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PRINGE GEORGE ILV Contracting: An Award Winning

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ICBA Opens Its First Regional Office in Prince George


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R I NCE GEORGE – T he Association’s motto says it all: BC Built, BC Strong. Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) of BC is an organization based in Burnaby that has represented the province’s open shop construction industry for more than 40 years. To better serve its northern British Columbia membership, and to help increase its participation in the region, the ICBA opened its first ever regional branch office in Prince George last fall. “We opened the office quietly in November but we’re going to have an official opening in March. Last fall we rented space, hired a local Vice President and began introducing ourselves within the community. We’ve been in place but we’ve not made


ICBA’s Vice President Mike Davis and Zoe Nunez, Member Services Coordinator operate the Prince George office

Kitimat Clean could be world’s greenest refinery Businessman David Black’s plan would utilize cutting edge technology while creating an estimated 2,500 jobs BY MARK MACDONALD

Canadian Publications Mail Acct.: 40069240

a big splash yet in terms of announcing that were there,” explained Gord Stewart, ICBA’s Senior Vice President. “The Prince George office will operate as a Regional Office serving an area that essentially covers all of northern British Columbia from the coast all the way to the Alberta border,” he said. To manage the Regional office and to help increase the Association’s visibility throughout northern British Columbia, ICBA has hired Mike Davis as its Vice President for Regional Initiatives. “Mike Davis is the man we’ve hired to run the office. He’s a local guy and he’s well known and respected in the community. Previously he was with the City of Prince George, the Prince George Airport Authority and most recently helped execute the 2015



ITIMAT – David Black wants to build the world’s greenest oil refinery in the world on the northern B.C. coast. Kitimat Clean, which would be built on a 1,000-plus hectare industrial site between Kitimat and Terrace, could result in 2,500 direct, well-paying jobs and likely another 2,500 in petrochemical-related

industries. It would utilize revolutionary technology to significantly reduce carbon output, wouldn’t require a pipeline to obtain the necessary raw material – dilbit (diluted bitumen), and would work within the parameters of Prime Minister’s announced West Coast oil tanker moratorium as it would ship less environmentally intrusive end products to overseas markets. Over the past three years, Black has been busy speaking to anyone and everyone, espousing the

virtues of such a refinery, including 30 different First Nations bands and politicians from all levels of government. “I must have given this talk to at least 50 different groups by now,” he says, adding that he has not received any push back thus far. Polls have showed that twothirds of British Columbians were opposed to a dilbit pipeline going across B.C. to a tanker terminal, but if a refinery was put into the mix, two thirds were in favour.

Black estimates it will take two years to obtain the necessary permits and approvals, and five years to build it, at an estimated cost of $22 Billion. Black foresees the refinery yielding close to $1 billion in annual taxes to various levels of government. “It could create 10,000 direct and indirect petrochemical industry jobs in an area of B.C. that really needs it,” he says. “It would make the sea safe, cut the planet’s CO2 SEE KITIMAT CLEAN | PAGE 4

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2 NORTHERN BC Upcoming Events Supported by Northern Development Initiative Trust Northern Development supp o r t s u n i q u e fe s t i v a l s a n d events throughout the region with the Fabulous Festivals and Events funding program. The program provides nonprofit organizations $2500 to help build the sustainability and expansion of local events to attract tourism and build communities. Save the date and check out these events coming soon in Northern BC P ri nce G eorge | Coldsnap Winter Music Festival | January 22 - 30 Bridge River | Bridge River Valley Winterfest | February 6-7 Logan Lake | Polar Carnival | February 6 Clinton | Clinton Annual Ball | May 21 Chetw y nd | Internationa l Chainsaw Carving Championship | June 9 - 12 Atlin | Atlin Arts and Music Festival | July 8 - 10 Quesnel | Billy Barker Days | July 14 - 17 Francois Lake | Grassy Plains Summer Festival | July 18 - 19 Hazelton | K ispiox Va l ley Music Festival | July 22 - 24 Bella Coola | Discovery Coast Music Festival | July 23 - 24 Terrace | Terrace Riverboat Days | July 29 - August 7 Ha ida Gwa i i | Edge of the World Music Festival | August 5-7 Wells | Moonrise Film Festival | August 19 - 21 Barkerville | Mid-Autumn Moon Festival | August 20 Lillooet, Clinton, Logan Lake, Loon Lake | Gold Country Geocache Event | September 2 - 5 Lytton | Lytton River Festival | September 2 - 3

BRITISH COLUMBIA BC Invests in Mining Training Initiative The B.C. Centre of Training Excellence in Mining (CTEM) has made it easier for Br it ish Columbians to train for careers in mineral exploration and mining, t h a n k s t o a m e m o r a n d u m of understanding signed recently by f ive public post-secondar y institutions in the province. The agreement initiates a pilot project that will offer students the opportunity to complete up to a full year of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) mineral exploration and mining technology diploma at the following i n s t i t u t i o n s : T he College

NEWS UPDATE of New Caledonia (C N C ) , Northwest Community College ( NWCC), Okanagan College (OC) and Thompson Rivers University (TRU). Students who complete the diploma program can also apply their education toward a degree in mining and mineral resources engineering at BCIT. CT EM was announced in November 2012 and launched on M ay 23, 2013. Hosted by NWCC, CTEM is a provincewide virtual hub that connects the mining and mineral industries, communities and public post-secondary institutions t h roug hout t he prov i nce to ensure students receive targeted training that will give them in-demand skills for these industries. Since 2012, the Ministry of Advanced Education has provided $500,000 in operating support to CT EM for co-ordination of mining training at public post-secondary institutions in the province.

QUESNEL North Cariboo Community Campus celebrates 10 Years in Quesnel The North Cariboo Community Campus in Quesnel is celebrating its 10th anniversary having delivered quality education and training to thousands of students in the region. CNC has been a part of the Q uesnel com mu n ity for a lmost four decades, expanding programs and learning opportunities as community demand increased. Current offerings include courses in arts and sciences, business administration, trades and more, as well as the first two years of the Northern Collaborative Baccalaureate Nursing Program, which is offered in partnership with UNBC. Over the last 10 years, campus growth has included the addition of the Technical Education Centre in 2012, later named the West Fraser Technical Centre. In partnership with West Fraser Mills, CNC became the college of choice for West Fraser employees. The centre trains approximately 250 trades students each year in programs such as millwright, carpentry and power engineering. UNBC has awarded more than 350 credentials at the Quesnel campus over the past decade, including certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees in areas such as social work, education and First Nations studies.

FORT NELSON Aboriginal Skills Training Gains Investment from Province A series of community-based

job skills training courses in nor theast B.C. w i l l suppor t First Nations members becoming job-ready for B.C.’s growing liquefied natural gas and natural resource sectors. The B.C. government is investing $314,000 in the Power i ng Up for O p p or tu n it ie s Program to assist 40 participants from For t Nelson and Prophet River First Nations with job and college readiness training, with a focus on gaining employment in natural resource industries. The trades readiness component combines general college readiness courses with introductions to skilled trades including: welding, millwright, electrical and piping. The college readiness component helps adults obtain prerequisites for entry to career, technical and academic programs. Training will be delivered in Fort Nelson by Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT). NVIT will also deliver a program called Pathways to Success to members of Blueberry River First Nations th rough a $324,000 invest ment f rom the B.C. gove r n me nt . N V I T w i l l del ive r t he prog r a m i n Bu ick Creek, north of Fort St. John. Pathways to Success will provide 30 participants with the skills training to gain employment in the service and industry sectors. Through classroom instruction followed by assistance with job placement, participants will receive workplace and essential skills upgrades in reading, math and computer skills, as well as credentials in areas such as occupational first aid, food safety, and hazardous materials safety. A modified Pathways to Success program will also be delivered to members of the Halfway R iver First Nation through a $97,000 investment. The program will run over six months and provide participants with increased confidence and competence through job readiness training, and the program will have a strong focus on health and wellness. NVIT will deliver the program. The B.C. government is also investing $323,000 into Tsay Keh Dene Nation’s Workforce Development Initiative, a general skills development prog ra m del ivered by Tsay Keh Dene in their community. T he I n itiative w i l l prov ide 90 people from Tsay Keh Dene First Nation with academic upgrading, literacy skills, driver training, career exploration and industry-related certifications. Participants will be prepared for a successful transition to further education, training and employment. An additional $52,000 in government funding will provide members of the Doig River First Nation with the training needed to obtain Class 1 Driver licences. These licences allow holders to drive semi-trailer trucks, which a re also k now n as big r igs or


eighteen wheelers. As well, the funding will enable community members to receive Class 4 driver training. Class 4 licences allow operators to drive buses with a maximum seating capacity of 25 persons, including school buses, special activity buses and special vehicles used to transport people with disabilities. All four programs are underway a nd a re bei ng f u nded through B.C.’s LNG-focused A b or i g i n a l Sk i l l s T ra i n i n g Development Fund. The fund supports strategies outlined in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the goal of increasing the number of Aboriginal people in the provincial workforce by 15,000 over the next 10 years.

