward, including selfgovernment framework. Combined with his time as Chief, Louie has gained approval of a WFN Self-Government Agreement with Canada, successfully implemented the WFN Land Code and property taxation, and WFN brings forth continual annual budgets and profits. The heavy lifting that allowed WFN to make such substantial forward progress. His legal background and negotiating skills were invaluable, particularly as he realized that WFN desperately needed infrastructure before any significant development could take place. During his first term as Chief, Louie focused on putting state-ofthe-art water and sewage systems in place. WFN installed its first water system in 1988, after wells on reserve land went dry. Frustrated that WFN, nestled beside Okanagan Lake, even had water and sewer issues, Louie dug in. “We made a decision to exercise our inherent right to have access to Okanagan Lake water,” Louie notes. “Once we put the water rights in play, hooking up to the Regional District sewage system wasn’t a problem. “I recall threatening that we would be creating a deep-lake (sewage) outfall. When they heard that, they said ‘why don’t you tie into our system?’ So it worked,” he said. “Also, access was needed for Highway 97, which ran through two
major reserves. So we put that into our starting negotiating positions. It couldn’t be built without WFN being accommodated, one way or another. And it has.” Once that infrastructure was in place, it brought attention to developers who saw WFN lands as an attractive location to build and invest in. Land Title Insurance One of the game changing moves Louie made that has helped thrust WFN forward was the introduction of Land Title Insurance. Prevalent throughout the United States, Land Title Insurance provides certainty for developers and investors from any possible “rogue” councils tearing up existing agreements for political reasons. “Ours was the first in Canada, and set the standard that this is possible,” Louie says. “It protects investors from subsequent councils, regardless of who the Chief or council is, and it provides clear procedures that must be followed. It recognizes existing agreements, and a new rogue council can’t change things willy-nilly.” Louie sees it as a pivotal point in WFN development. “Our message got out to developers and they started contacting us,” he says. Today, Louie proudly states “We have more development here than on any reserve in Canada.” Westbank First Nation has 840 band members, which is an average size for a B.C. First Nation. There are now 10,000 residents living on WFN land (most non-native) and 4,500 homes, along with over 400 businesses and close to 1.4 million square feet of shopping centre space. “We have constant activity, seven days a week, 365 days a year, on our WFN lands,” Louie says. “In the past 10 years, WFN has issued a half billion dollars in development permits. Out of 162 municipalities in B.C., WFN is rated the 61st largest in terms of property assessment. Our GDP is a half billion dollars a year, and since 2009, over $80 million in taxes has been raised from WFN lands in GST and PST. There is plenty of construction taking place on WFN lands, which means local jobs. “I see opportunity here because of what’s happening in Alberta (the current downturn) and on the Coast (rising real estate prices), and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down any time soon,” he says.
PRIVATE LAND OWNERSHIP Another advantage WFN offers is the opportunity for band members to own their own land and homes. It is a well-known fact that homeowners are more attentive to upkeep of their properties than renters, and some believe this opportunity alone will bring significant change to First Nations housing throughout the country. “Different bands have different
existing system that could spur dramatic improvement.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS WFN is currently working towards creating two wind farms through partnerships, one near Pennask Lake off the Coquihalla Connector towards Merritt, and another between Summerland and Peachland. Together, they are expected to create 15 megawatts of power, enough to power up to 4,000 homes. WFN also has a timber license that allows for an annual allowable cut of 100,000 cubic metres, creating more jobs. A project Louie is especially excited about is the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks to Okanagan Lake. 10,000 salmon fry have been released into the lake by the eightmember Okanagan Nation Alliance, which includes a band based in Colville, WA. The fisheries building in Penticton, which won a Southern Interior Construction Association Commercial Building Award last year, is home to 15 biologists and close to 90 staff. “It will be the largest inland fishery for First Nation peoples in Canada,” he says. “We have a first-rate team that is absolutely phenomenal. “In four years, we expect to have salmon back in Okanagan Lake system,” he adds. “Fisheries can be a major component of our economy for years to come.”
Westbank First Nation Chief Robert Louie viewpoints on land,” Louie notes, adding some prefer for the band to hold all land title, while others see the benefits of individuals having personal ownership of property. “The way we see it is we have people looking towards the future, that want to own their own, and they want to pay. It’s real property for them and it brings a sense of pride,” he says. A drive through WFN lands demonstrates this clearly. Louie says one cannot tell which homes are owned by First Nation members or non-aboriginals. “You won’t be able to tell the difference between on-reserve and off-reserve housing,” says Louie. “We have sidewalks and street lights everywhere, and it’s getting better all the time. Compared to how it was 30 years ago, it’s night and day.” Louie views governance control and decision-making power as vital ingredients for forward progress. “I k now wh at c a n h app en with government control and land management,” he says. “That’s a huge game-changer.” Health care opportunity WFN has been working for years on building a private health care centre on its land. Initially announced as a partnership with well-respected John Hopkins University of Baltimore,
Maryland, the hospital project has stalled. Litigation with the original partners in the project is close to being completed, meaning a search for another major investor can get underway. The project had over 93 per cent approval from WFN members, some of whom are disheartened about the fact it hasn’t been able to proceed yet. Louie is confident it will happen, and adds it needs to happen. “The cost of health care in Canada is escalating, and the balance that is needed is privatized health care that complements the existing system,” he says. “That is the future, and it has to happen.” Louie maintains a two-tiered health system is already in place in this country, via plastic surgery and other procedures. A private health care clinic on First Nations land could be allowed to circumvent the Canada Health Act due to its economic benefits to WFN, while allowing Canadians who have the financial wherewithal to “jump the queue” and obtain health care here that they’ve demonstrated they’re willing to travel to the United States and beyond to obtain now. It could lessen lengthening weight times for patients, create well paying jobs in the health care sector, and just by virtue of its existence, apply competitive pressure to Canada’s
ASSISTING OTHER FIRST NATIONS Louie, along with Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie (no relation), are acknowledged frontrunners when it comes to First Nation leadership, particularly in regards to economic development. Robert Louie summarizes it by noting that First Nations need three things to enable them to move forward: Infrastructure, government structure and community will. He notes that he gets several inquiries each week from other First Nation groups across the country with questions about what they’ve done and how they can get things done. “We open our doors willingly,” he says. “We don’t charge a fee. If we can help them, we do. And they have ideas for us, too. We’re always learning and that is very valuable.” WFN continues to work towards final treaties. “We’re upping the ante with other First Nations in the Okanagan, and we feel we’ve been making huge strides,” he says. “It could lead to land claims settled in the not so distant future.” “I see it happening. Either through negotiated settlements, or going to court and settling with litigation,” he says. “It will get settled in the foreseeable future.”
