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PRINCE RUPERT AltaGas to Build Propane Export

National in Scope, Local in Focus




Two Leading Industry Associations Have Joined Forces Stronger Together: Energy Services BC Has Merged With The ICBA

City Sees Record Breaking Year for


Building Permits


INDEX News Update


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Fort St. John | Prince George | Terrace | Vanderhoof


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ORT ST. JOHN – The merger of two of British Columbia’s leading industry associations helps to make both stronger. As of February 1 the Fort St. John based Energy Services BC (ESBC), the largest oil and gas industry association in the province has merged with the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of BC (ICBA). “Through our ‘Growing the Economy’ campaign we became connected to Energy Services BC and began to collaborate on issues in the Northeast. Our associations share similar values around responsible resource development, investments in energy and the resource sector, and creating jobs and stronger communities,” explained Mike Davis the ICBA’s Regional Vice President. ““By working together in one organization, the issues that are important to businesses in the North East will get more attention across the province and the

“We’re really excited that we’re able to unite as it will strengthen the voice of construction in BC.” MIKE DAVIS REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, ICBA

case for jobs and investment in the region will be stronger.” Founded in 1975 the ICBA is the voice of B.C.’s construction industry and is the oldest open shop organization in Canada. Representing the interests of more than 2,000 companies and clients, ICBA members and their skilled workers are involved in virtually all major capital and infrastructure project built in British Columbia. An evolution of the Northern Society of Oilfield Contractors SEE ICBA | PAGE 5

Art Jarvis of the ESBC (left) and the ICBA’s Mike Davis shake on it following the decision to merge the two associations


Quesnel Council Approves City Rebranding Effort ‘Quesnel: It’s In Our Nature’ Leads Repositioning Campaign Canadian Publications Mail Acct.: 40069240


UESNEL – Looking toward the future, while retaining memories of its colorful past, the City of Quesnel has undertaken a major rebranding effort to more accurately represent the community and its values in the 21 st Century. The end result of a year’s worth of community consultation and engagement, the local city council voted to endorse its new rebranding effort at its January

council meeting. “Quesnel is a community in transition, a community that was heavily impacted by the Mountain Pine Beetle, an issue that will come home to roost this year with the renewing of our allowable cut. Our feeling is that the time of the Pine Beetle salvage is over and we have to go back to proper, sustainable harvest which means the cut is going to be low relative to what

we’ve had over the past 10 or 12 years,” explained Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson. “The bottom line is our traditional forest dependent economy, at best, is going to stabilize lower than what it was historically, or even shrink. The need was there to rethink how we present our community.” W h i le t rad it ion a l ly u si n g the resou rce i ndustries a nd its Cariboo Gold Rush historic

connections as the core of its marketing efforts, the new brand focus - Quesnel: It’s in our nature – was created to showcase that while Nature continues to dominate the local economy, it’s not all about resource extraction but also the enjoyment of nature. “Rebrand ing is much more than changing a logo or a slogan. It’s really about rethinking what SEE QUESNEL | PAGE 15


2 PRINCE GEORGE UNBC’s Wood Innovation Research Lab Gains $4.5M Investment The Province of BC has recently announced a $4.5-million joint federal-provincial investment that will accelerate innovation in timber engineering and development of wood products at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). Of the $4.5-million investment: $1.88 million from the Government of Canada; $2.62 million from the Government of British Columbia; and

The City of Prince George is providing land for the facility in downtown Prince George, adjacent to the Wood Innovation and Design Centre. The Wood Innovation Research Lab will be used by students in the master of engineering in integrated wood design program and the BC leadership chair in tall wood and hybrid structures engineering. The one-storey, 900 squarem e t re (9,6 8 0 s q u a re-fo o t) building will create a stateof-the-art wood-engineering research facility. The new building will expand possibilities for col laboration w ith ex terna l researchers and industry by providing unique capabilities for test i ng a nd resea rch i ng

wood str uctu res. It w i l l i nclude a wood conditioning and processing room, office and seminar/classroom space, and a research lab that can also be used for teaching. Construction will meet requ irements u nder the Wood First Act, and will incorporate a high-performance building envelope that strives for Passive House certification. Structures built to this certification may cut their heating energy consumption by up to 90%, and overall energy consumption between 60% and 70%. The new lab will provide additional dedicated research and classroom space for U N BC, which currently occupies the first three floors of the adjacent

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Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) that opened in October 2014. WIDC was created as a gathering place for researchers, academics, design professionals and others interested in generating ideas for innovative uses of wood. In addition to UNBC, WIDC also houses the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations. Construction is slated to get under way in early 2017, generating 15 direct and 11 indirect jobs, with substantial completion expected by spring 2018.

BC The Province’s ‘Red Tape Reduction Day’ Takes Home National Award The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) recently announced that Premier Christy Clark and Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction for BC, have been named the winners of the Golden Scissors award for leadership and producing meaningful results in cutting red tape for small businesses. In 2015, BC became the first jurisdiction in North America to legislate an annual Red Tape Reduction Day, dedicated to repealing out-dated regulations and improving government customer service. In advance of the first Red Tape Reduction Day, held March 2, 2016, the government conducted an extensive online consultation where more than 400 ideas were submitted from the public. Each idea was reviewed and many have been acted on. The suggestion button is now permanent and citizens can see the status of their suggestions and the provincial response to them. As a result of Red Tape Reduction Day: The government repealed 37 onerous pieces of legislation; Over 215 regulatory requirements were removed; It now takes only 15 minutes to apply online for special occasion licenses to host parties or outdoor weddings, replacing an extensive amount of paperwork; Transitioning military personnel and retired veterans no longer need additional testing as they transfer their truck driving credentials to commercial licences; and British Columbians can now get i n formation a nd assistance to register to be an organ donor at any of the 62 Service BC locations. Crucially, the BC government has committed to following up on every idea submitted. T he w i n ners, chosen f rom among strong nominations from across the country, received a trophy, a framed certificate and recognition on the CFIB website, Facebook page and other small business publications.

PRINCE GEORGE City Commits to 5 Years of Funding for Highway 16 The City of Prince George has made the decision commit five years of funding towards the transit component of the BC government’s Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan. During a recent city council meeting, Mayor Lyn Hall and council approved an increase to its financial support from one year to five years. Prince George will invest $50,000 annually into the transit service. Councils in Smithers, Telkwa, Fraser La ke, Gra n isle a nd Houston have all committed to supporting Highway 16 intercom mu n ity tra nsit between Burns Lake and Smithers and Burns Lake and Prince George. The remaining two councils will meet in February. As part of the $5-million Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan, the BC government comm itted f u nd i ng to BC Transit over three years to support enhanced transit service. As discussions have taken place with local regional districts, municipalities and First Nations along the corridor, BC Transit and the ministry have been asked for a longer-term commitment to these services. The BC government has now committed to fund a 4th and 5th year of transit operations. For the expanded transit services, 100% of the vehicles are being covered, and the Province is funding two-thirds of the operating costs. Local governments, through regional districts, are working together to share costs for their one-third share of the operating costs. On Jan. 30, 2017, the first expanded-transit services started running, between Smithers and Moricetown. More local communities are expected to sign on for the new and expanded-transit services in the coming weeks.

