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» PRINTING

JANUARY 2017

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PRINCE GEORGE City to Host International Skiing

A Fresh Perspective on Business

Championships

Peace Cariboo Skeena WWW.BUSINESSEXAMINER.CA PAGE 5

DAWSON CREEK Encana Events Centre Announces

Fort St. John | Prince George | Terrace | Vanderhoof

Smithers Regional Airport Modernization Project Approved by Town Council The project’s design and budget were prepared by municipal staff and Moore Wilson Architects Inc.

Management Extension

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INDEX News Update

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Quesnel

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Prince George

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Hiring Guru

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Human Resources

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Sales

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Movers and Shakers 12 Opinion

MITHERS—T he Terrace A i r por t Moder n i zat ion Project passed an important milestone in mid-December. Smithers Town Council approved the design and budget for a project that will see an increase in the Airport’s capacity and efficiency. “By increased accessibility and capacity, the modernization of the Smithers Regional Airport terminal will strengthen the competitive position of Smithers as an economic and regional hub,” said Mayor Taylor Bachrach. Smithers Town staff and Moore Wilson Architects Inc. prepared three options for the terminal improvements’ design and budget. After reviewing these SEE SMITHERS TOWN COUNCIL | PAGE 6

Rob Blackburn, Smithers Region Airport Manager, stands with Smithers Mayor, Taylor Bachrach

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MITHERS—“I think we’re successful because we are not afraid to embrace new technologies,” says Larry McCulloch, LM Forest Resource Solutions founder. “You need to be a little brave to jump into the bleeding edge.” In the case of McCulloch, a

professional forester since 1981, the bleeding edge of his sector is the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles—drones—to collect natural resource data. His drones provide a mobile, cost effective solution for making informed resource management decisions. “Now of course everybody and

their dog is wanting to get into drones,” says McCulloch. “But there’s more to this than flying a go-pro camera around on a Phantom 2.” According to McCulloch, it isn’t just about collecting images or videos quickly and inexpensively. LM Forest Resource

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2 NORTHERN BC Clean Energy Fund Supports First Nations’ Initiatives In 2016, First Nations communities in BC received approximately $3.2 million through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund — more than $2.2 million through revenue-sharing agreements and nearly $1 million in capacity and equity funding. Funding for capacity and equity projects is an application-driven process that supports First Nations communities with the development of clean-energy projects and the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions. The funding program will accept applications for the next intake until Jan. 31, 2017. The program accepts applications in January and May. This year, the BC government has funded nine capacity projects and three equity projects. The approved capacity projects range from identifying potential cleanenergy projects within a First Nation’s traditional territory to conducting feasibility studies of a project in development. The three equity projects will help the remote communities of Kwadacha, Dease Lake and Xeni Gwet’in to reduce or end their reliance on greenhouse-gas-emitting energy sources.

NEWS UPDATE PRINCE RUPERT Headline: 4 Local Companies Receive Funding for Exterior Improvements Four Prince Rupert businesses received funding for façade improvement in 2016, improving the visual landscape of Prince Rupert’s downtown and stimulating potential future investment. The City applied for funding through Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) in order to finance the program, which was administered through the Prince Rupert and Port Edward Economic Development Office. The Business Façade Improvement Program is designed to assist property and business owners with rehabilitating the commercial façades of their properties for the purpose of creating a positive visual impact, stimulating private investment, and complementing other community revitalization efforts. The program provides grants to property and business owners to renovate restore or redesign retail and commercial building facades and storefronts located in either the Downtown or Cow Bay Development Permit Areas. The four businesses who received funds were Eddies News, Seasport Marine, e’Klektic Trading, and Mckenzie Furniture.

TUMBLER NORTHERN BC RIDGE TELUS Makes $1M Investment in Wireless Service

Restart of Wolverine Mine Adds 220 Jobs in Peace Region

As part of a strategic partnership with the Province, TELUS has invested $1 million to build a new wireless site along Highway 29, bringing wireless service to approximately 23 kilometers of Highway 29 between Hudson’s Hope and the Highway 97 Junction. The site went live in late December, and also provides coverage to the community of Moberly Lake. The project is part of the Connecting British Columbia Agreement TELUS signed with the Province of B.C. in 2011. Under the terms of the agreement TELUS invested to connect more than 1,700 kilometers of unconnected highways with wireless service by the end of 2016. With the completion of this site, the Cellular Highway Expansion Program which brought new wireless service to previously unconnected highways across the province is now complete. This April, TELUS announced a commitment to invest $4.5 billion in British Columbia through 2019 to extend fibre optic infrastructure directly to thousands of homes and businesses in rural and urban communities, further strengthen wireless service, and support key services including healthcare and education with new technologies. By the end of 2019 TELUS will have invested more than $51 billion in British Columbia since 2000.

Three months after reopening the Brule Mine, Conuma Coal Resources Ltd. (Conuma Coal) has started hiring ahead of its planned Jan. 2, 2017, restart of the Wolverine Mine near Tumbler Ridge. The Wolverine Mine, located approximately 15 kilometres west of Tumbler Ridge, was purchased earlier this year from Walter Canada, along with the nearby Brule and Willow Creek coal mines, by Conuma Coal. Conuma Coal already has started the hiring process to fill 220 jobs at the Wolverine mine site and is taking steps to transition the mine from care and maintenance back to production. Conuma Coal plans to have the mine fully staffed and operating at full production levels by April 1, 2017. The company estimates it will produce 1.5 million tonnes of metallurgical coal annually from the Wolverine Mine. Prior to authorizing the restart of the Wolverine Mine, the Province consulted with potentially affected First Nations on the transfer of permits between Walter Energy and Conuma Coal. The Province has regional coal agreements in place with the West Moberly, Saulteau and Halfway River First Nations. Sta ff w ith the M i n istry of Energy and Mines are also reviewing Conuma Coal’s proposal to possibly restart production at

the Willow Creek Mine in July 2017. Timing for the restart of the Willow Creek Mine is dependent upon Conuma Coal’s ability to complete the necessary work to satisfy all its permit requirements, as well as its internal planning work and decisions to proceed with the future operations expansion. With all three mines (i.e., Brule, Wolverine and Willow Creek) in operation in summer 2017, Conuma Coal expects to have 660 employees in total and to generate the following annual economic spinoffs: Paying more than $60 million in wages; Spending $150 million on transportation in B.C. (e.g., trucking, rail, port); and Buying $60 million in parts and services from more than 250 BC companies.

DAWSON CREEK City Appoints New CAO Dawson Creek City Council has recently announced that Duncan Redfearn has been appointed the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the City of Dawson Creek effective January 1, 2017. The position was filled from within the organization. “I am extremely excited about this opportunity and look forward to continuing to serve Council, the organization and the citizens in this new role,” he says. Mr. Redfearn has been with the City of Dawson Creek since February, 2008 and his most recent position was the Director of Community Services. “We are excited with this transition in our organization,” says Mayor Dale Bumstead. “As we welcome our new CAO, Duncan Redfearn and wish the very best to our retiring CAO, Jim Chute.” Mr. Chute will be remaining with the City in a Senior Advisor role until June 30, 2018. This will significantly help with the transfer of the City’s historical knowledge that he has acquired over his long career with the City. “It has been an honour and privilege to serve Mayor and Council and the citizens of Dawson Creek for the past 37 years,” says Chute. “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to do such energizing and rewarding work.”

FORT ST. JOHN Site C Progressing on Schedule and on Budget BC Hydro has submitted a copy of its Site C Annual Progress Report to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC). The first annual report on Site C construction provides information on construction progress for the period July 2015 to September 2016. Key highlights of the annual

JANUARY 2017

report include: Construction of the Site C project is on track for both schedule and budget. Project expenditures totalled $1.3 billion, as of Sept. 30, 2016. Key accomplishments during the first year of Site C construction included: The 329-metre Peace River Construction Bridge was completed on time and on budget in March. The 1,600-person worker accommodation lodge was completed on time and on budget in August 2016. Construction of the lodge was done with an exemplary safety record, with almost 1.4 million hours of work without a single lost-time injury. Significant site preparation work took place at the dam site, including clearing 900 hectares of land and excavating 2.5 million cubic metres of material. Public road improvements to 240 Road and 269 Road reached substantial completion in fall 2016. Main civil works contractor Peace River Hydro Partners mobilized to the dam site in March 2016 and started physical work in early June. Site C employment increased from 392 workers in August 2015 to 1,750 workers in September 2016. Workers from British Columbia made up 80 per cent of the total workforce in September 2016. The project received dozens of key permits and authorizations during its first year. This included federal authorizations for the construction and operation of the dam and reservoir under the Navigation Protection Act and Fisheries Act, and the provincial Water Licence for construction and operation and multiple Leaves to Commence Construction for the project. BC Hydro reached several agreements with communities and First Nations during the year. This included reaching a Community Measures Agreement with the City of Fort St. John. BC Hydro reached agreements, or terms for agreements, with a number of Aboriginal groups, including Dene Tha’ First Nation and McLeod Lake Indian Band. BC Hydro awarded four major contracts within the budget established for each contract, including North Bank Site Preparation, Worker Accommodation, Main Civil Works and Turbines & Generators. BC Hydro commissioned an independent review of Site C processes and practices by Ernst & Young/BTY Group. The review found that the Site C project is clearly defined and well-planned, and has the appropriate processes and risk mitigation in place to meet major project milestones and financial targets. The timing of Site C construction has reduced risks to the project during its first year. The project is being financed at historically low interest rates, low commodity prices are helping to keep the costs of materials down, and

there are skilled workers available due to a slowdown in the natural resource sector. The project has also benefited from robust market participation in its competitive procurement processes. BC Hydro provides the BCUC with a copy of its quarterly and annual reports on project progress, accomplishments, risks and costs.