MOVERS & SHAKERS
John Scott, a local Prince George citizen who has selflessly volunteered for veterans, the ill, and youth for years, received a Medal of Good Citizenship for his remarkable, long-term service to the community.
TERRACE The team at MNP LLP welcomes Erin Reimer and Ryan Hales as new partners to the Terrace branch. Do Your Part Recycling Co celebrates 10 years serving the Terrace area, picking up recycling products for both residential areas and businesses. Volunteer Terrace has announced that they have temporarily moved to a location at 2914 Eby Street. David Tooms is welcomed on as the newest team member at Re/Max Coast Mountains Terrace.
PRINCE RUPERT Kevin MacCarthy has returned to the Prince Rupert area from his former home in Terrace to assume the position of general manager at MacCarthy GM Motors. The Director of Public Affairs for the Port of Prince Rupert, Ken Veldman, has achieved a spot on the Board of Directors for the BC Chamber of Commerce for 2016-17. Kyle Casault is congratulated by MacCarthy GM Motors upon completing his fourth year of Automotive Technician Apprenticeship, achieving his Red Seal and becoming a fully certified Automotive Journeyman. The provincial government has clarified that, after nearly a year of banning farm weddings and cracking down on agricultural land use regulations, commercial activities can take place on farmland. Up to 10 commercial weddings, concerts and other nonagricultural events may take place on farmland without requiring a permit from the Agricultural Land Commission. Additionally, farmers may take payment for hosting a wedding or non-agricultural event, provided that there are no more than 150 guests attending and a list of conditions are respected. The City of Prince Rupert has agreed to the sale of designated parkland on Graham Avenue after much negotiation and after undergoing a lengthy approval process. The Bryton Group has purchased the land for $21,000 for development purposes. A new menu is being served at the Ocean View Hotel on 950 1st Avenue West in Prince Rupert. Towne Cleaners has announced that it is re-opening for business to offer drycleaning, laundry and alterations services in its 319 City Centre location in Kitimat. The Prince Rupert Airport was awarded $300,000 in funding from the Province of BC for the purpose of improving roof and insulation systems to comply with provincial environmental regulations. Additionally, an
DAWSON CREEK environment-friendly water harvesting and treatment system upgrade is planned for the airport. The Prince Rupert Airport Authority has pledged $200,000 to contribute to the $500,000 total project cost. After Wayne Maughan moved on, Prince Rupert has recently welcomed a new RCMP Inspector, Blake Ward, from 100 Mile House.
WILLIAMS LAKE Virgil Poffenroth, a cowboy from Riske Creek, had a stellar performance at the Canadian Pro Rodeo tour, taking home $4,100 for his efforts. The Williams Lake Airport has received $150,000 in funding from the BC Provincial Government, which will go towards a fuel system upgrade. Williams Lake citizen, Vince Benner, President of A-M-S Equipment, donated a sixty-inch Powell band saw to the Saw Filer Program at Thompson River University. The generous donation was made in memory of Benner’s father, John Benner. TRU’s Saw Filer program offers levels one and two and is currently the only program of its kind in Western Canada. The Williams Lake Visitors Centre has noticed a small increase in tourist visits to the Cariboo area since 2015, with an 11 per cent increase in American tourists specifically.
