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DECEMBER 2016

» INSURANCE

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TERRACE By Repurposing its History, Flying Fish

Wherever Business Takes You

Elevates Terrace’s Retail Experience

Peace Cariboo Skeena WWW.BUSINESSEXAMINER.CA PAGE 5

DAWSON CREEK Technology Provider Has Served Region Since 1995

Fort St. John | Prince George | Terrace | Vanderhoof

Independent Contractors and Business Association of BC Joins Northeast BC Resource Municipalities Coalition The construction industry association’s participation is a vote of confidence in the Coalition’s resource industry development priorities

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INDEX News Update

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Quesnel

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Sales

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Movers and Shakers 12 Opinion

R I NCE GEORGE— I n October, the Northeast BC Resource Municipalities Coalition (the Coalition) a n nou nced the Independent Contractors and Business Association of BC (ICBA) as its first Associate Member. The Coalition connects Northeastern municipalities and rural communities with i ndu s t r y, gover n ment, a nd other orga n izations to support “responsible resource development and access to new markets.” With its mandate to advocate for the interests of its

SEE COALITION | PAGE 6

Colin Griffith, NEBC; Mike Davis, ICBA; Lori Ackerman, Fort St John Mayor; Rob Fraser, District of Taylor Mayor 

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Tahltan Nation Development Corporation and Geotech Drilling Services Form New Drilling Partnership New venture, named Tahltech Drilling Services, will bring enhanced drilling services to Northwest British Columbia

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RINCE GEORGE— Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) and Geotech Drilling Services Ltd (Geotech) have just announced their partnership in a venture called Tahltech Drilling Services (TDS). The new company will bring enhanced drilling services to Northwest British Columbia. As the business arm of the Tahltan Nation, whose territory encompasses a resource-rich 11 percent of the province, TNDC capita l i zes on “su sta i n able

and responsible” business opportunities. In particular, the Northwestern region known as the Golden Triangle is projected to be the site of dozens of future energy, resource, and industrial development projects. “There’s no question that the Golden Triangle has tremendous mineralization,” says TNDC CEO Garry Merkel. “But it also has huge energy project potential, from electricity to alternative options like wind.” Merkel asserts that TNDC is not

interested in a “boom and bust scenario”. They would prefer to see projects rolled out “a few at a time” as the region’s resource industry infrastructure continues to mature. To capitalize on the promise of their region, the T NDC is leveraging the industry expertise of Geotech, a multi-discipline surface and underground drilling company. Together, the two partners are launching a SEE TAHLTAN NATION | PAGE 15

TNDC CEO Garry Merkel


2 NORTHERN BC Championing Local Business Every community that is part of Love Northern BC has a community champion. They know their local business community and work collaboratively with local business owners to keep digital profiles up to date and promote the Love Northern BC initiative at a local level. Northern Development offers a $1,200 marketing grant to support the program in communities throughout the region: Love Terrace: Terrace has established a steering committee, made up of members of the business and non-profit community, to help the local community champion recognize the needs of businesses and provide input on marketing activities and strategies. They are developing newspaper and radio advertisements just in time for the holiday shopping season. “These will remind both people coming into town and those already here of our vibrant local independent shopping destinations when searching for the perfect gifts,” said Brian Doddridge, community champion for the City of Terrace. “This would not be possible without the support from Northern Development.” Love Hudson’s Hope: In Hudson’s Hope “Love Bucks” are handed out to kids for performing good deeds, such as picking up litter. They can redeem them at local businesses like the ice cream store, helping to ingrain a value for local business early. “They just love it and it’s a lot of fun! The resources from Northern Development allow me to fulfill my role as community champion in a fun way that really motivates everyone in town,” says Becky Mercereau, community champion for the District of Hudson’s Hope.

NEWS UPDATE Love Williams Lake: A “hunt for the heart” campaign was led in Williams Lake, where heart posters were hidden in local, independent businesses around town. Participants had to collect stamps from six participating businesses in order to win prizes. “It was great to hear people talk about how they went into businesses they don’t usually go into just to participate,” says Heidi Jakubec, community champion for Love Williams Lake. They also distributed postcards promoting Love Williams Lake to new home owners in the community in partnership with local real estate companies. Love Dawson Creek: The community champion in Dawson Creek, Shaely Wilbur, wrapped a car in Love Dawson Creek graphics and joined more than 80 classic cars in the Mile Zero Summer Cruise to create awareness for the program.

PRINCE GEORGE

Strategy to help small businesses become export ready, is designed to assist growth-oriented businesses that can demonstrate a capacity to increase production and have the resources to commit to exporting. Trained export advisors in each community are providing personalized support, helping to identify and connect businesses to the appropriate programs, services and contacts at every stage of the export process. Prince George has three export advisors operating out of the downtown Community Futures office. Complementing this work are new export tools to encourage export growth and simplify the process, including: A streamlined business needs an export readiness assessment; a client workbook that empowers businesses with information and knowledge to advance their export goals. Additional pilot communities will be announced in the future.

BC

New Project Makes Exporting Easier for Small Businesses

Forestry Conference Highlights Sector’s Importance

A new pilot program to help small BC businesses navigate export services is now being offered in a number of communities throughout the province, including Prince George. Export Navigator is a one-year pilot project the Province has developed in partnership with Small Business BC and federally-funded Community Futures offices. The BC government is contributing more than $500,000; Community Futures is providing $140,000 and Small Business BC is administering the project. The program, which is part of a commitment in the #BCTECH

A mix of 250 importers, distributors, builders, developers, designers and architects were on hand as Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Minister Steve Thomson welcomed delegates to the second-annual Sino-Canada Wood Conference in Shanghai. The conference, with its theme of “Wood products for a greener future”, featured speakers discussing topics that include China’s forest policies, wood supply outlook and competitive landscape, how Canada is positioned to meet China’s demand for wood products, industrialization of wood construction and how sustainable

DECEMBER 2016

wood products provide an environmentally friendly option for building demands, including for mid-rise and tall wood projects.

PRINCE GEORGE UNBC Board Elects New Chair Tracey Wolsey, a University of Northern British Columbia graduate, has been elected the new Chair of UNBC’s Board of Governors. Wolsey has been a provincially appointed alumni representative on the Board of Governors since December 2015. She replaces outgoing Board Chair Ryan Matheson who was the first UNBC graduate to hold the position. He served as Chair since June 2015, and served six years on the Board. Wolsey is the Director of Stakeholder and Aboriginal Relations with Suncor Energy in Fort St. John. She has worked with the organization since 1998 and serves as Co-Chair of the Northeast Energy and Mines Advisory Committee. In 2006, she was a recipient of the Suncor President’s Operational Excellence Award for Environmental Excellence, and in the following year was the recipient of the Outstanding Resources Woman of Honour Award for the oil and gas sector. She holds her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calgary, and a Master’s degree in Political Science from UNBC.