CANADA Small Business Owners Optimistic Going Into New Year The end of the year saw small business optimism make modest, but broad based, improvement across the country. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s Business Barometer Index climbed to 60.7 in December, up a bit from November’s 59.4. The index improved or held steady in 9 of 10 provinces. British Columbia business owner are the most optimistic, with an index level of 69.5, followed by those in Manitoba (66.7), Quebec (65.8) and Nova Scotia (64.9). Only half a step behind are business owners in Ontario (64.2), Prince Edward Island (63.2) and New Brunswick (60.4). Optimism in A lberta (43.4), Saskatchewan (54.0) and Newfoundland & Labrador (47.7) continues to lag, but improvements there are still notable over November results. On a scale between 0 and 100, an index above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. One normally sees an index level of between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential. There is less consistency in industry results this month. Big improvements in optimism in the resources and construction sectors are offset by declines in retail and information sector expectations. A number of other positive signs emerged from this month’s survey. Forty-one per cent of owners say their businesses are in good shape—a 13-month high—and, 54 per cent expect to spend on capital goods in the next few months. Order books are looking better and pricing plans are climbing back to near the plus-two-percent mark. There is still some caution in business owners’ expectations, however, because short-term employment plans remain weak— even after taking seasonality into account. Only 13 per cent expect to hire full-timers in the next few months, versus 16 per cent who expect to cut numbers. December 2016 findings are based on 576 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlledaccess web survey. Data reflect responses received through December 15. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 4.1 per cent 19 times in 20.


JANUARY 2017

BC Province Makes Red Tape Reduction a Priority Anyone who has waited on hold for hours while trying to navigate a phone tree or had to fill out pages upon pages of forms knows about red tape. Most people have dealt with this type of frustration, and there are countless stories of how difficult it can be to access information or register for a government service. The Province is taking action to cut red tape and improve operational efficiency in the daily lives of British Columbians by doing things like: Simplifying the application for hunting and fishing licences by moving the process online; Allowing more types of businesses to apply for a liquor licence, opening up the possibility for new revenue streams and diversified services; Improving food labelling and repealing 194 regulations to make those regulations easier to understand; Launching an online adoption portal, which will help find forever homes for more foster children by eliminating burdensome paperwork and bringing all aspects of the adoption process online; and Improving the way people can find information about land usage and moorages in BC by bringing

NEWS UPDATE / QUESNEL the information online using a simple, user-friendly website. During 2016’s Red Tape Reduction Day, the Province launched a suggestion button on the front page of the Province’s website so that anyone can submit their idea about how to cut red tape.  Every idea is reviewed and looked at closely to determine whether that input can be turned into action. In addition, every idea submitter receives a summary about how their idea has been assessed, and anyone can track the general status of their suggestion using the ideas tracker. The Province has received over 450 ideas from British Columbians following the 2015 public engagement and via the submission budget, and is already committed to turning over 150 of those ideas into reality. Also in 2016, the Province committed to extending its ‘net-zero’ policy to 2019. ‘Net-zero’ is removing a regulatory requirement when one is added. The Province introduced the net zero increase commitment in 2004 to help keep B.C.’s regulatory burden low. Since 2001, the Province has reduced the regulatory burden for citizens and small businesses by 47% and completed hundreds of streamlining initiatives to reduce red tape. Keeping the regulatory count low makes B.C.’s regulatory environment simpler to navigate and puts a focus on making new laws that are streamlined and easy to understand.

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QUESNEL 2016 – WHAT LIES AHEAD?

QUESNEL SIMON TURNER

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nevitably, the dawning of a New Year results in an assessment of the year past and the year ahead. Personally, 2017 will see me slide into semi-retirement as Chamber Manager Amber Gregg returns from maternity leave. Please take the opportunity to reconnect with Amber from February 1st. For Quesnel, the word “transformation” comes to mind when thinking of 2017. Top of t he l i st w i l l b e t he completion of the North Cariboo Arena Replacement Project, otherwise known as the West Fraser Centre. Scheduled to open in September 2017, the $20.6 million project is reportedly on budget and on schedule, and should transform the physical landscape of its location

as well as the on-ice and off-ice experience for everyone. Of course, it is not all about the ice users, but a contemporary facility has local hockey fans hoping for the return of the BCHL and bringing to the city up-and-coming talent who were previously more attracted to communities with more modern facilities. Better talent means more wins; more wins means more bums on seats. Just ask the Canucks. The prospect of a new arena also has the community thinking of the possibilities of concerts and conventions, of bringing more people to the city. For instance, the local Rotary club is already starting to think of hosting a larger Craft Beer Festival – the 2017 event sold out its 300 tickets in a couple of days, so how about a two-day event with more brews to sample? Such are the possibilities… A few blocks away, the plans for Quesnel’s Downtown are worth keeping an eye on. A currently unused building will be transformed into use as a public accessible bathroom; traffic flows and street parking are also under review; perhaps we will see some pedestrianization. And don’t forget you can recharge your electric car at the Billy Barker CasinoHotel charge station.

Head a couple of blocks north and Quesnel Lions Seniors Housing Society hopes to be breaking ground in the spring on a 30-unit affordable rental housing facility. With proximity to GR Baker Memorial Hospital and other local healthcare, as well as to downtown, the Lions have the ideal location for their ambitious project and the funding is falling into place to make it a reality. Long before those physical transformations take place, however, the City of Quesnel will have launched its new branding – in January in fact. There is a lot riding on this initiative to transform Quesnel’s image. Those who have residential or business addresses containing the word “Quesnel” are rightly tired of that annual ranking by that annual survey which places Quesnel in the bottom-whatever of places to live and work. It’s in our nature to feel otherwise, and I plan to share the details in next month’s Examiner. For now, I will simply wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year. Simon Turner is Acting Manager for Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce while Amber Gregg is on maternity leave. He can be reached at qchamber@quesnelbc.com.

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PRINCE GEORGE

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IN 2017, MAKE YOURSELF A PRIORITY

PRINCE GEORGE CHRISTIE RAY

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ollow ing the holiday break, the team at the Prince George Chamber of Commerce is getting back into the routine of work and family. B ut w it h t he d em a nd s of both, it’s easy to follow old habits. The New Year is the perfect time to take a step back, and look at the bigger picture. In 2017, what do you really want? W hat will be the title of this ‘chapter’ in your life story? This year, I want to live with less stress. It’s important that I maintain t he fa st pace a nd h ig h demands of leading the Ch a mber, wh i le at t he sa me t i me, h av i ng t he

energ y to b e t here for my family. From talking to friends and peers, it’s clear I’m not the only one trying to maintain work/ life balance! It’s easy to feel overwhel med at the mere thought of setting goals. But, the rewards can be well worth the effort. A massive task seems easier, when you have a team to support you, every step of the way. At the Cha mber, I a m proud to work alongside other dedicated working moms. We understand the many pressures of the job! That’s why we are as flexible as possible; we want to give each other the best chance for success in all aspects of life. In fact, part of the Chamber’s mission is to “Drive positive change in our community.” That’s why we have decided to s p o n s o r ‘ Ig n ite 2 017.’ January 14, this conference will bring together an array of experts, including counselors, life coaches, spiritual teachers and financial advisors. Together, they want to help you set yourself up

for success. They’ll teach yo u w h e n to s a y ‘ y e s’ (and when to say ‘no!’). Workshops will help you set tangible, measureable goals, and build momentum all year long. Ignite is also a perfect opportunity to meet other go-getters like you! Make yourself a priority, by setting aside one day to lead yourself down the path to success. If you will be in Prince George Saturday, January 14, we would love to see you there! For more i n formation on Ignite 2017, visit the events page on our website: pgchamber.bc.ca, or call us at 250.562.2454. To register, please visit: www.thebestlifenetwork. com/ignite-2017. Christie Ray is the CEO of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at christie.ray@ pgchamber.bc.ca.