PRINCE GEORGE South Peace Development to be Powered by new Transmission Line T h e b o o m i n u n c o n v e ntiona l gas production i n the nor theast has resu lted i n some of t he mos t d ra m at ic single-industry regional load growth BC Hydro has seen in the last 50 years. The completion of the new 230-kilovolt Dawson Creek-Chetwynd Area Transmission line will provide clean ele c t r ic it y t o n e w i n d u s t r i a l customers that wish to connect to the electricity grid. That means customers do not need to bur n fossil fuel to power their facilities – which means lower greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. The new line consists of two portions running from Dawson Creek to the Chetwynd area. The first portion is a 12-kilometre stretch from the existing Dawson Creek substation to t h e B e a r Mo u nt a i n Te rminal. The second portion is a 60-kilometre stretch from the Bear Mountain Terminal to a new substation – the Sundance Lakes substation – 19 kilometres east of Chetwynd. T he project to build the new line also included construction of the new substation and upgrades to the Dawson Creek substation and the Bear Mountain Terminal. T h e g row t h i n ele c t r ic it y demand in the south Peace is bei ng d riven by natu ra l gas exploration and the development in the Montney shale gas deposits. The new infrastructure enables these operations to connect to the BC Hydro system and will also support future expansion of the transmission system in the south Peace. About 100 jobs were created during construction. First Nation, local and B.C.-based companies contributed to the project in the areas of site cleari ng, substation work, fou ndation installations and line stringing. For example: 4 Evergreen Resources LP, a Saulteau

First Nations company, provided r ig ht- of-way clea r i ng a nd did con st r uct ion work for a cce ss r o a d . Duz Cho L ogg ing Ltd , a McL e o d L a ke Fi rst Nations compa ny, prov ided site clearing for expansion work done at the Bear Mountain Terminal. Brocor Construction, a Dawson Creek company, helped with site preparation work at the Sundance Lakes substation. IDL Projects, a Prince George construction company, worked on the expansion of the Bear Mountain Terminal. F&M Installations Ltd, a Na na i mo-based compa ny, constructed the new Sundance Lakes substation and installed new equipment at the Dawson Creek substation. Southview Sorting Ltd, a Chilliwack-based company, helped with clearing and access road construction. Construction of the project began in 2013. The cost is $296 million. About 11,000 residential, business and industrial customers are being served by the new line. The project is part of BC Hydro’s capital plan that includes investments in the province’s generation faci l ities, power lines and substations to help meeting growing demand. BC Hydro is investing, on average, $2.4 billion a year, over the next 10 years, in B.C.’s electricity system.

PRINCE GEORGE Northern community ski areas secure futures T wo com mu n it y sk i a re a s near Prince George and Fort St. James now have more secure futures, thanks to renewed operating agreements with the Province. The operating agreements for Purden Ski Village and Murray Ridge Ski Area last for 30 years each, and help support the long-term viability of these sk i a re a s for t he cont i nued benefit of w i nter recreation and tourism in B.C.’s northern communities. Small ski areas are excellent venues for community sport, education and events throughout the province every year, and host thousands of children and families annually through school and club programs in wh ich loc a l residents lea r n a nd pa r ticipate i n dow n h i l l and cross-country skiing, and snowboarding. A lso, a l l levels of a mateu r winter sport competitions are held at community ski areas, where athletes and coaches acquire skills and train for events like the BC Winter Games and Canada Winter Games. In February-March 2015, the Canada Winter Games were hosted by Prince George and ski and snowboard events were held at Purden. T h e m i n i s t r y ’s Mo u nt a i n



R e s o r t s B ra n c h f a c i l i t a te d master plan updates and review processes for the two ski areas, and the new operating ag reements were reached i n spring 2015. The branch works with partners to provide timely decisions for community ski areas and mountain resorts, and co-ordinates environmental assessments for new resort proposals and major resort expansions. It also sets and administers policy for all-seasons resort development and works to contribute significantly to support recreation, tourism and jobs.

TERRACE National Accounting Firm Expands into Terrace MNP LLP, one of Canada’s largest national accounting and business consulting firms, has a n nou nced that McAlpine & Co., Chartered Professional Accountants, a Terrace-based accounting firm, will merge with MNP, effective February 1, 2016. W hile McAlpine was looking to add resources and expand their specialty services to clients, M NP was looking to establish a presence in Terrace with a well-respected and client-focused firm that shares the same values. “MNP has 19 offices in B.C, including three northern B.C.

locat ions i n P r i nce G eorge, Fort St. John and Vanderhoof and we have been looking for like-minded firms to build on our strategic plans for growth in northern B.C.,” said Darren Turchansky, MNP’s Executive Vice President of the B.C. Region. “Terrace is the regional service hub with many of the business, retail, medical and government services for the northwestern portion of British Columbia. As the economy of Terrace grows, so do the needs of t he bu si ness com mu n ity a nd we recog n i ze t h at bot h the community and our firm have an opportunity to grow together.” MNP is ranked as the fifthlargest firm in Canada and employs over 3,500 team members from Victoria to Montreal. In addition to tax and accounting expertise, MNP delivers a diverse range of advisory services, including consulting, enterprise risk, corporate finance, valuation and litigation support, succession planning, estate planning, insolvency and restructuring, investigative and forensic accounting, crossborder taxation and more. McAlpine & Co. is a well-established firm of chartered professional accountants and has provided professional services to northwestern B.C. since the 1960s. The firm consists of four partners — Curtis Billey, CPA, CA; Rory Reinbolt, CPA, CA;

M ichael Joh nson, CPA , CA; Sheryl Rice, CPA, CGA — each having over 25 years of experience in public accounting, as well as an additional 16 professiona l a nd support sta ff. Serving a diverse client base in the private sector, McAlpine provides accounting and business advice in areas such as tax, audit, information technology, personal financial planning, business advisory and business valuation services. “T h i s ye a r w i l l m a rk McAlpine’s 50th anniversary serving the community and was a time for the partners to reflect on where we saw the firm going. As the marketplace evolves and our client needs become more complex, we believe becoming part of a national firm with a local client service philosophy and greater breadth and depth of services and resources will serve our clients well and position us for continued success and growth,” said Michael Johnson, Partner, McAlpine & Co. “ We t r u ly b el ieve com i n g together will strengthen and deepen our existing leadership and offer our clients business advice specifically tailored to their business so they can continue to overcome current business and industry challenges,” added Johnson. M N P cre d it s it s s t rate g ic mergers and acquisitions, orga n ic g row t h, va lue-added services and corporate culture

for catapulting the firm to lead with the highest year-over-year growth rates of any of Canada’s top accounting firms for more than eight years straight. “To m a i nta i n ou r cor porate culture, we have been very strategic about who we invite to join our team,” explained Turchansky. “We carefully guard our corporate culture, and as a result, we have a low client and employee turnover and are attracting some of the brightest professionals in our industry. We are looking forward to joining forces with the McAlpine team.” Johnson explained what appealed to him about MNP was not only the fact the firm has b e e n a r o u n d m o r e t h a n 55



3 years serving a diverse range of clients, but that the firm also been recognized as one of the 50 Best Employers in Canada by the AON Hewitt for eight consecutive years. “MNP has an organizational culture and values founded on an unwavering commitment to people; creating a great place to work and do business, where a healthy balance between home and work life are at the core of how business is run. Our team is truly excited to be a part of the MNP family.” The McAlpine team of 20 will remain in their current location at 4630 Lazelle Ave Suite 201, which will be rebranded as MNP as of February 1, 2016.



Celebrating the Best in Commercial Building



AWARDS May 26, 2016 | Prince George, BC For Nomination Packages & Sponsorship opportunities please contact: | 1-866-758-2684, Ext 120

2016 www.businessexamin






omething special happens when you get a combination of the right people from the right places in a room, focusing their attention on an exciting project. This is exactly what has happened in Prince George for our Top 40 Under 40 initiative. Now in its third edition, The Prince George Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 Under 40 project began as a means of promoting young professionals in our community, while also highlighting Prince George’s strong business climate. What started as a 30page print magazine has now blossomed into a 44-page publication with an accompanying digital version, 6500 print copies, and an involved social media campaign.