PRINCE RUPERT 250 Workers to be Added to DP World’s Roster The Northern View

By July 2017, and after the opening of the Fairview Container Terminal’s Phase 2 North expansion project, owner-operator DP World will have 750 people working inside its fences. That figure is a 250-worker boost from how many people currently operate at Fairview and will have a massive impact on the workforce on the North Coast – not just in DP World’s new scope, but in the rest of the business community’s labour pool. It will represent a full 10 per cent of Prince Rupert’s labour force.

PRINCE GEORGE City Enhancing MYPG Grant Application Process Starting in 2017, the City of Prince George will be accepting myPG Community Grant applications twice per year, an increase from its regular annual intake at the end of January. In 2017, the application due date will remain January 31 for the coming intake with the next in October. Also new this year: the grant criteria has been expanded to include innovative, local events, which like all successful applications, must focus on improving and enhancing the quality of life for the residents of Prince George. In 2016, the City provided 33 myPG grants to organizations such as the Coldsnap Music Festival, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Prince George, and the BC Schizophrenia Society. The application form, criteria, and eligibility requirements are available on the City’s website, where information about all City grants including the Enhance PG and Celebrate PG grants is also available.

BUSINESS WALKS IN QUESNEL

QUESNEL SIMON TURNER

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he City of Quesnel organized the 3rd Annual Business Walks event during Small Business Week on October 20th, 2016. Quesnel was one of the first rural communities to implement this program, which is now recognized as an economic development best practice by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and the British Columbia Economic Development Association.

Along with City Economic Development staff, Mayor Bob Simpson and Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, Community Futures North Cariboo, Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce, Quesnel Downtown Association and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training joined the City as volunteer walkers. All volunteers have a commitment to the success of small business and were excited to speak with businesses owners one-on-one. The Business Walks program provides an excellent opportunity for the business community to provide input throughout a series of short interview questions. During the 2015 Business Walks, Council and staff heard loud and clear that the City needs to do a better job of marketing our community. As a result, the rebranding initiative was launched and will be ready to introduce early next year.

Business owners were honest throughout their responses, and provided excellent feedback to volunteers. This information is presented to the Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, and each Business Improvement Association to incorporate into their business planning resources and services. It also provides direction to staff and Council on initiatives that are felt across the broader business community. “Quesnel is a provincial leader in the Business Walks program and these annual conversations with our business community and business leaders play a critical role in Council’s strategic planning process,” says Mayor Simpson. “Partnering with our business organizations to conduct these annual walks gives Council the opportunity to align the City’s initiatives with our business community’s needs to ensure this

sector of our economy remains vibrant.” A total of 80 businesses were visited from all business districts and home-based businesses on the basis of being a small business under 50 employees. The visits lasted approximately 15 minutes and business owners were asked the following questions: 1) How is Business? 2) What do you like about doing business in Quesnel? 3a) A re you awa re of ex isting business resources in the community? 3b) How can we best share information with you? 4) What other tools, services, or resources would you like to see help business in Quesnel? Consistent with responses in previous Business Walks, business owners like doing business in Quesnel because “It’s home!” and “We love the people here!”

Most busi ness ow ners were raised in Quesnel or already lived here and chose to open up businesses where they identified a market opening. Businesses that were identified as requiring additional assistance will receive a specialized follow-up with referral to services and agencies that can properly address their concerns. They will also receive a complete small business resource guide that highlights all local, regional, and provincial businesses resources available to them. The complete Business Walk Report has been made available at www.quesnel.ca/Reports2016. html Simon Turner is Acting Manager for Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce while Amber Gregg is on maternity leave. He can be reached at qchamber@quesnelbc.com


SALES

DECEMBER 2016

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CHALLENGE VS. OUTCOME

SALES JOHN GLENNON

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eth is a new sales hire at TaskFlow, an enterprise software firm specializing in customdesigned project management applications. The company targets Fortune 1000 workspaces. She has been making prospecting calls for about two weeks, and her numbers so far are abysmal. So far, she hasn’t scheduled a single appointment. She’s been using the “standard” prospecting script handed to her during her onboarding process, a script that instructs her to ask the person she’s calling the following question: “Are you interested in improving order acquisition and delivery schedules?” By this point, Beth has asked that question hundreds of times. People rarely answer “yes,” and when they do, the script she’s following doesn’t seem to lead to a discussion that results in an appointment. Instead, it asks her to deliver a sales pitch. She’s reached

the point where she not only dreads posing the question – she dreads dialing the phone to talk to new people. The appointment drought Beth is experiencing isn’t entirely her fault. It’s largely a function of the script she’s using. Baked into her “standard” script is a common selling misconception: the idea that prospects are as eager as we are to talk about the business challenge we think is most relevant to their world. Actually, they are much more likely to engage meaningfully in a conversation about the outcome we can help bring about. What’s the Outcome? For most prospects, facing challenges (solving their problems or achieving their goals) is only a means to an end—realizing an outcome. It’s the desire for that positive outcome that provides the incentive necessary to face the challenge in the first place. It’s the desire for that positive outcome that drives all the behaviors associated with meeting that challenge, including the purchasing of necessary products and services. Because the prospect’s desired outcome is such a powerful motivating force, it should be considered a critical component of an effective prospecting discussion. Beth’s prospecting efforts would be more productive if she put her script aside, took a break from

calling, and analyzed the value her company actually delivers – from the point of view of its most loyal customers. If she did that, she’d learn that the project managers who already use her company’s software tend to describe their positive experience with TaskFlow as follows: “By automating and coordinating order acquisition and delivery schedules with TaskFlow’s customized solution, I am able to complete projects on time and under budget.” Automating and coordinating order acquisition and delivery schedules is the challenge these project managers face … but completing projects on time and under budget is the outcome they’re after. Beth’s discussions need to address not only the challenge, but also the outcome her ideal customers are most likely to desire. As of now, there’s no mention of that outcome at all in her script! Premature Presentation Syndrome Another problem with Beth’s script is that it is structured around making a mini-presentation over the phone, rather than allowing her to ask questions. This calling script design is consistent with a widespread “worst practice” that afflicts salespeople in many industries. All too often, when salespeople hear a prospect say, “I need X…” or “We’re trying to achieve Y,” they go into “sell” or