JANUARY 2017

2017 – MAKING HR PRACTICES YOUR RESOLUTION

HR CHRISTINE WILLOW

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ome of us make New Year’s resolutions for ourselves each year, and with that in mind, it is also a good time to reflect on some HR practices that may affect your business in 2017. Our employees are the driving force of our success and while the past couple of yea rs h ave g iven u s some reprieve from labour shortages, demographics (aging workforce) and the current low unemployment rate are quickly changing that aga i n. I n 2017, we will see an increased demand in all industries for future leaders to help us drive our companies. A survey of HR professionals by SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) named “developing the next generation of organizational leaders” as the top future human resources challenge. One resolution to consider for the coming year cou ld be to rev iew a nd

invest in your training and mentoring programs & pract ices to develop leaders from within. You already know the strengths they bring to the job, so help them stay with you a nd develop t he sk i l l s needed to move to the next position. This leads to resolution number two; reducing your employee turnover. High employee turnover in your organization is costly to the bottom line. Some estimates and research show that it can be as high as 38 per cent of annual salary. When an employee leaves it means lost knowledge, lost productivity, recruitment costs, training costs and those all add up. Yo u c a n n o t p r e v e n t everyone from leaving, but you can ensure that it is not because of your HR practices. Reasons employees leave include lack of training, no growth opportunities, ineffective leadership and poor communications. If your HR practices strive to improve any of those considerations, you will see a n i mprovement i n your turnover rate. T h i rd ly, t a ke a more proa c t ive approa ch to employee wellness. Wellbeing has a direct impact on overall employee engagement and performance. When we don’t feel

our best, either due to general health issues, stress or external concerns, none of us perform at our peak. Wellness programs continue to grow in popularity and importance, taking the discussions on work life balance to actionable steps for your employees. One of the challenges with workplace wellness programs is understanding what “wellness” actually means. Well- being is individualized and can mean physical, mental and/or social wellness. Any programs that you develop or implement need to consider all three of those components. While it seems that establishing a corporate wellness program may be too time consuming or costly, the benefits to your bottom line are tangible. Your employees will become more engaged, productive and in many cases, you will see a reduction in sick time and absenteeism. So, for 2017, make your employees you r focus, become an employer of choice and while doing so improve your bottom line. Wishing you a successful 2017! Christine is with Chemistry Consulting and can be reached at c.willow@ chemistryconsulting.ca

ARE WE TRYING TOO HARD?

CUSTOMER SERVICE The average employee TURNOVER RATE is

49%

For employees with an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder, it’s only

7% Inclusive Hiring Works www.readywillingable.ca

LUCY GLENNON

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s t u d y p u bl i s h e d i n the Ha rva rd Busi ness Rev iew asked the question: Why are we trying to delivery s p e c t a c u l a r c u s to m e r service? They surveyed 10,000 busi nesses a nd a s k e d a b o u t t h e i r e xpectations around deliverables in customer care. The results were rather surprising. W hat business people responded with was not the over the top, amazing service experiences. I n s te a d t h e y s p o k e o f

having their problems resolved quickly, efficiently, by people who knew what they were doing and had the power to resolve. It was as simple as that. In other words … “just fix my problem!” Sometimes in striving to s t a n d o u t f ro m t h e competition, we forget the basics. We can start by hiring the right people for the job; people who are well suited to dealing with customers, who are patient, methodical and great questioners and listeners. Next we can give them a methodology and train them in how to quickly and efficiently take the c u s tom er t h ro u g h t h e resolution process. We can give them the product knowledge they need to craft the right questions to get them to the right issue. We can train them i n t he sk i l l s t hey need

to ensure clear, concise communications. Many of the problems frontline people encounter are based in miscommunication. Finally we can empower them with the ability to make a decision for the customer – right or wrong; they have the authority to resolve. Perhaps what the survey shows is that if you have go o d , g a r d e n-v a r i e t y common sense customer service, we’ll be differentiating ourselves from ou r comp et it ion. T h i s m ay b e a s tatement of just how poor customer service is perceived to be right now. Have you got your basics covered? Lucy Glennon specializes in customer service training and recruitment and hiring. She can be reached at 866-6452047 or lucyg@hireguru.com. www.hireguru.ca.


PRINCE GEORGE

JANUARY 2017

5

Prince George To Host International Skiing Championships 2019 World Para-Nordic Skiing Championships To Take Place At Otway BY DAVID HOLMES

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RINCE GEORGE – Already in the national sports spotlight for having successfully hosted the 2015 Canada Winter Games, the City of Prince George is now preparing itself to play a leading international role. It was recently announced that Prince George and its nearby Otway Nordic Ski Centre will be welcoming athletes from around the world when it serves as the venue for the 2019 World Para-Nordic Skiing Championships. “There will be no need for additional construction to accommodate athletes as the facilities we currently have in place at Otway will do the job. I think one of the reasons Otway was chosen was because of the extensive amount of work that was done on that course for the Canada Winter Games,� explained Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall. To be held during February 2019 the World Para-Nordic Skiing Championships are expected to bring approximately 140 athletes to the city, representing more than 20 countries from around the world. Biathlon and cross-country skiing will be among the featured events at the championships. While far smaller than the challenges of hosting the Canada Winter Games, which drew more than 3,300 athletes from across the country, the Para-Nordic event will be an exceptional opportunity to showcase the city of 72,000 to a global audience. The Prince George championship is part of a series of international events being staged for Paralympian athletes. “Less than a year after the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics Winter Games (in South Korea), the 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Prince George will be a fantastic opportunity to expose Canadians to world class competition. Fans can expect to see many established stars from PyeongChang, as well as new athletes with great potential, competing in Prince George in 2019,� Karen O’Neill, CEO of the Canadian Paralympic Committee explained in a recent media announcement. For Hall having world class facilities already in place was a major deciding factor when it came to selecting the city for the championships. “A number of venues including Otway were extensively upgraded for the Canada Winter Games, so now we’re seeing this sporting facility’s legacy really benefiting the community,� he said. Ideally suited for major winter sporting

They were celebrating at the Otway Nordic Ski Centre when the championship was first announced

“I think the real value of something like this is that it showcases not only Otway but the community as well.�

“In realty the number of actual athletes is only part of the story. You never know how many family members will also be attending, as well as coaches, the media and sports fans. They’re also going to be

looking for things to do which benefits everyone.� To learn more please visit the City of Prince George’s website at: www.princegeorge.ca

LYNN HALL MAYOR, CITY OF PRINCE GEORGE

events, the Otway Nordic Centre features 55 km of ski trails, a world-class biathlon range as well as all manner of on-site technical facilities. Not a one season facility, when the snows are gone the same trails are equally attractive to hikers, mountain bikers and many others, serving as a yearround resource for locals and visitors alike. “I think the real value of something like this is that it showcases not only Otway but the community as well. It’s another step in the effort we’ve made to put Prince George on the map. I’m sure our other amenities in the city will be used as well, our pools for example, the local hotels and restaurants, the airport and more. The whole city will benefit from having staged this championship,� Hall said.

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OFF THE COVER

6

JANUARY 2017

Moore Wilson Architects have planned a redesign that will capitalize on the Airport’s jaw-dropping mountain views

SMITHERS TOWN COUNCIL CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

options, Town Council approved the one that best satisfied the Project’s objectives. The Project seeks to upgrade the terminal’s capacity, efficiency, and aesthetics, bringing the Airport up to contemporary world-class standards. It outlines diverse improvements, from expanding terminal capacity to a design approach that capitalizes on the proximity of outstanding mountain views. Even as the modernized Airport gains the capacity to serve more travelers, its design will allow it to reduce energy costs. A highefficiency, high-performance building envelope, geo exchange system, a nd LED l ighti ng is projected to reduce energy use

by 34 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 48 percent. For t u n ately for Sm it hers’ property owners and travelers, the Project does not currently require an increase in property taxes or higher airport improvement fees. Project funding is set to include monies from debt financing from the Airport’s Capital Infrastructure Reserve, and other grants. Additionally, the project is one of the fifty-seven projects being funded through the Strategic Priorities Fund under the Federal Gas Tax Fund for 2016.  With the Project’s design and budget approved, Moore Wilson is set to proceed. The Project’s timeline estimates that by the end of 2016 designs will be complete, and construction will begin in May/June 2017. smithers.ca

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7

JANUARY 2017

Company founder wants to improve highway safety Stallion Tire Management Solution Designed For Commercial Users “We want the public to be aware of this problem, and that we have a proven solution.”