Rather than ‘go it alone’ this year, the Chamber of Commerce partnered with the City of Prince George, HYPG (Hell Yeah Prince George Facebook group), UNBC, UNBC – Continuing Studies, TELUS, and BDC, in order to celebrate, utilize, and broadcast the stories behind this year’s phenomenal Top 40 finalists. T h i s g roup of com mu n it y heavy-weights has extended networks across the country, which helps us deliver the Top 40 messaging to a much broader audience than we could reach within our own network. We’ve learned that if you tell engaging stories about real people doing amazing things, and you craft the messages in a compelling and shareable format, they have the potential to be spread to all corners of the earth. We can’t wait to see this happen. T he plan is as follows…the evening of February 4th we will reveal the complete list of Top 40 Under 40 finalists at a special Launch event at UNBC. Top 40 nominees, finalists, Chamber members, business professionals and community leaders are expected to attend this celebration in Prince George. This year’s Top 40 magazine will be revealed in print and digitally at the event with copies made available for

guests. A n d i f t h i s i s n’t e x c i t i n g enough, the Launch event will be followed by a 40 day online campaign highlighting the individual finalists until March 14th! This is where the partnership really shines as each project partner amplifies the messages by sharing the profile stories to their audiences as well. T hese good news stories and personal profiles will be used by businesses and community groups for employee recruitment, educational institutions for student recruitment, and in offices/ hotel rooms as reading material. They will also be featured on the award-winning ‘MoveUp Prince George’ website to help attract new residents to Prince George. As a bonus, application details regarding new Hell Yeah Prince George scholarships, for UNBC and CNC students, will only be available in the Top 40 Under 40 magazine. You won’t be able to miss the Top 40 buzz circulating this month so just grab the reins and enjoy the ride! Christie Ray is the CEO of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at christie.ray@


Canada Winter Games in Prince George. With Mike we believe we have exactly the right person to represent the Association and to help get the word out.” “Over the past 13 years I have worked on some very unique projects in Prince George and the region. I am committed to this community and am excited about the future and the economic opportunities of the north,” Davis said. Born as a grass roots movement in Trail in 1975, the ICBA was initially created to help level the playing field for non-union construction companies hoping to bid on government projects. “Back in the day non-union contractors couldn’t bid on government work. We were founded therefore by a group of non-union contractors,” Stewart explained. “We’re not a union. Membership in the Association is purely voluntary. The vast majority of our members are non-union companies. We believe in operating an open shop. We believe every qualified contractor should be allowed to bid on a project. We certainly don’t say union contractors shouldn’t be allowed to bid. As our message has spread and people have embraced the power of the collective voice of our membership a number of union contractors have also joined the Association.”

Gord Stewart is ICBA’s Senior Vice President and works out of its Burnaby-based head office

“We believe every qualified contractor should be allowed to bid on a project” GORD STEWART SENIOR VP

The strength of the ICBA comes in large part from the range of products and services it offers its members, everything from health care and retirement plans to training opportunities and more – services individual companies may not be equipped to provide alone. “ICBA has a new program called Construction Market Intelligence that is a comprehensive

on l i ne prosp ect i ng tool for contractors and suppliers. It is a comprehensive database of public and private jobs with drawings at all stages from prebid to tender. Contractors can build tailored searches to look for new opportunities in their trade or specialty areas,” Davis explained. Davis believes having a regional ICBA office in place will assist local and regional members as new development projects come on-stream. “There is a lot of economic opportunity in northern British Columbia and we want to ensure that we are supporting responsible development while helping to grow and strengthen BC’s economy,” Davis said. To learn more visit the Association’s website at:



emissions enormously and help the oil industry by giving them better returns.” But can he actually do it? Those who know Black believe that if anyone can pull this off, David Black can. Soft spoken and understated, Black is a determined individual and has proven naysayers wrong on many occasions. If he says he can do it - and he’s been saying so publicly now for years - then people shouldn’t be surprised if he pulls it off. At 69 years of age, one might view his drive to create Kitimat Clean as a legacy project, which it may be. But Black is also a civil engineer, and a very successful businessman, owning over 200 community newspapers in Canada and the United States, including 85 in B.C. And Black sees a profitable venture that is proving attractive to investors. Black has been traveling the globe, garnering interest from financiers. He’s been to Asia several times, Alberta - of course - and the United States. He recently returned from meetings in the Middle East, which yielded valuable information and piqued the industry’s interest. “They believe in refineries. They are profit-making businesses,” he notes. “(In the Middle East) they believe in Canada, and that it’s a great place to invest.” “This refinery will be profitable, and it doesn’t matter what the price of oil is,” he adds. “We plan to borrow 80 per cent of the money the project needs, and repay it all, with interest, within eight years.” Raising financing is nothing new for Black. “I’ve done this before with newspapers, so I’m familiar with the process,” he laughs. “We’re just adding an extra zero or two. It’s looking pretty positive right now.” GREEN TECHNOLOGY Black plans to utilize what is known as the Fischer-Tropsch process, which eliminates all the coke left over once the refining process is completed. First developed in the 1920’s in Germany and utilized during the Second World War, Fischer-Tropsch is used extensivelyaround the world today today, but it has never been used in a bitumen refinery.. By injecting hydrogen into dilbit, it not only increases yield, but would result in nary a microgram of sulphur in the Fischer Tropsch diesel at the end of the process. “The difference between our approach and all the other bitumen refineries in the world, which all use the coking approach, is 23 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions. In layman’s terms, that’s the equivalent of six million cars running continuously,” Black notes. That’s what it would mean in regards to saving the planet.” Black says the end products produced by the refinery and shipped via sea would eliminate the potential dangers of bitumen spills decimating the B.C. coast. Refined fuels are much less

David Black looks at samples of bitumen dangerous to the environment than bitumen would be, since diesel, jet fuel and gasoline dissipate when exposed to air, and evaporate within a matter of days. Black supports the idea of a West Coast oil tanker moratorium, recalling, as do most British Columbians, the catastrophic 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. The spill of 250,000 barrels of medium light oil was one-eighth the size of today’s oil tankers. Exxon worked for four years to clean up the spill. At the peak they employed 11,000 people and 1,400 boats. They only got back 7% of the oil. Even today, it is said that if one were to dig two inches down on northern coastal beaches, they’d hit Exxon Valdez oil. “That was medium light oil that floated on the water and could be washed off beaches with water. This is diluted bitumen,” says Black. “If this stuff spills, according to the federal government’s own studies, in the first hour, half of it would sink because our coast has glacial sediment and plankton. That basically would pave the bottom of the ocean. The other half would wash up on intertidal rocks, beaches and mud flats. The only way to remove it would be with steam, but steam kills all plant and animal matter leaving a sterile coast open to repopulation by alien species.” Any spill would be unacceptable, Black states, “but if a gasoline spill were to happen, it would be world’s apart from an oil spill. It would evaporate within two days.” Black’s refinery is readying to file a project description with the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. There is one other group expressing interest in building a refinery on the northern west coast, Pacific Future Energy, which has submitted their paperwork to the BCEAO and the CEAA. “I don’t know if it’s a race,” says Black. “There is probably room for more than one refinery.” DOESN’T NEED A PIPELINE “I don’t need the pipeline built to do this,” Black says. “Another idea has come up that is better.” Black has been consulting with SEE KITIMAT CLEAN | PAGE 6

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Canadian National Railway officials about transporting bitumen from the oil fields to Kitimat via freight cars. “Shipping bitumen by rail is really safe, as it has the consistency of stiff peanut butter. It doesn’t explode, and it doesn’t burn. “If you heat it up over 60 degrees Celsius, it goes into the train cars, and you let it set up. You melt it out of the containers at the end destination. Really, it’s safer, and the people I talk to agree.” Bitumen can only move 3-4 miles per hour through a pipel i n e , s o m o v i n g i t v i a ra i l w i l l b e fa ster a nd cheap er. “There isn’t any competition from North America for a Canadian export refinery. US export refineries are in the Gulf of Mexico. They can’t get their products to China easily. VLCC tankers are much too large for the Panama Canal, so they’d have to go around the bottom of South America,” Black says. Going through Kitimat would save weeks of land tavel time and sea travel time, allowing products to get to market quicker. “I’m excited about the refinery,” says Black. “This is going to be the greenest refinery in the world. “I tend to look at it as a puzzle. It’s fun to unravel it,” he says. “I’m enjoying the process, and I can feel the momentum building.”