FORT ST. JOHN BC Hydro Donates $45K to Peace Region NPOs BC Hydro’s Site C project has provided $45,000 in grants to support five non-profit organizations in the Peace Region through its Generate Opportunities (GO) Fund. The $800,000 GO Fund was established in September 2016 as part of the Site C mitigation measures to help support Peace Region non-profit organizations that provide services to vulnerable populations, including children, families and seniors. This is the first time that grants have been awarded from the Fund. Recipients include: SEE NEWS UPDATE | PAGE 3




$10,000 to the Palliative Care Society to aid in expanding their palliative care support. $10,000 to the Peace Arts Gallery Society for their Let’s Art Program. $10,000 to the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society to support infant and toddler food security. $5,000 to support the Fort St. John Public Library Association’s Creating Literacy in Computer Knowledge program. The GO Fund, which is administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust on behalf of BC Hydro, will be distributed over an eight-year period. Applications for funding are accepted on an on-going basis and funds are distributed on a quarterly basis. The funding — which meets a condition of environmental approval for the Site C project — is targeted to non-profit organizations that serve the communities of Fort St. John, Hudson’s Hope, Taylor, Chetwynd and residents of the Peace River Regional District in Electoral Areas B, C and E. BC Hydro has established a 10-person regional decision-making committee with two appointees from each of the communities and rural areas that the fund serves. The committee is responsible for reviewing applications and making all funding approval decisions.

BC BC Jobs Plan Showcases 5 Years of Growth

Prem ier Christy Clark a nd M i n ister Shirley Bond recently released the 5-Year Update to the BC Jobs Plan, renewing a long-term focus on technology, innovation and specific steps to address challenges facing rural communities. The 5-Year Update shows the progress made in the province since 2011 as British Columbia has become one of Canada’s strongest and most diverse economies. Highlights demonstrate that the Province: Jumped from third to leading the country in economic growth; Moved from ninth place to leading the country in job creation with 191,500 jobs created; Progressed from the fourth lowest unemployment rate to the lowest unemployment rate in Canada at 5.8%; Increased exports 10% to $36 billion annually; and Achieved 15 of the 19 ambitious targets set out in 2011 BC Jobs Plan. The 5-Year Update underlines the focus on the eight key sectors that form the foundation of the provincial economy, as well as one new sector, Advanced Manufacturing. It also identifies three competitiveness drivers integral to BC’s economy and 25 new aspirational targets for the Jobs Plan. While the BC Jobs Plan has established a roadmap for economic success, the Province recognizes that there remain challenges. That is why the Province announced two initiatives to help address the risks facing our rural communities, as well as the need for fostering talent in our growing technology sector. BC’s r u ra l econom ies a nd natu ra l

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resource industries have been the backbone of our economy but are shou ldering the risk posed by the global downturn in com mod ity prices. T hese challenges require a thoughtful response and that is why the Province is establishing a Rural Development Strategy that will support BC’s rural communities through policy and investment initiatives. The Premier also recently appointed UBC President Professor Santa Ono to create an Innovation Network in the province. The Network will foster

greater collaboration between public post-secondary institutions and innovation-driven industries to ensure that British Columbians are prepared for jobs and careers in the innovation economy, particularly in the province’s vibrant technology sector.

SMITHERS Chamber and Town Ink Land Deal In accordance with Section 26 of the Community Charter, the Town of Smithers intends to dispose of the following lands to the Smithers District Chamber

of Commerce by way of a 5 year lease agreement at $1.00 per year for land and building to perform Visitor Information Services for the Town of Smithers commencing February 1, 2017 and expiring January 31, 2022. Commonly known as 1411 Court Street and legally known as Lots 5, 6 & 7, Block 144, Plan 1054, District Lot 865, Range 5, Coast District.

PRINCE GEORGE City to Host 2017 Telus Cup T he 2017 Telus Cup, Ca nada’s National Midget Hockey


Championship has received an investment of $55,000 from the provincial government. The Telus Cup, which will be held in Prince George April 2430, 2017, is a week-long competition featu ri ng the home town’s Cariboo Cougars and five regional winning teams (Pacific, West, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic). The gold-medal game in the competition will be broadcast nationally on TSN. The investment by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour’s Tourism Events Program complements the $30,000 already provided to the tournament through the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural

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a nd Ser v ice F i r m s, to d ay’s Energy Services BC is a registered not for profit organization that has served as an advocate for the oil, gas, and energy service sector in the province for more than 30 years. In a media release Art Jarvis, the ESBC’s Executive Director explained that the new partnership will enhance and expand on the work his organization has already been doing on behalf of its membership. “Over the last several years, ESBC has been looking at ways to extend the influence and increase the profile of companies driving the oil and gas sector in the region. This is going to be a very powerful partnership and we are looking forward to be joining the voice of BC’s construction industry.” With the merger the ICBA will in essence take over the current ESBA office in Fort St. John, with Jarvis continuing to operate out of that facility on behalf of the ICBA. “We’re really excited that we’re able to unite as it will strengthen the voice of construction in BC,” Davis said. “Working through collaboration is a lot more effective than having each group in isolation. We’ve all been working towards the same goal of advancing responsible resource development through BC. As a result of this

Based in Fort St. John, Energy Services BC has been an advocate for the energy sector for more than 30 years merger we’ll be positioned to offer great services to businesses i n the nor theast a nd really advocate louder for the issues that are top of mind in


the community.” Only in the early stages of the merger, over the coming months the ICBA will be reaching out to the current ESBC membership


to learn about its concerns and interests to help fine tune the efforts and messages that the newly enhanced organization produces.


To learn more about the ICBA please visit the Association’s website at:










WASH & LUBE CENTER CAN HANDLE RIGS OF ANY SIZE Rain Coast Wash & Lube Opened For Business In 2014


ERRACE – Recognizing both a need and an opportunity, Milt Lindsay has turned what started out as a retirement project into a thriving regional business. “This was certainly a totally new venture for me,” explained the owner of Terrace’s innovative Rain Coast Wash & Lube. “My wife and I operated a crane rental company in Terrace for 29 years, selling it in 2012. But one of the Bugaboos that I had with my business was that there was no place in town where I could wash my equipment. It was very important to me to keep this equipment clean, even in the winter time, especially in the winter time when we have salt on the equipment and it looked terrible and unprofessional. I liked my equipment to remain clean,” he said. Once he and his wife Shirlee Lindsay had made up their minds to sell the crane business they knew that an idle retirement was simply not in the cards for them. Their goal was to develop a new business they would work together, but in an entirely different sector. That’s when he spotted a pair of building lots on Keith Avenue in Terrace, strategically located in an industrial area of the city. “I saw these two building lots in an industrial area and said to myself: ‘Man, that would make a great car wash / truck wash location’ – and that’s where it all started,” Lindsay explained. Beginning the process in 2013 shortly after selling the crane business, the first stage of the development, after acquiring the property, involved constructing a full sized truck wash on one portion of the land. “I wanted to build a truck wash that could accept the biggest legal highway load truck you could find on any road in BC. So that’s where it began,” he said. No sooner had the truck wash