Y

ou could say that Noorez Devraj the CEO/Founder of Lyna Manufacturing Incorporated is on a mission. Not only is he wanting to make the world an environmentally better place, he also wants to make the highways of the planet safer for both commercial and passenger traffic. Lyna Manufacturing Incorporated is the developer of the Stallion Tire Management Solution (STMS), a gel that is used to coat the interior of commercial tires to prevent overheating, punctures and catastrophic blow outs. “The generic name for a product like this would be a tire sealant, but in reality it does a lot more than what a more conventional tire sealant would do,” Devraj explained. “This project started in 1997 as a technology that was developed from the ground-up. It all began when I was trying to sell an existing tire sealant that fell short of what I wanted it to achieve, so I undertook the process of developing a product that satisfied the criteria I needed to reach.” A trained Chemical Engineer, Devraj received grants from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to help kick start the research and development of what would become the Stallion Tire

NOOREZ DEVRAJ CEO/FOUNDER, LYNA MANUFACTURING INCORPORATED

The Stallion Tire Management Solution has been developed for the commercial trucking industry Management Solution. Working with the University of British Columbia (UBC) at BC Research he spent several years fine tuning the formula to achieve his industry leading results. “We were able to receive support from the National Research Council as this material is classified as a safety product. It stops tires from blowing out, which is especially critical with heavy commercial transport. When you see great chunks of rubber laying on the side of the road it’s because one of the 18-wheeler’s tires has peeled apart. The tires are essentially laminated like an onion. People mistakenly think this is due to using retreads

but the same thing can happen with a brand new tire,” he said. “Tires are porous and will naturally loose two to three PSI of air per month. “The biggest problem is the operators of the trucks run on under inflated tires. The under inflated tire heats up as the truck rolls along and that in turn leads to a blow-out, sometimes with tragic results.” The use of STMS (either placed in the tire before being mounted on the vehicle, or through the valve stem on a mounted tire) will inhibit punctures up to ½” in diameter, help to keep the tire run cooler and reduce blow out risk. Designed specifically for the demanding needs of commercial operators, the

Stallion Tire Management Solution can also be applied to a mounted tire through its valve stem Stallion Tire Management Solution can be used on all heavy equipment from transport trucks, to mine vehicles and even equipment such as graders and front end loaders. It’s estimated that there are more than 700,000 commercial trucks in Canada (and more than 15 million in the United States) so the need for this product is increasingly important. From his manufacturing facility Devraj produces product that is sold across North America, into South America and as far afield

as New Zealand and Greece. For the future he would like to see his product sold to an even wider aud ience, domestica l ly a nd internationally. “We wa nt the publ ic to be made aware of this problem, and that we have a proven, working solution. Then we will be seeing highways that are safer, and tires that last longer, so everyone wins,” he said. To learn more please visit the company’s website at: www.stallionmfg.com

Steel Buildings Adaptable To The Needs Of Any Client Heartland Steel Structures: Serving Northern Customers Since 1993 BY DAVID HOLMES

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RINCE GEORGE – There’s n o t h i n g c o o k i e c u t te r about the steel buildings designed and constructed by Heartland Steel Structures. Each is as distinctive as the clients they were built for. “T hat’s one of the big misunderstandings people have when t hey t a l k a b out s te el buildings. Internet marketing promotes the idea that there’s some catalog where you get to pick Model A or Model B. In reality each project is entirely a custom build, site specific as per building codes and tailored to the needs of the client,” explained Ken Kruger, the President and founder of Heartland Steel. “We work with the clients at all stages to ensure the job is done right. Each project is unique. The customer can have whatever they need in terms of size, shape, glazing, insulation, exterior color and just about everything else. There’s no one size fits all in the steel building business. We do a ton of building renovations and repairs as well.” Following a severe industrial accident in a different industry

“We work with the clients at all stages to ensure the job is done right.” KEN KRUGER PRESIDENT, HEARTLAND STEEL STRUCTURES

in the early 90’s, Kruger wanted to do things properly his way and returned back to the steel building industry. He had enough of working for others. “I’ve always had an interest in steel buildings, my first building install was on the ranch for my family when I was only 15,” he recalled. Founded in 1993 Heartland Steel Structures, and its team of designers and builders, have erected more than 350 buildings in Western Canada and all across Northern and Central British Columbia. During the past 26 years the company has designed and built everything from simple storage sheds and complex maintenance shops, to the largest of industrial structures for industry leaders such as Canfor and West Fraser. “Much of the work we do is for industrial clients such as

Heartland Steel has constructed many large commercial buildings such as the Prince George Home Hardware store forestr y a nd m i n i ng. We’ve designed and built everything from gymnasiums, to full blown office complexes of 100,000 squ a re feet a nd more. Steel structures are adaptive, energy efficient and can be configured to everything from a warehouse to an office building,” he said. Heartland Steel is currently working on a new 8,000 square foot administration headquarters and equipment maintenance building for itself in Prince George, a showcase of the company’s outstanding work that is scheduled for completion next summer. “It’s important that our office show the best of what

we can do so I’m very excited about this new building.” Steel buildings can be and have been used for a wide variety of applications, from shops and warehouses, to aircraft hangers, office structures and even retail outlets. Kruger says one of the most requested assignments from his industrial clients is for truck shops and other repair applications. “Steel buildings are ideal for truck shops as the ceilings can be as high as needed to accommodate bridge cranes, and the i n su l at ion ca n be wh atever t he c u s tomer re q u i re s. It’s a very adaptive approach to

construction,” he said. With no plans to expand his operations to a second location, Kruger says for the future he and his team intend to continue to provide the region with custom built projects, professionally constructed using only the finest materials from his Canadian manufacturer. “It comes down to providing the service and the attention the customer needs to ensure they get the project that serves them best. That’s how it’s been since the beginning,” he said. To learn more please visit the company’s website at: www. heartlandsteelstructures.ca


8

JANUARY 2017

PRINTING Technology Has Revolutionized The Printing Industry Modern Print Shops Offer More Products/Services Than Ever Before

Thanks to new printing technologies full color printing can be produced faster and more economically BY DAVID HOLMES

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ew i ndustries have felt the i mpact (a nd potential threat) of technology more than the print and signage industries. Once the mighty web press (staffed by gangs of skilled technicians) ground out miles of newsprint to satisfy t he needs of a news hu ng r y public. Today the curious scour the Internet for the latest information, while digital printing technologies can turn any office into the producer of full color brochures and f lyers at the push of a button. B ut wh i l e te ch nolog y h a s dramatically altered what and how printed communication is made, for the tech savvy and the entrepreneurially minded print shop owners, the digital revolution has also opened up product and audience potentials that were undreamed of even a few decades ago. “Print is certainly not dead, in fact in many ways the new technologies have opened up

In earlier years the printing business was a labor intensive, noisy and sometimes dangerous business


PRINTING

JANUARY 2017

Working at the speed of business, the modern printing industry is geared up to service 21 st Century business

Kris Bovay is the interim Executive Director of the British Columbia Printing & Imaging Association

“Today’s print shop owner has to be more A cornerstone of the traditional commercial printing industry has always been the production of newspapers many new opportunities for the industry,” explained Kris Bovay, the interim Executive Director of the British Columbia Printing & Imaging Association (BCPIA), a professional organization created to support and lobby on behalf of the province’s print industry. “The industry has certainly evolved from being pure ink on paper to so many different things. Printers today are doing wide format printing, signage, digital marketing, creating direct mail campaigns as well as producing the materials used in the campaigns. Printing has become a much more integrated approach to communications. Print is certainly different but it’s far from dead.” The print industry has dramatica l ly cha nged i n recent years, with a general shrinking

of the sector all across Canada. Federa l G overn ment statistics show that in 2004 there were more than 66,000 people directly employed in the industry. By 2012 that total had shrunk to about 48,000, with only about 35,000 workers directly involved in the printing process itself. The remaining workers were occupied w ith sa les a nd other ad m i n istrative duties. The Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) is the Toronto-based national umbrella group that has been promoting the industry since 1939. Recent information released by the CPIA indicates the printing industry involves nearly 5,900 businesses across Canada, with the printing industry responsible for creating just over five percent of all manufacturing in

the country. The Association’s outgoing Chair Sandy Stephens acknowledges the industry has found itself in a state of flux in recent years. “There certainly have been some membership declines in our association and i n other reg iona l g roups. I n some cases entire groups have ceased to function as membership goes down and the member companies become less interested,” he said. But as with Bovay, he believes the emergence of new digital tech nolog ies, wh i le h av i ng dramatically changed the industry have also helped to push it into new directions. “Definitely technology has had a huge impact on the industry wherever you are in the country. But there’s always going to be a need for printing. If you’re located in a small community

entrepreneurial and have a wider knowledge than ever before.” KRIS BOVAY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BC PRINTING & IMAGING ASSOCIATION

9 there’s a lways goi ng to be a pr i nter lo c ate d somewhere who is there to service that local market. Print is far from dead but it has to embrace the changes and find new products to remain viable,” he said. So is a career in the printing industry a realistic employment path for a young person? For Bovay, who is also Chair of the Graphics and Communications Technology Program Adv i sor y Com m ittee at t he British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), the answer is a resounding yes! “T he BCI T prog ra m has broadened, introducing new systems and technology as the industry itself has broadened, providing the sort of training that will seen its graduates find good, well paying jobs all across the province. I think the current stats show that something like 85 percent of the program’s grads finds employment upon graduation,” she said. One industry trend points to the importance of a print shop identifying additional services or products it can offer its existing and future clients. In essence, while there may be fewer physical print shops in Canada today than a decade ago, the operations that do exist offer a more expansive range of items for sale. “I think that’s a fair assessment. Today’s print shop owner has to be more entrepreneu ria l a nd have a w ider knowledge than ever before to survive,” Bovay said. “T hey h ave to u ndersta nd more t h a n papers a nd i n ks. They have to understand new technologies, new marketing methods a nd genera l ly have a much better grasp of what the cl ient rea l ly wa nts. Being able to match those things keeps the print shop viable and prosperous.” Stephens also believes the future for the industry remains positive, even if it is different. “As a business owner I like to think I can still employ people and keep them busy. It’s certainly an ever changing market, but from an industry level we still view print and signage as viable, effective and valuable communications media,” he said. “ It’s c er t a i n ly somet h i n g that’s not goi ng to go away, especia l ly i n terms of packaging for retail and that sort of thing. From a business stand point printers have to be willing to reinvent themselves as technological change happens, perhaps a lot more frequently than they have in the past. It’s clear the entire industry is becoming more and more digital but it’s not all about how fast the printer can go but how best can we partner with our clients to provide them with what they need in the most cost effective way.” To learn more about the industry check out www.cpia-aci. ca/en/ and ww.bcpia.org.