PRINCE GEORGE Northern Development Initiative Trust has allocated over $800,000 to 30 summer-related community recreation projects in 2016 through their Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program. The program covers up to 70 per cent of a project’s budget up to $30,000, and is available to regional districts, First Nations bands, non-profits and municipalities. This year, Northern Development funded three parks, three baseball fields, twelve bike trails, five campgrounds, six golf courses, four soccer fields, two tennis courts, three racetracks, an archery range, nineteen hiking trails, and four soccer fields. Applications for the Fall 2016 funding program are being accepted
until August 12th. Approval has been granted for an application to develop eight additional lots in the Nechako View subdivision, which boosts the lot total to 59. A deal approximated at $1.1 billion has been reached as Toronto-based Centerra Gold Inc., has agreed to purchase Thompson Creek Metals Co. Thompson Creek’s ventures include BC’s Mount Milligan copper-gold mine, in addition to molybdenum projects in Canada and the U.S. Centerra has indicated that they will offer 0.0988 of a share for each Thompson Creek share, in addition to acquiring all of Thompson Creek’s debt. Tabor Mountain recently celebrated the improvement and expansion of their mobility trail on the south bank of Dougherty Creek. Since its construction two years ago, an additional 450-metre section of trail, two gazebos, benches, picnic tables and a drainage crossing have been added to the site. Northern Development Initiative Trust, the New Horizons for Seniors program, the Fraser Fort-George Regional District, and various private donors have all contributed to the $87,500 project. Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (LTFN) is preparing to vote on a treaty document prepared by the federal government, the BC Government, and the LTFN government in October. LTFN hosted an open house to help the public understand details of the proposal at Prince George Civic Centre earlier in July. A new mountain bike flow trail, Bacon Trail, has opened up in Valemount. The Valemount Area Recreation Development Association partnered with Northern Development Initiative Trust to cover the cost of the $46,000 project. The Black Donkey Café’s art team, comprised of Chris Blackier, Jen Pighin and Sarah Dawn, has transformed a blank wall and parking lot area into Prince George’s first chair-in movie theatre. The team has designed and spraypainted a mural in the parking area across from the café to decorate and frame-in a projection area for the planned open area theatre venture. A new seniors’ affordable housing complex is under construction in Prince George, providing 66 supportive units and 106 market
units for the area. The RiverBend Seniors Community project, managed by Oncore Seniors Society, will provide services that cater to daily basic needs, and will feature common spaces for complex tenants to enjoy. The BC Government has pledged $4 million to purchase 33 units and has promised financing of $3.8 million to Oncore to purchase the remaining 33 supportive units. An affordable housing grant and development cost charge assistance totaling just over $1.1 million, in addition to a 10-year municipal tax exemption, has been promised by the City of Prince George. Ross Birchall is preparing open Kask Taproom & Eatery, a craft beer and late-night eatery in Prince George’s downtown core. A tentative restaurant floor plan was presented to city council for its location at 1230 4th Avenue. Prince George City Council has voted in favour of having the Prince George Civic Centre feature ‘conference’ in its name. The decision was made with the goal of highlighting the city as an option for hosting conventions and conferences. The city will be more easily accessible by online searches and the name change draws attention to the Civic Centre’s full service conference venue potential. By the middle of September, shoppers at Spruceland Save-On Foods will be able to purchase from 1,000 different varieties of BC wines in the store. All wines sold in the location will acquiesce to the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) standard for vintage, original and varietals in the province. Construction is scheduled to resume for the $35 million Courtyard Marriott Prince George hotel project. The hotel, pioneered by River City Hotel Inc. and River City Ventures Inc., is estimated to be completed in 12-14 months, creating 200,000 hours of work while under construction. Once completed, the hotel will employ 40 staff members and local companies Lakewood Electric and Equity Plumbing and Heating are featured as major subcontractors. Five local Prince George Chartered Professional Accounting students have passed the national exam to achieve their CPA designation: Karen Lutes, Shea-Marie Glass, Nicholas Aldred, and Natascha Lukawitski. Alexander Nowak was named on the national honour roll for his exceptional scores.
The Downtown Business Façade Improvement project, funded by Northern Development Initiative Trust, has been launched in Dawson Creek to provide a 50 per cent grant to local businesses for sign and storefront improvement. A building or project can be granted a maximum of $2,500 through the program, with the exception of a corner lot, which could get up to $5,000 if the improvements affect fronts facing both streets. The program runs in partnership with the City of Dawson Creek, Community Future Peace Laird, and the Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce. Coastal GasLink has partnered with the City of Dawson Creek to sponsor a charity initiative that matches parking meter donations made by the community to a maximum of $10,000. Four parking meters are scheduled for installation at the Alaska Highway House Art Gallery, the Calvin Kruk Centre for the Arts, Memorial Arena, and the Kenn Borek Aquatic Centre. Dollars collected from these meters are to be combined and distributed to local charities. The initiative will choose two non-profit groups every six months to benefit from the funds.
FORT ST. JOHN Fort St. John has joined Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Love Northern BC initiative by launching their own Love Fort St. John program. The program offers an opportunity for local small businesses to promote themselves online; businesses pay a one-time fee that offers a local photographer and write-up of their business, as well as the ability to link their own pages and websites to their Love Fort St. John profile. More than 70 local businesses have already connected with this initiative, now driven by the Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce.
QUESNEL A revised proposal for a seniors housing complex in downtown Quesnel has been submitted by the Quesnel Lions Club Housing Society. The new plans allow for 17 parking spaces including one handicapped space, up from the originally proposed 11 spaces for the 30 complex units. The project’s cost, initially estimated at $5 million, has increased to $5.4 million due to having to purchase additional land and inflation costs. Another public consultation process will be held for the project in the near future. SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS | PAGE 12
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
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100 MILE HOUSE 100 Mile House Fire Rescue has welcomed on six new recruits to their team. The new members have all completed their training program and will continue training to complete the National Fire Protection Association professional firefighter qualifications and associated disciplines. A Log Cabin project pioneered by The Jobs Creation Partnership has been installed at Canim Lake over August long weekend. The 650 square foot cabin construction project offered a chance for workers to gain skills and for employers to access a larger pool of skilled workers. The cabin will be used for washrooms and showers for public use in the Canim Lake area. The 100 Mile House Hospital celebrated its 50th anniversary on July 22nd. The hospital opened on July 15, 1966, and has expanded to become the South Cariboo Health Centre, which also includes two residential care facilities, home and community care, occupational therapy and out-patient community physiotherapy.