Rain Coast Wash & Lube opened in 2014 and is located at 5127 Keith Avenue in Terrace

“I said to myself: ‘Man, that would make a great car wash / truck wash location’ – and that’s where it all started.” MILT LINDSAY OWNER, RAIN COAST WASH & LUBE

been built when it became clear to Lindsay that the site would also make an ideal location for a quick lube style oil change operation, leading to the second stage of the development which officially opened for business in 2014. “I found that there was a need for a quick oil change outlet in this community. You go into Prince George, you go into the Lower Mainland, you go into Kelowna and this service is available just about everywhere – but it wasn’t here,” he said. Working with a local architect Lindsay began to map out the best design to suit the property and to fulfill the project’s stated goals – the development of a multi bay car wash, a large

With a staff of five, Rain Coast Wash & Lube handles oil changes from Monday to Saturday vehicle wash station, and a quick lube style outlet – all on the same site. “Together we designed these buildings to accommodate the vision that I had,” he said.

Today, located at 5127 Keith Avenue in Terrace, Rain Coast Wash & Lube has a staff of five and features a range of services from 10 minute oil changes to

tire rotations to car and truck washes. The operation has four self serve car wash bays, two big rig bays and two drive-through Soft Touch and Touchless bays



Tire change and tire rotation services are just some of the tasks handled by the Rain Coast staff on a daily basis

Providing oil change services for cars and light trucks is just part of the Rain Coast Wash & Lube story and even has two specialized dog wash stations, created with the owners of large breed dogs in mind. “I saw that there was a real need locally to have some place where people with heavy equipment could clean their vehicles. That was the real catalyst that led to the opening of the operation,” Lindsay explained. The car wash side of the business is open seven days per week, 24 hours per day, while the oil change section is open 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday to Saturday. “In the self serve car wash bays we have wind shield washer fluid available, compressed air for tire fill up, vacuum cleaners and air dryers to dry your door rubbers and windshield wipers before venturing into the freezing cold again,” he said. Lindsay also recognized that more than industrial equipment could make use of such a spacious wash station. The operation’s big truck bay had been envisioned from the outset to accommodate the largest Class A motorhome for residents and visitors alike. Thanks to its spacious design virtually any sized camper, boat or motorhome can make use of the bay. To add to the wash bay for recreational vehicle owners Rain Coast Wash & Lube also features a convenient sani-dump outlet, just one more service for the company’s growing list of

clients. “Having opened the business and seeing the customers coming in I’ve learned that there is a year round need for a service like this. I’ve seen customers coming in on Christmas Day to wash their vehicles. People simply want to keep their vehicles clean. Taxi drivers will come in during the middle of the night. The police will come in to keep their cruisers clean. It amazes me how popular this service has become,” Lindsay said. While the novelty of having a dog wash as part of the business has become a local talking point, it’s the availability of the big rig station that has really put Rain Coast squarely on the commercial map. “The other day I was talking to a trucker from Edmonton and he had talked to somebody there who had been in Terrace and he had been told that ours was one of the nicest places of its kind he had ever been in. That’s what encourage him to stop off when he was in Terrace. You simply can’t buy advertising like that,” Lindsay said. For the future, while the business has been successful and a terrific learning experience, Lindsay doesn’t anticipate opening additional operations any time soon. “I’ve been invited to go to two towns close by to build something similar, but there are certainly no plans to do so at least

right now,” he explained. Established, sought for by industrial clients from across the north, Rain Coast Wash & Lube has in the past three years become the go to spot for vehicle cleaning and oil change services. “It’s a one off, unique business as far as I’m concerned. It began life as a kind of retirement business for my wife and I and I’m fortunate now to have some very good people working for me. Anyone can put up a building, but it’s the people that make it a success,” Lindsay said. To learn more please visit Rain Coast Wash & Lube’s Facebook page.

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HEALTH AND WELLNESS New year ushers in greater focus on workplace wellness Employers receive $4 to $5 savings for every one dollar invested in health promotion

Randy Haw said pooled plans offer rates that are more stable, especially for small to medium sized businesses CREDIT:WESTLAND INSURANCE

John Yim, naturopathic doctor said that preventative healthcare in the workplace avoids interruptions in workflow

Nicole Beach said that the Victoria Airport Authority is dedicated to a healthy and safe workplace CREDIT:VICTORIA AIRPORT AUTHORITY



or small and medium sized businesses, the cost of reduced productivity and absenteeism due to illness is not always easy to absorb. Yet many employers assume that creating and maintaining a wellness program will be too expensive. Nicole Beach, human resources manager, Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) at Victoria International Airport said that having healthy and engaged employees has multiple spinoff benefits, not least of all, workplace safety. “Safety is a heralded aspect of everything we do from a regulatory perspective, but we’ve also broadened our scope significantly by emphasizing individual health and wellness.” Recognized by Excellence Canada for five years in a row with Merit Awards for the programing VAA puts together for staff during Workplace Wellness month, its events cover a variety of health issues, including showcasing the services already provided through extended benefits. “Our coverage through Great West Life is very generous, but not always used,” Beach said. “For workplace wellness we put the spotlight on benefits that are already paid for and require no extra expense. And it’s not just physical wellness we are promoting. This past year we put more focus on internal wellness and mental health.” Kari Bradley, employee benefits specialist with Frank Allen Financial in Nanaimo, said that


“Everyone’s perspective may be different in terms of where they look for information or treatment for a healthy lifestyle.”



Stacey Lee, airport fire captain staying physically fit CREDIT:VICTORIA AIRPORT AUTHORITY

if an employee is unable to get work done because of physical or mental issues, it costs the employer time and money. “Business owners and members of their local Chambers of Commerce can get on an extended benefits package with the coverage they want and need. Even the simplest plans meet the employee where they are in terms of their wellness even if they are in the worst of health.” Candace Mawdsley, administration and marketing coordinator, Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, said that wellness programs are a strong motivator for businesses becoming new members. “We have busi ness ow ners

Kari Bradley said the Chamber of Commerce benefits package allows business owners to get the coverage they want and need

joining the Chamber to take advantage of its Group Insurance Plan.” Beach pointed out that it’s important for workplace wellness programs and benefits packages to be sensitive to differing philosophies in treatment modalities. “Everyone’s perspective may be different in terms of where they look for information or treatment for a healthy lifestyle. Our plan covers alternative therapies as well as offering fully confidential counseling services through Shepell.” Randy Haw, financial advisor, Westland Insurance Group in Kamloops, said that because of pooled plans, rates are more stable, especially for the small to medium sized business. “The plan is flexible; some employers want more dental, while others look for more health. Each plan can be tailored for what the business owner and employees want.” According to Benefits Canada,

studies demonstrate a $4 to $5 saving for every one dollar invested in health promotion. That’s a significant return on a business owners’ investment. Especially when preventable illness makes up approximately 70 per cent of the burden of illness and its associated costs. John Yim, naturopathic doctor and founder of Health and the Entrepreneur in Nanaimo, said that preventative healthcare, especially for business owners, helps avoid interruptions in workflow. “Stress can impact the immune system, sleep patterns, energy, mental health and the ability to do a job efficiently and productively. For the business owner, promoting healthy behaviours helps create a more positive and less stressful work environment.” He added that creating a wellness program doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as setting goals for number of steps, encouraging one day a week for healthy lunches, or utilizing the services provided by extended health plans. “Learning simple techniques to help the body manage stress better are invaluable, not only for physical health but also for an individual’s sense of wellbeing, level of happiness and likelihood of staying on the job.” When employers consider that on average 60 per cent of their employees’ waking hours are spent at work, its incentive to keep them healthy and at peak performance.