“presentation” mode. They begin discussing their products that accomplish X or their services that enable prospects to achieve Y … without first identifying the ultimate outcome the prospect is after. So: If a prospect states something like, “I need X,” rather than begin a discussion about Beth’s products or services related to X, we might want to ask the following questions in order to identify the outcome: ■ Suppose you had X, what would that enable you to do? ■ What would that mean to the company? ■ What would that mean to you? O n c e yo u u n d e rs t a n d t h e challenge-outcome connection, you can position your product or service as the effective means of facing the challenge … and achieving the desired outcome. If Beth were to structure her prospecting calls around both components – the challenge of coordinating schedules and the outcome of bringing projects in on time and under budget – she’d have better prospecting conversations. And she’d schedule more appointments. The Bottom Line To improve your prospecting efficiency, make sure your discussions focus on the outcome, not just the challenge. In order to do this, you must take the time to understand what your own ideal

prospects hope to accomplish by working with you. Specifically, you must ask yourself: By successfully facing their challenges, what outcomes do my ideal prospects achieve? How does my product or service help prospects face their challenges and obtain those outcomes? What are the biggest obstacles— real and perceived—preventing them from successfully facing those challenges? The key to creating an effective prospecting approach is to first understand who your ideal prospects are—the challenges they face, the outcomes they desire, and the potential roadblocks they face. You must then be ready to ask questions that help the prospect enter a meaningful, peer-to-peer discussion with you about the ways your product or service might be able to address those issues. If you do that, your prospecting ratios will improve, and you’ll schedule more appointments. John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, an authorized Sandler Training Licensee. He can be reached at jglennon@sandler.com, toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit www.glennon.sandler.com. Copyright 2013 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.


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DECEMBER 2016

Survey shows Terrace community cautiously optimistic Need for succession planning is a stand out result showing where education and resources are needed “Forty-five per cent of those surveyed said they did not have a succession plan.”

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er race – Resu lts f rom M N P Terrace Business L e a d e r s S u r v e y 2 016 showed t h at despite 74 p er cent of businesses feeling uncertainty about local economic conditions, they are still cautiously optimistic. “Currently, the region is in a lull so the results overall weren’t surprising,” said Michael Johnson, pa rtner, M N P Terrace. “The strong message here is the reasonable level of optimism.” The study, conducted by MNP LLP in partnership with the Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce, gives business and community leaders a benchmark for comparison and a clearer picture of the issues that are most important to local businesses. Stand out results showed that 21 per cent felt the greatest challenge facing their company in the next 12 months is the lack of industrial development and progress on major projects, but the second, at 16.5 per cent, was hiring and/or retaining good staff. Johnson said that the survey indicates a need for creating job opportunities for young people in the region and investing in training for those interested in taking over an existing business.

MICHAEL JOHNSON PARTNER, MNP TERRACE

Erin Reimer said that the survey allowed businesses to gauge where they are in relation to others

Michael Johnson is a Partner and Business Advisor at MNP’s Terrace office CREDIT:MNP TERRACE

CREDIT:MNP TERRACE

“Forty-five per cent of those surveyed said they did not have a succession plan,” he added. “That’s a big deal when the survey also showed that almost half of the businesses were 26 to 50 plus years old.” Erika Magnuson-Ford, executive director of the Chamber, said that the significant lack of succession planning gives her organization direction in what services and training it can

provide its members. Many of those businesses are waiting for big projects to move forward, said Johnson. Sixty per cent said that capital investment into their business has stayed the same in the past 12 months and 19.5 per cent said it increased. “Right now there are opportunities,” said Johnson. “The real estate market is reasonable and there is plenty of good land

available for investments. According to Western Investor, Terrace is one of the top five centres in Western Canada that hold the most potential for real estate returns.” Erin Reimer, partner, M NP Terrace, added that the surv e y a l l o w e d b u s i n e s s e s to gauge where they are in relation to other companies and businesses. “Business owners don’t always know how they are doing compared to other businesses.” Respondents came from a large cross section of sectors, including agriculture, construction, transportation, finance and i nsu ra nce, professiona l a nd accommodation. The highest percentage, at 21 per cent, came from the retail trade. “This is the first time the survey has been conducted in this area. We’ve created a benchma rk. I n two to th ree yea rs we will conduct another survey, look back and see where we progressed or continue to need improvement,” said van Dongen. “Surveys of this kind, that focus on a targeted region, give a strong feel for the nuances of its business community and give real direction for the future.”

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DECEMBER 2016

BY REPURPOSING ITS HISTORY, FLYING FISH ELEVATES TERRACE’S RETAIL EXPERIENCE The 8,000 space is a marvel of reclaimed industrial property, providing Terrace with a retail experience it can be proud of

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ERRACE— When he created the high-end retail company Flying Fish’s Terrace location in 2011, owner Glen Saunders already knew a thing or two about building unique spaces. Since founding the company Kermode Trading 26 years ago, Saunders has been acquiring historical buildings and repurposing them for modern communities—with beautiful results. Today, Flying Fish is an 8,000 square foot retail store providing luxury kitchen and home décor shopping experiences. With its 35-foot ceilings and mosaic-like walls, Saunders is confident that Flying Fish is “the most unique store in Northern BC”. “The great thing is that it’s not just about one building, because Flying Fish is situated in Skeena Landing, where you can stay at the lodge, eat a meal, and have a variety of shopping experiences,” says Saunders. “It’s not a store, it’s a whole destination.” Saunders added he could not have done it without the help of

people like Sharon Rothwell from Rona, Sico Paint, and Broadwater Industries; businesses that bought their murals and the many people who came out and volunteered. He is very thankful to everyone who helped make a difference. Five years ago, this “destination” was not as easy on the eyes. Formerly an industrial park with utilitarian warehouses, the 21acre property provided an ideal zone for gentrification—as long as somebody was willing to make the investment. Flying Fish had the inclination and experience to make that investment. They sourced recycled materials, including multi-coloured concrete blocks and reclaimed wooden beams from torn-down buildings, and used them to provide a sense of character and history. “We turned a sow’s ear into a silk purse,” says Saunders proudly. And it wasn’t the first time he and his team had done it. “Back when the business was known as Kermode Trading, our first location was a 1940s house we renovated,” says Saunders. “With every new location, from Prince George to Nanaimo, we’ve taken old properties and made them into beautiful spaces people love to come to—and bring visitors to see.” But Saunders isn’t just about making his stores attractive spaces that instill pride in locals.

Flying Fish at Skeena Landing after renovations He has a track record of beautifying the community at large. Years ago, when he was living in Prince Rupert, Saunders felt inspired to do something to revitalize its downtown core, which had become “downtrodden.” He founded the initiative “Paint

Prince Rupert” and before long, he engaged a number of sponsors and volunteers in repainting downtown businesses. T he i n it i at ive re s u lte d i n twenty-eight newly painted buildings and a large mural by artist Jeff King. King’s mural was

such a hit that it inspired a fresh round of fundraising for ten additional murals. “I suppose making a community a more vibrant place is how I like to give back. I say ‘Put your paintbrush where your mouth is!’” flyingfishterrace.com

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Glen Saunders “putting his paintbrush where his mouth is.”