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CANFOR CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
facility of its kind to be working in concert with a pulp mill in North America. “T he process ca n ut i l i ze many things in terms of raw materials. In Australia Licella has developed an application using brown coal (coal that is not yet fully formed) to create crude oil. But here Canfor Pulp is contemplating using woody biomass as the raw resource,” he said. Licella itself has spent eight years and more than $60 million developing its innovative technology. The partnership is hoping to create a facility capable of producing between 400,000 and 500,000 barrels of crude oil per year, oil that wou ld be sold to a major oi l company for processing. The construction, operation and maintenance of such a facility would be a significant boost to the Prince George economy, both during the construction phase and as a long term employer once in full operation. Prince George is ideally situated for this plant as Canfor op erates no less t h a n t h ree pu lp m i l ls i n the i m med iate area. “ We s t i l l b el ieve t h at t he best value chain for fiber today is you make dimensional lumber first, then you make a pulp product, then you make
If the feasibility study works out the plant could be operating at the Intercontinental Pulp Mill by 2020 power (by burning wood wastes) and now the last part we’re going to add is biocrude a nd bio c h em ic a l s,” P u d l a s explained. “T h i s move i s sy nerg i st ic w it h t he ex i st i ng BC forest industry. It’s not going to take the feed stock away from conventional uses. It’s not going to repu r pose the forest it is just going to create the highest
Licella’s Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor is located at the company’s Pilot Plant just outside of Sydney
value chain for the residuals that are left over from other industries.” The process developed by Licella, and hoping to be introduced by Ca n for essentia l ly mimics the processes found in Nature to create conventional crude oil, only accelerates the process beyond anything developed previously. T he end pro d u c t of t h e pro c e s s i s a
form of biofuel with a carbon content that is lower than the oi l Nat u re pro du c e s, wh i le employing a renewable waste product as its feedstock. “T he key to t he process i s a hyd rotherma l reactor that t a k e s a l i q u i d s t re a m c o nt a i n i n g org a n ic s, t a k i n g it to a ver y h i g h temp erat u re a nd pressu re to produce a product that is very close to
13 conventional crude,” he said. According to Pudlas the construction of the facility could b e g i n w i t h i n t h e n e x t fe w yea rs. “ We’ve a l ready gone through the concept and development phase, the products that we’re created have shown great promise (in a small scale pilot project in Australia) and are now moving into the feasibi l ity stage wh ich i s l i kely going to take a couple of years. By the time that we would be ready to move into an actual pro du c t ion si z e d proje c t it would be somewhere around 2019 or 2020,” he stated. The Licella technology was developed to upgrade brown coal for the Australian market but the same processes have proven to be readily adaptable for converting wood wastes. For Pudlas, locating a facility l i ke th is at a n ex isti ng pu lp mill is a perfect add on to the plant as it already is equipped with space, power, water and t h e o t h e r n e c e s s a r y i n f rastructure to accommodate the new operation. “ We b el ieve t h i s tech nolog y has a lot of prom ise but it’s still in the developmental ph a se tod ay. We’ve a l ready run it at a pilot scale but it’s never b e en b u i lt on a commercial scale, if approved this plant would be the first.” To learn more please visit the company’s website at: www. canfor.com
QUESNEL: A WORK IN PROGRESS
QUESNEL SIMON TURNER
uch has been made of the annual survey conducted by a national publisher which has consistently ranked Quesnel as one of the worst places in Canada to live. Those who live and work in Quesnel beg to differ! Still, perception can be reality so, rather than argue with the faulty statistics and all-round silliness of said survey, City council decided to go through a re-branding exercise. The old story was of a community growing up around the confluence of two rivers (what are now the Quesnel and Fraser) that created a transportation hub for trade emanating from timber, fur, and, over the hills in Barkerville, gold. The question the City posed: “Is that the story of
“In the meantime, another work-inprogress is the new $20.6 million arena. Anyone visiting the community would be hard-pressed to miss the crane towering over the project that will become a major center of activity for the city.” A new $20.6 million arena is being built in Quesnel and is expected to be completed sometime in the next year or so. PHOTO CREDIT: QUESNEL & DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Quesnel today?” A f ter m a ny me e t i n g s a nd workshops designed to consult with as many residents and businesses as possible, the City now awaits the recommendations of the consultants as to the new story. I n t he me a nt i me, a not her work-in-progress is the new $20.6 million arena. Anyone visiting the community would
be hard-pressed to miss the crane towering over the project that will become a major center of activity for the city, as should be the case for an arena. It’s about 12-months away from “substantial completion” but will certainly represent part of that new story. Somewhat less dramatic but certainly no less important is the continued work on land stability in West Quesnel. For many years, the gradual slippage caused by ground water has had a profound impact on property ownership
– cracks in foundations do not fill a prospective homebuyer with confidence, nor the provider of mortgage financing, so existing property owners have been wondering if they would ever see a return on their investment and, in extreme cases, if there was a long-term health and safety issue developing. Investment by the City into a major dewatering program, desi g ned to b et ter ch a n nel snowmelt and rainwater away from the affected area rather then drain into the ground, has