10

DAWSON CREEK

JANUARY 2017

Dawson Creek’s Encana Events Centre Announces Management Extension The facility will continue to be managed for the next 11 years by Spectra by Comcast Spectacor

Def Leppard plays to a packed out Encana Events Centre crowd

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AWSON CREEK—The City of Dawson Creek has announced that its Encana Events Centre will continue to be managed by Spectra by Comcast Spectacor for the next 11 years. The extended management services agreement provides for Spectra’s three divisions—Ticketing and Fan Engagement, Food Services and Hospitality, and Venue Management—to continue serving the Centre until at least December 31, 2027. “With the renewed contract, Spectra will continue to work with the City of Dawson Creek to provide venue management services to the Centre with a new approach to community access and opportunities,” says Ryan MacIvor, Encana Centre General Manager. “This blended approach will continue to see the trend of Dawson Creek being the ‘Entertainment capital of the North’.” The 11-year extension is nothing if not a vote of confidence from Dawson Creek’s City Council. Given the Encana Events Centre’s high performance over the last few years, that vote of confidence comes as no surprise. “Dawson Creek has proved that it is a market that sells tickets and puts on great events, from concerts to conferences to motorsports,” says MacIvor. “We have worked very hard over the last

Florida Georgia Line poses with Encana staff: (L-R) Ryan MacIvor, General Manager, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line, Lara Anderson, Events Manager and Lea Horsman, Events Manager

“I continue to be wowed by Spectra’s management team at each event that is hosted at the Encana Events Centre and the high caliber of artists and entertainment we are able to see right here in Dawson Creek.” DALE BUMSTEAD DAWSON CREEK MAYOR

8 years to see that the Encana Events Centre is truly an events centre that provides entertainment, all the time.”

Pollstar Magazine, the only trade publication covering the worldwide concert industry, placed Encana Events Centre #196 in its

Canada takes top prize at an Under 17 Hockey championship game at the Encana Events Centre 2016 list of Top 200 Arena Venues worldwide. The honour is linked with ticket sales, which have been considerable, with top talent like Disturbed, Megadeth, Heart and Joan Jett, Jeff Dunham, ZZ Top, and Theresa Caputo gracing Encana’s stage in 2016. “With great partners ranging from Invictus Entertainment Group, Live Nation, Paul Merc Concerts and Mascioli Entertainment,” says MacIvor, “we have welcomed incredible artists.” Encana Events Centre opened

in Spring 2008 as a world-class multi-events centre with 4,500 permanent seats, and 27 VIP Luxury Suites. Soon, the venue became the premier entertainment for the Peace Region in both Alberta and British Columbia. Understandably, MacIvor feels positive when he considers the future: “With our customer service focused approach, we have shown the industry that we are a market that can’t be missed when touring.” dawsoncreekeventscentre.com


SALES

JANUARY 2017

11

HAVING TROUBLE WITH YOUR CLOSING NUMBERS? TRY “STRIPPING LINE”

SALES JOHN GLENNON

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elody was feeling unmotivated. Carlos, her sales manager, was pressuring her once again to improve her closing ratio … but as usual, he wasn’t giving her much guidance on how she should go about accomplishing this goal. Yes–her numbers were bad. Melody knew that. But after three months on the job, she was tired of being lectured about the numbers and didn’t feel supported in her efforts to turn things around. In fact, she wasn’t even sure she wanted to continue in sales. Over lunch, Melody shared her frustration with her colleague Nancy–who asked some questions about how Melody’s conversations with prospects were going. After Melody debriefed on her last few meetings, Nancy told Melody about a technique called “stripping line.” “Stripping line” is a trick familiar

to experienced anglers. Novice fishermen, when they feel a fish nibbling on their bait, try to set the hook by yanking the line. They usually end up with an empty hook— no fish—because the fish was only nibbling; it hadn’t swallowed the bait. That strategy is analogous to attempting to close a prospect at the first sign of interest or enthusiasm. Experienced fishermen know that they will have a better chance of hooking the fish if they do the opposite of what their first instinct tells them to do. What do they do? They strip some line from the reel and create some slack. The fish then pulls the bait deeper in the water and, feeling more secure, swallows it—and the hook. Then, setting the hook is easy. It only takes a slight tug on the line. There is an important lesson for salespeople here. Pushing against prospects just makes them push back harder, so that no one makes any progress. So instead of pushing them in the direction you want them to go, try pulling them away from it and then letting go. Like a pendulum, they will swing back the other way. Since you always want your prospects to move toward the positive end of the arc, you should get into the habit of pulling them toward the negative end– regardless of how uncomfortable that may feel at first. Believe it or not, even positive prospects need to be “discouraged” a bit so that they

swing back in the positive direction. Thanks to Nancy’s advice, the dynamic of Melody’s conversations with prospects began to change. For instance, here’s how she handled the beginning of a meeting with a positive prospect: Prospect: I’m glad that we could get together. Joe told me a number of good things about you and your company. I’m sure you can help us get this project off the ground. I’m eager to hear what you can do for us. Melody (gently pulling the prospect toward the negative): I appreciate your enthusiasm. What we did for Joe’s company, however, may be very different from what you need. (And then letting go.) What, exactly, did Joe tell you that leads you to believe we would be such a good fit? Prospect (swinging back in the positive direction): Joe told me how you immediately engaged his engineering team in the assessment process. That’s exactly what we are looking for. Example with a negative prospect: Prospect: I appreciate you taking the time to contact me. Joe told me some interesting things about your company, but to tell the truth, I’m completely happy with our in-house engineering team. They’re quite capable. Melody (pulling the prospect more negative): I understand. It probably doesn’t make any sense, then, to find out if we can cut your project implementation time by 22 percent

as we did for Joe’s company. Prospect (beginning to move in the positive direction): Do you think you can do that? Melody (maintaining the negative position): I’m not sure. I can’t determine that until we have a conversation…assuming that you’re willing to do that. Prospect (moving in the positive direction): Well then, I suppose we should schedule a time to do that. Conversation with a neutral prospect: Prospect: I’m glad you could come in today. As you know, we’ve been thinking about upgrading our equipment for some time now. Your information looks quite interesting. I’ve looked at a lot of literature, and your equipment stacks up very well against your competition. I think we may be able to do business. Melody (pulling the prospect toward the negative): I appreciate you telling me that. Frankly, I had come to the conclusion that we’d never have an opportunity to work together. I found that companies that are continually reading literature and comparing specs rarely get around to actually making a decision. I figured that’s what was happening here. Prospect (moving off the neutral position): Well, I suppose we have been dragging this out for a bit. But, that doesn’t mean we’re not serious about moving ahead with the project. It just means that we wanted to

have all of our ducks in a row before we proceeded. Did you notice how the neutral prospect began moving in the positive direction as a result of Melody’s comments? He acknowledged “dragging out” the process. He pushed back on Melody’s (negative) conclusion. He explained the reason for the actions. The objective with neutral prospects is to just get them moving. Once they are moving, you can apply the appropriate strategy to keep them moving. For instance, Melody could gently tug in the negative direction with the following question: I understand. But, that’s not going to happen this quarter…or is it? Or, she could ask a neutral question like: By when do you suppose you’ll have your ducks lined up? As a result of “strip line” conversations like these, Melody’s closing numbers improved quickly. And so can yours! John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, an authorized Sandler Training Licensee. He can be reached at jglennon@sandler.com, toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit www. glennon.sandler.com. Copyright 2013 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