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OFF THE COVER

DECEMBER 2016

ICBA members rally in support of LNG pipeline

COALITION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

1,200-strong construction industry membership, the ICBA’s decision to participate was a logical one. “ We a r e a l l a b o u t a l i g ni n g o u r s e l v e s w i t h g ro u p s who ca re about respon sible re s o u rc e d e v e l o p m e n t a n d helpi n g out com mu n it ie s,” says M i ke Dav is, ICBA Vice P re sident, Reg ion a l I n it i atives. “The Coalition is a very proactive vehicle for ensuring that these groups’ voices are heard.” Davis describes the relationship between his association

“We really appreciate what the Northeast BC Resource Municipalities Coalition is facilitating in the Northeast. It’s a perfect example of rallying together around a common goal, which in our case is driving a stronger resource economy.” MIKE DAVIS ICBA VICE PRESIDENT, REGIONAL INITIATIVES

and the Coalition as a “strate g ic a l l i a nc e” t h at br i n g s together critica l a reas of

ex pertise. W h i le ICBA possesses an intimate understanding of the province, including

advanced political advocacy capabilities, the Coalition has “a wealth of knowledge about the Northeast.” According to Davis, Coalition partners are currently developing a workplan for driving “resource industry development, including advancing projects that will help the province to g row responsibly.” A reas of focu s m ay i nclude creat i ng tra i n i ng opportu n ities, a nd working with government to ensure BC remains competitive with Alberta in terms of its tax structure. Dav is a lso asserts that the Coalition prioritizes the “timely approval” of resource

industry projects like the Petronas-backed LNG pipeline. But not, he says, at the expense of the province’s sustainable and responsible development. So what does responsible resource development mean to the Coalition’s first Associate Member? “We define responsible resource development by asking three questions,” says Davis. “We ask: ‘What’s the best thing for this community? What’s the best thing for business? And what’s the best thing for the env i ron ment?’ A nd then we try to find the middle ground between these considerations.” nebccoalition.com

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DECEMBER 2016

FOCUS ON INSURANCE Commercial Insurance: A Safety Net for Business Business Insurance A Necessary Investment For Every Venture

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ot a business expense, but an investment for the continued success of any enterprise, commercial insurance is not a luxury for the successful but a necessity for every business owner. It’s no exaggeration to say that acquiring commercial insurance for a business is one of the most important investments any owner can make. Depending on the plan and the coverage, commercial insurance can be instrumental in protecting a business from potential loss caused by unforeseen circumstances – both natural and manmade – from an earthquake to a labor dispute. “In a nutshell insurance enables commerce. What it does is it allows the parties involved to have the necessary confidence in knowing that if something goes sideways there is a financial backstop there to ensure that the transaction can continue or the business can remain in operation,” explained Luke Mills, a partner at Megson FitzPatrick Insurance Services in Victoria. Fou nd e d i n 1968, M e g son FitzPatrick is a major provider of commercial insurance products. With more than 100 staff in the Greater Victoria area the company provides an extensive range of insurance products for clients in Victoria, across British Columbia and beyond. A general insurance brokerage, the company has about 30 insurance brokers focusing solely on the needs of its commercial clients. “Commercial insurance is typically separated into two distinctly different kinds; property insurance to cover physical assets such as buildings, rolling stock and other tangible goods. Then there is liability insurance which is in place to protect against lawsuits, protecting intellectual property and other less tangible interests,” he said. While property insurance is essentially the beefed up business version of the type of protective policy every homeowner is familiar with, liability insurance is strictly for business professionals and provides protection against everything from the theft of intellectual property to serving as a shield against legal actions resulting from providing faulty advice. Professionals such as

Commercial insurance in essence serves as a safety net against unforeseen changes or events

Insurance companies strive to provide the coverage that best serves the requirements of the client doctors, lawyers, REALTORS® and even insurance brokers use variations of a type of policy known as Errors and Omissions (E & O) insurance to protect themselves, their firm or their

assets against legal action. “Say in our case, we as insurance brokers have to carry professional liability insu rance in case someone alleges we gave them some bad advice

and somehow they suffered financially because of it,” Mills explained. E & O insurance is considered SEE INSURANCE | PAGE 9


FOCUS ON INSURANCE

DECEMBER 2016

9 INSURANCE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8

a necessity for anyone working in a professional capacity. “Anyone who serves in a professional capacity has to carry Errors and Omissions insurance. Offices like ours, engineers, lawyers, doctors, basically anyone who puts themselves out there as a professional needs this form of coverage,” explained Laura Bolster, one of Megson FitzPatrick’s seven owner / partners. “Individuals who are giving advice to the public and are asking the public to act on that advice would be classified as a professional. If the public takes that advice and something negative occurs as a result they can bring an action back against that party – such as the insurance broker if they didn’t sell them enough liability insurance and they have a claim the policy can’t cover. We spend a lot of money every year on E & O insurance to protect our assets and our staff.” The flipside of the value of Errors and Omissions insurance is that it protects the public as well as the professional. Mills says the existence of the policy provides the buying public with security it would not have any other way. “In addition to protecting the provider of whatever the service may be it also protects the public,” he explained.

Commercial insurance essentially takes two forms; property insurance and liability insurance

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FOCUS ON INSURANCE

DECEMBER 2016

Insurance can be tailored to the match each business, depending on the individual need or sector

INSURANCE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9

“This form of coverage provides them with recourse in case that bad advice was given, or if some other mistake was made when providing counsel or advice.” All independent insurance brokers in British Columbia operate in compliance with the profession’s

umbrella organization the Insurance Brokers Association of BC (IBABC). This is a non-profit entity representing more than 820 property and casualty insurance brokerages in the province. Member firms employ more than 8,400 people working in approximately 140 different communities in BC. The IBABC was created to administer pre-licensing, licensing, continuing education and other

services for its membership. As with all insurance brokerages the individual companies do not create or produce the insurance products themselves, but use their training and industry knowledge to shop for the best and most appropriate coverage for their clients. “It may sound funny, but the reason for having commercial insurance is to cover your assets,” Bolster said.