just about brought slippage to a complete halt. Sooner rather than later, West Quesnel will no longer be known for land slippage – another piece of the new story. Visitors to Quesnel will also notice a change in another downtown landmark, the Billy Barker Casino Hotel. Designed to evoke visions of an old paddle wheeler, “the Billy” acquired neighboring land (the former location of a long-since decommissioned gas station) that it converted to free paved parking, never a bad thing for any downtown. In fact, perhaps substantial free parking might be part of the story – Downtown, West Quesnel, and South Quesnel. Sometimes we take for granted the simpler things in life. Throw in the significant road works (you know it’s summer in Canada when you are on first name terms with the flag-people) involving 4-laning on Hwy 97 South and resurfacing on the Westside, and it becomes ever more clear how Quesnel is indeed a work-in-progress. Should be quite a read when that new story gets published. Simon Turner is Acting Manager for Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce while Amber Gregg is on maternity leave. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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BUSINESS DEMONIZATION CONSISTENT IN THE MEDIA AND THE CLASSROOM
It’s just an acknowledgement that the general naïveté about business and what it takes to operate a successful one is so widespread
hen was the last time we saw a positive depiction of a business or corporation on television or film – other than through a paid-for advertisement? T h e re’s c e r t a i n ly a l o t to choose from in terms of movies about “big business” being exposed for a problem, scandal, or both. That’s entertainment, one supposes, because good news is a toug h sel l to the marketplace. It would be a stretch to envision a lineup at the local theatre to watch a film “exposing” a company lending a helping hand, or reaching out to make a difference in the lives of the downtrodden. Roll through the Rolodex of your mind, and you could easily come up with at least a handful of scenes from movies about small groups of determined individuals digging in to oppose
a development of some size or shape. T he classic David vs. Goliath scenario is played out over and over again: It’s up to regular citizens to stand up to corporate behemoths whose sole goal is to, as Joni Mitchell put it: “Pave paradise and put up a parking lot.” It’s not much d i f ferent i n many schools, either pre- or post-secondary. That’s not surprising, either, as many teachers a re, by a nd la rge, either union members or lack business experience. It would be more surprising if they could keep their personal views out of classes about business, or refrain from painting business as much of what is wrong with
society. Corporate greed is the obvious villain, students are often told. A good business education is worth its weight in gold, and young people today must have some type of post-high school degree in order to make a comfortable living for themselves. Students will learn important principles that can help them chart a clear path for the future. But students need to fi lter some of the perspectives they are presented in the classroom, as per vasive, a nti-busi ness ideals can still be clenched and disseminated by well-meaning, but ill-informed teachers. Just because they teach about business doesn’t mean they’re successful operators themselves, or even understand all that is required to succeed in the business world. Even in the political sphere, there’s nary a politician who will run on a real “pro-business” platform, knowing that business owner/operators comprise a small fraction of those who actually cast votes. It’s much more politically palpable to espouse job creation under the ba n ner of econom ic development than to suggest that incentives to encourage people to invest and build companies are necessary to spur growth in the economy.
It’s also interesting to watch pol iticia ns a nd the med ia demonize certain businesses to make them look “evil”. Think “sin taxes” like alcohol, cigarettes and now, anything oil and gas-related. It’s like a mini-war, where the worst of the opponent is magnified to justify financial attacks on a particular sector. While it may just be a clever way of extracting more revenue from companies, these levies can come across as punishment, and therefore necessary, helping the collective good. The standard political mindset is something like this: Business is a “necessary evil”, but should be supported only because it creates jobs. But they sure should be taxed, because, after all, anyone in business is rolling in dough and can simply pluck fifties and hundreds of f t he money t re e i n t hei r backyard. Successful businesses spend a lot of money on advertising and promotion to craft and sustain their image. They must, as the mainstream media isn’t going to offer them any freebies in case they appear like they’re being “bought”, other than to note they’ve opened their doors or offer some type of out-of-theordinary, story-worthy product or service. This is certainly not to suggest that the media’s
mandate is to primp business. It’s just an acknowledgement that the general naïveté about business and what it takes to operate a successful one is so widespread. Recently, I attended a Fraser Institute forum aimed at educ at i n g jou r n a l i sts f rom across the country about how to report on economics. It was i nteresti ng, compel l i ng a nd invigorating. And at the same time, it was shocking. It was easy to tell that most of those attending held strong opinions like those expressed above, and clearly were hearing some important economic truths for perhaps the first time. Even though they had undoubtedly written about the economy many times prior to the seminar. The purpose of the event was to educate writers in hopes of having more accurate depictions of economic principles, trends and analyses in the media, and one hopes it is successful in that regard. That would be a good starting point. Maybe that would get the attention of the movie industry. But maybe they don’t want to tell the other side of the story. T h at i s, t h at bu si ness i s a vital, integral, important part of our society, and there are plenty of good stories to tell, if one wants to.