TALENT POOL MAKING INROADS IN WORKPLACE ATTITUDES TOWARDS DIVERSABILITIES Ready Willing and Able Sources Job Seekers With Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder to Meet Employers And Labourforce Needs


hen Rocky Mountain Printing (RMP) added a new paper delivery service to its product line, it needed to hire someone with a specific skill set. The successful applicant would need to be personable, reliable, able to operate light equipment and lift and carry 50 pound boxes of paper. “David fit the criteria well. He learned quickly and is getting positive comments from our customers,” said Stephen Wik, general manager of RMP. With a new report by the Conference Board of Canada claiming that BC does not have the skilled labour to replace its aging workforce, finding David provided a solution for a very real problem, one that could change the way businesses look for workers. A client of REALM (Realize Empowerment Access Life to the Maximum) in partnership with Ready, Willing and Able, David is a young man with an intellectual disability (ID) who is working two jobs. He takes the bus to work, has impressed his employers with his work ethic and gets along with his coworkers. In short, he does his job and he does it well. “Like any employee there is no guarantee,” Wik explained. “But having David here has positively impacted us all.” RMP isn’t the only company finding a workforce from a traditionally under represented talent pool. InclusionBC Director of Employment Initiatives, Gordon Ross, said that people with ID and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) bring a wide range of practical and specific skills. More than 93 per cent of respondents to an employer survey rated the RWA employees to be on par with or better than

the average employee in terms of: punctuality, attendance, use of sick days, turnover, attitudes towards work, getting along with coworkers and management, contributing to positive workplace morale and spirit, frequency of occupational health and safety problems, impact on workers’ compensation costs, and impact on employee benefits costs. “This talent pool meets tangible and intangible needs,” Ross said. “Not just by fulfilling operational requirements but by introducing a diverse culture into the workplace.” Ross explained that to date, the majority of RWA outcomes continue to be found in the sectors associated with employment initiatives, namely retail and food services. “The prevalence of hires within these two sectors continues to be influenced by the size and scope of some of our national partnerships, particularly Costco and Value Village. However, in-roads have been made to spread outcomes further afield with notable increases in hires in sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing, travel and tourism, professional services and public administration, and arts and culture, collectively representing 28-30 per cent of total outcomes.” Flexibility has emerged as the key strength of RWA, not only at the national level but also in the direct delivery of supports. “David needed to be partnered with another worker during deliveries and for training. RWA offset the employer’s costs by paying a portion of the employee’s salary,” explained Debra Preston business relations, REALMBC. “He also needed steel toe boots, RWA provided the funds for their purchase.” “The ability of the project to respond directly to the range of needs that individual job seekers, employees and employers have is a somewhat unique feature of RWA over traditional approaches to employment of people with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. This is an employer-based demand model, customized to meet the employer

RWA’s employer engagement model is designed to be flexible and responsive CREDIT:READY, WILLING, ABLE

“This talent pool meets tangible and intangible needs. Not just by fulfilling operational requirements but by introducing a diverse culture into the workplace.” GORDON ROSS DIRECTOR OF EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVES READY WILLING AND ABLE, INCLUSION BC

Pacific Bolt Manufacturing, RWA’s initial employer partner, continues to benefit from diverse talent CREDIT:READY, WILLING, ABLE

needs,” said Ross. Ross added that the program is quick in responding, working at immediately implementing supports to ensure quality within the workplace. “The program’s nimbleness reflects the business process and model it is using, ensuring that there is a ready access point to source inclusive talent and that it responds quickly to specific employment requirements.” For R E A L M BC, t he key to matching its clients with the right employer is by a clear understanding of what is needed. The agency finds placements for a wide range

of disabilities and is one of over 65 employment agencies in 37 BC communities that Ready, Willing and Able has partnerships with. For RWA, the theme it sees emerging, concerning the impact RWA is having on the workplace, is on the attitudes, awareness and culture of working with persons with ID and ASD. “It’s important to give it a try,” said Wik. “With David we started with him lifting the boxes. We also have a machine called the stair climber that lifts the boxes up stairs. Most of the employees are extra cautious around the machine. David nailed its

operation.” Ross sa id t h at suppor t i ng businesses by meeting some of their labour force requirements through the hiring of inclusive talent is helping RWA contribute to the province’s goal of becoming the most progressive Province in Canada for people with disabilities by 2024. “There’s no risk in reaching out and no cost,” he said, adding that a client is hired not ‘because of’ but by answering the question, ‘what can they contribute’. Ready, Willing and Able Inclusion BC is at

High-performance organizations are

37% MORE LIKELY TO HIRE people with intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder




AltaGas To Build Propane Export Terminal In Prince Rupert $500 Million Plant Expected To Be Complete By First Quarter Of 2019


RINCE RUPERT – To provide a Canadian conduit to expanding Asian markets for propane, Calgary based AltaGas has announced its intention to construct a propane export terminal on Prince Rupert’s Ridley Island. With a price tag of nearly $500 million, construction is expected to begin in early 2017, with the terminal expected to be in service by the first quarter of 2019. “The US used to be an importer of propane from Canada, however due to increasing production they are now experiencing an oversupply and have become a huge exporter of propane globally. We already extract propane for a number of producers in the Montney region and felt it very important to provide them with a complete energy value chain that includes access to new markets in Asia,” explained Dan Woznow, AltaGas’ Vice President of Energy Exports. As envisioned the Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal is expected to generate as many as 250 construction jobs during the development phase and approximately 40 to 50 full time jobs once in operation. Propane, which will be transported to markets in Japan and elsewhere in Asia, will arrive at the facility via the existing Canadian National (CN) rail network. No pipeline or other extensive development is required to move the propane to the port facility. Once in full operation as many as 60 rail cars of cooled and compressed propane will arrive daily, with as many as 30 shipments expected to leave the port annually. “AltaGas currently has an interest in a similar facility in Ferndale, Washington but we were actively looking for a Canadian solution to ship our product to market. We looked up and down the coast for a number of years before capitalizing on the Ridley Island site once it had become available,” Woznow said. Cooled and compressed, propane is shipped to offshore markets in specially designed carriers similar in many ways to the ships used to transport Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), only in typically smaller vessels. Japan is an especially attractive market for Canadian propane. Approximately 24 million households in that country currently use propane as their primary heating and cooling fuel – nearly half of all households in Japan. “What we’re going to be shipping is propane, just like the product fueling your barbecue on your back deck. Propane can be turned into a liquid form either by cooling or putting it under pressure. It will move to the facility from Alberta and Northeastern BC under pressure in rail cars before being offloaded and chilled to about minus 42 centigrade to turn it into a liquid where it will be stored in a large tank prior to loading it onto ships,