“You want to know that you can continue in business if something goes wrong, whether it’s a flood, a broken piece of equipment or legal action.” For Mills having adequate commercial insurance also provides the company owner with peace of mind. “Insurance also enables business to take risks. It can free up capital, it can give you the confidence to know that

if it ever hits the fan you will have a facility in place to keep going. When you’re trying to protect your business what you’re really getting by working with a broker is you’re getting a partner and adv isor to help you th rough something that can get really complicated.” To learn more about the insurance industry visit: www.ibabc. org

CHANGES IN INDUSTRY MEAN MORE QUESTIONS NEEDING ANSWERS Key for long standing company is in giving back to its community through support of local charity fundraisers, sports associations and events

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RINCE GEORGE – For 37 years, Porter and McMillan Insurance has been providing the community of Prince George with a broad suite of insurance products. Family owned and operated by husband and wife team, Wendy (was Porter) and Mel McMillan, the firm was originally founded by Wendy in 1979. Today, it has three offices in the city, 34 employees and seven partners. Lee Hill, who began with the company 27 years ago, became a partner in 1992. “I’ve seen a lot of positive changes over the years when it comes to insurance,” he said, adding that people are more educated about the benefits of insurance and the need to protect both direct and indirect assets. “Even though the public seems to be more aware of what may be

available, insurance can and is still pretty confusing.” He explained that insuring a building and/or its contents is only a small part of the protection insurance can provide. “Profits of the business can be protected whether the loss occurs on its premises, or if the loss occurs to its property or product elsewhere, at a manufacturing plant overseas, for example.” He added that the industry has also seen changes in the quantity of items needing protection. “Years ago, a household would have maybe one TV. Nowadays, it may have up to five TV’s, three computers, several cell phones, a nd one or two ga me boxes. That’s why it’s important to talk with a broker, so they understand what is going on with your business or home and can make the best recommendation for the most appropriate insurance coverage.” Being a long standing business in the community has given Porter and McMillan a strong connection with Prince George and the surrounding region with its partners being actively involved with a variety of organizations. “We know our clients; we live and play in the same community. All of our staff take the time to listen to our client’s needs,

giving them the advice to make an educated decision about how best to protect their assets.” He explained that Porter and McMillan treat all its clients the same, whether they are looking for multiple products or for vehicle, travel, commercial, industrial or house insurance. “Everyone gets the same level of service. If they have questions, we find the answers. We are consultants for the corner mom a nd p op shop, homeowners and businesses. Most of our clientele come from referrals because they appreciate our willingness to answer their questions and come up with the best fit for their needs.” A strong sense of community drives Porter and McMillan. Staff regularly volunteer at local charity events and in supporting the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Blood Services, Prince George Youth Soccer Association, Variety Children’s Charity Radiothon and more. “We have a dynamic crew of staff with a wealth of experience and strong commitment to the people of our city.” Porter and McMillan: In the community, for the community. Por ter a nd McM i l l a n i s at 1-800-404-3853. www.porterandmcmillan.com


11

DECEMBER 2016

TECHNOLOGY PROVIDER HAS SERVED REGION SINCE 1995

One of the real strengths of the Software Emporium is the technical expertise of its owners and staff

Software Emporium: Specialists In Technology Sales & Service

D

AWSON CREEK – Since open i ng more tha n 20 yea rs ago mu lti awa rd winning Software Emporium Inc. has grown from a local computer store to become one of the preeminent technology sales and service centres in northeastern British Columbia. Operating out of an 8,000 square foot facility in Dawson Creek the company sells and maintains a dizzying array of computer-related systems and peripherals for clients across the city, in nearby Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd and as far afield as Fort St. John. “We’ve been in our current location since 2006, but this is really the third outlet we’ve had since opening in 1995. Each store has been bigger than the last and our present one allows us to have a 5,000 square foot showroom to display our products,� explained Dan Brisbin, company co-owner and nephew of Software Emporium’s founder Vernon Brisbin. More than a software store, Software Emporium sells and services computers, most notably Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Toshiba and Hewlett Packard. The outlet is also the city’s largest Apple Authorized Reseller, in addition to selling printers, cabling, tablets, console gaming systems (Xbox One and Play Station 4), Bluetooth audio products, inhome security systems, printer consumables and much more. With a current staff of 12, including company co-owners Paul Davey and Dan Brisbin, Sof twa re E mpor iu m i s a l so known as a local resource for

technology advice and consultation, thanks to the collective knowledge and industry experience of its team. “The key to our company’s long term success has always been our customer service. We get kudos all the time for how we help our clients and the community in general,� Brisbin stated. “We do what we can to be problem solvers for our community. We also actively support the community through donations such as giving equipment to the needy. It all comes down to trust and it’s fair to say that we’re trusted in our community.� T hat level of com mu n ity leadership and support was recently formally acknowledged when Software Emporium was named Business of the Year by the City of Dawson Creek, sponsored by the Dawson Creek District Chamber of Commerce, an accolade that is a genuine source of pride for Brisbin. With more than two decades in business, and with a database of clients that numbers in the thousands, Software Emporium has

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“The key to our company’s long term success has always been our customer service.� DAN BRISBIN CO-OWNER, SOFTWARE EMPORIUM INC.

Software Emporium is housed in an 8,000 square foot facility located at 10308 10th Street in Dawson Creek worked with individuals as well as business clients of all sizes, from mom and pop stores to corporate entities operating dozens of computers. “We probably work with as much as 60 percent of the business community in town in one form or another. The



service, Software Emporium is planning to expand into the Smartphone market in the near future as part of its ongoing corporate evolution. For more information visit the company’s website at: www. softwareemporium.ca

It is with great pleasure that the City of Dawson Creek would like to congratulate

Growing communities one idea at a time.

Software Emporium

Loans I Self Employment Program I Business Counseling

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local business sector is far and away the largest percentage of our business, a number that we expect to see grow,� he said. Already providing computer network installation and servicing duties, in addition to its extensive hardware sales and

904 102 Avenue I Dawson Creek T 250 782 8748 F 250 782 8770

www.communityfutures.biz Supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada

Dawson Creek Community Awards 2016

on receiving the Business of the Year award. It is remarkable that our city has so many local businesses that take pride in providing  excellent customer service and community support,  and this award truly showcases this.  

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MOVERS & SHAKERS

12

DECEMBER 2016

Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choice; Rupert Lawn & Garden â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Best Community Impact, and Premierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choice. Winners will be announced at the awards gala on February 23rd.