THE SALES INTERVIEW The first rule is don’t be in a hurry to make a mistake



ur strategic management group recently worked to develop the ‘Key Questions to Ask When Hiring a Salesperson’. The group consists of many different businesses from distribution and supply companies to web design and advertising. All have had serious problems hiring salespeople and all agree that hiring salespeople is a unique process compared with hiring other positions in the company. It is also more costly when it fails. Hiring salespeople is dangerous because many a manager has been swayed by the salesperson’s ability to sell themselves. They often do that better than they will when selling your product or service. Many managers have been charmed into hiring what they believed was a top gun and within a short period were wondering how the loser in the next office

got in the building. It happens but why? The first rule is don’t be in a hurry to make a mistake. Take your time and don’t compromise. Second, don’t trust your gut. You are only seeing ten percent of the candidate. Finally, be over prepared and do the due diligence to ensure you’ve got the right person. There are many elements to this that include, professional assessments, multiple interviews, checking non-references that aren’t supplied, background searches and asking a lot of key questions. Use the S.E.A.R.C.H model as your guideline. SKILLS – What specific knowledge and abilities are critical? Are there technical skills that are essential for their success? Can they demonstrate a working knowledge and application of those skills? In sales do they need to have superior communication skills? How are you testing for that? If the ‘must haves’ aren’t evident, are you willing to train them and wait until they’ve got it?

EXPERIENCE – Have they done in the past what you expect in the future? Can they demonstrate how they’ve applied specialized knowledge? If they need to develop proposals and make formal presentations do they have examples and could they role play it for the hiring team? ATTITUDE – We are often sold on a sales candidate’s positive and enthusiastic attitude at the interview. You had better means of understanding the candidate’s state of mind. This is usually where the wheels fall off the bus first and when the attitude wanes, behaviors and performance usually follows close behind. How do they deal with new experiences and changes? Are they open to critical input? How do you test for this in the hiring and what happens if you get it wrong? RESULTS – A few years ago I had a call from a sales manager asking about a former employee of mine. He said, “I understand that John Doe was your top salesperson last year.” I replied, “I don’t recall that.” Awards and accolades need to be verified. The other question is why are they leaving a workplace where they’ve been so successful? As well the awards need to reflect what you’re looking for. If they i ncreased cu rrent customer

spending and you need someone who can develop new business, that isn’t the same. COGNITIVE SKILLS – This is quickly becoming the key need in a new hire. Things change quickly, technology and the marketplace won’t wait for someone who can’t or won’t keep ahead of the challenges. The ability to learn and process is essential if you need a critical thinker on your team. What have they learned and how quickly have they applied it in the past? Examples please? HABITS – How do they manage their business? What systems do they have for selling, prospecting, tracking goals, analyzing activities, recording results? How do they use technology to stay on track? This is where the rubber hits the road. Many a charming salesperson falls apart when grilled about ‘what they do’ as a professional business in sales. Think about what information you failed to get in a sales interview that could lead to trouble later. Under each of these headings, what questions would you craft to get to the truth? Lucy Glennon can be reached at 866-645-2047 or lucyg@hireguru. com and her website is www.


Gary Forsyth has been in the construction industry for more than 35 years


I L L OOE T – A f u l l service building contractor Lillooet-based IVL Cont ract i ng Ltd. i s o w n e d a n d operated by Gary Forsyth, a leader in the construction industry for more than 35 years. Founded in 1992, incorporated in 2005, IVL is a fully licensed

“Being the best we can and helping our clients be the best they can is more important” GARY FORSYTH OWNER IVL CONTRACTING

BDO IS PROUD TO WORK WITH IVL CONTRACTING Assurance | Accounting Tax | Advisory Brian Callander, Partner Kamloops 250 372 9505

Provincial Minister John Rustad (right) presented Gary Forsyth with his Aboriginal Business Achievement Award in 2014 general construction company offering a full range of construction services from light to heavy commercial, industrial, and custom concrete (decorative, architectural, and design) to resident i a l b u i ld i n g a nd renovations. I n the reg iona l bu i ld i ng trades community Forsyth has earned a positive reputation for bei ng com m itted to prov iding superior customer service, i nteg r ity, a nd u npa ra l leled

professionalism while remaining dedicated to the highest quality of craftsmanship. An awa rd w i n n i n g cont ractor, Forsyth and I V L won the A ll Nations T rust Contractor of the Year Award in 2009 and the BC Aboriginal Business Awards Outstanding Business Achievers Award in 2014. I V L Cont ra c t i n g employ s only top-quality professionals committed to providing outstanding service for its clients.

“Whether you are considering a high-end design, new build construction, a home renovation or simply looking to ensure your home or commercial office is well-maintained, our goal is to provide you with outstanding service,” Forsyth said. “We work to guarantee that you a re a s plea sed w it h t he outcome of your project as we are! Let us turn your vision into reality and help you create a space that you will love.” I V L Cont ract i n g prov ides a f u l l ra nge of serv ices that i nclude but a re not l i m ited to deck i ng, roof i ng, patios, framing, stairs, drywalling, flooring installation, kitchen renovations, concrete work, plumbing and electrical and much more. “E ach home renovat ion i s important to us but the happiness of our clients is more i m p o r t a n t . D oi n g t h e b e s t work possible is important to us but being the best we can and helping our clients be the best they can is more important,” he said. “Why we choose to renovate homes at IVL Contracting Ltd. is to build positive relationsh ips ... renovat i ng homes, building relationships.” To learn more visit the company website at:

At Bulkley Valley Printers, we care about details. We could tell you about our in-house presses, our awards or our long line of products. But what really matters here are the details: things like a smile, a handshake, and a courteous greeting. We care about great colour. We’re picky about paper. And we’ll bend over backwards to meet your deadlines. We print for some of northern BC’s biggest businesses, but we haven’t forgotten our roots. Details matter to all of our customers and all of our jobs: big or small.

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PRINTING Printing Industry Has Embraced the New Technologies Focus on Printing: The modern printing industry is alive and well right across BC BY DAVID HOLMES


here is virtually nothing in our modern world that isn’t touched, enhanced or made more understandable through the involvement of the printing industry. From the color and logos on your take out espresso cup, to the shrink-wrapped transit bus you went to work on this morning, to the logos on the computer you worked on all day – somewhere down the line a designer and a printer played pivotal roles in making your day better informed and more enjoyable. “Of course printing is far more than merely words on paper. Printers today are into car wrappings and building wrapping, signage and packaging. These are all huge parts of the industry. When you think about it pretty much everything that you touch has involved the printing industry,” explained Marilynn Knoch, the outgoing Executive Director of the British Columbia Printing and Imaging Association (BCPIA). “It’s clearly a changed industry but I honestly believe the future is bright for it. It’s growing strong.” One sign that the provincial printing industry is gearing up for the future are the recent enhancements made to the state of the art printing program offered at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). “BCIT was instrumental in starting its printing program and many of us from the BCPIA are part of that program’s advisory committee,” Knoch explained. “We’re very excited about the program as it has kept pace with the industry, the instructors are taught by people in the industry so they’re never out of date. I believe this program’s graduates have about a 100 percent employment rate and they’re pretty well paying jobs as well so that’s all a plus,” she said. “One problem with the industry is the low key manner with which it has trumpeted its own successes. I think we need to be a bit better about getting the word out about the opportunities that are available in this industry.” To help remedy that oversight, and to throw a well deserved spotlight on some of the province’s premier printing and imaging companies here is a brief profile of some of the operations found throughout BC.

The updated printing program at BCIT is helping to train tomorrow’s leaders in the printing industry

“Pretty much everything that you touch has involved the printing industry.” MARILYNN KNOCH BCPIA

The “I” in BCPIA stands for I mag i ng, a nd for more tha n 40 years Coastal Imaging Arts in Comox on Vancouver Island has been preparing materials for printers across the Island and beyond. The firm offers a full range of pre-press services for printing companies, book publishers, artists and many others. Using both traditional and state of the art color management systems, Coastal Imaging’s creative team have the technical skills and perfectionist’s passion to handle all levels of pre-press services including color optimization, proofing and image scanning. The company takes its motto: “The Art of Imaging Excellence” seriously. To learn more check out its website at: With branches in Trail and in Nelson Hall Printing has earned a solid reputation as one of the premier printers in the Kootenays. SEE PRINTING | PAGE 9

Quick to embrace technology, modern digital printing systems have helped to revolutionize the industry

Virtually all aspects of modern society are impacted by the printing industry, including the printing of plans and blueprints




A new but very popular product offered by modern printers is the sign wrapping of vehicles and even buildings

The core business of many local print shops remains the routine production of business cards and company letterhead Thanks to precision color management techniques contemporary printing products are truer to life than ever before