This is an artist’s rendering of how the new facility will look once completed, sometime in early 2019

Dan Woznow is the Vice President of Energy Exports for Calgary-based AltaGas, developers of the facility refrigerated vessels used to move the product to customers in Asia,” he said. In addition to household heating and cooking, propane is used extensively in the chemical industry which is another key market for AltaGas’ product. With the development of the Ridley Island project the Western Canadian firm will provide producers with an all Canadian solution for reaching offshore markets. “If all goes according to plan the first shipment of propane should be leaving the Port of Prince Rupert by the first quarter of 2019,” he said. To learn more about AltaGas please visit the company’s website at:

With a price tag of approximately $500 million the new facility will be constructed at Ridley Island




Prince George Had A Record Breaking Year For Building Permits City Recorded More Than $122 Million Worth Of Permit Issuances In 2016


RINCE GEORGE – Private sector construction in the City of Prince George hit an all time high in 2016, and the indicators suggest that trend will continue for the foreseeable future. In the city last year $122.5 million worth of building permits were issued, the first time the city had ever broken the $120 million mark. “Residential building permits made up the largest portion of that that total, more than $72 million worth,” explained Melissa Barcellos, the City’s Manager of Economic Development. “This included a large senior’s development, the 173 unit Riverbend housing facility, which received the go ahead last year. So that as probably the largest single multi-family project to proceed in 2016.” The city statistics show that building permits were issued for 173 new multi-family units in 2016 as well as 143 new single family homes, 14 new duplexes and the development of 39 new single family secondary suites. For Clint Dahl, a leading residential and commercial REALTOR® in Prince George, the amount of residential construction is a reflection of the local citizen’s confidence in the city and its future. “There certainly was a lot of real estate activity in Prince George last year, particularly with mid priced homes. It’s very difficult to

Realtor Clint Dahl said that mid priced family homes do not remain on the local real estate market for long find homes for sale in the $350,000 range, while rental accommodation is in very short supply,” he said. A combination commercial and residential REALTOR® with Royal LePage Prince George, Dahl says the city’s commercial market has also remained very active in recent months, with the community becoming increasingly attractive to out of town investors. “There is a lot of building going on, with lots of investors from across BC and even Alberta working on new residential developments across the city. That is an expression of confidence in the area,” he said. “We have indicated strong job

numbers, we enjoy a very diversified economy and that has helped the city weather uncertain times better than other areas of the province. The other big plus is people who have moved to the area from the Lower Mainland and other areas wanting to take advantage of the region’s relatively attractive real estate marketplace. There are some incredible real estate values in the city, especially when compared to what things cost in Vancouver and elsewhere.” The city stats show that a full 96 percent of the building permit issuances were for private sector investment, rather than government, a figure the city’s Economic

The Marriott Courtyard Hotel currently under construction in downtown Prince George is one of the city’s major projects

“Focusing on the private sector development shows real confidence on the part of investors in the city.” MELISSA BARCELLOS MANAGER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, CITY OF PRINCE G

Department finds very exciting. “Focusing on the private sector development shows real confidence on the part of investors in the city.

They are willing to make an investment now in anticipation that business will be good in the years to come. They wouldn’t want to make those types of investments if they expected to see vacancies or a lack of customers,” Barcellos said. Despite having just completed an all time record year in terms of building permits, the city and its citizens remain confident that momentum will continue for the future. “I think 2017 is going to be another very strong year, so the city has lot to look forward to,” Dahl said. To learn more please visit the City of Prince George’s website at:




hen you first meet with a new prospect, how do you position your product or service? How do you characterize the value it delivers? How do you decide which elements will have the strongest appeal to the prospect? It’s difficult to determine which aspect of your product or service will hold the most meaning for the prospect until you understand the prospect’s motivation for the potential purchase. Once you’ve discovered that, you can position your product or service as a best-fit from the prospect’s perspective. So—what motivates an individual prospect to buy from you? One prevalent theory is that people buy either to gain pleasure…or to avoid pain. In a broad

sense, that’s correct. In fact, psychologists suggest that those are the two reasons that drive people to take any action! Can the answer really be that black and white? Consider this: the VP of Production at a manufacturing company has been wrestling with a production line problem for some time, and he has been unable to solve it. This problem is hindering production and negatively impacting profits. The pressure the VP is getting from his CFO is causing him considerable worry—worry that results in many sleepless nights. That’s pain, right? The VP engages a process engineering consultant to help him solve the problem. With the consultant’s analysis, input, and recommendations, the VP is able to solve the problem and bring production and profits back to desired levels. The pain is gone. No more pressure from the CFO, and no more sleepless nights. The VP now feels relieved and ex periences a n overwhel ming sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. But, hold on! “Relief,” “sense of accomplishment,” a nd “satisfaction”— wou ld n’t t ho se fe el i n g s b e characterized as pleasure? Of

course! Here’s the big question: was the VP’s motivation to hire the consultant-driven by the desire to eliminate pain or the desire to gain pleasure? T he a nswer is … you don’t know. It could be either. Your job is to find out which of the two motivators is operating in the most dominant way in the prospect’s world. And to figure that out, you need to ask good questions. Think of pain and pleasure as opposite sides of the same “coin. ”One side of the coin represents the situation from a negative (or pain) perspective; the other side represents the situation from a positive (or pleasure) perspective. And here is the most important thing to remember: the prospect—NOT YOU—gets to choose which side faces up. The only reliable way to determine which side of the coin matters most to a particular individual is to ask the appropriate questions … and listen carefully to the prospect’s answer. Pay close attention to the words, the tonality, and the body language, and you’ll know whether to position your product or service as something that will help

the prospect move away from an undesirable situation (pain) or move toward a desirable situation (pleasure). Questions to help you make that determination include: ■ “What precipitated your interest in (your product or service)?” ■ “What specifically are you hoping I can do for you? ■ “W hat wou ld the most ideal outcome be?” Assume you were to ask that CFO that first question, “What precipitated your interest…?” Consider the stark difference between these two possible responses: Response 1: I’m getting a lot of heat from our CFO to fix the assembly line bottlenecks which have not only thrown our production numbers off but also d r iven up ou r m a i nten a nce costs…both of which, he continually reminds me, are eating into our bottom line. Response 2: My goal for the next 60 days, and my commitment to our CFO, is to get our production numbers up by 10%, back to where they were in the first quarter of the year … and at the same time, to smooth out the fluctuations in production

throughput and reduce maintenance costs. Each answer describes the assembly line production situation, but each does so from a different side of the coin. One frames the situation from the perspective of the problem to be solved; the other frames it from the perspective of the goals to be achieved. The Winning Edge Avoid i ng pa i n or secu r i ng pleasure. There’s a subtle difference between the two positions likely to motivate a prospect. Yet by recognizing which side of the pain/pleasure coin is facing up, and by framing the discussion of your product or service from that perspective (thereby matching the prospect’s motivation), you can gain a slight edge. This advantage often makes the difference between making the sale and not making the sale. 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 Copyright 2013 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.




expected to open this spring. The beds are specifically dedicated to providing support for youth as they take first steps towards recovery, providing support that minimizes the harmful physical and psychological effects of withdrawal from drugs and alcohol.