NOT ALL INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY IS EQUAL FRASER INSTITUTE
A N A DA - I n e q u a l i t y has become an animating issue for much of the political class. The Canadian federal government, in its recent budget, devoted an entire section to inequality. Unfortunately, almost no analysis todate has considered the manner in which income and wealth are earned as a crucial element of the inequality debate. How income and wealth are earned, and thus the underlying explanation for inequality, matters a lot. Individuals, entrepreneurs, a nd busi nesses ca n become successful (earn profits and accumulate wealth) by providing goods or services to people at a price and quality they demand. In these circu msta nces, not only do individual businesses benefit, but so do consumers. T he prere q u i site for s u ch
c i rc u m s t a n c e s i s a n o p e n , competitive market where new players are free to create entirely new products or enter existing markets with better products. In either case, the key is that business competitively provides citizens things they want and are willing to pay for. A Canadian example of this wo u l d b e Ch ip Wi lson , t h e founder of Lululemon, who has an estimated net worth of $2.2 bi l l ion. A s a n entrepreneu r, Wilson took enormous risks to innovate and develop a line of products that consumers wanted and were willing to pay for. In doing so, he benefitted millions of customers by providing them with something they valued that didn’t exist before. T here a re, however, ot her methods to “earn” income and accumulate wealth that don’t provide such social benefits. One way is th rough “cronyism,” whereby individuals earn income and amass wealth by securing special privileges and
Taylor Jackson: “Senior Policy Analyst, Centre for Natural Resources”
Jason Clemens: “Executive Vice President”
protection from government. While often legal, inequality resulting from cronyism imposes large costs on society while enriching a favoured few. Consider the case of Mexico’s Carlos Slim, who at one point was the richest person in the world. To a large degree, Slim ac c u mu l ate d h i s we a lt h by using special privileges granted by the Mexican government that reduced competition and allowed his businesses to have
monopoly powers. S p e ci f ic a l ly, t he Mex ic a n government placed barriers to competition in the telecommunications market, allowing Sl i m’s compa n ies to cha rge consumers higher prices than would otherwise have been the case. It’s these protections, rather than competitive success, that explain Slim’s extraordinary wealth. Income and wealth can also be amassed through outright corruption, which again imposes enormous costs on society for the benefit of a select few. For example, Indonesia’s former President Suharto, who ruled from 1967-1998. During his tenure Suharto is estimated to have embezzled between US$15 and $35 billion from the Indonesian people. Simply put, not all inequality is the same. Inequality that results from cronyism or corruption can impose large costs on society wh i le benef it i ng few. These types of inequality
should seriously concern politicians, policymakers and the general public. But i nequa l ity that resu lts from entrepreneurship and innovation provides enormous benef its to cit i zens. Mer itbased inequality serves not only the people behind the wealth, but more importantly the consumers and people they serve, who buy and use their goods and services. This is something both politicians and the Canadian public should consider when thinking about inequality. Ta y l o r Ja c k s o n a n d Ja s o n Clemens are coauthors of the report How Income and Wealth are “Earned” Matters in Understanding Inequality. The Fraser Institute is an independent, non-partisan research and educational organization based in Canada, with offices in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. © 2016 Distributed by Troy Media
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 Peace Cariboo Skeena, 2016. Canadian Publications Mail Acct.: 40069240
STATE OF THE ART MEDICAL CENTRE A WELCOME ASSET IN NORTHERN BC SPOTLIGHT
Lakes District Hospital & Medical Centre Replaced An Outdated Facility
U R N S L A K E – Aw a r d winning, a key provider of medical treatment in Northern British Columbia and a tremendous source of pride in the community, the Lakes District Hospital and Health C e n t r e i s o n e o f t h e p r e eminent facilities of its kind in the north. Constructed on the site of a hospital with origins dating back to the 1950s, the L a kes Dist r ict Hospita l h as been designed as the region’s principal 21 st Century medical facility.
The Lakes District Hospital and Health Centre is a 65,000 square foot medical centre in Burns Lake
“In a way you could describe our service as being a one stop shop.” DALE NEULS PRESIDENT, WL CONSTRUCTION
Here is a nurse’s station at this efficiently designed 16 bed medical centre, which opened in early 2015
Con st r ucted for Nor thern Health by international powerhouse PCL Construction (PCL Constructors West Coast Inc.) the $55 m i l l ion hospita l was designed by Vancouver-based HDR I CEI Architecture Associates Inc., opening for patients more t h a n a yea r ago. “T he ex isting hospita l had basica l ly outl ived its usef u l ness. T he bu i ld i ng wa s older a nd it had become undersized for the community it served,” explained Travis Prystai, PCL’s Project Manager for the hospital project. “T he project was procu red through Partnerships BC under a desig n / bu i ld model. O u r company was one of three that was short listed to bid for the project and we were fortunately successful. We began work in April 2013. T he build was
substantially complete by December 2014, going into operation in February 2015.” Pa rtnersh ips BC is a provincial government entity created speci f ica l ly to support t h e p u b l i c s e c to r i n m e e ti ng its i n frastr uctu re needs by providing leadership, exp e r t i s e a n d c o n s i s te n c y i n the procurement of complex capital projects, such as this hospita l. T he cor porat ion’s sole shareholder is the provincial Finance Minister, and is governed by a Board of Directors who report directly to
the Minister for guidance and direction. The Lakes District Hospital and Health Centre is a 65,000 squ a re foot, 16 b ed faci l ity created to provide acute care a nd emergency ser v ices for area residents. Equipped with a laboratory, diagnostic imaging services and a pharmacy, the centre also supports any number of community health rel ated prog ra m s i nclud i ng mental health and addictions serv ices. T he u n ique design and exceptional functionality of the building saw it win the
Designed by HDR I CEI Architecture Associates the Lake District Hospital features bright and open areas Project of the Year award in the category of Community Institutional at the 2016 Northern Commercial Building Awards. T he desig n-bu i ld model is one of collaboration where the general contractor (PCL) leads a team that includes an architect (HDR|CEI) and engineers to develop a design and work w ith the PCL workforce and subcontractors who complete the work on the project,” Prystai explained. The facility is both attractive and eminently functional, and was envisioned incorporating
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wood into many of its design features, a decision that did not happen by accident. “The province mandates the use of wood through the Wood First Act, so government bodies that are procuring the work highl ight the need for the use of wood,” he stated. “I think the local community, with the mills and their focus on the forest industry found it important to have a certain est het ic a nd to i ncor porate products that are part of their SEE MEDICAL CENTRE | PAGE 16
MEDICAL CENTRE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15
livelihood.” Fo r N o r t h e r n H e a lt h , t h e operators of the facility, the L a kes Dist r ict Hospita l is a w e l c o m e a s s e t a n d p o w e rful addition to the resources it h as ava i lable to assist its
For us to have a faci l ity l i ke this available in the community is a major achievement. Not only can we serve our clients in a modern and contempora ry hospita l, we a lso have a facility that will assist us when recruiting staff in the future. With this new hospital everyone wins.”