DON’T AGREE WITH A PROPERTY ASSESSMENT? IT CAN BE APPEALED

K

ELOWNA - Annual property assessment notice envelope will soon be appearing in mailboxes or via e-mail displaying 2017 property assessment values and classification. T h is yea r’s not ices a re especia l ly important and deserve close inspection, given the largest increases in assessment values in the past 35 years in most areas of the B.C. It is from this estimation of commercial or industrial property assessment values that local governments and the Province will determine how much overall property tax is due this year. The BC Assessment Authority is responsible in the annual valuation of over 2,000,000 properties in BC with less than 700 employees but it remains the property owner’s responsibility to rev iew a nd appea l thei r assessment values. And what if someone doesn’t agree with an assessment value or classification? Perhaps they believe it’s too high, or in some cases, too low. Can anything be done about it? Yes, but an appeal must be filed on or before January 31, 2017. There is no fee to file an appeal at this first level of review. Tim Down, President of PacWest Commercial Real Estate Advisors, specializing in annual property assessment and tax appeal consulting throughout British Columbia. “If an assessment is incorrect, the owner will be paying more property tax now and into the future, so they need to ensure that they have been assessed

fairly and consistently,” he notes. “Property taxpayers have a right to either the lower of the actual market value, or the equitable assessment value for their property,” he adds. “It should be no higher than a similar, competing property in their taxing jurisdiction. For example, a commercial property in a downtown location should not be assessed at a higher rate than a similar neighboring property. Down believes the significant property assessment i ncreases th is yea r will result in even larger inequitable increases for many property taxpayers if not carefully reviewed and challenged. Also, local governments are increasing property taxes to shore up funding for emerging social initiatives and strategies. These increases tend to place a higher burden of taxation on the nonresidential taxpayer. Classification will continue to be an issue for property taxpayers with the BC Assessment Authority taking aggressive valuation and taxation policy positions in the application of higher tax classifications for mixed use developments and agricultural lands. BC Assessment Authority continues t hei r t rend to a g g re ssively p u rs u e a sse ssment va lu at ion p ol icie s a nd property tax classification initiatives through legal challenges that will have long lasting impacts on all non-residential taxpayers. Best to stay informed and remain vigilant these days. Especially since Down points out that property taxes, after mortgage and lease costs, are the largest

annual operating expenses for property owners and once the appeal deadline has passed, property taxes cannot be appealed.

Property taxes go straight to the bottom line performance of all real estate assets. www.pacwestrealestate.ca

Property taxes too high? ✦ Is your 2017 Property Assessment value fair? ✦ Is your assessment value equitable? ✦ Is your property tax classification correct? ✦ Have you received all available property tax exemptions? ✦ Should you file an appeal?

Deadline for appeal is January 31, 2017 With over 28 years of property assessment appeal experience, PacWest Commercial Real Estate Advisors specializes in the annual Review and Appeal of property assessments, property tax minimization strategies as well as Property Transfer Tax appeals throughout British Columbia.

Proactive Service, Proven Results

Tim Down, AACI, P. App, CAE, RI Property Tax Services PacWest Commercial Real Estate Advisors E-mail: tim@pacwestrealestate.ca Web: www.pacwestrealestate.ca

250-864-9140


12

MOVERS & SHAKERS

JANUARY 2017

Terrace The Royal Canadian Legion in Terrace made a $10,000 donation to the Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation, which will go towards their goal of raising $100,000 to purchase new urology equipment. The Vanderhoof and District Co-Op also made a $10,000 donation toward the equipment. The Terrace Public Library has undergone a few renovations to improve safety features, including extension of a roof overhang to the west side of the building, additional lights for security purposes, and fixed windows along the north and west sides of the building. In 2016, the City of Terrace allotted $45,000 to cover improvements to the library. There is also potential for a covered walkway to be constructed for the remainder of the stairs, which, if approved, will cost $25,000. Misty River Books on 103-4710 Lazelle Avenue, has been in business in the community for 28 years. The BC Government has put forward an incentive to attract and retain social workers in 28 rural communities, including Terrace. The incentive offers yearly bonuses - $3,000 per year for less than two years of experience, and $6,000 for senior social workers. The agreement stands between the provincial government and the Service Employees Union. Comfort Inn and Suites on Highway 16, west of Canadian Tire, is nearly ready for occupancy, as construction has been finished and furniture and finishing touches are being put in place. The hotel, owned by Lloyd Kim, began construction in 2014. The Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce is searching for a new Executive Director, as former director, Erika Magnuson-Ford departs this month for Prince George. Magnuson-Ford assumed the position in the summer of 2015, following the retirement of former director, Carol Fielding. Terrace citizen, Ronald Anderson, has been honored with a Sovereign Medal for Volunteers, which recognizes his extensive contributions to the community by helping individuals through a local income tax program, chair of the Salmon Hatchery Society, founder of Eby Street Fish Hatchery, lifetime member of the Terrace Kinsmen, and member of the Terrace Power and Sail Squadron.

will begin early in 2017 on the facility that is expected to ship 1.2 million tonnes of propane annually, with construction costs at approximately $500 million. It is estimated that 250 construction jobs will be created, along with 40-50 permanent positions. AltaGas is still in negotiations with local First Nations communities near the project’s location.

the third quarter of this year.

North Coast First Nations were awarded a grant to help with the environmental assessment costs of the Aurora LNG project. North Coast is one of seven First Nations groups in BC who will receive a portion of $354,560 from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEA) to the provincial government. CEAA oversees a Participant Funding Program which helps non-profit organizations, First Nations, and individuals in cooperating with federal environmental assessments.

January 16th marks the beginning of the BC Government’s BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program through BC Housing. The initiative allows first time home buyers in BC to access up to $37,500 for their down payments on a home provided they have saved an equal sum.

The title of Deputy Minister’s Contractor of the Year Award of Excellence was awarded to Adventure Paving from the province of BC. The prestigious title was awarded for their work in paving Tuck Inlet Road to access Lax Kw’alaams. Petvalu on 2nd Avenue West celebrated their first anniversary in business on December 16th. The Fairview Container Terminal expansion project, which aims to add three additional cranes, a second berth, and broaden its’ capacity by 500,000 TEUs, has reached a 75 per cent completion target. Three Malacca-max dock gantry cranes are scheduled for installation in March of 2017, with project completion expected by

CityWest congratulates Chris Marett as he steps into his new role as CEO, taking over from former CEO Don Holkestad. Marett has worked with the company for the past five years, having begun with a three-month contract.

Williams Lake

Williams Lake’s Festival of Trees, hosted by Signal Point, saw another successful year in donations to several charities. Three winning trees were also announced out of the 13 entered in the contest, which featured: the Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association, the Williams Lake Blue Fins Swim Club, and the Williams Lake Lions Club. Gold Life Construction on behalf of Pioneer Family Lands Development, proposed a rezoning of land on Prosperity Way to allow construction of a new seniors’ complex to the Williams Lake City Council. The 70-bed long-term care facility project proposal would also need to approach the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for an initial consultation. Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus saw more than 30 awards worth 30-thousand dollars handed out.

Prince Rupert AltaGas Limited will move forward with construction on their Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal Project after completing a final investment decision. Construction

Above: Chris Marett, CEO, CityWest

The awards ceremony recognized students who are receiving monetary awards, and those that have economic and financial needs.

Prince George A local artist and two artscentered community organizations have received funding awards from the BC Arts Council, as part of a nearly $5 million investment into 400 artists and arts organizations in 57 municipalities throughout BC. Amber DownieBack received a $6,000 scholarship, the Prince George Folkfest Society was awarded $3,300 for Project Assistance – Music, and the Prince George and District Community Arts Council received $15,000 for Arts-Based Community Development. The Prince George Chamber of Commerce announced “Collaborations…Connecting Business to Campus,” a new initiative in partnership with College of New Caledonia (CNC) and University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) beginning in February 2017. The event provides an opportunity for businesses to partner with post-secondary institutions and glean from their expertise. The College of New Caledonia (CNC) Board has undergone several recent changes as Robert Doney has moved to assume the position of Acting Board Chair from his former position as Vice Chair. Doney will cover the position until a new Executive has been elected. The role was previously filled by Jason Fisher, whose board term ended on December 31 st ; Fisher chose not to seek another term and to discontinue his role as Chair, due to professional demands. The CBC Board of Governors also welcomes Gil Malfair of Malfair Law, for his first term. The provincial government has renewed a Wood Stove Exchange Program to continue improving air quality. The initiative provides a $250 rebate to those replacing an older model of wood burning, natural gas or pellet stoves with a new model. 600 stoves were exchanged last year through the initiative, and the government estimates over 500 tonnes of particulates have been removed from the province’s air-sheds under the program since 2008.