With a team of more than a dozen printing professionals the company is equipped to handle all types of commercial printing assignments from business cards and labels to large format scanning, laser engraving, binding, mail services and more. Serving business and private clients across the region Hall Printing can complete all routine printing tasks such as designing and producing letterhead, envelopes, wedding invitations, business forms, magazine printing and a full range of printed promotional products. To learn more visit the company website at: Serving Northern British Columbia and beyond, Prince George based SpeeDee Office Experts is a family owned full service printer that has been serving the region since 1958. An expanding enterprise, the SpeeDee family of businesses began its growth in 1964 when it opened a second location in Terrace. It grew again when it purchased a stationary store in Smithers in 1991 and an office supply store in Fort Saint John in 2013. Today SpeeDee offers a wide range of printing services including catalogs, flyers, promotional

products and even books. The firm, through its various holdings can also sell everything from office and art supplies to office machines and furniture. To learn more check out the company website at: In the provincial capital Hillside Printing has been serving the Victoria and southern Vancouver Island market for more than 30 years. Recently investing more than $1 million into new production equipment, the company’s staff has a collective printing experience of more than 250 years! A full service printer capable of handling everything from wide format printing to embossing and hot foil stamping, Hillside Printing’s staff can take care of all of their customer’s pre-press and graphic design requirements. Popular product lines regularly produced include business cards and company letterheads, brochures, marketing flyers, post cards and rack cards. If you’d like to learn more you can explore the firm’s website at: www. As is the case of Hillside Printing, remaining a leader in the printing industry requires companies to keep up with the latest trends and technologies – something the sector is well known for doing. “The printing industry was one of the early adopters of the new

technologies, and while technology has certainly changed the industry in the last few decades it has given it tremendous new reach. The printing industry is able to do so much more now. The kind of technology that’s available and the kind of output you can get is dramatically different from what it was 20 years ago for example,” Knoch explained. “There are a lot of things you can do now that you couldn’t before, new textures, new flavors and smells, it’s really pretty marvelous some of the things you can do with printing today.” Continuing with the tour of printers around the province, returning to Vancouver Island, Print Three in Nanaimo has been a leader in the local industry for decades. A full service printer and copy centre, Print Three’s staff are trained to provide services ranging from scanning and digital printing to sign making, publishing and even book printing. The company also provides its customers, primarily small to medium sized businesses, with various integrated marketing services such as direct mail design and distribution, the development of promotional products and different online marketing services. To learn more visit the company’s website at: www.

The appropriately named Kelowna Insta Print has been serving the Kelowna region for many years offering a one stop shop for a full range of design and print solutions. A partial list of the company’s product line include professional graphic design services, full and spot color traditional printing, digital printing and a variety of bindery options. Geared to serve the needs of small to medium business Kelowna Insta Print also provides full web design services, from concept right through to online publishing. The firm’s team (with more than 30 years of combined experience) takes pride in providing creative solutions for any design or print assignment. To lean more the company’s website can be viewed here: Servicing North British Columbia, Community Printers and Stationers opened its doors in 1981 in Dawson Creek before opening a second outlet in Fort St. John in 2002. Providing printing services for both business and personal clients the firm operates the only full color Heidelberg Sheet-fed press in the entire Peace River Country. For short runs the company operates a range of digital color printing options, handling projects up to 60” wide. Quick to embrace new technologies the company also has a large laminating system that can handle everything from large photos to maps and also completes projects such as car wraps

and floor graphics. To see how this company can help your business pay a visit to its website at this link: Returning to Vancouver Island, Flynn Printing has been serving the Victoria market since 1954. A true full service printer the company delivers a complete range of color process printing services. This capital city printer can handle any task from simple black and white photocopying to the design and printing of full color catalogs. Routine printing jobs such as corporate letterheads, envelopes, business forms, post cards and other marketing pieces are also handled on an almost daily basis. To learn more visit the company’s website at: www.flynnprinting. com/ “Sure companies can have a color laser printer in the office and figure it’s just as easy to run off their jobs in-house, but when you start to add up the cost of the consumables for those things you’ll soon realize that it often makes more sense to take the job to the printer down the street as they can offer very competitive prices, especially at the per unit cost,” Knoch said. “Printing is alive and well in BC. It’s a growing and vibrant industry and one that’s well suited to the needs of the 21st Century. It’s not a sunset industry by any stretch of the imagination. The technology is getting more fantastic all of the time.”

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Department. At 30 years old, he is the youngest person to take the position of top civil servant in the province. He replaces Barry Elliott, the previous CAO.

Terrace Video Stop, owned by Harminder Dosanjh, has announced that they are closing their doors for business at their 4717 Lakelse Avenue location. The BC Ministry of Transportation has honoured R.F. Binnie and Associates Ltd., a Prince George firm, for their design contributions to the Sande Overpass reconstruction program. The award for their designs and contract preparation was presented through the BC Government’s Deputy Minister’s Consulting Engineers Awards. February 1 st marked the date that Terrace based accounting firm, McAlpine & Co, joined forces with MNP LLP to become part of their firm. McAlpine & Co celebrated their 50th year in business this year. Gale Beaman is welcomed on staff at North Peace Savings & Credit Union as the head of their Business Solutions Team. Blackstone’s Restaurant is a new business venture headed by Chef Paul Beggs, which will open shortly in Thornhill, BC.

Kitimat Dr. Claire Feenan has joined Dr. Mills and staff at the City Centre Medical Clinic, as a full time General Practitioner. A Speedy Glass location has opened for business in Kitimat, at 312 B Enterprise Avenue.

Prince Rupert Prestige Hotels and Resorts will be opening up a location in Prince Rupert, at the Prince Rupert Hotel. The hotel will continue to be managed by the original ownership group, and products will be updated to reflect Prestige branding criteria. This spring, the surrounding community will be invited to take a tour of the updated hotel. The Port of Prince Rupert recently announced the opening of the application period for their 2016 Community Investment Fund, which awards funding to projects and initiatives that contribute to the Prince Rupert area in significant ways. Smile’s Seafood Café has reopened for business, as of January 18th, in their Cow Bay Prince Rupert location. The team at Royal LePage Prince Rupert welcomes Gina Do as Property Manager for their new Property Management Division.

Williams Lake Krista Dunleavey has been appointed as the new Manager


The Small Business BC Awards has named Filaprint of Tumbler Ridge as a finalist for their Best Concept category.

Fort St. John of the Cariboo Fire Centre, previously serving as the Deputy Fire Centre Manager. A new Cariboo Fire Centre is under construction at the Williams Lake Airport, and is anticipated to open in early fall of this year. The Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District (CCRHD) has named John Massier as their Chair for the fifth term in a row. Margo Wagner was reelected to the board as their Vice Chair. Darrell Garceau will be departing his position as Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Williams Lake, as of February 19 th. The Community Development Institute at UNBC has announced the official launch of an economic development project for the Williams Lake area, which seeks to work with community members to create opportunities and promote change. The project originated as a partnership involving the Central Cariboo Economic Development Corporation, with funding from the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition. Consultations and workshops are planned for the immediate future to consider options before taking action.

Prince George A funding partnership between provincial and federal governments has allotted more than $1 million to the Prince George region for training in industrial employment positions. Both the College of New Caledonia and the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association are recipients of this funding, which will enable graduates to start work almost immediately upon completion of their respective programs. A new craft beer factory will be operating soon in downtown Prince George, as owners Bjorn Butow and Daryl Leiski, prepare to open Crossroads Brewery. The brewery will be located in a building at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and George Street. The Northern Lights Estate Winery, owned by Pat Bell, has partnered with the Northern Bear Awareness Society to release a Bear Aware Wine, made with 20 different varieties of apples.

GoodLife Fitness has announced that their Prince George location, at 3030 Recplace Drive, is now open for business. The team at HollisWealth welcomes their newest members, John Keson and Robyn Caron. Keson has joined as an Investment Advisor and Certified Financial Planner, and Caron as HollisWealth’s new Executive Assistant. A team of business students in the undergraduate program from the University of Northern BC, captained by Brody Wicki and Carlie Whitwam, took top spot at the JD West student business competition. David Black has been appointed as the new Managing Broker for Royal LePage Prince George. The agency’s Prince George location, owned by Rod McLeod, is located at 1625 4th Avenue. SpeeDee Office Experts has opened a Prince George office supply distribution warehouse location as part of their expansion plan in Northern BC. SpeeDee received benefits from the Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program through Northern Development, and in addition to making improvements to their reporting system, they have also opened a location in Fort St. John.

awarded to Vanderhoof company, BID Group of Companies, to build a brand new sawmill for Biewer Lumber, based in Newton, Mississippi.