Terrace Northwest Community College plans to undergo some significant changes to its Terrace campus with major upgrades in addition to the $18.5 million trades building renovation project. College president, Ken Burt, confirmed that the new project will move forward in two phases: first the demolishing and replacing of existing residences, then a similar process for office buildings and the food services structure. The new buildings will be built around a large open green space, with the longhouse on campus being a focal point. The project is currently estimated at $30 million. A redevelopment has also been proposed for the campus library. Northwest Community College will also undergo a name change in the near future, and an outside branding firm has been hired on to research the issue.

Williams Lake resident and UNBC public administration student, Sara-Lynn Harding, has been honored by the Irving K. Barber Society of BC with a bursary of $2,500 for higher education.

Above: Sara-Lynn Harding, student at UNBC

The BC Innovation Council will be visiting Terrace on February 23 rd, at the Best Western Terrace Inn. The event functions as part of its Regional Innovation Opportunities Tour, featuring local companies and organizations like FortisBC, the Ministry of Agriculture, and IBM. Companies will be given the chance to present their innovations and challenges. To register for the event, visit pgrio. The Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 90 th anniversary serving the community this year. The Terrace Chamber has been active since 1927. This year also marks a change in leadership, as Michelle Taylor takes over from former Executive Director Erika Magnuson-Ford. Meyers Norris Penny LLP congratulates team member, Brandon Merritt, on the successful completion of the 2016 Common Final Exam (CFE).

Prince Rupert The Port of Prince Rupert has established a Community Investment Fund, which aims to provide financial support to local initiatives and projects that benefit the community. Applications are being accepted for such projects, and the deadline for submitting proposals is Friday, February 10 th. This year marked a record number of nominees – 103, for the 2017 Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce’ Business Excellence Awards. Votes can be placed for each of the 12 awards categories until February 10 th, and the Business Excellence Awards Ceremony is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 4th, at the Lester Centre of the Arts. Geoff Grodecki, President and

Prince George

Above: Michelle Taylor, Executive Director of the Terrace Chamber (far left), Val Gauvin, President (middle), and Erika Magnusen-Ford, departing executive director (far right) CEO of Northern Savings Credit Union, has stepped down from his position, announced to members on October 7 th. The board of directors has appointed Fay Brooker as the interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found. Calgary-based company AltaGas, who plans to construct the propane export terminal on Ridley Island, has announced that it will acquire US company WGL Holdings Inc. in a deal worth $8.4 million. Washington Gas Light Company is situated in Washington, D.C. and serves over one million clients in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The acquisition and merger allows for more diversity within the energy business, and increased clientele. As of January 26th, Smiles Seafood Café Ltd. is now open for business in their location at 113 Cow Bay Road. Local resident, Romano Barrazzuol, has just won a new Buick Verano, after winning a nation-wide Service to Win contest by General Motors. When General Motors customers brought

their cars in for service, they were entered into a draw for the vehicle. Adventure Paving has been honored with a 2016 Deputy Minister’s Contractor of the Year Award of Excellence in recognition and appreciation for their completion of the Tuck Inlet Road Paving and Improvements project. The Lester Centre of the Arts commemorated its 30 th year in performing arts with a gala, held on February 4th.

Williams Lake Williams Lake is set to host the first annual Cariboo Chilcotin Film Fest, an event showcasing the work of local filmmakers including Trevor Mack, Ken Marshall and Chris Harris. The event was founded and organized by Krista Liebe, and is scheduled to take place on March 10 th. Dr. Ghaida Radhi, a doctor from Bahrain, celebrated her first week in Williams Lake after completing clinical field assessments and exams to be able to practice

medicine in BC. Dr. Radhi awaits the College of Physicians and Surgeons grant of a provisional license, in order for her to begin practicing at the Yorston Medical Clinic and Cariboo Memorial Hospital. Among other new family physicians beginning their practices in Williams Lake, are Dr. Chris Kriek, joining the Cameron Clinic, and Dr. Travis Routtu, joining the clinic of Dr. John Neufeld and beginning his own practice on February 6th. A local ownership group comprised of Rob Sandrock, Tyrel Lucas and Ryan Bailey, hope to bring a junior hockey team to Williams Lake, despite a vote against the proposal by the Kootenay International Junior B Hockey League (KIJHL). Having a junior hockey team in Williams Lake could see an estimated $1.9 million overturned locally. Interior Health awarded contracts for 16 new withdrawal management beds, of which four will be allocated to Williams Lake. The Chief Executive Officer of Axis Family Resources Limited, Ann Smith, indicated that the beds are

The Prince George Public Interest Research Group Society (PG PIRG) has launched a “Grow North” project, which endeavors to expand local food production in the Prince George area. The program results from a successful $25,000 funding application to the provincial government under their Grow Local Program; several workshops, demonstrations and crash-courses will be hosted by the PIRG to instruct on increasing garden yields, reducing input requirements, storing food through various seasons, and producing fresh greens in the winter months. The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) will soon be the recipient of a $4.5 million joint federal-provincial funding investment aimed at increasing innovation in development of wood products and timber engineering. The $4.5 million is comprised of $1.88 million from the federal government and $2.62 million from the BC Government, for development of the Wood Innovation Research Lab, adjacent to the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in downtown Prince George. The City of Prince George has provided the land for the facility, which will be used by the BC leadership chair in tall wood and hybrid structures engineering, and the master of engineering in integrated wood design program. Prince George City Council has confirmed a commitment of $50,000 each year for a five-year term funding new transit along the Highway 16 route between Prince George and Prince Rupert. The 25th annual Relay for Life in Prince George, for the Canadian Cancer Society, received a generous vehicle prize donation from Northland Auto Group. A



registered Relay participant this year will win one of three vehicles: either a 2017 Hyundai Elantra L, a 2017 Nissan Micra SV, or a 2016 Dodge Dart SE. One ticket is entered in the draw for every $500 raised by a participant.

facility management services agreement with Spectra by Comcast Spectacor for the operations of the Encana Events Centre. The contract encompasses three divisions of Spectra: food services and hospitality, venue management, and ticketing and fan engagement, and will extend for the next eleven years.

Passenger numbers for 2016 for the Prince George Airport Authority (PGAA) exceeded expectations by 1.5 per cent, with over 462,000 individuals departing and arriving at the airport. November held the highest traffic numbers, seeing an 8 per cent increase from November 2015.

Doubletake Driving School is a brand-new business, owned and operated by Kori Caldwell, a former ICBC Driving Examiner. The driving school offers GLP practical, re-examinations, rehabilitations, and industry/ oilfield CL5 improvements.