As with all of the facility the lobby area is bright, open and accented with wood themed design elements
Designed to be people friendly this is a chapel area / quiet space within the new Lakes District Hospital patients. “PCL is the general cont ractor for t h i s vent u re and they have their own sub contractors, they manage the work according to a scheduled plan and need,” explained Paul Rudecki, Nor thern Hea lth’s Project Director. “They are an excellent company and in my opinion one of the very best in the business.
The largest general contractor in Canada, PCL Construct ion a l so m a i nta i n s of f ices s o u t h o f t h e b o rd e r a n d i s among the top 10 general contractors in the United States. W it h a to t a l s t a f f c o u nt of more than 4,500 and with an annual construction volume of more than $8.5 billion the compa ny is l itera l ly a g ia nt
PCL Constructors West Coast Inc. were responsible for constructing the facility, with work beginning in 2013 in the industry. Having been with the company more than 11 years, Prystai said the Lakes D i st r ict Hospita l project i s
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typical of the sort of quality construction his company is known for. “I’m ver y proud to be pa r t
o f t h i s c o m p a n y. T h e P C L corporate culture emphasize sta r ti ng from the bottom and working your way up, for example our soon to be CEO started right out of school and worked h is way up a nd t hat traditionally is the way that it works here,” he said. “I’m also very proud of the company’s very strong safety culture, with the added benefit that despite its size it’s an employee-ow ned compa ny. T he s uccess of t h i s proje ct also goes to Northern Health. Both the folks in their corporate office and the staff right at the hospital were fantastic to deal with. When you get great cooperation from a l l sta keholders it just makes a project that much easier.” For more information visit the firm’s website at: www.ceiarchitecture.com
REGIONAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IS A TRUE ONE STOP SHOP SPOTLIGHT
Technicon Industries Has Served Northern British Columbia Since 2007
ER R ACE – It all comes down to wanting to see the job done right. Rare in the province and unique in the north, Technicon Industries Ltd. takes a much different approach to the task of building a residential or commercial project. In a typical construction scenario a project’s Prime Contractor is normally a company employing a few key people that in turn oversees a small army of sub trades who carry out the actual construction. The Technicon business model
The company operates a fleet of vehicles and equipment, from trucks to excavating equipment
The WinMar Property Restoration division is just one of many different services offered by the company
Technicon Industries is headquartered in Terrace, where the firm has operated since 2007 sees virtually all of the services and skills needed to complete a project operating from under one roof, with trained and experienced staff members responsible for all of the hands-on work. “I believe we’re the only one stop contractor in Northern British Columbia,” explained company president Andrew Contumelias. “Basically we do a lot of everything. We do the construction aspect of course, but we also have a Plumbing and Heating division, Electrical division, Drywall and Painting, Design / Drafting/Project Management
and a restoration Franchise that we bought into a few years back.” Operating out of three offices, in Kitimat, Prince Rupert and from its main office in Terrace, the company also offers a wide range of other related services such as a WinMar Property Restoration franchise, carpet and upholstery cleaning, duct and furnace cleaning and an Esporta Wash Facility. The company has also started a storage business called Big Red Box. This business will offer all types of storage solutions as well as rentals and supplies. With a staff of over 40, and
operating a large fleet of trucks and construction equipment, the Technicon team is equipped and capable of handling virtually any sized project, with only a limited reliance on outside support. “The only work we don’t handle in house is rolled roofing and rolled flooring. Basically if a client comes to us with a need, we will be able to look after them from start to finish. Everything else required to build a residential or commercial project can and is regularly handled in-house.” The real benefit to the Technicon Industries approach is that the
client has continuity throughout the entire project – from the initial discussion and design, through site preparation, construction and finishing – right up to the handing over of the keys. “There is continuity, every crew member / tradesman is employed by us, and we expect the same standard of skills and professionalism from all of our team,” he said. The strength of the Technicon approach is that virtually all aspects of the project are completed in-house, by staff who work together daily thereby developing an innate understanding of each
other’s skills an understanding that would not be possible under any other business model. “A typical General Contractor is there but doesn’t necessarily do much of the work themselves. Sometimes they don’t even touch the tools, they’re just functioning as more of a manager,” Contumelias said. “The services we provide include the management side as well as the providing of staffing for every trade on the worksite. T here a re some hu ge benefits to having these resources SEE STOP SHOP | PAGE 18
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888.HORSMAN Proud Partner of Technicon Industries
STOP SHOP CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17
in-house. We can take on work a lot of people wouldn’t be able to because we can offer all of the
unique opportunity the Technicon approach provides for an individual to become cross-trained in more than one trade. Often company employees will have the opportunity to apprentice in more than one skill,
homes. “We occasionally build spec homes, but those take a back seat to any projects we receive, they can’t be your primary focus but they can be very useful when it comes to
The firm’s boardroom in Terrace is a good example of the commercial work the company does
The bulk of the work carried out by Technicon Industries involves the construction of single family homes
Not all of the company’s machinery is industrial sized; the operation also operates a Smart Car
With a staff of more than 40, and a fleet of some 30 plus vehicles, Technicon is a one stop construction shop services and not have to wait for the sub trades to arrive. Thanks to everyone working for the same company we can schedule things realistically.” By having qualified and trained tradespersons on staff there are minimal to zero delays for the client due to an electrician or plumber being tied up on another project. Another advantage for the staff is the
which benefits both them and the company itself. One downside to having a trained and experienced crew on hand at all times is the necessity to keep such a skilled group busy. Describing it as something of a juggling act, Contumelias explained that one way to keep the crew active and interested is through specific in-house projects, such as the building of spec
filling in those rare voids when the crews are between jobs.” While Technicon (short for Technical Contracting) Industries has only existed as a company since 2007 its roots go back to 1998. In 2007 Contumelias bought into a company called Sani-Tech Services, which was an operation that had been working in the area, primarily doing fire / flood restoration
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The design and construction of quality custom homes is a key part of the firm’s annual workload
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1-800-665-1657 4602 Keith Avenue, Terrace, B.C.