Graymont Quarry and Lime Plant has received an Environmental Assessment Certificate from the BC Government, which brings the project one more step closer. The certificate comes with 25 conditions set by the province, which Graymont will need to meet; the project will also require other federal and local government permits to continue. Located approximately 30 kilometres from Prince George, the project is estimated to run for a minimum of 50 years, and will begin by extracting up to 600,000 tonnes of limestone annually. Local resident, Tom Dielissen, was presented with a “Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers” medal from the Governor General of Canada, in recognition of his extensive volunteer efforts over the last four decades. Dielissen has served with the St. John’s Ambulance, Northern BC Winter Games, the Exploration Place, and the Winter Lights Committee. The City of Prince George has committed $50,000 for the Highway 16 Inter-Community Transit Service. More than $147,000 has been collected from surrounding communities including: Town of Smithers, Village of Telkwa, District of Houston, Village of Burns Lake, Village of Fraser Lake, District of Vanderhoof, District of Fort St. James, Granisle, and First Nations communities. Operations are anticipated to begin in the Spring of 2017.

Dawson Creek The City of Dawson Creek has a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), as Duncan Redfearn was appointed to the position, effective January 1, 2017. Redfearn replaces retiring CAO, Jim Chute, and has worked with the City of Dawson Creek since 2008, with his most recent position being Director of Community Services. Conuma Coal has re-opened the Wolverine Mine near Tumbler Ridge, creating more than 200 new jobs in the Peace Region. The Wolverine re-opening follows shortly after the recent re-opening of the Brule Mine, also owned by Conuma Coal. Conuma purchased the Wolverine, Brule, and Willow Creek coal mines from Walter Canada earlier in 2016. With all three mines operating by the summer of 2017, Conuma hopes to have created and filled 660 job positions in total. A manager from the community services department of the City of Dawson Creek is scheduled to attend Disney’s first Customer Service Experience Summit in Edmonton in February, with the intention of training Dawson Creek’s parks and recreation staff in improved customer service. The summit endeavors to teach


MOVERS & SHAKERS

JANUARY 2017

kitchenettes, a free breakfast, indoor hot tub and pool. Pembina Pipeline Corporation was given regulatory approval for the Northeast BC Expansion (NEBC) project, and has begun construction. The $235 million project will build approximately 145 kilometres of pipeline with a capacity of as much as 75,000 barrels each day. The plans run parallel to most of the existing Blueberry pipeline to the Blair Creek area, and is expected to be on-stream later this year.

Quesnel Quesnel’s Royal Canadian Legion Cariboo Branch #94 received a Community Gaming Grant of $14,500 from the BC Government in the human and social services sector.

Above: Duncan Redfearn, new CAO, City of Dawson Creek Disney’s tricks used to engage attendees at their theme parks across the globe. A runway extension is being considered for the Dawson Creek Airport, in extending from 5,000 to 6,000 feet. A feasibility study estimated at $13,000 has been approved by City staff, which will explore the business reasons for extending the runway. If the study results land in favor of expansion, the city will use the results to apply for construction grants in adding the extra 1,000 feet. With a shorter runway, it has been more challenging for Dawson Creek to compete with larger airports in other northern

communities. The Dawson Creek Safeway held its grand reopening on December 16th, after a long period of renovations. The updated facility now includes additional product selection, a sushi bar, and an in-house kitchen.

The Smithers Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign raised more than $55,000 this year to help fight hunger in Houston and Smithers, beating their original fundraising goal of $48,000.

The Best Western Plus Chateau Fort St. John has completed construction and opened its’ doors for business. Located at 8322 – 86 Street, the hotel offers modern, luxury accommodation, with some rooms including

An Alberta-based company, Ardy Rigging Ltd., responsible for contracting the Hagwilget Bridge rehabilitation project near New Hazelton, has received a Deputy Minister’s Contractor of the Year Award of Excellence in Bridges and Structures. The project featured the replacement of the bridge’s main towers and structural steel. The Hagwilget’s single-lane bridge over the Bulkley River Canyon is the only connector between New Hazelton and Old Hazelton in the Kispiox Valley.

S W E N

Smithers

Fort St. John

with cleaner burning appliance models. The provincial Wood Stove Exchange program is providing $190,000 to 14 communities throughout BC.

The Bulkley Valley and Lakes District Airshed Management Society was awarded $8,700 in funding from the BC Government and the BC Lung Association to replace wood burning appliances

13 Smithers’ Council has approved an $8.7 million budget for the Smithers Airport modernization project. The new budget accommodates a $2.17 million increase to the project’s original cost projection, which cover a five per cent cost escalation totaling $1.2 million, and other added costs to the Moore Wilson Architect budget including an expanded renovations area by 115 square metres. Two Bulkley Valley clubs, Kinettes and Kinsmen, have merged to create the Bulkley Valley Kin Club. President Gerry Gagne noted that Kinettes and Kinsmen mergers are taking place similarly across Canada, strengthening their presence within their respective communities.

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OPINION

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

JANUARY 2017

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

DECISIONS ARE PRACTICAL, COMMON SENSE IF YOU DON’T MAKE THEM POLITICAL

MARK MACDONALD

T

wo of the easiest decisions for the provincial government – nonpolitically speaking – in recent memory have been the approval of the construction of Site C Clean Energy Project in northern B.C., and the twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline to the West Coast. Even though Justin Trudeau cuddled up to environmentalist causes during last year’s election – when many things are promised and unfortunately, seldom delivered – he was forced through economic realities to approve Kinder Morgan. While the Prime Minister put the stop sign out to Northern Gateway, we won’t be finished with that topic any time soon, for Enbridge will undoubtedly seek to be reimbursed for its time and investment in the pipeline over many years. If a multi-billion dollar settlement

isn’t reached, look for this to end up in court, with taxpayers covering the costs, obviously. Allowing Kinder Morgan to add another pipe to its existing route is the most economical, and least environmentally obtrusive option. It was a political compromise many saw coming, but it is already raising the hackles of extreme greenists who believed they had an ally in the PM to support their cause. Alberta needs to get more of their oil out to non-Canadian markets, and doubling the size of a current, safe route, is the simplest and easiest route to take. If you’re not a politician. But if one seeks to appease the vocal minority actively practicing uninformed recreational outrage against such natural resource extraction (and ultimately, the well paying jobs they produce), that makes it a tough decision. Surely neither the NDP or the BC Liberals forget that the entirety of our last provincial election turned on then NDP-leader Adrian Dix’ campaign trail dictum that he wouldn’t approve Kinder Morgan. That statement alone cost him “middle” British Columbia, represented by trades and resource workers who earned their incomes through projects like this. Christy Clark and her team did an admirable job of winning an

election most figured would end up with an NDP government, without a doubt. But the fundamental shift in opinion took place with the off-the-cuff promise by Dix, which caught even his own party off guard. And such is the reality of economics that even Alberta’s NDP Premier Rachel Notley has been lobbying B.C. to support the pipeline to get Alberta oil out to the coast. Think about that: An avowed anti-oil field critic, now in power, has realized what Alberta’s books would look like without that revenue. And is supporting a bigger pipeline. The Peace River has already been dammed twice, and it is inexpensive hydroelectric power that has generated riches for generations for British Columbians. As we race forward in a world driven by technology, the demand for power only continues to increase. Governments have given people more of what they want – “green” power from alternative, non-hydro sources. It’s not enough to meet demand, and perhaps never will be. But what is clearly evident is that as its arrival is accompanied by higher and higher power rates. Just look at Ontario. Yet, there continues to be lobbying efforts against Site C. In one particularly disturbing account, a Grade 6 class in the Lower

Mainland was given a recent assignment: Students were told they needed to write the Premier and Prime Minister and tell them they don’t want Site C built. It wasn’t framed with: “What do you think about the Site C dam? Do you think it’s a good idea?” The teacher told them what to write. It was blatant manipulation by the teacher, and a prime example of how some public school teachers have slipped from educating and informing their impressionable students to indoctrinating and directing. This is educational abuse, plain and simple, and a misuse of public trust. This type of “training” is a large cloud over our collective horizon, as indoctrinated students will become non-thinking voters, programmed to think as the teacher dictates. Shouldn’t we be asking some serious questions of our educators in this regard? What are they teaching our children? When we hear explosive rhetoric about the “corrupt” political system we now employ, I hea r m isu ndersta nd i ng a nd misinformation. Are there corrupt politicians? Obviously. But the system we have was set up many generations ago by intelligent people with the best of intentions, with a primary goal of fairness to all.

Is it perfect? No. But if in the classroom, students were to receive proper instruction about the function of government – how it was formed, why it was set up in such a fashion, and how it functions – we’d have less angry, confused people, and, I suggest, more informed, enthusiastic individuals who recognize the opportunities to make constructive change that are well within their grasp, if they can learn to play by the rules that have helped make Canada great. What we see now is an increasingly hostile public, protesting louder and louder to make their point, which is their right. They seem to somehow believe that if they shout louder and longer, that is the only way they will achieve their goals. Or, if they do, a vocal minority can get what they want at the expense of the majority. Isn’t it time government leaders realize that there are some segments of society that don’t include compromise in their vocabulary, and that they will never be satisfied until they get 100 per cent of what they want? Yes, politicians need to listen to the people. But surely they must be committed to doing the right thing for the wellbeing of most, and not cave into the unrealistic, and increasingly hostile, demands of a vocal minority.