Western Canada’s largest business competition, JDC West, resulted in four trophy wins for postsecondary UNBC students: first place in Athletics, first place in Fundraising, second place in Entrepreneurship, and second place in Participation.

On February 18 th , the third annual Health and Wellness Expo, sponsored by the Dawson Creek Health Food Centre, will be held at the Encana Events Centre. The event features health food vendors, healthy cosmetics and skin care entrepreneurs, physiotherapy providers and more.

Prince George company, IDL Projects, was awarded a $974,000 contract for construction of a rest stop on South Taylor Hill along the Alaska Highway. The stop will include full washroom facilities, parking spaces, and picnic tables, and is anticipated to be completed by this spring.

Cut Thumb Glass celebrates 25 years in business serving the community.

Fort St. John

Dawson Creek

Northern BC advocacy group, Energy Services BC of Fort St. John, has joined forces with the Independent Contractors

The City of Dawson Creek has announced the renewal of a

and Business Association of BC (ICBA) to lobby for increased activity in the oil and gas sector. ICBA and Energy Services plan to work with both the provincial and federal governments to further oil and gas development, and to bring jobs and investment to Northern BC. The Fort St. John Hospital Foundation received a generous donation of $32,495 as a result of a month-long fundraiser, the “Love You� campaign, run by Shoppers Drug Mart in Fort St. John. The funds will go towards helping expecting mothers and their babies at the Fort St. John Hospital.

confirmed that the funding will go towards holding public information sessions to raise awareness on palliative and hospice care. Quesnel’s G.R. Baker Hospital is still scheduled to receive an expansion of their emergency room and intensive care unit, which could triple the space of the emergency room area.


The Peace Gallery is featuring a new exhibit entitled “My Canada�, in celebration of Canada’s 150 th birthday. The exhibit contains nearly twenty displays from local artists, and uses many different mediums of art including sculpture, ceramics, water colors, all showing what Canada means to each artist. The display will run from February 3 rd to 25 th .

Quesnel The BC Government has allocated $4,800 to The Quesnel and District Hospice Palliative Care Association. The association’s Executive Secretary and Fundraiser, Sherry Webster,

The College of New Caledonia Lakes campus has launched their first Aboriginal Resource Centre, which is made available to help students with their course loads, meet specific needs, and bring unity in the surrounding community. The Bulkley Valley Health Care and Hospital Foundation has voted in their board of directors for 2017, which features: Dale Perry – Board Chair, Mindy Stroet – Board Vice Chair, Sheryl McCrea – Secretary, Laura Stanton – Treasurer, Cori van Horn, Gary Huxtable, Karen Benson, Kat Stroet, Keith Stecko, Kelly Ehalt, Nicole Winterhalder, Nina Purewal, Sandy Estby, Ted Bobb, and Tom Stanton. Smithers is looking into the possibility of bringing an electric vehicle charging station to town, considering a program where

13 Tesla provides a free charging station with land provided by the town. The initiative is still in an exploratory stage. Smithers Chatters Pizzeria and Bistro, owned by Chris Morsund, has received award from Community Living BC for a commitment they made to hire inclusively for a 15-year period. Chatters has employed two special needs workers for the past ten years and Morsund has been very satisfied with their service, encouraging other businesses to also consider hire inclusively. The Smithers council plans to approach the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako for up to a $400,000 grant in Gas Tax money. The grant would go towards the $8.7 million Airport Modernization Project.

100 Mile House A $50,000 donation has been awarded to the 100 Mile House Water Park Society from the BC Government’s Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development, for the purpose of constructing a water park in Centennial Park. The project is expected to begin construction this year, and its’ anticipated completion date is in the spring of 2018.



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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: Website:


PUBLISHER | Lise MacDonald, EDITOR | John MacDonald SALES | Dan Stelck, WRITERS | Beth Hendry-Yim, David Holmes, Kristin van Vloten




s e x p e c te d , when t he Fe d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t announced its spending intentions following their 2015 election victory, at one point or another, someone or some group was going to be expected to pay for those promises. Wit h t he prom i sed def icit alarmingly higher than what Justin Trudeau said it would be – with no brakes in sight – there are hints of where the extra revenue the government now claims it needs. T he Ca nad ia n Cha mb er of Commerce sent out a notice recently indicating the federal government is considering taxing employer-paid health and dental benefits. In its release, the Chamber states: “A lon g w it h a d d i n g hundreds or thousands of dollars to Canadians’ tax bills, this

proposal could cause many employers to stop offering coverage to employees.” Before u rg i ng memb ers to contact the Minister of Finance or their local MP’s to protest such a move, the Chamber noted when Quebec introduced a si m i la r ta x, 20 per cent of employers dropped health and dental benefits for employees. Studies suggest the removal of this tax benefit across the board could result in a decrease of 50 per cent of small firms that will be able to offer health benefits. So, it’s time to speak up. A t t h i s j u n c t u re , i t’s n o t clear whether Trudeau’s tactics will be similar to those of former PM Paul Martin and his famous “trial balloons”, where he would float a high number in terms of a potential tax increase before crossing the country, “listening and gathering input” from everyone before announcing a lower hike. W hich resulted in congratulatory thanks when the final increase was less than expected, and somehow m ade u s feel better t h at we weren’t going to be paying that much more ta x – just a titch more. It was clever salesmanship, politically speaking. L etters of compl a i nt f rom constituents do register w ith pol iticia ns, a nd a re a n

important part of the process. If this is just a trial, then rest assured if few Canadian busin e s s e s c o m pl a i n a b o u t t h e benefit tax, the federal government will proceed. A statement made years ago by a local politician rings true at every level of public office: “We will tax until we find opposition”. If there is no push back, the government considers this path of least resistance the best route to take, and proceeds undaunted. There were more than a few hints that the feds were also going to increase Employment Insurance premiums for companies – perhaps as much as $1,000 per worker. Nothing has materialized on that front yet. Other suggestions were increasi ng the GST a poi nt or two, or even d raw i ng f u nds from currently healthy Canada Pension. Whichever pockets the federal government decides to pick for its pet projects has yet to be determined, but rest assured they’ll be aiming at business in some way, shape or form. It remains, therefore, for business to somehow offset those increased costs to the market – if the market can indeed bear it. It’s not as if Canada’s economy is exactly robust. While we

did extremely well to weather the recent globa l crisis better than most, indicators are show i ng that clouds may be gathering on the not so distant horizon. Nationa l econom ic growth has slowed to 0.7 per cent. Canada’s economy needs to be around 3 per cent growth in order to be considered growing, or healthy. T r u d e a u’s L i b e r a l s c a mpaigned on investing in infrastructure, which was palatable to voters. The country needs upgrades on its highways, water and sewer lines, for example, that haven’t been updated for decades. Public buildings like schools and hospitals – shared responsibilities with the provinces but nevertheless a federal concern via transfer payments from Ottawa – and other projects were what many would have anticipated. Ye t v i r t u a l ly not h i n g h a s b een a n nou nced a s yet, a lthough the Liberals have been pou r i ng m i l l ion s i nto t hei r priorities – including sending bucket loads of cash overseas to various foreign governments, which doesn’t help Canadian taxpayers. Canada became very tax competitive internationally under the previous government, and new U. S. P re sid ent Dona ld