Terrace Three local businesses have received nominations for the Small Business BC Awards this year: Technicon Industries Ltd. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Best Apprentice Training; My Mountain Co-Op â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Best Community Impact; Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse Ltd. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Premierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choice. This year marks the 59th year that BC Pensioners, Branch #73, otherwise known as the Happy Gang Centre, has been serving seniors in the city of Terrace. The center, located on Kalum Street, is run by volunteers and hosts various social activities, in addition to providing homemade lunches for good prices. BC Housing plans to purchase the Cedars Motel on Highway 16, with an aim to have it provide housing for fixed income single residents. The purchase should help to relieve a housing shortage for local single residents, and would be operated by the Terrace and District Community Services Society (TDCSS). Plans for revamping the Terrace Aquatic Centre have expanded due to items added by regional district directors and the city. Additions to the plan feature increased square feet from 1,188 to 2,000 for a new fitness room, an increase in size for the leisure pool to 1,200 square feet, with a water fountain and lazy river, amongst other changes. It is

Williams Lake estimated that construction will take about eight months, with the facility closing on February 3rd in anticipation of the beginning of construction. Mills Memorial Hospital now owns a new mammography unit, which produces better images and greater comfort for patients. The machine is valued at $1.2 million, along with revamping the hospitalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imaging department, and is a significant addition to health care in the surrounding area. Penny Anguish, a senior health executive with the Northern Health Authority, has shifted responsibility from Terrace to serve as Chief Operating Officer in Prince George, overseeing the north central region of the authority. Her predecessor, Michael McMillan, moved on to other opportunities down south. In Anguishâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s absence from her Terrace posting, Chris Simms will step in to fill her position.

Prince Rupert The provincial government

announced that five new affordable housing projects were approved for the Prince Rupert, Lax Kwâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;alaams and Port Edward areas, bringing a projected 86 new housing units. Carters Jewelers announced the closing of their business location on 3rd Avenue in Prince Rupert. Lester Centre of the Arts celebrates its 30th anniversary this year of hosting performing arts events. The Nisgaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;a Lisims Government has sworn in their new executive council of the Elders, as of November 17th. The council consists of President Eva Clayton, Chair Willard Martin Jr., Secretary-Treasurer Corinne McKay, and Executive Chairperson Brian Tait. Local businesses have been nominated for various categories in this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Small Business BC Awards, including: Good Times Games and Electronics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Best Community Impact; The Argosy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Best Marketer, and Premierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choice; Wheelhouse Brewing Company â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Best Company, and Premierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Retirement Concepts, a Vancouverbased company running a number of seniorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; retirement complexes, including the Williams Lake Seniors Village, could be acquired by Chinese-based company, Anbang. The company wishes to purchase a majority stake in Retirement Concepts that is said to be worth over $1 billion. Because the deal surpasses the $600-million threshold, the federal government must approve the deal before it moves forward. The deal is currently before the Investment Review Division, and the final decision will come from federal minister, the Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation. The Williams Lake and District Credit Union Community Health Centre recently underwent renovations, including the addition of a second exam room, which doubles the capacity of the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) training facility. The Williams Lake Visitors Centre, and other visitors centers included in the Visitor Centre Network, celebrates 30 years of offering quality information to tourists from

across the globe. Claudia Blair, the Executive Director of Williams Lakeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s center, was among the first of the volunteer committee to begin acting on a plan to extend a program of tourism ambassadors across the province. Two local businesses, Rusty Bucket and Puddle Produce, have been nominated for Small Business BC Awards â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Rusty Bucket for Premierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choice, and Puddle Produce for Best Community Impact.

Prince George The Prince George Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Business Excellence Awards for 2016, announcing winners at their gala on October 22nd. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finalists featured: Doug Bell â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Entrepreneur of the Year, and Business Person of the Year; Northern Hardware & Furniture â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Service Excellence; Northern Lights Estate Winery â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Business of the Year, and Tourism & Hospitality; PG Recycling and Return-It Centre â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Environmental Awareness, and Community Impact Award; Play Grounds CafĂŠ â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Innovator of the Year; Game Quest â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Micro Business of the Year; Two Rivers Gallery â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Outstanding Corporate Culture; Kyle Sampson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hell Yeah Prince George Ambassador. A free, user-friendly online benchmarking tool has been made available to businesses by the

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MOVERS & SHAKERS

DECEMBER 2016

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). The comprehensive tool, which was developed in partnership with Statistics Canada, aims to help businesses improve productivity and scale up their operations. The tool can be accessed at BDC.ca.

Above: the Amelia Bearheart mascot for the Prince George Airport Authority The Prince George Airport Authority was recognized for their Amelia Bearheart campaign at the Airports Council International – North America Marketing and Communications Award Gala. They received two honorable mention awards for the Community Outreach and Education category, and an award for Promotional Item for their custom coloring book design. The 2017 Chamber of Commerce Business Development Forum is set to take place on January 31st, 8:30-3:30pm, at the Ramada Plaza Prince George. The upcoming event will feature Ellis Ross, former Chief Councilor of the Haisla Nation, and the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, as guest speakers. Tickets can be purchased online through the Prince George Chamber of Commerce website. George Kostas Blanis, celebrates his 50th anniversary as George the Barber in Prince George. His shop, which is scheduled to re-open on April 1st, is located at the Days Inn.

Above: George Kostas Blanis, aka George the Barber The BC Government has announced an investment of $5.1 million to go towards building new affordable homes for low to moderate-income families and seniors in Prince George. Two housing projects will receive the funding, including Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George’s new 1811 Spruce Street project providing 27 new rental homes to low-income seniors, with a priority placed on accepting Elders of Aboriginal ancestry. The other housing project, put forward by the Prince George and District Elizabeth Fry Housing Society, is located on

15th Avenue and aims to provide 35 affordable homes for low to moderate-income families.

Club of Dawson Creek Sunrise meets on Fridays at 7am at the Dawson Creek Curling Club.

A number of Prince George local businesses have been nominated for the annual Small Business BC Awards, including: Summit Drapery – Best Company; Play Grounds Café – Best Concept; Prince George Airport Authority – Best Marketer; Balanced Accounting – Premier’s People’s Choice; Northern Lights Denture Clinic – Best Company; Game Quest – Best Community Impact, Best Company, Best Employer, Premier’s People’s Choice; and PG Plantscapes – Best Company. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on February 23rd, 2017.

Northern Lights College Tumbler Ridge Campus has a new program running for people aged 55 to 64. The federal-provincial partnership program, entitled Targeted Initiatives for Older Workers (TIOW), equips seniors with programming that helps them gain employment, reconditions them for employment, and helps them to remain productive participants in the labor market.

Key Business Solutions is the local reseller for the awardwinning Spectrum® Construction & Project Management Software. To learn more visit www. constructionsoftware.ca or call 604.239.0744.