Dawson Creek The Northeast News, a weekly publication owned by Aberdeen Publishing, has announced that it is closing its doors, with their last issue being released on February 11th. Dawson Creek business, Vintage Restoration & Love, has reached the finalist category for Premier’s People’s Choice for the Small Business BC Awards. Enbridge has acquired the Tupper West and Tupper Main gas plants and their associated pipelines, located southwest of Dawson Creek, in a transaction worth $538 million. The projects were purchased from the Canadian subsidiary of Murphy Oil Corporation. Original Joe’s Restaurant and Bar is planning to be open by April of this year. Despite the slower than expected construction, Franworks Group of Companies, lease administrator, Jennifer Figueroa is optimistic they will meet the tentative deadline. They are located on 8 th Street.

As a result of a recent agreement signed between the BC Nurses Union and the province, 100 new nursing positions are being created for Northern Health. According to the agreement, positions will have to be established by March 31 st .

Northern Lights College has appointed Jennifer Johnson as their new director of international education. She will look after the international recruitment strategies, supports and admission initiatives for the college.

Wood Innovation and Design Centre welcomes UNBC’ Mast of Engineering students in Integrated Wood Design. The one-year graduate degree offers structural engineering with building physics and sustainability. UNBC has also launched an Aboriginal Child and Youth Mental Health Certificate graduate-level program that is available online.

Canbriam Energy Inc has donated $100,000 to the Northern Lights College for a new trades training building. Together with donations from Shell Canada, Encana Corp. and TransCanada the college has approximately $800,000 for the project.

The Prince George Airport (YXS) reached a record number of passengers for 2015, at 470,849 passengers for the year; an overall increase of 5.6 per cent from the previous year.

Vanderhoof An $80-million project has been

Dawson Creek Art Gallery has its grand re-opening after undergoing the $1.2 million exterior renovation.

Tumbler Ridge Jordan Wall has been named as the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the District of Tumbler Ridge. Wall was previously working with the District’s Economics Development

The City of Fort St. John has announced their 2016 Base Budget Grants approvals for local organizations, including: the Tourism Board of Fort St. John, receiving $36,000 of their requested $71,000-$46,000 for their tourism plan; the North Peace Justice Society, with $20,451 of their requested $22,743; and the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society, who received $7,475 to contribute to costs for their bus pass program. A new Director of International Education has been named for Northern Lights College, as Jennifer Johnson steps into the role, overseeing both the Fort St. John campus and Dawson Creek campus. Business-to-business networking sessions have been scheduled for late-January and into earlyFebruary for the Site C: Peace River Hydro Partners. Sessions will take place in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Prince George and Quesnel, and will provide a means for businesses from local communities to meet with the primary civil works contractor for the Site C. Two new nurse practitioners, Michael Tantongco and Kristan Ellis-MacDonald, have made their services available in the Fort St. John area, as announced by Northern Health. The North Peace Savings and Credit Union has announced plans to expand and open branches in Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert. The announcement comes shortly after their recent opening of a new location in Dawson Creek. BC Hydro and the City of Fort St. John have reached an agreementin-principle for a Community Measures Agreement associated with the Site C Clean Energy Project. As a result, the City has commenced discussions with citizens to discuss implications before signing on their behalf. Mike Roy, Director of Finance for the City of Fort St. John, will be leaving his position to take on responsibility as the new Chief Administrative Officer for the District of Lillooet. The construction of the AltaGas Townsend near Wonowon is ahead of schedule and according the Painted Pony Petroleum Ltd, and SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS | PAGE 12



about $220,000.


nearly 70 per cent completed. Bouffioux bison are grand champions for four years running. The Bouffioux family has been raising the animals for breeding stock and meat for 26 years. They brought home first, second and third place prizes for their bison at the Canadian Bison Association 2015 Show and Sale recently held in Regina. Urban Systems has submitted a report to the City of Fort St. John for the replacement of the Charlie Lake boat launch. The cost will be

Lawyer Augustine TaeHoon Earmme of Earmme and Associates, has been appointed to the Queens Council. He is one of 39 lawyers across BC with the honorary QC title. Fort St. John Council will pay $1.2 million for a replacement fire truck. The truck will be purchased from Safetek Emergency Vehicles/ Smeal Fire Apparatus.

Quesnel The North Cariboo Community Campus, home of the College of New Caledonia and University of

Northern BC locations, celebrates its 10 th anniversary in the area. The Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce welcomes Michelle Daniels as their new President, taking over from former president William Lacy. Other changes to the Chamber board include: Tracy Bond, First Vice President; Julia Dillibough, Second Vice President; Ryan Broughton, Treasurer; and Bruce Murray and Morgan Ross as Directors. Quesnel City Council has approved the first and second readings of a zoning amendment for a proposed new shopping centre on Rita Road in South Quesnel, moving the project closer to its realization.

KITIMAT SEES INFLUX OF OUTSIDE INVESTMENT As major projects move closer to Final Investment Decision, the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce has a role in leading that change by building awareness and listening to concerns and questions.



hange is something that stops or ends and is external, concrete and tangible while transition is an internal psychological and emotional process in response to the change. Kitimat is undergoing many changes these days. Horizon North announced in midDecember 2015 it is anticipating its property’s hotel, operated by Pomeroy Lodging will be in place and open in approximately five months and the first phase of their camp of 240 units. The modular 89-room hotel will be built in the manufacturing plant and shipped to Kitimat for assembly. Additional future commercial development on the property located between the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre and Kitamaat Village Road could include commercial, office and food services. Rio Tinto in late December was granted an environmental assessment certificate for the proposed Terminal A extension project. Recent announcements in the US of additional smelters being closed or running at reduced capacity across the United States reiterates the significance of the investments that have been made in Kitimat’s

modernized smelter. LNG Canada celebrated the start of specific site preparation activities in early December, work that will take place prior to Final Investment Decision. This was followed by the BC Oil and Gas Commission announcing on January 5th, that LNG Canada has been issued an LNG Facility Permit for their project. Two days later, the National Energy Board of Canada granted the first ever 40-year export license to LNG Canada. As major projects move closer to Final Investment Decision, the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce has a role in leading that change by building awareness and listening to concerns and questions.  In managing the transition to increased economic activity we can understand the concerns of our members and community and support actions required to meet the demands of the inevitable transition. Trish Parsons is Executive Director of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 250-632-6294 or tparsons@

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North West Crane has been installing truck mounted lifting systems for more than three decades

“It was such a new idea, the concept of moving rigs this way back then just didn’t exist.” JON JANSSEN


EDUC – Having the ability to recognize a need and then satisfying that need with exactly the right technology has been the key to North West Crane’s business success. “We’re a retail outlet for cranes of all types of truck mounted cranes. The industries we service include oil field service, construction services, utility companies including BC Hydro and we’re heavily involved in the oil patch including wellhead servicing,” explained Jon Janssen, company President and son of its founder Ivan Janssen. Launched more than 30 years ago in Leduc, Alberta North West Crane has become one of Western Canada’s leading suppliers of truck mounted crane systems, including both stiff boom and articulated cranes. “Our business ties into pretty much anything that requires lifting,” Janssen said. “At this point our focus is on truck mounted systems. Anything you can mount on a one ton (Dodge or Ford) right up to a tandem steer tri-drive chassis (Kenworth, Peterbilt, Western Star etc.). Basically cranes that can lift anything from a barrel to put in the back of a pickup to a 70 ton load.” The genesis of the company was its founder Ivan Janssen who worked in the oil field transportation business. “Back in the day all oil rigs came from Texas so my Dad would organize the rig moves from Texas to Normal Wells and points north. In the process of doing this he figured out all about equipment, learned what equipment made the jobs easier,” Janssen said. “In 1986 Manitex, which is now the largest leader in stiff boom crane manufacture in Western Canada, went into business. My Dad bought the second or third Manitex ever built. He recognized


right away the need for this sort of technology. You can imagine the competition for this market was maybe two or three people at most. It was such a new idea, the concept of moving rigs this way back then just didn’t exist.” A true visionary, the company founder immediately recognized the need for this product, a technology that was adaptable across a wide range of industries. The common method of loading heavy cargoes in the pre-crane era involved flatbed trucks, a slow, complicated and potentially dangerous process. With the emergence of truck mounted lifting systems the entire dynamic of loading trucks changed. The systems made the procedure faster, cheaper and much safer for the crews. The technology and the capability of these systems have also changed dramatically since the company was launched three decades ago. “When my Dad first got into this business the largest crane available was 11 ton and it was tough to mount it on a truck. In 1993 when I started the largest crane was the 22 ton and it required a specialized truck to put it on,” Janssen said. “Now the la rgest cra ne we can put on a truck is 70 ton. The change over that time is almost unfathomable. In 1986 an 11 ton crane had a reach of about 28’ and that was state of the art back then. Now we can put a 70 ton crane with 115’ reach on the same sized truck.” Today North West Crane operates out of three Alberta outlets, Leduc, Grande Prairie and in Calgary. More than showrooms and sales outlets these facilities also serve as service and installation centers.