DEBT-LADEN GOVERNMENTS NEED TO TACKLE GILDED PUBLIC SECTOR WAGES Canadian governments can begin to control their debt and deficits by aligning publicsector pay with the private sector

THE FRASER INSTITUTE CHARLES LAMMAM

S

even years after the 200809 recession, the federal and many provincial governments continue to struggle with deficits, spending more than the revenues they collect and digging deeper into debt. All told, governments in Canada are projecting they will rack up $43.8 billion in deficits this year alone. Wit h t he pay a nd benef its for gove r n m e nt e mploye e s

consuming a significant share of government spending - often about half of a provincial budget - controlling these costs is key to any government’s effort to repair public finances. There’s ample reason to better control compensation costs. While governments must provide competitive compensation to attract qualified employees, decades of research has shown that the wages and benefits of government employees tend to eclipse those for comparable privatesector positions. This is not just about economics. It’s unfair to have government workers receive a premium paid for by privatesector workers who receive less for similar positions.

A new Fraser Institute study spotlights the wage premium enjoyed by government employees in Canada at all levels (federal, provincial and local). Using Statistics Canada data from 2015, the study finds that government employees receive, on average, 10.6 per cent higher wages than comparable workers in the private sector. (This wage premium accounts for differences between individual workers in the two sectors such as age, gender, education, tenure, experience and type of work.) But wages are just one component of total compensation, which includes pensions, early retirement and job security. As any business-owner or manager will tell you, it’s the total cost of compensation that matters rather than the individual components. Yet even on various non-wage benefits, the available Statistics Canada data suggest government employees in Canada come out ahead. First consider pensions, one of the costliest benefits provided to workers in both sectors. In 2015,

89.3 per cent of governmentsector workers were covered by a registered pension compared to just 23.8 per cent of private sector workers. Tellingly, virtually all government pensions (eight of 10) provide defined benefits, guaranteeing a certain income level in retirement, rather than being dependent on how investments perform. Government-sector workers in Canada also retire 2.3 years earlier, on average, than private-sector workers and are away from their jobs for personal reasons (12.7 days) more often than privatesector workers (7.8 days). When it comes to job security, another non-wage benefit, government workers have a distinct advantage. In 2015, 3.8 per cent of private-sector employment in Canada experienced job loss - approximately seven times higher than the 0.5 per cent of government-sector employment. So what drives this disparity in wages and benefits? The reason is twofold. In the government sector, political factors largely determine the

wage-setting process, while the private sector is largely guided by market forces and profit constraints. These differences are amplified by the monopoly environment in which the government sector operates versus the competitive environment of the private sector. The first step to solving the government compensation premium is better data collected on a more regular basis. Better information, available more regularly, will hold governments to account for managing compensation costs. The longer-term solution, however, is to enact measures that link the wages and benefits of government employees to similar positions in the private sector. Doing so would allow governments to better control spending, rein in debt, and maintain fairness for taxpayers who ultimately foot the bill. Charles Lammam and Milagros Palacios are co-authors of the Fraser Institute study Comparing Government and Private Sector Compensation in Canada.

SUBCRIPTIONS | $45 PER YEAR (12 ISSUES), $80 FOR 2 YEARS (24 ISSUES), SUBSCRIBE ONLINE: WWW.BUSINESSEXAMINER.CA. DISTRIBUTION: FOURTH WEEK OF EACH MONTH VIA CANADA POST AD MAIL. The publisher accepts no responsibility for unsolicited submissions. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. Produced and published in British Columbia. All contents copyright Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena, 2017. Canadian Publications Mail Acct.: 40069240


OFF THE COVER

JANUARY 2017

15

Larry McCulloch, LM Forest Resource Solutions founder

A S900 UAVÂ drone, ideal for collecting high-resolution natural resources data

LM FOREST CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Resource Solutions is able to offer their clients fantastic insights into the environments they manage. And when McCulloch gives examples of the work he and his team have done lately, he occasionally sounds like a messenger from the near future. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a new archeological

site near the W.A.C. Bennett Dam that looks like it will be for the largest dinosaur trackway in the world. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re able to collect images of the footprints and produce a 3-D model that can then be run through a 3-D printer, and all of a sudden youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re holding a dinosaur footâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or you would be if you could actually lift it.â&#x20AC;? Conveniently enough, McCullochâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s post-processing secret

weapon is his daughter, a computer scientist. Having been raised by a forester father, she understands what data is actually useful for forestry clients, and leverage her skill sets accordingly. I f occupy i ng t he bleed i ng edge is exciting, it can also be challenging. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We sometimes need to work hard to make clients understand the potential of drones. But other times we

MILLS PRINTING GROUP ACQUIRES SPEEDEE YOUR OFFICE EXPERTS Expanded Corporation Now Operates 10 Outlets Across British Columbia

P

R I NCE GEORGE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; T he ownership may have changed, but the business philosophy of providing excellent products, exceptional service and outstanding community involvement remains the same. As of November the four SpeeDee Your Office Experts Ltd. outlets located across Northern British Columbia had been acquired by Vancouver-based Mills Printing & Stationary Co. Ltd. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was really the acquisition of one family-owned and operated business by another,â&#x20AC;? explained Brad Mills, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mills Office Productivity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve now added the SpeeDee locations to our company, so now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a company of more than 200 employees, working in a total of 10 outlets throughout BC. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too early yet to determine if the existing SpeeDee stores will be re-branded as Mills Office Productivity outlets, we havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really decided that yet.â&#x20AC;? SpeeDee currently operates four

Northern BC locations, Prince George, Terrace, Smithers and in Fort St. John. Both family owned and operated firms specialize in the office supply business, providing everything from office furniture to stationery and from duplication services to the sale of office machines. The Mills group was founded in 1949 by Don Mills, the current CEOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father, to become a leading stationary firm in the province. SpeeDee Your Office Experts was incorporated in 1958 by Maurice George, operating initially as SpeeDee Printers. The founderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son David George changed the name to SpeeDee Your Office Experts in 2003. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re now a second generation company and hopefully will be going into a third generation,â&#x20AC;? Mills stated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our specialty is office products, of f ice f u rn itu re a nd a copy centre â&#x20AC;&#x201C; essentially all of the things youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d find at a Staples store, which is our direct competitor. But unlike them weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a family owned BC based business.â&#x20AC;? Both companies are also well known for being excellent corporate neighbors, being actively involved in supporting the communities that they serve. That â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;giving back to the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

philosophy was one of the factors that encouraged Mills to proceed with the corporate acquisition. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the reasons we bought the company was because they have a positive track record in their communities. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re always actively involved in our local communities, something we intend to continue doing as we move forward. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always made it a policy to give back, to be a good corporate citizen, something that wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be changing,â&#x20AC;? Mills said. With the corporate acquisition the newly expanded Mills Office Productivity chain of stores can better serve its clients by having increased buying power and by being able to reach a much larger potential client base. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In essence itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a case of two families becoming one. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expanding on the philosophy and business model that my father started more than 60 years ago,â&#x20AC;? Mills said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Any business is customer driven. The Northern BC customers recognize the SpeeDee name and over time we hope they will come to recognize Mills as another locally owned family business, just like SpeeDee.â&#x20AC;? To learn more please visit the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s websites at: www. mills.ca & www.speedee.ca

need to help them understand the limitations.â&#x20AC;? Those limitations are principally centered on scale. McCulloch explains that taking high-resolution images over vast tracts of land is only possible with aircraft-sized military drones or actual manned aircraft. T he remote ground equ ipment h i s tea m u ses i s b e t te r s u ite d for p re c i s ion photography. â&#x20AC;&#x153; H o w e v e r, t e c h n o l o g y i s changing rapidly. Eventually we will have military scale, highresolution capabilities over large areas with incredible post-processing solutions. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where the industry is headed and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re proud to do our part to lead the way.â&#x20AC;? lmfms.ca

.ca

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been working in the forestry sector since the late 70s. Since then my work has continuously evolved. Today 75% of what my company does is drone-related.â&#x20AC;? LARRY MCCULLOCH LM FOREST, RESOURCE SOLUTIONS FOUNDER

NORTHERN BC's OFFICE EXPERTS

$IGITAL#OLOURs(IGH3PEED"7 !RCHITECTURALs"OOKLET0RINTING 7IDE&ORMAT3CANNING0RINTING 'RAPHIC$ESIGN$ESKTOP0UBLISHING #USTOM7EDDING)NVITATIONS %NVELOPE0RINTINGs,AMINATING $RY-OUNTINGs3ELF)NKING3TAMPS "ANNERS0OSTERSs&ULL3ERVICE"INDERY 490 Brunswick Street, Prince George, BC V2L 2B6 4EL  s&AX   4OLL&REE    copycentre@speedee.ca www.speedee.ca Serving Northern BC Since 1958 Prince George | Smithers | Terrace | Fort St. John


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Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena - January 2017  

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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