Dawson Creek Northern Environmental Action Team (NEAT) has been nominated for two Small Business BC Awards: Best Community Impact, and Premier’s People’s Choice. Dawson Creek local business, Vintage and Restoration Love, has also been nominated for a Premier’s People’s Choice award. Award winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on February 23rd. Mr. Mikes Dawson Creek General Manager, James Vetter, and Donald Ward, announced a program which invites customers to help a local family in need by donating non-perishable food items, gift certificates, and cash donations. Donations will be accepted until December 21st. The Dawson Creek and District Hospital has acquired a new STA Contact Max machine, a fullyautomatic clinical analyzer that is designed to test human plasma. The test results help to diagnose coagulation abnormalities or to monitor anticoagulation therapy. Anticoagulants are valuable in treating and preventing blood clots. The cost of the equipment was covered by a donation of $45,000 from the Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Woodward’s Foundation in Vancouver. Dawson Creek resident, Rhonda Palchinski, was presented with a 2016 Citizen of the Year award from Mayor Dale Bumstead. As head cook at the Nawican Friendship Centre, she was honored for exceptional community contributions by preparing meals for the center’s weekly soup kitchens. The Rotary Foundation celebrates its 100th year providing global and local humanitarian aid and service, and contributing to Rotary’s effort to eradicate polio globally. Rotary Club of Dawson Creek holds its meetings on Tuesdays at noon at the George Dawson Inn, and Rotary

Fort St. John Recycle It Resource Development is in contract with the Peace River Regional District to superintend recycling in Fort St. John, and will soon be opening a facility in the city. The building, scheduled for opening on March 1st, 2017, will exist in addition to the Eco Depot, which may soon be outgrown by the city. The Northeast Aboriginal Business Centre has moved to a new office at 10055 100 Avenue, Fort St. John. In their new location, they have introduced an Aboriginal Christmas Market, featuring craft items from local tribes. The market is a pilot run of a full-time artisan market, and is open Monday – Saturday, 10-4pm, until December 23rd. Northern Health has announced that the Fort St. John Hospital will be receiving a new MRI machine in the spring of 2017. The new machine values at $1.3 million, with $150,000 covered by the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation. The City of Fort St. John has announced the release of the first draft of their Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Over the next 15-20 years, the plan is proposed to inform all decisions relating to the city’s recreation areas. Plan components include increasing green space in the downtown area, and updating some existing parks. The City is seeking public input before bringing it before council.

Quesnel The West Fraser Centre in Quesnel is on its way to completion, remaining on budget and on schedule as work is underway on the roof structure. The roof is scheduled to be completed by mid-late December, with the entire project scheduled to open in September 2017. The Quesnel Lions Housing Society received $2.5 million from the BC Government, to go towards their 30-unit affordable housing project for seniors. Another $4.2 million was allocated to the Dalkelh and Quesnel Community Housing Society for a 38-unit housing project on 424 McLean Street. Local business, CJ Directory, has been nominated for Premier’s People’s Choice in the upcoming Small Business BC Awards.

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13


OPINION

14 A division of Invest Northwest Publishing Ltd. Prince George Office 2871 Wildwood Cres Prince George, BC V2K3J4 Toll free: 1.866.758.2684 Fax: 778.441.3373 Email: info@businessexaminer.ca Website: www.businessexaminer.ca

DECEMBER 2016

PUBLISHER | Lise MacDonald, lise@businessexaminer.ca EDITOR | John MacDonald SALES | Dan Stelck, dan@businessexaminer.ca WRITERS | Beth Hendry-Yim, David Holmes, Kristin van Vloten

WHAT A TRUMP GOVERNMENT COULD MEAN FOR CANADA

MARK MACDONALD

A

s the dust begins to settle following a wild, no-holdsbarred election in the United States, what will the Donald Trump presidency hold for Canada? At this juncture, it is difficult to see exactly what is in store for North America under Trump, although he’s starting to put together his cabinet, and the names being floated about provide inkling of what is possibly to come. Trump has already reached out to some of his most outspoken Republican opponents to have them involved in his cabinet, which also shows his willingness to let bygones be bygones. One hopes that same mindset will be maintained when he looks northward to a Canadian government that was far too outspoken in regards to an election in another country, and is more aligned with Democratic values

than the GOP. His major domestic thrust will be to put Americans back to work, in meaningful manufacturing jobs – the ones that pay mortgages, buy cars and raise families. That will come at the expense of out-ofcountry suppliers who don’t demonstrate a significant commitment to bettering the U.S. economy. Trump’s “Make America great again” campaign slogan encapsulated thoughts he’d share intermittently in the decades prior to his actual decision to run. Trump was not shy in noting that there are many countries in the world that have done very well by America, but America hasn’t done well by them. He cited Japan specifically, noting that Japanese electronics, cars and trucks are all over America – but “you can’t find a Chevrolet in Tokyo”. That, he said, will need to change. “I do business with China, but I win,” Trump said at one point. While the sabers haven’t yet been rattled between China and the U.S., they’re at least being sharpened for trade discussions to come. The Keystone Pipeline will be built. But get used to hearing this: America First. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Trans Pacific Partnership, while a good deal for Canada to be a part of since it will foster trade

with other partners throughout the Pacific Rim and Asia, will be significantly less impactful if Trump follows through on his promise to not participate. America is the world’s largest trading nation, and without the U.S. taking part, it makes the stakes and potential advantages significantly less. Softwood lumber will continue to be a major concern. Although trade tribunals consistently sided with Canadian arguments in this never-ending wrestling match over tariffs and alleged subsidization, the U.S. still maintains the upper hand and obeys rulings as they see fit. Don’t be surprised if future negotiations on softwood lumber become increasingly U.S.-centric, protecting American wood-based companies from more affordable Canadian products. With 72 per cent of our country’s trade still conducted with the U.S., what happens below the 49th parallel is of utmost importance to us. Canada’s moral superiority complex was on full display during the Trump-Clinton slugfest, yet there was and is very little we can do to influence or counter what America decides to do in terms of an economic course except follow along. Under the previous federal government, there was a decided push to diversify Canada’s trade interests, thereby lessening its almost

complete reliance on the U.S. That needs to continue. Canada needs to caution against the “eggs in one basket” approach, believing that Canadian exports will be given high priority in a Trump-led economy, simply due to our lower dollar. The signals Trump has given for years - and trumpeted during the campaign - show he believes in America first. And that doesn’t necessarily mean North America. Trump is a billionaire, and even though he received a healthy head start thanks to a family trust, he still turned that into a sizeable, wealthy family empire. And any successful businessman knows that true “wins” are where both sides win. Don’t expect a Trump America to run over other nations to further its own interests. Trump knows that won’t work in business, and it won’t work in government. Partnerships will remain and grow – but they will tilt more towards America’s favour. Trump demonstrated he is calculating and can think on his feet. Even though the media would have us believe that “only Democrats have brains”, Trump outfoxed them, playing the media who thought they were framing him. In fact, the more the media moaned about Trump, the more it started to sound like the “warnings” of the arrival of another American

President, Ronald Reagan. For those of us who remember, Reagan was portrayed as being not sophisticated enough, “just an actor”, albeit a great communicator. Yet he became one of America’s most respected and accomplished presidents. Some of Trump’s attractiveness to voters was that he is not a politician and has no experience serving in public office. That, also, is a cause for concern, because there is no public service track record from which we can perhaps anticipate his next moves. We do know of his business accomplishments. And for those who believe that business people are the most qualified to oversee the biggest “business” in the country, i.e. the government, this is something that is long overdue. He actually does know how to balance his own cheque book, and budget, and make things happen. Change is here, and change is coming. Canada will be affected, as usual, by what happens in the U.S., and it needs to stay the course it is on by encouraging trade with other nations and diversify. The U.S. economy should do well under Trump, which will help those countries whose economies are intertwined with theirs. But make no mistake: It will be America First.