North West Crane has pioneered the concept of providing truck mounted cranes for its numerous industrial clients “All of the different cranes we offer are specialized to fit a specific niche in the market. We’ve wrapped ourselves around our customers in order to make the product work for their needs,” explained Eric Martin, the company Director of Sales. “We do both in-house (North West Crane) installs and in some cases factory (Altec or Manitex) installs depending on the configuration the customer needs and also depending what our dollar/ markets are doing. All three of our branches are capable of doing the install work. In some cases there may be things the factory can’t do that we can. We always strive to go above and beyond for the client. We always try to maximize the customer’s purchase with the best option available.” While based in Alberta, the expansive and changing marketplace which is Northern British Columbia has long been a loyal supporter of North West Crane’s products and services. For Janssen the promise of continued development in the region is at the core of the company’s evolving business model. “While Alberta has always been in the spotlight we’re feeling that attention is gradually shifting to BC and to Northern BC in particular. Alberta is currently in an economic downturn, so that change has really turned the spotlight onto Northern BC. People who may have been investing in

Alberta before are now looking toward BC and the north in particular in a very positive way. We’re really excited about these possibilities. We’re projecting that we’re going to see good things up there. Part of our long term infrastructure plan is to open up a branch in Northern BC, probably in the not too distant future.” For Janssen and North West Crane the future for it and its technologically evolving loading systems offers a world of promise. “The future involves change and change can always make us feel insecure. But at the end of the day change also means things are happening in different spots. What was our big bang for the last five

to seven years may not be our big bang for the next five to seven,” he said. “The company’s backbone, my backbone is all about providing customer service. If I could pick out one thing that truly defines our company its service, it’s what we put the most money into, it’s what takes the most energy but it’s what really defines us as a company. It’s pretty hard to back up our claims of customer service without having a presence, which is why we’ll be pursuing the opening of a Northern BC branch.” To learn more visit the company’s website at:

Congratulations North West Crane

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FEBRUARY 2016 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: Website:

PUBLISHER/EDITOR | Lise MacDonald, SALES | Shawn Bishop,; Josh Higgins; Joanne Iormetti, WRITERS | Goody Niosi, Beth Hendry-Yim, John MacDonald, David Holmes WEBSITE | John MacDonald,




e are often advised to separate business and politics. Maybe it’s about time we did. We know the logic behind this, and it is sound. Don’t contaminate the workplace with political discussions, knowing it could engender strife and division amongst the staff. Don’t use your position of influence as an owner/manager to share your political beliefs with staff, as it could possibly be viewed as intimidation. And generally, it’s not good for business. It takes away from the valuable time you’re paying for, and that is to have your workers work on your business – not ruminate about municipal, provincial or federal political campaigns. But have we reached a point

in our societal conversations that those owning or operating businesses need to inject their opinions into their companies, to make sure employees are getting important information they will need to make truly informed decisions? Look at the landscape. Unions are unabashed of their support of the NDP. They dream of the day when a socialist party can wrest the controls from free enterprise, thinking this will bring untold prosperity to their dues-paying members. They spend thousands of dollars in union dues to try and make it happen. While the nightmare of a decade of NDP rule in B.C. under the combined Mike Harcourt-Glen Clark-Ujjal Dosanjh-Dan Miller leadership may seem a distant memory to some, it certainly isn’t to those operating businesses during the 1990’s in this province. The NDP produced a made-in-BC recession that the rest of the country avoided. Business owners remember that. A new generation of voters does not. We actually don’t need our memories to see what damage an NDP government can do to an economy. We have a vivid example right next door in Alberta, where Premier Rachel Notley’s

crew is inflicting devastation on the province, with thousands and thousands of jobs lost already – and they’re only a year into the mandate. In times past, municipal governments were viewed as the NDP farm teams, reloading for runs at provincial and federal levels. The media can share that mantle now, almost as unofficial, unpaid NDP staff. We saw during the last federal election how the media, in general, forfeited any semblance of objectivity to push their own opinions through the news to influence the public. If you don’t believe it, watch what’s happening again, right now, with the by-elections. With provincial by-elections underway, the political machines are firing on all cylinders. In BC, this is a two-horse race, with the NDP battling the reigning BC Liberals for two lower mainland ridings. Premier Christy Clark’s government is being raked over the coals by the lower mainland media, as “in-depth” articles expose the supposed/alleged missteps of the provincial government. At the same time, nary a negative word is spoken or written about the NDP. Almost no one in the media holds the NDP to task for its dark

history, or even draws the link between the NDP in BC and the Notley Crew in Alberta. But it’s exactly the same philosophy that is ruining Alberta that would wait BC if voters ever decide again to give the NDP a chance here. I have spoken to media owners, asking them directly why they, as owners of businesses, turn the most influential part of their business – the editorial departments – over to the left? Why don’t they at least insist on having something close to a balance in their newsrooms of right/left employees with differing voices and thought? Wouldn’t that best serve the public – and their business, because an anti-business government would hurt their companies too? And if we think students are getting a balanced view of both sides of the political spectrum from unionized teachers, then we’d better think again. So, with all that, who is talking about the importance of government policy on creating wealth and jobs? The jobs that your company provides, which help people raise families, educate their children, and give them a great quality of life? They’re not getting that from the classroom or the media. In fact, the media and Hollywood seems to

do their best to demonize business under the collective cloud of “corporate greed”, and developers as individuals who are intent on destroying the environment in pursuit of profit. Maybe it’s time for you to have some fireside chats with your employees about what an antibusiness government’s policies would do to their jobs, and ultimately, their families. Perhaps they’ll ponder those points and bring them up at the dinner table, so that everyone in the family receives a balanced viewpoint on the importance of not just getting out to vote, but vote with a healthy perspective on politics, period. I know business friends of mine who are much more direct in addressing their staff about political matters, and how voting a certain way could likely affect their future employment opportunities. They don’t threaten their workers, and don’t know how they’ll actually cast their ballots, but they do have their say. Unions do it. The media does it. Perhaps it’s time that business owners and managers get involved in that conversation with those who work for them, because a good economy is necessary for their jobs, too.

provincial level, the threshold for property values eligible for the provincial homeowner grant went up shortly after the assessment notices landed to protect many residents from what would effectively feel like a tax increase. Meanwhile, the province is as guilty of charging businesses more than their fair share on the portion of the property tax bi l l that is u nder thei r control. For example, in Vancouver, businesses pay 4.4 times more than residents in school taxes. In dollar terms, a resident pays $2,020 on an average value property, while a business pays $8,890. Show i ng leadersh ip by reducing this inequity is something Finance Minister Mike de Jong should seriously consider for his upcoming budget, as it is considered important by 77 per cent of BC small businesses, according to a survey done by t he Canadian Federation of Independent Business last September. Ninety per cent of businesses support the province limiting the amount of property taxes that businesses can pay relative to residents (e.g. small

businesses pay a maximum of tw ice t he a mou nt residents pay). It’s not all bad news. For businesses, the gap between what they should pay and what they do pay is still way too high, but it has been getting better in many municipalities, including Vancouver. Another ray of hope for business is that there is g reater understanding of the problem than there was 10 years ago. R esidents c a re ab out sm a l l busi ness because they contribute so much to making our communities livable. Increasingly, people understand that i f govern ments a re u n fa i rly taxing small businesses, their favou rite restau rants, d ress shops, bakeries and dry-cleaners have less capacity to keep prices reasonable, create jobs, or even exist at all.

BC BUSINESSES WANT UNEQUAL TAX BILLS CUT A resident would pay $2,713 in municipal property taxes on that value, while a small business would pay $11,260 for a property of the same value LAURA JONES


asps were heard across the Lower Mainland last w e e k a s p ro p e r t y a ssessment notices landed and thoughts of, “My property is worth how much???” gave way to, “Holy mackerel, what does this mean for my taxes?” It’s even worse for businesses. On average, BC small businesses will pay 2.6 times the municipal property tax of an equivalently valued residence. I n m a n y M e t ro Va n c o u v e r municipalities, this gap is far worse. For example, Coquitlam businesses pay 4.2 times more municipal taxes, while companies in Vancouver and Burnaby pay four times more than

residents. To put this in dollar terms, in 2015 an average residential property in Vancouver was worth $1,532,937. A resident would pay $2,713 in municipal property taxes on that value, while a small business would pay $11,260 for a property of the same value. A greengrocer has to sell a lot of oranges to pay that bill. This unfairness is even worse than it seems on the surface because businesses use fewer municipal services than residents.