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Active in the communities it serves, the Technicon tent can frequently be seen at social events
Technicon Industries operates out of three offices, in Terrace, Kitimat and in Prince Rupert work. The first company focused on carpet cleaning and residential restoration work. W h e n h e b o u g h t i n C o ntumelias had been previously working as a sub-contractor for the company’s original owner back in 2000. In 2007 he purchased a 50 percent share in the company, which at the time had a staff of about eight. Since taking over ownership he and his partners dramatically expanded both the staff count and the range of services offered. He co-owns Technicon Industries with two other partners, his brother Daniel Contumelias and his brotherin-law Brandon VanGenne.
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR SUCCESS & OUR BEST WISHES TO ANDREW, DANIEL AND THE ENTIRE TEAM AT TECHNICON
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Based in Terrace in an 8,000 square foot facility, the company also operates two satellite offices including a 3,000 square foot operation in Kitimat and a 1,500 square operation in Prince Rupert. “Most of our administrative staff is located in Terrace, as are our electrical and plumbing crews. We also have a large fleet of vehicles and other equipment. We have over 30 different pieces of rolling stock,” he explained. Currently Technicon divides its workload between residential and commercial projects, with residential taking up the larger share. Larger commercial projects are clearly on the company’s horizon.
The company’s plumbing division operates designated vehicles of its own to service area clients “We service many different companies in the area. Because of our unique range of services, we can handle all of our client’s needs. We work for various government organizations, municipalities, housing and apartment complexes, banks, schools, grocery stores and many other great clients. Basically we get calls from all of the bigger businesses in our area,” he said. Providing maintenance services typically includes everything from setting up offices and completing full office renovation projects, right down to small work orders such as replacing a broken window. “We’re fully bonded so we can take on large projects while we keep up to the work we do for our repeat customers” Contumelias explained. For the future Technicon Industries expects to continue to build on its skills and reputation as Northern British Columbia’s premier one stop construction contractor. “We want to become the go to company, when people think of a construction project, residential or commercial, we want them to think of us,” he said. “Once people know you and know what your potential is, they just call. Repeat and referral business is huge for us. When people come to us they know they’re going to get fair value, good quality work and they know we’re here for the long haul – we’re not some
We are pleased to support Technicon Industries. We look forward to continue supplying you in the future.
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‘one and done’ general contractor. This is our home, we live in the north we’re not going anywhere.” While gradual growth is part of the long range plan, Andrew says there could very well be additional office openings in the coming years. I can certainly see the company continuing to grow, the potential is endless,” he said. “It all comes down to having the right people. If you have the right people anything is possible. If one of the LNG projects moves forward our home building division will take off and we’re perfectly positioned to become one of the largest home builders in Northern British Columbia. We would also
look at increasing the amount of industrial work we take on and expanding this part of our business” In less than a decade Technicon Industries has grown from a small restoration company into one of the region’s largest and certainly most diverse construction companies. As the region grows and new opportunities present themselves Contumelias anticipates his firm expanding to match the evolving needs of the marketplace. “If there is a sudden demand for homes we certainly have the potential to ramp up our divisions to start building high end quality homes. We offer National Home Warranty and we’re also registered with the Home Protection Office. We are registered builders and building envelope renovators. We are also registered with the Better Business Bureau. We’ve tried to cover all of the bases along the way. This has differentiated us from other companies in the area,” he said. “The real strength of the company of course is our people. We have grown because we’ve been fortunate enough to employ some really exceptional people. Some of our tradespeople have multiple tickets, thanks to the cross training we provide. That’s a level of skill you simply can’t find in a more typical construction company, its part of what makes us unique.” To learn more please visit the company’s Facebook page or website at: www.technicon-ind.com
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Congratulations to Technicon Industries Ltd on your many successes. EMCO is proud to be a supporting partner in your success.
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Published on Oct 19, 2016
Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena includes business news from Fort St. John and Dawson Creek to Prince Rupert and Kitimat, and from 100...