BC MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS ON UNSUSTAINABLE SPENDING PATH Latest report shows BC municipal inflationadjusted operating expenditures grew four times faster than population growth from 2004 to 2014

CFIB AARON AERTS

T

he Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released a report examining municipal spending across the country, which reveals 97 per cent of British Columbia’s municipalities have increased their operating spending at an unsustainable pace since 2004. The 9th edition of the BC Municipal Spending Watch ranks 152 municipalities based on 20042014 inflation-adjusted operating spending growth and the most

recent spending levels per capita in 2014. This iteration places a special focus on the 20 largest municipalities. The worst ranked municipalities in the province show operating spending far outpacing that of inflation plus population growth (a sustainable rate), and have higher than average operating spending per capita. The report shows none of the provinces’ 20 largest cities managed to maintain spending levels at a sustainable rate. The Township of Langley, Abbotsford and Delta performed worst (see table below). Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, and Kelowna were the

top three performers of the group. “While a few of the largest cities have been a bit more fiscally sustainable, it’s troubling to see none were even close to keeping their spending in line with the reasonable benchmark of inflation plus population growth,” says Aaron Aerts, BC Economist. BC’s ten-year municipal spending

trend is a serious concern. While the BC population in 2014 was 12 per cent higher than in 2004, the total inflation adjusted municipal operating expenditures rose 48 per cent, four times faster than population growth. Over the past decade, the cumulative spending over inflation and population growth was $8.6 billion. Over this period,

only five of the 152 municipalities managed to keep operating spending at or under the rate of inflation and population growth. “Had municipalities kept their operating spending at the rate of inflation plus population growth over the past ten years, the BC family of four could have saved, on average, around $7,400 in municipal taxes,” adds Aerts. “Spending growth of this magnitude is simply unsustainable.” “The vast majority of municipalities continue to spend at unsustainable rates. Thankfully, a few mayors and councils have attempted to get on a better path. The rest appear to ignore the reality that excessive growth in spending will result in higher taxes on businesses and residents,” Aerts concludes. The CFIB report makes a series of recommendations to enable municipal governments to better control growth in operating costs, including: limiting spending increases to the rate of inflation and population growth, conducting formal core service reviews, increasing fiscal transparency, and adopting sustainable wage growth policies.

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


OFF THE COVER

DECEMBER 2016

15 “TNDC has an excellent reputation as a business partner, and we also have a great reputation, especially for being health and safety conscious. This partnership makes so much sense for the responsible development of the province’s resource economy.” TIM MOHRING

Geotech VP-Sustainability, Tim Mohring Geotech personnel hard at work in glorious natural settings

TAHLTAN NATION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

company they say will provide industry-leading exploration, geotechnical, environmental, construction and geothermal drilling services to the region. “With this partnership, we are able to make the services we’ve developed over almost 32 years of business even more comprehensive,” says Merkel. “Now,

for any development project requiring geotechnical services, we can take clients all the way from exploration to construction to reclamation and monitoring.” TDS’ industry advantages include the efficiency-enhancing expertise and technology it leverages from Geotech. But, according to both Mohring and Merkel, the partners also share values. “Our core values include resp ect for t he env i ron ment,

working with the community, and predicting market trends,” says Mohring. “TNDC wants sustainable development that won’t compromise the lives of future Tahltans.” Mohring describes Geotech’s program in the Canadian Artic as an example of their environmental dedication. Due to the drilling environment, which is on Arctic Tundra, Geotech’s operations required them to be

VICE PRESIDENT-SUSTAINABILITY, GEOTECH

innovative in recirculating muds. “We created a system that lessens environmental disturbances and increases efficiency. Now we use it throughout the company.” “For decades TNDC has been helping our clients and partners cut down on overhead and logistics and source local labour and talent,” says Merkel. “And now we can do even more. “It will be a matter of asking a client, ‘Where is your property and what do you want to do with it?’” tndc.ca

COMPANY A PROVINCIAL LEADER IN RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS Clean Energy Consulting Has Played Key Roles In Multiple Projects Around BC

P

R I NCE GEORGE – Providing industry and communities with practical, real world solutions has made Clean Energy Consulting (CEC) a leader in the specialized field of renewable energy projects. Working with a wide range of cl ients, CEC’s tea m of consulting professionals has the technical skills and the proven t rack record to del iver outstanding results, regardless of the challenges. “We are part of the growing momentum towards sustainability; the transition to healthy, v ibra nt com mu n ities where there is security around local food, clean air, fresh water, and renewable energy,” explained company President, Tim Hoy. A company built on the three core pillars of Integrity, Exc e l l e n c e , a n d R e s u l t s, C E C has, since launching in 2008, worked diligently to make the world a better place, one project at a time. “Our efforts are motivated by the profound belief that each of us can make a difference, and the hope that our work will make the planet a

Company President Tim Hoy (left) and Professional Engineer Alan Martin are part of Clean Energy Consulting better place for our children and future generations,” he said. Du ri ng the past few yea rs, CEC has played key roles in a number of significant projects i n BC i nclud i ng t he 36 M W Conifex Biomass Power Project in Mackenzie, BC; the 27 MW Skookum Run of River Project in Squamish, BC, and the two 13 M W West Fraser Biomass Power Projects in Fraser Lake and Chetwynd, BC. Having assembled a highly competent group of professional

Clean Energy Consulting contributed to a pair of 13 MW biomass power projects for West Fraser and technical personnel with a vast experience in all aspects of project development, project management, engineering design, procurement, and construction management, CEC has been placed at the forefront of this evolving industry. Wit h of f ices i n Va ncouver and in Prince George, CEC has

a team of more than 20 employees ready to take on renewable energy projects internationally and globally. For the future, CEC’s expects that in a world of shrinking resources and diminishing governmental support the need for its multidisciplinary engineering and project services will continue

to increase. “We are success driven and we are committed to succeed for our clients and to deliver results regardless of the challenges. That’s the future of our business,” he said. For more information, visit the company’s website at: www. cleanenergyconsulting.ca


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Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena - December 2016  

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

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