A 2007 report done by MMK Consulting for the City of Vancouver found that, on average, residential properties in the city paid approximately $0.56 in property taxes for each dollar of ta x-supported service consumed, while business paid $2.42 in property taxes for every dollar of tax-supported services consumed. While the study is a bit dated, there is no reason to think the numbers would be much different today. One automotive shop owner comically captures how the inequity feels: “I know now what it must have been like for the peasants in medieval times, as far as having to pay taxes that amounted to a lot of nothing in return.” His property tax bill is now over $60,000. “It’s like paying an employee … but this one never shows up to work!” What drives the inequity? I have yet to hear of a sound public policy rationale for charging businesses more than residents. But the political temptation is clear — businesses don’t vote, residents do. The reaction to this incentive both municipally and provincially is also clear. At the

Laura Jones is executive vicepresident of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. She can be reached at Follow her on twitter @CFIBideas.

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ll Seasons Automotive Ltd. will be under new ow nership as of this month. Dave and Yvonne Tucker have bought the business from Doug and Marlene Henderson. The Tuckers are both long time Smithers residents and involved in many community programs. Dave has his certification as a Pa rts Tech n icia n, a nd has worked in the automotive service field for many years. In fact, in his early twenties, he trained with Doug at All Seasons Auto Repair! Yvonne has also worked in an office environment, and is qualified in many aspects as an office administrator. Together they have 3 children who are all involved in Smithers Minor Hockey, as are Dave and Yvonne. They are also involved with Northern Hockey School that happens every August in Smithers. Dave has already been working at All Seasons Automotive since late December 2015, and Yvonne will be starting on February 2, 2016.There are no big changes being planned in the day-to-day operations of the business. The Henderson’s will stay on for some time to help out during the transition period. Marlene and Doug have no doubt that this couples’ character, experience and their excitement about this new venture will ensure that All Seasons Automotive Ltd. will continue to be an added asset to the business community in the Bulkley Valley. It is the Henderson’s hope that  valued customers will continue to support All Seasons Automotive Ltd. “We owe our success to the loyalty of our customers over the past 23 years, and we have certainly appreciated them! Being an independent business owner in a big box world has it challenges; and our goal has been to offer Smithers and the outlying area the value and service you would expect. ■■■ The giant ceremonial scissors were brought out to cut the ribbon at the Grand Opening “Open House” at Studio 16 Kitchen, Bath and Lighting on last month. The new downtown store is a beautiful addition to the unique boutiques on Main Street with various floor model kitchen units on display, tile backsplashes and diverse lighting choices. The design studio offers custom cabinets, along with hardware, fixtures, countertops and lighting options and staff is excited to welcome northerners from across the region to the store. Shannon Antoniak is the floor manager and Mike Sawyer of Net

Zero Structures is the owner. The open house evening featured live entertainment, a wide assortment of appetizers and many businesspeople in attendance to welcome the new business staff. ■■■ The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce will host its ninth annual New Business Reception Friday, March 11 from 6:30 to 9:30 at the BV Rod and Gun Club. T he Ch a mber, i n pa r t nership with the Bulkley Valley Economic Development Office, Business Development Bank, Central Mountain Air and major event sponsor, the Bulkley Valley Credit Union (BVCU) invites new businesses to this annual event to celebrate all new business licensees (in Smithers and Telkwa) for 2015. T he event i s d e s i g ne d for elected officials and the business community to welcome new owners and managers to the area’s business community. It’s an opportunity to showcase and welcome new chamber members as well. During the evening pictures of the new businesses are displayed on a la rge screen featu ri ng thei r people, logos, etc. The pictures rotate continuously throughout the evening to provide exposure for each business. A s t he BVCU i s t he m ajor sponsor for the evening, their management will be in attendance to provide a short address and to provide door prizes. The Chamber also has the support of Central Mountain Air, who has kindly donated a trip for two. There are also welcoming addresses from Chamber president and Aspen Inn Manager, Colin Bateman, along with other elected officials including area mayors – Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach and Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen. The event festivities also include appetizers and entertainment, along with a few exhibit spaces for sponsors. This year the Chamber is also featuring “Corporate Outings” by inviting organizations and businesses who gear their efforts to creating staff excursions for team building and giving them display space to promote their services everything from heli-hiking with Highland Helicopters and Bulkley Adventures to backcountry snow mobi l i ng w it h Harvey Mountain Adventures and how about Corporate Skeet Shooting? It is the Chamber of Commerce’s privilege, along with sponsors, to honor your business by organizing this event. Heather Gallagher is the Manager of the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce, she can be reached at: 250-847-5072, heather@, or www.


A collection of trucks line up on the Cariboo Peat and Gravel property on Terrico Road ready to load up with peat or topsoil SPOTLIGHT

Cariboo Peat & Gravel has operated successfully for more than 35 years

“I guess you’d have to say that I’ve always been a sort of entrepreneur.” RON PENNER


UESNEL – Born in a small Mennonite farming community in southern Manitoba, Ron Penner was seemingly meant to become an entrepreneur. “I started doing custom hay baling when I was 18 years old so I guess you’d have to say that I’ve always been a sort of entrepreneur,” he said. “When I got married at 23 I bought a broken down old Shell ga rage from the ba n k a nd it morphed into a Polaris snowmobile and Suzuki motorcycle dealership and I also had the first exhaust pipe bending machine in rural Manitoba to allow me to do muffler and exhaust work on vehicles. My interest in being in business just sort of expanded from there.” Flash forward a couple of decades and Penner, who moved from Manitoba to Quesnel in 1980, is the owner of a series of successful business enterprises that includes the Motherlode Quick Lube oil change outlet and its companion Motherlode Wash operation (“best carwash in the Interior,” Penner said) and Cariboo Peat and Gravel, one of the province’s top producers of peat moss, topsoil, bark mulch and gravel products. “After I sold my motorcycle dealership (which at one point had the largest showroom of motorcycles in rural Manitoba) we decided to go on a holiday. I was already familiar with Quesnel. In 1969 and 1970 I had worked at a local sawmill. So when we were on holiday and passing through I looked up an old friend and we spent the night. He said ‘why don’t I show you around’ and that was the start of it,” he said. “I spontaneously bought a house which happened to have this topsoil business on a separate title, so we had the chance to buy both which we did. I kind of liked farming so I figured that would be a business I would enjoy. After all of these years I guess I was right.” For Penner there were some teething pains associated with


starting his fledgling topsoil and peat business. “It was a very small business at the time so I did various jobs to help subsidize it, driving logging trucks and what not. But gradually we built up the topsoil business over the years. Later I branched off into other things as well. I had four excavators running around in the bush in the mid90s for West Fraser. I started the Rainbow Copy Centre in downtown Quesnel for three years and then the carwash and Motherlode Quick Lube. The topsoil business has been running now for more than 35 years,” he said. There was an almost serendipitous quality to Penner’s choosing of his home in Quesnel as the property was designed by Nature to be the perfect source for high grade gardening products. “I have a very unique peat bog on my property as I’ve got 160 acres here. I harvest the peat and I dry it and shred it and screen it. I also get manure from various places and I compost it with a special machine for that. I bring in coarse sand and mix it in to help finish the product,” he said. “I call it my Triple Mix. I’ve kind of morphed into supplying the

wholesale market with my products, supplying the Art Knapps in Prince George for example. They’ve been my customer for 20 years along with other customers. It’s all bulk sales, bins filled with the stuff that you can purchase for your home use.” While Cariboo Peat and Gravel works year round it’s in the warmer seasons when this portion of his business really gets into full swing. “The number of people working for me can vary. In the summer time when I’m going full time I could have another three or four guys working for me. It’s not a huge crew, but my wife does the books, answers the phone and that sort of thing.” Today Penner, who is currently spending several months in Nepal working on various humanitarian projects, is considering other business options. “We’ve been doing the topsoil business now for more than 35 years. If someone came along and wanted to take it over for a reasonable price I might be interested in talking. I’m one of those people who always want to be doing good works, that’s sort of my calling. So maybe it’s almost time to think about trying something else,” he said. “I’m 65 now, but there’s still a lot to do, so retirement isn’t what I’m thinking about, but you never know what might appeal next, maybe I’ll write a book,” he said. To learn more please visit the company website at:

Proud to support Cariboo Peat & Gravel on their 35 year anniversary. Congratulations!


97 Cariboo Hwy, Quesnel, BC

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NABOC PRINCE RUPERT APRIL 26TH - 28TH NABOC - National Aboriginal Business Opportunities Conference Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, Prince Rupert, BC - Canada


Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena - February 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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