Trump has already announced moves to bring America back towards reason with corporate tax rates. It might not make sense to non-business people that lowering corporate income ta x act u a l ly st i mu l ates t he economy and ultimately gives the government more money in its coffers at the end of the day, but that is exactly what it does. Why? Because it provides that all-important component: Incentive. Where if an investor sees an opportunity to move forward and profit from their risk, they’re more likely to take it. If the potential reward is not greater than the risk, they hold back. It’s human nature. So it remains to be seen what the federa l Libera ls w i l l do. Will they revert back to former established Liberal patterns of h ig her ta xes to pay for gover n ment wh i m s a nd wants? Or will they leave tax rates where they are and seek to remain competitive with our neighbours to the south? Or will they keep current tax levels reasonable for investment and industry, and aim at increasing jobs and therefore the number of taxpaying employees who will contribute to the national purse? A s t he Ca nad ia n Cha mber urges, it’s time to speak up now.




n a letter  to the ed itor published by the Vancouv e r S u n , B C Fe d e r a t i o n of Labour president Irene L a n z i nge r i n t e r p re t s a recent Fraser Institute study as demonstrating the benefits of joining a union. T his misses the main point of our study,

wh ich i s t h at gover n ment workers in BC receive higher wages than their private-sector counterparts, regardless of whether they are covered by a union agreement or not. Usi ng data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, the study finds that government employees in BC (federal, provincial and local) receive, on average, 7.4 per cent higher wages than comparable workers in the private sector. This wage prem iu m accou nts for differences between individual workers in the two sectors such as age, gender, education, tenure, experience and type of work. And the wage premium is in addition to the more generous non-wage benefits—such as pensions, early retirement and job security–that the government sector also enjoys. Our analysis shows that even after accounting for unionization, there is still a wage premium for government workers

(4.2 per cent). Put differently, gover n ment workers—even those who are unionized—receive h ig her pay t ha n comparable private sector workers doing similar jobs. So, what’s the reason for the disparity in pay between the government and private sector? The reason is twofold. In the government sector, political factors largely determine the wage-setting process, while wages in the private sector are guided by productivity, market forces, and profit constraints. Employers in the private sector compensate their employees based on employee productiv ity, the va lue they add to the bottom line. If employers overpay, they risk going out of business. But if they pay too little, they risk losing valuable staff. Government employers, on the other hand, do not face the same risks, as they have the ability to fund overly generous

compensation through higher taxes. W hile raising taxes entail political and economic costs, the budget constraints and economic realities in the government sector are much less stringent than in the private sector. These differences are amplified by the monopoly environment in which the government s e c to r o p e ra te s v e r s u s t h e competitive environment of the private sector. Most of the govern ment sector operates without the threat of compet it ion, me a n i ng con su mers ca n’t choose a n a lter n at ive provider of government services that may be cheaper or of higher quality. The monopoly on ser v ice prov ision mea n s that government workers can demand and in fact receive a wage premium without competitive discipline and fear of responses from other firms. Un l i ke f i r m s i n t he pr ivate sector, gover n ments do not

have an incentive to balance the need to retain and attract workers with their ability to compete aga i nst riva ls on price, quality, and cost. The fact is wages and benefits in the government sector are out of step with the private sector. Si nce compensation costs constitute a significant portion of govern ment program spending—about half in most provinces—governments could find substantial savings by aligning wages and benefits with private sector norms. This would not only be the financial prudent thing to do, but it would also ensure fairness to the taxpayers in the private sector who ultimately foot the bill. Charles Lammam, Hugh MacIntyre and Milagros Palacios are coauthors of the Fraser Institute study Comparing Government and Private Sector Compensation in Canada.

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The new City of Quesnel logo and marketing slogans are part of a broad-based marketing effort

While history is still important, the City of Quesnel is moving away from its Gold Rush era identity


your community has to offer in a globally dependent environment. All communities are trying to attract visitors, residents and investors. Sticking with the Gold Pan City model we had been using simply didn’t make sense anymore,� Simpson explained. “As a council we committed to embarking on a year long conversation with the community

“Sticking with the Gold Pan City model we had been using simply didn’t make sense anymore.� BOB SIMPSON MAYOR, CITY OF QUESNEL

about what our strengths are, what our weaknesses are and where do we think we can tell a good story and that’s where the brand came from.� The ‘in our nature’ element of the streamlined new branding was developed to celebrate both the existing resource industries, but a lso the a rea’s expansive recreational potential. “We’re still dependent on nature for our base economy but the natural surroundings

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says the new branding more accurately reflects today’s City of Quesnel are also affording people a life that people can aspire to – a life more balanced, the ability to

get outdoors more readily and so much more,� he said. Going beyond the new logo and tagline, part of Quesnel’s brand strategy is a promise to enable opportunities for a thriving community. This means the work doesn’t end with the brand launch. Council and staff are evaluating policies and future actions with this in mind. Elegant, simple, accurate, the City of Quesnel’s new branding efforts (now approved by council) tell a story that is more solidly bound to the realities of the community as it is today, a move applauded and approved by its citizens and its business sector. “Now we have to work on the change out, to ensure we h ave bra nd con si s tency throughout all of our marketing,� Simpson said. To learn more please visit the City of Quesnel’s website at:




hat do you look at as great customer service? Most likely it’s not something huge, but some set of little things. Or it may even b e ju s t one l it t le thing. Why are those little things so important? When you look at your little things that matter, they really all have to do with expectations. And when it comes dow n to it,that has to do with past experiences. Whenever we have experiences, we keep a mental recording of them. And from that point forward, we’re always comparing against similar situations.

T hat’s how we come up with our expectations. I f we’ve e x p er ienc e d really good customer service, that can become our expectation with a particular business, or even an entire industry. And if we have a really bad experience, we may avoid the place altogether because our expectation is that it could easily happen again. Depending on what you do, your clients may or m ay not h ave a ny pa st experiences to compare you to. B ut does t h at me a n t hey won’t h ave expectations? Of course not. T hey’ll still be based on experiences. But they’ll either be based on experience of others, or their own experiences with something they believe is similar. You may have been out to eat at a restaurant for the fi rst ti me, a nd you were absolutely blow n away by the service. What were you comparing it to? If you go to a high-end steak house, you are probably expecting a different level of service than

you would at a fast food restaurant. But if you go to a restaurant with similar prices to the high-end steak house, you probably do expect the same level of service. Most of the time, that’s not even a conscious th i ng! But i f you pay attention to what you r clients say and how they a c t, a nd you a s k t hem q u e s t ion s a b out t ho se things, you can change some of the small things that will make a huge difference to them. Lucy Glennon specializes in customer service training and recruitment and hiring. She can be reached at 866-6452047 or

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Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena - February 2017  

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

Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena - February 2017  

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